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this is a question, not a tutorial! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> sorry to disappoint if anyone thought i was going to have some words of wisdom. nope. i need yours.<br><br>
my story is nothing new - i'm responsible for most things around the house, dh is a sahd who does very little housework (like not even picking up after breakfast & lunch) but who, lately, has been making more of an effort to do the "man" things like repairs (which i've done in the past) and making dinner about half the time. which is great - but i still have three meals' worth of dishes to do at the end of the day.<br><br>
anyway, you guys know all about that stuff. i know things are this way because i've allowed them to be. i've tried to get dh to see things the way i do - that we've chosen to have kids, to buy a house and fill it with things, and that means we signed up for the responsibilities and should do them gladly. i try to enjoy caring for my home and family, and encourage dh to take some pride in doing the same, but he doesn't see it that way.<br><br>
i also have a hard time saying "no" to dh. i mean, i do love the guy! so he gets a ton of "me" time. i mean, he's completely in favor of sending me out of the house for an hour or two on the weekend while he cares for the kids, but the flip side is he sleeps in every weekend morning and hangs with his friends multiple nights a week while i care for the kids, or always has an excuse why he can't go with on outings, whether it's just our nuclear family or social stuff with my family so i end up taking the kids by myself all the time. it's unbalanced. he also burns up a lot of money on himself, again, because i don't tell him "no". even if i've told him money is tight, we don't have money for xyz, he will still pester me about it and i give in. now, again, i do get my spending money too but it's way out of balance.<br><br>
when i try to have a gentle but honest conversation about how things are going and what i need from him, it sucks. he can be very manipulative. he plays the victim, asking me to stop coming at him and making him feel like crap. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> i know that he is insecure, so when i ask for change, i don't doubt that he does feel somewhat threatened, but i truly am very careful and calm, acknowledging the things i appreciate about him and reminding him that i want to work on things because i care about him and value our relationship. however, it's like i'm not getting through to him, so when i do get firm and try to say, "i've had enough, this had got to stop" or "i cannot do xyz on my own - i need your help!" he has a total meltdown OR turns it around on me and starts pointing out all the ways i'm not perfect. (as in, all the things <i>i can't do on my own</i> even though i've been trying to for a long time.)<br><br>
before everyone says, "he's depressed!" why, yes, of course he is. he's on anti-depressants and, more recently, vitamins, which have helped too. i really want him to try some more progressive therapies (as he's not interested in "dwelling" on his messed up childhood), i want him to exercise as that is proven to be more effective than drugs, he says he'll do these things but doesn't. i'm not ragging on him here, just giving the background because i know it will be requested otherwise.<br><br>
i need him to share more of the responsibilities. how do i get that?
 

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Subbing. I would love to hear an answer to this one.<br>
They should add a "same boat" icon.
 

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no advice but it sounds more like a sugar mama situation <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/whistling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="whistle">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>2cutiekitties</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14688126"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">no advice but it sounds more like a sugar mama situation <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/whistling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="whistle"></div>
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Yep. I bet if you asked him to move out.. he'd change his tune awfully fast.<br><br>
I bet if you started a Pro/Con list of staying married to this man... you'd find the con list to be the bigger side. I can tell you care about him... but he's no good for your life. Also, if you have a son, your dh is being a poor role model for him. And your daughter is learning about married life from you. Give and take. Sounds like you are the giver and he's always the taker.
 

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normally these situations are the other way around? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"> - either way he can't remain depressed forever, he needs to do something! eventually you're going to become far too overwhelmed with handling all of the major responsibilities which isn't fair. sounds like you keep giving and what do you receive in return? sure he may be a nice guy and a loving dad... BUT it takes two. he needs to get a job or something and help support his family as well, and if not, he needs to focus a lot of his time on the house and kids not screwing off.<br><br>
i understand not wanting to hurt his feelings, but you've tried going about it in a delicate way already. seems like it's time for some tough love and a reality check. not to be mean or hurtful to the man, but seriously he needs to get it through his head that if he's not working, not bringing in an income, ect... than his time SHOULD be devoted to the child and housework, not left to you, who for the most part, takes care of the family, the majority of the housework, and HIM.<br><br>
good luck <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.
 

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Some neutral phrasing that works around here when I want help with things dh "doesn't see":<br><br>
"The dishes need to be done, the baby needs a bath, the dog need to go out, and the toys need to be picked up. What would you like to do and what should I do?
 

