I read a book recently with a controversial title: Created to Be His Helpmeet by Debra Pearl. I can just see women bristling at this title, but hear me out. It was a life-and-marriage-changing book for me. It was a book that you wanted to throw against the wall, but then it compelled you to pick it up again and finish it. (And then throw it again!)
The premise of the book was basically this: women have lost their femininity, their soft side, their respect and admiration for their husbands, their enjoyment of their children, their love for compassion and good deeds. Women have become experts at nagging, being bitter, picking people and situations apart, withholding affection from their husbands, jealousy and being dissatisfied with the simple things in life such as cooking and making their house a cozy home.
The author paints a fitting word picture that a woman practicing negativity is like a person practicing the piano. Even if the piano player has little to no musical skill, if she practices it enough, she will eventually play that piano with ease. So it is with women practicing negativity and criticism in their marriages. If we practice this for years and years in our marriages and with our children, we will become so good at it that we won't even realize that we are hitting the notes of discord in our lives, to the detriment of our families.
She compares a negative attitude with our families and our husbands to "emotional adultery". What our husbands need the most from us is respect, correct? How many times do we anger our husbands with our sharp words of criticism and complaint? Which is worse....the husband having a one night affair or the wife spending year upon year nagging him, cutting him down, mocking him in front of family and friends, emasculating him? When such a man finally has had enough and leaves, even then this woman gets to play the victim card.
She encourages the reader to rethink her words and actions in the marriage. Do you really want to continually cut your man down to size? This is the man that you promised at the altar to love and HONOR on your wedding day. Why shouldn't you put his interests first? You put your children's interests first, why not your husband's? Why shouldn't you show him love and respect in front of your children? He is their father and he loves them! Why shouldn't you speak highly of him in front of others? What are you accomplishing by treating him like an idiot like the women in commercials and sitcoms do?
He is not an idiot.
He loves his children, often works long hours, comes home tired and many times still has work to do when he gets home. So what if his style of parenting is different then yours! Your kids need both styles. Let him parent.
So what if you think he's too hard on the kids. They need to learn discipline!
So what if he wants sex when you don't. How many nights has he been exhausted and yet has stayed up late to hear you talk non stop about some trivial family squabble or held you while you cried because you had PMS? Treat him as you would like to be treated. Don't use your many excuses to rebuff his advances....I'm too fat, I'm too old, I'm tired, I'm not in the mood, I'm having a bad hair day...etc, etc, etc. He doesn't care about your baby weight or your stretch marks! He loves you! He doesn't want a Victoria's Secret model, he wants to show his wife that he loves her by being close to her.
Just last night, I was sitting on the couch relaxing and my husband was taking apart the bathroom drain and cleaning out the stinky mold so that it would drain better. He'd already worked a 9-hour day, plus commute, plus playing with the kids, plus reading to them and putting them to bed. Do we fully appreciate the sacrifices and devotion that our husbands give to us? Or have we become experts at negativity and criticism?
Love, honor and respect your husband and he will treat you like a queen. If not, even the most patient of men will look for it elsewhere later on in life and you will be the plumber working on the pipes late at night.
You know you've seen it. Bitter older women, raising children through the difficult teen years...alone...working the night shift at the grocery checkout....Don't be that woman.
Be the wife that your husband needs you to be and embrace being loving, soft, tender and most of all, content. Why do we shy away from these wonderful attributes? It is natural for us!
I know I'm going to get hammered for this blog, but...thoughts? Ladies? :)