Inspiration For the Book: The Cold Wife (and the value of men)

I still like the book club scene where the characters debate, but given the revised version of The Cold Wife, there was nowhere I could keep the scene and make it work with the rest of the plot.  I had to toss it out with the 40,000 words I deleted.

the cold wife

This is why I wrote the book club scene:

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise based on my other books, but I think the United States culture doesn’t value men enough.  (I haven’t lived outside the US, so I can’t compare countries.) I think it’s a shame that men are mocked on TV or movies.  Usually, they’re shown as lazy idiots who need their wives to organize their lives for them.  The husband who needs his wife to figure things out for him is becoming the norm in comedy.  Well, it’s not funny to me.   Then there’s the super-strong woman who is the one who protects the man–and she can even beat him up.  So men are also “weak” and unable to protect women.  If it weren’t for women, such men wouldn’t be able to survive in this world.

I know I’m old-fashioned.  I know I’m not “with it” and that I’m a “square”.  That’s fine with me.  But I like being married, and I feel better when my husband is here.  When he was in South Korea, I had to manage the whole house (writing, my kids, the schools, any repairs, etc) all by myself.  I felt vulnerable.  While I had a couple of friends to help, it wasn’t the same as having him here.  There is a level of protection and support that my husband can give me that no one else can.

I think men are not valued enough.  I think their strengths are often overlooked.  Men and women are inherently different (physically and emotionally).  I know there are exceptions, but overall, the differences exist.  And those differences work to their advantage in marriage.  The man and woman works as a team.  Together, they form a complete unit.

I love the fact that my husband is stronger than me because he can lift all the heavy stuff.  I like that while I am emotional about a situation, he’s able to come at it with a cool head.   He’s able to discipline the kids better than me because I tend to get all soft (it’s the nurturing part of me that kicks in).  He lets the kids do more than I do.  I still tend to baby them by making their meals, but he’ll have them make their own meals now that they’re old enough.  He goes out and cleans the gutters and does other jobs I’d rather not do because (quite frankly) I’d rather clean up the house instead of climbing on the roof or tending to the yard.

I don’t want to be like a man.  I want to be a woman.  I don’t want to take over the man’s job.  I want my husband to do it.  Men are smart.  Men might not be all mushy when it comes to love, but when I was sick and couldn’t take care of the kids, he did the work for me.  Men have their way of showing love.  Some are more verbal about it than others, but they can and do love deeply.  They are great protectors and great role models for their children.  They should be appreciated for their strengths instead of being ridiculed.  A man who works to provide for his wife and children is often overlooked and highly unappreciated.  He’s faithful, he’s steady, he’s dependable.  Maybe not “exciting” according to the culture’s standards, but he’s a hero in all of my romance novels and in real life.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to or check out
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6 Responses to Inspiration For the Book: The Cold Wife (and the value of men)

  1. Oh, my, you’ve just said everything I would want to say about men and my husband in particular. My man takes care of me so well. I hate that he works at night because I miss him so much and feel much safer when he’s at home. (My .357 under the bed isn’t quite a substitute, LOL.) I had never thought about how many sitcoms make men look ignorant and women the “good” ones. But when I think about it, that’s really true. I don’t watch sitcoms except for The Big Bang Theory (and I have to not listen to the song at the beginning because I don’t BELIEVE in the big bang theory, but that’s not what the show is about). I sometimes catch glimpses of the sitcoms my husband watches, and they really do portray men in a bad light. I like for men to be strong, but able to shed a tear over something like the tragedy in Connecticut.

    A story: One time my oldest son (when he was about 12) pitched a baseball to me and I hit a line drive…right into his nose. The blood started gushing. I was a basket case. But my husband calmly went over to my son, assessed the damage, and then we took him to the emergency room. It was a tiny fracture. My husband was a wall of strength, while I fell apart. Now I truly believe if he hadn’t been there, I would have been stronger, and I would have taken care of things. But he WAS there, so I didn’t have to. I cherish the strength of a good man. I love being taken care of. It’s not popular nowadays for men and women to have separate “roles”. But I’m old fashioned like you. 🙂

    Sorry for rambling. 🙂

    • I sleep easier when my husband is at home, too, so I know what you’re talking about. There’s nothing wrong with a man shedding a tear over a tragedy like the school shooting or when he’s profoundly touched like when his child says he/she loves him. I tell my sons that Jesus cried, and that means it’s okay if they do, too.

      What is The Big Bang Theory about? I’ve seen pictures for the show but have no idea what it’s about.

      I think if it was just you, you would have held it together when your son got hurt. When we have to, the adrenaline kicks in and we manage to get through the emergency, but it’s so much better when we have our husbands there to help out. 😀

      I love reading your comments, so ramble at any time. 😀

  2. Patsy Ezell says:

    I to think men are not given enough consideration my husband is my best friend and I depend on his strength. He is my best friend, companion, lover and most of all my soul mate.

  3. Well said Ruth Ann. Though I do think television often belittles women too. It makes us stupid and overemotional and unable to handle things. Too many cliches for both genders. 🙂

    • That’s true. Women are put down as well. What I also hate is how women are dressed as if they are sex objects. I love it whenever both sides are treated with respect.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. 😀

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