A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12 (NIV)
I have been reading The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger. She believes that the root cause of marriages failing is in how we treat our spouse in day to day life. She states that if we treated our husbands as well as we treat our friends, we would be much better off, but that we revert to our real nature when at home without an audience. Our marriages suffer because of it. In chapters entitled, “The White Rabbit Syndrome,” where she warns women to slow down and not take on so much responsibility that we are exhausted all the time, to “Men Have Feelings? Really? You’re Kidding?” where she dispels the myth that men are unfeeling Neanderthals, slouching through life, welding a club and grunting, Schlessinger encourages women to remember the three As that men need, acceptance, approval and affection. She goes so far as to say that the reason that so many marriages are in trouble is because people, particularly women, are self centered and focus on what they can get out of a relationship instead of what they can give to it. She says, “Your basic male is a decent creature with simple desires: to be his wife’s hero, to be his wife’s dream lover, to be the protector and provider for his family, to be respected, admired, and appreciated. Men live to make their women happy. The cruelest thing a wife can do to a husband is to never be happy. And don’t forget, being happy is more an attitude than a reality.” Because men want their wives to be happy, it is easy for us to take advantage of them, to walk over their feelings, to disrespect them and to push them into hating coming home where that happens. The book has really made me think about everything I say to and how I act towards my husband. I am working on not dumping all my feelings about my day upon him or getting irritated when he doesn’t meet my needs. Today is his birthday. When I asked him what he wanted to do, because on my birthday, I want to do something, he said he wanted to rest. Now, I could have planned his day with things that I thought would make him happy and ignored what he said he wanted thinking that he really didn’t mean it or that his desires were boring. Believe me, I have done that in the past. Instead, today, I left him be to lie in bed and watch the car race, browse the Internet in his shorts or take a nap. And why not? I am so blessed to have a husband who has put up with me all these years, who loves me more now than he did when he was eighteen. I must be careful not to take advantage of that. I think that is the best birthday gift I could give him. That and let him watch the car race uninterrupted!