Friday, April 5, 2013

More advice for husbands, by a man.

Aren't these such total gems? The source is a male motivational speaker from Malaysia, who has organised camps for young women such as GADIS (Girls’ Awareness Development & Inspirational Series, the acronym also means 'young lady')  to teach them a balance between ideal femininity and practical skills:-

  • Knowledge on women's rights
  • Image, appearance and etiquette
  • Technology and entrepreneurship
  • Self-defense
  • Women's biology, hormone and diet

Somehow this collection of advice (I don't know who compiled them, or in what context) for Malay husbands seem to be really popular.
By Mohd Fadzilah Kamsah
  1. Always value your wife's efforts, especially if she is working and forced to bear your debts. Yes, of course. Wait, what? 
  2. When your wife is speaking, look and listen to her. Let her words be stuck in your brain. Process her information intelligently and attentively. At least he didn't say 'pretend' to listen to her.
  3. Don't ever compare her cooking or house decoration skills with your mother, except if she is better than your mother. Er, best to avoid all such comparison. Doesn't the Quran say that one of the curses of the time was to call your wife your mother?
  4. Don't demand sex if your wife is tired or not in the mood. Religion doesn't say marriage is only to fulfil your carnal desires. Said no male religious teacher ever! Although I think this should be a compulsory sentence in all Muslim marital guidance courses.
  5. If you have children, both of you should take care of them. The seed is also from you. Don't ask your wife, if she's eating, to bring the child to the toilet and clean it up, while you sit back with your tummy full like a king. Thanks for highlighting the obvious to the obtuse men among you. I know, it's an amazing ego boost to have your name on your child's birth certificate, but don't let that stop you.
  6. Don't be resting in front of the TV or relaxing while your wife, when arriving home, immediately takes off her shoes and enters the kitchen -- cooking, cleaning, washing, chasing after kids, and so on. Wives are sad when we are overwhelmed with household tasks while husbands do nothing. And we are also sad when you don't want to help but want to hire a domestic worker instead!
  7. If you eat before her, leave her some dishes. Don't eat everything and only leave her a sliver of fish tail, the squid's tentacles, and the ends of the beansprouts. I would stay far away from such a man.
  8. If you want to invite friends over, tell your wife first, preferably a day or two in advance. So she can cook the best food and clean up the house. Imagine your wife's feelings if guests come over when the laundry is still unfolded, the children's toys are strewn around, and she only cooks instant noodles. Um, I really thought this was going another way.
  9. Don't ever comment on your wife's weight, whether she is getting bigger or thinner. Look at your own body first. Being a condescending hot bod is also not much better.
  10. Don't fart in front of your wife. You were able to control yourself when you were courting, right? Again, the point is whether either party is offended. Me, I am thankful to have someone who doesn't mind.
  11. Respect your wife's parents and relatives, even if you are pretending. Don't ever insult them, even in jest. Sigh, see 2.
  12. Don't be stingy with your wife and with household needs. Yeah or else she'll throw "qawwamun" in your face.
  13. Maintain your dignity as a husband and as a man. As much as possible, don't burden your wife with your financial problems. Usually, the more 'stubborn' you are in not asking help from your wife, the more she will be willing to help. Honesty vs. masculine ideals?
  14. Don't be messy and dirty. Put your clothes in the laundry hamper, throw away your toothpicks after using them, screw the cap back on the toothpaste, put back things where you found them, flush after you go to the toilet. Is it so difficult? Do you have to be taught everything? My sentiments exactly! But let's not be condescending to men if you don't want them to learn it from you.
  15. Be diligent in asking your wife if she needs your help with the housework or with the children. But don't ask her once in two years. Don't pretend to be hardworking only when there are guests. Interesting, I wonder if he has empirical evidence?
  16. Respect your wife as you would want to be respected. She is a human being too. Allah gives many special qualities to wives but interpretations have been twisted by men for their own selfish needs. Oh my, thanks for reminding us that we are indeed human! Kudos to the second part, could you send a memo to the male religious teachers?
  17. Don't flirt with other women. Don't fool around either. If your wife does it, for sure you can't tolerate it, so why should your wife tolerate it if you do? Add a note on polygamy to that memo too.
  18. If you don't like a part of your wife's personality or behaviour, tell her kindly, don't shout. If you are sick and dying, who will take care of you? The baker? The grocer? Your neighbour? Well let's not make it all about your self-interest, again.
  19. If your wife doesn't look well, quickly bring her to the doctor. Do show that you care about her. Yes I would hope so! T_T
  20. Discuss with your wife before making a decision. Even though the husband has veto power, it doesn't make you a sissy to take your wife's opinions into consideration. The important thing is to be sensitive and mutually appreciative. Try to put aside excessive ego. It's not like it has any value when you are dead. While you try to not be sexist, don't be homophobic. 
  21. Learn about religion and guide your children and wife sincerely, as how the religion asks of you. Remember, if a husband goes to heaven, his wife is likely to go to heaven. If a husband goes to hell, his wife does not necessarily go to hell. If a wife goes to hell, her husband is likely to also go to hell, but if a wife goes to heaven, it doesn't mean that her husband will go to heaven too. I didn't make this up but I heard from a (male) religious teacher. Hey, I thought you weren't in cahoots with the male religious teachers?
  22. Try your best to maintain household harmony. Don't do something if your wife doesn't like it. Believe me, if a husband does good with his wife, his wife will repay him ten-fold. Sigh, see 18.
  23. Don't ignore your wife if she is sulking or his hurt. If you need to apologise, apologise. If she needs to be persuaded to stop sulking, do it. A woman's heart is sensitive. If we feel that our husbands don't care, it cuts deep. Husbands may see something as trivial but it can be like a cancer to wives. To husbands and men in general, don't trivialise emotional problems and women's feelings. Yeah, let's not make sulking and persuading a routine part of Malay communication. But kudos for constructing women as emotional beings and men as rational, you belong to the Renaissance.
And Allah s.w.t. said “And Allah knows what is in your heart, so beware of Allah." (2:235)
In other words, do good 'cos Big Brother's watching. 

This is the crap that passes for marriage advice these days. I concede that this is better than most, but it just reminds me why I would rather walk on coals than listen to such advice, especially the religious kind found in  these marital guidance courses.

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