The Partners

The Partners (Illustration) Poetry Ethics


I needed some help with the workload.
I was traveling and working too much,
I had little time for the housework,
Domestic things weren't getting done.

I told my husband I needed
His help: "You need to do more."
But husbands pretend that they don't know
How to do things inside of the home.

"That's women's work" - the first comeback;
"I can't" follows closely behind.
It's always the same - it's part of the game
That lets them do nothing at all.

"You need to do more, hon, I mean it."
He meant well - he always does.
"Tell me what you want and I'll do it."
My response: "Can't you see it yourself?"

It isn't my way to nag him;
It isn't my way to sulk;
It isn't my way to grumble;
My way is to do it myself.

But after awhile I was finished
With doing the housework alone.
After all, I was working and helping
With his side of our marriage vows.

So I thought that I'd show him directly
About cleaning and washing and chores.
I decided to stop doing laundry
No matter how dirty things got.

There were mounds of clothes in the laundry,
The underwear soon was all worn;
No clean clothes were ever forthcoming
Except mine - I did those myself.

I never said one word about it,
I never told him my plan.
I was cheerful and loving and not once did ask
Why his clothes were in piles on the floor.

After he did his own laundry
Without asking how it all works
We talked about what had transpired
And my transparent, life-changing trick.

We talked about how it's not easy
To do all the jobs we should do;
We talked about how it's not just for the wife
To be sole caretaker at home.

But I also learned a big lesson.
I'd thought that I shouldn't care
About fixing the car or the roof or the shed
Or the eaves or the screens or lawn chair.

If snow needed shoveling, he'd do it,
If grass needed mowing - the same;
Mechanical things made me shudder to think
Of the knowledge I lacked about them.

I learned we have different perspectives
That can gnaw and lead to conflicts.
But if we sit down and talk it all through
We need not resort to the tricks.


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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 13, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Apr 15, 2015

Media Credits

From Marriage Is a Balance Beam, a book of poetry by Carole Bos.


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"The Partners" AwesomeStories.com. Jun 13, 2013. Dec 12, 2019.
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