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Are you really happy with your husband?

I just love that no one knows me and I can say exactly what I want to say. Everyone thinks we're happy but I have a lot of problems with him. Sure, I love him but I still have to do everything. I have to take care of our children, and take care of him. It's as if he's my third child. He doesn't help, he only works and then plays video games. Are women who are single actually happier? They have one less adult to take care of.

Thu. Apr 10, 11:37am

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I just celebrate my 9 year wedding anniversary Tuesday and yes I'm honestly very happy. I wouldn't want to not have my husband around. He helps me so much in so many ways, but on top of that he is truly my best friend in the world.

I think you need to speak to a counselor, preferably jointly with your husband if you can talk him into it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 11:44 AM

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Yes, currently very happy with my Husband. Have not been in the past. Might not be in the future. However, we choose each other. Be sweet toward him even when it is difficult to do so. Since you can not change his behavior, change yours.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 12:00 PM

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Statistically married people have it better in many ways...

I love the anonimity too, my wife yells and starts fights and throws things and makes our son cry with her outbursts + can't keep up with the house / budget despite only working a little... I am gone 6am to 6pm with v. stressful job, but still help with our son and cleaning and talking to her + bought her flowers and chocolates this week but still she says I don't do enough and get furious GRRR

...but I am stickin' with her 'cause she is my girl, we will better...

I agree with the PP counseling is great.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 12:02 PM

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you sound like my husband a little.
whenever we get into an argument he throws inmy face that he works 40-60 hrs a week and then on the weekends he has to do house work and watch our daughter. when in reality when we had our daughter i gave up my career so he could pursue his and we could still have our daughter stay home with us. plus i work 30 hrs a week on top of doing the housework during the week and watching our daughter all week everyday and running all the errands. but i still love him despite his quirks and am very happy with him

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 12:14 PM

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Well, as someone who divorced a man that ultimately wanted a "traditional" wife (meaning it was okay if I worked, but no need to bother with a career because I'd be a baby factory one day soon), I'm DELIGHTED to be single. Most men out there want - and secretly think they have a right to expect - their perception of a 50s-era wife. After 10 years of doing their own bachelor laundry, they forget how to use the damn machine. I know that not all men are like that, but there are so few that aren't that it's hardly worth dating, falling for, and then moving in with a guy just to find out they're paying lip-service to equality.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 12:56 PM

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I've been married 19 years, lived together for a total of 22. We are as happy today as newlyweds. Our secret: respect, open communication, understanding, keeping a sense of humor and most of all...treat the other like he/she is your best friend. We believe that often, when couples marry, they think "he/she is mine"...and a sense of "ownership" kicks in...creating a new type of dynamic in the relationship: controlling, or setting new expectations.

My husband and I both have very stressful jobs. We work all day and come home to each other. We RESPECT each other's need and style of winding down for the day. When we get home, we talk about the our frustrations or accomplishments, then that's it. We set it aside, and then focus on the family. OP, your husband may need video games to wind down. That's where OPEN COMMUNICATION comes in. Talk about your needs, frustrations, concerns, joys, etc...anything and everything. That's how you sympathize, appreciate, and UNDERSTAND what's going on between the two of you. Don't sweat the small stuff. Identify and express his good qualities and how he does help. Give a chuckle about his challenging qualities. Maintain a good SENSE OF HUMOR. Most importantly, treat him like you would a friend. If your friend stopped by and automatically picked up a video game, would you yell at her...would you laugh and tease her...would you just keep talking girl talk while she plays? Just because he's YOUR husband, doesn't make you his boss or mother (and vise versa).

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 1:01 PM

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12:14 - I NEVER throw it in her face that I work and help - that is the thing - I am pretty nice and sensitive all the time (I know you don't beleive that but whatever) - she works half what you do and still fall behind on everything and then is stressed out and angry b/c overthing around her is a mess and now I found out she is watching TV shows online all the time while I am gone. She is in a downward spiral and takes it out on me and our little guy

12:56 - "50's era wife" - that is funny - you mean all of global human history except post feminist america type wife ? ? Roles are good. Being a stay at home mom is hard but don't blame roles 'cause your ex was a bad husband


Thursday, April 10, 2008, 1:26 PM

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Am I happy with my husband?

A resounding, "YES!"

And I'm so grateful.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 1:49 PM

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Oh yes!!! So happy with my husband..he amazes me. I would say talk to yours about how your feeling, sometimes they dont like them, but he married you and he needs to get over it and realize that he has responsibility too!! Good luck.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 1:59 PM

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Dang! 1:01 is married to my husband and has my job ;-)

We've been happily married for 7 years and dated for 2 prior to tying the knot. We both have very stressful jobs and different ways of dealing with it. However right from the beginning I was upfront that I spent my entire childhood watching my mom play servant and I was not-by-god going to have a marriage like that. There's nothing less sexy than feeling like someone's maid or mother and I refuse to stew in my own resentment. Fortunately he had already realized the quickest way to incite lust in a woman was to do dishes ;-)

We have over the years worked out a fair and equitable division of duties so that we both have time to goof off and time where we take care of family life. Really if you keep on top of stuff it doesn't take that long and 2 people seem to be able to do a task 3x faster than one person. Some things we work on together and some things we divy up - for example I love to cook so I generally do all the cooking and he has no problem sticking in a load of laudry every other day, I take care of the cars and the yard and he vacumes and pays the bills the second they come in, etc... You have to figure out what works for the both of you but you both have to feel it's fair so keep working on it til you do.

