My husband is chivalrous. Whenever we are together, he will always open the door for me and hold it so I can walk through first. I don’t think that’s so unusual, as I’ve seen a lot of men do that. But, my husband even opens the car door for me. That act seems to be rare, with the exception of maybe going out on a date.
It’s very nice and I feel loved and cared for and somehow special because of it.
His chivalrous nature doesn’t stop at opening doors for me. If he sees me carrying something, he will jump to assist or say, “Let me get that”. If I pull a ladder out, he says, “I’ll do that”. He does all the heavy lifting and most of the hard work around the place. It’s pretty nice having him around.
But here’s the rub, it’s frustrating at times too. A part of me feels less than, or helpless when he jumps in to help. There are times when I don’t want help.
There’s power in accomplishment. My entire life, I have been a hard worker. I’ve moved 30’ irrigation pipes with 3’ steel risers, twice a day all summer long. I’ve climbed tall ladders and remodeled homes. I’ve used all kinds of power tools and what’s under the hood of my car isn’t a big mystery to me.
I’m very capable of taking care of myself. I’ve done it for a lot of years. Which is probably why it’s foreign for me to have help.
So how do I accept chivalry in one instance and not another? I’m curious if other women feel this way too. Does your man do things for you that you like on one hand, but feel a bit frustrated on the other? Where do you draw the line on accepting help from him?
It must be difficult for men too. Trying to figure out what is acceptable and what isn’t has to be pretty frustrating. Maybe the best advice I can give men is, when we say we’ve got it, believe us and support that decision.
The other thing I realize as I’m writing this is, John and I are both, “Here, let me do this” kind of people. We both have the need to help and do our share. And that’s a good thing.
So maybe all I have to do is say, “Honey, I’ve got this”, and all he has to do is say, “Okay, let me know if you need help”.
And of course keep opening the doors for me.