Marriage

Your husband is not broken; he’s just a guy

Those were the wise words a good friend of mine spoke to me when I was engaged to my husband.  The entire idea was something to the effect of,

“There will be times when you think that your husband is broken or something.  He’s not.  He’s just a guy.  They’re just different from us.”

I had already believed that men and women were fundamentally different.  It’s not that I had read John Gray’s book,  rather, the Torah lays it out pretty clearly that men and women are different.  We need different things spiritually and emotionally, and we’re obviously different physically.  We think differently.  We do things differently.

So despite this understanding, I somehow still expected my husband to behave like a clone of myself when doing things around the house.  What?  Yeah.  Silly.

This notion that everything should be done my way (which is obviously the best way, of course) sometimes clouds my ability to appreciate my husband’s help around the house.  I love that he helps.  It’s fantastic, especially considering his crazy busy schedule.  But when he helps it’s just so . . . male.  And it’s all too easy for me to pick at the differences from how I would have done it (because, again, my way is clearly superior).

Does it really matter?  No.  In fact, it’s nice to see him do things his way.  Sometimes I learn things about how he thinks.  Sometimes it helps me see a different side to my children.  Sometimes it helps me to see a different side to myself.  Sometimes his way is better (gasp!).

So ladies, even when your husband “cleans up the living room” or “helps to set the table,” try to see it as: your husband cleans up the living and helps to set the table.  No qualifying quotation marks needed.  Just appreciation.

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19 thoughts on “Your husband is not broken; he’s just a guy

  1. Some of the difference really have nothing to do with gender but just with different approaches or expectations due to what one was exposed to while growing up. My husband has always insisted on doing the dishes — not just to spare me the task but because he prefers the results he gets. He has a greater compulsion for order in things and will frequently reorganize the freezer — now that does drive me a little crazy.

  2. This is so great. I had similar advice, from the shadchan (my aunt) who set us up. She basically said the same thing, and that the source for a lot of the quirks you notice in your husband can be coming from his family and how he was raised. It’s been really helpful for me to know my husband’s family and to understand a little more why he does certain things certain ways, or why he wants something a specific way. Makes me much more patient. And yeah, he’s definitely better about the housework than I am. =)

  3. For me cleaning is not the big deal it’s the whole communication issue. He’s a less is more kind of guy and I’m a more is still not enough kind of gal. I try to remember this when disciplining our teen aged sons. Guys tune out to the prolonged sound of a woman’s voice. But, you’re a better woman than I am to admit that his way can be better :)

  4. It wasn’t until a year and a half after we got married that I was fully able to comprehend my husband. It was my first time staying at my in-laws, and only then could I see some reason to his rhyme (for a few things that baffled me). For instance, I couldn’t understand why he thought it was his job to wash dishes, until I saw his father doing them. I’d advise any couple to spend some time in their in-laws house to get an idea of how their spouse was raised. Every family is so different!

  5. But in my case, my husband doesn’t wash the dishes to emulate his father; he does it because he wants them done the way his mother does them, and I don’t do them that way!

  6. And you’re not broken, either – you’re just a girl.

    I know what you mean about liking the fact that things (especially around the house) are done a certain way. But, somehow I can’t relate to the rest of this post. Maybe I always subconsciously, or consciously, accepted that other people did it differently. Because, let’s face it, if you helped me clean my house, it probably would not be the way I do it. And vice versa. It’s not about guys or girls; it’s about the fact that everyone does things differently.

    1. Aw, thanks for the validation! You make a good point that everyone is different, and certainly know couples where the husband is hardly stereotypical. But still, there are certain traits that are overwhelmingly found in men (for example, the desire to fix a problem rather than emphasize, which, for the record, is a trait I also have), and others that are found in women (heightened sense of intuition). Good for you for being so open to people doing it differently. It’s such a good outlook.

      1. I also like to fix problems. That stereotype, by the way, has sometimes gotten us in trouble: Many times I want the problem fixed, and he’s trying to give me sympathy. Sometimes, it’s the reverse, but it’s about 50/50.

        I’m not sure that I’d call it being “open” – it’s more like I’m aware. Whether I like it or not is a different story. But that’s what communication is about, right?

  7. Yep. Totally. When he does something around the house I have to bite my tongue from giving him super-detailed instructions. I should just thank him and accept that he won’t do things my way.

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