Do Husbands Take the Backseat in Modern Marriage? | Jenny From the Blog

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According to the barrista at my Starbucks, I’m an awesome wife.  No, I’m not putting out for lattes like I once threatened to do and I’m certainly not ironing clothes for the lady who swipes my card –or even my husband for that matter.   I simply showed up at 7:45 AM to buy my husband his coffee on Father’s Day.  The staff at my Starbucks were taking bets on how many of their regular customer’s wives would show up for a Father’s Day coffee run.  The results: 2.  Yep, 2 wives, myself included.  They cheered when I entered, “Jenny, I knew I could count on you,” the manager said.  I thought I’d won a prize, maybe a frappe “my way?”  It seems I deserved one;  when I walked in to get my coffee the next morning they were still talking about it.  They were talking about how shocked they were that on Mother’s Day they saw all the dads with the kids, letting moms sleep in and on Father’s Day the husbands still got the coffee.  I guess the men are the “weekend coffee getters” in our society.  Sure, they used to be hunters and gatherers, protectors, and providers, but now apparently getting coffee is as manly a task as we can bestow on our husbands. As I left, the girl at the register said, “Wow, you must really love your husband.”  This comment got me thinking.  Really?  An actual “wow” was required?  Is that all it takes these days to show the love and devotion to the man that fathered your kids?

Remember the old days when being a good wife required you to have piping hot dinner ready when the hubs arrived home after a hard day’s work?  You would put his slippers by the sofa and stuff a pipe in his mouth so he could relax and watch the evening news as you hushed and distracted the kids from disturbing dear old Dad.  No, of course you don’t because our generation only saw that kind of obedience in shows that were aired in black and white.  How about the definition that involves cooking, cleaning, caring for the kids, going over homework, and in many cases working as well?  I certainly know many of those wives, but how many wives are like me; ones who do it all and rudely let their husbands fend for themselves?  They always say to put your husband first, but that’s rarely the case.  Look, I barely have enough time for me; I have to find time for him too?

I’ve accepted this stage of our marriage and hopefully – for longevities sake, he has too.  Let’s call it the “Selfish Stage” or even the “Indifferent Stage.”  I have a ton to do: between working, raising awesome, funny, talented, considerate children, taking care of a house and pets… The list goes on, but the end result relays this message “See you when the kids are off to college.”  Of course, that’s if you haven’t annoyed the crap out of me along the way and if I can see anything through the tears of my inevitable empty nest syndrome. But yesterday for one shining moment, I was the good wife.  Maybe I’ve misjudged my competition.  Maybe they too are indifferent.  Maybe their husbands’ forget the trash and leave all the lights on and make them repeat the same nagging reminders over and over again.  They must really suck ‘cuz they didn’t even get their husbands’ coffee.  I’m hoping that the barristas are right: that sometimes it’s the small gestures that keep modern marriages afloat.  If not, I may be in trouble.

What do you think?  Do husbands take a backseat in modern marriage?

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18 thoughts on “Do Husbands Take the Backseat in Modern Marriage? | Jenny From the Blog

  1. Marlene

    Perhaps there is another reason that there were not more wives buying Starbucks for their husbands that morning. My husband is very frugal. He would balk at me buying him a $4 coffee that’s full of ‘foo foo’….even on Father’s Day! He’s very happy with his fresh brewed pot of coffee and half & half. It could be viewed as one of the many gifts for Father’s Day that we can freely give….wives staying home and not spending money on what WE believe is a delicious cup of heaven. Just my two cents from the top of my half full latte.

  2. Bari

    Great article Jen!
    it speaks to the degree that we as a society of wives have evoloved past servitude all the way to seeming indifference. But you the good wife made the big effort to expend just a little more energy and show your partner in life a little love. Bravo! We should all be as considerate of our partners as possible. It’s our duty to keep the divorce rate down.

  3. nancy

    this is fucking hilarious Jenny.
    BTW, every husband paired or non husband paired woman I know with kids, did NOT experience empty next syndrome, other than being fairly ecstatic about finally having a life for themselves again. Why isn’t that called empty nest syndrome?

