Monday, October 17, 2005

Advice to Myself

Tonight on Dr Phil (my wife likes to watch him, and I was there, too), there were a number of guests, but there were two that really struck me.

One was a man and his wife, and the man expected the wife to do certain things, basically to please him. He wanted dinners, he wanted a clean house, and he wanted her to be sexy for him. The trouble is, that he was constantly criticizing her and berating her when she didn’t measure up. He didn’t yell or scream, but he was pretty clear in his disappointment.

The other was a woman who said she was happy being a housewife, and that it was wonderful for her to do things for her husband. She kept the house clean, and worked with the kids at home, and had dinners made, and even dressed up a bit when he came home from work. She said she felt fulfilled making him happy.

This all stirred up some interesting thoughts in me.

The first guy was clearly out of line. I’ve worked with people that constantly berated me. Bosses, missionary companions, and there have been times in our past where I felt I didn’t measure up to Jodi expectations. It’s not a fun place to be. I’ve also looked at it and seen that there have been times where I’ve set a pretty high bar for Jodi, too. That’s not right, no matter who’s doing it to whom.

The second lady made me a bit uneasy. There was a part of me that wanted to shrug off her choices. A part that wanted to say, “Yeah, she’s just talked herself into that, but she’ll get tired of it and end up feeling trapped, just like the feminists say she will.” There was another part of me, a very “politically and socially incorrect” part of me, that thought, “How cool would that be?”

I mean, let’s face it guys… We can be as liberal and as sensitive as we wanna, but who among us wouldn’t love it if our wives treated us like kings? Eh?

And the flip side is true, too, ladies. Who among you wouldn’t like to have your husband bringing you chocolates while you bask in the hot bath he poured for you?

There are two things that have to happen for that kind of pampering to be healthy:

1. Each of us should do it for our spouse as often as we possibly can. I know I’m preaching to myself as well, but we should all be doing everything we can each day to make each other’s life wonderful. There should be no doubt in Jodi’s mind that she’s the Queen of my world, and I should feel like her King.
2. We both need to do that because we want it, not because we are forced, belittled, or begrudged into it.

The truth is that this issue has nothing to do with sexism, or chauvinism, or feminism. We all want to feel like we’re important. And the one person we want to show us how important we are is the one who chose to be with us for eternity.

Now, I know that reality takes its toll. The ideal isn’t always attainable. But I’ll bet each of you reading this, like myself, can look inside and see one or two (or more) things that can be done to make those two things happen.

Mark Hansen

Extra: This issue of the Latter Day Songs newsletter features a track of Sam Payne live at the LDS Independent Music Fest VI! Sam's stories are wonderful. Check it out. This issue also features one of my songs, "Today and Yesterday"


  1. Did you happen to notice that the first couple was Mormon?

    I can't say with 100% accuracy, but my modar was going off big time.

  2. Actually, I didn't notice. But then, I didn't see that whole part, either.


  3. Maybe that is for the best. The guy was out of control.

  4. Mark I have something to tell ya.

    The other day in a conversation, with a mutal friend, she was lamenting about her husband and I swear to you, a comment she said was " We can't all have a Mark!"

    There is much truth to that, Master Yoda.

  5. Someone (trying hard to remember who???) once said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Maybe He was right after all? lol

    I think you hit it on the head (or maybe you hit me on the head?) with a great reminder that, yeah, we could all be a tad nicer...especially to those we say we love the most.

    I love that idea of chocolates in the bathtub! (Now I need to get a bathtub!) Thanks for another terrific post, I know Thor will be appreciating it.

  6. I am new here but wanted to say I saw the episode of DR Phil as well. I enjoyed reading your insites.

  7. I saw that show too. Very interesting. Make you more aware of how you treat your spouse. I liked the sedond lady. I think her heart was in the right place and that was probably because her husband didn't make her feel 2 inches tall. It's give and take on both sides.

  8. I absolutely LOVE doing things for my hubby, you know, the whole dinner, clean house, happy kids, happy pretty wife thing. And he loves showing me his appreciation by drawing a hot bath and lighting candles and giving me a foot massage. It is a beautiful thing, and I love it. I wish he wasn't in Iraq so we could enjoy all that once again... I think it all boils down to serving each other.
    BTW, totally off subject, but Sam Payne and I have performed together... he is a gem and a half, such a sweet guy!! I noticed you mentioned him... have you performed live with him?

  9. Yes, I've actually had the lucky opportunity to perform with him twice! Once at the most recent LDSMusic Festival in American Fork, UT, and once for a couple of his seminary classes (he's a teacher).


    PS did you catch my review of "Coming Just to Go"? at



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