No More Mr. Nice Guy!
following is a letter from a learned friend, Bob, whose example of
consideration, compassion and tolerance is a lesson for all men wishing to
be better, more loving husbands.
is important for men to remember that as women grow older it becomes
harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as they did
when they were younger. When men notice this, they should try not to yell.
Let me relate how I handle the situation.
I got laid off from my hi-tech job and took "early retirement"
January, it became necessary for Nancy to get a full-time job, both for
extra income and for health benefits that we need. She was a trained
medical transcriptionist when we met twenty-eight years ago and was
fortunate to land a job at a local transcription house. It was shortly
after she started working at this job that I noticed that she was beginning
to show her age.
usually get home from fishing or hunting about the same time she gets home
from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says that
she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts supper. I try not
to yell at her when this happens. Instead, I tell her to take her time. I
under - stand that she is not as young as she used to be. I just tell her
to wake me when she finally does get supper on the table. She used to wash
and dry the dishes as soon as we finished eating. It is now not unusual for
them to sit on the table for several hours after supper. I do what I can by
reminding her several times each evening that they aren't cleaning
themselves. I know she appreciates this, as it does seem to help her get
them done before she goes to bed.
washer and dryer are in the basement. When she was younger, Nancy used
to be able to go up and down the stairs all day and not get tired. Now that
she is older she seems to get tired so much more quickly. Sometimes she says
she just can't make another trip down those steps. I don't make a big issue
of this. As long as she finishes up the laundry the next evening I am
willing to overlook it. Not only that, but unless I need something ironed
to wear to the Monday lodge meeting or to Wednesday's or Saturday's poker
club or to Tuesday's or Thursday's bowling or something like that, I will
tell her to wait until the next evening to do the ironing. This gives her a
little more time to do some of those odds and ends things like shampooing
the dog, vacuuming or dusting. Also, if I have had a really good day
fishing, this allows her to gut and scale the fish at a more leisurely pace.
is starting to complain a little occasionally. Not often, mind you,
but just enough for me to notice. For example, she will say that it is
difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch
hour. In spite of her complaining, I continue to try to offer
encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even three days.
That way she won't have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing
lunch completely now and then wouldn't hurt her any, if you know what I
doing simple jobs she seems to think she needs more rest periods than
she used to have to take. A couple of weeks ago she said she had to take a
break when she was only half finished mowing the yard. I over look comments
like these because I realize its just age talking. In fact, I try not to
embarrass her when she needs these little extra rest breaks. I tell her to
fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just
sit for a while. I tell her that as long as she is taking one for herself,
she may as well make one for me and take her break by the hammock so she can
talk with me until I fall asleep. I could go on and on, but I think you
know where I'm coming from.
know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Nancy on a
daily basis. I'm not saying that the ability to show this much
consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it
impossible. No one knows better than I do how frustrating women can become
as they get older. My purpose in writing this is simply to suggest that you
make the effort. I realize that achieving the exemplary level of showing
consideration I have attained is out of reach for the average man.
guys, even if you just yell at your wife a little less often, or
not quite as loudly because of this article, I will consider that writing it
Note: Bob's funeral was on Saturday, May 17th.
was acquitted Monday, May 19th.