I had a really fun conversation with some of my twitter #Tradlife girlfriends a few days back. We were joking about how people think living a traditional life means you automatically emulate the 50s and embrace your inner Donna Reed. We are the doormats of the world we’re told. You see us in the kitchen, raising children, some even homeschooling. But what people struggles to see our actions are driven by the respect we have for our husbands.
There is a girl I use to admire, she is always so put together. Her house was Better Homes and Gardens perfect, her parties were entertaining, her cooking skills were amazing. She was fit, fun, healthy, adventurous, intelligent – Perfect right? She married about a year before we did to a really fantastic guy, one of R’s fraternity brothers. So, why don’t I admire her anymore? She fights with her husband every time they are out – even at my wedding reception. I’m not talking little tifts, she yells at him in public. We went out for his birthday, got a party bus, went down town – on the way back home she’s arguing with him on the bus making everyone feel awkward and uncomfortable. She ruined a really great night out because she couldn’t respect him as a person. No amount of pretty house fixes ugly behavior.
While many women show the respect they have for their husband by acting as homemaker it is the respect that drives that behavior.
Respect that he is the man you chose to marry.
There is a saying Men marry women hoping they never change, women marry men hoping they do. Any and all improvements your husband goes through will be because he chooses to make those changes. When you dated if he didn’t hit the gym no amount of cheer-leading, encouraging, or nagging will get him there. It’s all on him. When you dated if he always put his clothes on a pile next to the hamper, and never in the hamper. Guess what – that’s probably not going to change – it’s who you married. If you have respect for yourself then naturally you should respect that you chose this man. You did not choose who this man could be – but who he is today.
Respect the girl you were when you dated.
As much as we try to fight it things change when the wedding is over. There is a blanket of comfort knowing you have him, the chase is over. Do not become lax, there was something very special about you when you were just his girlfriend. Bring her out. What was it that made him fall for you? (When I need a reminder I read our wedding ceremony where he talks about what qualities he loves about me.) Don’t forget – he fell in love with his girlfriend, and hopes his wife is only a more mature, but still very fun version of her.
In the end it doesn’t matter who does the cooking, who pays the bills, what really matters is that you remain loyal and devoted to your husband. No one above him. Let the respect you have for your husband drive your behavior. I know women who only wear skirts, I know women who own horses and ranches and rarely wear skirts. But whatever they wear their loyalty to their husband speaks volumes. Being a trad wife is about respecting the person you said your vows to, simple as that. The rest is a matter of personal preference.
Until next time,