When the wife is sick her husband has two choices. The inept husband can leave her alone to rest and fend for herself. The helpful husband can become her knight-errant as in medieval times, providing for basic needs while his damsel in distress recovers.
As the helpful husband struggles through the coming days and nights, it would do him well to remember that he is mighty and capable. Most husbands never really needed wives to take care of them. Most husbands are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. Moreover, with a little guidance, any man can also take care of his wife.
Her Illness Paves the Way to Intimacy
Helpful husbands should view the illness of their wife as a chance to build the foundation for future romance. For him, it is the time to be the “knight in shining armor” his sick wife dreamt of long ago. Gallantry, chivalry and compassion are the building blocks in the foundation of intimacy. Many a romance has begun with the rescuing of a damsel in distress by the knight in shining armor.
The knight in shining armor or knight-errant is the epitome of a man in romance literature. “Errant” means wandering or roving. The knight-errant would typically wander the land in search of adventures to prove himself as a knight.
When his wife is sick, the strong knight-errant will begin the great adventure in his own home. Once he has ransacked his home for needed supplies, the helpful husband will depart to forage the countryside, the pharmacies, the grocery stores, the Chinese take-out and the coffee houses to satisfy his lady’s desires.
He Provides What She Needs
* Water, Juice or Hot Tea *
Hydration is always important. The first thing his sick wife will need is liquid. She should have water or juice beside her at all times. Herbal teas may be soothing and can be purchased at local coffee houses if none are on hand at home. Sports drinks with electrolytes are also good. The helpful husband should be sure to keep something nearby at all times. He will not wait for her to ask.
* Tissues And A Trash Can *
The helpful husband will provide a full box of tissues, replacing it as needed. It is very important that the helpful husband provide a place for the sick wife to discard any used tissues. It will be small and set close to her side. The helpful husband will not make her try a Michael Jordan move from the three-point line.
* Cold Remedies From The Medicine Cabinet *
Another thoughtful thing the helpful husband can do for his sick wife is to avoid asking questions. He will be proactive. He will not ask which cold medicine his sick wife wants. He brings them all. Pulling every cold remedy from his medicine cabinet, her knight in shining armor presents them on a tray or in a box, setting them beside her. She will make her selections and return the rest. If she does not make a selection, there may be something in particular she needs from the store. Not only will the helpful husband offer to bring it. If necessary, the helpful husband will call the pharmacist for recommendations.
* Her Purse *
The sick wife will most likely want her purse (or briefcase) nearby. Women usually keep their entire lives in their purse. Whether she needs her lip balm, her breath mints, her nail file or chewing gum, they will be at her fingertips if her helpful husband sets her purse nearby.
* The Remote Control *
Assuming that his sick wife is settling in near a television, the helpful husband should bring her the remote control. If she makes her selections from a guide, he should also bring the guide. It is very important that the helpful husband not interject his suggestions of shows the sick wife should watch. It is time for the helpful husband to sacrifice his wants for those of his wife. It is not a time for compromise.
* Wireless Telephone *
The sick wife should have the phone nearby. She will require it at some time during her recovery. If the helpful husband doesn’t want to play “go-fer”, he will also make sure the telephone book is close at hand.
* Food *
Last, but definitely not least, is the subject of food. When his wife is sick, she will need to eat. “Feed a cold, starve a fever” has been said over many a cold sufferer. It is not to be believed. It is totally false. Regardless of whether his sick wife has a cold, flu, stomach bug, or whatever, she will need nourishment.
If the helpful husband doesn’t know what she can or should eat, if she hasn’t mentioned anything, he should not ask her. First, he will call his local pharmacist, explaining that his wife is sick and he would like to provide the best food for her recovery. The helpful husband will tell the pharmacist the symptoms she is experiencing and ask if the pharmacist has any advice about food. Using that list, along with his knowledge of food she has liked in the past, the helpful husband should then provide it. That may mean cooking. It may mean going to a local restaurant. The helpful husband will provide.
If he can do all these things, the helpful husband will be her hero. She will praise his name to the ends of the earth for taking care of her when she so desperately needed him.
And They Live Happily Ever After …
… until he gets sick and that is another story.
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