Talk About Marriage banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 81 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been scouring the web trying to find a situation similar to mine, but so far have been unsuccessful.

Maybe some background is necessary. My Husband and I are almost 30, have been married for three years and living together for 5 years, and together in general for 9 years. We have a 6 month old son.

I work full time, outside of the house. I go to work at 5:30a and get home around 4p. My husband works from home and although he tells me that he's very busy with his job, I've had the opportunity to observe him many many times and he is not really so extremely busy.

Now, he has taken on most of the chores, as he's home all the time. He wakes up whenever the baby wakes (usually around 7:30-8a) and gets him dressed, fed, and off to daycare. Unfortunately, my husband only does a few chores and they are intermittent and half-hearted attempts. So, we usually have about 8-10 loads of laundry hanging around, the bed sheets never get changed, my son's laundry is done about once monthly, the dishes are never washed, and other habits that are dirty. Also, he is quite messy. He leaves piles of things all over the place...literally. Shoes in the middle of the floor, clean clothes (that I eventually wash) piled up around, dirty glasses, and his "chew" receptacles. I tried to talk to him about doing the chores, but he just complains incessantly, that he works so hard and doesn't have time and that he does everything and that I do nothing. He doesn't even wash the baby bottles anymore, they just sit, soaking in cold dirty dishwater for days.

Please help me. I can't work full time, care for our son, and run a household for three people. And here's the kicker, he can't understand why I'm too tired and stressed to have relations with him. ADVICE PLEASE !! ! Also, I feel like a nag and I really really hate that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,324 Posts
Your husband is handling child care. Your husband is waking up with the baby. You say he takes on most of the chores. He does all this despite the fact you are, from his perspective, withholding sex from him.

You seem very critical of his efforts, very critical of his results, very critical of his work habits, and very critical of his living habits.

The only thing you really mentioned that you do is work full time - which he is doing too. You say you run the household, but you admit he takes on most of the chores. ???

All I have to go on is what you wrote, but don't you think you are being a little hard on the guy?

So, you both think you are doing more than you really are. Can't you work out a compromise here? And I'd really re-think the sex thing, because if you want more out of him and he is receiving less from you, that is a recipe for resentment and disaster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,871 Posts
sounds exactly like how my marriage was, I worked from home, my w wa sahm, yet I did majority of chores and most of the getting up at night for the baby (even though she thought I sucked at all of that) just continued to berate me even though I was burning out trying to do my best and inevitably failing. So she decided to take up hiphop dance, make young single friends and start sleeping around, while I continued to flail at home by myself while supporting her. Maybe that is the solution, cheat?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
723 Posts
I can feel like my house is a tip & my H thinks it looks fine. It is possible your H is not putting the same priority on chores as you are.

You could try sitting down with him, paper & pens & making a list of what needs doing when, how long it should take & do a schedule for him.

I work as a cleaning supervisior & I do times that jobs should take them when we go to a site & what to do first. It also works for my children, especially the youngest, who views mess differently to me.

The harder option is to turn a blind eye to the mess if it is not your responsibility.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ok, I will try to make it more clear. I didn't want to get into all the nitty gritty. Let me say first though, that I do not withhold sex, as in, if he does good things, he gets rewarded. It's more that when I get home from work, I take care of our child until he goes to bed, and I put him to bed, every night. I also will cook dinner and try to pick up the house while the baby naps. By the time the baby goes to sleep, I still have to shower, clean up dishes, get my stuff ready for work, and then sleep (it's after 10p usually). I haven't figured out how to fit that part of our marriage into the equation. Also, my husband is usually already in bed by this time and generally on his way to dreamland.
Now, when I say he gets up with the baby, that's two and half hours after I've already gotten up and out of the house. I take care of the bills, groceries, baby supplies, cleaning supplies, doctors appts, and all that type of stuff. This doesn't sound important, but when you need to give your baby formula, but oops you don't have any, it becomes quite important, indeed.
I guess I feel like, if you're going to wash the dishes, make sure they are clean as putting away dishes with old food on them will attract all sorts of varmints. Also, our baby bottles are growing some kind of crud on them.
One more thing, if our son wakes up in the middle of the night, I take care of him.
Am I still crazy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,855 Posts
Some people aren't good at time management, because they never learned. What kind of job did he have before staying home? Anything with "applicable" experience?

