To me marriage is seen as a partnership between husband and wife. Where both husband and wife are equal, and none plays “Mommy” or “Daddy” to the other. But yet by one family I babysit by, it continues to surprise me how the wife is always bossing the husband around and treating him inferiorly. If one would rule over the other I would expect it to be the husband. For some reason I feel it’s more acceptable for the husband to boss the wife around, than the other way around.
The first time I discovered such a case where the wife rules the husband made me feel bad for the husband. They were both going out and the wife had a hard time zipping up her boots. So she orders her husband to get down on the floor and zip up her boots. When he couldn’t do it because her foot was obviously too big for the boots. She yelled at him “just do it”. So he painstakingly tried zipping it up, and he finally got it up. I thought perhaps she was just in a mood or worked up for some reason. But then it seemed to happen again and again.
The wife bought a cozy coup car for her little girl and asked her husband to build it. He was following the instructions and putting it to together. He seemed to be working very hard on it. I commented asking if the instructions were hard to figure out, since he had mixed up parts a few times. So then his wife said “No, it’s not hard a 3 year old could do it”. That made me feel bad for the husband again, that he got embarrassed in such a way. So I told him that I’m sure it was confusing instructions.
Then last night I was babysitting by them again, and the husbands mother had been hit by a car and was in the hospital. So they were going to visit her. The wife had made vegetable soup that she was bringing a long with her. So she put it in a bag and told her husband to hold it. When he took the bag by the handles, she said “no, from the bottom”. So he holds it from the bottom. Then she asked me to taste some of the soup, I said “no, thanks, I don’t want to taste it”. So then she asks her husband to taste the soup. So she holds a spoon out to him and he tastes it. So then she said “how was it?” and he said “it’s fine”. So then she said “You’re supposed to say it’s great, that it’s better than your mothers soup”. So then the husband said “lets please not talk about my mother right now”. So then he said “let’s get going”, then she said “You’re supposed to say thanks for making the food and for coming”. So then he said “you know that already” and she said “You just want to go so you can get home already to go to sleep”. The wife had told me a bunch of times that she doesn’t get along well with her in laws, and that her kids never see them. Anyways, I thought it was insensitive of her to talk about his mother that way, when she was in the hospital and he was worried about her.
But then I’m thinking perhaps it’s just her personality to be like that. She called me up yesterday morning asking me to come over and babysit while she brings her son to school since there was no bus transportation. I had just woken up. So she says to me “You can come over in your pj’s”. I’m thinking to myself, does she actually think that I would come over in my pj’s? I was thinking that she just says that as if to make herself feel better for calling me last minute.
Beforehand, we had arranged that I was going to babysit there last night, so she said she was going to call me when she wants me to come over exactly. So then when she calls and asks me if I can come over, I said ok and that I was coming. Then I go over to her house and I find her not dressed yet. Ended up being I had to wait a half hour with them till they were ready to leave, so I was wondering why she had called me over so soon. She had been wearing a shell, and at first I felt that it wasn’t tznius, that I shouldn’t look. So I stayed in the living room while she was in the kitchen. But then she called me over into the kitchen to ask me to taste some of the soup. Then I realized perhaps she was serious about me coming over in Pj’s, that she thought it was perfectly ok.
So then she orders her husband to go get her sweater. So he takes one from the chair and gives it to her, and she says “no, not that one, the one upstairs”. So he goes upstairs and gets her sweater and brings it down to her. Now I don’t understand why she couldn’t just get her sweater herself, why does she make her husband into her servant?