Family Magazine

Can You Be A Feminist And Still Follow Your Husband’s Advice?

By Monicasmommusings @mom2natkatcj

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Monica and Joe
Okay, let me start out by saying all of my life the idea of feminism to me never really seemed to fit me.  As I’ve grown and done more reading I understand a little better what true feminism is.  And honestly, more people who claim they are feminists I don’t know that they have a full grasp of what feminism is either.  Feminism is about equality and choice.  So the fact that I am a wife and mother and stay home to raise my family does not make me less of a feminist than a single woman who’s the CEO of a fortune 500 company.  Not so long as we both are doing what we want to do and were not told we HAD to do it.

Women are NOT better than men either.  I think that’s what always rubs me the wrong way about feminism.  The whole idea that women are somehow a superior being and men should kiss the ground we walk on.  Well, there’s that and the fact that I really like being treated like a lady, thank you very much.  I like when a man holds a door open for me.  I like when he stands up to offer me his seat.  I like for a man to be a gentleman really.  And I like women to be gracious and courteous to men.

So you better believe, I married me a gentleman.  He gives me his coat when it’s cold outside.  He holds doors open for me.  He gives up his seat for a woman, whether it’s me or someone else.  He’s teaching our son these values.  He’s teaching our daughters that they deserve this kind of treatment.  And we’re teaching our daughters to have manners and say thank you when these things are offered to them.  Does this make one less of a feminist because she believes that men should be gentlemen?  I certainly don’t think so.  But I do think you have to give respect to get respect.

How My Husband And I Make Things Work

I married my husband over 13 years ago.  We have been together for 15 years.  And I’m not gonna lie to you, we absolutely do not see eye to eye on many things.  However, I respect my husband’s opinion enough to seriously listen to it and consider it.  I respect him and his ideas enough to open up a dialog about things.  And I always ask for his input on things.

I talk to my husband about EVERYTHING.  I consider what he has to say and I take it seriously.  I don’t tell people that his opinion doesn’t matter because the fact is his opinion matters the most to me of everyone on this planet.  Even if he’s telling me he doesn’t think something is a good idea or I shouldn’t buy something.  Although, in our relationship I’m usually the one who talks myself out of things.  He really has to talk me into things because I can always justify spending the money differently, especially if it’s a choice between getting me something or getting something for the family.

Don’t Manipulate – Communicate

I wouldn’t even say I try to manipulate my husband to go along with me.  We discuss things.  Here’s a perfect example.  When I was pregnant with my youngest I had decided that I wanted to have as little “stuff” as possible for her.  I didn’t want to buy an infant car seat only to later have to upgrade to a convertible one.  I didn’t want to have to lug that thing around with an infant inside of it while walking with my son who at the time could walk very slow.  So when we began looking at car seats I explained all of my concerns to my husband and he explained to me why he wanted to do the infant car seat.  He was worried about not having a place for her when we’re out and about and having to hold her the whole time.  I had a solution to that (baby wearing).

He was on board with it, we narrowed down our choices in car seats based on price, safety ratings, and whether or not it would fit in our van.  I had a favorite and my husband had a favorite and we went with his pick after much back and forth about why.  My top pick was one that had a higher weigh limit, his was one that was a little less bulky therefore it seemed like it would fit better in our car.  We went with his because I knew that he was the one who would be installing it in the car and if he thought the other one was going to be too tight of a fit, then he was probably right.

That’s how things go in our house.  We compromise on things.  We listen to each others thoughts and we respect each others thoughts as valid opinions.

We live in a home right now without much of a yard.  While I’m a dog person and he’s a cat person (and we own a cat) and I would love to have a dog we do not.  Not because my husband put his foot down on this, but because we are both in agreement that we are not living in a place that is conducive to dog ownership.  The kids would love to have a dog and I would love to have a dog, but my husband is right, we are not in a position to own a dog and it would be unfair to not only all of the people living in our house, but also to the cat and the prospective dog.  So we don’t do it and you know what?  I’m still just as much of a partner in this relationship as I ever was.  The fact that my husband says no to something does not mean it’s my mission to show him “who’s in charge” around here.  Because we’re both in charge.  We both make decisions on things TOGETHER.

If for whatever reason I really felt we should have a dog in this house, then we would discuss it.  If his concern was that the dog wouldn’t get enough exercise, then perhaps I would say I’ll walk it, or we’ll take it to the dog park.  If it was the added expense, then we would figure out what that expense was together and if we could afford the added expense.  If it was because the house is already crammed enough as it is and we just can’t add another living being to the mix, well I don’t know that I’d have an answer to that other than to move.  But the point is, I would know all of his reasons for not wanting a dog and he would know all of mine for wanting the dog.  I would not be going to friends and family trying to get them on board with the dog thing and telling them his opinion is useless.  Because ultimately, we would be the ones responsible and having to live with that decision no one else.

That’s a partnership.  That’s a marriage.  That’s what feminism is all about.  Not me as a woman telling people how something is going to be and not a man telling me how something is going to be.  Open dialog and understanding and respect of each person’s position.  My husband’s voice is a valid one in our relationship and if I’m only interested in listening to myself, then I’m not interested in a marriage and probably shouldn’t have gotten married or chose to live with someone and pool our finances to begin with.  That would make me more intersted in the single life and I don’t want that.

So bottom line is, I don’t have to always get my way on things in my marriage so long as my husband and I are talking and respecting one another.  How does it work in your house?  Do you listen to your husband and take his thoughts and opinions into consideration before acting?

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