Traditional Relationship Or Modern Relationship?

In Modern society we are bombarded with facts about reusing and recycling, and rightly so.  We have now found that even though our ancestors recycled only out of necessity in post war Britain, that they actually had a point, an important one!  

We have witnessed a resurgence of this new and urgent wave of recycling with not just our rubbish. We only have to look in our own wardrobes to find evidence of the renaissance of fashion like the mini skirt, pedal pushers, low cut jeans and fish net stockings.  But it doesn’t stop there, herbal remedies (even rumours of scientists using the leech to aid in healing) retro interior design etc, threaten to dominate our literature and lives. 

But where is she going with this I hear you ask.  Aha! I’ve said all this because I am venturing out on thin ice, into a world you and I have never lived.  Like the return of the aforementioned, some of us think that due to the crazy rise of divorce in our age the time is ripe for the return of a bit of old fashioned love.  Why?  Simple. It worked! 

When we have gone through – in futility – all the modern steps of keeping him ‘whipped into shape’ maybe we can successfully fall back on the use of a little bit of honey and the art of gentle, positive influence which our grandmothers practiced so well.

Traditional relationship or modern relationship?

Grandmas didn’t play mind games 

For a start, don’t expect him to read your mind, if there is anything men are hopeless at, it’s knowing what a woman is thinking. To make life easier for both of you, tell him exactly what you want for your birthday for instance, where you want it from and what brand and colour you desire.  Not exactly romantic but it takes away the misery of feeling that he doesn’t really love you because he doesn’t know your preferences.  Besides, when he sees the thrill on your face when you open your present, his mind chooses to forget that you had actually requested it. Result! Both parties are happy and the juice maker stays un-ordered from Ikea’s catalogue.

Grandmas spelt it out for Granddads

Get his diary (or Iphone) and write in it - important dates, your bra size, favourite colour etc.  Make jottings at the beginning of each week where something important is coming up. Write in numbers of your favourite restaurants and how long ahead bookings are to be made. This is not doing everything for him, it’s steering him in the correct direction so that he can do everything that’s right for you!

Grandmas knew the difference between honey and vinegar

Make him feel secure in your relationship by once in a while, not too often though, leaving notes for him to find, maybe in his planner or by text.  Soon enough he will catch on and start doing it to you. You know what your grandma always told you about catching flies... Additional reading on this topic: Signs of a strong, sensible complete woman

If there are things that irritate you about him, there is a way to go about this without nagging every time.  For instance, my husband used to leave his shoes everywhere.  Now this was not a bad thing in itself, it was just for some unknown reason irritating to me.  I decided one day after raging for the umpteenth time about his shoes, that I was going to let some things go rather than nag him every time he did something that was merely uncomfortable or annoying to me. 

I decided that my rage make-over would start with those annoying shoes. I would pick up his shoes and put them in the shoe rack every time I saw them lying about.  If I didn’t feel like picking them up I would leave them until he saw them and picked them up himself.  That cut my nagging by a third, and shoes left about the house became less of a pain for me after I decided to let that one go.  He got the message pretty soon. But best of all, he saw that I was making an effort and so did he.

Men aren’t our kids, (I still nag them about their shoes) they are our equals, think of how tiring it was when your mum nagged you to clean your room etc.  As long as he is doing his share of house-work, you can afford to let the little things go. Every time you find yourself nagging about something, ask yourself what good does it do, if you can’t come up an answer, maybe it’s time to let that one go. Stop being a control freak. It can seriously hurt your relationship.

Grandmas weren’t afraid of a bit of extra work in traditional relationships

We all lead busy lives, think of how special you feel when you get flowers or a note to say I love you out of the blue.  This is the way you will make him feel by just doing that little extra sometimes.  Cook his favourite meal, pack a lunch now and then. Maybe call him at the office in the middle of the day just to say hi.  (Don’t then ask him to get the milk on his way home. That will spoil the mood).   This is not old fashioned rubbish. It is simply caring for the person you claim to love.  Love is not all about feeling, after the first few months into the relationship/marriage, it becomes more about doing. What's your modern relationship saying about this? And how is a little special attention going to hurt your relationship? 

Grandmas respected their men (at least in public)

Don't embarrass him in public, like calling him derogatory names in the supermarket etc. and don’t make him feel inferior by treating him like a fool. He is an adult, with emotions, respect him and he will respect himself and you.  If he thinks you feel as though he is less than trustworthy, this is a good reason to live up to your expectations.  If you can’t trust him, get out. Modern relationships don't seem to mind the embarrassment in public scenario? Do you subscribe to this line of thought?