You really need your strategic planning sessions where you talk about what's going on and what is coming up in your lives. Tell him what you do - and insist he do the same, if you don't know it's easy to start feeling like the overburdened one. Our time is while we cook and sometimes carries over to eating. I do the bulk of the cooking but he loves to hang out in the kitchen while I do and be my extra hands if I need something, and that's when we talk about our days and it's a great way to connect. He's really my best friend and lover and we're a great team.

I wish you the best and hope you find a way to make your marriage more equitable.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 2:15 PM

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My husband is a nice guy, loving and great with the kids. We have been married ten years and I have no reasonable excuse to be unhappy but I am so bored with the relationship. I guess I didn't take seriously enough that marriage is forever or maybe I'm just one of those people that should never have got married in the first place.

I look forward to the kids being older and I can get out of the house more and do my own thing. Thats the only thing that keeps me going. I wasn't young when i got married (28) or rushed into it, I really did thing I would be happy for the rest of my life with him but I'm feel so suffocated by the things about him that I used to think were cute ex him being a homebody and not needing a circle of friends or going out and doing fun stuff. I loved that about him in the beginning, he seemed so dependable (and he still is) and ready to settle down.
Be careful what you wish for, you get to keep it forever.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 2:30 PM

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I am still with my hubby, but I am not IN love with him anymore. I do love him and always will because we have children together, but we are from two separate worlds and I want more out of marriage than I am getting. For instance, I want more fun with sex and he's not as aggressive as I am, in fact he's prudish. I am a city girl, he's a farm boy and believes there's only one position--missionary. I will never have an affair, but selfishly I want more and am wiling to end the marriage to get more of what I want. It's also not fair to him that i feel that way.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 2:40 PM

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I posted the 2:30 comment.

2:40 I know exactly how you feel I have many of the same issues, especially sexual . I don't think I am brave enough to end the marriage though. Noone would guess my inner thoughts not even my husband, so I think how could I bring this down on everyone. I feel you are much stronger than me, to be honest with yourself and be willing to end your marriage. I guess I wonder that the grass may not be greener on the other side.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 2:46 PM

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ending a marriage is not strength 2:46- working on it is. marriage is forever

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 2:55 PM

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If you knew that you would never be happy with this person I would call this settling. I don't think its fair to either person. Marriage is forever in many cases but how can you justify staying in a marriage were you cannot give the other person what they really need, an honest relationship, which mine is not. I'm hiding alot from him because it serves no purpose to admit it to him, he cannot change the core of who he is to suit my needs and I would not expect him to.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 3:08 PM

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Ending a marriage can be a very brave choice for some. Think of how many people stay in emotionally void, abusive, dishonest, etc. relationships for fear of being alone, fear of the financial impact, and so on. For those people and so many others who go into marriage for all the wrong reasons - marriage shouldn't be a life sentence. Knowing you can survive on your own and getting out is brave.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 3:15 PM

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I agree with you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 3:18 PM

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2:40 again.

I married my husband in my early 20s after dating him for 5 years. At that time, what he offered me emotionally and sexually was what I needed. Now, It's not and I can't give him what he needs either. Our needs have changed with time and he is not willing to offer me the things I need sexually. I have done many things he has asked me to do, emotionally, mentally, sexually. You compromise, give and take.

I believe settling to say "marriage is forever" is not happiness. Neither person should have to settle. The grass is not always greener on the other side, but I would rather be alone than be in a marriage that doesn't fulfill my needs and where I cannot return the favor.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 3:22 PM

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This is the kind of quitter attitude that is ruining the family fabric of our friggin' society and nation - not "In love" anymore?, not "getting what you need emotionally"? - tough! (abuse & infidelity aside...)
People should consider marriage to be for life and be EXTREMELY cautious about who they marry.
Marriage can be disapointing, frustrating and heartbreaking and even sometimes downright awful - but so is life - suck it up and get to work on it.
Counseling, seminars, date nights, talking, marriage books, small groups, spending quality time... these things work.
Your souls and lives are linked - tearing them asunder damages everyone around you (I've seen it)
Being happy isn't as important as doing the right thing.

just my opinion

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 4:12 PM

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oh that's good advice 4:12! Take a freakin prozac, drug yourself with happy pills and stay in the miserable marriage! That will teach our children to do the right thing. Sacrifice happiness is doing the right thing? Not a chance. I have one life on this planet and I plan on making the most of it, without or without being married.

divorce is not quitting. Settling is quitting. It's giving up on your dreams and hopes and that's quitting on yourself just to stay in a miserable situation.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 4:23 PM

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yeah, that was my advice - did you actually read my post ??

