Monday, April 26, 2010
Wifey's Q and A
Love your blog! I was hoping you and/or your faithful readers could help me.
My husband and I have been married 9 months, together 6 years and living together 4 years. The problem: he doesn't help around the house nearly as much as I'd like him to. From time to time, my husband comes home and tells me about the wonderful women his coworkers are married to and the ends they go to in order to please their husbands at home. It makes me feel like this is his way of telling me I'm not being a good wife and/or that I'm not doing enough for him. Why would he think this? Well because 1.) I don't do his laundry; and 2.) I only cook about 5 days a week.
My point of view: I don't live by myself and I'm not a maid. I feel like he should lend a hand sometimes. I understand he works long hours and travels for work. I'm not asking him to come home everyday and start busting suds. I'd just like him to help me out a little sometimes and pick up after himself. I do 99% of the cooking and cleaning. He leaves pots and pans all over the stove and lets the sink pile up with dirty dishes. He leaves cups and snack packages in our bedroom. He lets his shoes pile up in the living room. He leaves his opened mail scattered all over the couch. He lets his dirty clothes pile up sometimes for weeks at a time. (By the way, he was sort of a clean freak when I met him.) I work full-time just like him and even though we don't have kids yet, I'm tired of doing everything around this huge house by myself.
His point of view: He's on the road for work nearly every day working about 60 hours a week. His only day off is Sunday. He spends his days driving between three different states to manage multiple locations. Sometimes he drives 5-6 hours a day just to get to and from work. He's tired. The last thing he wants to think about is household chores. Those are the wife's responsibilities. He pays the mortgage and is the breadwinner. He shouldn't have to worry about much else.
I have expressed my feelings to him in the past. Usually he'll help me out for about a week, then his old ways set in again. Am I missing something? Am I being unreasonable? I don't know how to get through to him without it turning into the same old argument.
I'd love to get some feedback from you. Thanks in advance.
Mrs. I Can't Do It All By Myself
Dear Mrs. I Can’t Do It All By Myself:
First, let me say that you are not alone. This is such a common dilemma that couples face. Are you being unreasonable, I don’t think so. Are you missing something, perhaps the conversation about what you and your husband expected before you got married, but don’t feel bad, most of us missed this convo, too! Often couples tackle the big issues before they get married – kids and money – but who’s going to cook dinner or take out the trash is normally just assumed. It’s those assumptions and expectations that often find us on different pages.
The fact that your husband was a clean freak when you met him and has since changed his ways, coupled with the fact that he’s told you he believes household chores are the wife’s responsibility lets you know exactly where he stands. It sounds like you have communicated your stance, too. Quite honestly, you both have valid points, but unfortunately, have different expectations. Neither one is right or wrong. You might not understand or agree with each other but both of you are entitled to your point of view and you both should respect that. Here’s the fun part, you both need to find a common ground that will work for your marriage. Because your views are so opposing, one person giving in will probably lead to resentment. Decide what you are willing to compromise on then present it to your husband and ask him to do the same. Approach him positively, letting him know that his point of view is important to you and that you’d like to figure out how you both can feel comfortable with the outcome. Be patient, it might take a little while to work this out but it will definitely be worth the effort.
Winks & Smiles,
Alright ladies, she’s asking for your help. Would love to hear your thoughts!
The advice on this site is intended to be helpful, but is not meant to take the place of marital counseling, legal advice, financial advice or any other professional service. If you feel you need professional help, it is encouraged for you to get some.