Serve Your Man First Credit: Magazine illustration, 1954 (colour litho) by English School, (20th century) Private Collection/ © The Advertising Archives/ The Bridgeman Art Library Nationality / copyright status: English / copyright unknown

Growing up in a traditional Puerto Rican family, I observed from a very young age the gender roles my parents and family members took on when going about their daily lives.  Although both my parents worked and had mutual respect for each other’s careers, when it came to certain things, tradition took over.

This was evident particularly at meal time.  My mother always served my father his meal before serving anyone else.  If they were at a function with a buffet style dining, she got up, went through the line, made up a plate for him first and then went back for her own plate.

As my sister and I grew older and paid more attention to this phenomenon, we made it abundantly clear how much we disagreed with this tradition and that it would not be repeated with our future husbands.  No way.

Our two loving brothers couldn’t resist celebrating this tradition and would ask my sister and I to serve them first.  We of course, didn’t.  I accepted serving my father first because he was my father but laughed at my brothers’ attempts to guilt us into it.  As it was, my sister and I were already miffed about having to always wash dishes while my brothers could go off and play.  Grrrr.

Well, it is 2015.  My husband and I have been married for 26 years (wow that sounds like a lot) and as promised, I did not take on the serving him first tradition.  If anything, due to my physical limitations, it was he who had to serve me first and do a lot more of his share of the household chores.

He did it all with an abundance of love.

As my husband and I face a change in his career which requires a tremendous amount of stress, long hours, night meetings, responsibility, devotion, commitment and leadership, there is nothing I want more than to take care of him.  Within my health limitations, I want to to help him in every way.

I want him to be healthy.  I want to make sure he sleeps well, eats well and manages stress in a reasonable way.  If this means being a “traditional” 50’s wife whose day is spent making her husband’s life easier, then so be it.

Bring on the cute short aprons and the recipes!

Bring on the drives to the dry cleaners (I’m not ironing) to pick up his shirts!

Bring on the slippers to warm his feet once he gets home!

Bring on having to take the recycling and trash out myself!

Bring on getting a lawn mower service (I’m not mowing the lawn!)

Bring on listening to every single boring detail of his day with a smile!

Bring on having to give him massages (maybe)!

And most of all, bring on serving him his meals first!


And I will  do it all, with an abundance of love.




36 thoughts on “Serve Your Man First

  1. Maria, amiga mia– que dulcita, que simpatica eres!

    I’m so inspired– I think I will write a companion blog post to this, very soon. Things have been bitterly difficult for Cimmy and I of late, due to intense hardships and struggles for all of our little family, and for extended family as well. Your focus on compassionate service and labors of love for your marriage… que onda, que padrissimo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so sweet, Jak! I am sorry that you guys are struggling, life is so damn tough!!!! As long as there is love and compassion it can only help in dealing with the difficulties and struggles. Turning against each other certainly won’t help the situation. I have gathered through your posts and hers, that you and Cimmy have a strong and loving relationship and that will help you through these tough times. It’s still hard and unfair, that’s for sure! Espero que escribas tu ‘post’ pronto! 🙂


  2. I love this! I think what feminism is all about is giving each woman the freedom to make choices that are right for her life and family, so good on you for making your choice. And especially good on you for knowing your limitations and hiring a lawn mowering service!!


  3. What a wonderful conclusion to arrive at after traveling down the long road of women’s liberation. It’s not who does what, it’s what we choose to do for one another out of love. Well said!


  4. What an incredible woman you are my dear!! Your husband is a lucky man to have you & vice versa. It isn’t often that you hear of marriages that are so loving & healthy in the “give & take”. Lovely example for the rest of us to follow. Sharing this now. 😉 xoxo ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do realize how lucky I am and feel blessed for the marriage I have! Not to say we don’t drive each other crazy at times but we generally do not fight! It is definitely a give and take so I never feel obligated to do something or that it won’t be reciprocated.

      His 53 year old boss died suddenly several weeks ago and now my husband is filling in for him. A very stressful job and a scary situation given the untimely death. I will be nagging him day and night to make sure he eats breakfast, lunch, dinner, exercises, relaxes, etc!! I think most partners would do the same for a loved one.