It might seem overwhelming to him, simple to you. Because he doesn't naturally have that ability.

And then there is the priority aspect. What he considers important, compared to what you do.

Is he open enough to sitting down and having a conversation on what is expected, what you would like to have done, and can you help him with how to schedule that?

And after all that is done..... a baby means the whole schedule might go out the window.

So other than that, my little piece of advice is that you are lucky that one of you can stay home. And if he is spending quality time with your son, and you can afford it, enlist some housekeeping help, or send the laundry out to a service. A baby grows up so fast.
Spending all your day cleaning instead of playing with a youngster is a personal choice, if it's that important to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,871 Posts
Deejov has some good advice. One thing about his work, is that maybe he doesn't want to view it as "being able to stay home" more like he is being unfairly torn in two directions... In my case I made it perfectly clear that when I'm on the clock and working it was to be as if I was away at the office, but frequently she still let the kids (she also ran a home daycare business and took in a couple other kids) into my office to play, would often times go out for a break and expect me to stop working and take care of her daycare kids. It made for a lot of resentment, even though I could have done a better job of managing I felt completely unappreciated, like because I was working in the home my career was on hiatus, she didn't seem to mind the income though. She was also unable to see that when both of our work days were done, that it didn't make her entitled to a break any more than me.

If your H is slacking during the evenings when you both have to share the load that is a valid complaint though, just make sure you are not diminishing his contributions from his paid job, or think that because he is at home chores should be any easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,636 Posts
Ok, I will try to make it more clear. I didn't want to get into all the nitty gritty.
That does you no favors. if we don't know the facts, how can we help you.

Let me say first though, that I do not withhold sex, as in, if he does good things, he gets rewarded. It's more that when I get home from work, I take care of our child until he goes to bed, and I put him to bed, every night. I also will cook dinner and try to pick up the house while the baby naps. By the time the baby goes to sleep, I still have to shower, clean up dishes, get my stuff ready for work, and then sleep (it's after 10p usually). I haven't figured out how to fit that part of our marriage into the equation. Also, my husband is usually already in bed by this time and generally on his way to dreamland.
Now, when I say he gets up with the baby, that's two and half hours after I've already gotten up and out of the house. I take care of the bills, groceries, baby supplies, cleaning supplies, doctors appts, and all that type of stuff. This doesn't sound important, but when you need to give your baby formula, but oops you don't have any, it becomes quite important, indeed.
I guess I feel like, if you're going to wash the dishes, make sure they are clean as putting away dishes with old food on them will attract all sorts of varmints. Also, our baby bottles are growing some kind of crud on them.
One more thing, if our son wakes up in the middle of the night, I take care of him.
Am I still crazy?
Curious about a couple of things:

1. How do you know he is not working hard during the day? It sounds like he works from home. If that is accurate, do you expect him to do all these chores and still do his actual day job? If not, what amount of them do you expect to get done? Also, what do you mean by him not being exceptionally busy? Is his business less than you have at your job outside the home?

2. How long is daycare? Does he care for your child for any amount of time before you get home? What is he doing then?

I think part of what comes across in your posts is the feeling that his at home job is not important, so he should be doing all the chores as well. Consider that he is reacting poorly to this (to be clear, I am not justifying it, only noting the occurance). I know that if I worked from home and my wife came home upset because I did not have all the chores done, I would likely not react well either. Is this a possible dynamic?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,902 Posts
It also sounds like the two of you have different ideas of how clean a home needs to be to be livable. No one is going to do more chores than they think are necessary.

