Husbands Are Supposed To Take Care of Their Wives

I have come to this conclusion over the years, although I did not begin this way. My most frequent commenter, Stan, in his response to the Real Housewives of Atlanta, has inadvertently sparked this post.

I have been ambivalent towards marriage for a lot of years for different reasons. I did not have a childhood experience with happy marriages. My parents divorced when I was really young. My memories of them married are scattered and few. I do succinctly remember the day that we moved out. I asked my mother why wasn't daddy coming. She assured me that he would meet us later. He visited once and that was that. I soon forgot about him and lived my childhood in a new town with our new dog. We had never had a dog before and Didhebiteyou was quite a nice replacement.

The people I knew who were married were miserable. Financially they were more stable, but the wife was being cheated on or beaten up. Or the couple lived separate lives while living under the same roof. Needless to say, marriage seemed like a far away ideal, instead of an attainable reality.

As I have grown older, and my sphere of influence has widened, I have met many people from different cultures where marriage is a given. I have worked in the Ethiopian, West African, Russian and white community where marriage is the norm. You reach your twenties and you get married. Period.

I have always wondered at the staggering statistic that 70 percent of African American women NEVER get married. I hate bringing up the topic because the conversation soon decends into black women ain't this/black men ain't that. I just don't want to go down that road. But that number 70% sticks out like a sore thumb preventing my brown fist from pumping the air.

Men from the other cultures mentioned, at least the black ones, take it as a given that men are supposed to provide for their wives and families. For (some) African American men, when you mention taking care of a woman, you may get some attitude. The term 'gold digger' rears its ugly head. This lurking suspicion of the opposite sex enters the picture and 70% of us remain unmarried.

I know my post does not take into account other influences to the unmarried statistic. I know slavery and Jim Crow stripped the African American male from his ability to provide and protect his woman/family. I know American culture in general is individualistic. The individual is valued more than the unit.

Today is not the past. I want to specifically focus on why 'some' not 'all' African American men see it as an afront to take care of their wives (financially).

My friend is married. The one African American couple I know that is married happily. Her husband once said that she did not have to work if she did not want to. She is educated and independent so she chooses to work. I just thought it was really cool that he offered. (I hope you guys don't mind being my example.LOL).

What say you?

12 thoughts on “Husbands Are Supposed To Take Care of Their Wives

  1. There’s a saying that we use in the world of claims that surfaces frequently when trying to negotiate a settlement: looks like we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
    I don’t see anything wrong with the scenario you referred to. He offered to not have her work and she declined. There’s nothing at all wrong with that.
    However, when a person (and again, I’m not going to stereotype women only because it pertains to ANY gender) sets out to find a mate solely for the purpose of using that person’s money because they are not motivated enough to make their own, that’s a problem.

  2. I like you did not grow up in a family where people, got married, stayed married, or enjoyed being married if they were. And now that I am in my early 30s, I get scared sometimes that I will never have what I truly want – a loving relationship with my husband and children to care for and adore. The 70% statistic scares me too, but I believe beyond any statistic that there is hope for me when I see that 99.9% of my friends are married and the ones I admire (not the ones that shouldn’t have ever happened or the ones where the husband likes to look at other women) seem to be working out for the best. I want a family of my own so I have to keep hope alive. lol

  3. I will try my best to keep this one short.
    Yes the stats are ugly but they don’t lie. I am not the religious type and its been a month of Sunday’s since I have been in Church outside of a wedding or funeral. But when things are done out of order (which in the AA community we do a lot of things out of order–Relationship First, Baby or Babies, and then think about marriage and if this is truely the person who will stand with me to the end)it is hard to make that turn to marriage and a whole life with someone.
    Baggage, the compromising of one’s self, and lack of forethought are real hinderance.

  4. Are husbands supposed to watch over their wives? I say yes. If a man doesn’t properly do his job, negative things will result. Let’s go to the Bible at this time.
    When God created Adam and Eve, he placed them in the Garden of Eden and everything was fantastic. But what happens? Satin tells Eve to eat the forbiden fruit. Was that Eve’s fault? No. Because the Bible says that Adam was standing over Eve’s shoulder watching and listening to all of this. All Adam had to do was move Eve to one side and say, “Satin, I’m the man around here, you do not talk to her, you talk to me!”

