This is our counter to the hotly debated Good Wife’s Guide, a woman’s to-do list to treat their husband like a king.
So often we are asked, “well, what about the husband? What is he supposed to be doing?”
So this is a guide for the 1950’s style gentleman.
The Good Husband’s Guide
1. As Head of Household, your day doesn’t end the moment you leave the office. You are, as your title states, the “head of a household”. You must lead that home in the right direction. You may have important decisions to make. You may have to enforce discipline for your wife or children. You may have to problem solve issues in the home. You may not have to do any of those things, but there are obligations within the home as well as at work.
2. Be career oriented. Take the freedom that come in having a homemaker tend to menial tasks and use it as an opportunity to focus on and enhance your career. Be self-motivated and push yourself to move to the next level, qualify for bonuses, and excel at a career you and your family can be proud of.
3. Graciously accept and encourage good service. A simple “thank you” when given a cold drink, a hand resting on the head of your slave kneeling to you, or a “The house looks great today, I am proud of you” can positively motivate your homemaker for days.
4. If there is a problem in the home (a messy area, dinner late, misbehaving children) address the issue promptly, but there is no need to be an irate tyrant. There are times when things aren’t done because of extenuating circumstances such as a sick child or a flat tire preventing a timely meal, not because of direct disobedience. Learn to discern the reason for a problem, discipline when is appropriate and also show mercy when appropriate.
5. Provide swift and fair punishment when appropriate to all members of the household, and allow it to serve as atonement. Never hold grudges or bring up past problems once they have been resolved. Showing forgiveness and absolution are important lessons to those who you lead in the home.
6. Act as a gentleman should. Treating your lady like a queen encourages her to treat you like a king. Hold her hand. Open doors. Pull her chair out. Help her with tasks requiring strength. Be well groomed and appropriately dressed. Speak politely to everybody, be it the waitress serving dinner or your boss. Don’t speak vulgar or release bodily functions in public. Don’t ogle other women. Give tokens of affection such as flowers or a card periodically. These things do not make you a “wussy”. They do not make you any less of a Master. They make you a gentleman.
7. Be the living example of a good person for your children. Live a life based in honor, pride, respect, and morals. Show your sons how they should treat a potential partner. Show your daughters what kind of high standard they should expect out of a life mate.
8. Participate in your children’s lives. No adult ever looks back on his or her childhood and thinks about how much they wished they had a specific toy. Instead they think back and wish they had more time with their family. Since your time is more often spent at the office than at home, the children you are raising up need special attention from you when you are home and available. Consider implementing a weekly family night that is technology free as a chance to remain close. Periodically have special father/son days or father/daughter days to get together with each child and show them that you are always available to them. You directly impact both the quality of their childhood and also what quality of person they will become as adults.
9. Your homemaker is not a mind reader. Give her specific tasks with specific deadlines, outlining the expectations you have for the home.
10. Inspect what you expect. If you do give her a task, check in on the task to be sure it is being handled. A good wife shouldn’t have to be micromanaged, but does need to be checked up on periodically. Give positive reinforcement along the way to encourage her for a job well done.
11. The financial production may be your responsibility, but you have the choice to assign the keeping of the books however you see fit. Many HoH ask their homemakers to tend to the monthly budget and bills, and he may only focus on long term planning, such as investment strategies and retirement plans. Structure it however you see fit, utilizing each person’s strengths, and again inspect what you expect. The most important thing is that each person is on the same page, understanding who is responsible for what.
12. Just because you aren’t obligated to perform a household task, doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Many HoH enjoy running the grill, or offer to take the trash to the curb on garbage day. Don’t feel like in order to be a “manly man”, you can’t do any domestic duties. Your housewife should be prepared to manage the entire home and child rearing obligations, but if you want to join in and help, don’t let ego prevent you from doing so. You are still the Master of your home if you choose to help fold socks with your wife at the end of the day.
13. Be respectful in mixed company. Unless public humiliation is a part of your M/s dynamic that is agreed upon by all parties involved, save reprimanding your wife for an infraction for an appropriate time and place. It is awkward for everybody involved to bring private issues into the public. Quietly let your wife know she needs to adjust her attitude or behavior to save from future embarrassment, and handle the issue at home.
14. Present a united front with your wife in front of the children. While you may be the final word in the household and everybody knows it, don’t undo the word of “Mom” in front of the children. She has a difficult job every day in the home, and the children need to see their mother as an authority figure too. If you and your wife disagree on an issue with the children, discuss it in private and present the decision as a united parenting force.
15. Recognize that your homemaker may become worn and weary with her job just as you may become of yours and encourage her to take time away. Homemakers don’t get the benefit of paid vacation time or sick days, there is no lunch break during the day, and if she is being efficient, she won’t have much time for a rest. If as Master you see your homemaker wearing thin, encourage her to go to the salon or take in a lunch with friends on a day off. A woman dedicated to service may not take the initiative to request time away, so you may need to pay attention and require her to step away for a break.
16. As the ultimate decision maker, you need to make choices based on the ultimate good of the family. These are not always easy choices or well received decisions, but nobody ever said leading a home was easy. Be prepared to stand your ground and enforce your rules.
17. Honest communication leads the home in the right direction. Your homemaker and children look to you as the ultimate authority, and that is based on their trust in you always doing what is right. By speaking with them in a candid and honest way, they can maintain their faith in you as the rightful Head of Household.
18. Be a man deserving of the title Master in your home.
Hope this is enlightening!