Reader Question: My Husband Thinks the Kids Are All My Job

'Questions?' photo (c) 2008, Valerie Everett - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Every weekend I like to post a question someone sends in and let you readers have a go at it. This week’s question comes from a homemaker, who wants a better balance in the division of labor with her husband:

For almost 3 years, I have been a homemaker. When my husband comes home from work, I feel it is still solely my responsibility to tend to the children and cooking dinner. If I am standing at the stove cooking and our newborn starts to cry I have to ASK HIM to take care of her so that I can cook, and more often than not he tells me “you tend to her and I will cook”. I have tried talking to him about why it is that I am mainly the only one who cares for our kids even when he is home, and I am told “you are a stay at home mom that is your duty” I have been dealing with this for several months and feel absolutely terrible, but honestly I have months of resentment built up. I feel like it is putting a strain on our marriage since he believes that his SOLE responsibility is to go to work and come home. I do not know how to get him to understand where I am coming from. Yes, as a homemaker the household duties are my responsibility and i try to do as much as possible during the week so when he is off on Sunday, I can have a small break as well. However, I do not agree with him thinking I should be the only care provider for children we BOTH created. If I tell him this, he tells me “then go to work, but I am not paying for daycare”. He does not understand, and my resentment grows stronger everytime we have this discussion. I end up biting my tongue to prevent further arguing, but I am not sure how much longer I can bite my tongue.

How can she overcome in this? What are your thoughts?

Comments

  1. ButterflyWings says:

    Is there an elder in your church who has a good attitude towards their own wife and kids who you can get to talk to him? Because I’m sorry, but there is nothing you can say or do yourself to change his bad attitude.

  2. I once made a list of all the things I do in a day, from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. I gave it to my husband to read. I asked whether he felt looking at that list whether I did or did not work all day. Looking at the list he was surprised at how much I did every day and agreed that I worked all day too. Once I got him to understand how much work I did, he no longer had the perspective that he was the only one working. That we were both equally needing a rest at the end of the day – and how we could work together to achieve that rest.
    Also I also learnt to accept his help on his conditions and pray and trust for a change of heart. Rather help on his terms than no help at all. And then lots of thank you’s after (even though we don’t always have someone saying thank you for all the things we do)and “rewards”. And when I do this he is only too willing to do more.
    However having said that, often when our relationship is a bad space, that’s when he is reluctant to help or get involved with the home. (and here I am specifically talking about intimacy.) and yet when we are in a good space and we are being intimate often, he is quick to offer his assistance.
    Melanie Grant recently posted…Family Life: Why family traditions are importantMy Profile

  3. I’m with ButterflyWings above, talking with a trusted elder who knows you both and can be objective in advising you sounds like a good idea. After that, maybe you can bring your concerns to your husband (if you haven’t already), not when you’re feeling wronged, but at a planned time when you can both talk calmly and respectfully – I learned this one the hard way lol! I wonder if he thinks he IS helping, if he’s offering to cook; is it possible he doesn’t know how you feel? It also sounds like you might be saying he’s withdrawn from the children, which is (in my opinion) a definite concern. Would he agree to a weekly or biweekly momma’s night out? That way you’d get some time, and he’d have one-on-one time with the kids. Whatever the case, I hope you’re able to talk it through and reach a solution. Best of luck to you!
    Julia recently posted…Sometimes, just when you think it’s all going wrong, it goes right.My Profile

  4. Oh, I use to be just like you and almost ruined my marriage over it. Your responsibility is to care for the children and home. He works hard so you can stay home and do this. Providing for a family is his love language. It is a heavy burden men have and once you change your thinking about this and go about making your home a haven of peace and rest for him, your marriage will become wonderful. He needs to feel appreciated about providing for you. Believe me, your life is so much better than a single mother’s who has to worry about where the next paycheck will come from. In my parent’s generation, the father’s didn’t help around the house or with the children at all yet the wives were fine with that. Our generation expects too much from our men. If he would rather cook for you than hold the baby, thank him and let him do it. Find joy in serving your husband and children. This is the ministry the Lord has given you. As you learn to joyfully serve your husband, he will want to help more probably since we reap what we sow.
    Lori recently posted…For Husbands Who Don’t Want Submissive WivesMy Profile

    • I think you too easily throw around allegations about earlier generations. While they probably had more black and white views on gender roles in general, I do believe many husbands helped around the house and with the children and I believe many wives weren`t fine at all about having a husband who didn`t. Working outside the home is not a free ticket for doing nothing or whatever please you at home. You say that providing for his family is his love language. I agree on that, just as much as it is her love language too – providing for the family in a different and just as important way. Providing for a family takes many forms in order to fullfill all the needs, it is not just about bringing home a pay check nor is it a 9-5 job, or a 7-7 for that matter.
      However, I do agree that when both husband AND wife is concerned about joyfully serve and love the other one and their family much more than fullfilling their own egoistic wants and needs, the marriage will become wonderful.

  5. I hope I am reading your question correctly because as it is written it seems that your husband is willing to cook or free you up so that you can care for the children, but you are looking for a break from them, that he is not willing to provide.

    I don’t know the sex of your children, but as a father I can tell you that babies often times scare us a little. We don’t have that maternal instinct and while many of us make an effort I know I was very afriad of holding them too tightly, not doing something correctly etc.

    Often times I was just unable to help as well, sometimes our children would not settle for anyone but Mom, and despite any effort I made it wasn’t going to happen.

    That being said I did make the effort to give my wife the break but I can see where a husband/father might have reservations about those duties.

    That being said, perhaps you guys can arrange a sitter once a week to give you a break, or swap children with another couple one night a week, Mondays you take theirs, wednesday they take yours. Even if you don’t go out, or you spend the time alone so that you get that break. Even if you can find another mother who is in a similar situation who needs a few hours you can do it during the day when your husband is at work so that you really do have that alone time to unwind and recharge.

    My work schedule is very long days, 14 plus hours with travel so my wife often does these things just to keep herself refreshed and recharged.

    Just my thoughts.

    • Do you know how tight to hold an egg? Or have you never adapted your manly super strength to that task either? ;)

      For every clueless dad with a baby, there is a clueless new mom. We all learned how to soothe the baby by soothing the baby. We didn’t try once and say “Well I guess I stink at that.”

      • Of course I know how tight to hold and egg, but when I first encountered eggs I didn’t. Give your two year old and egg to hold for a couple hours and see if it breaks. They won’t know that dropping it will break it until they’ve done it.

        Boys where I grew up didn’t hang out with the women and babies, so really the only time I held a baby for more than a picture or a few seconds was after we brought our daughter home.

        My wife laughed when I put the my first diaper on backwards. Funny thing but she knew how to do it first try. I guess because she had done it before as part of the family. She had babysat many children, infants included, and while it may not have prepared her for everything it was certainly a leg up on where I was.

        There are lots of things I can do that my wife shy’s away from, or avoids.

        Give me a handgun and I will hold it with confidence and a sure grip. Give me an axe and I can swing it deliberately and it my mark. Give me a shotgun and I can fire it without trouble.

        How many women do those things first crack? How many you tube videos are there of women falling over from a 12 guage loaded with double 0 buckshot? How many took the time after that failure to become proficient? Babies and guns are not the same, but if you rely on it for food it might be easier for the woman to say well my husband is good at it so I don’t need to learn that.

        Failure is a big problem in a man’s psyche, so yes if he has failed badly at caring for the baby he might never want to do those things again. Or if he was condemned for how he has done something, then he is also less likely to do it. We don’t know the entire situation, and brow beating him is not likely to change his attitude about those duties. It seems like he is willing to help in some way or another, just not the way in which she wanted the help to come.

        Being a father I took that extra step to learn how to care for the infant. But from the man’s point of view I can see where he might see a chance of failure and shy away. Imagine you could choose between cooking the dinner or going out with the gun and killing it. Knowing the skill set you have often means sticking with what you are good at.

        We don’t know this man, we don’t know where he is coming from so I can’t condemn him without hearing his side first. There are two sides to every story and we have only heard one.

        Just my thoughts

        • Stephanie ` says:

          Once again, it is not about “helping her”, it is about sharing the responsibility of raising a child. Children need both parents. This woman was not asking for “help around the house” . It seems she is genuinely concerned abut her husband’s attitude about caring for his child. No one is talking about brow beating him. It seems sometimes that whenever a woman asks something of someone more than once it is forevermore known as “nagging” or it’s more violent cousin “brow beating”. If that is what she is doing to her husband, if that is why he is not involved, then she should stop and confess that to both God and her husband and start over.

          When my husband was a new dad, he had ZERO experience with babies. None. I could tell he was relieved when he was holding our firstborn and I would take her from him. But it never made him shy away from being involved. He learned. I think that is all this wife/mom is asking from her husband: his effort.

        • I really appreciate your thoughts, Andrew. It clarifies some thing for me about my husband.
          Sharon G. recently posted…The FixMy Profile

        • Newlywed says:

          What a blessing to have a man’s perspective! Thank you Andrew, seriously. I’m a newlywed and I would love to hear more responses from mature Christian men about their take on being partnered with a woman for the rest of their life.
          How often I forget that my husband was getting along just fine before he was married to me. He wore clean clothes, ate real food, and paid his bills on time. So really, it’s unfair for me to expect him to change and adopt my “process” for laundry, cooking, and managing the finances.

    • As someone who grew up with a very un-involved father, I have to agree with Maggie that fear or a lack of know-how are excuses. My dad thought he could just bring home the check was enough. (Even when my mom went back to work, he only helped grudgingly at home, and only when asked repeatedly. Spending time with us as younger children was a chore.) This eventually lead to him having zero relationship with us as teens and young adults, something he now regrets. Family needs to come first, or more than just a marriage relationship with be damage in the long run.

