P.S. No, The Boyfriend and I aren't engaged to be married, but I chose to write this as if I were getting married. Just a clarification. =)
What makes a “good wife”?
As we’re approaching our wedding day, I can’t help but panic. No, I don’t have cold feet. No, I’m not nervous about the wedding being perfect. No, I’m not worried about getting it on on our wedding night. What I’m freaking out about is what happens after the wedding. After it’s all said and done. After we’ve said our “I do’s.” After we’ve thanked all of our guests. After we’ve hopped in bed for our first night as husband and wife in a swanky hotel. Even after we’ve returned from our honeymoon. What happens then? I know what it takes to be a good bride on her wedding day, but do I know what it takes to be a good wife until the day I die?
If I’m being honest with myself, I’m not sure I do. Part of me feels like, “If you love him, you’ll be a good wife no matter what,” and another part of me feels like, “Well, love isn’t enough. You’ve got to have other ‘wife-like’ qualities as well.” So what does it take? Does it take having an exquisite dinner on the table every night when he comes home from work? Does it take having mind-blowing sex 365 days a year? Does it take never-ending patience and never nagging? Does it take saying “Yes, Dear” even when I know he’s wrong? According to The Good Wife’s Guide (Housekeeping Monthly, 13 May 1955), this is what it takes to be a “good wife”;
In some ways, I feel like this was written by a man (but what do I know). And in other ways, I wonder if this is actually feasible in today’s world of dual income homes. Yeah, most women back in the fifties didn’t hold full-time jobs as well as create a welcoming and damn near perfect home for their husbands, but in our world today, that seems to be the reality. Or at least the expectation.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m no stranger to hard work. But working nine to five and having time to do all of those things listed above just seems insane! How am I supposed to live up to that without becoming a domesticated robot? I know that for me, that exact lifestyle will not work. I can tell you that right now. If I even attempted to live up to that, I’d be cranky and rude and I most definitely would not be in the mood to get it on when my hubby gets home from work. However, I do have my own notions of how I can recreate The Good Wife’s Guide in my own way to suit my lifestyle as a working woman, student, and wife.
I know that I can keep our home tidy, sanitary, and safe. I know that I can always have the laundry done and put away so that we both have clean clothes to wear. I know that I can put together a delicious and healthy meal in a slow cooker so we’ll have warm dinner when we get home after stressful days. I know that I can sit through hours and hours of football on the couch with my hubby if it means we’re relaxing together and enjoying each other’s company. I know that I can learn when to speak my mind and when to keep my mouth shut. I know that even if we don’t have sex every single night, we’re still incredibly attracted to one another. And I know that no matter what, as long as I stick to my guns and work hard at strengthening the love we have, I’ll be a “good wife.” Maybe even a great one.
I know that there will be nights when we just grab take-out. I know that there will be days when I blame my crankiness on PMS just for the hell of it. I know there will be times when we’re so mad at each other that we don’t even bother to kiss each other goodnight. But I also know that commitment and love take hard work and energy. And I’m willing to put in the effort if it means that my husband loves me for the strong, loyal woman that I am rather than resent me for the fifties, Mrs. Cleaver-style, robotic wife that I’m not.
So how do you relate to this? If you're married, did you have these worries before you tied the knot and how have they changed?
More to come...a look into the mind of man when it comes to being a husband.