Am I being unreasonable in feeling unappreciated?

[deleted account] ( 3 moms have responded )

I feel like I shoulder all the responsibility and am just taken for granted by my husband of nine years. I work full time and have six year old daughter. Because he chooses to go to work early and often stays late, I do all the school runs and pick ups from after school club, never having the option to in in early or finish late although my job is demanding. He expects that I should cook dinner every night "because he works later", even if this impacts upon quality time with our daughter. I told him that ensuring that we ate dinner at a reasonable hour every night was impacting on quality time and I thought she was acting out as a result, he said she would have to get used to it!
I handle all the finances and the laundry, I was feeling really ill with a sickness bug and still managed to do three loads of laundry, cook dinner because all that was on offer otherwise was a takeaway, and do a pile of ironing in between amusing our daughter. He played with her a little but spent most of his time on the computer. The day after I had vomitted in the night he still played golf as planned despite me expressing reservations as to whether I would cope and wanted to go out that evening as I was obviously not going to be much company! When he is ill it's off to bed to recover without a thought for anything else.
Today I'm feeling very stressed over work and admittedly overreacted when our daughter messed about with her dinner and spilt it all down her. When he asked what was wrong I tried explaining that I feel like I am shouldering all the responsibility and pointed out that I'd done lots over the weekend whilst he did very little. He got the hump as usual, said he would only talk to me when I could give him credit for what he does and stormed off. I've tried talking to him many times but he thinks I should be doing the women's role and he cannot change. He expects me to do the role of a 50's wife despite my full time job. Whenever we argue about this, his main complaint is that he does not get enough bedroom action! I've tried pointing out that a more even split of household and childcare responsibilities may improve on that, things improve for a while but then slip back. Don't get me wrong, he can be a great dad, but this is when he wants to be and it suits him. Thankfully we have a cleaner or this would be down to me too.
Am I being unreasonable in feeling undervalued and unappreciated?

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/12/2012

13,264

21

2015

Louise, I wondered about that. LOTS of men are good with sharing until baby comes...and then, for some reason, you're supposed to become the perfect version of the 50's wife...LOL...sometimes I wonder if we're supposed to dress up and "freshen up" like they used to recommend before your "man gets home"...

Yep, definitely get him to somewhere where he 1) cannot leave. 2) doesn't feel pressured (no family around, etc)...a quiet date night is a good idea for this.

Make sure that you tell him that you're not picking on him, but you think it's time to re-assess the responsibilities, and maybe now, since little one is getting older, re-distributing duties. Play him up. "You know, it would really make her day to have Daddy pick her up...she'd be the kid in class with the cool Daddy"...Or things of that nature. And do ask him what he'd do if your daughter's future husband were to treat her like that? (I bet he'd be LIVID, because that's his little girl...)

Remind him that we're in the 21st century now, and it's "in" for dads to be involved, and that you really need him to be involved.

I know, it's easy to "grin and bear it" for awhile, but honey, it's not worth it!

I'm spoiled, though...My hubby, because he didn't even get to interact with his daughter from his first marriage, has been very hands on with our kids the whole time. And I'm pretty thankful for that.

Good luck! I bet he'll come around, if you've had small successes earlier on...

[deleted account]

Hi Shawnn, we did share responsibilities before we got married, it just seemed that after we married he became more chauvanistic in his view of what his wife should be like. I've tackled him many times over the years and we trashed it out when we planned to get pregnant and of course since then. I know I probably sound as if I've meekly accepted things, I've grinned and got on with it to try and keep the peace whilst seething inside. I like your idea of approaching it from the poor example for our daughter angle, I just need him to listen long enough for me to properly explain how I'm feeling, he usually takes offence quickly and storms off. We're both very strong minded so it can be difficult to make any progress.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/12/2012

13,264

21

2015

One question, and it's the same that I ask every woman that posts something similar:

Did you and your spouse, before you married, discuss the split of responsibilities? And, if so, and you agreed to the split at the time, did you then revisit the issue when you became pregnant?

Men are not mind readers, and in order to get them to understand that you'd like to SHARE responsibilities, you need to emphasize that early in your relationship, and often thereafter.

If you did sit down and have the discussion prior to marriage (or baby), then it's time to get a sitter, get him in a neutral place and explain that he's not living up to his end, whether he likes it or not. If he refuses to listen, go on strike.

However, if you did NOT sit down prior to marriage (or baby), and you're trying to get him to pitch in now, after you've meekly accepted it...well, he's not going to hear you. You've already shown him that you are perfectly capable of coping on your own, and that's what he sees. Again, a neutral setting (away from kids), a calm conversation about your expectations in the relationship is in order. AND family therapy.

You're bitter because you think that you "do it all". He gets upset when you mention it and won't listen. Your daughter sees this, sees that you're not necessarily happy, but you continue to put up with him...and lo and behold, someday down the road, your daughter is in the mirror image of your relationship with your husband, unhappy, feeling bitter and put upon...and all you can do is say "honey, I'm sorry".

Neither of you is giving your daughter a good example of a working relationship. Perhaps that is the way to approach it with him. But, if he's in the 50's mindset, and has been the whole time, it's going to take some work to change, and most likely counseling for all of you to make sure things keep running smoothly.

I'd lose the bitter feeling, though. Your daughter will sense it, and sooner or later will think that you're upset with her for some reason.

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