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It's Valentine's Day & my husband did the usual flowers, card, & chocolates, which was nice. He brought dinner home so I didn't have to cook, which was really nice, since we have 4 kids & can't go out. I told him & showed him that I appreciated all of this very much. But it is especially clear to me on this day about love, that what I really want is for my husband to step up & be my partner, especially in parenting.
After the kids went to bed, our 8-yr-old came out to tell us that he thought our 2-yr-old, with whom he shares a room, needed a diaper change. It turned out he had a bad case of diarrhea. He needed bath, the bedding needed to be changed, the whole bit. My husband just doesn't do the gross stuff, which I can live with. But there were things he could have done, such as start the bath running while I got most of the mess cleaned up; removed the bedding, which really wasn't that bad, & replace it; open the window to air out the room, get a change of clothes, etc. Instead, I had to rely on my 8-yr-old to help with those things, because my husband was too busy WATCHING TV. And when my 8-yr-old had trouble finding something & needed dad's help, my husband got angry that he was being interrupted. I bit my tongue & got the situation under control & the kids back to bed. I waited so as not to interrupt his TV show again. But when he asked me what was wrong, I told him. It was obvious I was upset, but I didn't yell. I just told him exactly how I felt, that I needed him to be my partner & not let those responsibilities fall to our oldest child. It is too much like how my own father treated my mother. They have been divorced since I was 11. He listened without interrupting & then when I finished asked me if there was anything else. I said it wasn't the first time that something like this had happened, but other than that, no there was nothing else. And then I started to cry. He said NOTHING. He didn't ask a question, didn't offer a response or any comfort whatsoever. He just went back to playing a video game. Then about 15 minutes later, got up & left the room, his body language making it clear that he was very angry. He was even throwing things around & making angry sounds. Then he just walked out without saying anything to me.
I am stunned. I do not think I am being unreasonable nor do I think that I handled the situation badly. Frankly, I feel I showed him more courtesy even than he deserved. I didn't want to "pick a fight." I just want him to understand how I feel. And if he has a problem with how I feel, he has a responsibility to tell me, not just walk out of the room in anger.
But I am genuinely asking this question because I know everyone feels they are justified when they are angry about something, so I need to put this situation in perspective by getting an outside observation. Am I unreasonable for getting angry that he didn't step up to help me in any way, even when asked? Am I unreasonable in expecting him to help me with the kids when something goes wrong, even if it interferes with one of his favorite TV shows? I know I have missed plenty of favorite TV shows myself because the kids have urgent needs, but I don't think that should only be my responsibility. Even if I am not being unreasonable for feeling that way, did I do something wrong in the way that I handled the situation? Please give me your take. Thank you.
 

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I assume that he works a normal work day and you are a SAHM.

When he's home, yes he should help equally with the children and house work (this assumes that you do most of the housework when he's at work).

If you asked him to help, he should have helped. How long did it take you to take care of the baby and clean everything up?
 

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Mindy, just from a guy's perspective, your post is almost entirely about childcare and his Valentine's Day efforts are almost an afterthought.

For perspective, if he were to write the post, it'd be 90% about how Valentine's Day was a complete flop and the childcare thing would be the afterthought. Admittedly he brought it on himself, but I bet he's pretty upset that the most passionate moment of the night was an argument about dirty diapers after the efforts he put in prior to that to make the day special.

But anyway, for the record, I think it's perfectly reasonable for you to expect help with the kids.
 

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I didn't see anywhere in your post where you (not your child) asked for his help in this situation and he refused to help.

Did I miss something? If so, I apologize.
 

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Yup. You could be 100% correct in your assessment of the overall situation and be 100% wrong in your choice of time to be confrontational over it.

I'm not transferring the blame to you here, just saying that if you want to reinforce your husband's good behavior, or call him out on his shortcomings, you don't pick a fight with him on Valentine's day after he buys you flowers, dinner, and chocolates.

Have that conversation again under less loaded circumstances and have wild monkey sex with him for remembering you on V-day.
 

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It is too much like how my own father treated my mother.
This was the sentence that stood out to me the most. Sadly many of us marry the parent we had the most problems with as a child. You father wasn't there for you and subconsciously you picked a man who isn't there for you either. I totally get this.

So there are two problems here. One is to dig deep and deal with your past and two is to yes understand that you have the right to want a partner to help with kids.

I could even add a third problem...him. He's checked out which is why he prefers tv over you and the kids. Do you know why? What was his childhood like? Is he happy?
 

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I'm with Acorn on this.

