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Old 19th July 2011, 10:02 AM   #1
sophie
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I feel unsupported by my husband - HELP!

I work full time (over 4 days) while my husband stays at home and cares for our 2 year old. I don't get home until about 6.30pm and I then help our daughter finish her supper, get her ready for bed, read to her and put her down. This is great because I get some lovely quality time with her. My problem is that my husband is not doing the normal domestic duties that I would do if our roles were reversed - ie cooking, washing up, laundry etc. So by the time I've finished getting our daughter to bed (usually around 8pm) I have to start dinner and usually just end up washing up what's needed. We have a tiny kitchen so I have to work in chaos. My husband also complains when I don't do the laundry regularly enough. I do 4 long days so I can be at home on a Wednesday and my husband works for a few hours then (as a teacher) so I try and fit in as much as possible into this day (cleaning the bathroom, washing the dishes left from the last 2 days, I also take my daughter to a playgroup - my husband never takes her out and I feel socialising her is very important).

Obviously this is all very one sided - my husband is fantastic at DIY and is building our daughter a wonderful playhouse and has done a great job in out garden (we have recently moved) but he prioritises this over all the mundane stuff so I have to pick up the pieces or (which is more the case) it just doesn't happen. The sad thing is I don't think my husband sees any of this important so whenever I raise it I am dismissed as nagging. He is looking after our daughter and doing a wonderful job teaching her - she's usually very happy and bright as a button - and I think he sees this as his only time role. I am 100% sure if he was at work however he would still expect me to do all the domestic stuff.

This has gone on for years in one form or another - he has rarely worked full-time in our 13 years as a couple and I am starting to seriously feel used and abused by his lack of support around the house. He gives the impression of being a modern man but under it all I think he's just a chauvinist. I feel at a total dead-end because he does not consider these things as important - I agree, however they do have to be done. Help! I am completely stuck and starting to feel really down on a regular basis and I am losing respect for him.

Last edited by sophie; 19th July 2011 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 19th July 2011, 01:04 PM   #2
Raymond
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Re: I feel unsupported by my husband - HELP!

Obviously Sophie you really have to talk this through with hubby. It sounds as if you are home schooling your daughter. I think this problem is quite common. A lot of men don't fit comfortably into the role of househusband and if they do it their heart is not into it always.

However he has much more time than you and I am sure he can put his hand in and help with the tasks like filling the washing machine a bit of cleaning and other things to take the weight off of you. There isn't always diy to do and most do this just at a weekend if it is needed so that isn't really a replacement role. More leisure really in my view.

Whilst we can say what he ought to do it doesn't really help. I wouldn't want to cause a division in your marriage which is more important. I think marriage counseling will help here as they will point out the obvious which might be better than you nagging at him. That's if he is willing to go. Just asking him might highlight your desperation. Basically it's about getting the message over without causing a big division.

He shouldn't be nagging you about washing when you have so much to do. He must learn to change his expectancies. Instead of making him do everything I would see what he is best at and just get him into those tasks if you can. Most of the problem is how you both handle dialogue really. My wife does most of the cooking, shopping and cleaning because I am at work. She is not that good at some kinds of cleaning so I do help with that but I don't like shopping and don't get a chance to do much cooking.
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Old 19th July 2011, 01:54 PM   #3
chosen
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Re: I feel unsupported by my husband - HELP!

Is there any chance that he can work full time and you look after your daughter? Maybe it would work better that way.
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Old 19th July 2011, 01:59 PM   #4
sophie
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Re: I feel unsupported by my husband - HELP!

Raymond - thank you for your reply which makes perfect sense. I really want to talk to him rationally but I find it very difficult not to get upset because, in the past, he has been so dismissive. Does anyone have any advice on how to approach this that will avoid an argument?

One idea I had was if we could sit down together (once our 2 year old's in bed preferably) and come up with a list of all the chores and try and then try and allocate them out so we know who is responsible when (maybe swapping on different days so we don't get bored).

Last edited by sophie; 19th July 2011 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 19th July 2011, 03:20 PM   #5
sophie
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Re: I feel unsupported by my husband - HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chosen View Post
Is there any chance that he can work full time and you look after your daughter? Maybe it would work better that way.
Unfortunately he isn't in a position to support us financially - I think I would love to be at home full-time while our daughter's so young but this just isn't an option for us.
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Old 19th July 2011, 06:44 PM   #6
Raymond
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Re: I feel unsupported by my husband - HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophie View Post
One idea I had was if we could sit down together (once our 2 year old's in bed preferably) and come up with a list of all the chores and try and then try and allocate them out so we know who is responsible when (maybe swapping on different days so we don't get bored).
I think that is a good idea. If nothing else he will be getting the message that there is a problem for you in the load you have got without it getting nasty.
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Old 26th July 2011, 06:49 PM   #7
koliver0821
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Re: I feel unsupported by my husband - HELP!

I saw this post and felt compelled to answer. It is vital that you speak to him about your feelings or you will continue to put up walls around you. It will continue to happen until one day you will either explode or just have so much resentment, you will look elsewhere.

My wife felt the same way with me. the only difference was that I was working full time. We both were. I was working full time M-F and she was working fullt ime Friday night to Monday morning (as a nurse). Besides not seeing each other on the weekends, we hardly communicated our feelings. We only communicated what was needed to be done that day and we drifted apart until she finally decided to have an affair.

Sorry for bringing the heavy news.

Now how to communicate this. Your right, he will probably think of it as nagging but only if you do it in an attacking manner. I know my wife would say stuff to me but I instantly went on the defensive because of her tone and the way she delivered it.

The best way to do it is to talk about you. Tell him how you feel. Not that you dont respect him. Tell him the honest feelings. That you feel tired, exhausted, overwhelmed and that you cant keep up with all of the things the home needs. (Shopping, cooking etc). the way you speak about it must be done without sounding like a lecture. That way you can ask for help.

It is important to note that marriage isnt about whats fair and equitable. Its about communication and compromise. Just because you are working doesnt mean you are entitled to him to do chores and vice versa. Every relationship is about give and take.
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Old 27th July 2011, 12:40 PM   #8
Raymond
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Re: I feel unsupported by my husband - HELP!

I think it is very wise also to convey feelings rather than saying you always, or you this or you that. Using I feel is not threatening or manipulating and leaves the ball in the others court to consider without pressure. Hopefully he will step up as a husband and do the right thing.
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Old 31st July 2011, 12:42 AM   #9
Richie267
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Re: I feel unsupported by my husband - HELP!

Hi Sophie. I think that yours is a fabulous idea. Some sort of daily/weekly rota is a good anf fair solution. I would air caution though. It may be that simple domestic chores are outside his macho comfort zone which is what makes them unimportant and being almost made to do them he may find unsettling. And what if he is on tidy duty and still hasnt done it by the time you get home. Obviously I dont know your husband as well as you do but asking yourself before him if there may be a testosterone fuelled for his dislike of housework may be worth doing. He does said like a very caring husband and dad though so it may just be as simple as bad prioritising which your idea solves.
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Old 31st July 2011, 11:51 AM   #10
Chamomile
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Re: I feel unsupported by my husband - HELP!

Hi

I was listening to a Radio a while ago and apparently certain (significant) percentage of British males don't know how to turn an oven on..let alone other simplest domestic tasks. Maybe, Mothers help them too much e.g. doing his laundries, cleaning and such throughout his life. Also looking at their Dads not participating any domestic tasks at all when his wife does this e.g. cooking, cleaning, washing etc etc etc whilst she also works full-time etc. These men might think "oh it's a woman's job" and this is 21st Century?
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