The cultural habit of wives living 100% for their husbands subsided in the fifties and sixties, but perhaps today some women have slipped back into this mind-set for whatever reason. Maybe there is a good reason for such unselfish regard for another and I am not aware of it.
I cannot do this, myself, without going nuts. I believe in staying in touch with one's own will. I believe catering is a form of co-dependence and leads to (or is a result of) not being in touch with oneself and one's own will.
I'm wondering if people today consider catering, doting and appeasing one's husband (or wife) is appropriate/beneficial to the relationship or to the individuals themselves.
I say no. Yes, be attentive and sensitive to the other. No, don't loose your identity, hopes, dreams and ambitions in life.
Or is this self-remembrance/self-regard considered mere selfishness once one is married?
I agree with you. If you only do what someone else wants all of the time you lose the person's respect. You also end up being taken for granted.
I have seen it first hand. I have a friend," Ruth," who's husband ONLY sits in an easy chair watching TV. Ruth caters to him by bringing water jugs with ice, muffins, cookies and dinner. He constantly yells, bitches and complains. Not grateful in the least.
She has ME bringing him "supper" when she goes out of town with her daughter and grandchild. I do not want to cater to him and thereby further enable his disabilities … but his handicapped mind-set is so permanently ingrained that my friend is convinced he will die if I do not bring him his fast food supper. At least I could bring him chicken soup… but NOOOO!
I am merely contributing to his diabetic condition, but I appease her and enable his utter laziness. What should I do?
Thank you. Good advice. Why is this so hard to do?
Often, we are afraid to be true to ourselves for fear of upsetting others.
ALSO: I must have reactive issues if it is hard for me to just say, "No. Find someone else to do "your" catering to your husband."
And (compulsive) catering is not natural … In most cases it is probably reactive behavior.
Balance = Responding naturally / honestly / realistically from a place of true inner feedback!
(Inner feedback = awareness.)
wow I'm shocked by what you said. Do YOU really have to go and bring him food? Even if you were family, what kind of person demands others to cater them. To bring them food they cooked while they sit around doing nothing. What kind of man is that.
You have no idea how wrong that sounds in my head right now. My friend, do not do it. With all due respect, tell him to get his ass up and start surviving by his own.
The only word coming to my mind is "useless".
He says his feet are numb from diabetes.
It sounds like he needs to see a doctor. Poor circulation, fast food suppers and sitting around all day are not going to help a diabetic. I would tell your friend that you don't feel comfortable with the arrangement. Maybe a home health aid or someone similar can have the task. What if something did happen to him while you were the one responsible for bringing his supper? Do you want that responsibility?
When you loose your will, you loose your life.
The one being (overly) catered to has the most to loose.
Kids especially should not be (overly) catered to.
All people need space, alone time and flow time. But they should never be abandoned.
Therefore, balance is vital.
My aunt never got married because she "refused to submit to a man."
No. That was Lilith, as Jewels mentioned, manifesting in your aunt.
Lilith, In the Talmud, is the first wife of Adam, dispossessed by Eve.
Apparently Eve said, "Bring it on, Adam!" She was willing to help, be of service and have devotion, i.e. be a help mate. But, Lilith was not willing in the slightest.
Therefore, balance is appropriate in relationships … if one is in a marriage, one cannot be all Lilith-like!
"Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."
- Oscar Wilde
I believe as women have become more independent and have gotten better career opportunities and higher pay they are also re-examining some traditional married behaviors of past eras.
They're not nearly as worried about losing their "identity" because they have their own careers, friends, and finances. In fact it's been reported that it's (women) who initiate 66% or 2/3rds of all divorce filings in the U.S. The more options one has the less crap they will put up with!
The stronger a person is the less they have to prove it to them self and others around them. You never hear a man proclaiming he's worried about losing his identity in a relationship and marriage.
We now live in an era where you see men being much more active in participating with raising children, changing diaper stations in men's restrooms, taking children out to eat to give mom a break and so on.
A lot of couples are making the transition to a mindset of "Us & We" as opposed to "You & Me". They're looking for anything to keep their marriage from landing in the 50% divorce statistic.
Ultimately if both people are considerate and spoil/cater to each other it could be a wonderful thing. Being "all in" requires courage as this is probably the most vulnerable place a person can be in. Worrying about being independent or finding ways to create a buffer can be sign that one is trying to avoid complete intimacy because of fear the marriage won't last and they'll be devastated.
There are lots of folks who want their mate to love them more than they are willing to love them back. It's been said the person who is the least emotionally invested controls the relationship. Some people are afraid to give their all to any relationship including their marriage.
Some women in particular believe if a man caters to his wife he's loving and romantic but if they see a woman catering to her husband she's a fool! They subscribe to the belief of (never show a man how much you love him because he'll take advantage of you). In other words they don't trust themselves enough to believe they've chosen the "right man" for themselves.
