Dad on a power trip? what is going on? any advice?

[deleted account] ( 4 moms have responded )

we both work and i take classes once/week. on weekends I take care of our 15 months old. DH tunes out to relax and when I ask him to help - change the pooped diaper, do chores - every request is a fight. like with the 4 y.o. "why change diaper? why now? why not after I go and do my things? he already pooped, so it can wait. skin irritation? his skin is always fine." I am stunned that I don't have an answer other than our baby IS the priority. he says i have an issue b/c I just want things done my way. Any smart way to stop that power struggle? i am really tired - with every request comes "why? why now?" and a long discussion that ends up in an argument or me doing things myself.

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Florencia - posted on 01/16/2010

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I have been there, and i can safely say it will not change!!! If he isn't going to help you then he truly is only hurtin and bringing you down. Being a mom, working and going to school is stressful enough, any one of those tasks in itself is a lot to handle, that you don't need an argument to stress you out even more. It's a waste of energy that could be used to just do the job yourself, that is the end result anyways. Being a successful family takes team work. Why should you put in 90+% and he put in maybe 10. He should already understand and want to do these thing mainly for his child because that's what a good caring father does but because he wants to help you because he loves and cares about you and your mental and physical state. You already have your kids to take care of and yourself, if he's not helping and you are already doing it by yourself, why not leave him and lighten your load? Its less cooking, less laundry, one less person to clean up after, take care of and worry about. To just give him his way it will be like this give an inch they take a mile. You did not make these kids by yourself so things should be 50/50. Sounds like INSANITY!!! Definition of INSANITY= repeating the same action expecting a different result. You know what you are doing isn't working. Maybe nicely ask him once and just wait for him to do it don't argue, depending on what it is give him a sufficient amount of time to do it if it's not done then just do it yourself. While waiting don't let him know that you may be waiting impatiently just act like you don't care when it gets done. Then he won't feel like you are mothering him and telling him what to do. Are you sure that you are asking him? Are you asking with a please and responding to his answer with a thank you? Maybe when he does do what you have asked of him, go an extra step and let him know that you are thankful and grateful and appreciate his help. Men don't want to feel like they are being controlled, mothered, being b!$@#ed at or whatever. They want to feel like the dominant one, king of the castle, a real man. Sometimes strokin their ego a little can go a long way. Just try different things till you find a few different ones that work. They like change and excitement. Sometimes too much responsibility overwhelms them and they end up acting like kids again with an " I'M THE MAN" attitude. Just don't waste more energy on trying to get someone to do something, when it would take a lot less stress and energy to just do yourself.

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Amanda - posted on 01/18/2010

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My suggestion, stop taking care of him. Stop cooking for him, washing his clothes, etc. Then, when he brings it up, just inform him you were too busy doing for the baby that you didn't have time for it. He'll get the point once he sees he doesn't have clean clothes or he is hungry. And also, stop the intimacy. You are doing too much during the day with work, home, school and baby. If he is not showing care for your needs, why care for his. It will suck because he is your husband but he is also the dad and partner in the relationship. Another thing, just remind him that you are not in it alone and if that's what you feel like, then why not be alone. He is probably doing it because he knows you will end up doing everything anyway. Also, if you show him that arguing will just lead to him getting his way, he will use it everytime. That's the problem with us women, we tend to stress more on these things and they just tune it out and continue with their own. Don't let him dominate you and don't be dominated against.

[deleted account]

The bottom line is this-if you have to ask/fight about it just do it yourself. There is no rhyme or reason for why men do what they do-well no more than why we do what we do. In the time you are wasting asking/fighting you can do the task at least three times. If he doesn't help you-you will be upset. If you have to fight to get him to do it-you will be upset. Just don't ask anymore and don't fight about it. Write him a letter about how you feel-don't unload on him-you want to stress your point but not "nag" him. Then let it go. You can't change him-you can only encourage him to change.

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