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The New-Age Husband: Does He Exist, And How!

Posted: November 14, 2012

Guest Blogger Barnita De is a Bengali by birth, brought up and educated in Kolkata. Working in Bangalore for the past 12 years she has 2 daughters aged 8 and 4 who are her world. She loves gardening, crafts and cloth work like applique.

A tongue-in-cheek look at the modern husband and the importance of wives in their lives!

I am married to a “new age” husband. One who believes in equality of the sexes, one who does not think that the wife is a doormat, one who truly believes that the wife has as much say at home as he. Or is it?

Ours was an arranged marriage – through the matrimonial columns which all Indian newspapers duly carry. The usual “verifications” before marriage included – is the groom “broad minded” – meaning does he have an objection to his educated wife working post marriage!

After marriage, the husband was found to be indeed “broad minded” – had no objections to his wife working or being late from work. He understood the ups and downs of office life, felt the wife’s anguish when she was overlooked for well deserved promotions and shared in her joys. He appreciates her likes and dislikes, even if they were opposite to his own. Such an understanding husband isn’t he!

Well he also “understood” that the wife is also “new age” – she can run the home smoothly on her own, she can do almost all the work the husbands generally do…. and much more! She does not need anyone’s help. She is well equipped to handle all matters on her own. Name it and she is a multi-tasker in all – Banking, Investments, IT Returns, Municipal taxes, Loans, Property related matters.

The wife finds that she is the one holding the reins of the home – not that the husband stopped earning but then if “she” could do it and more efficiently than him, why not. He has no qualms about his wife handling it all. No male ego is hurt. No masculine pride is damaged – you see he can relax and the watch the soccer match or the Modi Vs Rahul battles on TV, while his wife completes the “mundane” tasks. He thinks of the well being of the country, while the wife thinks of the family. It’s the bigger picture you see.

Every year in June, he duly forwards the Form 16 to the wife (not even aware that it needs a password to be opened). It is the wife’s duty to file the IT Return. Not only does she file it, she ensures the acknowledgement is filed away.

Ask him when and how much is required to be paid for Municipal Taxes, he draws a blank. Promptly forwards the query to the wife.

When a friend buys the same model of car as them and asks the husband where the heck is the boot release button, without a blink, he asks his wife the same thing.

Colleagues asking him for his advice on home loans, he calls the wife and asks – did we take a fixed rate loan or a floating rate loan?

The wife requests him to put up the Diwali lights for 5 days at a row; plugging electrical stuff is a man’s job you see. On the 6th day the wife has had enough; she puts up the lights herself and ensures it is lighted up by the time he comes home. She smirks to herself – at least on seeing it, his male ego would be hurt! She can rub it in! The husband returns home, does not even notice the lights in the balcony. On a gentle nudge when he is forced to notice it, shrugs it off saying, “What is so great about it. I never doubted your ability to do it.” What the…..?

On the home front, he is a lost puppy…. at times. When in need of a fresh towel, the wife being busy in the kitchen, asks him to take it out from the guest cupboard. He opens the cupboard and looks at it in utter bewilderment. From which shelf should he start the search for a towel!

As a new-age wife, do I have an issue about it? An emphatic yes and no! I rave and rant about it when it suits me – why do I have to do all the work, is the family responsibility only mine, why is he such a novice about such matters that he cannot do it himself, blah, blah…. But I am also very happy and proud of such a husband. He is truly caring, understanding and considers his wife his equal. He does not think his wife’s place is in the kitchen. He appreciates the work and effort the wife puts in and respects her for that.

In an age where newspapers are full of gory news items of wife burning, beating and all kinds of marital atrocities, I thank God for my “new age” husband. I belong to that minority who is not scared of her husband; he is not my “pati parmeshwar” but my best friend. We are equal partners in the journey of life – balancing each other’s strengths and weaknesses!

*Photo credit: Srineet (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)

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  1. While reading this, I was nodding at every line! My husband is exactly the same :)) Great write

  2. I have a question: towards the end of this write up, whilst great friendship was acknowledged, why was there a ‘it’s really bad out there and so this is good’ thought? Are the standards of measure or high enough?

  3. I don’t know if I would qualify as a ‘new age’ husband, but I have seen time and again that the women I’ve known well (spouse, mother, cousins, aunts) are way better at multi-tasking than their male partners. My wife and I both have full-time jobs, and share home tasks; but, as involved in the kitchen, in house-cleaning and in finances as I may be; I simply cannot keep mental track of multiple tasks (time to get another bag of rice, need to get laundry detergent by the end of the week, due date for the water tax, need to dispose of the garbage before 11 am) and carry them out – or delegate as needed – the way my wife can.