  5. T.B.
    For a nonreligious person you sure are preaching to the choir.
    To ST:
    This post is to specifically address the FINANCIAL part of suppport because that is the part that causes the most drama.

  6. I have been married for almost 4 years. Neither my husband nor I had any good married role models. However, we have actively chosen to work at our relationship, to be honest, to talk, and to pray. The things that will drive a marriage apart are different for both men and women. He has to work on the things that will cause me to walk and I have to do the same for him. Marriage is a HUGE commitment one that I often think I undertook too young at the age of 24.
    However, I love my husband and he loves me. But more importantly we respect one another above all else. Respect is huge to both of us.
    As far as men and the gold digger attitude it boggles my mind that men would be turned off by wanting to take care of a woman. That is your job, PERIOD. Now you can not account for the stupid factor of those men that want to trick off all their money; nor should all women that want a man to take care of them (doesn’t mean we need you too) be painted with the same brush stroke.
    Note to both men and women when you met the next person check your baggage.

  7. Thank you Jazzy:
    I want a man who can take care of me. I am independent, smart, industrious but I am not marrying anybody who can’t or won’t take care of me. Period. That does not make me a gold digger. It makes me honest. I do believe that’s the point of marrieage. If not, I can be single. I don’t want to be married and we have to split the check all the time, sorry. I want the OPTION of having a family and not work. But believe me, I can hold down the fort all by myself, I just don’t want to.

  8. Very interesting post, Talula.
    The situation with African-American men and women is certainly tragic. I think both are at fault. Living in Turkey again, and planning to make this country my home shows me how much Americans in general have lost because of individualism and materialism. Not only does some black men complain about black women being golddiggers, but I have heard it from some white men who have dated black women.
    My roommate and colleague that I talked about on my blog screamed here for two weeks that she was going to get her a third husband who was rich here. Where? Turkey is a poor country. The rich men who are here rich are already married. Plus this shouting did not make her look good.
    Maybe I am silly, but I am a romantic, and sure money is a necessary, but what about good ole’ fashioned love? What happened to that?
    I love the little things my Turkish boyfriend does for me. Carrying my bags. Buying me flowers. Just text messaging me that he loves me. If we marry, we will be a team. It is like that here with couples who have are fairly well educated or knowledgeable, and this country is 98% Muslim. Modern Turkish couples work as a team and pool what they have. How would they have a place to stay or food to eat? This is an expensive postmodern world, and very few woman are going find a man who can “take care of them.”
    I love it here in Turkey because it shows what America has lost. In my parent’s generation and back it was a little better somewhat, but America is so diseased on so many levels. The mindset is so mercenary and destructive, that there is really no hope there.
    Whites really have it no better. Their divorce rate is through the roof. Here in Turkey, it is about the family unit and people did not throw out all of their traditions and values.
    Turkey is both east and west. Most people marry in their 20s. With the Kurdish people in the eastern part of the country, some girls are married as teenagers, but this because of limited educational opportunities over there.
    Turks are so vulnerable to love. They are not afraid to say, “I love you” or “I like you.” Chivalry is still alive in Turkey. My boss says I have a Turkish temperament whereas he says my roommate is a “hard woman.” The loud, obnoxious behavior of some African-Americans and Americans in general is not appreciated here. Turkish people just put up with such behavior out of being gracious, but the behavior of my roommate is frowned upon. These men, especially if they are educated like their women vulnerable and feminine, but with a brain.
    Anyway, I’ve said too much. I think your post had some wonderful points written with a sensitive tone. It really got me thinking over here in Izmit. By the way, there have been a number of long running marriages in my family. My parents have been married for 47 years:)

  9. Thanks Sincerae:
    I appreciate your inciteful response. Are the people of Turkey as happy about Barack Obama as we are?
    Back to the post, I just feel that sometimes when we opt for the 50/50 partnership the relationship is reduced to keeping score. I like the tradition of a man a caretaker(not necessarily money) but always looking out for the best interest of his wife and family.
    I have seen so many women all of my life sacrifice for children and men but never the other way around. I just want to know what it is like to have a man who is always looking out for me. I may not have expressed that as coherently in the post.

  10. Talula,
    The Turks are estatic with a capital “E” about Obama. My boyfriend says he just loves him.
    Even in the 50/50 partnerships here in Turkey, the man is the protector of is the wife and children. Turkish men like to look out for women.

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