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Sunday, 19 May 2013

Top Ten Tips For Being a 'Good Wife'.

By Violet Paradox

Today I came across this blog post written by  a woman named Suzanne Venker.  It lists her top ten do's and don'ts for being a good wife.  If  alarm bells are ringing, they should be.  This list, taken from her book - How to Choose a Husband - is truly terrible.  Venker justifies her awful advice to women by claiming that she knows her tips are not politically correct but that 'they work'.   I suppose that depends upon whose happiness is being  prioritised.  (Hint:  Its not the woman's - surprised?)  You can find the full post here.   

 I've added my own little response to each of her husband friendly tips, but I'm sure there is much more to be said, and I would love to hear other opinions.  I make the note, that I too am a wife and a stay at home mother (of five).  If I had to follow these tips to be a good wife, then I'm afraid,  I wouldn't be a wife at all.  Luckily, I know my husband wouldn't want his happiness to be at the expense of my own.  

1.    When it isn’t absolutely necessary to speak up, don’t. Silence can be golden.

Golden to whom?  To your husband who is probably blissfully unaware that there is something that he has said or done to upset or anger you?  Or even worse, knows he is being a jackass but you, being the good wifey that you are, won't challenge him on his asshattery?  Because a healthy and happy marriage is built on the happiness and peace of mind of only the husband?  Silence is only golden at the end of the day when the kiddies are asleep and you have your feet up relaxing with the beverage of your choice.  Other than that, No, silence is not golden, it's counter-productive and detrimental to your well being.

2.    Have regular sex, even if it’s just a quickie and you’re not in the mood.

This is extremely rapey advice.   Having sex when you are not in the mood is never an advisable thing to do.  A partner or husband who would disregard your feelings in this matter and  have sex when you were not into it, is not taking the time to ensure that you are actually consenting to sex.  But how would he know anyway, when Venker is advising you to stay silent and not speak up?

3.    It’s okay to cook for your husband and even—gasp—serve him a plate of food. Cooking is      love.

Patronising much?  Negotiate your own cooking arrangements.  To do this, you would have to disregard tip number one, you bad wife you.  And -gasp- It's okay for hubby to wash the dishes even after he's cooked.  Washing up is just that.  Washing up. 

4.    Encourage your husband to go out with the guys just as you like to go out with your girlfriends. (Note: This does not include an eight-hour game of golf on Saturday after you’ve just given birth.)

If you are getting enough time away from the house with your friends and hubby needs some encouraging to do the same, I see nothing wrong with that.  My guess is that hubby isn't staying at home and away from his friends unless that is exactly what he wants to do. If he thinks it's appropriate to go and play golf just after you've given birth, maybe extra encouragement to go out with the guys isn't what's needed here.

5.    If you’re home with young children and your husband is the breadwinner, give him time to decompress after work. Don’t shove a baby in his arms when he gets home and take off for  the night.

Breadwinner, pfft!  How much 'bread' will he be bringing home if you are unwell and he needs to take time off work to look after you and the children/household?  Exhaustion, stress, and a relentless routine can suppress the immune system making one susceptible to germs and bugs or other more serious illnesses.   Especially when you cannot even rely on the person who is supposed to love you the most to notice that you may need to 'decompress' too, if not more urgently.  And seriously, 'take off for the night'??  Who is this hypothetical wife that Venker is basing this article on?   Offloading a noisy, unsettled baby onto the father as he walks in the door sounds reasonable to me.  Anyone who  has dealt with an unhappy baby for a few hours, let alone all day by themselves, will know that it can be an extremely stressful thing to deal with.  It's highly unlikely that mum is going to do a dash out the door at the same time and not return for the night.  I'm not saying that doesn't happen, but really, how often would that scenario occur?  And even if she did, she probably needs it and totally deserves to get away.

6.    Do everything in your power not to measure the amount of work your husband does at home with the amount of work you do at home. If you’re your children’s primary caregiver, you will always do more household chores because you’re around the house more. Unless your husband spends most of his time in front of the TV outside of work, he’s probably pitching in more than you think.

This sort of attitude really gets my goat.  Hubby knocks off work, gets to come home and 'decompress' while you silently go about managing the children, (My guess is that you are supposed to ensure they are silent and well behaved too) while cooking him a nice dinner, (extra sprinkling of love, or hot chili - whatever).  When is knock off time for you?  He's been working all day, you've been working all day (Yes it is work, unpaid, mostly undervalued, but hard work, no matter how much one loves or enjoys it most of the time).  How about you both decompress over a cuppa, then  finish off the day together, helping each other with what needs to be done?  Oh and even with men that 'pitch in'  what seems to be equal amounts of housework when they are home, chances are they are doing a lot less  than their fair share.

7.    Make your husband’s family your family, particularly since you expect him to do likewise.

 If extended families are the kind that generally are decent people, who are tolerable to be around, then fair enough.  This isn't always the case and no one should have to be around those who are threatening, triggering or downright dangerous.  Family situations and obligations are complex and there needs to be an open communication between partners to negotiate this (oh dear, flouting tip number one again!) If your husband's family are constantly undermining you, your husband needs to stand by you and insist that their behaviour change, and support you if you decide that you cannot be around people who do not respect you. Even if they are his family.  This should work both ways.

8.    Let your husband date you. This includes letting him choose where you’ll be going, letting  him drive, and allowing him to hold the door open for you. It also means letting him pay the bill. (Even if the money’s in one pot, the gesture is important.)

If your husband gets to the door before you, sure let him open it, but will it kill his self esteem so much if you open it first and let him through?  Partners take turns to pay the bills all the time.  I can't understand why making a point of letting him do it is such a big deal, unless his masculinity depends upon such gestures, then I would say it is a problem and that would be cause for concern.  And as far as driving.  How about who ever feels like driving  at the time, do the driving?

9.    When you and your husband have a conflict, look in the mirror. You may or may not be to blame, but recognizing that what you’re doing isn’t working can help steer you in a different direction. You can’t change other people—only yourself.

Well, since you are supposed to stay silent in all matters apart from ones of the utmost importance...'Um excuse me dear, you appear to be on fire...'  I guess looking in the mirror and trying to find ways to blame yourself for the conflicts that you are having with your husband is pretty much all that is left for you to do.

10.   Last, but definitely not least: Don’t be a bitch. Be sweet. 

I've  been about as sweet as I can be reading through this garbage.  So all I have left to say in response to this one is, 'FUCK OOOOOOFFFFFFF!!!!!1111!!!!'

 I know what won't be on my Christmas wish list this year.


  1. I wonder how long Ms Venker has been married. Off to wiki-google.

  2. Hahaha, I agree very firmly with your last point!

  3. And communication is one of the most vital aspects of any relationship. If you want to create an unhealthy and harmful relationship then, sure, stay silent but otherwise PLEASE DO SPEAK YOUR MIND.

  4. I read this shit on my YOUbeauty app, right before I deleted said app & it got me pretty pissed too, I don't have time to write about it in my blog though at the moment but it is awful when women put other women down, the entire time I was reading it, I felt like a man wrote it. I share it, hopeful it will outrage some of my other peers as well:

  5. Where did you find the time machine back to 1950 to procure this material? Or did this come from an alternate universe where Mitt Romney was elected President?

    1. I wish that it was some sort of weird twist in the fabric of time that threw this out from the past. It's incredulous and disheartening that there are still a lot of women who subscribe to this sort of thinking. This excerpt is from just one of four books Venker has written.



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