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I have a book rec for you ~ The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner.<br><br>
I don't think some re-phrasing is going to do it here. Seriously, this could have been a post in GD. It's not your responsibility to straighten him out. It is your responsibility to decide what you can live with, what you expect from him, and let him know accordingly.<br><br>
And then YOU have to decide what you will do if he doesn't change. How long do you want this to go on? What do you get out of picking up after him? Is it emotionally satisfying to you to be the more responsible one? Not saying there's anything wrong with that. Well, there probably is, but I totally do that too.<br><br>
What the book will help you with is brainstorming all this and helping you have a serious discussion with him where you communicate your needs without getting sucked back into the bullshit. It was a huge eye-opener for me.
 

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Just an observation--It seems like the stuff I do is pretty invisible to dh unless it doesn't get done. And sometimes even then! I mean, it doesn't even occur to him the many, many things that need to be done! Some of them he would do if he lived by himself but some would never ever get done.<br><br>
I read in a magazine once about making cards for all the jobs to be done and shuffling them and handing out equal numbers, then having a negotation to trade jobs....I wonder if something like that would help. Or even just making a list of what needs to be done, how long it takes and having each of you rate the priority--how important is it to you that this job be done? Then deciding who does what, assuming that it will be somewhat equal. Or usually, that a sah parent would do a little more, depending on what is reasonable while taking care of children. That way in the discussion you don't even have to bring up who is currently doing more than their share. Promise him no more nagging if he goes along with it. Give yourselves a reward at the end of the week if you both complete your jobs. Anything that will make it seem like taking care of the household is a team project and not a "will you please do this job for me" kind of situation.<br><br>
So...that's my brainstorm. I should try it some time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
BTW, Who does what in a household IS a big deal....but I totally disagree with people who say leave someone for this reason alone. You can work this out.
 

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I think you can work it out too, I don't think you should leave just because the housework isn't getting divided up equally and he wants money all the time. Honestly, this sounds almost exactly like DH and me, only I'm the one who stays at home.<br><br>
If I were your husband, I would want you to sit down with me and talk about how it makes you feel when he spends the money, when the house doesn't get semi-picked up before you get home. Ask him if there is something you could do to divide chores and spending money and time away from kids/work equally.<br><br>
Don't leave him, not over something like this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>2cutiekitties</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14688126"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">no advice but it sounds more like a sugar mama situation <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/whistling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="whistle"></div>
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i'm so dense! i thought there was an mdc user with the screen name "sugar mama" who had been in a similar situation and you were kind of calling for her to chime in. lol. it didn't occur to me what that meant until i was re-reading all the posts so i could respond. honestly, i see what you mean, but i don't think i make enough money to qualify!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
okay, thank you everyone for kind and thoughtful responses. it's good to hear a lot of different perspectives.<br><b><br>
philomom</b>: you are right that my "con" list will be longer than the "pro" list - i've known that's the case for a long time, without having to write out a physical list. the thing is, even though the "pros" of staying with him may be fewer in number, the weight or value of each item on the list isn't the same. and there is the potential, i guess, for improvement that makes me say, "all these cons are changeable," i mean, they may be temporary . . . if they are behavior and not character, i guess. i share your concern about the example we're setting for our children. i don't want them to learn that this is how things work, but i also don't want them to learn that you can just walk away and that marriage isn't worth hard work. it is. i mean, the kids see the wack stuff i described but they also see us having fun together and being affectionate, because despite my frustration and stress and anger at times, we do still enjoy each other's company. (and hot sex, but the kids don't know about that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">) i can't imagine saying, "you need to move out," even if it's just a scare tactic. i think that would be really damaging.<br><b><br>
sunnmama</b>: i love this in theory! "here's what needs to be done, how do you want to split it up?" is great because it avoids any blaming or score-keeping regarding what each of has done in the past day, week, month or year. that is awesome. his response is, "i'll do that tomorrow. let's have fun." and he usually doesn't do it tomorrow. sometimes even when i haven't asked for his help but am cleaning up, he'll insist that he will finish what i'm doing later, if i'll hang out with him right now - and this guy is not lonely, he spends a lot of time with his friends. anyway, i digress.<br><b><br>
fuamami</b>: that sounds really good - and my local library has it, and it's available! i will check it out. what you described is exactly what i'm asking for. i just don't know how to do it, so it sounds like the book will be very helpful. he didn't grow up with an example of a functional marriage (dad worked but did nothing around the house, including lawn/snow - and yes, mom worked too!); and neither did i (single mom, did everything but she also didn't have people messing up her house all day). i think we're pretty good at helping to meet each others' individual needs but not at identifying and sharing marriage/family/household needs.<br><br><b>kmom-3 & krisis</b>: i agree, this isn't an "it's over" moment, but there is a breaking point and there have been times when i've been pushed to the point of wanting to kick his ass out, and i don't want that to happen. he does have some blind spots and lack of perspective on how much needs to be done, but i don't know how to make that clearer. every dollar is budgeted - i guess that is a maturity thing? he'll ask for "a couple bucks" which means he's taking my cash, or he'll need to buy something and when i ask, "what part of the budget is that going to come out of?" it's like he really doesn't get it that the money all gets used up.<br><br>
bottom line, we've had these conversations over and over again - what needs to be done, why i'm stressed out, money, time, etc. really, we have. we've been married for six years, together for eight. i just want to be like, "listen, bitch, this is how it has to be," but that's sooooooooo not me. and it implies that "or else" thing, and like fuamama said, i have to figure out what that is exactly, what happens if he chooses not to step up. i don't know. some reading to do, some thinking to do. thank you again for all your support!
 