Untidiness doesn't bother me, especially after raising two children. Fortunately, it doesn't bother my wife either so we have a functionally clean but often unkempt home. A fan of **** and span would probably be appalled.
 
  • Like
Reactions: anony2

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,546 Posts
Some people aren't good at time management, because they never learned. What kind of job did he have before staying home? Anything with "applicable" experience?

It might seem overwhelming to him, simple to you. Because he doesn't naturally have that ability.

And then there is the priority aspect. What he considers important, compared to what you do.

Is he open enough to sitting down and having a conversation on what is expected, what you would like to have done, and can you help him with how to schedule that?

And after all that is done..... a baby means the whole schedule might go out the window.

So other than that, my little piece of advice is that you are lucky that one of you can stay home. And if he is spending quality time with your son, and you can afford it, enlist some housekeeping help, or send the laundry out to a service. A baby grows up so fast.
Spending all your day cleaning instead of playing with a youngster is a personal choice, if it's that important to you.
The baby goes to day care.

Your husband is being unreasonable. Very.

As your day is longer you should not be doing more then your husband. He needs a huge wake up call.

I suggest in the budget try and find someone to clean the house once a week. Then divide the rest of the chores up, with you both caring for the baby and getting a little down time when you get home.

What your husband is doing will cause a lot of resentment. I can understand why you would be too tired for sex, tell him it's not about punishment or reward that you are exhausted and he needs to step up and help.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
44,446 Posts
You husband takes your son to daycare in the morning.

Who picks you son up from daycare?

About what time is your son picked up from daycare?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
Ok, I will try to make it more clear. I didn't want to get into all the nitty gritty. Let me say first though, that I do not withhold sex, as in, if he does good things, he gets rewarded.
Kind of like the dog. If he rolls over, he gets a treat.

Regardless of how hard you 'believe' your husband is working, is he working 'full time' as in approx. 7-8 hours per day? Does he earn as much income or more than you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,361 Posts
There are two things here I'll comment on. One is something called "Fundamental Attribution Error" that is at the heart of a problem like you describe. The other has to do with time management. Since time management's the easier one to address, I'll start with it.

You two seem to have too much on your plate. Let's face, it, we all have a limited number of hours in a week, and we can only do so much with that time. Some people are more skilled at managing their time than others, but you didn't marry your husband for his time management skills. Would it be possible to hire someone to come in once every week or two to help with the housework for a couple hours? Could you ask your husband to take the reins after 8:00?

Fundamental attribution error is a topic that I studied when I was working on my master's degree in communications. If you click on that link, it gives a pretty decent explanation of the concept. The gist of it is that we all believe we contribute more than we do (both in quantity and quality), and we don't give others credit for as much as they actually do. I see this principle oozing throughout your post, Aurentium. This means if you asked him, he'd explain he does quite a bit that you don't acknowledge, and that YOU aren't working so very hard as you think, either.

It's not that either of you is right or wrong. It's just human nature to perceive things in the ways that are most beneficial to ourselves.

To break out of that, you'll have to find a way to give him credit for all that he does, and to acknowledge your own shortcomings while you seek a fair solution that you can both feel good about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,871 Posts
Kathy, well said - I was even thinking to myself "I wonder what the OP's H's side of the story would be?"

One thing I have to say about Fundamental Attribution Error, is what about those of us who have already studied the concept and are already aware of it in our relationship but have discovered that our partner isn't able to acknowledge that - in essence, it's still a two way street so if one partner understands that his criticism may be due to his own biased perceptions, how easy is it to control that attributed perception of our spouses contributions if we've adjusted our own attitude but have only ended up taking on more of the workload, in actuality?

