Wed | Sep 30, 2020

Why husbands fall for the housekeeper

Published:Wednesday | April 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Shelly-Ann Harris, Guest columnist

Shelly-Ann Harris, Guest columnist

There are so many stories of husbands who, although they are married to beautiful, positive, charming women, still helplessly fall for the housekeeper/nanny. From popular celebrities to some of my personal friends, these men have fallen for the lure of comforting, attentive, 'help-meeting' women.

Plus, the housekeepers (in most of the circumstances I know about) are usually not nearly as attractive and fabulous as the wives! (No disrespect to housekeepers/maids out there).

So what's the deal? Why are these men falling out with their wives for the housekeeper?

Maybe the housekeeper is better at housekeeping, as well as 'mankeeping'!

Maybe it's the kind, soft, undivided and loyal attention that Mr Husband receives from the humble, doting housekeeper, whose job is to please him and the wider family daily. Her mission is to offer, wait, smile, share, serve, clean and make the home nice. Plus, the housekeeper doesn't talk back, criticise or insist on her opinion. She is paying attention and is submissive.

Snatching hearts

If the family wants something done differently, the housekeeper can't, and usually does not oppose or object. She merely needs to understand the new thing that is being desired and provide it. She may even offer another idea of how to achieve the same desire, but again, it's all about satisfying the need. So she appears to be patient, selfless and interested.

So why do women in these types of roles succeed in snatching the hearts of husbands?

Well, the truth is that husbands fall for housekeepers - and secretaries - for the same reasons they fall for any other woman - they find the missing 20 per cent they may not be currently getting from their wives and have possibly started to take the 80 per cent they do get for granted.

But there are other factors as well.

Do wives think about mankeeping? Wives think about 'manhaving' and 'manowning', but not necessarily 'mankeeping'.

In these times, Wifey gets the long-fought-for opportunity to fulfill her professional ambitions. However, not enough is taught about HOW to build her career and maintain a healthy, enjoyable relationship with her man and kids at the same time. Oftentimes, some unspoken choice is made in terms of how time, energy and focus are going to be divided and devoted.

And while Mr Husband can sometimes 'understand and support her dreams', that understanding and support don't remove his real need for companionship, attention, respect, service and willing, available, happy, energised, headache-free sex with his wife.

What a task it is for a woman who works eight to 10 hours each day to come home happy and willing and in a mood to 'serve' her husband, especially if kids are also jostling for her attention and love! Only by God's grace and an emancipated approach to life, love and partnership as found in the Holy Scriptures - Ephesians 5:21 ("Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God ... .")

So if you really think about it, both the husband and the wife could learn a little something from the housekeeper and the secretary. It's all about serving each other; both of them deliberately being in a posture that offers, waits, smiles and shares.

Tips on Intimacy

With that in mind, here are a few ideas that can help to get things going:

Deliberately smile when you see each other after being away for a few hours at work or wherever. It may sound simple, but a lot of married folks don't actually smile when they see each other.

Make the first five minutes of every interaction positive. Don't complain about the workday just yet, say how much you longed to see him or her today.

In the mornings, how about a light kiss or gentle squeeze before getting out of bed?

Do something with food together - cook for each other, introduce each other to some new restaurant /treat or just eat together often.

Finally, put away the gadgets and like, comment, share, poke and truly connect even if only for a few moments every day.

In the tough times, be sure to hang in there, pray, stay positive and stay far away from temptation. In the good times, savour the moment, do your best to extend it and give thanks, all the while trusting God to preserve your love and your friendship.

Shelly-Ann Harris is a communications specialist. Email feedback to and Check out her blog at