There are so many stories of husbands who although they are married to beautiful positive charming women, they still helplessly fall for the housekeeper/nanny. From popular celebrities to some of my personal friends, these men have fallen for the lure of comforting, attentive, ‘help-meeting’ women. Plus, the housekeepers (in most of the circumstances I know about) are usually not nearly as attractive and fabulous as the wives! (no disrespect to housekeepers/maids out there).
So what’s the deal? Why are these men falling out with their wives for the housekeeper?
Maybe the housekeeper is better at housekeeping as well as ‘mankeeping.’
Maybe it’s the kind, soft, undivided and loyal attention that Mr. Husband receives from the humble doting housekeeper, whose job is to please him and the wider family on a day-to-day basis. Her mission is to offer, wait, smile, share, serve, clean and make the home nice. Plus the housekeeper doesn’t talk back, criticise or insist on her opinion. She is paying attention and she is submissive.
If the family wants something done differently, the housekeeper can’t and usually does not oppose or object. She merely needs to understand the new thing that is being desired and provide it. She may even offer another idea of how to achieve the same desire but again, it’s all about satisfying the need. So she appears to be patient, selfless and interested.
It’s a similar set up with secretaries and assistants. These women are also in a mode to serve, smile and please. Moreover they are usually well put together and quite attractive, so some kind of attraction isn’t farfetched. The question is why do women in these types of roles succeed in snatching the heart of husbands or better yet, why do husbands allow their hearts to be consumed?
Well the truth is that husbands fall for housekeepers and secretaries for the same reasons they fall for any other woman – they find the missing 20% that they may not be currently getting from their wives and have possibly started to take the 80% that they do get for granted.
But there are other factors as well.
Do wives think about ‘mankeeping’? Wives think about ‘manhaving’ and ‘manowning’ but not necessarily ‘mankeeping’.
In these times, wifey gets the long-fought-for opportunity to fulfill her professional ambitions. However not enough is taught about HOW to build her career and maintain a healthy positive enjoyable relationship with her man and kids at the same time. Oftentimes some unspoken choice is made in terms of how time, energy and focus are going to be divided and devoted.
And while Mr. Husband can sometimes ‘understand and support her dreams’ that understanding and support doesn’t remove his real need for companionship, attention, respect, service and willing available happy energized headache-free sex with his wife.
What a task it is for a woman who works 8 to 10 hours each day, to come home happy and willing and in a mood to ‘serve’ her husband, especially if kids are also jostling for her attention and love. Only by God’s grace and an emancipated approach to life, love and partnership as found in the Holy Scriptures – Ephesians 5:21 – “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God…”
The key in that verse is one to another, so it’s a team effort to ‘mankeep and womankeep’; husbands and wives should yield to one another; be patient and submissive with the other which suggests a sense of equality. The passage goes on to say that the wife ought to respect her husband and that the husband must pretty much be willing to die for his wife. But how many husbands out there can actually say that they would give up their lives for their wives? Well, if he is to love his wife as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for it, then clearly he must be willing to sacrifice anything, including himself and even his needs – not so that she can build a career, but so that he can help her to become all that God wants her to be. This is the woman’s primary role in the marriage as well – to submit, serve, respect and help her husband to become all of who God intended him to be.
So if you really think about it, both the husband and the wife could learn a little something from the housekeeper and the secretary. It’s all about serving each other; both of them deliberately being in a posture that offers, waits, smiles and shares.
With that in mind, here are a few ideas that can help to get things going:
- Deliberately smile when you see each other after being away for a few hours at work or wherever. It may sound simple but a lot of married folks don’t actually smile when they see each other. It helps to remember that a genuine focused smile is an effective way to communicate that you are happy to see each other again and makes the other person feel special.
- Make the first 5 minutes of every interaction positive – don’t complain about the workday just yet, say how much you longed to see him today, or how you wanted to tell her a joke and then tell it.
- In the mornings, how about a light kiss or gentle squeeze before getting out of bed? You don’t have to go all the way….afterall you do have to get to work on time.
- (Speaking to women for the most part here) Take a ‘pain-killer’ in advance – this can be a glass of wine, a cup of coffee, chocolate or actual pain medication – so that in spite of the stresses of work and children, you can be in the mood for ‘play time.’
- Do something with food together – cook for each other, introduce each other to some new restaurant /treat or just eat together often.
- Finally put away the gadgets and like, comment, share, poke and truly connect even if only for a few moments every day.
Since none of us is perfect, every marriage will have its challenges. But by faith and through our actions we can endure the difficult times and enjoy and enable the good times.
In the tough times, be sure to hang in there, pray, stay positive and stay far away from temptation. In the good times, savour the moment, do your best to extend it and give thanks; all the while trusting God to preserve your love and your friendship.
Do you have any tips on how to keep wives and husbands happily married? Share them with me by commenting below or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org