Here’s one eye opener for husbands and husbands-to-be. Even for those who are bachelors and not yet ready for serious commitments and family life, this could come in handy as well. Almost all of us come from a family – with a mom and dad, sister(s) or brother(s) – and oftentimes we may have witnessed our mothers and fathers being husbands and wives to each other, aside from being parents to us. Most men, particularly husbands, tend to limit their roles into three general categories: procreation, protection and provision. Other than these roles, they tend to pay little to no regard at all. And when wives or other people point out to them what a husband should do, their short-sighted perception and adamancy about their self-imposed duties can cause them to react irrationally.
In most households today, there is a division of labor and responsibilities between women and men. Times have changed and we have long moved on from the traditional household setting of wives doing most, if not all, of the housework while husbands provide the basic needs of the family, such as food shelter, clothing and all other things necessary for family life. Now, husbands share the household responsibilities with their wives, although the sharing of responsibilities may not be equal in most respects. The patriarchal or male-dominated household can still take a long while to be changed. With respect to household chores, the task division is unequal, with husbands having less part of the household work and wives still doing most of the chores in the house. Even for working couples, this kind of household task division still holds, and wives still do more of the household tasks than their husbands after their work hours.
The concept of manly pride and ego is very much prevalent among men, especially husbands. They tend to think that having more share of the household work makes them less manly or may affect their husband self-image. With pride, husbands think that they know at all times what they need to do inside or around the house. They believe that they are doing their tasks right most of the times, and have a hard time accepting comments and criticisms from their spouses, relatives or children. Others often pay little attention or completely disregard comments or simple suggestions. They also stick to their routines in household chores, won’t easily budge to suggestions for improvement or changes in their roles. Such issues can cause bickering and tension between husbands and wives.
Egotism or plainly ego in husbands, can most of the time work against them when it comes to the household. They tend to set their own rules when it comes to their share of the household task and what they do after they are finished with them. Most husbands tend to set time for relaxation and recreation at home. Sundays can be golf day, couch potato day, football or baseball day or any other relaxing activity they can assign to that day. Like horses wearing blinkers, they intentionally narrow their focus and would like to get what they want to do or get done at home. Disruptions on the things they like doing can most likely cause arguments and outbursts from them. For example, if a wife asks his husband, who is watching his favorite team in a playoff game on TV, to take out the trash or fix the kitchen clogged kitchen sink, her request may be brushed off or set aside for later on the first instance. Insistent requests from the wife or turning off the TV would definitely hurt the husband’s ego and emotions would then flare up uncontrollably.
It can help to revisit the bible once in while about the duties of a good husband. Husbands should not be overly stubborn or too proud about their role in the household. They need to pay attention, respect and should coordinate with their wives on how to share household responsibilities with each other. Mutually shared understandings of responsibilities can minimize the need for spouses to evaluate and manage one another’s task-related behaviors. These understandings can also enable partners to fulfill their household duties with the knowledge that established boundaries would be not be crossed. With the right communication and with constant understanding, demands from each other can be lessened, disengagement in the face of demands will be unnecessary, and couples would be more likely to feel respected for the contributions they made.