Being in a non-traditional marriage is pretty amazing for the sole reason that we DON’T follow anyone else. We do what works for us. Gender roles, what are those? They simply don’t exist within our marriage. We believe both of us should do whatever it takes to ensure that this marriage THRIVES! I’ve lived in the south practically my whole life (there was that very short stint in MN…yes, too cold!), and absolutely love and embrace being a southerner. I say things like y’all and bless your heart, and I live for the summer. Since I got married I realized just how serious us southerns are about tradition.
It all started when I got engaged and people started calling me Mrs. Hutchinson. I would tell them, “I’m not changing my last name.” After I picked their jaws off the ground, they would just stare and then laugh and say, “you got me!” I can probably count on one hand how many people weren’t phased by me keeping my last name. Stick with me, it gets better! During wedding planning people would ask about my dad walking me down the aisle. I would say, “actually, I’m walking down alone.” At this point I think people thought I was doing these things just to be different. Fast forward to me being married as Mrs. Steward and people started to ask me about cooking. “Well Sheena you’re married now, so it’s time for you to learn your way around the kitchen.” My response, “I know my way around the kitchen I go in there daily, but I don’t know how to cook nor do I have the desire to learn.” People would wonder how Anthony was going to eat. I was confused because Anthony had somehow survived the previous 33 years of his life without starving so I didn’t know why it was imperative for me to learn how to cook. Someone even asked what was going to happen when we had kids. Again, I was confused because clearly, we’re going to feed them, but again how is that solely my responsibility? People put WAY more pressure on me to be a good wife than Anthony does! Maybe the icing on the cake was when someone asked me about cleaning the house. Dude, I’m not Martha Stewart (different Stewart clan)! Ask my mom I’m a junky person (please feel free to judge me I deserve this judgment!), and I’ve been this way since I was a child. Right now, Anthony’s side of the bedroom is nice and neat while mine looks like a child’s playroom (keep the judgement coming). My response to the cleaning is we have someone that comes to clean every other week. I know, that makes me sound lazy, but guess what life is too short for me to worry about you wondering how my toilets get cleaned.
At this point I’m sure you’re thinking well what the heck do you do as a wife? Short answer is I try to focus all my time and energy on being AMAZING! What does that entail? It depends on the day, week or season Anthony and I are maneuvering. The beauty of being a non-traditional wife is I have no rules or labels to weigh me down. I step in when I’m needed and I sit back and follow at other times. Wait, did I just said I follow sometimes? YES, I did! And this my friends leads me to the REALLY good stuff!
There’s no head of household at our house! Before I go any further let’s do a quick recap…I didn’t change my last name, I don’t cook, I don’t clean and lastly my husband is not the head of our house. I’m sure you’re clutching your pearls and wondering how this marriage is working. It works because we’re two selfless people willing to do whatever it takes to make this marriage amazing. Trust me, I know that God made men and women differently and we both come “programmed” with things the other can’t do or may not fully understand. I understand that men feel they need to protect and provide, but what happens when they can’t? Sometimes life can be cruel and you don’t know what to expect. I’m equipped and capable of protecting Anthony when he’s weak and providing for him when he can’t do it himself. That doesn’t make him less of a man, it just means he’s human and life happened. On the other hand, I get that the majority of women are more nurturing than men. Hey, I NEED nurturing too!!! Life is tough, and sometimes I need him to pour into me too.
This type of relationship won’t work for everyone, and that’s totally fine. You must do what works for you. If you’re truly happy then keep doing what you’re doing. I think we get too caught up in titles and have a “that’s not my job” mentality. This non-traditional marriage of ours is freeing. That’s why I laugh when people tell me what to expect when “this” and “that” happens in marriage. Honestly, they don’t know what’s going to happen because they’re not us.
Kid talk really cracks me up. I hear so many people talk about fathers being there but not being present. I know Anthony Eugene Hutchinson, and I’m not going to have to beg him to be a present father or have to constantly remind him, “Hey, you helped me make this person. I need your help.” He’s too attentive now, and that’s not going to change. For those of you saying, “You don’t know that to be true. Just you wait.” I’ll shoot you a text of Anthony being the ultimate nurturing dad!
I was the kid that colored outside the lines and always asked “why “when someone told me to do something that didn’t make sense. So, it’s only right that I marry someone that appreciates the quirkiness that’s Mrs. Steward and his only ask is I’m a good wife and knows that’s a fluid statement. Meaning me being a good wife on Wednesday may look different than Friday because Anthony needs something different from me that day. Let’s be honest, I do fall short sometimes and I must be a great wife and apologize and find a way to be better next time.
For the people that ask how does a body function without a head, my answer is JUST WATCH HUTCHSTEW WORK!!!
Sheena Steward is a native of Union City, TN. She has resided in the Middle TN area for the past 15 years. Sheena is an author, creative soul, world changer, thrift store queen, date night enthusiast and advocate. She takes words and creates them into beautiful mental images. Her goal is to make the world a better place. You can connect with Sheena on Facebook: Sheena Steward or Instagram: @Sheena_Nichelle21 + @love_at_any_stage