I am glad you are riffing off stuff that I didn't even say there Captain Bitter-Pants

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 4:33 PM

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I am blessed

Truly happy I not only love my husband but I am in love w/ him. We are married 5.5 years. I respect him for his hard work and I am a SAHM ..he never throws work in my face yet tells me everyday how proud he is of me for taking care of our son and the home, I in turn tell him how he is incredible for caring for us. Now life happens the laundry builds, and the bills too, dinner has to get made and pampers changed...we try to help each other, I help w/ yard work and he helps w/ laundry I mean not daily but on the whole it wold be the majority of time.
I am sure that all spouses get frusterated w/ each other and yes argue. well that just means you are growing and compromising... I know for us we have vowed when married to never go to bed angry..I can not tell you how much that has helped. We never do. We actually will remind each other of that from time to time and hash it out get it out, give a kiss and sleep. He is an incredible man and I am blessed to call him my husband...Good luck OP

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 4:44 PM

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Captain Bitter Pants hehe - that one made me laugh!

4:44P - almost 20 years in and I feel the same way! It truly is a wonderful feeling and I feel so fortunate, but we also do the 'work' to make it as good as it is :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 4:47 PM

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you stating that ending a marriage is quitting. you also stated that even if you're unhappy, you stay to do the "right thing" even when your, what did you say, disappointment and downright awful.

i understood it completely. I don't agree with "being happy isn't as important as doing the right thing."

Doing the right thing should make you happy, not downright awful.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 4:47 PM

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4:47 - so you can do what is wrong if it makes you happy?

I think it is strange when parent's say "i just want my kids to be happy" Happiness is #2 - I want my kids to lead good upright lives and do something positive - do the right thing - which can be really painful sometimes.

Yes doing the right thing can make you feel awful sometimes, but in a strange way doing the hard right things can lead to joy amidst the difficulty \

...and I don't think you really go the gist of my post at all - working hard at your marriage can make it great - like anything worthwhile it takes blood sweat and tears

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 5:18 PM

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Insanely Happy.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 6:34 PM

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To those who think they'd be happier single -
If you have a good husband, think long and hard about leaving. I had a terrible and abusive husband, so for me, leaving was best. But I wish that I had a partner, even if he was 'boring', and not perfect. I'd love to 'settle' for a guy who was a good friend, lover, and father.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 6:55 PM

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Like I was saying the grass is always greener.......

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 7:18 PM

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20 years. He's not perfect. Neither am I. He loves me anyway. I love him anyway. We make time for each other and accept our differences. His relationships with the kids are my biggest challenge; he has challenges where I am concerned.

But oh, I love him. Life? Life is nothing. I expect to be with him for longer than that. :^ )

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 8:19 PM

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Now thats the kind of relationship I want. To love someone like that. I would love to be so devoted to someone but something within me just can't make me feel like this with mine.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 8:25 PM

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1:01 here...
My husband and I both grew up with parents who should have divorced, which is why I think we work so well together. We both know what we do NOT want in a marriage...and we chose to break the chain.

Anyway, if you loved someone enough to make a life-long commitment and marry him/ owe it to yourselves to work your darndest to make the relationship work out! The best things in life usually materialize after alot of hard work and tenacity. The things that come easy are usually the things that are less valuable and easily disposable. After, and only have tried all that you can and it still doesn't work out...then you owe it to yourselves (and spouse) to do the right thing and grow in your separate directions. But, when you make an attempt to work things out...give it a good honest effort. Give and take.

As for the difference in sexual drives or preferences...I think as relationships pull apart, the sexual attraction will too. If you find a way to pull things together, you will feel more comfortable in the bedroom too. If you still have a gap, but have a great loving relationship...hang in there if you can. The sex thing may not last forever, but the love, companion and affection will. OP, good luck...the grass is not always greener on the other side. Remember, seldom is there freedom when you constantly strive for more.

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 10:10 PM

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My experience in being married ( married 11 years) is that happiness comes and goes. You give sometimes and you take sometimes. You can't be in a relationship with someone that long and not really care for them. Help is out there if you and he are willing to do it. Not trying to hit you in the head with the bible or anything, but at a bad spot in my marriage the book "power of a praying wife" helped me a lot. Remember that love magic is for teenagers and new romance. In a serious relationship, it comes and goes. All people have bad qualities, the next guy might be worse. Also , people change, sometimes for the worse, but they change for the better sometimes too. As women we tend to lay off the housework when we are depressed. Maybe your man is depressed and there is an underlying reason for his behavior? Good luck , I really hope you find the right answer for YOU>

Friday, April 11, 2008, 9:13 AM

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Try counseling

I am twice divorced and spend no time feeling guilty for it. I do have to say though, if you feel you can not tell him how you feel, you are cheating yourself and him. Everyone has a different situation and different needs. You are your own best witness to what will work for you. Ignore the self righteous "do the right thing" posters, for who are they do say what is right? (stinking suspicion it involves religion) Take a good hard look at what you and he both deserve based on the values that you had when you initially got married.

Happiness as a single woman???? For me good friends and regular sex...fantastic if they happen to be the same person. There, I said it...based on what is of value to me! I would be afraid to burn in hell if I believed in such a thing.

