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Author Topic: Being The Good Wife*  (Read 231 times)
Siham
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« on: Apr 10, 2014 07:24 PM »


7 Things I Got Completely Wrong About Being A 'Good Wife'
Written by Jenny Erickson on CafeMom's blog, The Stir

For nearly 11 years of marriage, I thought I had the wife thing down pat. I was by no means perfect, but I loved being a wife, and I tried really hard to be the best one I could possibly be. I had shelves filled with books on how to be a better wife, how to pray for my husband, how to survive difficult marriages ... I actually thought I was a stronger, better person for staying married despite some very serious challenges.

A lot of the advice I sought out on how to be the best wife possible went something along the lines of "show love to get love." No husband wants a nagging shrew of a wife, right? To make my marriage work, I just needed to be the best wife I could possibly be, and my husband would be compelled to love me back.

Maybe that works for some people. Maybe I did it wrong. Maybe I didn't do enough. I don't know. What I do know now though is that some of the very things I thought were right ended up being very wrong for my particular situation.

Here are seven things I got wrong about being a "good wife."

1. Being non-confrontational: I'm a people-pleaser by nature, so confrontation is definitely not my thing. What this translated to, unfortunately, was letting things slide when they really bugged me. Sometimes I tried to talk to him about it but was usually countered by my own fault in something. I figured if I wasn't perfect, it wasn't fair to be upset with him for not being perfect either. I wish I had stood up for myself more often.

2. Covering for him: My ex is something of a homebody. I used to try dragging him out to things, but he was just so miserable most of the time that I eventually left him home, saying he had to work or something. Or take care of the kids, even though we could've easily gotten a sitter. Sometimes when his social anxiety got the best of him, I excused his behavior as work stress, or allergies, or something. I should have realized that was his battle, not mine.

3. Never saying no: The first time I remember saying no and sticking to my guns was on my 10th anniversary. We got into a cataclysmic fight over it, and now I wonder if it was so shocking to him because I'd always caved to him before.

4. Taking responsibility for his happiness: It's exhausting trying to keep someone happy all the time. I wish I had let him take ownership of his moods and worked harder at not letting them affect me so much.

5. Submitting to his leadership even when he was wrong: The church we attended for seven years excommunicated me for the "sin" of divorcing my husband. My closest friend there called the day after I left my husband and reamed me out. They publicly announced to the entire congregation that I had been "trapped in the snare of the Devil" and must be avoided. I had begged for years to leave there, but that's where we went, so we went. Now I wonder if things might have been different if I had gotten our family out of there years earlier.

6. A fake it 'til you make it mentality: I knew something was off in the weeks leading up to our wedding. But you know, I figured I just had normal wedding jitters. Over the years I learned that if I could just tough it out through whatever it was that my husband was going through that made him a bear to live with, my fun, care-free guy that made me the center of his universe would eventually return. I longed for the day that guy would come back to stay, but I didn't see him at all the last couple years. It broke my heart, but I had to let go of the fantasy and accept the reality.

7. A good wife would never abandon her marriage: My ex-husband and I ended up being very different people than the ones that said "I do" once upon a time. We not only had nothing in common, we had no common ground. Maybe a good wife recognizes that she will never be able to be what her husband wants, and she takes one for the team by ending the marriage when it's obvious there's no fixing it.

I honestly don't know what constitutes a "good wife" anymore, but I'm pretty sure there's no one-size-fits-all answer.

What do you think makes a good wife?

"...Surely my prayer and my sacrifice, my life and my death are for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds..." (Qur'an, 6:162)
IsmiAnisa
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 11, 2014 03:20 AM »

I saw this earlier today somewhere and for the most part I think it is a good blog article.  I think there is a huge problem when we teach women the lines that this woman points out, "show love to get love."  It is a common teaching in some circles.  As this woman states, the teaching says that if the wife is good enough, submissive enough, loving enough, does all the right things, then her husband will magically love her back and desire to also be a good husband.  The initial burden is placed on the woman.  Sadly, too many women find themselves in the same place as the woman of the blog post-- doing everything "right" and still divorced with the blame placed on the woman.  Instead of holding man responsible for his own actions, we blame the woman for not being perfect enough.

When I read this woman's blog post, I still hear an underlying message of submission and being a good wife-- but what I hear her saying is to not be afraid to also say no, not being afraid to stand up for yourself, not being afraid to call something as it is, and not being afraid to forgo submitting in certain instances.  It is about letting go of the delusion that if she is somehow submissive enough and good enough, then he will be a loving husband. 
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 11, 2014 05:01 AM »

Totally agree with your whole post IsmiAnisa! It's totally what every girl is taught before she gets married and what every woman does the first year or so of marriage, until she (hopefully) realizes that does not work, that it's not all about her and that marriage is a two way street. Wives need to find their own happiness and both people need to respect each other and compromise. Also, all the studies show when we do that submission thing it's totally the opposite that happens! The husband doesn't respect the wife and no boundaries are established. Basically he can treat her how he wants because he knows she'll never leave. I know so many sister's marriages improved after they basically walked out for awhile. It is painful, but sometimes it's part of making both people realize what they're doing.
Siham
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 14, 2014 07:24 PM »

Quote
I honestly don't know what constitutes a "good wife" anymore, but I'm pretty sure there's no one-size-fits-all answer.

What do you think makes a good wife?

Hmm this woman sounds like she has some self-esteem issues; it’s funny how 90% of a girl’s self-esteem—she gets from her father. I think sisters or women in general need to learn to be themselves, because the right man will truly love and respect you—for who you are and not for who you're trying to be!

Beside, why would you want to attract weak a** men in the first place?

"...Surely my prayer and my sacrifice, my life and my death are for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds..." (Qur'an, 6:162)
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 17, 2014 06:53 PM »

Are you talking about Jenny Erickson? I don't think it's necessarily about self-esteem, but also about as women we want to naturally please others, especially our husbands. Fathers do have a big part in developing good self-esteem in daughters, but I think that's a separate issue.

No one attracts the wrong guy on purpose! Unfortunately it's hard to tell how a person is going to be after marriage, not to mention how you'll be after marriage.
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