      Thanks again for visiting and sharing my words! xo


  5. What a beautiful post, Maria.
    I grew up in a home where my dad was served first too. And I had to do the dishes while my brothers skipped merrily off.
    But I love what you said about service with an abundance of love.
    I’m sorry your husband is going through a change of career. There’s a lot of that going around lately. 😦
    You’re in my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Linda! Interesting that you also grew up serving your dad first. 🙂

      I’ve been out of the blogosphere and FB for a bit while we tend to our immediate needs here. My husband is awfully sad after having lost his boss at the age of 53 and now he is filling in for him, for a while. I just want to make sure my husband stays healthy and relatively stress-free if at all possible. Hope all is well with you. 🙂


  6. You are a lucky lady indeed. With my MS, I spent 30 years undiagnosed, married to a man who didn’t want to understand there were real problems with my health. I grew up in a farm family, and yes, the men were always served first so they could get back out to the fields. But I learned a lot, how to cook for a crowd, how to wait until the last group finished before my hands went numb and the dishes dropped and broke (fortunately unwashed that time), and how to manage a farm home and raise some pretty great kids. Dogs, Cats, A pig, a calf, just about any animal around. Oh, mustn’t forget the racoon.


  7. I grew up in the Bay Area, where gender roles are like a myth… when my girls were little, if they got one too many dolls or plastic ovens, I would give them a Conan the barbarian action figure. Once, when I was in Kentucky working on a tobacco farm back in the late 70’s, I offered, on my first night, after a nice farm dinner, to help the ladies clear the table and do the dishes. Everybody at that table, male and female, looked at me like I had just dropped my pants. I did it anyway. I bet the men there still hate me for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! That’s awesome. I’m surprised the men didn’t give you a hard time about it out on the field. My husband loves doing the laundry and cleaning the bathrooms (well, maybe love is too strong of a word). 🙂


  8. Well, what matters here is it’s YOUR choice to do this. You’re not being made to do this or expected to do it, and that’s what matters. It sounds like you and your husband are quite a team.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I bring my husband coffee in bed every morning. I don’t do it because he asks me to. I do it because I want to. It started a long time ago because he’s a bear in the morning and it’s just a little something that makes both of our mornings a little nicer. On the other hand, he does plenty for me, too. As you said, it’s done out of love, not a sense of duty, and THAT makes all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is very sweet of you to do and it obviously works for you both. Sometimes, the ‘feminist’ way of thinking goes a bit far in making us feel almost guilty for wanting to do things for our husbands. If we want to do things out of love and know that our actions are very much appreciated, then so be it! 🙂


  10. First off . . . THANK YOU for changing the font size of your posts! This was a breeze to read!

    Hope you get a chance to spoil Mr BH as he shifts career responsibilities into “high gear.” BFF have a very non-traditional division of labor, but it works for us. So it works!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I had heard from another reader about my minuscule font, sorry about that. I’m not loving the new theme I have so I may change it up once again. 🙂

      It’s whatever works for a couple, right? I just laugh at myself for saying that I would never “serve” him first. Considering that the person who had his job just died of a heart attack at the age of 53, I want to make sure Mr. B is okay. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m not shy about letting you know that Maria is talking about me, because I appreciated her response so much. I took great pains to point it out very politely, and she was ever so gracious about it. Although my vision is still 20/20 without any corrective eyewear, contrast and readability is super important to me.

      I also appreciate good design; if this one isn’t to her fancy, I’m sure she’ll find something new that we’ll all love. (Things have been changed before, and for the better!)


  11. That drove me crazy when I was growing up. I’m so blessed with a husband who treats me as his equal. Sometimes he does more and sometimes I do more. When I do anything for him, I do it because I love him and I want to take care of him, not because tradition dictates it. We don’t do anything based on gender roles or so-called tradition, and I’m so grateful for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So nice to see you over here! I am glad you can relate to what I’m talking about, us Latinas. 🙂 There is no question that if he required it of me I would not want to spoil him in any way shape or form. I love that I can do it not as an obligation. Glad your relationship is based on equality. 🙂


    1. Yes, that is so true! I am truly blessed to have found a great man to share my life with and I don’t take that lightly. I just laugh at myself when I think about how adamant I was that I would never serve him first. LOL. Thank goodness I can do it out of love and not obligation. Thanks for visiting, Jay. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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