I know this feels like a dead horse, but dead horses can’t feel, so let’s give it a flogging and see if there’s really no signs of life.
The impetus was the comment on last post to the tune that girls these days don’t make good wives. Let’s leave it to the married men to debate the merits of this cheap generalization statement. My question is: what makes a good wife? Or a good husband?
This is not the same old list of “what are the most important traits you’re looking for in your spouse.” Because that list includes all the superficial stuff you also need to make you happy. Neither am I asking about the recipe for a good marriage – we all know that it’s about love and respect and accommodating the peccadilloes of the other party. What I’m talking about are the character traits, habits, behaviors, and/or skills a person needs to know to be a good spouse.
This is a general question, and it covers the old standards – Should women have to cook well? (Must she do the cooking?) Should men be good earners? – and the newer – must a woman always admire her husband or buttress his self-esteem*? Do men need to develop their sensitive sides?
* Maybe this isn’t exactly modern, but it came up fairly recently in the Shidduch household when reading the Hamodia supplement on dating. One of the guys wrote that what he’s looking for in a wife is someone who makes him feel good about himself and something something his self-esteem. The argument that ensued was: shouldn’t a healthy person be able to handle his/her own self-esteem, without it requiring undue attention from their spouse? Not that you can tease your spouse non-stop or roll your eyes and take over chores you can do better, which is obviously not respectful. I mean always soothing hurts and balming wounds and gazing at his countenance with wide, admiring eyes.
So, in short: what does it take to make a good spouse?
I’d particularly welcome feedback from the married, so please ID your status and years of marriage (if applicable) when commenting.