    • I see Andrew’s response here from a man’s perspective and his effort to try to provide *some* understanding for why an unknown husband might be reluctant to help more with the kids. Yes, mom’s learn to do by doing, but nurturing and caring *are* in the mom’s general “make up” more so than Dad’s – at least as the dads are still taught by social mores. And I appreciated the perspective. My own husband and I have had this conversation regarding who works “more” – and the fact that we both work hard even though the other cannot see what we have done all day.

      I don’t necessarily agree with Lori’s take on things – yes, our mother’s and grandmother’s generations were seemingly content to stay home and keep the house and kids BUT many of them were also desperately unhappy. At the same time, society is different today than back then. YES most men went to work while women kept the house up, but the women were revered for that. Today, you say you stay home and you get “the look”. It is not appreciated as a true calling and vocation any more. So telling the original writer that she needs to just suck it up and be grateful for her calling in life does not address the problem that she is feeling a) overwhelmed by the complete lack of free time from the children *ever* (which Andrew’s answer makes an effort to address) and b) that her husband does not seem to really appreciate that she is working all day too and that for a stay-at-home-mom who is not supported by her spouse that way, there *are* no breaks or days off – or even time for a bathroom break alone often as not.

  6. While I believe that God has given women the wonderful role of being homemaker and mother, that does NOT mean that our husbands can come home and not help. That’s ridiculous. They are his children too. In fact I’m writing this from bed and my husband has been up with our baby since 6:30. He gets up with him on Saturday mornings so I can have some extra rest. My husband and I serve EACH OTHER. It’s give and take. With that said, I like the suggestion of the other two ladies who said to find an elder who can speak with you two or make a list of all the things you do during the day. What helped my husband have a better understanding of what it is like taking care of a newborn was leaving him at home alone with the baby for a while. And the more my husband did the more he realized how hard it can be. My husband doesn’t refuse to help me with the house or take care of our son because all of those things are his responsibility too. What I tend to do is give my husband a choice so he can chose what he is most comfortable with doing. But never is one of those choices “sit there and do nothing while I do it all.” That just isn’t right.

    I hope things get better and more balanced for you and your husband. You’re a team!
    Sarah @ The Biblical Family Blog recently posted…Miscarriage: The Family & FriendsMy Profile

  7. I agree that inviting an elder into your discussion could be helpful. Perhaps an outside perspective will help your husband realize how much work you do as a SAHM. If such a discussion is not possible or leads nowhere, then I suggest the following:

    1. Make sure your husband feels appreciated. Thank him for working hard outside the home so that you can stay home with your children. Make intimacy with him a priority. He may be building up his own resentment, which prevents him from really understanding your position.

    2. Ask him to watch the children so that you might have some time to yourself. As Sarah pointed out above, having the children and housework to himself for a day (or just a few hours) could show him just how much work it is, without any nagging. If he will not agree to that, then do as Andrew suggested and trade baby-sitting with a friend/neighbor. Time to yourself is important; it helps you to be a better wife and mother.

    3. If he will not help with the children, then ask for his help with the housework so that he can experience how much work you do. Be very specific about what task you need him to do, but not specific about how he does it, so as not to micromanage. i.e. Would you please fold the laundry that is in the dryer? (Don’t say anything if he folds them “wrong.”) I’ve left the ingredients for dinner out; would you please cook up some spaghetti and sauce?

    4. Pray! For your husband, for yourself, for God to show you a solution. You cannot change your husband’s heart, but you can express your concerns to him lovingly and then look at how your own heart could change.

    Good luck!

  8. I don’t really have enough details, but it does sound like you are getting some help from your husdnad, just not what you want or need. Husband arent,’t mind readers, and maybe he has some hang-ups about the kids, but perhaps clearly saying, “I could use a few minutes to collect my brain. I would really like it if you would play( something specific here) with baby while I finish dinner. Seriously, there were lots of times in our early years my husband had no idea a crying baby, dinner prep, etc were becoming overwhelming, but was happy to help when he knew what was going on.
    It also sounds lile you have a problem with the way your husband is being a father, and not with his helpfulness, since he is still willing to help with dinner. You can’t change how he chooses to father, but you can let him know he is.appreciated in the ways he does father, and that he is important. Focus on showing him his value to the family, and describe to him how it is such a regenerator to your mind and spirit to have his brief help with the kids, and that you’d peefer to cook(or whatever) so you can be fresh for him later.
    Also, you a still in early learning period of parenting and marriage. Keep respectfully working towards a better marriage.

  9. Is it possible we have too little information here? First we don’t know how many hours he works or commutes. Second, we aren’t told what they/he does on the weekend. Third we don’t know the ages of her children and whether they are to young to go to school, homeschooled or gone in public school all day.

    It seems most have jumped right in behind the woman and even asks what can she do to remedy this problem…I’m sorry we haven’t found out if there is a problem yet.

    Just last night, I swept and did the dishes (twice) for my wife so before you jump on me please consider that. But my dear wife homeschools our children and helps me with my business (doing the books & sometimes picking up & dropping off packages) which place extra demands on her time. I think there are two things stay at home moms often forget. We don’t get women’s Bible study in the middle of the day. We don’t get that half hour the baby’s down for a nap to hop on the internet or watch TV. Second, if you were married young and never held a job where you were responsible for yourself, let alone a family OR if the last job you held was pre-2008, please understand the business/work environment has changed. You work longer, harder, faster for less. That’s just the reality of it and it will continue to be so. Welcome to America in 2013.

    I have stayed home with the kids all day, and while I am thankful for my wife as she is a better cook (she cooks us three meals a day as I work from home) and teacher than I will ever be. To be perfectly honest, I can do my wife’s responsiblities outside of the teaching in a few hours each day (kids now 6 & 8). Because I work from home (shop on our property) she sees how hard I work. Is it possible because he is gone & then there that he is just as underappreciated?

    Do we have a generation of men who can be selfish, yes. Do we have a generation of women who also don’t apprecaiate or respect men, yes. I think there are two sides to this coin.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not sure if folks are seeing this as it keeps saying awaiting moderation so I’ll retry, so please excuse me if this is listed twice.

      Is it possible we have too little information here? First we don’t know how many hours he works or commutes. Second, we aren’t told what they/he does on the weekend. Third we don’t know the ages of her children and whether they are to young to go to school, homeschooled or gone in public school all day.

      It seems most have jumped right in behind the woman and even asks what can she do to remedy this problem…I’m sorry we haven’t found out if there is a problem yet.

      Just last night, I swept and did the dishes (twice) for my wife so before you jump on me please consider that. But my dear wife homeschools our children and helps me with my business (doing the books & sometimes picking up & dropping off packages) which place extra demands on her time. I think there are two things stay at home moms often forget. We don’t get women’s Bible study in the middle of the day. We don’t get that half hour the baby’s down for a nap to hop on the internet or watch TV. Second, if you were married young and never held a job where you were responsible for yourself, let alone a family OR if the last job you held was pre-2008, please understand the business/work environment has changed. You work longer, harder, faster for less. That’s just the reality of it and it will continue to be so. Welcome to America in 2013.

      I have stayed home with the kids all day, and while I am thankful for my wife as she is a better cook (she cooks us three meals a day as I work from home) and teacher than I will ever be. To be perfectly honest, I can do my wife’s responsiblities outside of the teaching in a few hours each day (kids now 6 & 8). Because I work from home (shop on our property) she sees how hard I work. Is it possible because he is gone & then there that he is just as underappreciated?

      Also, what is he doing before work, on Saturday. I know I spend an hour before work everyday bringing in firewood, tending to animals, snowplowing, in the summer taking care of the constant growing (mowing the grass, etc), also take care of all the family cars and the never ending jobs a house requires.

      Do we have a generation of men who can be selfish, yes. Do we have a generation of women who also don’t apprecaiate or respect men, yes. I think there are two sides to this coin.

      • This is not about equal division of labor , who does more, for how long, etc. This is about a man who seems to see his children in terms of a transaction rather than as human beings who love him and have the right to expect him to be willing to spend time with them on more than just a tit for tat basis. It’s not about working moms vs stay-at-homes. I was a working mom throughout my children’s childhood, but I don’t care if this person sits around eating bonbons all day, it is not right for this person to you the children as a weapon against his wife.

        • Anonymous says:

          I would disagree. I can see where you are coming from and maybe you are right but I don’t think so. But as a man…I think he feels neglected and disrespected. I can also so that while I played a huge hand in raising our kids and am the most involved dad I know…until they are talking it’s a very unnatural/uncomfortable experience for most men. It doesn’t matter how hard we try to teach ourselves to “hold the egg”????as one lady put it up above. It comes much more natural for women at that young of age.

          Now this is not to say she’s got to just suck it up and come all the way to his side. That’s not what I’m saying…but she better understand where his side is and make sure she understands him because if she deosn’t the only that is going to change is who is going to get resentful…there’ll still be just as much of it in the marriage it will just be coming from a different source. Please see my below reply to Sheila.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve re-read my post from earlier, I while I agree factually with what I said…it comes across awefully ungenerous. We are called to live generously in love and service to our spouses and as husbands to love our wife as Christ loved the church. That did not come across in my post at all and I apolagize. I think what I was trying to communicate is that sometimes we can’t put ourselves in the other’s shoes and I guess I was trying to paint a picture from the other side. I know I have a short memory and I’ve found most folks do…it’s important to keep an accurate perspective of what the other’s spouse’s needs and responsiblities are.

        That said, I have always helped with our kids & the house, partly out of love and partly out of necessity due to my wife’s health. I literally raised our son from 1-3 years sitting on my cabinetmaking bench due to her health, and still one day & sometimes two days a month have to shoulder both of our responsiblities while she takes her knock out pills and sleeps off the worst of her cycle. So I understand about raising kids and running a household, I do not underappreciate what the SAHM’s do…I just want to make sure we aren’t minimizing what those of us who go out in the world and literally fight for our family to provide for our needs. It is just as exhausting & often we do also have other responsiblities at home outside & inside maintenece wise.

