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Monday, May 11, 2009

Need My Husband's Help

Ok, so I am asking a question….more for 3 more entries for the giveaway, but also, would like someone else's opinion, who doesn't know me or my husband.

We recently welcomed our third baby…we have two older kids in school, and I work full-time outside of the home. My husband also works, but is technically laid off right now. He is doing some work here and there to make up the income.

Yes, he works in construction and has a labor intensive job, so he's usually tired when he comes home, plus, he's 41, so he thinks he's falling apart. The thing is, though, that's all he does when he gets home. Ok, well, he does cook dinner, but I usually end up cleaning up afterwards. I do all the laundry (for 5 people, washing, drying, folding AND putting it away), I do ALL the cleaning (dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing bathrooms/ kitchen counters, etc., organizing, putting things away, cleaning out the mail, etc). I feel that I do more than my share of any house work and that I have to ask him to do something. I have to remind him on garbage days, I have to ask him to give the kids a bath if I'm feeding the baby, etc. On top of all that, I am nursing, so right now, besides having to take the time to pump just so he can feed him, I am the only one feeding the baby and getting up in the middle of the night. I am so exhausted and just feel like he's taking advantage of me. I hate having to ask him to do anything, I shouldn't have to ask, but if I don't, he doesn't do a thing. Can't he see that there is dog hair all over the dining room floor? Can't he see that there are two laundry baskets of clean clothes that are already folded and need to be put away? He doesn't ever act like the mess and chaos bothers him, so if I leave it, it doesn't stress him out like it does me. Now, he's all over me because he wants to bring the intimacy back into our lives; always saying and doing things to try to let me know that he's ready. BUT, after all of this, I'm so exhausted, angry, fed-up, stressed out, that sex is the very last thing on my mind. I do everything I can to avoid having sex with him because of all these emotions I'm feeling. When I tell him I'm just too tired, he acts like I'm the worst person in the world because I'm too tired to be with him. But, if I tell him what's really bothering me he acts like I just said "I'm the only person who works around here" and then gets defensive because he works all day, and does more physical work in one day than I do in one week….but, just because I sit at a desk all day, doesn't mean that I'm not totally exhausted (mentally) at the end of the day.

Ok, so I guess, I don't have a question here, but need some advice as to how to work this into the conversation and discuss it rationally with my husband, of 9 years….
There you have it… Thanks.

You certainly have your hands full!! First of all, I commend you for recognizing there is an issue and wanting to know how to address it with him. So many wives just "go after" their husbands, telling them all that they are doing wrong. That is NOT the way to communicate. I need to tell you that much of what you describe would be pretty typical of men. (that is NOT bashing men) They don't read minds and really do want to and need to be told what you expect.

Sure, we would like them to know our needs and just meet them - but it doesn't work like that. I've said this before, never have a conversation in the heat of an argument or when your emotions are running high. Sometime when you and your husband are just enjoying some quiet time (I know, dont' laugh) let him know how you are feeling and the importance of his contribution around the house.

Oh...about the "sex". Hate to tell ya but it really is necessary for the man to feel loved this way. The more loved he feels this way, the more likely he is to meet your needs. That is not manipulation, just the facts.

Women with children...please do not leave here without giving our sister some help!!

Thanks for writing in, I pray that you feel appreciated.


Leslie said...

Sadie is right...men do seem to need to be told what to do around the house. My husband does help, but I do have to point things out to him. And yes, if they're satisfied in the bedroom, they're likely to be more giving outside of the bedroom.

If you go to http://truth4thejourney.blogspot.com/, Sonya has a post today about the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I was already familiar with his book. He says we each have a love language. Her blog lists the 5 languages (personally, I think all men are love lang. #1). When I was a SAHM, my love language was quality time, but now that I work part-time outside of the home, it has changed to acts of service. Just knowing what my love language is has helped my hubby. Perhaps it will help yours too!

Prayers to you...you've got a lot on your plate!

brenda said...

I see Leslie beat me to suggesting the 5 Love Languages book. This helped my husband and I to realize that the way I feel loved and the way he feels loved are different. However, I can totally relate to wanting my husband to see what needs to be done and do it without being asked--I just don't think most men work that way. I also have 3 kids, my youngest were twins so I can relate some to your situation.

With you working full time and having a baby, I would suggest that you try to overlook the baskets of clean laundry. At least it's clean laundry and not dirty. For the sake of your sanity and your marriage, give yourself permission to live out of the laundry baskets for now. And then, if there are a few other things that are getting overlooked, ask nicely for your husband to take care of them and realize that his timing will probably be different from yours but he'll get to it eventually.

cadence1228 said...

OMG, I thought I was reading about myself! Change a few facts & that's my life! I wish I could give you some great wisdom that I've found out - but I haven't yet. I just wanted to let you kow that you are not alone! I completely understand what you're saying.
Truly the only thing that gets me through on rough days is knowing that he does love me & I love him. It doesn't make everything better, but it helps me keep things in perspective a little!
Good luck & waiting for others w/good advice!! :)