Let me start by saying, there has never been a time in my marriage where I have made more money than my wife. With that being said, ever since I began my non-conventional (wage free) employment and responsibilities as a stay at home husband, my peers have questioned how I’m able to maintain “wearing the pants,” in the relationship. This is a confusing question for me to answer as despite my wife being the sole bread winner, I’ve continued to wear pants on a regular basis. Additionally, my wife has always been far more comfortable in pants but not solely because she’s responsible for the financial aspect of our partnership.
Upon further investigation, I discovered that “wearing the pants” is actually a metaphor for the person that is in charge of a marriage. Apparently, to wear these pants, you have to make more money than your spouse and you also have to have a penis. While I do meet half of the aforementioned criteria, there’s really not such thing as half a pair of pants. That being said, my wife also lacks one of the two important qualities of these pants. Does this mean that neither of us wears pants in the relationship? If that’s true, we’re indecently exposed (metaphorically speaking, as stated above we both wear pants a majority of our waking hours).
We’ve never really looked at marriage as a struggle over a single pair of pants because from a literal perspective we’ve always had the money to maintain a respectable wardrobe. With that in mind, we’ve seen the metaphorical side of this pants wearing as not being about two people sharing one pair of pants but rather two people with a bunch of different pairs of pants, all with unique and interesting characteristics that strengthen the clothes rack that we call marriage.
For example, she has a pair of pants that enhances her business related skill set, thus allowing us a comfortable lifestyle. I lack these pants and would struggle to climb into them should the opportunity arise (trust me, I tried). This isn’t a problem, due to the fact I have a complimentary pair of pants that is really good at lightening the mood when she’s had a rough day and an ever improving pair of household chores pants. She has a pair of pants that heightens her knack for interior decorating while I have a pair of pants that promotes creativity in regards to home defense. All of these pants are great on their own, but when combined with other pants they form a Voltron like machine of proficiency that really turns heads.
While we do share some pants, for the most part our styles are completely different. Perhaps my pants fall in line more with the pants (or lack there of) that women wore in the 1950’s, but if they’re comfortable does it really matter? This can be hard for some people (both male and female) to wrap their heads around as from their perspective, I look a bit silly in those pants. When some people are taken to task on their pants choices, they often times discredit their partner’s pants in a bid for dominance. However, if this happens doesn’t that lead to a situation where neither person has pants?
The single pants relationship system may have worked when access to pants was limited, but in this day and age there’s a varied assortment of pants that’s practically flooding the world (that being said, I am aware of some folks who are still trying to restrict who has access to these pants). Some people may think that the number of pants my wife and I have is showy and counter to traditional pants values, but is there really a scenario where having all kinds of cool pants is a negative thing? If so, I don’t want to live in that world.