Friday, March 07, 2008

The "Rules" ?

A fellow Catholic mom blogger posted the following:

Ten Rules for a Happy & Successful Wife

1.) Avoid arguments. Your husband has his share from other sources.

2.) Don't nag.

3.) Don't drink or eat to excess.

4.) If you offend your husband, always ask forgiveness before you retire.

5.) Compliment your husband liberally. It makes him a better husband.

6.) Budget wisely together. Live within your income.

7.) Be sociable and go out with your husband.

8.) Dress neatly and attractively for your husband, and keep your home clean and cheerful.

9.) Keep your household troubles to yourself.

10.) Pray together and stay together.

To which I replied (slightly edited from my original comments to correct grammar and improve content):

Something tells me that this list was originally composed by a woman. Good Lord, we are often so hard on each other.

Do these "rules" apply to husbands as well? I'm not a "feminist" as popular culture defines such a label. And no single "rule" is offensive or even necessarily "wrong". In aggregate, however, the "rules" seem more than a little oppressive. Your list just smacks of retrograde marriage/motherhood from the 1950s. During that era, Valium use/abuse by married women of childbearing age reached epidemic levels. Imagine that.

This list is similar to the "wife/mother doctrine" espoused by Mormons, by the way. It's not coincidental that Utah's women are considered the most depressed in the nation and have the highest rate of antidepressant usage in America. I think it's important to remember that we're human beings, not servile robots. When we live ONLY to meet someone else's practical and emotional needs, we eventually whither. Or worse.

As a Catholic mother and wife, I strive to bear my cross and offer up my weaknesses. On the other hand, I don't think my husband wants or expects a long suffering martyr. Can we dispense with mandates and just focus on being loving, supportive spouses in the context of a partnership? Please?


Anonymous said...

Amen Sister!

Anonymous said...

Back in the 80's I nursed a lot of those valium addicted wives.
Now of course we have Prozac and Seroxat; not much changes I guess.

What kind of husband wants a wife that is so fake anyway?

Leigh said...


Good question indeed. I don't think I would want to be married to a man who desired compliance to these "rules".