I wince every time a person on television says something like, “Well, we fight from time to time. Every couple does.” Usually it’s during an ‘interview’ with a spouse whose mate has been murdered. I believe that the assumption that it’s a ‘normal thing’ for lovers to shout, threaten, and throw things at each other is abhorrent. We are, after all, highly developed primates. We should know better – and do better.
I’m not an authority, unless having had several wives has given me some insight. I’m also very old, and one learns things through living if one pays attention. I’m in my fourth and final marriage. I have not been recklessly jumping in and out of marriages. The first was twenty years; the second was only four years and a big mistake; the third marriage was eighteen years; and the fourth is in happy progress after more than twelve years.
I assume that a lot of strife in marriage is because both members of the pair want to occupy the dominant position. It’s ridiculous. The marriage should signify that a new, dual character has emerged – the couple. Take note of which of the two in the couple is best suited to which chore, and form a loose pattern. It should not be carved in stone. It should be more like two supportive people covering for each other.
One will be better suited to shopping, one will be better at washing, one will be better at driving, one will be better at bookkeeping, one will be better at cleaning and so on. Assuming the pair are lovers, and want the best for each other, the assignment of chores and responsibilities must be done with mutual respect and appreciation.
A man can make his wife feel passionate by doing a bit of vacuuming, washing the dishes, picking up some groceries, repairing a hinge and things like that. I’ve found that a ‘real man’ is deeply appreciated when he does his fair share of family chores. Sometimes, the appreciation is expressed at bedtime. It’s a good balance.