Saturday, April 12, 2008, 10:56 PM

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I am not married to him yet but I can understand what you ladies mean... Mine plays video games all night and day when he's not working. When he says he'll help more, he does for the first few days then it returns to normal. The thing is I'm happy to do it all as long as he loves me the same as I love him.

He is very selfish in bed though, which bothers me a lot... but I haven't brought the issue up as of yet, so really it's my own fault until I say something. And sex isn't everything anyway...

Sunday, April 13, 2008, 3:12 AM

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Happy with hubby

3:12 - Men do not change. THose little things that annoy you now you are going to hate in ten years. I've been married 18 years. Marriage has its ups and downs. It's important to wait awhile when things aren't working out, because sometimes if you just wait it out, everything is fine. Try going on a vacation with just the two of you. THen you remember why you married him in the first place. I was a SAHM when the kids were little and I was happier when I went back to work.

Sunday, April 13, 2008, 4:39 AM

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3:12, if you're not getting what you want in bed now, don't ever marry this guy. Sex isn't everything, but it's going to when he's the only one you're going to do it with for the rest of your life. Why would you want to be with a guy who's selfish in bed?????? It's one thing if you haven't told him what you want, but if you do and he still is selfish, then keep walking!

Sunday, April 13, 2008, 9:57 AM

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I tend to look at this from both sides. I have a real problem with people who say that you should stay in a marriage to do the right thing. Is it right to model a disconnected, ambivalent, possibly volatile marriage to your children? But on the other hand, I do believe that a lot of people enter marriage without a full understanding of what they're getting into, and then just leave because it "didn't work out". I dated my first husband for 7 years, thought I knew him and couldn't wait to be married to him. 3 years later, he was cheating on me while I was pregnant, and left me for the tramp. So should I have tried to stay in that marriage and have my child think that it's ok for someone to cheat on her and to suck it up???? Sometimes people get caught up in the notion of "happily ever after" and don't think about the realities because that might ruin romance.

So now I'm remarried to a remarkable man, and it works because there was never any bullsh*t between us. I knew exactly what I DID NOT want in a man, and I didn't settle until I found it. Don't think that "little" things like sex, communication, lifestyles won't start to bug you in time. They will. You don't have to accept something about a potential partner if it's not something you don't accept of yourself. He and I are truly ourselves with each other, and there's nothing that we can't talk about. I realize now that I wasn't happy in my first marriage, even before the infidelity. I just thought "well, this is what marriage is like and Ithat's just the way he is, so I have to love him for it." But now I am one of those ridiculously sickening happily married people. Not every day is perfect, but there isn't a minute that I would change any of it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008, 10:11 AM

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What about the other side?

I wanted to respond to the poster on Thursday, April 10, 2008, 12:56 PM:

I'm on the other side. My wife racked up a good chunk of debt getting her master's degree while we were dating. I was attracted to her, in part, because of her ambition. I didn't really want the "50s era wife."

But now, we have a kid, and her desires have changed. She wants to stay home as long as possible to be with our child (or future children). I support it because I want her to be happy, but I'm not happy about it at all.

In a way, I feel like she didn't make good on her part of the deal. She works, but it's only part-time and not even remotely close to the money she was making before the kid came along. Because of the student loans, we have a loan that's the size of some people's homes.

Personally, I'd rather her go back to work full-time so we could finish paying off school loans, then save some money so we could get a house and raise our child in a home. Now, I feel like a college student. I'm 30(ish) and tired of it.

I think we need counseling. I can't really talk to her about this, because every time we try we fight. It would be nice to have a mediator to make us both see each other's point of view.

I know I'll get reamed about this, but this situation in light of the whole "women's lib" thing kind of drives me nuts. Society encouraged my wife to go out, get a degree (or two!) and make something of herself. And then the kid came along, and she abandoned that dream. What was the point of going to college?

Sorry for the rant. I'm just a disgruntled male, I know. Fire away.

Monday, April 14, 2008, 4:34 PM

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Dear Disgruntled Male:

I am the Thursday, April 10, 2008, 2:40 PM poster who received a lot of flack because I stated I wasn't getting my needs met sexually at home and thought it might be time to move on for both our sakes.

I am not going to tell you that you're wrong or that you should support your wife's decision to stay home with your child. In fact, I'd love to tell your wife that if she saw her future going in this direction of being a professional stay at home mother, then she didn't need to complete so much schooling. You can have a successful career and a family. I have both and I'm happy with that. If she wants more for your children in the future, it's time for her to go back to work and make some money. You shouldn't be left with the burden of paying all that back plus everything else. That's unfair in my book.

I think the reason you fight when she talks to you about this is two reason--1-she doesn't feel you're supporting in her in her decision to stay home and 2--she knows you're right and doesn't want to hear about it. Counseling might help. If she's not willing to compromise, it probably won't. Been through this with my husband--when he decided that I was a "slut" because I wanted more sex and different kinds of sex with him (not others) he refused to compromise and we stopped counseling.

Good luck to you.

Monday, April 14, 2008, 4:56 PM

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Wait ... you wanted more and different kinds of sex and he wasn't buying in?

There's someone wrong with him! LOL

Monday, April 14, 2008, 5:02 PM

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Are you really happy with your husband?

