How relevant is man as the head of household in today’s society?

I agree completely. And this is generally how it works in my marriage too. There are many decisions that I will make with no input from DW. Generally we discuss it all first though. I’ll normally the lead on deciding when we need a new car or how much we should save etc. I then discuss with DW and make the appropriate changes. Especially with the car stuff, I would make the final decision as it’s something that interests me. I don’t think DW would care too much if we had a Ford Fiesta or an Audi A6.

My husband is a procrastinator. He doesn’t have as many preferences as I do. As a result, I am the one that initiates making many of the big decisions. He either expresses his desires, and then we compromise (if not on the same page) or he defers to my choice because he doesn’t feel strongly one way or another about it. I do the same, vice versa, if I don’t feel strongly about whatever is being decided. I would never make a unilateral decision about something big that affects both of us. He wouldn’t, either. Why would we? It would be unnecessary. I have immense respect for him and our method of decision making has never caused me to lose any respect for him (nor him for me).

Having ONE leader in our marriage and household would never work. No two marriages are the same. This is a good thing for a couple to have an understanding about before they get married, to be sure!

3 Likes

That’s very interesting to know.

@Peeps
what though if the husband as head for example though decides something like he’s invited people over for gatherings without first asking his wife and she doesn’t want guests over -what should happen in this instance?

I guess we’re assuming that the husband also has an element of common sense and courtesy.

1 Like

I agree with AdamP88.

The Head of the Household would not embarrass or distress his beloved Bride.

OTOH, if his Bride’s only reason for not welcoming guests is that “she doesn’t want guests over,” it might be a good idea for her to examine her heart and try to cultivate hospitality, which is actually just another form of “loving one another.” Obviously, if she’s worked all day, is dead tired, or perhaps not feeling well, that’s a good reason for not wanting guests over. And obviously, everyone has days where they just want to cocoon in their house with all the curtains drawn and watch old television shows.

But I think that a family should be a place where strangers are welcomed warmly more often than not. So perhaps your example is one way that a “Head of the House Husband” can help an introverted Bride/Queen learn to reach outside of her comfort zone on a regular basis.

The main thing is, though, that a Head of the House husband is not a dictator. Even a “king” has to make sure to check plans with the “queen,” or he might find himself paying for send out pizza and eating it with his guests and WITHOUT his wife, who has left to go OUT to dinner ALONE with only a good book!

1 Like

I mean more that these sort of instances where there is a “mismatch” of feelings-Ie:he might plan for some guys to come over on short notice but she might be tired from work etc and not want it.

After so many years of marriage, I feel that I can speak to this.

Couples must learn to communicate with each other.

My husband and I sit down at least once a week to go through our calendars and make sure we both know what the other is doing and what that means to each of us (e.g., if it’s his mother’s birthday, what are the plans? Dinner out? Dinner at our house? Take-out to their house? )

What days do i have off work, and which weekends do I work? Am I doing a double shift?

Is he planning on travelling out of town during the week? Will he be gone overnight?

When we both have Saturday entirely free except for Mass, should we plan a workday and do some heavy cleaning in the garage or basement? Or should we just chill and do nothing but relax?

You get the idea. It’s all written down. (Neither of us have found computer calendars or the phone a good way to keep track–my husband was missing appointments trying to keep track of planning on his phone!).

And if either of us wants to change up the plans, or add something to them, e.g., friends over for dinner, we CALL each other! No surprises, unless it’s a surprise gift from one of us to the other!

This is especially true with money. We each work, so we each earn a paycheck, and therefore, we have a chunk of our own cash to spend as we like (more like a small pebble rather than a chunk!). But the rest of our paychecks are budgeted toward all the expenses that we have. We wouldn’t dream of spending money on anything big (e.g., a car, an appliance, etc.) without checking with each other).

Nowadays, there is no excuse for failing to communicate with each other. Emailing and texting are are options that we use often–so easy!

When we had our children at home, they joined in the planning meetings–their schedules were often very complex and required a lot of communication and delegating of the transportation and eventually the cars (after the kids got their driver’s licenses).

And FEELINGS should enter into these planning sessions. What good is planning a family dinner if I am resentful over the time that I will have to set aside to plan, shop for, cook, and possibly clean up? Or what good is a cleaning day if my husband had hoped to spend the free day doing a road trip to a state park or flea market?

