So often I hear women complain because they have to ask their husbands to do things. They complain that they have to remind them—sometimes repeatedly—to put their laundry away or do the dishes or help with the kids. The list of transgressions that they recite is then followed with a line similar to, “I should be his wife, not his mother!” or “I feel like I have two small kids and a big one!” You get the idea. What is really at the bottom of all this frustration is that these women expect their men to be like women.
Because another woman would see that the dishes needed to be done, or the laundry put away. Their sisters, mothers, or girlfriends would automatically know that the kids need to be bathed and put to bed and they would jump right in and do it. But men are not women! Often, we literally don’t see these things; they aren’t big priorities to us and, as far as we know, the world won’t end if they aren’t tended to immediately.
That is not to say that men don’t care about their wives… which is the avenue most women will immediately drive down in a situation like this. We, men, do care about our wives. Just because your husband doesn’t jump up from dinner, rush to clear the table, load the dishwasher, fold the towels in the dryer and take on pajama patrol with the kids, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you. Not being aware of these things doesn’t make him evil – it just makes him a man.
Honestly, women can get their men to do things for them if they just treat men like men and stop expecting them to be women. Ladies, you need to do some things differently with the male than you do with a female. In my seminar, I spend a whole session on “How to Get a Man to Do What You Want.” The first thing I explain is that you have to ask, and no, that doesn’t make you his mother!
This is a real challenge for women because they think, “But if he really loved me, I wouldn’t have to ask!” Like by some cosmic force, men are supposed to automatically know what you want. Then for some strange reason that is known only to the female brain, a woman will make the leap and reason, “Well, if I have to ask, especially more than once, that makes me more like a mother than a wife!” Nonsense. Just because you have to ask, even several times, it doesn’t mean that you are his mother. Of course women cry out, “Well, that’s what a mother does!” Using that crazy logic, you could just as easily say the following: Prostitutes have sex with men so if I have sex with him, I’m a prostitute. It’s flawed thinking.
Seriously, ladies! You need to chill out on this one. Your husband is a man and men need to be asked and reminded. That doesn’t make us evil – it just makes us men. We also need to be asked without insults and a good incentive program works wonders with us too! (Which, by the way, are the steps I detail in my book and seminar.) Listen, God made men this way. The Bible says right off the bat that it was not good for Adam to be alone. He needed a helper, so God created Eve to be his helper. That implies that he needed her help to do things. And I’m sure it wasn’t lifting the fallen trees in the garden. Maybe it was more along the line that Adam didn’t notice the fig leaves lying on all over the ground that needed to be swept up or the fact that the peaches needed picking and the pantry was empty. What if it was God’s original intention that Eve was created to be the one to remind him, to ask him, to help him out, to guide and direct him? Would that change the way you see your role?
We need you wonderful women in our lives to help us with the things that we just don’t see; the things that don’t come naturally to us. But expecting us to intuitively be like you just ain’t gonna happen. Wives need to learn how to get their husbands to do things by asking for what you want or need, asking more than once, asking the right way, and using bartering, incentives and a language we understand. We love that stuff and you can get us to do most anything for you. That makes you our helper not our mother.
By the way, we don’t want you to be our mothers either… in fact, the thought of having sex with our mother really creeps us out! We want you and need you to be our wives and our helpers, just like God intended.