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To the Op,<br><br>
You need a team player in your life... not another grown up child. Please see if you can make him understand. And the next time he deflects your criticism/suggestions/concerns... get very angry.Don't be manipulated. Or take away his spending money and hire a house cleaner to come in once a week. Tell him its a necessity if he won't take care of stuff for you. No way should you be doing the second shift after supporting your family.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>doubledutch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14690049"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">his response is, "i'll do that tomorrow. let's have fun." and he usually doesn't do it tomorrow. sometimes even when i haven't asked for his help but am cleaning up, he'll insist that he will finish what i'm doing later, if i'll hang out with him right now - and this guy is not lonely, he spends a lot of time with his friends. anyway, i digress.</div>
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Tomorrow?!<br><br>
I am psychologically incapable of being a "fun" companion surrounded by mess. But I'm super-fun after we all spend 20 minutes tidying up! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
I guess I'd respond to that the same way I'd respond to my 8 yo: after A, then B. I'm not willing to do B before A. He really does sound like a big kid who just needs a firm "no."
 

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There's a lot of anger in your post, or frustration, whatever you want to call it. I'd focus on a few things that you want, rather than trying to lay this all on him at once.<br><br>
By what you've written it sounds like you don't share equal responsibilities. He needs to understand that you and he both work, and the childcare needs to be divided when you return home from work, or the other work needs to be divided in some way. That's what I'd focus on.<br><br>
Regarding money: my wife and I don't have a relationship where one of us can dictate whether the other buys something. I'm not sure if it's reasonable for you to want that. Of course, my wife and I both have jobs, so there might be a different dynamic there for you. But I think if the genders were reversed in your situation, people would not cheer for you limiting what the SAH person can use money for.<br><br>
Regarding outings: so much could be going on there. It's unclear whether he likes going on outings. Whether your relationship with him is very tense at the moment, which would make them unenjoyable, etc. Sometimes I really don't want to hang out with my wife or another adult. But I'm fine with taking care of my daughter. Those things can become blurred and confused in your spouse, because if they don't mind talking to an adult or hanging out or whatever, it seems the most natural thing in the world to take over for the baby and stay among the other adults. Sometimes I don't want that, but I'd be fine taking her to a park by ourselves or upstairs for a bit to play there.<br><br>
Edit-Also, I bristle at the "sugar mama" comment. This guy takes care of children while he's at home. And cooks dinner sometimes. I've seen many posts in the SAHMs forum about how it isn't a SAHM's job to clean the house.
 