Several years ago someone wrote a book titled: "Women who love too much" I've yet to talk to any man who has met such a woman. Nevertheless a man who'd give his life to protect his wife and children from an intruder would not be considered to be a man who "loves too much". If someone is willing to risk their life for someone that's unquestionable love.
Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.
Ideally with experience comes wisdom to help someone craft a "mate selection criteria" that will guide them to choose the kind of mate (they want and need) in their life. No one has to get married!
If a couple does it they should be "all in".
A marriage is a labor of love.
My mother kind of catered to my Dad, but not once did I ever see her make his plate in the house or in public like a family get together. When we got married and moved to Wis. I was shocked to see the men sit around and the women fix a plate of food for them and take it to them. I also saw my sister do this same thing for her 4th husband.
I told my husband right away I was not doing that. He could get his own plate.
I did always have a meal ready for him when he came from work. I was a housewife at home so I did all the things that needed to be done around the house. He always had a clean house, clean kids and clean clothes, and baked goods, but he always took care of my car, the trash, the driveway, mowing and snow shoveling. We helped each other he often cooked meals, did the dishes, changed diapers and did whatever needed to be done.
The Lilith within would never allow submissiveness. Having said that, there is a balance to be reached here that I see is lost often in relationships. Alison Armstrong's work on the male/female relationship is knocking down walls for many.
The situation your friend is in is past redemption imo. As much as he seems to be a 'pig', she allowed it to happen and is still paying the price of losing herself. Sad situation and perhaps her life will be relieved greatly when he passes from slothfulness. Either that or she won't know what to do with herself when that happens. Maybe she will need a friend to show her how different life can be.
Yes. Her mind-set is this: Its all outside of herself. I cannot seem to convince her otherwise. 'Be quiet," I advise, "Observe, Wait, Allow others to do things for themselves, Delegate responsibilities and Expect cooperation. Develop some hobbies, and interests of your own."
She continues to cater to her daughter, who is still living at home and now her granddaughter. You would think she could listen to me when I give her asked-for advice. I remind her that her daughter needs to be independent at 35, and her grand daughter needs to tune into her own inner life. The poor woman is trying to be all things for all people and I don't get WHY! I suspect its a compulsion left over from an overly demanding mother in childhood. Her overbearing, domineering mother expected Ruth to cater to her and its all Ruth seems to know. I have tried to be that friend, Jewels, but alas. It is hard to change, once adulthood sets in.
Thanks recommending Alison Armstrong. What does she say?
It is very hard to change and she is going on learned behaviour via her mother and reinforced by her husband and she's playing it out everywhere. You can't change something that is not able to be seen no matter how much you encourage it. In fact the only person who can change is the person who wants to be changed. You can't change someone else.
She looks like she has the personality traits of a doormat. I don't like to sound insulting, but there really is a trait of this kind. It's victimhood dressed up as the helpful person who gets nothing for herself. Underlying her motives is likely to be fear. She learned that this was her way of getting on in the world via her mother, and has kept it up as a normal way of being. It would need to be deconstructed if she wants a better and different life. That's if she has the resolve/strength to do it.
Re Alison Armstrong - it's a mind shift of mammoth proportions compared to where your friend is at so I don't recommend it to her. But for yourself perhaps it's worth going into. Address how women and men act differently and communication can come from knowing how to interact. It will not help your friend, but you may be interested. She's very popular in San Fran. I have her book "Making Sense of Men"
you explain it perfectly:
<"It's victimhood dressed up as the helpful person who gets nothing for herself. Underlying her motives is likely to be fear. She learned that this was her way of getting on in the world via her mother, and has kept it up as a normal way of being.">
Fear is there, deep deep inside. This is very sad, if you ask me. Fear is also why she can't see it herself.
Q.What does fear do to the psyche?
A. Fear affects awareness by removing calmness.
What is the connection between calmness and awareness, I wonder?
That's a big question. It depends on the level of awareness, and also what is done once the awareness comes out. Once aware of the reactiveness, it needs to be 'decharged' so there is no voltage in the same situation again. Awareness encompasses your reactions as well as responses. Of course you want to be in the world in responsive mode not reactive.
For your friend, she is living in reaction, and when her husband yells she's standing to attention as if voltage is hitting her initial trauma and she reacts to try and calm the situation. But you can never really have peace unless you can overcome the initial trauma, otherwise anyone who demands something of her will trigger the initial reaction.
If she were to do meditation for example, she would not find calmness because this trauma would be festering in the background, perhaps in an unconscious way. She would be squirming while sitting down, or heaviness would overcome her, sadness for missing something she can't access.
Calmness has several modes depending on your standpoint. Calming a situation is one thing, calming your own mind in meditation is a deeper and cleaner space.