        • Stephanie says:

          I’m sorry if I am getting this wrong, but what I hear from you, you are saying that women do not understand how much men have to do to provide for their families, but that you do understand what women have to do because you’ve done it all and if we just plan better, it’s not that hard?

          • Anonymous says:

            Stephanie,
            Both jobs are incredibly hard. But yes, I do find it terribly disrespectful if the duties can be done during the day (and 90% of the time they can be from my experience as someone who has done it and does do it on a monthly basis while also running a business) and aren’t. If your husband only decided to work 3 days out 5 because he decided to go have a beer with the boys instead or stay home and watch sports…I’m just guessing most here would find him not living up to his responsiblities. But as my time both in the ministry where I watched lots of young mothers and also from my wife’s myriad of friends I can tell you this is happening every day throughout this country but in reverse. And yes to be blunt, I find a problem with it when there husbands get home from a long day and then are asked to vacuum, do the dishes, etc so that mom can keep up on her extracalcular activities. I’m not saying that is the case here…but there’s is just a good of chance of that as there is that this father is totally ignoring his kids. Again please understand that:
            1) we only have her side of the story
            2)I’m sure Sheila gave the title which sets the whole tone…read both messages from the OP. It is about shared responsiblities.

            And yes again, planning is huge. I see the same thing again with tons of young mothers. 15 minutes on the internet here, 30 minutes on the phone there, an hour watching Ellen in the afternoon…it adds up and pretty soon the day is gone. Do you really think the husband is given these “breaks” during his workday? We see no mention of his commute. She mentions his only day off his Sunday. She does not mention what other responsiblities he does around the house. I gather she is not out mowing the grass or changing oil on the cars…but nothing on this is considered?

            Quite honestly I am amazed day in, day out that about 75% of Sheila comments and comments posted on here automatically assume the woman’s position is correct. There is so little attempt to step in the husband’s shoes here. Everything is handled “gently” because “she hurting”…It’s amazing to me that we only have hurting wives on this board (& the husbands aren’t hurting). We seem to assume the best of the women and the worst of the men, and it baffles me. I would never do this in my own marriage, let alone when passing out advice. If I’m hurting enough to write into a blog for advice, I want the cold hard truth whether that’s for me, against me or somewhere in the middle. If I have a problem with my wife, that’s is where I begin by trying to put myself in her shoes and see things through her sightline to see if I’m wrong, to see if I’ve let her down in some way. Most Christian men are good men, they really would die for their wives and yet we tackle every single issue through wife lenses and trying to “change” our men….could it be shockingly that he feels just as underappreciated, or just as unloved or just as…fill in the blank. We are not the enemy! We don’t marry for the same reason or have the same expectations but we are not the enemy. I’m sorry to say I see far to much feminism on this board and way to little appreciation or respect for men. And if that makes you angry I am sorry. My wife is my greatest treasure. The finest thing the Lord ever put in my life and I would do anything for her. She would have answered just like most of the women on here 6-8 years ago, and I was miserable because of it and she was miserable because of it. Somehow we dismiss everything about husband and wife roles that every generation practiced up until 50 years ago and scripture teaches and we are all more miserable then ever with ever climbing divorce rates.

            Now that said, I’ve done the dishes five times this week, vacuumed three times, watched the kids alone for six hours…but do you know why? Because I know my wife is giving me her everything and she knows I am giving her mine. It was a down week for me at work, but there have been times where I NEEDED TO COME HOME TO A SAFE SANCTUARY. I’m not anti-help, or anti raise my kids (I spend more time with my kids than any dad I know) but this attitude of entitlement of women on this board is mind bogling (OP if you are reading this, I am not saying this is you…I don’t know you or your husband, none of us do…all I am doing is possibly providing the other side of the story and this isn’t meant to tear you down in the least, you & your husband are in my prayers…you sound like a good wife and to be honest he doesn’t sound to bad himself).

          • Stephanie says:

            Honestly, your comments here usually sound defensive and….maybe a little resentful of women?
            You throw out terms like “the majority of young mothers” and “75% of comments” like a statistician. I’m sorry that you’ve had a rough go of it in your marriage, and the hurt you have suffered is clear in your comments. But when you say that most Christian men Are good men? I gotta say, most Christian moms need the same benefit of the doubt when it comes to doing their best in *their* jobs. Terms like “sense of entitlement” do not do much to foster respect for your argument. Neither does saying that moms get all kinds of breaks (naps, Internet, Ellen?!) while men get none (my husband works very hard in a very physical job and is gone 12 hours a day with commute and even he gets breaks).
            This woman is asking for help with *their* child. The child that he fathered. She rightly feels he should take part in he nurturing of their child. He responds by telling her to go to work, but that he will not pay for day care? And what you come away with from that is “he feels neglected and disrespected”? What in her actions brought you to that conclusion? She was not asking him to vacuum which she could have done instead of watching Ellen, or to scrub the toilets which could have been done while he was gone. She was askin him to participate in the raising of their child, who cannot just be put away like the dishes. As you well know a child is a 24/7 job.
            This is not about housework, clearly her job since she stays home. She wasnt asking for that. Whatever he is feeling is not the child’s fault and should not be taken out on him/her.
            For what it’s worth, so that my comments don’t get lumped into the “feminist camp”, I am a homeschooling mother of seven children, one of whom is special needs. My husband is an amazing father and husband whom I heap praise upon, and we really do have the best marriage of anyone I know ( he says the same all the time). I am NO feminist. I also organize and plan quite a bit and we don’t have cable at all. Still, that darn laundry gets away from me quite a bit.

          • Anonymous says:

            Stephanie,
            First, I can almost promise you this dad is not doing nothing to raise his kids. I can guarantee this is language used by a mom who is tired, stressed out, and by her own words resentful. You are taking everything she says as gospel truth, as are most commentators, not evening allowing for how her admitted feelings are going to taint the way she is going to explain the situation. I have no problem giving women the same benefit of the doubt, in fact I would like to more on here but I’ve found there are only a handful of commentators who can picture the other side and so I often end up explaining it just so that possibility is laid out, because if we are being fair we are talking about two people we have never met and have no idea how accurate the portrayal is of the situation & I’m sure the husband could paint just as broad of strokes on the other side. I’ve never had a couple come to me for counseling and the were inches apart on something where there was this much hurt. There is no one more pro-woman than me. Where I think we will disagree is this. What is good for their husbands is usually good for them also, and I’m seeing less and less of that. Every issue is tackled from the woman’s perspective. Read Sheila’s take on it today (monday) and count how many times she says, “let him”…now in the end she tries to be husband respectful and I can guarantee you she will never see it this way but the whole tone of it is control. She’s calling the shots and letting him have his way. Even when she says to go with the husbands idea she’s the one doling out control and deciding when she’s going to listen to him. The feminist view is so subtle and most are so used to it you can’t see it.

            Tell me Stephanie, how did my grandmothers and great-grandmothers do it? I remember as a little boy as my dad headed out to work his mother, my grandmother turned to me and said, “being a woman isn’t easy, but I’m so thankful I am not a man. His job is so hard.” The attitude of fifty years ago was of respect for men for the majority of couples. And that was with women doing the vast majority of child raising and work at home.

            Going back to your husband who works 12 hours a day. My kids sleep for 12 hours a day, and play outside for an hour a day…so my kids aren’t 24/7…maybe yours are different. I have no problem with men helping their wives in both housework and raising the children…I encourage it thoroughly and completely as an act of love and generosity and responsiblity. And on most every men’s blog I’d go to that’s the way they’d see it. However, every woman’s blog I go to outside of a couple every woman is trying to get their husband to do this or do that or not do this. The culture of control and entitlement, not what does my husband need from me. It’s on here again and again…again, no one blesses, gives, take care of, loves his wife more than me. I’m not anti-wife, I’m anti-feminism and I’m afraid it’s so deep in our minds and hearts these days most can’t see it even though this blog is filled with it everyday. It’s what can I get from him. Now you have seven kids, that’s a bit more work than two…and I can see why you need the help and I have no problem with it whatsoever.

          • Stephanie says:

            I agree wih you that feminism is insidious. It’s sneaky and subtle. And wrong. I am the mom to girls and boys, both of whom I am fiercely protective of. Feminism usually means that my boys have to take a backseat to girls or will eventually be expected to. One of the myriad of reasons I am thankful for homeschooling–my boys can be free to be the little men they are without some sort of reminiscing agenda. You say you are pro woman, I tell you I am pro man.
            So that’s said.
            You obviously feel that Sheila and most commenters on this blog are so steeped in feminism we are blind to it. So why are you here? It sounds like this place is unredeemably feminist. Why do you bother?
            In your posts defending this husband from perceived injustice, I never saw you tell this woman what she should do? Maybe i missed it. She needs to respect her husband more so he wil Help parent their children? Why is her hypothetical disrespect of neglect of him their childrens’ fault? You said that her emotional state will color what she reports about the incident–so when she said he said “go to work but I won’t pay for day care”, is she lying? That’s a pretty specific incident, not “feelings” she is reporting. Do you have any actual advice from a man’s point of view?

          • Stephanie says:

            That was supposed to be “feminizing agenda”.

            To be clear, you have as much right to be here as the rest of us. I come here to get some Godly counsel about life’s many issues, and maybe offer some. With such a feminine environment here (and I think that’s all most of it is–the feminine point of view, not feminism), it just doesn’t seem like you enjoy it here.

            To address my childrens’ being “24/7″, I have two nursing toddlers who wake frequently at night. That is generally when I read this blog–on my phone late at night while nursing. I am also a full time student, the work for which I do almost exclusively at night while my children are asleep (I should say IF my children sleep) and my husband is at work ( he works nights). I usually sleep between 1:30am and 7am. This is not an exaggeration, it is my normal day.
            Speaking of which, I am replying to this during a break in school, which, because I have a deadline tonight, I am doing while my husband is home playing Wii with the kiddos. I need to get back to it.