No guy wants to hear about what he screwed up or didn't do, when he actually did make quite an effort to be nice and thoughtful. Yes he could have come and help with the 2 year old, but after getting it sorted I would have put the discontent with his parental help on the back burner for another day. The time should have been spent snuggling up on the sofa together IMO.
 

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Mindy--As a dad, I've changed so many diapers. Maybe just as much as my wife. Although I worked all day, she was working at home, which is also a full time job, especially with a baby. So I did my part. my wife would always ask for help.

On a side note, at times when I was home early any something like that would happen, I would almost feel like I was in the way. She had her routine. Maybe your husband thought that you had it all under control. If my wife needed help with something, all she had to do was ASK. I'd help in a heartbeat. So many nights I would be up at 2 in the morning along with my wife, when our little one had a stomach virus or something...Not fun!
 

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I told him & showed him that I appreciated all of this very much. But it is especially clear to me on this day about love, that what I really want is for my husband to step up & be my partner, especially in parenting.
As I read your post, I had the same question as others: Did you ask him to help?

It also occurred to me that you said you told and showed him your appreciation, but if you got mad at him not helping with a child's diaper messes, he probably didn't feel like you appreciated anything. You said it but did not really show it, especially if you didn't specifically say, "Honey, this is bad. I know you hate the nasty stuff, but would you help by opening the windows?"

It's almost as if you had a preset idea of "I've shown enough appreciation, and this falls outside of showing appreciation, so instead of giving him a gift of peaceful time while I'm going crazy with this mess, I will let him know that I'm not appreciative at all of him taking peaceful time when I'm going crazy with a mess."

That's fair. But it is also what he did. "I've shown enough love, and this falls outside of showing love, so instead of giving her a gift of easing her difficulty, I'll let her known that I don't love stinky messes."
 

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Why should she have to ask him to help? It's his child too. Seems to me if he is a father, it's just as much his responsibility to help take care of sick child as it is hers. Also she probably figured it wouldn't do any good to ask for his help after he yelled at the 8 year old.
 

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Whose idea was it to have 4 kids in 8 years?

The reason I ask is that my wife was all for getting pets, against my wishes, and stated she would take care of them.

But I admit that I get a little p!ssy when one of them makes a mess and I have to clean it up.

Could there be some resentment towards the kids on your husband's part... sort of a "well, you wanted all these kids, you clean up the mess!" kind of thinking?
 

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He was thinking he had been a wonderful romantic husband, and was he was looking forward to a romantic sexy time with you after the kids fell asleep.

You then acted upset, and when he asked why you told him he was not a good partner. At that point loverboy realized that all his efforts had gone for naught, and he was not going to get laid. He didn't take that well.

Your feelings about needing him to help out proactively were valid, but timing is everything. Just my two cents....
 

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Why should she have to ask him to help? It's his child too. Seems to me if he is a father, it's just as much his responsibility to help take care of sick child as it is hers. Also she probably figured it wouldn't do any good to ask for his help after he yelled at the 8 year old.
I agree she shouldn't have to ask. I don't think any of it should have been addressed on V-day. Maybe today would have been better.
 

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I didn't see anywhere in your post where you (not your child) asked for his help in this situation and he refused to help.

Did I miss something? If so, I apologize.
Am I unreasonable for getting angry that he didn't step up to help me in any way, even when asked? Am I unreasonable in expecting him to help me with the kids when something goes wrong, even if it interferes with one of his favorite TV shows?
 

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Mindy - i think you handled the whole situation well. You held it together enough to get the baby cleaned up and kids back in bed. Then talked to your hubby about what was upsetting you. Asking for help is perfectly acceptable. Your a team aren't you?

We've got 3 boys and whenever anything projectile came out of any orifice it was ALWAYS my job to clean up the mess. BUT hubby was there...opening windows, getting cleaning stuff, cheering me on.

Hopefully your H was in a better mood once he came back...
 

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Ok I had a similar circumstance this year with my wife, sorry to say. Not with kids but with arguing. And though I still do not feel like it is my fault to this day, I think the main issue may have been maybe you didn't ask him? And if you did, then yeah Valentines Day is a day for Love, anything anyone has an issue with should be put aside for that day. I hope everything worked out well afterwards, and yeah no guy likes hearing their flaws ESPECIALLY after feeling they've really done something right.
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I don't believe in special days..Not "pre-marked"..

A special day is any day you make it special.
You can make every day special, hey you wanna send 3 dozen roses a teddy bear a box of chocolates and a card in the mail to surprise your wife and in the morning act like you forgot everyday by all means go for it. All I amm saying is that Valentines Day should be the one day no matter what couples just drop it. And yeah its not gonna stop life but we can still find what we initially fell in love with for that one day can't we?
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