Vent – husband is so unhelpful

posted 6 months ago in Married Life
Post # 17
19 posts

This sounds so frustrating, and I think a lot of women get caught in this cycle after having children. We are expecting our first baby in a couple months and have been taking a lot about the division of labor in our house as our family expands. Right now, we both work and we both do roughly half of the household work. I do much more of the mental work of keeping our house running — meal planning, money management, trip planning (pre-COVID of course), but he does more physical work — taking dog to vet, garbage, yard work. My husband is amazing, and recognizes that his job is to be an equal partner in running our household, not to “help” me. I think your goal should be to get your husband on the same page, because you are not being unreasonable. 

My husband also works nights, but has a few days off during the week because his shifts are long. Is this the same for your husband? When my husband is off work, he will be taking care of the baby during the day, which I think is a great compromise. My husband also is a video gamer, but he will not sit down to play until his work for the day is done, whether that be laundry, dishes, or starting dinner for the day. I don’t have to ask him to do these things, he just does them because he has respect and pride for our home and wants it to be well cared for. 

I recommend reading the book “Fair Play” by Eve Rodsky. It talks a lot about division of labor in the house and how to make the situation work for both of you. You both deserve to have a life outside your domestic duties, and he is not allowing you to have that. Him working and you not is not an excuse. Him working nights is not an excuse. I hope he receptive to the techniques in the book, because it is a game changer! 

Post # 18
1939 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

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VioletBee :  I can see how his schedule would be really hard for routines and helping you. Maybe start with doing that on the weekends and see how that goes 👍

Post # 19
7131 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

My husband is a reforming slob, raised in a family of very lovable, but very sloppy people. Something that I have seen make a significant impact is all of us (including our son) cleaning together. We turn off technology, turn on some music and go at it, room by room (or with me doling out assignments). It makes a notable impact to the look and feel of our home (which means it’s easier for him to recognize it and understand why it’s valuable for me- moreso than a particular item or task here and there). Also, having an agreed upon amount of time that we pick up at the end of every day (20 minutes or so) has been helpful for him. I would prefer that he be the type of person who looks around, notices a mess (especially one that he has made) and then cleans it up. But he’s inconsistent with that. He does understand – “It’s the end of the night, I spend 20 minutes quickly cleaning up and my wife goes to bed feeling more relaxed and happy.”

If your husband needs time to decompress after work, then there should be an agreed upon amount of time that he gets when he comes home, to transition from work mode to home mode. And I’ve heard that making it a routine can be really helpful for both of you- he comes home, he gets 20-30 minutes to do his destress routine. Then he takes over the baby so YOU get to do your destress routine.

That video games for hours shit is unacceptable, though. I’d probably hide his console or cut his cords or something because the idea of someone sitting on his ass while I work is infuriating – I don’t care how hard he’s working at work- You’re working at home with the baby all day, too and arguably, you get less down time with a baby than he does during a work day surrounded by other adults.

Good luck – I used to get my decompression by handing the baby to my husband and going for walks or getting my nails done. It helped me relax and also learn that he could (and would) keep our son safe, even if I wasn’t there watching him the entire time.

Post # 20
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Ok so just because he works nights doesn’t mean he deserves a full “nights (day) sleep and you don’t! When I was on maternity leave, my husband and I traded getting up in the night and early morning with our son. Yes, he has to work nights, but you are taking care of a baby all day AND night and that is much more work overall!

Starting tomorrow, you should institute times that he needs to be responsible for the baby. We trade off days. So, If he usually sleeps 8 am to 4 pm and goes to work at 8 pm – he’s now responsible for the baby every other day from 2 pm to 7 pm (as well as responsible for helping the other day 4 pm to 7 pm). Also, he needs to spend at least an hour a day washing dishes, doing baby laundry, picking up, cooking, etc. Something like that.

Being a parent means that BOTH of your sleep and schedules get fucked up! This is non-negotiable if you want your marriage to survive. 

Post # 22
2278 posts
Buzzing bee

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KittyYogi :  Being a parent means that BOTH of your sleep and schedules get fucked up! This is non-negotiable if you want your marriage to survive. 



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