Sunday, October 30, 2005

Unhappy in an exploited union with a lazy slob

For his Relationship column with Beliefnet, Thomas Moore considers a situation where the husband, described as unsupportive and inconsiderate at home, is a failure at business and pressures his successful wife to satisfy the family’s financial needs. Moore answers her question: "Am I wrong for resenting our marriage?" while suggesting a reorientation of her self-identity as “a traditional woman.”

Moore writes:
"I think it’s quite wonderful to choose to be a traditional woman, provided you update the idea of what "traditional" means and clear it out of any ingredients that make you feel used and exploited. By traditional, maybe you mean making a good home, caring for your spouse, and letting him make choices, about vacations, for instance. But I don’t think any traditional woman wants to feel like a maid and get no help from her spouse.

Besides, in some ways you are not traditional. You’re making more money than your husband and you are competent at your job, whereas he is not. Maybe it’s time to take a less simplistic view of marriage. Maybe it isn’t enough to be traditional, but to also be a new kind of woman, one who won’t tolerate bearing the entire financial weight of a marriage and the sole responsibility for making the home livable and gracious. As much as the desire to be traditional can enrich your life, and perhaps tie it back to your memories of family, it may need to be made more sophisticated with new ideas and arrangements."

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