Quite properly, a legally constituted pair-bond between husband and wife allows for give and take on both sides. But in these changing times, people can become confused about their role within the family. In response to numerous requests, we offer the following advice to men of advanced character.
Have dinner ready. The good modern husband always has dinner ready. He plans ahead, the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his wife's return. This is a way of letting her know that you are thinking about her and are concerned about her needs. Most women are hungry when they come home from work and the prospect of a good meal, especially her favourite dish, is part of the warm welcome needed.
Prepare yourself. Take fifteen minutes to rest so that you will be refreshed when she arrives. Touch up your aftershave, put on a new tie and be fresh-looking. She has just spent the day with a lot of demanding, work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for her. Her tedious day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your wife arrives home, gather up school books, toys, paper etc. Then run a duster over the tables. In the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for her to unwind by. Your wife will feel that she has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for her comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces, comb their hair and change their clothes. They are little treasures and she will like to see them playing their part.
Minimise all noise. At the time of her arrival, eliminate all noise from the dishwasher, the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner. Encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see her when she arrives home. Greet her with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please her.
Listen to her closely. You may have a dozen important things to tell her, but the moment of her arrival home is not the time. Let her talk first - remember that her topics of conversation are far more important than yours.
Make the evening hers. Never complain if she comes home late, or goes out to dinner with others, or to places of entertainment without you. Instead, just try to understand her female world of strain and pressure and her very real need to be home and to relax without judgement.
Your goal is to make your home a place of peace, order and tranquillity where your wife can renew herself in body and in spirit.
Some obvious don'ts. Don't greet her with problems and complaints when she comes home. Don't complain if she's late for dinner. Don't complain if she stays out all night. Count such things as minor compared with what she must have gone through during her busy, difficult day. Don't interrogate her about her actions or question her integrity. Remember, she is the master of the house and as such she will always exercise her will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no need to question her.
A good modern husband always knows his place........................Marriage nightMarriage in trouble
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Labels: Marriage, Men's issues, The good modern husband, Traditional Norfolk koans, Women's issues