A friend of mine just posted the wildest thing I've ever seen on Facebook.... it is an excerpt from The Good Wife's Guide of 1955 (click on the pic to enlarge... really, do it)! Now while most would get a pretty good laugh since women have gained much ground on the road to equality, it is THIS woman's opinion that we could stand to take at least one step back.
Don't get me wrong.... treating your spouse like a possession or a maid is NEVER ok. I mean, some of the items on this Good Wife's list are SOOOOO far out there, but some of them could stand a little rehash. I have a little story of a couple at the top of their game financially, both with thriving careers but a struggling relationship when the housing market crashed and one of their careers came to a screeching halt. Yes, that would be mine. So suddenly I was at home with not much to do but try to find ways to save money (we did just lose half of our household income) and make meals. And something really weird happened. OUR RELATIONSHIP GOT BETTER.
I realized that for years we would both come home and complain about our days. Always attempting to unburden ourselves when the other person just wasn't in a place to be able to receive or listen because they too were trying to unburden. The little time we had together wasn't quality at all. Most of the time we were grumpy. But with me taking care of the house and the hubs coming home to the smell of dinner waiting, something shifted. I noticed that he stopped coming through the door with burdens. Suddenly he'd walk through the door with the stereotypical 1950's "Honey I'm home!"
usually followed by, "Something smells good" or, "Is that cake I smell?"
HOW can you be in a bad mood when you open the door to the smell of fresh baked bread or chocolate cake???? If you could come home to this type of aroma therapy every day, wouldn't that be something you looked forward to? Even the drive home.... would you think about the burdens of your day or would you anticipate what wondrous smell would greet you at the door? And I discovered that I became a mirror. I couldn't wait for him to get home! He was suddenly always so happy with compliments on the house and the smells. Oh sure.... I'd EVENTUALLY hear about the bad stuff that happened during his day, but suddenly the bad stuff stopped taking center stage. He was suddenly happy to see me and I was happy to see him and we'd talk about wonderful stuff like upcoming plans for weekend and funny stuff we'd experienced before dredging up anything bad we encountered during the day. And, dare I say, the bad stuff seemed to dwindle a little.
So before anyone leaves me ugly remarks about "how dare I suggest we take a step back for women's rights", please know that I'm coming from a place where I want my marriage to last forever. I've lived during the times of plenty when we both had more money than sense and also during times of much less and I learned that sometimes it is ok for strong, independent women of LEADERSHIP to stop attaining and instead just cook a good meal. The way to a man's heart really IS through his stomach... or rather through his nose.