    • Then it would interest you to know Shrinad that my husband has progressively taken over all these tasks and is way more efficient and interested in them than I am. He cooks, cleans, supervises the househelp, chauffeurs, shops, banks, and parents our kids, while holding down a more than full-time job.

      The only thing women need to do to get their men to pitch in is let go of the need for perfection in everything. This whole belief that men cannot multi-task is wrong.

    • Point noted. Just to clarify, I didn’t claim men cannot multi-task: only that they are not as good at it in my experience. And I’m not making the point as an excuse to get out of chores either.

      What she manages to track effortlessly in her head, requires me to fill my phone and computer with multiple lists and reminders that beep, message, email or otherwise remind me of deadlines and due dates 🙂

  4. It is only the question of convenience. I’ve seen this happen in so many households including mine. My husband’s latest ploy is to be escorted around the town by me. He doesn’t drive and his two wheeler needs servicing. And my heart melts at the thought of him taking public transport. I am partly to blame. Why can’t I put my foot down and ask him to get his two wheeler repaired? Like you, I too fume and fret but at the same time I admit that I secretly enjoy the importance that I have assumed in his life! After all the new age husband needs a new age wife doesn’t he?

  5. So basically the modern husband freeloads and the modern wife is happy because she isn’t being beaten up every night! I don’t know what’s worse.

    • Exactly my thought! What exactly is the husband doing here then other than sleeping and enjoying free time while his wife is overloaded. Lazy ass! No wonder the man has no problem in handing over the control to wife happily.
      Is this equality that the women are striving to achieve?
      The entire concept was to jointly hold the reins, neither man nor woman alone.

    • I agree with sbkat completely. The idea of equality is not that husband will hand down all work and all power to his wife. It is about sharing the both with his mate.

    • Totally agree. The husband sounds like a lazy jerk and the wife is one of those enabling perfectionists whose self-esteem comes from taking all the responsibility while he does nothing.

  6. He doesn’t think that her place is only in the kitchen so he lets her do the outside chores as well and the wifey is happy doing everything while he does nothing. Sounds like the not-so-new-age wife was better-off!

  7. enjoyed reading this article..it is sooo true. sometimes i feel the new age husband has taken his wife for granted knowing that she is capable of getting everything done without his assistance. No matter how much “new-age” we become, women need a bit of pampering by the male folk and a bit of “protecting-you” attitude by their husbands. i think secretly its ok to pretend that you are incapable in some tasks so that you get that extra attention from your husband 🙂

  8. every married woman’s story…. a perfect ‘new age husband’ is a MYTH…. and for the few women who are lucky to have been blessed with an actual new age husband… well wat can i say, lucky! lucky! lucky!

  9. A delightful read.. I agree. Now the trend is changing. Directly . indirectly, reins of the house are in hands of the woman..

  10. If this had been the case, any thoughts on why divorces among such modern couples are on the rise – this is not to sound sceptical but to throw a thought that being “friends” is not the sole ingredient of successful marriages. At least in my experience, I have seen instances where described “new age husbands” and “friendly” wifes have met the fate of encountering divorces – it’s irony that “friends” get divorced..

  11. My hubby is the new age guy

  12. The article is good..and the writer probably never meant to express that the husband is lazy or is happy to offload all of their ( belongs to both) duties to the wife..but one can misunderstand her as she has not sited much examples which says that the husband is an equally willing to do things.

  13. And the worst is that Women put up with it.
    This guy described here is a slob!
    May ‘believe’ in equality of sexes – but is actually is behaving like a new age MCP!
    Ohh Gawd!!!

    What i think is that since he ‘says’ the right things – he is playing his inner child while the girl is mothering him, and happily doing so cos she is ‘hearing’ the right things. It does not mean that the guy is ‘doing’ the right things.

    The girl is definitely wronged. This is abuse. This is inequality. No less.

  14. Its a neatly written article, but as many of the readers here have pointed out, I also think, a new-age-husband should not only be broad-minded but should also be a multi-tasker. He should be able to pitch in the kitchen and come out with a dish or 2, should know what’s going around at the house, whether the so and so is bill is paid or not…..the lady of the house has all rights to fall sick or go to her mum’s place!!
    I know of a husband who can’t drive any wheeler….her wife knows, so she plays his chauffeur every time.

  15. Seriously???? The responses to the article are scary… Is this what “modern” “Broadminded” women are aspiring for? To be secretly pleased at the indispensableness? How is this any different from being relegated to the kitchen and bringing up children. Now the vistas have enlarged to bills, chauffeuring and other such things where again “Mere pati ko to chai bhi nahin banana aata” equivalents are coming in.

  16. The author’s being sarcastic, right?

    • Shanmugapriya -

      At last one person who mirrored my thoughts, I think the author is totally being sarcastic with her “new-age” tag.

  17. Now it is complete bullshit

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