Friday, August 7, 2009

Priorities: Spouse Second - How do you rate?

Putting our spouse second on the list of priorities, right under God, is not always as easy as it looks on paper. It seems effortless as a newlywed caught up in the passion of romance. As time goes by and life throws us curve balls, it becomes more difficult, and other things get in the way.

With the unclear roles of family in our society, healthy priorities easily fall to the wayside. “The squeaky wheel gets the oil” or “the smoking gun” gets the attention. That seems to be the agenda for choosing priorities.

Jobs and careers sometimes become “gods” to people. They may be an escape from a troubled marriage or an obsession fueled by worldly ideas of success. Most wives, at one time in their marriage, feel their husband’s job is more important to him than they are.

Many wives now enjoy successful careers that often get in the way of their family time. The husband feels like less of a priority, especially if they have children. There is not much “couple” time when both spouses work and have to take care of children and the house.

Statistically, married women who work full-time still do most of the chores at home. This lack of involvment on the man's part can be a huge stresser in marriage. Men need to learn to pull their weight equally when their spouse is employed full-time outside of the home.

Some wives, who are fortunate enough to stay home with their children, make the children their priority and often neglect the needs of their husband. A husband who arrives home after work and parks himself on the couch for the evening, not participating in family activity, only encourages that neglect. The lack of help from the husband tends to push him lower on his wife‘s priority list.

While stay-at-home moms are wrongfully assumed to have a life of leisure at home with the children, they are usually desperate for companionship and help when the husband gets home. Staying home with children is a never ending job, not just a full-time job. By the end of the day these moms are usually more frazzled then they would have been had they spent eight hours at the office. Dads need to realize the difficulties moms face and eagerly lend a helping hand.

The least bit of offered help will score numerous brownie points for a husband(Remember men: the more points you acquire, the more sex you will receive.)

I now tell my husband how romantic it is to me when he does the dishes. He’s always eager to help with the dishes now that he understands my intimacy needs (and his rewards for filling them.) I only wish I had thought of it 20 years ago.

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