          • Anonymous says:

            Stephanie,
            I hear ya! You sound like a great mother and wife, I’m not speaking to you specifically. You have more kids and more responsiblities (school). Way to personal here and overstepping my bounds completely I know but I myself would have a hard time letting my wife go back to school with seven kids at home, me working 12 hour days, and two toddlers…it would have to be some pretty specific and dire life circumstances…We probably just see things differently and that’s okay! But I DO think we need to be able to listen to one another’s perspective.

            And that is why I am here. To be honest, I’ve wanted to leave but for some reason God has put this on my heart. Not to be a jerk or pain in the behind to the women here or Sheila…I thank God for women who are actively seeking out His will and His way for their marriage. I hurt for the women on here who day after day come here with hurts & pains & the marriage is in trouble and the reason I stay is because I see how the issues are approached, from the woman’s side almost across the board. If this is a marriage blog, about having healthy marriages let’s imagine it was a book about marriage that’s divided up into the women’s side and the men’s side like a lot are. Everyday I feel like I’m reading the men’s side on this blog, intimacy, communication, how to get him to….men are very simple creatures if we are respected and our wives are regularly (for me this is 3x a week ) have active, engaged sex with us I will move the world for her. Bend over backwards, work until I bleed, jump in front of a bullet. And yet how many times are these two issues addressed here except in passing (and usually by me or another poster in the comments section)? I will give Sheila credit in today’s post for #5, but go back and read the past 3 months posts and see what you come up with. On men’s blogs we pretty much assume if we love our wife as Christ loves the church she’ll love us in return, except in some cases the sex, in which we are told to double down on loving, serving, caring, etc. Nothing could be further from that here. It is not assumed that men want to met you needs or the family needs, it is usually assumed the opposite and you have to somehow coax, coach, teach him where the errors of his ways are to get him to be the husband “you want him to be”. We never read the wive’s half of the book here that says, hey create love and respect him. Create a sanctuary for him when he comes home from a hard days work and jump his bones at night!

            My concern is this, I see these ladies hurting day after day and I know for a great many of them it’s because their husbands have given up. They’ve learned they can’t win. Their tank won’t be filled. The wife is setting the agenda these days in marriage. Where most, if their tank was being filled would gladly fill their wives tank and bless them but it’s so infrequent for them to be respected and loved sexually they are hanging on by the end of the their rope and therefore can no longer love their wives the way they are needed. That is why I hang around.

            Sorry for my long windedness- really, in real life I’m one the quietest guys ever…I know hard to believe!

          • Stephanie says:

            Honestly, why I wrote about my day was not because you were talking about me, per se, but more because you have said the majority of Christian wives and moms do such and such. I don’t think you were meaning to insult anyone, I just think you’re flat out wrong about most Christian stay at home moms. I think the majority of them do work hard. There are some deadbeats absolutely. I don’t know why we can’t acknowledge that both husbands and wives generally work a long day and are exhausted when they come back together as a family. But children still have to be parented by both parents. God charges fathers with training children as much as he does moms.

            I may be exceptional in what I do in the culture at large, but maybe it’s just the circles in which I run (when I do get to see other women–which is rare–they are generally Christian homeschooling mothers) who passionately desire to love and serve God and their husbands, nurture and teach their kids, AND do other gainful things like the Proverbs 31 woman did: run a small business, go to school, take part in ministry, etc. I don’t know anyone who watches Ellen, or really any other TV, unless it is late at night after absolutely everything else is done. Among these women I am not unusual, and I just hate to see their work get diminished.

            And now, because I feel I must justify every break (lol), the baby is asleep and I have to get back to school. God bless.

          • Anonymous says:

            Sheila & Stephanie,
            I tell you what, I challenge you. I know Sheila believes what I quotes about respect and sex as she did a post on it Sep. 12, 2012. So as that as our backdrop, if you look through the last three months or six months of posts (your choice) and you can find only 25% of the posts where the meat of the post was respect or sleep with your man I’ll shut up. Period. Gone. In theory it should be 50%, but I’ll settle for 25%. And what comes up after my posts (Anon, Pioneer, or Love my wife…sorry sometimes my screen name from different blogs comes with me for some reason and I don’t check it…sorry tech is not my speciality) doesn’t count. Is that fair? If feminism is not a huge part of this post and we are not tackling every subject from the womans point of view then I believe this is not only fair but generous as I am only asking for 25%.

            Are you game?

          • Look, I spent two years giving one side of the coin, and now over the last few months I’ve talked a TON about pornography because that is the vast majority of emails that I get. Also, what you don’t know is how people land on this site. I can see that from Analytics, and believe it or not my posts drawing the highest number of new visitors are on MEN not wanting sex. I know you don’t think this is a huge issue, but likely to about 50% of my readers it is. That’s where they’re coming from. And for two years I wrote virtually nothing for them, and so I am trying to also show the other side of the coin.

            I also am constantly (and I mean CONSTANTLY) trying to tell people to get a hold of my books, which go into far more detail than any blog posts on what healthy sexuality is, and in those books I definitely point to the importance of sex in a marriage.

            The problem is that if I write about Y, I get people screaming at me saying, “but you didn’t say X!” So I write about X, and then people say, “But you didn’t say Y!” Look, the vast majority of people reading here have not only read these new posts. They landed here because they read the old ones that went viral–specifically the 29 Days to Great Sex. And so they HAVE heard about X. I now need to balance that with some of Y, which is also true.

            Hence I have been writing a lot lately about women in extremely difficult marriages, especially about pornography.

            I understand that you have a different perspective, but let me just share a few stats with you: On any given day, about 2000 people read my main post. In contrast, about 2000 people land here reading older posts about what to do when their husbands don’t want sex, and about 4000 people land here to read about 29 Days to Great Sex. Another few thousand arrive looking at a whole lot of other old posts. So the MAJORITY of people are reading older stuff, not newer stuff, because it’s the older stuff that is pinned and bookmarked and shared already. One day this post will also be in that category, because it’s being pinned a lot, too. But most people land here not because of a new post but because of an old post.

            What I need to do now is to round out what I have already written, and that is what I am doing.

            This week my Wifey Wednesday post will address some of the things that you have said, but I just want you to know the background. I realize you are very passionate about this, but every time I bring up the fact that many women here have husbands that don’t want sex, you seem to dismiss it, or say that it must be a very small minority. The fact is that among the people that read this blog it is not. In fact, the most common Google search result I get (apart from my post on the 50 Best Bible verses to memorize) is for wives desperate because their husbands won’t make love. In the research for my book, I found between 24-30% of marriages have the woman with the higher sex drive, but I would guess that among readers of this blog it’s even higher than that, based on how people are landing here. And so I think it’s incumbent on everyone–the X people and the Y people–to realize that not everyone has the same experience in marriage as you do, and that sometimes the other side may also need some encouragement and some practical help.

            Every post cannot speak to every situation, which is why there are over 1500 posts on this blog. If you were to see the emails I get, I think you would understand how hurting many women are from things that their husbands are doing–things which in all likelihood have very little to do with the wife’s actions (porn use, for instance, usually precedes the marriage).

            I know you want me to say certain things, but I guess what I’d say to you is that I spent about 700 posts saying exactly just that (and another 500 posts writing about parenting stuff in general), and I’ve written two books on it which have sold really well which say exactly that, and which I keep trying to encourage people to buy (because honestly, they say it so much better than any post could, and they’re really good!). I firmly believe everything that I said in those two books.

            However, there are also people who need advice from a different perspective, and I would like to help them too. (My books also deal with what to do if a husband doesn’t want sex, by the way). And so I am rounding out my blog a little bit. I do hope that you understand.

            I’m very grateful to my readers who show up day after day and read my new thoughts. You all are what really make this a community! But in terms of marriage ministry, there is a much wider audience, and those are the people who are landing here via some other route where they’ve been pointed to old posts. And then they come and hang around, and hopefully join this community. And so it is also to those people that I write.

            If you are newer to the blog, then I would suggest everyone read my Marriage FAQ, which links to older posts about just about everything! And I’d also advise you to get your hands on some of my books! There’s so much more here than just the last few months of posts, and what I’m trying to do is build up a database for just about every possible marriage problem, and that means addressing other perspectives than perhaps I have as much in the past–even if not every reader shares all of these perspectives.

            When you take the blog as a whole, you will see that all sides of marriage are covered. But to stress one over another, or to say that one perspective shouldn’t matter as much as another, isn’t really right. I have stressed that sex is vital in a marriage–in fact I said it multiple times in February, especially leading up to Valentine’s Day. But the simple fact is that many women are also in a situation where their husbands are doing really awful things, and they need help, too.

          • Anonymous says:

            Sheila,
            The reply button is gone at the bottom for me to reply. Listen, I understand your points and I think they are good, valid and biblical. I truly appreciate what you do. I think I have told you several times while I don’t always agree with the exact content, you are the most talented of all the writers going these days and I appreciate what you are doing. And I understand what you are trying to do by approaching subject from different angles, I do. But I truly think very few people take the time to look at the other view point. You watch fox news because you think Obama is the worst ever. You watch MSNBC because you think he the next savior. Most folks are going to read what they want to read and stop there…this is my troubling point and the fact that so few posters are willing to just step over to the other shoe for a little while. And I know you address things in books and I know you have these in the database and maybe you were way too heavy handed on one side of the coin for awhile but most folks have a hard enough time remembering the important things in life over two years, let alone what a blog post was. I know there are searches, but honestly it’s important to bring both sides (or more as sometimes there are angles/tangents that aren’t one side or the other) if folks are going to be helped that day then at that moment because to be honest most of us read what we want to read and hear what we want to hear.

