A few weeks ago, the following picture went viral. It provides a scenario in which a couple is at a cookout and a man proclaims to his significant other that he is hungry. However, since she isn't a "plate-fixing" woman, she ignores him. Meanwhile, having overheard the couple's conversation, a random woman loudly proclaims that she will gladly fix the man a plate, and with a seductive sashay, she brings one over to him. The post ends with the question (for the man's mate), "What would you do?"
Firstly, there is so much wrong with this scenario. Bear with me, and I'll break it down piece by piece. The supposed moral of this story is that "what you won't do for your man, someone is always willing to do." I'm assuming the suggestion is to, keeping that in mind, guide your actions accordingly. The problem is, that isn't a mentality of love, care, or respect for one's spouse. The meme is suggesting that we govern our actions in our relationships with an attitude of fear. Your kind and loving treatment of your spouse shouldn't be spurred on by a fear of loss. If it's always in the back of your mind that the things you do for your husband are only, or even mostly, guided by a fear that you'll lose him, then you are building a strong foundation for anger and resentment.
Love is a much stronger motivator. When I initially read the post, I thought of my own actions within my marriage. More often than not, I do fix my husband's plate. Why? Not because I am staunch on upholding gender roles, but because I enjoy serving my husband. It's fascinating that the woman in the post self-identifies as one who doesn't "go around fixing plates." This was the most absurd thing I've read. Trust me, I'm a very liberated woman, and here are my two cents: if you're not ready to serve, then you're not ready for marriage.
Marriage is the most self-sacrificial union there is. When two become one, and when you both decide to unify 'till death do ye part, then you die to who you once were. The two of you now embark on living a life of compromise, collaboration, and submission to one another. Anyone who has led a successful and lengthy marriage will tell you, it's about loving one another; and oftentimes love is manifested through serving.
I serve my husband because I love him. He serves me because he loves me. Our actions in our marriage are guided by love, mutual respect, and trust. Not by a fear of loss. When we have the proper foundation (love), it makes our actions so much easier.
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