Beating a dead horse with hubby

Blaise - posted on 12/12/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My husband and I have been together for 3.5 years and married for 6 months bee have a 2 year old and one on the way (baby boy...27 weeks now). I guess I'm looking for advice from moms/wives on the running of their households. We've had many issues surrounding how to delegate tasks at home and just generally finding the time to balance work/family/ school. This have been awful in the pasts with arguments and very poor communication. One day we both sat down and decided it had to change. We've had a tough past but I'm willing to put a lot of that behind me and focus on the present. It would be too much to type anyhow. Do I love my husband? Yes. Passionately? A lot of that has gone due to our past issues. Ok. Here goes: I'm a full time nursing student. Last semester I worked as well until I found out I was expecting and realized I couldn't do it all...school, clinically, work, toddler, household upkeep. We both agreed I should focus on school for our future to be brighter. Hubby is a teacher and a coach. He coaches basketball, football, and track. Needless to say he is very busy. My gripe is his lack of balancing family life with his work. Things I expect from him when he's home are minimal. Not just to crash on the couch. I expect him to help with dinner clean up. Sometimes give our son a bath and sometimes put him to bed. Maybe even play with him one on one as he doesn't get much time during the week. Instead I am always asking him to turn off the tv or take out the trash or help me clean up after meals ate made. He hates when I ask him to do things but if I don't...well, it doesn't get done and I end up doing it all. This pregnancy has been less than ideal. I do not expect to be babied. But I don't want to have to carry the heavy stuff. Laundry. Trash. Etcetera. We lost our last child due to this and I've been cautious in that regard. But I still end up carrying these things because he forgets to do them. I'm fed up. We had a huge trash can full to go out this morning. He used the trash. He walked out the door for work. I took it out. But I told him how I felt about it. I feel like he thinks because I do not work that I have to pick up all the slack here because he is gone a lot. I do not agree with this. This means I am busy from sun up til sundown. I think when he comes home his work hat should be off and his dad hat and husband hat should be out on. And that means equal help. I have class. That is my job right now. It takes me from home 30 hours a week and I'm pregnant to boot. We fight about this a lot. I don't feel obligated to sit on my rear on the weekends and catch up on my recorded shows. Yet this is what he does. Until I get upset and say something like "hey. Your son is trying to get your attention, maybe turn the tv off and interact with him since you're so busy during the week". This ensues in an argument. I potty train. I teach our son to wash his hands and brush his teeth. I ask hubby to help with this and he says "go wash your hands". Well, who leaves a two year old unattended in the bathroom to wash up? Who walks out of the bathroom absentmindedly while their kid is in the bath? This stuff has happened. I'm so stressed by my marriage and with worry for when I have our next. If he doesn't get it, when will he? I will have my baby and be right back in clinical for another 8 weeks, twice a week. He will be home on leave to care for our kids. I don't feel comfortable. I would sit out my last semester but with 8 weeks left I don't want to be behind another semester. What can I do? Sometimes I want to divorce because its really been awful. But then I think of our kids. And the. I think of how as parents we are their role models. I'm at a loss. This is just one of our major issues.

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Cassie - posted on 12/12/2012

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AAhhhh.... I know how you feel. I have been married for only a year and a half. My husband owns his own air conditioning business and since we live in south west florida, he is always busy. When he comes home, he cooks dinner (I dont cook). We came to an agreement that if he cooked, I would clean up. Sometimes I am not too sure that was a great deal for me ha ha. He is not a neat cook. Also, the trash through out the house......gets collected by me, the laundry throughout the house....gets collected and washed by me, the dirty dishes throughout the house.....get collected and washed by me, the recycling and trash cans going to the curb each week......me, cleaning of the house.....me again. I work for myself as well. I clean homes during the day. We also have a 16 year old that doesnt help too much around the house but that is a different story all together. In a nutshell, I am the one that physically, cosmetically and materially takes care of the house. I do all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, painting, fixing, etc. He works.