<"when her husband yells she's standing to attention as if voltage is hitting her initial trauma">
We need to avoid creating the initial trauma in each other and our children!
<"you want to be in the world in responsive mode not reactive.">
So, establishing and maintaining calmness would be as important in relationships as in child rearing!
It starts with meditating spouses and parents!
If a woman wants to cater to her husband, that is her business. I wouldn't but only because it would make me miserable.
But, I do not think it is particularly beneficial to the male person, in the final analysis.
Q. Do Men like to be catered to? Maybe short term..but long term?
I'm not sure how it wouldn't be beneficial to the party being catered to. I'm sure some men do enjoy it. Some would take advantage. But, not all.
We've got family and friends who my husband constantly questions why they are with the partner they are with. I say if people are happy whatever they are doing is working. I wouldn't knock it. I'm sure there are things in your relationship your friend is confused why you put up with it. I know my relationship is not one many would want to be in. But it works for us, imperfect as it might appear to others.
Thanks Live to Learn. I hope a male person will chime in. What is the effect of being catered to?
When some females cater to their male partners, it seems overly dominating. (Almost like mothering/smothering)
It could get irritating to some men. Maybe not all.
I like Jewel's answer. Balance is the important thing.
Upon further musings:
Compulsive behavior is against one's conscious will and is produced by uncontrolled, illogical emotional, restless reactions.
Self-Directed behavior is in cooperation with one's conscious will and is the result of controlled accurate, logical and attentive responses.
An emotionally charged mind is not a joyful mind. It is prone to fear, anger, greed, selfishness, pretentiousness, compulsiveness, arrogance, dishonesty, etc … Think of Gollum and his ring.
A restful mind is a joyful mind. A joyful mind is loving, generous, hopeful, helpful, sympathetic empathetic, etc.
(Maybe we should judge our presidential candidates by how calm they are!
I would say Ben Carson is the calmest,
but I digress.)
No, she shouldn't !
Kathryn, you might not like my first word spoken after reading your question. "Retarded" society I heard myself to say, don't they know that those two become one?( Perhaps it becomes offending to give any credit to the Creator - leaving tragic consequences dishonoring His principles?!- ) Next, life in progress is labor of love: We communicate, we work together. In my life I have seen beauty of willingness of my grandma, pleasing her family with best cooking and baking, my mom the same , had enjoyed preparing meals with jubilation and not mentioning my wife who by practice became an excellent cook and pastry baker from "scratch"- simply because , in her own words " this is expression of my love and appreciation toward my family." Our background is of "another culture " after all these long years we do feast at home, a ' holy communion around the table' , enjoin time together, being treated royally and n e v e r going out to eat. - When we first came to this continent we tried to go out to eat, then our youngsters questioned "why can't we eat at home our food" - we gave it consideration...
Actually preparing home meal together as a family is more every time more fun added... Oops, this is not a question. My apology.
Michael. Things have changed a lot here. I do not know where you once lived, but today its not easy to for mom's to cook and do all they used to do. Luckily, prepared and easy to prepare foods are convenient and nutritious. Also, Dads pitch in big time! Its just not easy to have the life we once had. And although a traditional lifestyle is so vital for child development and harmony between husband and wife, it is so gone.
As far as food:
What do kids get to eat today? Home made chicken soup? broccoli? cauliflower? fresh salads? Where is the mother to prepare and cook these things?
It takes time to prepare lentil soup, split pea soup, rice and beans. During the day,(when moms used to cook,) they are working, usually full time, while their kids are in school.
Afterwards, she on the couch … while her kids work on computers, play video games or watch TV in their own rooms. She thinks they are doing their homework, and sometimes they are. Dad is probably working late or at the gym. Does the modern woman cater to her kids or her husband?
I suspect not much, really. So, that's good.
Speechless. On this continent we raised three future men, both parents working outside of home... working long hours after hours at home, sharing responsibilities, No one had a personal TV, homework done - honor students; not going out including movies and sporting events, FAMILY and God came first... just simply sharing- loving . Zuzana and myself, we refused to go to the "events" where children were not invited, rather we stayed home with them ... One born here going first time to overnight with the friends, call before eleven to be taken home, because "it was not our standard'',- he said- never going again... Choices we make and prices we pay...
Why are you speechless?
Do you not know the American way of life?
I am speechless that you are speechless!
Kids are allowed to watch the most ridiculous and bad-influence Movies. I've seen unchaperoned kids on foursome dates at about thirteen or fourteen. Kids of all ages are exposed to adult themes early on in their childhood. I've heard nine year olds talking about hooking up, etc. There is little they are shielded from. The movie industry could care less the content of their movies for kids. They have propaganda/agenda to spread. They have humor to corrupt, themes to shock.