We're currently really struggling. For the first 10-12 years we both felt incredibly blessed in our marriage. The last 4 years have been tough. I'm a SAHM, he's a very successful professional. We're living very different lives with different priorities. I feel sad that we're growing apart, but I hope and pray this marriage will find it's way back to "happy" again.

Monday, April 14, 2008, 5:11 PM

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5:02--that's right! I couldn't believe it either, but I'm in my early 30s, lost a lot of weight, the kids are no longer babies and I am more aggressive with sex than he is and he thinks that means I don't want. I do, but he has to compromise. We grew up in two different worlds and I think that has something to do with it, he's more shy.

Monday, April 14, 2008, 5:26 PM

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After reading this thread, I appreciate my husband even more. He does the dishes, the laundry, and the litter box. He grocery shops and eats whatever I want to eat. He's giving, patient, and loving. He's supper smart, well-educated, and a great conversationalist. He rubs my legs and feet several times a week. He takes care of paying all of the bills. He's great with children and animals. He has a good job. He's adventurous. He has lots of friends and a great family. And most importantly, he puts me above all else.

I can't even imagine being unhappy with my husband. Thank you for this thread. I have been reawakened to how wonderful my husband actually is!

Monday, April 14, 2008, 9:50 PM

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...and he's a very unselfish lover (btw)!

Monday, April 14, 2008, 9:52 PM

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4:34--I don't think anyone would "fire away" at you (or at least they shouldn't!). Now, as a mom myself I can tell you that a woman's "ambitions" can definintely change after having a baby. I think, as a father, you would agree that nothing is more important than your child. Having said that, I think that your wife does have some accountability for the debt she's incurred. It's unfair for it to fall upon your shoulders alone's her debt after all. Have you discussed an expiration date on her staying at home? While she may really want to stay home, she has to face certain realities about your financial situation and understand that what she wants and what she needs to do are completely different. It sounds like you definitely need to talk to a counselor if only because maybe an unbiased opinion may be what she needs. People may fire away at me for this, but I think it's selfish to play the "I have to be with my children" card when your family is in financial jeopardy. I think a PP said it right: when you talk to her about it, it probably comes across as not being supportive, but if someone else says it, it may make her recognize what she already knows.

Also, was any of this discussed before you had the baby? If there was a plan in place, then she owes it to you to stick to it. I'm with you if anyone wants to fire away!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 9:32 AM

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9:32 - I agree on all counts.

Now, if there weren't big debts to repay I'd probably encourage disgruntled male to recognize what a gift it is to stay home with your child. Even the most amitious woman can't foresee the impact becoming a mother has. And, as my husband says, staying home with our child is the most important job I could have. But, finances are a part of this equation and it's more than simply wanting to maintain a certain lifestyle. There are financial obligations that have to be addressed. A third party may help them come up with a solution that works for everyone.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 11:23 AM

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I hear you, sista!

Your husband sounds like mine. He works 50 hours a week, usually eats out with friends, comes home to play video games for hours and then gets mad when I'm too tired for sex! Mine begged me to quit my (professional, in-demand) job and stay home with our two children. Now, he's stressed about money, feels like I don't do enough housework, and NEVER does any himself. I'm hurt by this situation, but I love him and have faith that we will work this out. Also, I am going back to work whether he likes it or not.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 11:28 AM

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I know being a stay at home mom isn't easy, but if you're staying home, then he shouldn't have to do a lot of stuff around the house. he should be able to spend time with his children and wife when he gets home. He's trying to make time with you to have sex and you're shooting him down. He must feel like he's in second place in your life. that doesn't feel good at all.

maybe you should go back to work, then the bourden of housecleaning and child care is on the two of you, not just you and then you get mad that he doesn't help out more. also, your financial situation would be better.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 11:37 AM

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No one is perfect. I am fantastically happy with my husband. I could not ask for a better man. Sometimes I remind myself that when he exasperates me, or is just a big baby in general. We accept each other, warts and all. Acceptance and communication are key to us.

Thursday, April 17, 2008, 4:04 PM

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11:37 - it would be great for the SAHM to spend time with the husband when he gets home from work, but if he's not pitching in with keeping the house up - then she's never off duty!

Raising the kids is full-time job #1, keeping up with the house is f/t job #2. Trying to do both jobs at the same time ain't easy! And by the time we get job #1 done for the day (they're in bed) and job #2 done (the house doesn't look like the spouse spent 2 hours alone with the kids - the amount of time it takes for him to make the house look like it blew up), then having sex at the end of the day starts to feel like job #3!! Men should realize nothing turns a woman on more than seeing her spouse help out around the house.

Thursday, April 17, 2008, 4:56 PM

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And women should realize it's not easy being the only money maker in the family. That's equal stress as taking care of kids. If you're feeling like sex is a job and so is cleaning and taking care of kids, then go back to work. Then you'll share those three jobs and it will be a mute point.

I don't understand when people say they stay at home and then expect the worker of the house to come in the door and take over because they've been at it all day. It's not easy for either side. It's not fair to leave house and kid duty on the stay at home person, and it's also not fair to expect the worker to take over once they get home.

