I Shouldn’t Have To Explain Why I’m Out When My Husband Is At Home
My best friend just celebrated her one-year wedding anniversary a little over a month ago. She’s a busy woman, and her career in the music industry causes her to travel quite a bit. She posted a picture of her most recent show on social media, which garnered plenty of positive feedback.
However, one comment stuck out to me. The person told her that she travels too much and inquired about her husband’s whereabouts. I could only assume that the comment was in jest per the smiley-face emoji that was included. My friend took it as that as she simply replied “lol. He’s with me” before adding, “I’m back home.” She was trying to explain that the show was actually in the city in which she and her husband reside.
My friend added a laughing emoji to her comments in the hopes of matching the person’s (assumed) lighthearted nature. Actually, she’s not as petty as I am, so I’m sure her response to the query was most likely genuine. But that social media remark made me think about my own situation. I’ve only been married for a little over three years and I’ve noticed that several judgments have been made about what I do with and without my husband.
Although I expected people to have their opinion on just about everything marriage related, I must admit that I was taken aback by comments related to my role as a wife. After all, times and expectations have changed.
We were newlyweds, married for only two months when I had a short telephone conversation with my grandmother, just catching up. A simple question about my cooking plans for the evening (she expects me to cook every night so my reply surprised her) turned into quite the read.
I respectfully told her that I had plans to go to the movies with my friends (it was Thursday and a special screening of The Best Man Holiday was showing – girls’ night!) and that I already told my husband to pick up chicken for dinner.
In a perplexed voice, she asked, “You’re going to leave him at home all alone?” I didn’t hesitate to say yes. In turn, she wasn’t shy about expressing her disappointment and telling me that I need to make sure he has food, daily.
She didn’t say it but I naturally assumed that she thought at that time, and still thinks, that I’m not being a great wife by occasionally leaving my grown and competent husband home alone to fend for himself. Although we completely disagree on such matters of the house (get it?), I can only imagine that she was trying to help since she comes from a different generation. A world and time where a wife’s treatment of her husband was on a different level than it is now. I got a glimpse into that world when I stumbled upon a list from a 1955 Housekeeping Monthly article titled, “Good House Wife’s Guide” courtesy of Littlethings.com. This antiquated information contained 18 instructions for married women to adhere to, but one alleged piece of advice really jumped out:
“Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.”
Despite it being nowhere near 1955, this one recommendation pertains to my marriage, but with a twist. I don’t complain if my husband goes out without me and he definitely has no issue with my leaving him at home. While we are a team, we both understand the need and importance of branching out on our own in the hopes of giving one another space and the ability to enjoy other people’s company.
Each marriage is different and as soon as you have outside people interfering (especially ones who don’t know the details of your marriage – they shouldn’t anyway), things can go awry. I am a grown woman and can go where I please. And while some don’t fancy my moments of independence, I’m just glad my husband and I are on the same page.