            For these husbands doing horrible stuff, send them my way! I’m the biggest and firmest supporter of loving, caring, tender, serving husband and if a good talking to doesn’t work I’m not above giving them a good ole’ holy smack upside the head!

            I get the porn and the epidemic it is in our country. I have spoke with hundreds of men on this as it’s part of my testimony. I can’t comment on those who can’t quit or just start when they have loving wives who are giving to them sexually. But I might be a forceful man but I’m as honest as the day is long also and I can tell you there is just as big of an epidemic out there on the women’s side that effects some of the men. My sex drive, is the one thing I could never conquer…I held out for a great many years staying holy but eventually most are going to fall. The day my wife decided our marriage depended on her figuring out what sex meant to me, our marriage and developing a drive is the day I quit that crap cold turkey…never to look back and I think there are a lot of those men out there also. The last thing I want to do is come across as someone porn friendly, nothing could be further from the truth. I just hate the almost blanket statements made about the men using it and why.

            We are on the same team Sheila, really, and you have my sincerest apolagies for coming across disrespectful or like there is only one side to the issue. I’m a bit of a bull in a china shop I know, but really I have a good heart and want the best for you and women here on TLHV. Thank you again & God bless you.

          • I understand what you’re saying about the fact that they’re two years old, but I guess what I’m trying to convey is that they AREN’T–to most people, anyway. Most people have read THOSE before they read these. And my regular readers, those who read everyday, have read so much of that perspective and many already have the books. Plus I link to old posts like crazy and I have a “you might also enjoy these” related posts feature, so people are forever combing through the old stuff. So just because it has an older date does not mean that it isn’t read.

            So I can’t write the same post over and over again. Like I said, I have another one coming on Wednesday, but I have already written so MUCH on one subject, and I can’t keep rehashing everything.

            I know you mean well; I really do. I’m just trying to explain the back end, from the stats. I know it may seem different to you, but I actually get MORE comments on older posts everyday than I do the newer stuff. And then those people come to the newer stuff. So most people are reading the older stuff, and to most people the older stuff is completely fresh, so I am trying to give them newer stuff.

            That’s just the nature of the online world now! The newer stuff does not take precedence; in fact, the older stuff often does because it’s shared more. So please don’t think that people haven’t heard it; they have.

            And also, some posts do not NEED the perspective “you just need to have sex more”. In fact, in some posts that’s very harmful. Let’s say that you’re 23 years old, and you just got married. You’re both Christian. You were both virgins. You thought you’d be having sex all the time. And you get married and he had sex once on the honeymoon and that’s it. A few weeks have gone by. He thinks you’re pestering him if you ask for sex (this is the most common scenario I get emailed about; it’s HUGE among twenty-somethings right now). And the problem is that he used porn as a teenager, and even if he stopped, regular sex is not attractive to him. And so he spends his time masturbating.

            Now, if you’re that woman, and you come on and you read a post that talks about exactly that scenario, you’ll be helped. But if what you hear instead is that “sure, some guys use porn because they were addicted before, but the majority only turn to it because their wives don’t have sex enough/aren’t respectful enough, and it’s likely partly your fault”, you’ll be extremely hurt. What you need is someone who understands and who offers practical solutions when it honestly is that the guy is into serious sin and has distorted his sexuality.

            So yes, for some women, the message certainly is “you need to have sex more”. But for many others that is a hurtful message, depending on the scenario. And so I do not give that side every time, because my aim is to help people in specific scenarios. That’s why my posts tend to be about specific scenarios. I hope that’s clear!

          • Anonymous says:

            Alright! Can we all just hug and make up now? (Joking here!)
            Thank you both for your kind and well thought out replies. In Christ, Me

          • Absolutely! :)

          • Anonymous says:

            Ah shucks, I’m feeling much better now! On a serious note, I’m not sure what has changed in the last 10-15 years, I’m no old fogey at 34 but something must have. I left a christian college early to preach and I received phone calls from old classmates and old classmates fiances once they shared the prior porn use with them for over a decade. And fiances tough questions about if they can be trusted etc. Again, I can’t help you at all to understand the situation you are describing, especially once married and I’m not sure how to “test” for this other than a man being honest but I’ve found one thing to be true from my experience and those men I know who were able to break free more easily and that is that there are two type of pornography users (hopefully this is not two much info), those who are there for the exsplicit acts ( and crave more and more so with the passing of time) and those that are what I call neck up users. By that I mean 90% of the draw for the “neck up” users is the woman’s face and voice, the draw is seeing a “willing and excited” woman. It’s about attitude. Sure they looking at the “parts” too, but that’s not why they are there. For me, again hopefully not too much info and for myself this is terribly embarrassing, if I would have seen nothing but the face and the voice that was the draw. They are there because they are terribly lonely (before or after marriage) and they want to see or believe that (believe being more common after marriage with a LD or no drive wife and you feel like there is no hope) women can and do enjoy sex. Still just as sinful. Sorry I’m no scientist, but I see this one trait hold pretty steady throughout. I’m thinking we need to get these young men hook-ed up to lie detectors right before they propose….

          • Ha! I’m not sure lie detectors would go over really well. :) It’s a difficult issue, and I’ve written about it before: should you marry someone who has used porn? My short answer would be: if he’s stopped, he’s repented, and he’s serious and upfront about it and he has accountability in place, sure. If he fudges on it and isn’t honest, no. I think the majority of young men today have used it, and we can’t rule them out as potential marriage partners if they have dealt with it appropriately. But the internet is doing serious damage to people in their formative years, when it can have such a greater effect than if people get into it later in life. And it’s just so, so sad. :(

          • Taking care of the kids and the house a few hours once a week or so does not really give you an idea as to what it is like day in and day out to handle ALL of the responsibilities of running a household and raising small children. I have stayed home with three small children and I have (currently) work in a highly demanding, male dominated field.

            Now that my kids are older and I’m back at work, I really appreciate the non-monetary perks of working outside the home. Things like getting to eat lunch. Most days it’s at my desk while working, but at least I get to eat lunch sitting down. That’s not something that happens with little bitty kids. Also, I get to go to the bathroom when I need to, most of the time. I also get to plan my day, according to my priorities, not my children’s needs.

            Bottom line, moms and dads parent differently and children need the full involvement of both. However, moms in general have a level of sensitivity and emotional connectedness to their little ones that allow them to parent in a less efficient way, perhaps, but one young children need.
            Your assumptions about young mothers sitting on the internet and watching tv while the day wastes away is just plain wrong and makes you look very envious.

            Hands down, staying home with small children is more emotionally and physically demanding than my current full time, professional job. Period. Working outside the home also has many psychological perks that SAHM do not have. Having been on both sides of the fence, I will say that a husband who occasionally stays home and is able to plan his one day perfectly has.no.clue.

          • Anonymous says:

            I am not a stay at home once a day dad. I am a dad who raised one kid, and half raised the other kid while my wife battled mental illness and while I ran a business and while I built a home. You can can try to squash my “qualifications” all you want. But I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt I see it exactly the opposite way…not even close. Everybody we know in church says I am the most sensitive and emotional (loving) dad they know…so sorry, I don’t run the house like boot camp.

            I’ll stick to what I said 100%. To many moms are putting the non-important stuff first and expecting dad to pick up the pieces when he comes through the door. Organization, a realistic schedule, and not overcommitting go a long way. Ask your husband if he approves of all the activities that are chosen to be done in a week…seriously, nothing will have even the most loving dad of copping an attitude than when he feels totally taken for granted by either walking into chaos when he comes through the door at night and/or being asked to clean this, cook this, etc. Now a husband that feels respected will usually gladly partcipate and help out, not just with the house but especially the kids. Really other than sex, what is more fun than playing with your kids. But I can tell you there were plenty of times I thought back when my wife was sick, even if I didn’t say it, what this dad said and I love my kids so, so very much and spend hours with them everyday.

            Now that said I”m not trying to downplay the importance of stay at home mom’s. There is no more important job. My now healthy wife does an incredible job of it…amazing really. Stay at moms have the best job also…I do get envious she gets to see so much of our kids. I miss so much, but I’m glad to do what I do because it gives my wife the opportunity to be there with our kids being the awesome mom she is and raising our kids the way kids are meant to be raised. But even she will tell you, I work much longer, harder hours and maybe don’t spend more tears but definetly more blood and sweat. Sorry, I respect what my wife does immensely but we will disagree on this one and while your husband might not say it outloud…trust me they say it in the breakroom and in men’s bible study….we feel just as underappreciated.

          • Anonymous says:

            I should add my now healthy wife does a better job than I ever did. She cooks from scratch (and I mean like mills her own flour, etc) 2 meals a day (and heats up the other one from last nights leftover’s from lunch), homeschools the kids, and keeps up with the house & if it wasn’t for doing the books of my business and running some errands for me could still easily be done while I’m at work. Of course I help out with the kids and around the house, but honestly she wouldn’t need it if it wasn’t for lending a hand on the business activities. Of course I would anyway because I love her and I feel respected because she’s putting in the effort. She’s organized and doesn’t waste time and doesn’t over committ…but of her dozen friends only 1 or 2 others have this attitude. Sot you want to talk about resentment, well that’s what happens when you are a working father and you aren’t given the same respect the ladies here are asking for from him.

            There is way more to what this than the one side stated here, with the exception of Lori and Mrs P and a few others that just didn’t have enough info. And I was really sad to Sheila not address this point if even briefly the following day although she briefly touched on it to be fair in a post in the past six months.

