Unfortunately, sometimes there is little sympathy to be found if the wife also works. A “What about me? I work too and have to deal with stuff” attitude. And , I think this underlies a lot of what’s going wrong with marriages these days.
Geisha Kate backs this up:
I believe it is harder to appreciate a spouse when one is also working and perhaps bringing home the same paycheck. . . .
But the point is, when both people are coming home tired, who is there to play “wife.” Now add in children. Each progression adds new complications. It is no wonder so many marriages are breaking down. A couple needs to have a finely tuned and fair system so that each person feels appreciated for what they do, whatever that may be.
I agree that things are going to be a bit different in a household where both the husband and wife work. Only, the dynamic in contributing to the marriage has to be different for women than it will be for men. A man cannot dote on his wife in the same manner I describe in the Little Things posts. The actions can be the same (a glass of wine, quiet time, baking a chicken, etc.) but it must come from a different place. It must come from a place of leadership and masculinity. Not a place of appeasement or supplication. If he does it because she is angry, or because she has hinted at “do this for me because you love me”, or for any reason beyond the masculine, she will resent him for it. Maybe not right away, but if it is ongoing, she will. What is so very difficult is she might not even know why. She is getting what she thinks she wants and yet it is steadily making her more and more unhappy. A man must dote from a place of masculinity and received respect. He must dote because he wants to. This masculine dynamic goes back to The Power of Men and Women.
It can be very difficult to maintain focus without our men standing behind us and truly appreciating what we are doing. But when we see the smile of true appreciation, everything we are doing makes sense and it is all worth while. Put all that on the pedestal.
Men should dote from a place that says “I appreciate how you are helping to support me and our marriage.” If it comes from a place of supplication, a place of “if I don’t do this she will be angry” it’s not masculine and it will fail. Men who dote from a place of power, of masculinity, will be highly appreciated and respected. It will also inspire more femininity and her desire to dote on you. Conversely, a woman should dote from place of support and love. A feminine and submissive place (never subservient. One cannot fully support in this manner). She dotes to help re-energize her man so he can relax and regain his strength, as tomorrow he must go out and do battle again. These two different dynamics are very different and if both try to come from the same place, things will fall apart.
When both the husband and wife are working it will be harder but it can be done. There will always be days where the stress gets to be too much and one will forget what one’s spouse is bringing to the table. It is inevitable as we can only ever know what we have done. Both spouses need to understand this. If the wife came home from a horrible day of work he might approach it in this manner “You’re beat and you’re stressed. I’ve got the table and the dishes. Take this wine, go upstairs and take a bath.” If she protests (and she likely will) give her the look (you know of what I speak) and firmly with that twinkle in your eye “No objections. Go.”
The wife, upon knowing her husband had a horrible day, can grab him a drink after dinner. Tell him (sweetly) to go grab a book, watch the game, etc. and do your best to keep the kids quiet. Give him the time he needs to unwind without guilt. Give him a warm smile and kiss on the cheek. Send him off with “Let me know if I can bring you anything” and let him crash. There are a million things, working or not, that take little time most days, and some more effort on bad days, to make one’s wife feel appreciated and that makes one’s husband feel loved and respected. The effort is worth it and often the effort will be responded to with masculinity and appreciation from the man and femininity and love from a woman, when it is done right.
***My apologies for the lack of posts lately. It’s allergy season and I get hit hard every year. I really want to begin to tackle concupiscence that Matthew King wrote about in the Welcome to Hypergamy post but I am definitely not up for that level of thinking right now.