Friday, April 18, 2008, 9:56 AM

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No joke 9:56
- I bust my butt at the office (gone 12 hours a day) and as soon as I get in the door I eat dinner (that my wife has nicely prepared) and then take care of my son and help with cleaning, straigtening, laundry, whatever I hardly sit still in my waking life (no TV no video games ever) ...but I still get crap - despite the fact that my wife works less than 1/2 time - you ladies aren't the only ones who should be complaining... why is my house a mess & the buget not balanced? - You have time to send 47 emails, surf the net, play outside, read books, and watch TV and I get crap ? ?

Friday, April 18, 2008, 10:10 AM

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10:10--this is 9:56.

My dear friend has three children, 2 of which are my children's age and in school. The youngest is 2 1/2. She is a stay at home mom. She complains to me weekly about how her husband works 6 days a week, 12 hour days. I get so frustrated with her. I remind her that he carries the health and dental insurance, he supplies the nice vehicles and the nice house, he supplies the overtime money so she can get her hair and nails done and buy nice things. And yet she bitches to me all the time that when he comes home or has a Sunday off, he sits in the garage and watches the football or baseball game. I told her to go back to work. She said she doesn't want to. Then quit whining.

I work 43 hours a week, get up at 4:30, drive 30 miles one way to work, our children are in a fabulous daycare, and I make more money than my husband. He physically works harder than I do. When we get home, it's fair game. I would say I do ALOT more around the house than he does, but he helps maintain my vehicle, mows the entire 3 1/2 acres of grass (which takes 3 hours each time), takes care of stuff when it's broke, plus runs his own business. Yes, I get frustrated he's gone with his business so much plus works a full time job, but it pays for our vacations and puts gas in the pontoon so we can spend family time together. It's a compromise. We have to work at it. But we do it.

Friday, April 18, 2008, 10:27 AM

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Guess I'm fortunate to have a husband that does help out around the house and he does it without complaining b/c he knows how much it means to me to take the lead on a few things. In the end it leads to more time for him, for us, and with the kids. It's a win-win. And b/c he takes care of just a few things, I don't feel like everything is my responsibilty. That little effort pays off in a big way. And he also knows how much our children benefit from me staying home. He sees my 'job' as raising our kids. He sees maintaining the house as 'our job.' Sure, I do most of it, but I still appreciate his mindset. No wonder I think he's still the hottest guy on earth!!

And husbands working a million hours to supply the money for 'stuff' never replaces his time and energy with the family. That is so much more valuable.

Not sure how the wife going out and working is the solution to the division of labor issue. So, now both parents work, and what, you spend your nights and weekends taking care of house stuff and even less time being able to do things together or on your own?

Friday, April 18, 2008, 11:03 AM

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well, if they can't agree on shared responsibilities when one's a stay at home mom, then her getting out the house and working away from home the way he does means everything is equal and then he can't say that she stays home all day and should be able to clean, cook,etc and she can't say that he doesn't help when he gets home. everyone works away from the home and responsibilities are shared. problem solved because no arguments can be made.

Friday, April 18, 2008, 11:09 AM

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I love my (lazy) wife but...

thanks 10:27
- I don't want to vent but here it is safe place - (I mean - last night when I was helping around the house for hours and started to organize the closet a little to make room for clutter in the bedroom she actually started talking down to me and that I was unable to prioritize" and "stop doing that and clean the parts of the house that guests can see...focus!" while she was just standing around TALKING TO ME while I worked!)-
...really what I need to do is talk to my wife about not bitching at me for "being lazy" ...and actually doing more, but talking about that topic is not easy...

I love my wife a ton, but something has to change...

Friday, April 18, 2008, 11:20 AM

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sounds like you're in a no-win situation right now. Like I said, it's not easy to stay home with kids, I get that. But to think the person coming in the door from working all day should just take over everything is not reasonable. That is exactly why I work outside the home.

I find I do alot more around the house than my husband and that gets irritating, but it's not like he's sitting on his ass or at the bar. We're both working.

Friday, April 18, 2008, 11:32 AM

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Holy crap! I can't believe some of the sheer entitlement out there! There's no way my husband would blithly run off and play games while I worked my butt off cooking, cleaning and caring for the kids. 1. I would kill him and 2. that's just mean, heartless, selfish and rude. We each pull equal weight around the house and if one person needs a hand, the other just jumps in and does stuff - no nagging, begging or resentment ensues. And then before you know it, it's done and the rest of our time is free to enjoy a little leisure (and each other). Neither do we play the 'I do more than you during the day' game - we each grew up with work-before-play parents and that's how we live our lives.

Boy does this thread make me want to grab my husband and show him how much I appreciate that this stuff just isn't an issue for us. I'm taking him out tonight!

Friday, April 18, 2008, 11:38 AM

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I'm not married, nor do I live with my bf. I work >60 hrs/wk usually and do the dishes on Sunday, vacuum once a month, etc. so you can take the following with a grain of salt if you like.

It seems to me that a great deal of frustration and resentment -- and misunderstanding, such as the person who works outside the home referring to that role as "the worker," as if the other person wasn't working -- comes from the fact that much of traditional "women's work" is fruitless pushing back at entropy. No matter how often I do those dishes, they look just as dirty again tomorrow, so it's just as if I didn't do anything. And even worse if someone else lived in my house and thought that I really DIDN'T do anything!