Grandmas showed their love by their actions in traditional relationships

When I have to go away, my husband puts tiny notes in my bags or in my purse.  I find them when I’m engrossed in doing something else - when the thought of him is far from my mind.  His notes bring me back to earth and to our love and dedication to each other.  It makes me think of him and puts a smile on my face because I appreciate that he took the time.  When he goes away he leaves notes in the sugar, in the fridge, in my clothes drawer, in my lap top - all the places he knows I will go at different times in the day.  This reminds me that he still loves me and even though he is far away, he is thinking of me.  This is a wonderful thing to try. Modern relationships think this is soft. What do you say? Additional reading about love in relationships: Love relationship quotes

Grandmas felt ‘old-fashioned’ was a compliment

Don’t be afraid to make your modern relationship different.  In this age of gender equality, some women neglect to do the basic things for their men.  We like it when they make us a drink, cook us a meal, clean etc. In exactly the same way, he’ll like it when you do this for him. You’ve said to him more than once, “This is not a one sided affair.” So prove it! It doesn’t mean that you are lower than him, just that your love together is greater than boundaries and barriers of modern times.

The bottom line? Relationships in which each partner is giving 50-50 never last for longer than the “honeymoon period.”  Giving your ‘everything’ is required in order to feel secure long after the flip flops are gone.  100% is what is needed, and this is not just from him. After all, isn’t this what true equality is about?
Say, ‘Amen’ sister!

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Anne Lyken-Garner is a published, author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here


Harleena Singh July 16, 2012 at 12:24 PM  

Wonderful post Anne!

I ditto your last few lines that relationships need our complete 100% - nothing less will work!

Yes indeed, when I started reading your post I was also wondering what's it all about till I read a little further.

Truly said, those good old times when the relationships were so much stronger are somethings we need to learn from, especially nowadays when maintaining relationships has become tough for some people.

I loved the way you shared the things grandmas did, which is indeed so true. Reminds me of my grandma and mom. They were truly ladies to be admired and so very giving.

Speaking of myself, I think both my husband and myself follow most of these things. However, we do need to work more on giving more time to each other and be more expressive about our love for one another - like leaving notes and doing those small things for one another that can brighten up your day.

Thanks for sharing. :)

Anne Lyken-Garner July 16, 2012 at 12:28 PM  

I'm glad you know ladies like these, Harleena. We can learn so much from their dedication to their family. Of course, we don't live the same lives, but there are lots of positive things to take out of their example, rather than dismiss their time as old-fashioned (as some women do).

Thanks for your insightful comment.

ChopperPapa July 16, 2012 at 2:34 PM  

"and the art of gentle, positive manipulation" --

I'm not sure that phrase sits well with me. However, I think this notion above is of a greater consequence than we care to admit.

It's become the norm for women to work towards 'molding' their man to meet some prerequisite, some imagined or dreamed of version of the perfect 'him'.

All while the expectation is that he should accept her 'for who she is'. There can be absolutely no denying that culture in general and women in particular accept this as perfectly legitimate in the area of marriage and dating.

It truly is the grand hypocrisy.

Growth in another can only come by exemplifying in yourself what you hope to see in others.

Thanks Anne!

Anne Lyken-Garner July 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM  

'Growth in another can only come by exemplifying in yourself what you hope to see in others.'

I like this phrase. And yes, I agree that us women (especially some modern versions) try to change men into someone they want them to be rather than accepting them for who they are.

I don't know if this is ever going to change. However, I try hard not to do it in my own marriage.

As you said, we want to be accepted for who we are - and rightfully so. Thanks for dropping by.

Icy BC July 17, 2012 at 12:36 AM  

I like it! Traditional ways are a bit more to my liking, but there are men out there that are just clueless, and plain inconsiderate.

Great points to remember though!

Judy SheldonWalker July 17, 2012 at 12:59 AM  

Seldom is a relationship 50/50. Mostly it is 80/20 and hopefully 20/80. We must learn to give and take and to respect the person we marry. How many women have you heard sound like they are raising their husband? We should date them long enough to know them and accept the man they are. Why would anyone try to remake someone? I don't want anyone trying to make me over and I am sure they feel the same way.

This article is very well articulated. Thanks for sharing our grandparent's wisdom.

Anne Lyken-Garner July 17, 2012 at 1:01 PM  

Hi Icy. You're right that a lot of men are clueless. However, we also have to admit that so are a lot of us women. We want things our way. We always want to be treated with utmost respect - and rightfully so. But do we give this? This is a serious point for us to consider.

Anne Lyken-Garner July 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM  

You're right, Judy. I hear this out and about all the time. Women seem to be the mothers of their husbands. I haven't worked out if they have to do this (because he acts childishly) or because they're just bossy boots :-)

These are not a relationships heading the right way. Relationships should be about partnerships.

Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.
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