  10. It sounds like tongue-biting might be your only option. A crying baby can be a frustrating and intimidating thing for a young dad. Maybe he feels inadequate to that task, and it really just pushes him past the edge of sanity to try to deal with it. Just give him the spatula and take the baby and forgive him for not really knowing what to do with a baby? Also, pray for him, because it may be a heart issue of jealousy toward the baby-intruder (my hubby’s input, there).
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  11. I have a question for you! How can I submit it?
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  12. I’m sorry, but I fail to see the problem here. Your husband goes out into the world and works so you can stay at home and care for the children. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. You get to live off of the money he earns, and in return you care for the children and all the household stuff so he can relax after a hard day of providing for your family. He even offers to cook dinner so you can attend to the kids. It sounds like you’re trying to control HOW he helps you, instead of being grateful for the help he offers.

    My only concern would be if he completely neglects the children. The email doesn’t really give us enough information about his relationship with the kids. Not wanting to change diapers or deal with a crying baby after getting home from work is one thing, but if he doesn’t even play or interact with the kids at all, that’s when you have a problem. If he as the leader of your family has decided that you are responsible for caring for the kids, you need to submit to his decision and be grateful that he provides for you. Be glad he doesn’t insist that you provide for yourself.

    • I think it’s unfair to say “he’s out there working, so be grateful AND DO ALL THE THINGS”. It’s too much to ask him to hold the baby? Really? Wow.

    • Stephanie says:

      It is not a father’s decision to make that the mom is solely responsible for the children. God gives that responsibility to both parents. We are both to teach them, discipline them, and raise them in the nurture and admonition of The Lord.

    • What an odd view on marriage. A husband is not working for the sake of his wife staying at home, a wife isn`t staying at home for her own sake. They are both providing for the family in equally important ways. If the wife is lucky that her husband is out working, then he is just as lucky that she is home taking care of the home. It`s simply a share of tasks, and the attitude of “well, I`ve done my share and I`m not lifting one more finger” is nothing more than extremly childish and selfish. If a husband`s view on this is that “she gets to live off him” and has to perform so he can come home and relax after work while she take care of every thing else, then he should be paying her for doing so, for staying in his house 24/7, giving birth to and raising his kids, doing his laundry and cooking his food, and so on.
      However, in a healthy marriage I believe both husband and wife will see each other as some one of equal worth and really love each other and appreciate each other`s effort. They will also know that they are working as a team – not as two separate people doing “their tasks” and not touching any thing else as soon as “their task” is considered completed.

  13. Bethany says:

    This is troubling. I agree that we would need more information, but I don’t think the real problem here is “who is right about what responsibilities are whose.” Rather, the breakdown in communication and the resentment building in the questioner seem to be the first problems that need attacking. It seems like the first step is for this couple, if the can, to get back on the same page, and on the same team. Rather than resentment between them, how can reconciliation and real goodwill between the two of them be reestablished? If that can happen, then I imagine that might really help the questioner with her resentment. Besides working on communicating clearly and (re)establishing themselves as a team, it would probably help for this wife to really think about what her husband does and try to counter resentful thoughts with grateful ones. This isn’t a substitute for working out things between them, but really can start the process of fostering goodwill from her end. It does help me.

  14. Giving him a long list of the things you do all day will not help. It will not help because this situation is not caused by lack of information. It appears that your husband considers caring for his children as equal to doing the dishes – a chore that his is not interested in doing except when faced with an even less desirable consequence. Children are not a household chore. He may love them – but his love is limited by his lack of desire to serve them. If his interaction is limited to some fun ‘daddy’ time on weekends, it doesn’t show a very deep kind of love and commitment. This is damaging you, because it probably makes you feel bad and neglectful when you are no such thing. It damages him because he is not participating fully in his role as a father, a thing he may have deep regret about later. Most of all it’s damaging his children because they will continue to think of their father as a toy to be played with, not someone they can depend on. In effect he is saying his children are not worth his time and effort; they are a chore. Be assured they will understand this. So instead of having two adults they feel they can depend on, they only have one.

  15. I also don’t really feel like I have enough information to hand out advice. I have more questions than answers, really. Have you talked to your husband and specifically asked for what you would like help with? Have you asked in a kind, considerate way or have the requests come in a moment of anger and frustration? Does he do ANYTHING to help or is it just not help in the way that you would prefer it? Do you appreciate the fact that he works all day long apart from you and your kids? Have you communicated to him the value of the work he is doing outside the home? If communicating about it isn’t working, have you considered finding counseling or mentoring to help you guys negotiate a situation that works for both of you?

    Beyond all of that and while you’re working on resolving the issue, I would just say to really pray hard about not allowing the bitterness and resentment to build a wall between you. Things may change with help but honestly, they might not (at least not right away). In the meantime, you can still have a loving spirit towards him. Try to focus on what you do appreciate about him and make sure he knows it. It may be that the more appreciated he feels, the more he will work to make you feel appreciated.
    Elizabeth@Warrior Wives recently posted…Submission in MarriageMy Profile

  16. Our children are 2 and 2 months. If he asks for my help with his work i help him with whatever he asks with no complaints. Every 2 months or so I bake a cake and make him a card thanking him for all he does. A lot of my resentment is stemming from multiple things. My husband has refused any intimacy further than a quickie for about 6 months now. I know he provides by working outside of the home and I am extremely thankful for that, but when he constantly makes comments about what i did NOT accomplish during the day my resentment grows. For example- i could have laundry in the dryer ready to be folded but have not had time have everything else done, but it is not good enough and he will make some comment like “you didn’t fold the laundry?” I say no and he asks “why not?” I am not asking him to get up with the kids at night or take care of them completely, but when i am cooking from memory as i usually do, a lot of the time my husband does not know how to make whatever it is. In order to keep everything done here lately i have resorted to boxed dinners which is now no longer good enough. I think a lot of our issues are deeper than who helps with what. I did write him a letter to explain how i felt, he has since started making an effort. If he sees i am busy he will help he will ask me to make a bottle really quick so he can feed our newborn or ask me to bring him a diaper. We are making it past one issue but i believe it will take some time to work through our deeper issues.

  17. My husband didn’t ‘get it’ in terms of the work involved in staying home until our situation changed and he spent days at home with our boys. Now he helps out…almost too much (jumping in to do things in a way that makes me feel guilty sometimes!). I do know he said when the boys were very young that he felt inadequate and backed off because of it. Consider what it would be like to walk into a busy household after being away all day and not being sure of what’s happening or where you fit in. That is a likely scenario for many husbands of SAHM’s.

    Now, in terms of the question, I agree with other commenters that we don’t have enough information. I deal with resentment in other areas and have to continually pray that God will give me a servant heart for those I am called to serve in whatever way that means. Consider Jesus, who endured to the point of death, and then try to say that any sacrifice we make can be too great. No one can be won over by a resentful attitude, but love covers a multitude of sins.

    • With your added information, I agree. It sounds like there are some deeper issues that will take time to work out. Hopefully you will be able to get Godly counsel so that you can move past and solve them.

      I remember that when my boys were that age it helped me to be able to just step outside for 5-10 minutes after my husband came home. That was all I needed to be able to gather my thoughts and refocus from the craziness of little people to the togetherness of family dynamics. Sometimes I wonder if I might benefit from doing that even now…

      Also, remember that men often don’t have the ‘subtext’ to their words that we expect. Could it be that his questioning about the laundry was just wondering and not condemnation? Have you asked him what is important to him and what he’s willing to contribute around home? (For example, does he really like the cake and card or is it something more important to you than him?). Perhaps some learning about live languages might help. Often we give to others what we want rather than what ‘says love’ to them. Then misunderstandings and resentments build up until we realize and inform ourselves.

      You have a tough situation, and I hope and pray that you and your husband will seek God to find a way through. I believe it will get better but it will take time, patience, and some work!

      • Btw, at 2 and 2months, the dad is not scarring the kids for life. If the pattern continues, yes there will be problems, but no one remembers who held them at that age!

  18. I would suggest to him, that you’d like to finish fixing dinner and would adore seeing him being daddy to your precious baby. He could sit in the kitchen while you finished up, and may I suggest to the mom to NOT tell dad how to hold, burp, coo or talk to her…just adore him for doing so.

  19. WOW! I’m saddened by some of these responses that seem to me a bit judgmental as I read them.
    No, we do not know both sides of the story, but she is asking for constructive help.

    A few people gave what seem to me to be the very best of responses:
    1 – pray for your husband (personally – whenever I am angry or hurt by someone, the Spirit always seems to put that solution in my face – not that I always jump right on it, but when I do, WHOO! – - – and dear Homemaker – I have added you to my prayer list and I will be praying alongside you that God will work in your marriage to help hubby see what you do and need, and that you also could gain understanding of why he is the way he is, and what his needs may be)..
    and, 2 – I encourage you to talk to someone you trust and ask them to pray for you. My thought would be an older Godly woman, but depending on your comfort level, your pastor, an elder, etc may also work for you.

    I also loved the solution of arranging playdates with a friend – Phyllis Diller is credited with saying, “Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing”… but if you can get the kids out of the house for a couple of hours with someone you trust, it could be therapeutic to actually clean something and enjoy the clean for a little bit :)

    Also, dear sister – you mentioned a newborn – childbirth can wreak havoc with hormones, which can really goof up how we deal with things emotionally, especially if that little one isn’t letting you guys get good sleep at night on top of it… another thing to think on, because only y’all could know that :)

    At any rate, I pray God’s blessings on you and your husband, your newborn (since we know you have a little one :) and the rest of your family.

  20. I do agree that there is some vital information missing here that could help in giving out specific advice. However, it seems the most important advice is being missed here! PRAYER!

    It is quite possible the husband is feeling overwhelmed with the baby and it is great that he is offering to help with the cooking. I think the point this writer is making though is that she is not feeling like her husband is really listening to her needs, her feelings, etc. and that is not a good feeling in a marriage. It means the communication has broken down, which could lead to bigger problems later…

    BUT, this wife cannot change her husband. She CAN pray about it and ask for God’s direction in her words she uses to talk to him about it and her attitude about it. Often God uses marriage to change US and make US more holy. Even when you are feeling wronged take it to God and ask him what there is that he can help YOU change to make the situation better.