Housework is profoundly unrewarding, and it is NEVER done. Something could always be better, and the moment toddlers come into the picture everything is always a mess. This is in contrast to a job outside the home in which projects are completed, achievements are made, raises are earned, and in general there is some finished product to point to and a structure of reward. I imagine the contrast is worse if you're a highly educated person who is even temporarily at home doing what is basically unskilled labor. I think that it is very difficult for someone who has only ever worked outside the home to understand why SAHM-work is so very difficult and tiring.

It's interesting that no-one here has calculated the value of services. I pay someone $125/month to mow my lawn. How much would it cost me to get a maid in once or maybe even twice a week? How much would it cost me to get a nanny if bf and I had a couple of kids? (And it would be a nanny, not daycare, with the careers the two of us have.) Add those numbers up. Whatever that comes to -- THAT is the money you people at home are earning.

And I won't get into the stresses that come along with not being able to talk to anyone over the age of 10 all day long. I notice that it gets worse for my friends when the working-out-of-home spouse is traveling. I think to myself, "I don't know how SAHM's do it -- I'd be insane!"

Yes, 9:56, not only "the worker" is earning. "The worker" is just the one with the (possibly, depending how much one is into kids) more interesting job.

Friday, April 18, 2008, 1:20 PM

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Me too, 11:38! Just that he want to helps me out makes me feel good :) In turn, I often tell him, "nah, don't worry about it."

Here's one thing I know, my hubby helps out and he's got one very happy wife.

Friday, April 18, 2008, 1:35 PM

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'They' always say you're not actually fighting about ______. In this case it's the division of labor. So, what are you all really fighting about??

Friday, April 18, 2008, 1:38 PM

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11:20 - as a recovering 'control freak' I feel for you. You are trying to help and she's bitching that you're not doing the 'right' thing. After awhile I imagine that just makes a person not want to help at all. I finally realized that what I was doing was pretty much guaranteeing my husband wouldn't help out at all if I didn't let him do it 'his way.' But I also realized he can't read my mind and know what would be most helpful.

Perhaps instead of asking your wife not to bitch at you (this only allows her the opportunity to 1) get defensive and 2) argue WHY she has to bitch at you) tell her that you'd really like to help (and it seems you are since you're spending hours doing something around the house) and what would she like you to do. If she starts bitching about how you're doing it just calmly ask her if she'd like to take over. If she's starts bitching that, "No, but I want you to do it right..." and so on - you can see how this can go on - you have to decide how you want to respond. Being calm and rational is imperative, though! A person can't go nuts on you if they're not engaged. Well, they can, but it's not nearly as much fun for them ;)

It took me awhile, but I'm recovering from my controlling ways!

Friday, April 18, 2008, 2:01 PM

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thanks 2:01


Friday, April 18, 2008, 2:21 PM

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I work 40-50 hours a week, clean , take care of the kids, and pay most of the bills. I don't mind though because my husband cooks dinner almost every night. He is loving and considerate of me, and at the end of the day, that's all I want. I like to take care of him because he makes me feel so loved. Every now and then he tries to clean, but I like it done my way, so I do MY way.

Saturday, April 19, 2008, 1:09 PM

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1:09- that's awesome! I think taking care of dinner is a huge contribution to the running of the house. I'm guessing there would be far fewer complaints from other women if this task were taken off their plate!

Saturday, April 19, 2008, 2:33 PM

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1:09 here.... For me, it all comes down to him showing appreciation and not taking it for granted.

Saturday, April 19, 2008, 6:36 PM

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April 18, 1:20-
Awesome post!

Sunday, April 20, 2008, 9:20 AM

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I know how you feel

My husband does the exact same thing. Every day. He goes to work (7am to 3:30 pm), comes home, plays video games, eats and then goes to bed. We have a 3 year old who now has been refusing to sleep so I am up all the time. I do everything around the house, and take care of our son. I don't ever get a thank you, but I tell him all the time how awesome he is for working so I can stay home with our son (which I might add that he told me to quit my job so I can be a stay at home mom, I would rather work). I say thank you everyday. We are in the process of moving right now, and I am packing by myself, moving stuff by myself, and getting everything figured out by myself. He is going to be moving the heavy stuff I can't. And I will probably be setting up everything in our new place by myself. All I want is a thank you. Not help, I can do it by myself. I just want the appreciation.

I do wish I was single. He was my first boyfriend, had our son, then got married. I definately feel I got married too young. The same life everyday all day is very boring and depressing. I see all my friends getting to hang out and do fun stuff and then I look at my life and it's just, routine. Boring. I havent been on a date in 6 years. What happend to romance? What happend to that feeling? Why does it go away when you get married?

Being married is like a roller coaster. It's annoying and I want off the ride.

