Are you a good wife?!

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good_wifeIf someone were to ask my husband ‘is Ami a good wife’ I honestly have no idea what he would say! While I can’t wait to be a mum, and essentially a ‘housewife’ I don’t think I fit the description of what would be perceived as a good wife.

Yesterday a friend of mine alerted me to an article: How to be a good wife. After the reading the title my first reaction Pfft, this is going to be interesting. Then all of a sudden I thought I was back in the 1950s. Here’s some of what the article had to say:

Still, in an age in which women are remaining single later and later into their lives, it seems many women who I come across who are in their mid-30s, are now suddenly thinking that there’s an urgency to marry. Yet they fear they have no idea how to conduct themselves as “good wife material”.

“He’ll never want to marry someone like me … not if I don’t change,” one recently said to me. When I told her that a man should like her for all her quirks and foibles, she was quick to dismiss my opinion.

“Are you kidding? With so many younger, hotter women available, the person who possesses the most ‘wife material’ will win.”

While I’m not entirely sure I agree with her, my mother agrees wholeheartedly. After I recently cancelled an arrangement with her (it was due to a media commitment, not my dating schedule), she said that my flightiness proved I was “selfish and spoilt”, adding that “no man will want to marry a person like that”. Hmph.

Maybe I’d better listen to Watson’s suggestions of what “good wife material” consists of, which includes doing the following:

* Make him a priority. Not the kids. Not your exercise routine. Him.
* Have sex. Often and regularly, despite how tired you are, how late you had to stay at work or how much more appealing a Pilates class or glass of wine with a girlfriend sounds instead.
* Beware of resentment. You chose to marry the dude. You should be able to live with that decision.
* Be kind and supportive. That includes actually admitting when you’re wrong.

You can read the whole article HERE.

I mean seriously, make him a priority, not the kids. Yadda, yadda, yadda, give me a break! I didn’t sign up for a 1950s marriage, I signed up for a partnership. A partnership that requires give and take from BOTH partners. I rarely cook. Ok, I’ve cooked 3 dinners in 2 years. So really ok, I don’t cook. I do keep on top of the washing, and most of the time I keep the kitchen clean, but the rest of it is about working together to have a happy home and a happy life. And if hubby thinks for one minute that he isn’t going to have to change a stinky nappy, then he’s for a rude shock!

What also bothers me about this article, is the modern day woman who still believes that no one will want to marry her if she doesn’t fit the description or stereotype as a good wife. You can easily be yourself and have lovely quirks such as, ahem, not cooking, and still make a wonderful wife.

So let’s get personal! Do you think you’re a good wife?! Whatever that means!

  • Bern
    November 16, 2009

    Um, no I am a bit of a shit wife. Don’t give it up regularly enough, I put the kids before anything else and often, not always, resent him for no good reason at all.

    But like you said it’s a partnership and just because I birthed the little suckers doesn’t mean they are all all my responsibility. We both work equal hours and therefore, both have to contribute equal amount of hours into feeding, bathing, ferrying around and general domestic duties.

    Often it’s a case of who can stand the look of the scuzzy shower the longest, but hey, it all get’s done.

    So, no I’m not a good wife by the guide above. Probably not by a more modern one either, but it you can both work what you’ve got, then that’s all that matters. :)

  • Luke Arms
    November 16, 2009

    Interesting post :)

    Being a male (and a husband), I’m probably going to regret wading in, but I’ll give it a try anyway. If I’m allowed ;)

    First, allow me to say that my wife is exceptionally good. If anything, she is too concerned about my welfare, doesn’t get angry with me often enough (considering how much I sometimes deserve it) and is too quick to concede that she has been wrong (even if my words or actions have been more wrong). Given her natural tendency to put herself last, I have to be super-careful to put her first (and I’ll admit I’m not always good at it).

    In one sense, you might say my wife is a 50’s wife (and I’m all kinds of lucky to be her husband :P) … but I think that conclusion would miss the point. Our view of marriage is that it involves trusting the other person to care for your needs, while doing your level best to care for theirs. Of course it’s as imperfect as we are, but I’d say it builds a deeper level of interdependence and nurturing than many modern “partnerships” that are more about preserving individuality than about becoming a strong unit together.

    As for the priority of kids, my wife and I both love our 4-month-old to bits, but the marriage relationship takes priority over parenting for us. Ultimately we believe that if our marriage is strong, our home will be a good place for our children to grow up. If our children come between us, our marriage will ultimately die, which won’t serve our children at all.

    So with a bit more context and detail on the ideas, I’d suggest that with appropriate caveats (most of them to do with the husband’s reciprocation!), the dot points you’ve listed here aren’t all bad. I’ll leave the sex one for another day, however ;)

  • Another Amy
    November 16, 2009

    Great post Ami! I would love to see you do a version on what it takes to be ” A good husband” ?!!

    As a mid-twenty soon to be married, independent earner woman who actually loves cooking I was shocked by the column you posted. Could not believe there are women still writing like this in 2009!!

    Just when us women think we are getting somewhere there are some very ‘dated’ opinions which still seem to persist.

    There was another article in the paper on the weekend which I think is a much more balanced and relevant view.

    Was called “Feminists can flirt – and other noughtie ideas”. Don’t have the link but it is an excerpt from a book called “The Noughtie Girl’s guide to Feminism”.

    Ellie Levenson writes:

    “When i asked my friends whether they were feminists, many reacted with horror. There was a sense that saying yes would mean no more short skirts or make-up and that they would have to vote in a particular way. But for ‘noughtie girls’ feminist demands are based less on political ideologies than on the experiences of our day to day lives… For me feminism is about having choices – from influencing who runs the country to choosing whether I wear high heels or flats….it’s about acknowledging we are different while shouting loudly that we are equal…Noughtie girls and their partners recognise that equality means splitting all the tasks life throws at them whether enjoyable or not…” and goes on to say “Traditionally, feminism and marriage are not seen as compatible….and it is not anti-feminist to feel that life is nicer when it’s shared with someone.” And so it goes.

    Ami what do you think?!

  • Ami
    November 17, 2009

    Thanks Amy, great comment! I completely agree that feminism is about having choices. It really doesn’t mean it’s one or the other. I think I’m going to have to go and find myself a copy of that book!

    And the idea about what is take to be a good husband! Love it! Stay tuned!

    And I think we can all agree, that it’s all about the partnership, and shouldn’t matter who’s scrubbing the shower! :)

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