A couple of months ago, I printed a letter from Trudy L., from Christchurch, New Zealand. She said that men in general- and me in particular—didn’t have a clue about how women viewed romance and desire, and preceded to define it as “fabulous foreplay” when men take responsibility for domestic chores. I responded by saying that I understood her point, but calling toilet cleaning “fabulous foreplay” was perhaps overstating it, and that flowers, a kiss and an “I love you” are still preferred by women.
Since then, I have been besieged with letters from women, most of whom have emphatically disagreed with me. After reading hundreds (thousands? millions?) of these letters, I have decided to reprint as many as I can in today’s column, permitting women readers to address this subject in their own words.
You definitely are off! In fifty years of marriage, I’ve heard “I love you” almost every day from my husband, but actions really do speak louder than words. He never helped me with our three children, never changed a diaper, fed or bathed our babies, and it didn’t change as they got older. When I went back to work full time, he never lifted a finger to help me with the cooking, cleaning, making beds, etc. But he always said “I love you”.
I would gladly have exchanged all those “I love you’s” for some real demonstrations of his affection in the form of his cleaning the oven or the toilet.
Oregon City, Oregon
What a gift if one Saturday morning the man with whom I share a reasonably fulfilling relationship called and said: “I’d love to repair that hole in the drywall today, ” or “Can I pick up your dry cleaning and drop it off?” or “Can I run by and take your car to the car wash?
Love in action” demonstrates awareness, sensitivity and respect. Such acts are very nurturing. Flowers are always welcome, but very superficial and meaningless substitutions for time, kindness and respect. I agree with Trudy L.!
If I’ve had a frustrating day or am tense about an upcoming event, all my husband has to do is vacuum or wash the dishes and tell me enjoy having a nice hot bath. Zing! There is something in a women’s chemistry that reacts to a man who is romantic and domestic. All the flowers in the world cannot compare to a chore-doin’ man. Of course women notice and love it when men are romantic—taking us dancing, bringing flowers, etc. But the truest love is shown in the every day events.
Dixie J. E.
I agree with reader Trudy L., that for a man to take responsibility for housework is “fabulous foreplay.” My girlfriend and I have made a pact that if one of our husbands ever picks up the living room and vacuums it without being asked, he will get…….right then and there on the living room carpet.
It’s my experience that if you don’t do something other than the flowers, the kissing and saying “I love you,” your marriage is doomed. Take turns SERVING each other. The results will be absolutely amazing. You may be astounded at what a turn on it is to a woman to have a man do the simplest things for her.