A friend of mine recently posted a newspaper clipping on a social media site about “Tips to Look After Your Husband” – Extract from 1950 Home Economics Book.
In reading the article, my first thought was, “Makes sense.” Before you block my profile off of Medium, let me explain.
My thought came after reading the list of tips and thinking, “Makes sense.” Slow down, slow down, let me explain.
The reason this made sense had to do with my wife and I joining efforts to make OUR HOME embrace these tips; both of us following the tips, not just the Wife.
Have dinner ready.
There were many years that my wife would have dinner ready when I walked in the door from work. At the time, she was a full-time housewife and took on this duty for our family. As time passed—flashing to now—many times she is in the middle of doing something in her real estate profession when it’s time for dinner, giving me the opportunity to whip something up. I enjoy cooking for ‘US,’ with the only downfall being that too often I ask, “What sounds good for dinner?” Instead, I should just work on something that I know we would enjoy.
When our children were young, it was a battle for my wife to run the house, raise six kids, and continue attempting to raise my parent’s eldest son (me). At one point, she started getting ready first thing in the morning. I viewed it as her ‘telling the day’ how it was ‘going to be’ versus the day setting the ground rules.
Now that I’m retired (don’t be jealous, okay, go ahead a little), the tables have absolutely turned. Recently, she went to a work appointment and upon returning home found me in my pajamas at my laptop. Her comment, “Are you going to stay in your pajamas all day?” Flashback experience. Point taken. Showered and dressed. That was a fair statement on her part. And for the record, I even put on some body spray, oh yeah, ninja level.
Clear away the clutter.
This is actually the tip that hurt the most. Why? I’m the clutter-guy in our house. I make little piles of my ‘stuff’ that she ends up putting in my drawer or just moving out of sight. Just yesterday I looked at my little work area, next to her’s on our one long work desk, and gauged that my clutter wasn’t any more than her clutter, whew! And that’s my new standard.
Prepare the children.
We are officially empty-nesters now (for about a month). It’s great! I highly encourage you to try it if you have kids. You may want to wait until they are grown or at least a little sure-footed in the world before you give them the boot. Otherwise, they will become boomerangs—no matter how hard you throw them out, they will keep returning (kidding, not kidding).
I look at this tip as a reminder that I’m still a parent and a grandparent. I can’t just go into a writing and ESPN self-induced coma. I need to continue to be active in the lives of my children and grandchildren. We are never totally done “Preparing the children.”
Minimize all noise.
This little tip just reminds me that I need to be respectful of my wife’s music tastes and how loud I play my music. I learned, through a loving nudge from my wife, that my County Rap (that’s really a thing: Jawga Boys, The Lac’s, Moonshine Bandits; don’t judge) drives her a little bonkers when I play it in the bedroom when showering.
The result, I only crank it up when she is gone. If I know she has a work appointment in the morning, I sometimes wait until then to crank the music and get prettied-up for the day (see “Prepare Yourself” above).
This section mentioned several things, of which the first sentence read, “Don’t greet him with problems or complaints.” This is great advice—both ways. Although, I think that this has a lot to do with delivery and timing.
Accusing someone of some irritating act just causes contention. Waiting for the right time—though it’s true that the ’right time’ may be hard to find, depending on the topic—and then discussing the issue using respect and understanding goes a lot further. Consider both sides of the dilemma and come to as close to a healthy conclusion as possible. Confuscious says (not really), “Anyone can point out problems. Give me solutions!”
Bonus: For you fellas out there, sometimes when your wife complains about something, she’s not asking you to fix it. She just wants to vent about it. Only fix it if she asks you to fix it. You’re welcome.
Make him comfortable.
Ahhhh…nice. Then, at some point, reciprocate! Last night the wife offered to make caramel popcorn (did I mention she’s perfect?). She left me to play on my phone while she went down and made it for our next binge-watching episode of Star Trek.
Here’s the reciprocate part. My wife is always cold (stay with me here). Really though, she is constantly cold, which is a real bummer for her. I try and make sure that she has a blanket on the sofa. One step further, if she still seems chilled, I go down and get a rice-pack (it’s an Idaho thing, rice is sewn into a kitchen towel to make a heatable pack) and heat it up for two minutes in the microwave. If I want to be a rockstar, I just pause whatever we are watching on TV and say, “I’ll be right back.” I run downstairs (hahaha…run…that’s funny) and heat up a pack and bring it up for her to set on her lap or on her feet. Now, who’s the rockstar?!? Yep, still her.
Listen to him.
Unless it’s the last 60 seconds of a tied college football game, pause the game or mute the sound and listen when she is talking (you’ll thank me later). If it is the last 60 seconds of a tied game, just tell her your dilemma and ask if you can talk about it when the 60 seconds run out. Then go and find her and thank her and encourage her to continue with what she was going to say. Boom, score!
Fortunately for me, I’ve been married for quite some time (coming up on 28 years!) and this has worked out for both of us, as long as I then follow through after the game is over and don’t forget (no matter who won or lost the game).
Make the evening his.
We make the evening ‘OURS,’ most of the time. Believe it or not, my wife and I have very little in common. We enjoy extremely opposite things. But we do enjoy a good episode of Star Trek, Monk, and old movies. This is our joining point at night. We decide on something that we enjoy together and usually finish the evening on the sofa holding hands and watching a show. Hey fellas, pro tip here, it’s still okay to hold her hand. Corny? Yep. That’s another story for another time, “Keep Dating Your Wife!”
The article read that the goal of these tips is to, “Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself, both body and spirit.”
I couldn’t agree more. The home should be a bastion from the world where you can go to rejuvenate, recharge, and heal from the world’s daily battles. I have to admit that I’m spoiled. My home is my favorite place, thanks to my wife.
I think that these “Tips to Look After Your
Husband Spouse” are fantastic. What a great updated article! Now go and do!
If you enjoyed this post, you should try my book:
The Parenting Experiment: How I Survived and You Can Too!