Sunday, 9 July 2017

AS IF THEY DIDN'T KNOW



Quite some years ago, I worked as personal secretary to the Bursar at a Secondary or High School. I was a single woman at the time and so I was very conscious that all the other women there were married. To be honest, I was envious of them as being married again was something that I very much wanted. At first they seemed to be happy as wives but as I saw and heard more, I started to wonder.

One lady planned a trip to Europe during the forthcoming school holidays and I asked her if her husband was accompanying her. She reacted in a startled manner then laughed and jokingly told me that he would be bored silly and had plans to go hunting. The school holidays were of 2 months duration. She was planning to take the full holiday away. I remember thinking that I wouldn't have gone that long without my husband. If at all.

During a trip to the bank with the Bursar, I was told some pretty intimate facts about her marriage and was informed that she didn't have s*xual relations with her husband. She just didn't like it and slept in another bedroom. I pitied him and started to wonder how long before her marriage started to show cracks.

Another lady there was having marital problems- and as I listened in the Staff Room at her constant put-downs of him and her loudly voiced bad opinion of him, I could catch a glimpse of her husband's misery and his great desire to be respected. She showed him no respect at all- even to loudly telling everyone of her difficulties with his many shortcomings. It was all so embarrassingly public.

A rather pretty colleague often took phone calls in the office, and we couldn't help but overhear the conversation. She was very demanding, bossy and rude to her husband on the phone, dictating a whole list of duties he was to carry out prior to her getting home from work. Then she calmly informed him that she had decided where they were going on these same school holidays and added fitting out their caravan for an early departure to his to do list!

Triumphant, she placed the phone back in her purse and told us that she had finally taken matters into her own hands and booked the holiday! I asked her what would happen if So and So didn't want to go to that destination. With great amusement, the whole office turned on me as she said, "Oh I don't worry about that! He will come round! We don't live for our husbands, Glenys! We tolerate them. They are there because we allow them to live with us! " And all the ladies cackled and chorused in agreement together.

I remember thinking: poor guys, married to these strident women. Why did their wives even bother to marry them if they didn't yearn for their company and love? Feminism was literally ruining their lives and sabotaging any hope of really happy marriages- but I guess the women were happy enough and as for the men, that didn't matter- they were just tolerated and allowed the great privilege of being their lackey/husbands- as if they didn't know!

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Ephesians 5:33

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