By Dr. Eleanor Hamilton
Many a wife has confided to her women friends that she suffers a certain sense of displacement as her husband takes over the "helm" of what she has considered her domain. Will he start reorganizing all her carefully planned systems? Will she be able to find anything once he is turned loose in the house?
Of course, creative men have all kinds of ideas of their own as to how they will use this leisure time. Some have been eagerly awaiting the day when they might have the kitchen to themselves for culinary experiments. Several men I know have become better cooks than their wives. It is a very different experience to take over a kitchen as chef of the day than it is to do a wife's bidding as "helper."
My own husband was 22 years older than I, so of course my career was just at its zenith when he was ready for retirement. We still had one ten-year-old and one teenager at home. My work involved my going off to New York City on a Monday morning, not to return until Friday night. Thus he had the children as well as the house to take care of. I found myself returning each week wondering what I would find.
Both man and wife will do well to remember that each has a special need for recognition from the other at this time.
A husband, on the other hand, may now have to learn what the full responsibility of managing a house is like. For years he may have "helped out," but that is a far cry from serving at the helm of the ship. He may be in for some interesting learning.
Looking at life from another's point of view can be fun. It can also expand one's love of one's partner.