Posted 12-13-2004 at 11:08:26
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Support Your Wife
It is important for men to remember that as women grow older
it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of
housekeeping they did when they were younger. When men
notice this, they should try not to yell. Let me relate how I
handle the situation.
When I retired four years ago, it became necessary for Gayle to
get a full-time job both for extra income and for health insurance
benefits that we need. She was a trained lab tech when we met
thirty some years ago and was fortunate to land a job at the local
medical center. It was shortly after she started working at this job
that I noticed that she was beginning to show her age.
I usually get home from fishing or hunting 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 an hour or so
before she starts supper. I try not to yell at her when this
happens. Instead, I tell her to take her time. I understand that
she is not as young as she used to be. I just tell her to wake me
when she finally does get supper on the table.
She used to wash and dry the dishes as soon as we finished eating.
It is now not unusual for them to sit on the table for several
hours after supper. 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 help her get them done before
she goes to bed.
Our washer and dryer are in the basement. When she was younger,
Gayle used to be able to go up and down the stairs all day and not
get tired. Now that she is older she seems to get tired so much
more quickly. 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 am willing to overlook it.
Not only that, but unless I need something ironed to wear to the
Monday's lodge meeting or to Wednesday's or Saturday's poker
club or to Tuesday's or Thursday's bowling or something like that,
I will 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 have had a really good day fishing, this allows her to
clean the fish at a more leisurely pace. Gayle is starting
to complain a little occasionally. Not often, mind you, but just
enough for me to notice. For example, she will say that it is
difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her
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 than she used to have to take. A couple of weeks ago she
said she had to take a break when she was only half finished
mowing the yard. I overlook comments like these because I realize
it's just age talking.
In fact, I try to not 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. tell
her that as long as she is making one for herself, she may as
well make one for me and take her break by the hammock so she can
talk with me until I fall asleep.
I could go on and on, but I think you know where I'm coming from.
I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support
Gayle on a daily basis. I'm not saying that the ability to show
this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult.
Some will find it impossible.
No one knows better than I do how frustrating women can become
as they get older. My purpose in writing this is simply to suggest
that you make the effort. I realize that achieving the exemplary
level of showing consideration I have attained is out of reach for
the average man. 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 worthwhile.
Note: This article was found next to the author's body. The cause
of death is still under investigation.