Couples must learn to be honest about their feelings in a kind way. They must speak up and not stay silent out of some weird idea about “submission” or “kindness” and then harbor resentment towards each other that one day, will spew out in a very hurtful way. All of this is also part of planning–telling the spouse “I know I’m going to be tired after my double-shift–can we skip the cleaning day and just relax?” or “Can we wait to spend the money on that vintage find until I get my paycheck on Friday?”

4 Likes

This is a wonderful post, rich with good advice and pointers. Perhaps I am biased, because what you describe is exactly what my husband and I started doing a while back (sitting down every week with our planners). The beauty of it is that it is a catalyst to having good discussions about things that need to be decided. It sheds light on things for me about what is important to him, even after being married to him for over 30 years. I am always learning new things about him, and him about me. It is a great way to learn what is important to the other, with regards to the day-to-day challenges we come up against. I highly recommend it.

4 Likes

We do this too, and with similar results. We also do the bills together every month—which includes a discussion of how we’re spending and saving, what big expenditures are upcoming, what our financial priorities are, etc.

It’s a great partnership. :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

I guess then it’s ok to expect a guy should be reasonable too like communicating and giving notice etc?

A lot of couples seem to fight about money or different “wants” etc.

Another example,how much input should you accept your husband having in what you wear?
For example my dad tends to “give his opinion” on my mothers clothing like for example if we as daughters buy her something he might approvingly say yes,that is nice or “that’s only suitable for young people” etc.
If I was married and my husband did this I would be so annoyed :expressionless:.
I don’t mind a husband buying a wife an outfit/dress he’d like you to wear but in my view they shouldn’t criticise because women have it already hard enough about looks.
I even feel annoyed when my dad does it.

So you should ask your dad’s opinion before to give the gift to your mother. It would prevents to be annoyed when the gift is done.
You will learn what are your parent’s tastes and criterias on what is accpetable for them on clothes.

Maybe your dad can give you ideas of what sort of clothes he would like to offered to your mother. As long as your mother like to wear them, there is no problem to involve your father in the process.

I mean more that my mum usually does like it but my dad might not necessarily.
I think he’s more got that mentality that people should dress according to their ages or is a bit more critical than my mum.

I try not to outwardly show any annoyed feeling but I think he maybe picked up on it as he does it bit less now lol.

Generally speaking,if you marry a man shouldn’t they accept/like your style without any input?!

Of course a man should not be constantly critical of his wife in anything, because criticism does not help, but hurts. Of course, this is between the husband and wife–sometimes women want “honest” comments from someone they respect about their appearance or other aspects of life, and they utilize these comments to make improvements.

Does your father have a critical spirit about other things, not just his wife’s clothing? Some people are just critical in their outlook on life. I say “I love it!”, and the critical person immediately disagrees with me.

This is not a desirable personality trait to carry around, because it alienates others. No one likes to be around someone who has a critical comment about everything that happens or everything that is said.

Some people who are critical believe that they are doing the world a favor by pointing out all that is wrong with it. They honestly believe that their “honesty” and “clear-thinking” is a good trait. But it’s not good to be critical all the time.

Has your mother learned to let your father’s criticism roll off her back? Perhaps your father has so many other good personality traits that your mother is willing to accept his critical spirit and ignore it.

At any rate, no, the Head of the Household should not be a critic.

1 Like

I think he does:)
My mum sometimes literally just tells him “ah shut up” but in a joking lighthearted way (they are elderly).

we cannot give a general answers, each marriage works differently.
Some women, like me, can’t stand that the husband or anyone has a critic to her apparence, or clothes. Others women are very depend of their husband’s approval, and ask for all. Some just want his opinion, others want actively seduce him with apparence.

If we ask on the other side, would you accept any style for your husband, including change of style, tatoos or a loose of style/negligence for clothes?

If it was just a couple of tattoos I wouldn’t care but not like “ bikie tattoos look”.
I don’t care if grow beard because I like masculine men.
In general I don’t think I care too much unless he became like super sloppy like always old fashioned tracksuit or something really daggy like Hawaiian shirts maybe.
These days I think most men are pretty good with style and I think if I’m attracted to someone I already have a general idea of their personality and style so while skinny jeans on men aren’t my favourite I wouldn’t really care if I loved him.

Personally I’m attracted to men that aren’t “lacking total social awareness” regarding men’s clothes but also aren’t too stylish/feminine/pretty boy.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.