And then there is the internet.
Why are you speechless?
How does one stay apart form all this?
Religion, you say?
I hope so.
You are correct a ' speechless' I should shut up!- yet to continue is only polite way to know my personal stance. Kathryn, I do have some 'limited' information about the garbage-culture being forced upon the naive and ignorant population. Why watching movies of any theme at all? ( so stupid! ). Who controls a remote control in a persons home? The people have right to throw that stupid box out when it corrupts them and their families . CHILDREN ! - the most precious treasure in whole universe, the parents are obligated to return them "back to the Father" as purer as they were given us. RELIGIN ?! - I d o n o t care for any religion except my own ( good cooking and healthy living.) However, there is a sound way to 'stay apart' for those willing to know. No religion is teaching but the ONE does the unconditional self- denial. He is protecting humanity against spiritual damnation ," if your right eye subverts you, pluck it out and cast it from you, for it is profitable for you that your one member be lost, and not that you whole body should fall into Gehenna." Have you ever seen a "religious " person ( a christian) awl;king with one aye only in an attempt to prove himself genuine resistance?
you "hope so" and you are right - everyone of us is mastering own destiny if we choose to be wise and profitable...
We've been there; raising three future men, both working full time away from home, here in this culture... We had arrangement, distributed responsibility according to the age, NOONE had personal TV, homework was strictly controlled, honor students,- volunteering not to lie,not to engage into anything outside of 'family standards', we had long hours work at home after hours, seldom catching TV, never having time for going out for "good time'
Again I ask:
<'How does one stay apart from all this (modern craziness) without the influence of religion?">
Its a good question.
Great writing, DS!
Marriage is not a requirement. It is free-will. (Free-will = Self-guided will.)
In marriage, it should remain free-will. Divorce is an option when free-will is somehow destroyed.
Free-will is more valuable than marriage.
Yet, afterwards the divorced look for "love" again.
Marriage should be sharing freedom. But the other side of the coin is discipline. Keep freedom through shared discipline.
Balance. What a great word/task.
He said, "You, I love.
You're my angel from heaven above!"
And she said, with words so true,
"Oh, my love, I love you too!"
And then it seemed that time stood still,
For he had said, with his free will...
And she had said, with an honest heart,
"Oh my love, lets never part!"
Their lives began as one,
They stood in the light of the sun.
Family and friends were there,
For, you know, love's to share.
Your lead question in the title is a bit different than what you pose afterwards. I will lead with the fact that I am not a religious person and I am pretty liberal. With that said, Should a wife cater to her husband, yes if that works for her and no if it doesn't.
I cater to my husband. He works his butt off for our family. He comes home to clean clothes, a clean home, a warm meal, he has his sweet tea brought to him on the couch, the TV gets turned to something he likes, and he gets pretty much anything else he wants. Catering to someone implies you are being treated poorly for some reason. People keep saying you lose yourself. I think this is BS most of the time. I haven't lost myself, I have gained another part of me, my husband. He works 50+ hours a week, while I am now home full time. To do anything different than I am doing would be selfish, My place is taking care of my children and my husband. His place is working full time.
In return I have an amazing husband who would do anything for me. He provides me a home, health care, food, an amazing yard for my gardens, love, baths when I don't feel good, back rubs, appreciation. I treat him like a king and he treats me like a queen. Catering to someone doesn't imply something bad, unless the person you are catering is abusing you.
This is what works for me, it certainly wouldn't work for everyone, but I love it.
Peoples: Perfect, perfect, perfect. No religion should be deciding factor how do couple manage their mutual life together. Wise will always exercise wisdom apart of extreme influence of any outside source , by sound judgment of what is best for me, for -us- for my own, -our family.
I think it does depend on the situation. You aren't working at a job and your husband is working a lot of overtime. Yes, he needs to be treated extra special.
I agree with Peeples and as well , I agree that there are many women with lower self esteem and that bothers me more than anything , I come from a traditional family where the servitude of the wife was somewhat prevalent . I can openly say that if a woman wants to do it , fine . If a woman needs the opposite for her own empowerment , so be it !
Let's face it guys ........They own us when it comes to sacrifices !
My partner and I cater to each other. We serve and please each other, not because we have to, but because it pleases each of us to please the other.
I catered to my ex to try to fix something I thought he saw wrong with me. It didn't, however, turn him gay.
He's the man you love. Why not cater? He should cater to you too? When two people take the time to make effort to make sure their partner is happy and an important part of their thoughts, their marriages tend to last longer? While I don't advocate the "good wife's guide" there is nothing wrong with caring for your husband/partner. It's the little cares and actions that delight the heart.
Women artists should not get married.
They will be washing dishes, making beds, and dusting walls instead of creating from heart, mind and soul. Women artists should be painting murals on walls instead of dusting them.
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