To me that is a lot of what I felt in my marriage, and it quickly resulted in resentment and then inaction on my part, I;d start the chores but never finish a chore, unload the dishwasher but then leave it open with the dirty dishes on the counter, then go sort laundry but not put it in the machine, then sift through paperwork but leave it in piles that all topple over and need to be re-sifted etc. We tend to sabotage the other partner when we feel an injustice, and being aware of the fundamental attribution error concept can actually make it worse (it did for me).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,480 Posts
If I was you I would take a more active role when it comes to household chores or at least let your husband know what you expect. When I first took over my business I ended up having to clean up the whole damn restaurant all by myself from the filters to the benches to the grills to the chairs to the dishes to the floors to the toilets... etc etc

I actually became quite systematic and efficient. I learnt how to prevent double jobs, so with my employees I train them with my system - but still open for them doing it their own way if it's easier and faster - I'm just happy if the job gets done and gets done ON TIME. Now when it comes to household chores, I trained my wife the same way, and it only takes like 2 hours max a day to get everything done (it's the double jobs that makes it take SO MUCH longer). After a while it just becomes routine. You have to play manager with your SO sometimes.

I have been slack since seperation however, but nevermind that :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,361 Posts
We tend to sabotage the other partner when we feel an injustice, and being aware of the fundamental attribution error concept can actually make it worse (it did for me).
For me, it made me more sensitive to my partner's perceptions, something I should've done years earlier!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
That does you no favors. if we don't know the facts, how can we help you.



Curious about a couple of things:

1. How do you know he is not working hard during the day? It sounds like he works from home. If that is accurate, do you expect him to do all these chores and still do his actual day job? If not, what amount of them do you expect to get done? Also, what do you mean by him not being exceptionally busy? Is his business less than you have at your job outside the home?

2. How long is daycare? Does he care for your child for any amount of time before you get home? What is he doing then?

I think part of what comes across in your posts is the feeling that his at home job is not important, so he should be doing all the chores as well. Consider that he is reacting poorly to this (to be clear, I am not justifying it, only noting the occurance). I know that if I worked from home and my wife came home upset because I did not have all the chores done, I would likely not react well either. Is this a possible dynamic?
Many days, my husband doesn't have much actual work to do. When this happens, he naps on our couch and plays video games throughout the day. I'm not sure about anyone else's job, but I do know that my job doesn't allow me time for napping and playing during the day. I do understand that a job is a job and that he does work. But is it unfair to say that between calls he can't throw clothes in the washer or dryer and stick dishes in the dishwasher? I can unload and fold when I get home, so that half the work is done.
Also, it's not that I expect him to do all the chores, but the ones that he's responsible for need to be done.
I absolutely know that my reaction is bad, and that's one of the reason I'm here. I want to find a way to talk with him about it that doesn't come across accusing or angry or derogatory. I'm ok about doing chores, but I've tried to talk with him about a plan to get things done and he doesn't seem receptive. Even when there was a loose plan in place, he didn't stick to it. We still have week old dishes in the sink, dirty baby bottles, and no clean eating utensils.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Deejov has some good advice. One thing about his work, is that maybe he doesn't want to view it as "being able to stay home" more like he is being unfairly torn in two directions... In my case I made it perfectly clear that when I'm on the clock and working it was to be as if I was away at the office, but frequently she still let the kids (she also ran a home daycare business and took in a couple other kids) into my office to play, would often times go out for a break and expect me to stop working and take care of her daycare kids. It made for a lot of resentment, even though I could have done a better job of managing I felt completely unappreciated, like because I was working in the home my career was on hiatus, she didn't seem to mind the income though. She was also unable to see that when both of our work days were done, that it didn't make her entitled to a break any more than me.

If your H is slacking during the evenings when you both have to share the load that is a valid complaint though, just make sure you are not diminishing his contributions from his paid job, or think that because he is at home chores should be any easier.
You kind of got it right. Once I get home, I feel a bit like a single parent. He doesn't watch the baby at all in the evenings. We go together to get him from daycare and then it's just me. I just want to feel as though I can rely on him when things aren't always easy.
I agree that his job is important, even if it is easier than mine, but I also have the added stress of a 2.5 hour round trip commute each day.
 
1 - 20 of 81 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top