Response to Katelyn Carmen’s Marriage article

We are not all stereotypical Women

In relationships; my own thankfully, forgetting who wears the “pants” is the most freeing thing you can do.

My boyfriend does dishes, I do laundry.

I want to work, he wants to raise the kids.

I want to focus on a career, he supports me in this 100%.

I was unemployed for three months and hated living off just what he was making and not having my own income.

A friend shared this on her Facebook and actually said that it is a “fairly good read”.

http://familyshare.com/marriage/5-ways-you-are-unknowingly-destroying-your-husband-and-killing-your-marriage

This scares me that this woman takes this article into consideration when taking advice on marriage.

In the article, Katelyn Carmen, give women these five “tips” for not destroying their husbands and therefore keeping their marriage “alive”.

1. Living outside of what you can afford

2. Constant negativity

3. Putting everything else first

4. Withholding physical affection

5. Not speaking his language

Even though she says this article is directed towards men as well as women, the language and tones Katelyn Carmen uses directs the blame of faulty marriages solely on women. Every “tip” paints women in such a negative light that the husbands in the scenarios are the wronged party that needs to be in control for a marriage to work.

Here are my responses to Carmen’s so-called “tips”.

Number 1: Carmen paints women as shallow, materialistic airheads who can’t wrap their heads around the fact that their family needs food and shelter.

“Yes, you may not have enough to buy that Kate Spade bag you’ve had your eyes on for months, but your husband will love and appreciate the fact that you honor him and are grateful for what he provides.”

Thank you for not taking into account the women who work hard themselves to make money for their family.

Thanks for saying that only men think about the needs of their family before personal pleasures. Yeah, thanks for all that Carmen.

Number 2: Negativity is draining you say?

Carmen paints an ugly picture of women:

“As soon as your husband walks through the door,” she writes, “you launch into action and dump every negative and angry thought that’s crossed your mind throughout the day.”

Thanks, Carmen, for perpetuating the stereotype of the nagging wife who rags on her husband all the time.

This is the same advice women in the 1950s were given by their mothers and women’s magazines. Keep whatever is bothering you inside where it doesn’t “bother” anybody. Thanks for keeping up the age old tradition of keeping women silent.

The problem with burying your problems with your husband is if you can’t tell him about the small problems because you don’t want to burden him, how do you expect to trust him with the big stuff?

Number 3: So as soon as you put that ring on, you cease to be anything other than a wife and, later on, a mother?

“When your children, mom, best friends, talents, or career in front of your husband, you send a clear message to him that he is unimportant.”

This statement does ring true to some extent but I’ve seen many women destroy themselves by focusing on their relationship with their partners 100% the time instead of balancing their marriage with relationships between friends, family and careers.

You need other things in your life than just your partner. Sometimes you need to put those things before your marriage and your partner should trust that you are doing that for an important reason.

Number 4: So what I learned from this one is that sex is a weapon to use against your husband.

“Even though you might not always be in the mood, it’s worth it to give in (when you can) and spend that time bonding.”

The word “with-holding” holds a tone of malicious intent. When the mood isn’t there or there are other reasons for not wanting to give affection to a partner, everyone should have a right to say no.

Carmen says, “It is a great blessing to be wanted and needed by a loving, romantic husband,” so be grateful ladies that your men want you and if you don’t give him affection when he wants it, you’re obviously a bad wife. Again, this is a matter of trust. If you aren’t in the mood, your partner should respect that and understand that they aren’t the root of it.

Number 5: So we’re not supposed to push our own problems onto our husbands, but we’re not supposed to be open and clear about our problems. You have some clarity issues here, Carmen.

“Women love to drop hints. (I think it’s part of our DNA.) But men just don’t get them. (I think that is a part of their DNA.)”

Not how DNA works, Carmen. We are shown a marriage about the marriages around us; parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. If you see this behaviour in other relationships, those traits will come through in your own marriage.

“If he asks you what’s wrong, don’t respond with “nothing” and then expect him to read your mind and emotions. Be open about how you really feel.”

But Carmen, you just said we shouldn’t burden men with our trivial everyday problems. Bit of a contradiction there, don’t you think if we are supposed to bury things anyway and NOT telling our husbands anything about our problems.

Now Carmen does have this disclaimer at the beginning of the piece: “as a caveat, please understand that although this article is directed toward women, it applies to men as well”.

Something Carmen should learn about writing: you don’t need the disclaimer if the language of your piece actually supports what you are trying to claim.

You can’t just say Mein Kaumf applies to all races of people and that disclaimer makes it so.

How about some gender neutral language. Instead of focusing on the language of “wives do this” and “husbands do that”, how about referring to partner language. In a relationship, there usually is a spender and a saver but that doesn’t mean the wife is always the spender and the husband the saver. Say that instead of such a black and white picture. The fact that you are putting the blame on women for destroyed marriages is quite evident, even with the disclaimer. Thanks for that, Carmen.

Your article just made me realize how good I have it in my own relationship with a loving partner who sees my as an equal.

 

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