What your husband needs to come to the realization of, is that you are pregnant, you both have a child already in the house that needs 2 parents, mentally and emotionally. Don't give up on your schooling. When you have had your second child and you have gone back to clinicals, your husband will see that being at home with the children is no easy task. So many men out there dont realize that. What you are going to have to do in the meantime, is put your foot down. Tell him what you expect of him. Let the trash over flow, move it to the garage or back deck or front porch. Dont pick up behind him. My husband has slowly started to come around when I went on strike from cleaning, ANYTHING. Dirty dishes that were not in the sink to be washed, didnt get washed. Dirty clothes that werent in the basket, didnt get cleaned. I refused to sweep floors, vacuum, clean the bathroom or anything until someone else made a comment about it. It took 3 weeks for him to ask why I had stopped cleaning. Amazing, right? Some men get it quicker than other, while some never do. We are in our 40's and he is just starting to come around. Maybe you could try a chore list, a to do list, or something of that nature. Set a time after the kids are in bed or down for naps, for him to watch his shows. Let him know that you are already raising one child with one on the way and you dont have the time or energy for a 3rd.



This is just my opinion and my experience. Pick and choose what you think might be appropriate. Good luck!

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The big problem is the "Sometimes help" part. He doesn't know when you want him to help, and when you don't need him to. Instead of depending on him to pick up on your hints (which is obviously a weak spot of his...and lots of guys actually), sit down with him and pick a couple of tasks that he will do EVERY NIGHT. This way, he knows what he needs to do, and you don't have to be constantly asking him to do them. My husband is gone all day while I am home, so I like to let him do the tasks that involve our son, like giving him a bath and tucking him into bed. Turn it into a ritual for him to follow so that he doesn't get distracted or forget certain parts/tasks. You will have to prompt him for the first few weeks, but once he gets used to doing it every night, he will start to do it on his own, it will be a habit.

When you need his help outside of his everyday tasks, ask him nicely, give him choices, and let him know what you are doing as well. For example, "Hon, could you put that laundry away while I finish the dishes, or would you rather get the dishes while I do the laundry?"

There are 3 important parts to the phrase.

1st, the polite approach keeps him off the defensive. When we speak with a demanding tone, people automatically go on the defensive--they focus more on convincing you why you shouldn't be angry than actually listening (and thus doing what you asked). They also are more likely to refuse to do the task because it makes them feel submissive. Being polite lets him know that you know he is working hard for you and you respect what he does.

2nd, the choices give him a sense of control. It may be a somewhat "false" sense of control, but he still feels in control and will be more likely to cooperate. When someone has no choices, they feel "cornered" and the reflexive urge is to fight back. You want to avoid the fight back response (and it's automatic, so no sense getting mad at him for it)

3rd, let him know what you are doing. This does 3 things--first, it lets him know that you are working together as a team. It conveys that you respect and trust him as part of a team, not just another person you have to push to move into action. Second, it lets him know why YOU cannot complete the task you are requesting help with because obviously, you cannot do two things at once. And Third, it makes him feel guilty for sitting on his bum doing nothing while you have more tasks on your hands than you can handle. No man will feel good sitting around while his wife is still running.


My one last little piece of advice: Don't wait until you are frustrated to ask for help. By then, you will use an agitated tone, even if you don't mean to. When you get home from school, make a list of all the things you need to do. Look at the list and figure out what you will need help from hubby with. When he gets home, let him know. Stay sweet, and give him a few minutes to change hats, then let him know "Hon, I have all this to do this evening, I was hoping you could help me with these things. Is that cool?" This gives him the big picture, lets him feel the team spirit, and if you are flexible you can work some choices in there too, so he will cooperate.

PS (I let my husband retreat to his home office for about 30-45 minutes after work each day so that he can switch from work mode to home mode. After that, he is committed to being present with our family until the kids are in bed. This helps tremendously with his mood. I take my own break before I pick my kid up from school)

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Elizabeth - posted on 12/17/2012

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I was in the same boat but I would not worry about the kids when he is home with them alone becasue if he is used to be ing busy after a day or two he will start working around the house.

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