“I have two kids,” she said. “Oh, three if you count my husband.”
I gave her a confused look and continued our conversation until I had an opportunity to move on.
As a dad, I’m disturbed by the number of times I hear women refer to their husbands as their children. Not only is it disrespectful, but it’s also a little creepy.
Most men have a deep desire to feel respected. If you ask a group of men if they’d rather be respected or liked, the majority of them would say respected. I’ve seen many boys (and men) get into fights because they believed another guy disrespected them. This aggression seems illogical at first glance, but when you understand how important respect is to men, then you will realize why they will go to any length to earn and maintain respect.
Of course husbands must show their wives the same level of respect. They must never humiliate, degrade, or insult their wives. Marriage should be an equal partnership.
When one spouse treats the other as a child, the relationship becomes unbalanced and the children are confused. If dad tries to exert his authority, the kids will ignore him because in their minds dad is just like one of them. No need to listen to him. Only mom’s opinion matters because she’s the adult.
I would be deeply hurt if I knew my wife were referring to me as one of her children. She is the only person whose opinion of me matters and I need to know that she respects me. Now let me clarify what I mean by respect. I don’t expect my wife to bow at my feet or walk 10 paces behind me that’s reverence, not respect. Respect is something given freely and is based on love and honor. My wife encourages me and lets me know much she appreciates the things I do for our family and I do the same for her.
I understand that there are immature men who you may not feel are worthy of respect. If your husband fits this description, you should have a private conversation about how his behaviors and actions affect you. Making jokes about the situation to total strangers will not fix the problem. Your love and respect, not your insults, are the keys to transforming that immature guy into the strong husband and father you need him to be.
Join the conversation: Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments section.
I originally published this article on Babble.