    My husband and I both work full time but when we first married he did not feel like it was his “job” to do anything around the house. We argued about it MANY times and nothing changed until I left it up to God. I felt God telling me that all I could change was me and to do my best to be positive and encourage the marriage. My husband’s attitude was a symptom of a deeper spiritual problem that I could not change. Thankfully it was eventually resolved, by his own choice, and we definitely work better as a team now.

    My other advice, be sure and thank him for what he is doing and the ways he is offering to help. Men want respect from their wives an if he feels like you appreciate what he is doing then he will be more likely offer to help in other ways. Also, be sure he has a little time to himself to unwind right after work before jumping in and asking him to help out! He needs that time too!

  21. I will be praying for u and the husband. I do think you should talk to an elder and pray for him to help you out more. I don’t know everything and can’t give you a fix it all but I can pray that God will help.
    regina recently posted…SmileMy Profile

  22. From the question, I wonder if part of the problem is that the wife feels like she just needs a break from caring for the children. I think almost anybody who has cared for young children for an extended period of time can agree that it can get tiring and exhausting. Sometimes, a person just needs a break from kids. It’s not that a person doesn’t love the kids, it’s just that the person needs a break, which is understandable. I think the wife in this situation is saying she would like her husband to tend to the baby while she cooks so she can have a little time away from the baby (which is necessary sometimes).

    I would suggest having an honest discussion with the husband. Saying that you appreciate everything he does, including his offer to cook while you take care of the baby. However, if he would take care of the baby while you cook, it would give you a few moments without the kids. Again, do this in a calm way (definitely not when you’re already frustrated and angry), and hopefully you will have success.

    Also, I would suggest some time away from the kids. Maybe the wife could get involved in something one night a week that doesn’t involve the kids. During this time, the husband could watch the kids, allowing the wife some “alone time.” Plus, maybe try having a date night a little more frequently so both husband and wife can enjoy some time together without the kids. Again, to me it sounds like the wife just really needs a break sometimes from the kids, and these are a few ways the wife could get that “break.”

  23. It sounds like your husband doesn’t understand the amount of work you do and that there are serious communication problems between the two of you (which may point to deeper unresolved issues on both sides.) I’d highly recommend seeking the help of a licensed family/marriage counselor (many work at christian practices and can give you biblical, Godly help and advice).

    I’d recommend this above seeing an Elder, because most elders and even pastors/ministers aren’t really trained in counseling. Their own options and views may make them impartial and I’ve known of several situations that have actually been made WORSE by the “advice” handed out by the religious counsel sought. Better to seek a Christian actually trained for this, and you’ll get much better results. It is really worth the money to have a healthier marriage and familial relationships. You can really learn a lot and heal a lot of wounds. Also many times insurance will cover a majority of the cost, and if not, some places will work with you if you don’t have insurance. Communication is key, and sometimes having a trained, impartial mediator can make all the difference, and can help you both really see the other’s point of view.

  24. Amanda K says:

    For my family my husband was like that at first- I feel that my body changed, I did the work to bring the baby into the world, my hormones and instincts *taught* me how to care for the baby. He went to work 2 days after the baby was born to support our family and didn’t get all the time I did to learn how to care for our daughter, hod no physical changes, felt his life didn’t really change, but it completely did- I didn’t acknowledge it! On top of it I was always giving him tips/correcting him of how to do things for her- I undermined him. He finally got to the level of involvement I was hoping for when I was pregnant and exhausted with our 2nd child. I couldn’t handle taking care of her 24/7 by myself, I let go of the reigns, and handed the toddler over 1 day a week for 5 hours. That 5 hours made ALL the difference. Now he takes care of her at night- the bedtime routine and when she night wakes HE is the one taking care of her. When she wakes up in the morning he takes her downstairs and plays with her and feeds her breakfast while me and the baby sleep. My husband is AMAZING because I got out of the way! Don’t get me wrong, on his days off, we still sometimes fight (try not to in front of the toddler) about whose turn it is for a “break” but I feel like we are equal partners in the parenting thing.

    Having a newborn is tough. Give him time. Let him have his say/help out how he wants right now. As soon as that kid can say daddy, let the baby spend a few hours a week with him alone. Join a women’s bible study where babies aren’t allowed or something like that so that he has to watch the baby at least a few hours a week by himself and you can get a break.

  25. I am saddened by some of the comments here. This woman’s heart is hurting, and it grieves me to see that some of the advice is basically to suck it up and be grateful you don’t have to “work.” If her heart is hurting as it is, then something needs to change.

    After reading these comments, I do agree that a licensed marriage counselor, which could be your pastor, is perhaps a better route than an elder. I also agree that this issue goes well beyond equal division of labor. It includes communication and resentment issues within the marriage as well as a lack of involvement in parenting.

    You mentioned a lack of intimacy for the past six months, which I guess includes your last trimester and the postpartum period so far. I do not have advice, but if it helps to hear a similar story, here’s mine: With our first child, my husband pretty much stopped touching me romantically altogether after I was about 5 months pregnant, which I found very hurtful because physical touch is my primary love language. I finally expressed my hurt to him in an argument about something else, which is when he expressed to me that being intimate with me in such a pregnant state made him feel guilty. I told him that the lack of intimacy reinforced my feelings of being an unattractive blimp. I guess it was part of his changing view of me as I transitioned from a wife to a wife AND mother. I can’t say that the issue was resolved with our second son as my husband was deployed from my fourth month of pregnancy until two months after our son was born. Like I said, no advice, just a similar story to share.

  26. Greg Hahn says:

    Unfortunately, this guy seems to want no part of fatherhood other than the orgasm and the monthly support. At what point does he intend to engage his children and have a relationship with them? When is he going to step up and be their father? And God forbid anything ever happen to the wife until these kids can care for themselves. HE needs some counseling from somewhere.

  27. Interesting comments and great discussion! Thank you.

    I think one thing that some commenters are missing, though, is that childcare is not the same as housework. It’s not like you can delegate all childcare to one parent. Children NEED both their parents. This is not just an issue of helping her cope with her workload; this is also an issue of what the children need from their dad. To say she should just suck it up because he already does a lot of work and has a lot of stress isn’t sufficient, because the kids deserve their dad to pay attention to them. (I know we’re only hearing one side of the story, but in general, if a couple says “the kids are entirely her job”, that is not a healthy division of labor FOR THE KIDS).

    I’ll have a lot more to say on this on Monday, so tune in!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree a great deal with what you are saying Sheila…but my overriding factor is that she’s hurting and needs him regardless of what’s fair at this moment. But I can also say from own marriage and more that because things are so crazy when you first bring the newborn home from the hospital that a large majority of new SAHM let that first a couple of weeks set the tone for how they are going to live and manage the house. It seems less and less are able to impose personal discipline, order, and organinzation to their lives. And I’m not saying this to be a jerk, but as someone who has stayed home and my wife was constantly “not done” or overwhelmed but when I stayed home that never seemed to be the case. I could get things done in half the day. What was the difference? I installed some kind of order/system to it. We would constantly fight also as I’d come home from running my business to chaos and needing to do stuff. AND I WAS HURTING. MY POST WAS NOT TO HURT THIS WOMAN BUT FOR HER TO REALIZE POSSIBLY HE IS HURTING ALSO….something to consider. Also, another thing we saw in our marriage. Young moms seem to want to be able to hit every bible study, meet their girlfriends at the park for coffee for an hour, etc. A lot of these meetings/get togethers a week. Where she is getting a chance to unwind a little, get out of the house, etc. If I wife is doing this for a few hours EVERY day you again are going to run into hardship when your husband comes home from working hard and you are asking him to do responsiblities that could have been done. I’m not saying that is the case here, but it should be mentioned.

      Thankfully much of it was my wife’s hormone’s and after correcting that she not only came to meet me in the middle but on my side of the issue because I have no problem helping her because I love her.

      The intimacy thing worries me though. It either got so infrequent before birth, he’s using porn. Or he feels so neglected, instead of being her top priority he now way down the list or disrespected or….but this one is the one that would really concern me.

    • Amanda K says:

      The thing that struck me is the newborn comment- my husband and I have discussed this at length- he feels comfortable caring for our toddler, but when our now 8 month old son was a newborn he felt more comfortable with me responding to his needs. He felt that instinctively his job was to support me caring for our newborn and that included things like this man offered- to step in and make dinner. My toddler, however, was a different story, he WILL take care of her/play with her so I can finish dinner/cleaning etc. Just a thought- newborns are kind of a different story- they do rely on their mamas and a lot of times she may be the quickest to calm them if they need something due to the hormonal connections that happen immediately after birth.

    • Stephanie says:

      This is exactly it, Sheila. God expects dads to be parents too. Household stuff is a stay at home mom’s responsibility (help is a good thing! But it is her “job” to donor to delegate), but children? They are not just another chore. They are a divine responsibility to care for and to raise. They do not raise themselves, and a neglectful parent, mom or dad, will suffer the consequences of not being there, physically, emotionally, or mentally.

  28. You have been on my heart and in my prayers this morning, most recently because of the comments your husband makes about what you haven’t finished rather than positive comments about what you have accomplished in a day. I was reminded of the following advice I had heard: Talk to your husband to find out which one or two household tasks matter most to him. If you spend your time and energy making sure all of the dishes are washed before he gets home, and what he really cares about is the laundry being done, then your time and energy would be better spent there. Let some of the other tasks go a bit (not completely, of course) and make sure to get those one or two things that matter to him completed. Hopefully he will be appreciative, which will offer encouragement to you.

