This is a piece of advice from Helen Andelin's famous book Fascinating Womanhood. We often forget how our husbands need our attention, especially when we are busy with children, friends and our own projects. We forget to make our husbands a priority in our life and it can lead to all sorts of marital problems.
As Mrs Andelin points out: "A man wants a woman who will place him at the top of her priority list, not second but first." (F.W., p.67, 1992 Bantam Books, emphasis mine). This desire may be subconscious, but if it's not met it "surfaces violently" and may cause a man "to form bitter resentments towards his wife and even his children." (idem)
This is something we as a society have totally forgotten. Being a devoted wife will more often than not bring ridicule upon one's head. It's still kinda OK for a woman to devote herself to children, but her husband? The stereotypical "Stepford wife" of the 1950s bringing slippers to the man coming home from work is still the object of relentless mockery, even though she has all but disappeared out of the public view.
However, as Mrs Andelin rightly points out, a man is a human being and he doesn't like being reduced to a walking ATM, "a social asset" or "a ticket to security". He wants to be loved for being himself, not for serving as a means to an end (don't we all want it?).
There are many ways a woman can make her husband feel neglected. It's obviously quite common when the wife has a career of her own, but it happens with homemakers, too. In fact, according to Helen Andelin, all women have this tendency and should constantly be on guard against it.
One of the things most often placed in front of one's husband are children. Motherly devotion is undoubtedly a noble feeling, but as Mrs Andelin illustrates with her story of a certain Clara, a husband who is constantly forced to play second fiddle to his own kids will grow resentful and may even grow indifferent towards them.
Helen gives one rule to keep in mind:
Don't put the comforts and whims of your children ahead of your husband's basic needs, and further adds that a woman can "serve both husband and children without conflict" and that a happy husband makes for a happy marriage and a happy home (p.90).
In my next post I''ll write more about this topic. Stay tuned!