Marriage Matters on a…Wednesday?!

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Yeah, yeah, yeah. Marriage Matters is typically a Monday feature on Black Bridal Bliss. However, we’re mixing things up this week. There’s been a lot of chatter on social media regarding whether or not women, particularly wives, should or shouldn’t fix their partners plates at cookouts, Thanksgiving gatherings and such. Check out what our pal Charli Penn over at ESSENCE.com had to say about this debate:

Why I Always Fix My Man’s Plate

Ah, summer—the season of perpetual cookouts, outdoor eating and family reunions. Weekends in July and August are filled with one feel-good moment after another and when friends and family gather by the grill with full bellies and big smiles to groove to a great playlist, it’s almost impossible to get a side-eye from anyone. Unless, you jump up to make your man a plate of food before you make your own.

I know because I’ve already caught some heat from a few acquaintances this summer for doing just that—something, to be honest, that I hadn’t ever thought that much about before. The first concerned cookout-goer I speak of wondered aloud why I “bothered” to make my husband a plate of food from the buffet-style offering because he’s a “big boy” who could “make his own.” The other pulled me aside inconspicuously later on that afternoon and asked me straight up why I “spoil my husband so” and referenced the hefty plate I’d prepared for him as evidence.

I laughed out loud both times. These women had given more thought to this moment than I ever have, but since they want to talk about it, I’m down. Lets get a few things straight first: I’ve never once jumped up with any haste whatsoever to prepare a plate for my husband, nor has he ever asked or expected me to do so. I do have my reasons for making his plate, but they’re ultimately more about me than him. They are as follows:

I’m Happy When He Is, and He’s Happy When I Am

Whether you consider it to be a little old school, good manners or just plain silly, the truth is, when my husband looks up and sees me handing him a plate full of food, he smiles real big. He feels catered to and loved when I do this simple gesture, which is how he makes me feel all of the time, so I’m always happy when I can return the favor in a small yet meaningful way. At home he cooks for me, makes my plates and caters to me in so many different ways. We cater to each other back and forth as best we can. That’s what love is. My favorite is when he hangs up and organizes my laundry with such tender love and care. In those moments, I smile too.

Read the rest of Charli’s post here.

One of the reasons I thought it was necessary to share this piece and open the discussion on Triple B is because this happened to me while still a “very new” newlywed. The day after The Royall Union, there was a Farewell Fish Fry. Folks ate, played Spades, cracked jokes–it was a good time and a fun end to an unforgettable weekend. Just as I prepared my new hubby’s food, a friend asked if I were really about to fix his plate. Someone seriously thought it was okay to ask me this question the day after my wedding. I politely responded to her, “Yes, I am.” I even smiled for good measure.

Looka here: Whatever couples decide to do in their relationship is their bid-ness. If they like it, I love it. My one caveat is if there is a valid concern of domestic violence or that children are in danger. I still fix my husband’s plate at most social gatherings. I also do his laundry and often iron his clothes. He often cooks for us and tends to fix my plate when he does. If we go out and I’m not wearing the most comfortable shoes, I expect him to drop me off in front of the establishment first so I don’t have to walk far on concrete in my heels. (Parking can be a b**ch in NYC!) I’m sure there are people–friends and family included–who roll their eyes when he does this for me. I sleep just fine at night knowing this. I have much bigger fish to fry (pun intended).

What do you guys think? Whether you’re married, single, in a relationship and not married, 23 or 73, please share your feedback in the comments below. Fellas, we want to hear from you too!

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    Comments

    1. I was taught – by observing, not necessarily by being told – that a woman should cater to a man this way. The same way I don’t expect to get under the sink or toilet in the event of a back-up – it should just happen. I often wonder how happy the people telling us what we should or shouldn’t do with our significant others truly are. Bridgette, continue fixing your husband’s plate. I know I will…well, after I find a husband.

    2. Cousin Mars says:

      I’m all in. I greatly appreciate when my plate is prepared. Although it doesn’t require much energy and/or effort, I recognize it didn’t need to be done. The gesture causes me to smile a bit harder and love a bit more. Perhaps foolish, but it works for us.

    3. While I am not married, I always fix the plates of my boyfriends. I too am happy knowing that this seemingly insignificant gesture, is appreciated and makes my partner smile which in turn makes me smile. Because I have taken the time to show love and appreciation in this way, my boyfriends have always taken my car to get serviced, a chore I HATE to do. They have given me their jackets when I’m feeling myself and think I’m too cute to carry one, and they have carried my bags after I’ve spent too much time shopping for clothes, shoes, home goods and/or hair products. These are just some of the benefits of being a considerate partner. Keep fixing your man’s plate ladies. Believe me, its a win win!!!!

    4. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      “I often wonder how happy the people telling us what we should or shouldn’t do with our significant others truly are.” <---THIS. Telling anyone they shouldn't fix their partner's plate is just as inappropriate as telling someone they should fix said person's plate. Everyone should just concentrate on their own affairs but that is much easier said than done, especially when it comes to relationships. Thank you for commenting, everyone!

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