We live in an age whereby according to modern women’s media outlets, the ‘male’ contribution is now deemed less valuable than ever. We’ve heard it time and time again that “we don’t need a man”. Well paid jobs of our own can replace their desire or demand to provide. DIY shows empower us to pick up power tools no matter our gender. Even the physical part of their contribution for sexual satisfaction, and even creating a family can be replaced with batteries and science.
It’s true, while we might not technically need a man for many things in this day and age, so many of us still want one. Yet we’ve been brainwashed not only into thinking they’re useless, but they’ll be happy to stick around if we finally let them.
They have emotions too, these ‘disposable’ creatures, and a very real need to feel valued and wanted within the dynamics of a relationship. Particularly in long term relationships where the spark may be fizzling out a little and the focus seems to always be elsewhere.
Frankly it’s time to stop viewing men themselves, and namely, husbands, as defunct, replaceable, and surplus to requirement.
Perhaps we have evened the score in the workplace, and inspired men to pick up the rubber gloves, but we must be careful to make sure they still feel valuable in our hearts. The workplace has its own set of rules, but behind closed doors, a very different approach is required if you would like to cultivate a traditional marriage.
To reignite your fairytale love story, or set yourself up for one as you navigate the courting stages with a potential spouse, then the one truth you must adopt as you head into marriage or turn a new leaf is this;
Your husband must come first, and he needs to know he does.
Continually dating your spouse and treating him like you are still in the first flush of love is SO important. We can get so wrapped up in the kids, and in the hum-drum of daily life that it can become so easy to forget each other and let romance slide. When I was filming with the BBC last month, they raised an interesting question about whether I have put kids first ahead of my husband since we became parents - and the answer to that is a big fat NO. I love my child fiercely, as any Mother does, and kids are our greatest responsibility, but my husband comes first, and he ALWAYS will.
Because without him, I’d not have had my child, because of him my child and I are safe and well fed. Because of him, because of the romance that blossomed between us all those years ago we actually have a family… and when we are empty nesters in 10 or so years we’ll be staring each other in the face each and every day with no one to distract us.
When we do that, I want to see a face that I’ve paid attention to for all those years, whose laugh lines I’ve helped create, whose grey hairs I’ve witnessed come in one by one. Yes, children are important, love them, nurture them, raise them well, but don’t adore them. The adoration should be kept for your spouse, and witnessed by your children. Children flourish when they witness a strong undivided relationship between their parents.
In Matthew 19:5 (originally referenced from Genesis 2:24 upon the creation of Adam & Eve) Jesus teaches on divorce, but I think what he says is also SO profound as a model for marriage.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So therefore they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Leave & Cleave
“A man shall leave his father and mother and fly the nest”. That very man is your child, Mama! Who will one day have a wife of his own. It’s very interesting that this teaching was given at the time of Adam & Eve. They had no earthly parents, and so this should be considered an instruction as to what must happen when they go on to populate the earth and have children.
Cleaving to your spouse means that you are to become one flesh - not warring business partners, or buddies splitting the chores and bills. What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder, yes, that even means your own kids!
Show your kids and peers by example that marriage matters most, before all other things. Make sure never to forget your partner in crime while raising the next generation! A generation so desperately in need of a good example and a healthy model for marriage.
Your other half will be right there beside you when the church bells ring and confetti falls for your offspring. Have a best friend to turn to on that day, not a stranger.
Many wives become emotional and attention widows to the mid-life crisis of man. Widows to distraction, and to men finding fulfilment elsewhere, be it fast cars, the pub, or heaven forbid, in the arms of others. That’s not to say the burden of responsibility lies on your shoulders alone, he must do his part too.
Yet in this age of man-bashing and aggressive feminism, let us not forget that your man has feelings, needs, and desires for attention and affection too. That shouldn’t be forgotten the moment two become three.
Date each other! Your spouse comes first.
One of the very best gifts you can give your kids is to show them how to truly love ones spouse. There aren’t many role models for marriage to be found out there in the world these days, perhaps a revolution behind closed doors is in order?
Marriage isn't just for wives...
I take a lot of inspiration for my personal lifestyle from the 1950s, and I do think the mid-century era gets a lot of bad press claiming it suppressed wives. Making out the patriarchy ruled, and women were on anti-depressants in order to cope with the sheer brutality of it all. Just tell me you haven’t already seen one of those articles poking fun at vintage guides on “how to be a good wife”? Perhaps, an idealistic mid-century was really ‘something’, if divorce rates are anything to go by? The knock-on effect was a positive one outside the home too.
I must ask you this, if you get a chance, speak to a woman in your circle who was married during that era (before the sexual revolution and feminist movement) and ask what her personal experience was. Sensationalist journalism isn’t always truth. Sure it may sound absurd to put your husband’s slippers out for him - but these are just suggestions for acts of service. A love language.
In order to have a life and a job outside the home doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice romance and a traditional marriage.
It takes being mindful and self-less if you want to be happily married. One of the biggest lies of the feminist movement is that women should be, and always come first. Not true, if you want a happy husband, and ultimately a healthy marriage, treat him as well as you’d like to be treated, and that means being consistent in your love and attention. Before all else. Men rarely need things like we women do, but attention and acts of service are often high on the list as ways you can show him you care.
Relegating him low on the priority list below your job, your kids, your pets, and even your girly get-togethers is about as fair as him escaping to the pub every evening.
Avoidance doth not a happy marriage make…
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