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Berdine's Corner

If You Want A Better Wife, Be A Better Husband

by Herbert Dennard

berdine dennard
Berdine Dillard Dennard

Life Lessons from a Matriarch

Berdine Dillard Dennard and Herbert Dennard

November 26, 1966, marks the date that I became the husband of Berdine Dillard. She passed the month before we were to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary. I learned so many rich lessons about relationships in our four decades with each other. Not only that, but I also learned many lessons about women from that union. One of the most important lessons that I learned in our marriage is that if you want a better wife, you have to be a better husband.

As men, many times we take for granted those things that our wives do to make our house a home...things like cooking our meals, taking care of our children, cleaning and decorating the house, washing the clothes, changing the sheets, I could go on and on. Although we express our gratitude on special days with a gift or dinner, in many cases, our actions still show that we don't get it.

I really learned this lesson about ten years ago. One evening when I had come in from work, Berdine was in the kitchen, preparing dinner. I took my shoes off and left them in the middle of the floor as I always did and grabbed the remote. We ate dinner, talking about our day and whatever was happening in the community or world as we did every day. After eating, I went back over to the sofa, picked up the remote control and began to flip through the channels, and she went to the kitchen and began cleaning. I remember Berdine saying, "It must be nice to be you." I asked her what she meant. She said, "You come home, take your shoes off and relax, have someone to cook your dinner, and then clean up behind you. All you have to do is work and come home. I go to work and have to come home to work. It must be nice."

I thought about what she said and promptly got up. I told her, "Go sit down; I'll wash the dishes." She said, "But you don't even know where to put everything." I told her that I would figure it out; I just wanted her to go sit down and relax. She was right; although I lived in the same house, I didn't know where everything was, but she sat at the counter and supervised while I cleaned the kitchen. When I was done, we sat on the sofa watching television together while I massaged her feet. When we turned in for bed later that night, I gave her a full body massage.

Needless to say, as a result, I was a happy man that night. I learned something that night. Romance begins long before you get to the bedroom. I needed to be a better husband by helping out more and by listening to her, even when it sounded like complaints. I began helping a bit more (although probably not as much as she would have preferred), and I even bought a book on reflexology to improve my massage skills. (o) My advice to all men who still have their wives is to listen to what your woman is telling you. If you pay attention, she will tell you exactly what she needs. If you take care of her needs, then she will definitely take care of you.

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