Who’s cooking and what’s cooking in your relationship?

One of the latest judgments from the High Court says a husband asking his wife to improve her cooking is not ill treatment. I agree. Wanting one’s wife to cook well is no offence. But there is a difference between expecting something and demanding something. A thin line of division.

Most marriages on getting a legal stamp of endorsement get infested with the bug of ownership. They feel they own each other as well as the institute of marriage they are in. It’s generally not the case till a couple is courting each other – the ownership rights are enjoyed but not violated.

When a husband expects a wife to cook well, to look after his home, children etc. it’s a part of the age-old tradition; husband being the provider and wife the nurturer. These roles made a lot of sense when it wasn’t common for women to have an occupation. Now, despite women working, gender biases continue to define gender roles. Working women must balance their homes and work. Lending a helping hand by the family, instead of entrusting them with dual responsibilities is unfortunately not a given. ‘Stay at home’ wives or mothers are expected to do or get the daily home chores done. Fair enough – if it is not demanded. I am seeing a couple where the wife is a homemaker but doesn’t like to do anything at home. Her husband comes home and clears the mess that their baby creates and cooks. Simply on humanitarian grounds, regardless of the gender, the working partner should have some liberty to get a breather once home.

Men continue to function being providers – courtesy our culture and tradition. Not only are they expected to work and make a living for themselves and their families in terms of food, shelter and education, they are inundated by demands for a better car, piece of jewellery, luxurious residence, dream holiday etc. When we expect husbands to help their wives, wives are supposed to return the favour. If not financially, wives can at least help in kind or get a little less demanding.

Too bad we live in a country where court verdicts dictate relationship dynamics. Why can’t a couple just understand and help each other? The right mindset, mutual trust, respect and care can certainly put your quest for the best (relationship equation) at rest.