The Roles of Men and Women in Marriage

12.03.2014


Today as I was perusing Facebook and stumbled across an article that peaked my interest. It was titled: 8 Things Women Just Don’t Do Anymore (That They Should!) [check out the original article here]. It goes on to discuss the author’s top eight things that women should do in relationships, specifically in how they treat their man, but simply have gone by the wayside in our modern times. Here’s what makes her list:

  1. Cook
  2. Clean
  3. Fix His Plate
  4. Watch Your Mouth (cursing)
  5. Dish Out Compliments
  6. Keep Yourself Up
  7. Dress For Dates
  8. Anticipate His Needs
After reading through her explanations of each of her top eight,  it was interesting to see her points and infer the values in which she places on women’s roles in their relationships with men. 


Cooking:
The art of cooking seems to be waning with modern women but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, although more women are in the workforce since the 1950s, men still love and appreciate it when their significant other prepares a nice hot meal for them (especially if they have done/do it before for their partner). Here’s an approach to cooking...even if you’re not an avid chef.

Cooking should be fun for the both of you in your relationship, especially if food is an interest you share. For example, when I first met Philip I had only eaten at major chain restaurants and rarely cooked anything myself. I love to bake but cooking was rare because I simply never had to do it. He, on the other hand, hated to eat at chains because he had an appreciation for quality meals and the skill and technique of it’s preparation. When we were dating and eventually I moved in, living in DC provided him with a plethora of restaurants in which to introduce me to.  Over time I had learned to love food as much as him- simply because he had an interest in it and we grew to love it together

Nowadays, this interest has expanded into finding new recipes or trying to recreate meals we’ve shared together on a night out. Cooking together is always a fun date night idea. Try a new recipe together and just have fun with it!

Cleaning:
I consider cleanliness extremely important. I probably helps to have lived with a borderline OCD mom growing up, haha. Cleanliness is a quality that I value and ranks the highest in qualities I looked for in a relationship. Luckily, Philip is even moreso the clean freak than I and therefore together we make a good match. Keeping rooms, floors, and everything in-between clean is (and should be) important since eventually you and your partner will live together and co-habitate. And that means double the mess. However, since we both value cleanliness, we both split up the cleaning chores. This typically means we pick the things we like or don’t mind doing over others. For example, I clean the bathroom and vacuum (because he fails to get all the nooks and crannies I see) and he does the dishes and takes out the trash because the smell makes me want to vomit. Compromise. ;)

Fixing His Plate:
Here’s where I disagree slightly. The article states that women should fix their man’s plate when in public as a sign of respect. I consider myself an ‘old school’ wife in that I show respect and I honor my husband in many ways, but in regards to feeding him, he can fix his own plate of food. However, a couple exceptions is that when I/we cook dinner we always prepare the plates for both of us and typically I’ll ask if he needs anything if I’m getting up. On the flip side, out of habit (thanks mom!), I am more than happy to take his finished plate and clean up after him. This is due large in part because he does it for me.

Cursing:
This one is ultimately up to the relationship you have and each one is unique when it comes to cursing and what is considered distasteful or amusing. Do I curse? Yes. Do I curse a lot? No. I have a vocabulary and I don’t find the need to fluff my conversation with sentences laced with profanity. But there’s always a time and place for cursing and I would hope that most grown adults know the difference between the two.

Complimenting:
As simple as it is, giving compliments (both sexual and not) is huge for men. A lot more than we think. Men tend to not let on as to just how sensitive they are about certain things like their role as men, work, money, sex, etc. So just as us women love to hear from our loved ones that we’re important and appreciated, it’s a good reminder to always find ways to compliment your spouse. This can appear in words, or maybe purchase a little something from a store he likes, mention his new haircut or how he looks in that shirt, etc. A little here and there goes a long way. 

Just recently I purchased a shirt from one of Philip’s favorite stores just to surprise him. Call it the equivalent of random flowers for us. I didn’t have to do it- especially since we’re saving. But I wanted to because I appreciate the hard work he’s been putting into our lives together. That little gesture meant a lot to him because it was simply the thought behind it that counts.

Keeping Yourself Up:
I agree completely with this point and the fact that some women can become complacent in their relationships when it comes to looking their best. Often times we wait for a breakup to kick us into high gear in regards to working out, eating healthy, and saving those sweatpants for bedtime. Why not when we’re in the relationship? 

In the very beginning of our relationship Philip made a very honest comment that kinda shook me up a bit at first. I felt a little offended that he would be so blunt about it but later commended him for making such a statement. He had said that the notion that men in relationships “have to love” their partner simply because they’re together is an unrealistic expectation. Men choose to love another because he’s invested and wants to be a part of the relationship. I remember thinking who says that?! But after he explained himself it made total sense and has stuck with me ever since.

Men, just like women, don’t have to love anybody. We should all make the effort to look and feel our best. I am the representation of my husband just like he is of me. Having an active lifestyle and caring about what one looks like before leaving the house should be important in any relationship. When you ‘let yourself go’ it allows you to become lazy and eventually it bleeds into other parts of your relationship you may not foresee. Men are visual creatures and we should always make the attempt to look our best.

Dressing:
I am going to title this just as ‘dressing’ instead of ‘dressing for dates’ because I’ve personally noticed that many women (while out people-watching) don’t put much effort into what they wear. I see a lot of workout clothes worn as regular casual clothing or crocs when not gardening. Keeping up appearances, even when just running to the store, is crucial. Yes, dressing up for dates is equally as important because it tells your date that you’ve given attention to your night out with him. Now, apply that towards every time you go out together and they'll be sure to appreciate that. See my comments above for more on that topic.

Anticipate His Needs:
This goes without saying, in my opinion, and I’m surprised to see it on the list. Anticipating his needs is important just like it’s important for your spouse to know that you need those few extra minutes alone after a long workday or have a glass of wine on the ready. Also, understand that every man is different. At the end of the day you know your spouse the best and it goes a long way to anticipate what he’ll need once he steps through the door.

Do you agree or disagree with this article? Is there anything else that should be added to this list of things women don’t do in relationships but should? I’m curious about your thoughts! :)

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