IN cases of separation, it is often the man who leaves the marital home. But it’s just as likely to be the woman who, on reaching the magical age of 40 or 50 sees it as a landmark, a time for reflection and feels they deserve more from their life, or certainly their life within the marriage.
I have heard recently from Katy who was married to Martin for 25 years. Martin had been waited on hand and foot by his mother and, once married, believed that this was the way things were and, for many years, Katy was a dutiful wife and mother.
A few years ago, albeit with very little encouragement from her husband, she took a beauty therapist course, qualified and got a full time job.
Katy did well at work and was offered promotion. One Saturday she was working and asked Martin to pick up some baking potatoes for dinner. She painstakingly, albeit through gritted teeth, described the layout of the supermarket as he’d never been there before. In the end, he arrived home empty handed. Why? Because, he told her, all the potatoes were raw. He honestly had no idea of what happened in the kitchen. Katy identifies this as the beginning of the end. How had it come to this, her husband had never even noticed the thousands of ‘raw potatoes’ she had cooked for the family?
She began to think of all the times she had handed him a beer from the fridge, but had he ever poured her a glass of wine? How many meals had she made, had he ever washed a dish? All the clothes she’d laundered, the times she’d cleaned the house, made the bed, and tidied up after him. She remembered how once when she wasn’t well, he’d gone to his mother’s for his meals. What exactly had he done for her? Did she really need him?
Katy is not alone – many women will relate to her story. I am certainly not suggesting it’s right to leave a relationship, just pointing out what can happen if you don’t care for what you have. Marriage should be an equal partnership. A woman has equal rights to a career and the independence that brings. It leads to a more fulfilling life for her and ultimately it should lead to a happier relationship. So all you husbands out there, maybe think about this before it’s too late.