July 30, 2014
While we often want to blame the absentee father for the reason so many young men are involved with criminal activities, we must not forget the guilty mothers who train their sons to be lazy, controlling and abusive. They wash their clothes, cook for them and clean their room. They raise men who then have the same expectations of their wives, who then treat their wives like housemaids instead of loving spouses and companion. Moms, you are doing great harm to your sons' marriages. Let me share with you what I said to the nation more than 12 years ago.
Boys must clean up also
A major reason many of our Bahamian men are messing up their marriages or romantic relationships is because their mothers made them believe that the best way to build men's character is to serve them as servants serve their masters. Instead of building responsibility and self-discipline in their sons by allowing them to enjoy the privilege of doing things for themselves, mothers spoil their sons by picking up their underwear on the floor, washing their dishes and ironing their clothes for them. According to these mothers, boys are just to play ball, rake the yard and clean cars. The girls are to wash the dishes, cook, sew and clean the house. This is a great disservice a mother can do to her son. In fact, she is not only hurting her son but her son's marriage and her son's sons.
Men who want to be served
There are too many Bahamian men who come home after work many times before their wives do, and just sit and wait until they are served the evening meal. They have no concern as to whether their hard-working wives are also tired after the day on the job. These men are careless about their wives' headaches, tired feet, stretched nerves and sleepy eyes. They do this because it was the way their mothers taught them. Unfortunately, their mothers had a false notion that true leaders are to be served and not serve themselves; thus, many men who are taught that they are the lion king boss in the home expect their wives to serve them. This is pathetic. Where did we get the idea that every male is born to be a leader? Where did we get the idea that women were born to serve men's needs, desires and wishes? Where did we get the idea that a real woman is one who can cook and a real man is one who eats what is cooked? It is my belief that God intended for couples to focus on being partners and serving each other totally and equally. True partners do not expect one partner to do something that the other will not do. Husband and wife are to serve each other.
A true story
The one-week honeymoon was over. As the happy couple settled in their new home, the nightmare was about to begin. Each night, John, the husband, took off his underwear, placed them on the floor at the foot of the bed and went to sleep. After a few days he discovered that he was running out of clean underwear because his wife was not washing them, so he went to the store and bought some more underwear. Whenever he wanted clean underwear, he bought new ones. After a few weeks of new and unwashed underwear, a large pile stood at the foot of the bed. The ground rules were that his wife would only wash what was placed in the laundry basket and she would not pick up clothing left around the house. John's mother had done all this for him, why shouldn't his wife? After more than eight weeks of building a mountain of smelly underwear, John got the message and humbly placed all of the underwear in the laundry basket. Of course, from that day onward he had a great surplus of fresh clean underwear from which to choose. As the story ended, within a few months he was also doing the laundry and other chores, as well.
Dear husbands, whenever you wash the dishes or fold the clean clothes, please remember that you are not doing it to help your wives; you are actually doing for yourselves. This is the true concept of partnership in marriage.
Dear tired wife, you are not required to be a maid to the husband. You chose to be his lover and partner. Perhaps you can begin by not washing his dinner plates any more until he cooperates. When you run out of clean plates, use sanitary plates and leave the unwashed ones stacked on the kitchen counter until they are clean.
Do not ask your husbands to help you
Wives, here is a special note to you. Never ask your husbands to help you do anything. Asking for help suggests that he is not responsible to do the task. Instead, expect him to do it. Make a schedule including everyone in the home to do household chores. The husband is to do it, like you, because he considers the task a natural part of his responsibility.
Last word to the moms
Mom, when you die and you are no longer there to serve your teenage or adult sons, you will leave behind spineless, dependent, gutless and maybe worthless men. These spineless men will produce other spineless sons and the vicious cycle will continue. Let your sons go. You are no longer first in their lives. Keep out of their marriages. Do not call to find out if they need help. Do not give your service unless asked for. Mothers, you are helping to create angry men who are at risk of becoming belligerent and violent. When these gutless boys cannot have what they want, they seek violent ways to get their point across. Mothers, help build responsible and disciplined men by allowing them to be fully responsible for their own lives. Stop serving them. Leave them alone.
o Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical psychotherapist, U.S.A. Send your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org; or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas; or visit www.soencouragement.org; or call 242-327-1980, or 242-477-4002.
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News date : 07/30/2014 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories