It is important for men to remember, that as women grow older it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as they did when they were younger. When men notice this they should try not to yell at their spouses.
My name is Bob. Let me relate how I handle the situation with my wife, Sharon.
When I took "early retirement" in May, it became necessary for Sharon to get a full-time job, both for extra income and for health benefits that we needed. It was shortly after she started working more that I noticed that she was beginning to show her age.
I usually get home from golf or fishing about the same time she gets home from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says that she has to rest for half hour or so before she starts dinner. I try not to yell, instead I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she finally does get dinner on the table. She used to do the dishes as
soon as we finished eating. Now, it's not unusual for them to sit on the table for several hours after dinner. I do what I can by reminding her several times each evening that they aren't cleaning themselves. I know she appreciates this, as it does seem to motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed.
Now that she is older, she seems to get tired so much more quickly. Our washer and dryer are in the basement. Sometimes she says she just can't make another trip down those steps I don't make a big issue of this as long as she finishes up the
laundry the next evening. I'm willing to overlook it. Not only that, but, unless I need something ironed to wear to the Monday lodge meeting or to Wednesday's or Saturday's poker club or to Tuesday's or Thursday's bowling, or something like
that, Iwill tell her to wait until the next evening to do the ironing. This gives her a little more time to do some of those odds and ends things, like shampooing the dog, vacuuming or dusting. Also, if I had a really good day of fishing, this allows her to gut and scale the fish at a more leisurely pace.
Sharon is starting to complain a little, occasionally. For example, she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to
pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. In spite of her complaining, I continue to try to offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even three days. That way she won't have to rush so much. I also remind her that, missing lunch completely now and then wouldn't hurt her any (if you know what I mean). When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods.
She had to take a break when she was only half finished mowing the lawn. I try not to embarrass her when she needs these little extra rest breaks. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for a while. And, as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me too, and then take her break
by the hammock so she can talk with me until I fall asleep.
I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Sharon on a daily basis. I'm not saying that my ability to show this much consideration is easy.
Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible!
Nobody knows better than I do, how frustrating women can become, as they get older. However, guys, even if you just yell at your wife a little less often because of this article, I will consider that writing it was well worthwhile.
NOTE: Bob's funeral was on Saturday, June 26th, 2004. Sharon was recently acquitted.
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