Monday, 21 February 2011

Role Reversal

Before we got married, I told my husband firmly that I didn’t plan on making daily spousal ‘lunchboxes’ .  I hate making sandwiches and in fact, cooking in general, and as we both worked, I couldn’t see any reason why I should have to do this for him just because I was the de facto ‘wife’. He was unfazed – being used to looking after himself.  (This was 30 years ago, you understand, and my mother had taught me that I would have ‘wifely duties’ when I got married.) So I guiltily spoke these words but I meant what I said and for 27 years it worked that way although I did dutifully do most of the other cooking – the other ‘duties’ were not arduous at all. Then one beautiful day – we agreed that I would give up my job – actually we moved to a small town and there was no work for me. On my first ex-working day, my husband brought me a pot of tea in bed and thus began a habit he maintained for a long time until one day he had to have a carpal tunnel operation on his right hand and for two weeks I had to do everything for him, including lunch and driving him to work.  I found I experienced in equal measure, enjoyment in these tasks and also some guilt surfaced as I realised that I no longer resented making the sandwiches and actually it was the least I could do for a man still working a 12-hour day while I luxuriated at home. I guess I had made my point.  That’s why on week-ends I always take him coffee in bed.


  1. It sounds like he has the same philosophy I do. I have always made it a rule not to ask much from my wife for myself but at the same time, do as much as I can for her. In the end, she wants to do all those little things for me and more. While this isn't the reason I treat her the way I do, it would be a good lesson for those husbands out there who demand everything under the sun from their wives.

    Treat her like a queen, and then I'll truly be her knight in shining armor! :)

  2. For YEARS I took Husband his first cup of coffee to drink while he lay abed. That was back in the days when I was still ironing his undershirts, I think.