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yay! i so appreciate the male perspective. i forget that, generally speaking, men want things to be clear and concrete. so here are a few things i want (during the week).<br><br><b>clean up after breakfast and lunch.</b> this means putting away leftovers, wiping down the counters, clearing the table and loading the dishwasher. typically none of these things are done. i've been encouraging dh to have sandwiches on a paper towel or napkin for lunch more frequently, to minimize clean-up (that's what the kids want anyway). at least then there's no crusty pot waiting for me. we just do cereal for breakfast on weekdays, so that's easy clean-up too.<br><b>engage the kids in a morning and afternoon tidy-up</b>. they need to learn to pick up their toys (and clothes, and drawings, and nukies) on a regular basis, and it makes it easier (for me) to do the other housework, like sweeping the floor.<br><b>do bedtime with me</b>. this is a real problem. if i fall asleep while putting them to bed and dh doesn't come get me for an hour, well, no, i'm not getting back up because i'm deep asleep at that point. he and i then miss out on our time alone, and i lose some of the time i would also use for housework, and i wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep until around the time i should be getting out of bed, so i sleep as long as possible and don't have the kind of morning i'd like to have with the family. also, it's not fair to him! bedtime is such a sweet moment when the babes tell us all kinds of magical things, and he's missing it most nights.<br><br>
regarding money: i don't control <i>what</i> he buys, but we both need to limit <i>how much</i> we spend.<br><br>
regarding family time: he wants to hang with friends, sleep in on the weekends, watch movies, read, whatever is more fun than going with me and the kids to the beach, the park, dinner with my parents. i respect the need for social time without the family, and for time alone - i have those needs too. the kids get time with him, and i get time with him, but we don't get enough time as a family, the four of us, not even when we're all at home. he'd rather sit on the back steps and smoke while we're playing outside. he'd rather read while we're doing an art project. he'd rather play guitar while we're making dinner. the only kind of outing he wants to do with us is to go to the record store or the book store - and when we get there, he wants to split up.<br><br>
i agree housework (like deep cleaning) is a shared responsibility - it <i>isn't</i> a sahp's job to clean the house. however, it is the responsibility of whatever adult is home, and any kids that are old enough, to clean up after the messes they make during the day.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>plunky</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14691295"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There's a lot of anger in your post, or frustration, whatever you want to call it. I'd focus on a few things that you want, rather than trying to lay this all on him at once.<br><br>
By what you've written it sounds like you don't share equal responsibilities. He needs to understand that you and he both work, and the childcare needs to be divided when you return home from work, or the other work needs to be divided in some way. That's what I'd focus on.<br><br>
Regarding money: my wife and I don't have a relationship where one of us can dictate whether the other buys something. I'm not sure if it's reasonable for you to want that. Of course, my wife and I both have jobs, so there might be a different dynamic there for you. But I think if the genders were reversed in your situation, people would not cheer for you limiting what the SAH person can use money for. <b>I disagree, I think it's totally ok for limits to be set, if the working parent gets a certain amount of money to spend each month why should the SAH parent get more or as much as they want? That's a set up for a financial disaster, I heard the OP as saying that he is spending casually and somewhat recklessly without regard to their financial situation. I don't think it needs to be about the working partner controlling the money- I am the SAP in our home and I "control" the money so to speak, I do the budgetting and whatever is leftover is talked about and decided upon mutally, I don't then go out and spend whatever I want behind my partners back without regard for what we decided.</b><br><br><br><br>
Edit-Also, I bristle at the "sugar mama" comment. This guy takes care of children while he's at home. And cooks dinner sometimes. I've seen many posts in the SAHMs forum about how it isn't a SAHM's job to clean the house.</div>
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<b>I see this argument a lot "I'm not home to clean, I'm home to take care of the kids", and it doesn't fly with me. Would a parent put up with a trashed in home daycare because the provider was busy "parenting"? There's got to be some sort of standard going on. I think things can be put off, or left until both parents can tackle it together, or at a more convenient time, but the SAHP can't just declare cleaning as "not in the job description", human beings- grown adults have to clean. The working parent also has to clean. Whomever is making the mess needs to see to cleaning it up not leave it for the other person to do. That's disrespectful.<br><br>
I as a SAHP sometimes leave the dishes in the sink (gasp horrors) all day. My husband sees that when he gets home, but he most certainly doesn't have to wash them. Why would that be his job? If I make dinner for all of us and he's home yeah sure chip in, but I think it's totally mind blowing to have a SAHP watch kids all day and not pick a darn thing up and expect the person who worked all day to do it. That's just not right. It should be fair and equal.</b>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Porcelain Interior</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14691751"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I see this argument a lot "I'm not home to clean, I'm home to take care of the kids", and it doesn't fly with me.</div>
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Would you say that a SAHM who made the "I'm not home to clean, I'm home to take care of the kids" had a sugar daddy? I wouldn't, and I think it's pretty disrespectful to say it for a SAHD, too.<br><br>
I'm not defending the guy for not cleaning up the dishes. I'm saying that this is a wrong attitude (that a SAHD has a sugar mama), and one that would not be voiced for a SAHM in a similar situation.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>plunky</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14691805"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Would you say that a SAHM who made the "I'm not home to clean, I'm home to take care of the kids" had a sugar daddy? I wouldn't, and I think it's pretty disrespectful to say it for a SAHD, too.<br><br>
I'm not defending the guy for not cleaning up the dishes. I'm saying that this is a wrong attitude (that a SAHD has a sugar mama), and one that would not be voiced for a SAHM in a similar situation.</div>
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Yes I think it's a disrespectful statement.
 

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I am a SAHM and I clean the house but you know what. I can clean all day long and at the end of the day the house looks like I didn't do a single thing. I'll bet if you ask him to make a list of everything he does all day long, he does a lot more than you are giving him credit for. At least that is the way it is in my house.<br><br>
And trust me, if someone were to tell me my dh was my "sugar daddy" they would get an ear full.
 
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