Giada De Laurentiis, cookbook author and host of Everyday Italian on the Food Network, recently gave Redbook some of her tried and true relationship advice: downplay your success and “treat men like kings.” She says that in her own marriage (to Todd Thompson, a clothing designer who’s worked for Anthropologie), she tries hard to fulfill the traditional role of wife and mother. “I think it can be hard for any man to sometimes be upstaged by his wife,” she told the magazine for their February issue. “So when I’m home, I work very hard to be Todd’s wife and [three-year-old daughter] Jade’s mother. I have no problem going back to those traditional roles.”
To keep her relationship healthy, she says “I try to be Giada, the young girl that he met 20 years ago and fell in love with,” and adds: “All men want to be treated like kings in a relationship, and I think if women don’t indulge that sometimes, their men are likely to stray and look for someone who can give that to them.”
Hmmm. So to recap, the key to a happy marriage is: never changing, not enjoying your own success, and treating your man like a king. That sounds like a lot of fun (and realistic, too). We don’t know how healthy Giada’s marriage is, but even if we assume that her husband and daughter are blissfully contented with her traditional role-playing while at home, we doubt her advice is realistic for most women. (We also doubt we’d maintain that kind of figure if we were cooking Italian food all the time, but she seems to manage.) For those of us without superhuman powers (or the desire to maintain a double-life), we think it’s okay to celebrate your professional success at home, and perhaps even take a break from servitude from time to time. (Women who never get back rubs and flowers might also be tempted to “stray” and find someone who can indulge them, too, you know.)
What do you think of Giada’s advice? Old-fashioned but realistic, or just crazy talk?