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WIFE SUPPORT SEVEN: Husbands and Housework

I should'a seen the red flag when I couldn't see the floor. And if a Sunday suit dangling on the bedstead didn't scream THIS MAN THINKS LIFE IS A CAMPING TRIP, then the 3-day-old tuna casserole on the stove might have given me pause. But noooooooo. He was handsome and funny and Sure!I'd love to marry you! (And picking up after you for the rest of my life will be an honor.)
Of course, all those obvious clues about how clueless he really was when it came to housekeeping did not prepare me for the day he brought home YELLOW paper towels for our RED and BLUE kitchen. And how could I ever have projected what he would do (or not do) with the mountains of cords streaming out of electronic contraptions? The only “APPLE” we’d heard of was a McIntosh.
So, whose fault, really, is it? this life of incessant straightening, sweeping, scrubbing and scowling? 
Actually, over and under the years of unmade beds and unfolded laundry, the scowling has relaxed into resignation-into-consideration-into-respect. He’s a man. And he’s one heck of a man. And since he’s descended from the fiercely independent and nomadic males of the past, he literally does not perceive “home” the way I do.  
The house, to me, is representative of who I am; it is fulfilling to see it clean and organized; decorated to my taste; lovely but livable. Our house is “home” to him also – he works hard to pay for it and takes pride in it and loves to fix broken things and wrestle with growing things – but it’s not all tied up in his very sense of self, like it is for me. His brain just does not see what I see (usually) -- or cares as much when it does.
It qualified as a major revelation the day I realized I was the only one in the family who felt irritated by too-many-things-left-by-too-many-people-in-too-many-places (my kids were kids then).

I continued to “minister” to both husband and children despite their "unbelief" however, because I knew it was in their eternal best interest (to divvy up the chores), but I stopped the preaching and gave up my whole holier-than-thou attitude. Life became just a little funner when I let my man be a man and appreciated his attempts -- however imperfect by my standards -- to load the dishwasher (without scraping first), to clean the bathroom (by dumping Comet into the toilet bowl), or to make the bed (decorative pillows backward).   
Of course I know there are Felix Unger’s who are neater than their wives and Oscar Madison’s who refuse to do “women’s work”, but most nice guys are somewhere in the middle and feel a little bewildered by  the expectations of overwhelmed working women and exhausted stay-at-home partners. An apron will probably never feel quite natural to him. 
So, in the name of goodwill towards men, cut him some slack and not attack: laughter brightens a home better than Lysol. 

Oscar and Felix: "The Odd Couple" 

NEXT UP: The Perfect Husband. Mona ares and teaches romance at Mona's Musings with a Hint of Romance and posts daily at Mona's Musings on Facebook & Twitter. She is the award-winning author or With Mine Own Hand: The Musical Account of Nephi and is writing the book WIFE-4-LIFE:The Power to Succeed in Marriage. She has picked up enough Legos to rebuild the World Trade Center. 

Pictures from Dreamstime 

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