Our Husband's Place In Our Lives
We are going to finish up on marriage so we can continue on with our other themes to come. I thought this last section (it might take more than this email but this will be the last segment on the theme of marriage and your role in it) would be a great one to look into.
It is where our husband's place is in our lives. Where his place REALLY is and that might be different than we realize. We might say what we feel in our hearts... that he is #1 priority after God but is he REALLY?
Since the Fascinating Womanhood book has so many of the things I wanted to cover on our role in our marriages I will share some more from the wise words written on the subject. I will tell you that there are places in this book where I find myself drawing a blinking question mark on whether or not I totally agree but the gold regarding our husbands is so fine and so valuable I have searched through the words for the wisdom. I haven't read anything that has gone against the truths found in The Word or anything like that... just some sentences that I read and felt I needed to further delve into so that I can accept or decline what it says. I haven't included any of those sentences in what I'm sharing with you and only share the points I do agree on.
Helen Andelin - author of this book - says that "He doesn't want to be the background music to her other interests and dreams. This desire is not necessarily a conscious one, but an inner need which surfaces violently when not adequately met, when his wife places other things first, such as the children, homemaking, or a career. Being placed in this inferior position can cause a man to form bitter resentments towards his wife and even his children."
Let us carry on from here....
"A man does not expect his wife to neglect important duty in his behalf. He is aware of the demands of her life and wants her to give each responsibility the attention it requires. He does not want his children to suffer neglect. And he knows she is entitled to other interests and diversions. But, he doesn't want to be less important. And he doesn't want to be regarded as a convenience, a paycheck, an escort, a social asset, a ticket to security, or even just a sex partner. He would like to feel that she married him for him, and not as a means of filling her needs or reaching her objectives. There is a tendency for women to fail in this respect, to place other things ahead of their husbands. This tendency began in early childhood, clearly evident in our world of dreams. When we were little girls, if we were typical, we dreamed of a little vine-covered cottage with tie-back curtains, flowers in the windows pots and pans in the cupboards, and children playing on the floor. It was a perfect little home scene except - there was no husband present. (This was some time before we dreamed of a handsome prince sweeping us off our feet.)"
Read on to what an early edition of Childcraft Books describes of this little girl's dreams, minus a husband:
The Shiny Little House
I wish, how I wish, that I had a little house,
The author of F.W. goes on to say:
"As you can see, no mention is made of a husband. Her focus is on children and homemaking joys. Little girls also dream of the splendor of the wedding, the dress of satin and lace, the wedding cake, candles, ribbons, and bells, everything except the groom. He doesn't come into the picture at this point. Later on, as the little girl reaches puberty, the handsome Prince Charming comes into the scene. The tragedy is when, after she wins her husband, she reverts to the earlier dream. She now has her little cottage, children, and the domestic comforts and joys she looked forward to. Her husband has only been a means to this end. As she devotes herself to the affairs of the household, her husband drops into the background. As life progresses, duties of family life increase, as do other demands and pressures. She may also include other interests, to make life more meaningful. If time permits, she may even turn to a career. All of these things tend to push the man further into the background. Now, let's take a close look at the things women tend to place ahead of their husbands:
1. The Children. You probably feel a sacred responsibility for your children, an obligation to nurture them in body and spirit, and provide them with every opportunity to grow to their highest potential. This noble feeling of motherly devotion, when moved by a strong feeling of motherly love, can cause you to so focus on the care and training of your children that you automatically place them in priority. 'Don't put the comforts and whims of your children ahead of your husband's basic needs.'
+Ways+ we put children first: A Place of Residence. (Note from me: The author shares an example of a husband getting a better job somewhere and how it would be if you stubbornly refused to move because you felt it would put your children to a disadvantage. End of Note.) If your husband has overlooked serious disadvantages to his children, so that the move would be an injustice to them, you should make an appeal to him to seriously reconsider their welfare. But, if you are only trying to avoid the children's unpleasant adjustment to the new community or some other discomfort, you are pampering them. You are putting their comfort ahead of his important needs. Let your children have a
little adversity. It will be good for them. And help your husband reduce his adversity. This will be good for him. When your husband's reason for a move is based on a whim or selfishness, this is another matter. Make an appeal to him to consider the children's welfare. In this case he will not feel in a secondary position, since you have not disregarded his important needs in preference to the children, but only his selfish whims. ... Don't press to buy a house beyond his means, feeling it best for the children, or ignore a feature in a house that pleases him, while yielding to whims of your children. He may have always wanted a view, a deck, a pool, or a private study. Although he
may forego these preferences to honor his wife's choice, he's not inclined to place his children's wishes ahead of his own. Another one is Time and Attention. Does your husband have to compete with the children for your time and attention? Are you so busy attending to them that you haven't a moment to spare? Or if you do give him a few minutes, are you in a hurry to get back to the children? There are times when family demands can't be put aside, but it's often a case of excessive devotion. Next - Money and Things. Do you pamper your children by giving in to every little thing they want? An entire chapter could be written on how overindulgent mothers harm their children, but the
point here is not harm to children, but to fathers. If you buy things he can't afford, you place an added strain on his life. You are placing your children's whims ahead of your husband's health and financial welfare, their wants ahead of his needs. Last on the list - Interest and Thought. Are you more interested in your children than your husband? Are your children uppermost in your mind and thoughts? Are your interests focused on them? Do you spend much time thinking of your husband and his problems, how you may comfort and encourage him? Do you have an ear open for his small requests, what he likes for dinner, how he would like to spend the evening, or what is important to him?
6. Careers, Talents, and Activities. One of the greatest threats to your husband's position of priority would be if you were to earnestly pursue a career. The dedication and drive required for success would push him into the back ground. If you finally reach a pinnacle of success, you would overshadow him and make him feel relatively unimportant. This is a serous problem with highly successful women. The greater their success, the less important the man becomes, at least in his opinion. This is a challenging problem but not without a solution. If you are a successful career woman, keep your priorities straight and let your husband know by words and actions that he is in the number one position.
WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was a long one, wasn't it? I probably should have broken that up a bit more! My goodness! I hope I didn't drive you crazy with all of this. Something I wanted to add on to concerning the career woman... I believe this writer is focusing more on the highly driven career woman than she is the woman working out of her home due to necessity. Sometimes it is a man's irresponsibility that creates a situation where the woman must work to survive. I think it is to do with the heart. If your heart is set on making it big in the career world... it won't be as committed to making it work in the marriage. Does that make any sense?
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