Today according the US Census over 45.2% of all people in the United States are Single. The highest in the history of the nation and more and more people are choosing the single life. For those that do venture down the path of “I do” over 50% of those marriages are ending amicably or horribly in divorce, with almost 70% of all those divorces being filed by WOMEN. How can this be is what the engineer in me immediately asked. Then it dawned on me. For centuries marriage was touted to women as an insurance policy against homelessness, childlessness and starvation. A woman’s survival strategy was to find a MAN who would marry her and be able to protect her from harm, put a roof over her head, put food on the table and give her his last name so her children wouldn’t be bastards and shunned by society. Seemed like a good setup and it worked for centuries. In exchange for a man being a husband, the woman was to perform the duties of being a wife. She would cook, clean, care for the children, provide all of the emotional support for the family, obey him (marriage vows used to say this) and be expected to put the needs of the family ahead of her own. So the Housewife relationships model (HW Model) was born as I dubbed it. Husband’s had very clear duties and everything that didn’t involve fixing broken things, cars, and outside was the woman’s role.
This is NOT HELP
Fast forward to the 21st Century where both men and women are working outside of the home. Children have schedules that rival any adult and the laundry and feedings still need to happen. Many women still feel it’s her responsibility to handle all of the duties performed by traditional housewives on top of a 50-80hr work week, and are literally crumbling under the invisible workload. Many women start in with this exhausting narrative cause she is trying to live up to the definition of a “good wife” and her husband is often oblivious to the fact that the woman he loves dearly is literally ready to collapse due to exhaustion and the overwhelm of never feeling like she can keep up. Yet if he is paying the bills, fixing broke stuff and ensure the doors are locked he feels pretty good about his job as a husband. Yet it’s the limitation and expectations of husband and wife for that matter that could use updating. So instead of a husband in title only what she sincerely needs and desires is a partner. Husbands often see themselves as “helping” when they choose to wash dishes or perform duties that according to the housewife model are the wife’s duties. A partner understands that washing dishes that you ate off of, or vacuuming the carpet at your house isn’t help, it’s a part of maintaining a home. Husbands often see taking care of their children as babysitting. Partners understand that taking care of children that carry half of your DNA is another word for parenting. Husbands unbeknownst to them are often considered by their wives as burdens instead of reliefs. Wives ofter express having a husband is like having another child, this is not a compliment. Switching from the mindset of ‘helping” to “partnering” is the hallmark of the “Power Couple Model”. Husbands are trained “Happy Wife Happy Life” as if his happiness is irrelevant and he doesn’t actually know how to make her happy. Partners understand they are responsible for their own happiness and together they can create a Happy Home and a Happy Marriage. Vacuuming is a turn on to many women because there is something sexy about being supported instead of taken for granted. Also to be fair women also are invited to relax those ‘Leave it To Beaver’ home aesthetics expectations. Your home could be immaculate at all times if you hire help, otherwise don’t pressure yourself to keep up a perfect home and the expense of the peace in the house. Partnering could be the difference between a Happy Home or a home that is headed for a premature divorce. What good is being husband and wife in title only to be trapped in a relationship where one person feels like the help, is ready to escape or staying cause husbands know it’s cheaper to keep her?
Everybody’s definition of partnering may look differently so communication still rules- just ask!! What’s one thing that would make a husband a better partner? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!!!