And as for kids. They are a full time job. I would challenge ANYONE who thinks watching kids is easy to come watch my son. He wakes up at 7 am, NO NAP and is tired at 11 pm or later... He is going all day. I get an average of 5 hours of sleep. Most of the time less. Because any mom or dad knows, you can't clean and get things done during the day without your kids destroying five seconds after you cleaned. So if you are the one working (going out in to the world to a job) you can NOT complain about being tired, because being a parent is 24/7 365 days a year, no vacation, no sick days, no after work relaxation, no weekends off.

Thursday, September 17, 2009, 12:13 AM

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oof - pp, no one, and I mean NO ONE, can operate on so little sleep and feel anything but tired, worn down and burned out. I recommend making getting your son more sleep your #1 priority b/c he desperately needs it, too. Overtired children are menaces, even the most mild mannered children are not themselves when they are sleep deprived.

I suggest Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Children by Marc Weissbluth. It was my sleep bible and it made ALL the difference in my world. You and your son deserve more sleep!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009, 8:04 AM

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I've been married just over 4 years, so we're newbies at marriage, but I am very happy with my husband, and our marriage. Both of us come from parents who have been married over 30 years, so we feel lucky to have role models like that to look to for when we hit a rough spot.

I've read statistics (for whatever that's worth) that say divorced people are generally no happier after their divorce than when they were married. I'm sure this excludes abusive relationships, but in my experience I think it's true. I know several people my age (20s) who are already divorced and I think they just had some crazy expectations of marriage and life in general. They are still not happy people.

Having realistic expectaions of your marriage instead of expecting a fairy tale happy ending is not settling. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009, 2:02 PM

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Yes, I'm very happily married (for six years now). My husband isn't perfect (thankfully, because I'm definitely not, either!), but he is loving, patient, fun, a great dad and a hard worker.

Btw, 12:13, I suggest reading "The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers" and "The No-Cry Nap Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. Your little guy is DEFINITELY not getting enough sleep, and once that gets taken care of, I think you (and he) will be A LOT less stressed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009, 10:43 PM

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I am happy but there have been times I'm not happy. I don't think single women have it easier. I think it's a different set of problems.

Friday, September 18, 2009, 12:40 PM

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I can relate

I have only been married for a year and already know I made a mistake. I work 60 hours a week and travel for work and my husband doesn't do anything around the house. He owns his own business but has struggled for the past year. Hasn't brought home a paycheck since we got married but he is passionate about the business and is working hard to make it a success. I pay his bills since we are married and don't mind being the bread winner. What I do mind is his lack if respect. I travel 4-5 days a week for work usually leaving around 4:00 am on Monday and not getting home until late Thursday or Friday. My weekends are spent cleaning the house, paying billls doung the grocery shopping and doing laundry and when I'm not traveling, I cook dinner.

I have tried talking to him about it but he just gets mad and says I am nagging. I don't think it's to much to ask for him to cleanup after himself and do his own laundry. Is it? I am so unhappy and feel traped. We have both been married before and we promised this would be forever. I want to honor that commitment but din't know how to get past my resentment. I finally realized although he says he wants a partner, he really just WANs someone to take care of him. My kids are grown and I'm not the type of woman to be a maid and mother to my husband. There is so much built up frustration that I love him less and less each day. I keep telling myself these little things don't matter because he is a good man but I can't seem to let it go because I feel unappreciated and disrespected.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012, 4:02 PM

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PP, what if you didn't? What if you just came home, took your own business clothes to the dry cleaner, and said, "Honey, let's order in some pizza and snuggle in front of a movie!" Let him live in as messy a house as he can stand, and do his own laundry when he runs out of underwear. It may be that you notice the messy house, but it's not a priority for him. So set yourself free from the parts of the relationship you don't like, keep the ones you like, and see what happens.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012, 9:01 PM

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Wednesday, July 04, 2012, 11:20 AM

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Am I happy with my husband? Sometimes. Today, not so much. It's been 23 years and it comes and goes. Sometimes he is my best friend and sometimes I hate him. He has mental issues and I said for better or worse, in sickness and health. I'll stay but I dream of a day when I can live alone.

Saturday, July 07, 2012, 5:18 PM

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25 years in and insanely happy with him! And, hopefully, I inspire the same feelings for him.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 2:57 PM

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I have been married for almost 3 years but living together for 7. I am very much in love and happy with my husband. But it hasn't always been so. We have definitely gone through hard times. I really had to learn to choose my battles and just let a lot of things go. He has had to do the same. Our house really is a mess and I have learned to accept that. But we have a great time together and are very happy with our relationship.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 8:38 PM

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Ha! The third child thing is funny and sometimes accurate. I have been married 22 years to a man with MS. He is quite disabled now and we have hospice coming to our house to help take care of him. I bathe him and dress him and cook and clean etc. He cant even move his legs or turn over in bed to get comfortable. we use a lift to get him from bed to wheelchair. I would love to have a few days back!

however, my situation isnt yours and yours is servious to you. What would happen if you told your husband how unhappy you really are? maybe he would rally and begin to compromise or show effort. if not, then you would know what he thinks of the situation and can act them. Being single is just the same as being married- you will still have all the responsibilities and no one to be there at all. Both situations have good and bad. I say talk straight up about your unhappiness, your love, your desire to stay but your need for change. then the ball is in his court!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 1:52 PM

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