  29. STAGE 1:
    I am a stay at home mom with 6 children ages 3-13. My husband was a bank manager when we married and worked full-time. He was still working that job when our first 2 children came along. I never asked him to do things. I was home all day and I made his priorities mine (he loved supper ready when he got home and he liked that ore than my laundry being caught up, he didn’t want me to do supper dishes till the next day so I could hang out with him in the evenings, etc). There were times when I felt he was unreasonable in my house duties and I would pretty much let him know that as long as I was doing what was important to him and did not tell him how to run his bank, then he needed to butt out of my house duties (I was not a slob or he maybe would have had reason to fuss at me if I was a lazy housewife which is another issue). He would usually agree that he had overstepped his bounds.
    STAGE 2:
    When my third baby was born, he left banking to become a full-time pastor with an office in our home. NEW DYNAMICS! :) We had to re-evaluate and talk about who needed to help do what because I took on a lot of church responsibilities as a Pastor’s wife. Since I helped him in his work, I needed his help to keep up mine. After much communication, he saw the needs I had and stepped up.
    STAGE 3:
    When I was pregnant with baby #6, I got a virus that attacked my spinal cord and it left me paralyzed from the waist down. I now use a wheelchair full-time. NEW DYNAMICS again!!

    Why all this information? Because, you do have to realize that he is needed as the daddy, but you are also needed as the mommy. He is needed as the hubby and you are needed as the wife. You absolutely have to work as a team and sometimes that takes a lot of talking and figuring it out. If your husband is willing to help you, then you can’t demand what that is. Stay firm that you feel you have needs and need help in the evenings, but ask him and let him have a choice. That way he doesn’t feel like you are being his mother. Go in there and snuggle that baby and let him cook supper! My hubby hates to cook but was more than willing to do dishes. He hated laundry but was more than willing to vaccuum.

    If you true need is help, then let him pick. If you true need is to be a woman and not a mother for a little while, then get a babysitter and go enjoy that man! Figure out what it is you are really in need of and then talk to him and together you can calmly and strategically figure out a plan (and don’t think this will necessarily happen the first time you talk about it). Give him time to get the idea in his head of what you are saying. Say it simply. Don’t overload him with a lot of emotion and girl hype. I love our guys but they can be simple sometimes and need calmness and patience!

    Your hubby doesn’t sound like a bad guy. Just a guy that needs lots of love, gentle guidance (remember wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove), and patience. You will get through this and one day you will look back and this will not be as big to you as it is now.
    Alicia recently posted…Romance Every DayMy Profile

    • So you’re suggesting that she add another child (husband) to the mix.

      • No way. He can pick up his own clothes, clean up his own messes, and be a big boy. That is what he supposed to be as the man – right? If she does all that for him, then she has created her own baby. But as a man, she should not be his mother and demand that he have to handle things a certain way. He obviously offered to cook supper – what is so childish about that? I would say, “Thank you – I will!” and go sit down and hold the baby.
        They need to be a team cheering each other on – not a competition trying to get one over on the other.
        Alicia recently posted…Romance Every DayMy Profile

  30. Is it possible he feels an inordinate amount of stress being the sole provider for your growing family and he’s feeling resentful about that and taking it out on you a little bit? Is it possible for you to get a part time job to help out? I know he said he wasn’t going to pay for daycare, but maybe you could work a few hours in the evenings and he could watch the children while you work? Honestly, you would probably gain some self esteem from contact with adults who don’t berate you for only caring for a toddler and a 2 month old and not getting the laundry folded, and he might bond with his children by caring for them while mom is earning a little extra money for the family. He might also gain a slight appreciation for the demands of caring for such young children.

  31. kharking says:

    So there are several potential issues here: the interaction with and care of the child by the father, sharing household responsibilities, and resentment between spouses. Obviously in all of these areas, communication is key—needs, desires, goals, expectations for both spouses and the family as a whole. In choosing which part of this to focus on, it seems that this is not so much about household help or break time (as valuable as that can be on occasion) but primarily about learning how to communicate about and practice co-parenting children. There are all sorts of other factors here that have already been mentioned like post-partum hormonal shifts and sleep deprivation (been there, oh yes!), the learning curve of how to balance household and family responsibilities, the changing roles between spouses after a baby is born, etc. that can complicate this process and introduce other things that need to be addressed too, of course. All that to say, been there and I’m nothing but sympathetic.

    We’ve been working on this since our first was born and we’re coming up on the birth of baby #3. Our thoughts are inevitably colored by the fact that we have only very small children at present, my husband works outside the home and I work inside it and neither of us had any experience caring for children prior to the birth of our first. It was obvious from the beginning how I needed to care for each baby but a big stretch for my husband to realize that even his little babies needed him and that a bond of comfort and trust now paves the way for him to provide the kind of teaching and mentoring that he still wishes that he had gotten from his own father. All of this took a lot of time and, for a while, we had to set aside a minimum of one evening a week during a baby sleeping time to talk through these ideas.

    Our goals:
    A close relationship with each child such that daddy is able to teach, discipline, comfort and play with each of them in a way that fosters their growth as people and leads them towards their heavenly Father.

    A level of comfort for daddy in understanding and caring for the physical and emotional needs of each child such that if anything were to happen to me either on a temporary or permanent basis, they could cope with the immediate needs of the situation.

    Our approach—we have done all of these things:
    Talk about fears and insecurities relative to caring for child and household (both of us).
    Work out training plan for dad that he feels comfortable with and practice it.
    Choose a time ahead of time for him to plan to be in charge.
    Use daddy centered language not mommy-centered language: not “I need you to do this for the baby” but “your baby needs this from his daddy”.
    Be clear about the goals and revisit them to evaluate appropriateness and progress periodically.
    Look for as many opportunities as possible to show appreciation for positive interaction with the child or at least a valiant attempt on the part of the daddy.
    Encourage him to find a mentor whose fathering he admires to talk with and from whom he can receive encouragement.
    Meet with older couple, elder and wife or marriage counselor as needed to work on clear communication.
    Pray for his growth in relation to his heavenly Father and as a father to his own children.

    My sacrifices and responsibilities:
    Help with the housekeeping is a bonus, not an right. He does help with some things but the responsibility is primarily mine.

    Me time or break time is a bonus, not an right. I do sometimes ask for some time alone or with only one child so that daddy can either have the opportunity to parent without me hovering or so that I can be refreshed to continue with the more intensive parenting which is my job right now. I know that it is scary for him to contemplate this so I don’t expect this on a frequent basis—we’ve worked up to 2-3 hours a month at this point with potential for a little more when the new baby comes and as the kids get older. However, the primary focus for this is for them to have time with their daddy, not for me to have a break—that is merely a side benefit. :)

    I work with his limitations (while encouraging him to stretch his perception of them), realizing that he doesn’t know the children as well as I do right now so caring for them is legitimately intimidating.

    I sometimes have to remind myself that when he does other work instead of spending time with the children, at that moment he is actually serving the family also. I need to recognize that instead of being hurt on the children’s behalf that it seems like he is ignoring them. After the fact, however, it provides an opportunity for us to discuss our perceptions of what the children really need from him and an evaluation of how to meet all of those needs of the household. It can also be an opportunity for us to discuss whether or not any personal immaturity or sins are causing us to put other things (even otherwise good things) over the needs of the family.

    Letting go of any resentment that I have to ask that he pay attention to the kids and focus my concern on how he responds when I do ask. Having him notice what they need and respond to it on his own is a long term goal and resenting that we aren’t there yet takes up a lot of energy that I can better use for other things.

    This sounds very child-centric and we do certainly understand the difference between the needs of children and their wants. We focus on the family needs aspect of co-parenting so that these conversations don’t become a competition in suffering between us and so that we are working towards a common goal outside of ourselves.

    • kharking says:

      It was interesting to notice that the better that we function at co-parenting, the easier it is to appreciate each other and to meet each others needs on many other levels–including listening and lovemaking. No excuses, just the reality of how we orient emotionally toward each other. If my husband finds the the sight of me in an apron to be sexy, it pales in comparison to how I feel about him when he is holding the baby.

  32. No advice, other than maybe getting out and letting him watch the kids for a couple hours or, better yet, a full day. My husband has a whole new appreciation for me after he’s had our 2 year old for a day!

    I will be praying for you.
    Lois recently posted…“Our” Christmas DayMy Profile

  33. The best answer I saw after reading all of this is Lori’s at the top almost. Although I’m sure that the questioner would not find the answer all that comforting. Honey, you are hurting and that’s ok. I understand you think that if your husband changes some of his ways you will stop hurting and that when he won’t listen and oblige it hurts more. But you are taking your hurt to the wrong person! You need to lay all that hurt, resentment, pain, and anger at Jesus feet.
    Marriage is a journey, there isn’t a place where you arrive at happily ever after. That is only a place you realize you’ve been at the end of the journey. You can work to make the journey head in the right direction.
    You can not change your husband. Only God can! You only have control over the choices you make and how you react to life.
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  34. Anonymous,
    I do not think the use of the term “allow” from Sheila’s post for today (March 4th) means that a wife grants her husband permission to do such things. Eve’s sin was pride and stepping forward to take the forbidden fruit when she should have kept her mouth shut. Adam’s sin was to sit idly by (right next to her!) and not be proactive. As a woman/wife/mother, I see the use of “allow” to mean holding my tongue and resisting the temptation to correct whatever my husband is doing. I think that, because of the difference in the way that men’s brains and women’s brains work, women tend to want to control things. I’m sure such attempts are seen as nothing but disrespectful by husbands. So it is not that I give my husband permission to do things his way, but rather I remind myself that his way is just fine and I should keep my mouth shut.

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. Any comment that espouses an anti-marriage philosophy (eg. porn, adultery, abuse and the like) will be deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are replying to another commenter, please be polite and don't assume you know everything about his or her situation. If you are constantly negative or a general troll, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Sheila Wray Gregoire owns the copyright to all comments and may publish them in whatever form she sees fit. She agrees to keep any publication of comments anonymous, even if you are not anonymous on this board.

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