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The Wife

The Filipino wife is a victim of double standards imposed by society. The responsibility of keeping a marriage together is usually placed on her so she does not get much sympathy if she complains of her husband's transgressions. A wife who complains openly or speaks will of her husband is not respected by society because family failings are supposed to be kept within the family. To speak badly of your husband and broadcast his weaknesses is to degrade your own family, thus breaking the first rule in the Filipino code of ethics.

In Philippine society it is not uncommon for a man to have mistress or mistresses-it is accepted and considered a symbol of masculinity. The wife is expected to tolerate this. Furthermore, she is often given the blame in such situations. One will hear people. It's probably because so-and-so doesn't fix herself properly after his needs, etc. It is the wife's responsibility to do something about it. Confronting the husband and/or his mistress is not cry effective and does not get her much sympathy. The best strategy for her is to try to win him back by being attentive and looking her best for him. Using this strategy in earnest will also gain her the support and sympathy of the people around her. Once she obtains this, the battle is half won, for with the support of mutual friends and relatives, the husband may be pressured to give up his mistress or at least be more attentive to his wife.

A good wife by Filipino standards is one who looks after the best interests of her husband, who gives him emotional and perhaps material support and who manage the household and children efficiently. The husband does not usually concern himself with the children until they are in their teens-whereupon he is called in to give a hand with discipline. There are no restrictions on wives working, as long as they do not neglects the duties outlined above. Most wives in Manila have some sort of business on the side and there are many who works as professionals.

The advantage of having servants to run the household is exploited to the fullest. This is one of the great attractions living in the Philippines provides women. The lifestyle offers many good opportunities for women to fulfill themselves. Dr. Lapux, in Filipino Marriages in Crisis, states:' Despite her seemingly second-rate status in the marriage, the Filipino wife has a large sphere of influence. She is close emotionally to the children than her husband is and she is intimately involved in their growth and development-for the longest time. In crucial areas of home life,e.g. child-rearing, bread winning, and even in deciding the husband 's choice of friends, she subtly or pointedly wields her wifely intentions to keep husband, home, and children in good condition, and to foster family advancement, she can do almost anything.

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