Friday, March 09, 2007

Toxic Wife

Reading about the toxic wife syndrome reminds me of two women of my acquaintance. Deepa is still with her husband and Katie has left after taking him to the cleaners. For
Deepa it just made more sense to stay than leave because she would have a hard time fitting in the desi mileu where having an affluent husband and two kids is what makes her so welcome. Losing the married tag would convert her into a pariah right away. It is not worth it for her.

Katie's been married before and can be married again so having a nice chunk of change while she scopes out the next prospect is not a bad deal at all. The largish wedding and anniversary diamonds were all set in platinum and that was just the beginning of all things lavish and supersize about her way of life. Both these women fit the trophy wife bill to the tee "Domesticated, docile yet dazzling" They stayed at home, had nannies raise the kids while they shopped and partied, lived in suburban McMansions and ofcourse their husbands paid for everything without exception - all of which apparently are the signs of toxic wives

There are five tell-tale signs, apparently. First, she gives up work, ostensibly to care for the brood, only to have the children packed off to either boarding school or intensive (ie, lots of extra-curricular activities) private day schools.

Secondly, she suddenly wants to move somewhere more rural/suburban that suits her idea of family life, yet location-wise is horrendous for her exhausted, ever-commuting husband.

Thirdly, she demands wall-to-wall help, which nearly always includes an abused Filipina who works 12-14 hours a day, six days a week.

Fourthly, she refuses to fulfil in any way the traditional contract of the non-working spouse in terms of doing anything for her husband (such as cooking), while, fifthly, she expects her husband to fulfil the traditional but anachronistic male role in the household (such as paying all the bills).


Ricercar said...

so what do you think? about it all?

Musings.. said...

You begin to see the exact same breed of men.. (not as many though!!) Those who give up a job to support their wives' career, but spend all day in front of the TV, and drinking and having an expensive hobby!! Who refuse to housekeep.. And pretending to be liberal!! Wonder if you have come across any of these!



ggop said...

The whole article reminded me of "The Nanny Diaries"

cheti said...

left me laughing !!!

you really make me see a lot of seemingly harmless things in a harmfull way !!!!

picking up the reference from a comment from another blog ... there seems to be way too many rules created out of instances !

Sakshi said...

Dropped by searching for something and got hooked on your blog :)
Well written.

Priyamvada_K said...

Probably a miniscule minority, HC! I mean, how many people are that filthy rich?

Passing on such articles and generalizing the experience of a few will only leave men less protective of their wives - for no reason other than paranoia. And God knows few men are protective of their wives these days, with women being pressured to be all and do all. Let's not lose those few :)


Heartcrossings said...

Prerona - :) That would be another post. Wives of various degrees of toxicity do exist and give the rest of the sisterhood a bad reputation.

Savitha - I have dated a few men who have expressed the desire to go into retirement asap leaving me free to pursue career and financial goals :) Toxic husband material I guess...No surprise that I've passed.

ggop - Thats right. It was like reading a novel except that I have seen a few real time examples that come close to what it describes

cheti - People will do what it takes to survive a modern marriage. If a book of rules helps then why not ?

Sakshi - Thanks for stopping by and glad you liked my blog !

Priya - Could not agree more about such women being a small minority but its interesting how terrified average guys are of their significant others wanting to choose the domestic track over the career one.

Its like they don't want to take responsibility or fulfill any of the traditional husband functions. The distaff side of the household is becoming non-existent.

The nuturing qualities a woman seeks in a husband are harder to come by these days. Maybe they fear what begins as dependence will lead to "toxicity" :)

cheti said...


I sure hope some one can come up with a rule book that works from a general POV ! All I see are examples of "Donts" !