Who Wears the Pants in Your Marriage?

“Who wears the pants in your marriage?”

Until recently, this was not something that I considered. In fact, I tend to think that men who worry too much about this question reveal deeply held insecurities. It seems to me that people like this need to assert themselves over another in order to satisfy their insecurities. Having said that, I think there is still a commonly held expectation that men should be the “leader” of their “equal partnership.”

All of this was drawn to my attention this week when I attended not one, but two functions related to my wife’s work. The first was a staff gathering and the second was a party thrown by a co-worker.

“We tend to think of you wife as a very liberated woman. It’s good to see that you wear pants, too.”

What a strange thing to say to someone you’ve just met.

More than one person expressed surprise that I was not a lapdog.

Yes, I wear pants, and on these occasions, I try to wear nice pants. Whenever I meet my wife’s coworkers, I always try to dress to impress. It’s a good rule of thumb for most occasions, to be honest, but especially, it seems, if you’re married to a confident woman.

It seems odd to me, but I think a lot of people assume that a strong woman must be married to a subservient male. Why would a strong woman want to be with a shmuk?

When I meet my wife’s coworkers, I want to tell them that pants are plentiful.


6 Responses to “Who Wears the Pants in Your Marriage?”

  1. I agree that this idea exists. My hubby is a stay at home dad right now, and we run into similar issues. In truth, his strength makes me stronger and allows me the ability to do work I love, but you’d never know it by friend’s and families’ reactions. I love that my husband is secure enough stay home and raise the kids while I pursue my passions.

    I was equally impressed that my son had his first crush on a girl that “had a better belt” than him in karate. Too bad the girl, like most girls, has cooties now…

    Great post!

  2. I agree. That was a strange thing to say to someone you just met! I’m sure he was just being friendly and wouldn’t have said it if he thought your marriage was anything but healthy, but still, there’s really no good response for something like that. Good thing you have a good sense of humor.

  3. Cyniall Says:

    The one and only time it was asked of me, I just answered honestly, ‘Yes, she does’ wear the pants. My interrogator laughed to indicate they knew I was joking, but I just smiled knowing I wasn’t joking.

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