Thursday, April 29, 2010

Have some respect. A rant.

Something's been weighing on my mind for awhile now, though I've avoided blogging about it because I didn't want to offend.

When did it become so acceptable for women to disrespect their husbands? It seems that this day in age, it's the accepted "norm" for conversation among women to involve husband bashing. It breaks my heart to think of how our men would feel if they heard these conversations about them. How disheartened and discouraged and hurt they would feel.

If I were to challenge you to think of something nice to say about your husband, could you? What about three things? Could you rave for an hour about the great things he's done, the way many women can rage for an hour about the things he hasn't?

I get that your husband isn't perfect. Neither is mine. I could opt to bitch about the fact that he has a serious problem with paper clutter, that he can spend four hours in front of the computer at one time, that he likes watching hunting shows on TV, that he works too much, that he's anal retentive and it can be hard to live with. And in fact, I have bitched about those things from time to time. But I certainly try not to make a habit of it. Instead, I make it my goal to simply choose to live with those things that make me crazy. Instead, I focus on the fact that he works hard to support us, he mows the lawn without complaining, he listens patiently to me when I'm in the mood to talk incessantly, and he does what he can to help around the house when he's home.

I'm not perfect either. In fact, I'm pretty sure I can be miserable to live with sometimes - I'm moody and demanding, I'm a perfectionist, and I don't iron. But I'm nearly positive that my husband doesn't sit around with his friends grumbling about wrinkled shirts and taking out the trash.

How does complaining about our husbands make anything better? Does nagging and griping really make them want to do better? How about instead of that, we thank them when something is done for us, we appreciate how hard they work to support our families. Maybe if they see a bit of gratitude instead of a wife who is never satisfied, they'd be more likely to improve in the areas where we think they need it.

What really gets me is the women who expect their husbands to respect them, but refuse to give their men the same respect. Women are NOT better than men! This whole feminist thing irks me to no end - this way of thinking encourages women to hold themselves on a pedestal above their men, and it's destroying relationships and self images everywhere. There's no shame in being a woman, doing woman's work, and being satisfied with it. Women do have a place in this world, and we would do well to take it instead of trying to fight it.

It's exhausting to listen to all of these women gripe about the men they are married to (or are living with, which is essentially the same thing.) Surely there is something good about this man, or you would not have chosen to spend your life with him. Do me a favor - focus on some of those good things. The next time you're ready to vent about what a jerk your man is, instead think of something fantastic that he has done, or about him as a person, and share that with your friend instead. See if you can get a conversation going about what great guys you have, how hard they work or how funny they are or how much you enjoy being with them or what great daddies they are... something, anything, that's positive. Let your daughters hear you rave about your husbands, so that they know how to speak about their own husbands when they are grown and married.

Or even better - tell your husband to his face those positive things. Let him know you love him. Let him know you respect him. Stop just expecting his respect - earn it by respecting him first.


Julie said...

So I got nervous about offending people, since this is usually a non-offensive blog, and I deleted this post once. And now I'm reposting it because I really do feel like it's an important post.

In deleting the first draft, these two comments got deleted too, so I'm adding them here:

From Kim and Inadvertent Farmer: As a happily married woman of almost 26 years I know that griping changes nothing, never will.

I find sweetness gets me much farther...cookies don't hurt either!

I'm also here for your weekly reminder that the link is up for you to share any gardening post you have for the kinderGARDENS contest. It will be active today through next Wednesday so link up anytime.

And thank you for your are very wise. Kim

And from Deb: Amen, Sister! I love this. You are soooo right on, and I'm so crazy proud of you for voicing this. This has bugged me for a really long time too. Those stupid 30 min. comedy shows on TV are CONSTANTLY bashing men, and that's why I don't watch them. At all! I love my husband and respect him just as much! He's provided such a good life for me. He's enabled me to be the housewife I love being. He's been such a good father to our daughters. He's the most giving person I know. And he's such a hard worker, without ever complaining. I overlook his faults, as he overlooks mine. I guess that's why we've been married for over 30 years! :-)

Anonymous said...

I've been married almost 40 years and yes, there are times I could cheerfully strangle him. I swear, if he asks me what's for dinner once
But he's kind and creative and hard-working and always willing to help a friend. He's sick, so he can't help much around the house, but he does what he can... he washes dishes and other little tasks.
I once took a course on Women's Assertiveness (which was a big hoot to my family, since I am not shy). Every single woman sat around bitching about the mothers and their boyfriends/husbands. Whine, whine, whine. I finally dropped the course and told the instructor why.
I thought it was sad that those women tried to paint themselves as victims.
Jan (who cannot figure out how to not be "ananoymous)

Anonymous said...

Oh, Julie, I hope there are more of you out there... I might find more hope for the world my babies have to find spouses in someday :-)

Crazy Homeschool Mama said...


Julie said...

Thanks girls, I appreciate the kind words... 'cuz I'm pretty sure there are a few that aren't so pleased with me too. :o)

Anonymous said...

Andy done good.
You are the second smartest woman I Know.
-- Stephen

Just Me said...

I love my husband dearly. And I do talk about the good things about him frequently. To him and to other people. But I know I also complain about him quite a bit, too, I don't mean to. But it happens.

Wendy said...

Great point. I started reading a book a few years ago about raising girls (i think that was the title?) and this was one of the first point the author makes. If as women, we're constantly talking shit about men as a gender in general, we're not setting our girls up for very much success. Instead, they should grow up knowing that there are good men out there, and the qualities that make them good men. This is how we'll teach our daughters to make good decisions about finding partners - not be leading them to believe that men suck and so they may as well settle.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Julie! Thank you for taking the time to remind others to appreciate a bit more. I do have some other thoughts on this and maybe I'll come back and share them at some point but for now I'm going to share 3 positive things about my husband as a person.
1) He is a good person - always putting others before him.
2) He likes to make others laugh. And does so often.
3) He is a hardworker and a great father.