  4. The Retired One

    I would never to to Starbucks for my hubby and he would hate it if I did…wayyyy too overpriced coffee and a waste of money….LOL
    But I did treat him nice and we do things all the time for each other….that’s why we are going on 38 years of blessed married life…he is my best friend.
    One time, a long time ago..when I was married for about 12 years and running around crazy with kids, school, jobs…I was rather bitchy and moody with him…and I read an article that said…remember when you are talking to your husband to ask yourself: “would I talk to a friend that way? Would I cut some slack for a friend that is having a bad day? Then why on earth would you treat your husband that way, isn’t he your most intimate friend??” That was an ah-huh moment and now I treat him better than any friends I have because that is the way it should always be.

  5. cherie

    Great post. I read this aloud to my husband and his first comment was “who made the coffee yesterday?” and my response was you of course…I did offer to make him breakfast but he opted for cereal instead, but he was pretty busy playing with his granddaughter.

  6. Jessica Smith

    Well, don’t I feel like a putz now since my husband bought me a car on Father’s Day. (no, for real, he did).

    BUT…my son and I did perform a song for him (son was playing harmonica & wearing superhero cape, I played drums) AND we took him to a Taqueria for big as your head plates of carnitas to celebrate.

    I totally get what you mean by the “Selfish” or “Indifferent” Stage…and now I don’t feel so bad about it since clearly my husband and I aren’t the only ones!

    Love you. Love your blog. Let’s catch up soon!

  7. Rachael

    I’m thinking I was the “other” wife getting coffee. Love this post!!
    But I have to ask, what kind of prize does mark get for bringing you Starbucks every Saturday and Sunday? Just wondering if our Baristas think to themseleves,”here is that one husband who brings his wife a coffee every weekend day…what a wondrful man”. Just sayin!!!

  8. rachy

    i think you deserve some credit for going out of you way on Father’s Day, as your hubby isn’t your father, after all! (that’s the rule in our family…mother’s day is for your mother and father’s day for your father; we cut out the “father of our children” requirement.)

    i also think you owe it to yourself for some guiltless “me” time in those busy years when there are few precious minutes when your services are not demanded by hubby, the kids, the pets, the house, the bills, the cars, etc.

    but, we’re looking to the first “semi-empty nest” year with both boys away this fall. yes, i cried when my baby graduated from high school, but think of it….trips to nyc….taking our time at the museums, strolling in central park, lingering over dinner in the restaurant. sounds great to me!

  9. JCinDenver

    Ok, so I wonder, how ’bout the single gals who have devoted years to a man (and they to us); who go get it and pay for it? I would really love to know what some of the “married’s” would say if they were still really good lovers and g-friends with their “boyfriends,” sounds ridiculous, I know… I was that wife once (in a past life), now, I’m that “co-equal” rggf (really good girlfriend)… hard to find what feels like a good and equitable balance. Any thoughts? 🙂 Gretch– I love and miss you girl!

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  11. Candace

    You couldnt be more on the money with this. Awesome. And comforting to have someone put the unsaid in words, and make it look better for some of us that got the coffee!

  12. michele

    we are of the same cloth jenny 🙂 only, my husband doesn’t drink coffee, so I’m off the hook there!

  13. MamaMarlaine

    Love the honesty of this post Jenny. Harder than doing it all as two parents is having your spouse leave you for someone who is willing to treat them lovingly and doing it all as one. Took me seven years and a separation to figure out that out. Fortunately, I decided if I wanted more good in my life, I needed to start serving compliments instead of criticisms. That was the day marriage and life as I knew it changed. My husband and I celebrate our 25th anniversary this year and we are genuinely more in love than the day we married. Busy though we can both be, never a week passes that we don’t prioritize a really romantic date night. Yes we still have F’ U” exchanges on ocassion but….they are always brief, like a good tropical rain. Sun and laughter return much quicker when we move forward in forgiveness and commit to small kindesses like cups of coffee delivered with a hug. HUGS!!!

  14. Samuel

    My wife make more than me, so I feel it is my duty to treat her as the breadwinner and do more than 50% of the housework and sometimes have dinner on the table when she comes home.


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