No husband is perfect. No wife is either. But do you ever hear jokes about incompetent wives? Any about dumb moms? Do you ever hear men on TV commercials say, "My cave woman of a wife has no idea how to cook. That's why I bought this Crockpot for only two payments of $19.95!" No. We never hear that. What we do hear on TV commercials is this: "I left my kids home with my husband again. When I came home the house was a mess and the kids were scattered around the neighborhood. That's why I found a nanny on Care.com!"
People, husbands are not useless idiots. They do not have puny bird brains. They do not have the 6 second attention span of a goldfish. I'm really sick of hearing wives complain about their husband's lack of common sense.
Think about this: When girls first start dating a guy they tell all their friends about how amazing he is. She brags about his looks, his skills, his good character, his manners, his morals, his looks...(did I already say that?). As time goes on she and her boyfriend get more used to each other. It's not that they don't love each other anymore, it's just that they notice their flaws more and more. They start disagreeing about a few things and become much more comfortable with one another. So then, the girl gets together with her friends and the inevitable question is asked, "So how are you two doing?" She rolls her eyes and says, "Oh ya know, we're okay. It's just that he...(insert annoying trait/habit here)". Her friends break out in a chorus of, "OMG that is so annoying, right? My guy does that too" and "You need to put him in his place, girl! Why would he do that? So annoying". When girls complain about their boyfriends/husbands to their friends they almost never get unbiased advice about the issue. Girls are very loyal to one another, or at least want to make it seem that way. When one girl starts to complain about her guy the rest of her group of girlfriends will automatically back her up and agree that "he is like, soooooo annoying."
Some of the best marriage advice I got was during our premarital counseling with our priest at church. He told us that if we were ever having a problem in our relationship to go to someone for advice. Ahhh but not just anyone. Someone who truly cares about the right and wrong. Someone who will give us unbiased advice and counsel. Instead of asking a friend who you know will side with you in any disagreement between you and your husband, ask your grandmother, or his mom, or someone you trust who has been married for awhile. People like that will hand you the truth, not just what you want to hear. My mom is not afraid to tell me when I'm being stupid about something. My husband Tom's mom isn't either. I know I could always go to either of them for advice if I need it. I also know that certain people in my life will always side with me in any disagreement. I mean, if I were to declare that the grass is purple with blue polka dots and my husband said it was green I do have a few friends who would say, "What is wrong with him? Stand your ground. Girl power!" No. I love them for loving me and always being there for me but...just no. I'd actually love for people to straight up tell me when I'm wrong. Not too many people still do that in this world.
This problem really isn't just women bashing men either. It goes both ways. Tom and I were watching America's Funniest Videos last night. You all know the bit where they show the old people making fools of themselves at wedding receptions. The videographer hands them a microphone and tells them to wish the bride and groom the best of luck. The old lady has no idea what they just handed her, holds it to her ear and says, "Hello?" thinking it's a phone. Well, in this episode, one gentleman proudly took the mic and said, "Congratulations, you two! Let me just say this: There are three rings in a marriage. The engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering." The audience broke out into hearty laughter. The camera showed a few wives looking toward their husbands as they nodded in agreement. I looked at Tom and said, "That's awful!" I mean, the joke was pretty cleaver but in any case is that how we want to stereotype marriages? Do we want our kids growing up thinking it's a requirement to bash their significant other? This happens to wives too. Don't get me wrong - husbands aren't off the hook either. It's just so prominent in society today to see wives bashing their husbands jokingly or not.
I'll never forget the first few months of my relationship with Tom. He was amazing (he still is), but I actually thought that I needed to find some sort of flaws that I could complain to my friends about. I was so used to hearing them talk about their boyfriends' annoying habits so I joined the game. I quickly realized how uncomfortable it made me and I didn't understand how anyone liked doing it. It's just what people do I guess. We women need a conversation filler so we come up with "dumb guy" jokes and we ramble on and on about how he leaves the toilet seat up. Who cares? Honestly. I walked into our bathroom the other day and the toilet seat was up. Did I throw a fit? Did I yell, "Toooommmmm please put the seat down!! Ugh!" Nope. I put it down myself. Because guess what? I also have flaws! Does he yell at me about mine? Nope. Even if he did does that give me license to yell at him about his? Nope. When my friend came over the other night and asked about how we were doing did I say, "Ughhh well he constantly leaves the toilet seat up. And he...blah blah blah..." Nope. I praised him. "We're great!" I said. "He's such an amazing Dad. Charlotte lights up like fireworks when he comes home. So do I for that matter!"
Let's stop the husband bashing please. Why is it necessary? Guess what? It isn't. You didn't marry him because he was a useless, know-nothing, do-nothing, idiot. You married him because you respect him, you love him, you care about him. And yes, that also means that you care about his reputation. If you leave that part out then you don't truly care. He is your husband. He's not your gardener or your plumber. You wouldn't go online and write a bad review about him. So why do you paint an ugly picture of him to your circle of friends?
I've only been married for a little over a year at the time this is being written in 2014. I don't claim to know everything about marriage. I'm no expert. But this seems to be common sense. If you are having difficulties within your marriage, I urge you to talk to someone will give it to you straight. I urge you to try being kind to your spouse. I beg you to stop the "dumb husband" stereotype. I challenge you to praise your husband when you hear someone bashing theirs. Or better yet, start praising your friend's husband. "He looks like such a natural with your little ones!" Or when she complains about him not helping with the kids homework say, "Didn't he just get a new promotion? Great for him! He's probably working longer hours right? I bet he's exhausted." Be that friend who tells it like it is. When your friend says she can't believe her husband doesn't agree with her spending $500 on a purse be the voice of reason who tells her that no, that's not a good idea because he just got laid off. Or whatever the situation is - just be that friend! They may not want to hear it but they need to.
Basically I want you all to love your spouses! I realize that sometimes marriage is challenging. Sometimes moods are bad. Sometimes all you want to do is yell. But you married this person. You probably had children with this person. You vowed to love, cherish and respect this person forever. Do the decent thing and uphold their reputation.
Challenge of the week: Make people jealous of your marriage. Offer advice. (Happiness is contagious.) :)
"This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12).
Love you all!
My name is Hannah and I'm a lucky wife to Tom, and mama bear to two sweet girls - Charlotte & Rosalie. Coffee, lipstick, sunshine, and dresses are some of my favorite things! I love to blog about God, motherhood, "wifeyhood", food, health and much more.
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