Prejudice. Stereotypes. Do you ever stop to think that sometimes these are brought into your marriage? They often do and can really affect the way that each spouse treats each other throughout the course of a marriage. It reminds me of the show Everybody Loves Raymond.
I really do like that show and think it’s pretty funny. The more I thought about it, though, the more it sort of irritates me. It perpetuates several stereotypes about men and women. First, Raymond is always the stupid goof-off. She has to constantly babysit him and both the wife and the kids are way smarter than him. For her part, Deborah is always the nagging wife who can explode at any minute. Everyone has to be on eggshells around her and are worried that they may be the one to set her off.
Unfortunately, I think we can let these predetermined stereotypes creep into our marriages. It can cause us to look at our spouse as a second class citizen. Using the Raymond example, the wife can easily view all husbands as bumbling idiots. It is also possible, however, for husbands to view their wives as beneath them. They are there for nothing else than to clean the house, take care of the kids, and keep their mouth shut.
To think that any of these beliefs don’t show up in marriages today like they did in the past is naive. My challenge to you is to check your own beliefs and make sure you are not treating your spouse as some second class citizen. You will never experience true intimacy without treating each other on the same playing field. It doesn’t mean that you are the same (far from it), but each spouse’s contribution is just as important as the others. I’m begging you to not let shows like Everybody Loves Raymond teach you how to treat your spouse.