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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
I am a full time worker and a mother of 3 my husband has been unemployed for several months now and was wondering what you would expect out of him, being that he is at home all day? All I want is him to keep the house work up, and maybe start dinner when I get home do you think that is to much to ask out of him!! As of now he does not do theses things, every once in a while he does but when I try to talk to him about it he says I don't appreciate him and what he does do!! Let me tell you what I do I get up at 6:30 am and get three kids ready for school, get myself ready for work and take the kids to school while he is still in bed and then when I come home from work at 5 then I help the kids with homework and then cook dinner! My question is what would you expect out of your stay at home spouse!
Obviously, I would expect a whole lot more than that. (I am a man, BTW).
Are all of the kids in school, then?
In that case, it's not unreasonable to expect that he is spending the time that the kids are in school "doing his job." I define his job as...
1. Job hunting 2. Stay-at-home spouse
I think that one of the best arguments for a stay-at-home spouse is that it opens up more possibilities for family time on evenings and weekends, since you don't need to use so much of that time for laundry, housework, etc. the way that families without a SAH spouse do.
Maybe you need to make a list of every possible domestic chore you can think of, and sit down with him and write down who does that chore. Maybe there could be 5 categories: All you, mostly you, evenly shared, mostly him, and all him.
The trick here is to make the list very inclusive--so it has not only laundry, vacuuming, cooking, grocery shopping, etc, but also helping kids with school work, making medical appointments, car maintenance, cleaning the gutters, taking pets to the vet...everything.
Thanks for your Reply!
If this was happening in my life I would expect some 'daily' household responsibility from my partner. It just seems that a couple would know then that they are not alone in the world, that they are in this together and support one another. I would also show appreciation to my stay at home partner as I would want some appreciation for working outside of the home, which does not release me of my responsibility of the children, home or relationship.
I would also take into consideration my spouses abilities, their strength and weakness's, try to divide up household and parenting responsibilities as best to match our strength and weakness's.
Wasn't your husband found to be disabled? Take that into consideration, and the depression that comes with it. I too am disabled, do the most and best that I can for each day with what my body and mind let me know what I can do.
I would expect more of my stay-at-home spouse. But what is key is expressing to him what you expect in a respectful way. What do YOU expect of him? What are his reasons for not doing those things? Do you appreciate what he does do?
Have you two had a discussion about how his responsibilities changed once he became unemployed? Is he actively seeking work? What were your schedules like before he became unemployed? Did you always get the kids to school, help the kids with homework, then cook dinner? It could be that, without you spelling out what you want from him, he could just not know.
About a year into my current relationship, my BF became unemployed. He kept up what had always been "his chores", but I still came hom to a messy apartment, which I thought was totally unreasonable because I had work and school responsibilites, whereas he had none. I freaked out on him, he gave me the same "You don't appreciate me " line and I screamed "What the (bleep) is there to appreciate?!".
He then told me how he'd been applying for jobs all day so he could go back to being an equal partner. He was still doing dishes, doing the vacuuming, stuff like that. He didn't realize that my expectations of him had changed to include house stuff to pick up the slack I felt he had in our relationship. He told me he felt like I was expecting him to be a slave because even though he hadn't run out of money yet, I viewed him as less. Truth be told, I did. I was pissed. I felt like any idiot should've known to put his time towards our house and making more effort with me, and that if he wasn't willing to, his lazy butt could get out. He was willing to, it just took me telling him my new expectations and allowing myself to feel the anger that made both of us OK with what turned out to be a temporary condition.
Of course, if you have let your husband know what you expect and he's still not, then you can either figure out why he won't, or figure out if his laziness is something you can deal with.
I am the stay at home spouse. I have 3 children in school and a 3 1/2 year old son at home with me during the day.
My husband and I both get the kids ready for school. Some days he takes them, some days I do (depends on his work schedule, but generally it saves a lot of gas for him to do it when he can). We work together and prepare meals/clean up the kitchen, he helps put laundry away, if someone pukes he will grab the shampooer and help clean up. KWIM? We're a team.
There is no room for "I" in a marriage. It has to be a team effort. WAY too often marriages turn into pissing contests (can I say that here?). And that is SO not what it is about. The worst thing either of you could do is stand around and argue about who does what more. It's pointless, and it will only lead to more arguments, that nobody can win.
What do you plan on doing if he doesn't agree to step up more? Is there a consequence for it? Or is it something you are temporarily prepared to deal with?
Is he looking for a job at all? After months of unemployment and no job on the horizon...hmm..
IMO your youngest child should be home with him. Just because she WANTS to go to grandma's 3 days out of the week doesn't mean she has to.
After reading that it sounds to me like he's very lazy and unmotivated, and won't even take care of your youngest child. Grandma's giving him an out!!!
Thanks for your Reply!
I would expect him to get up & help get the kids ready for school & take them to school & the only reason the littlest one should be going to grandma's in my opinion is if he is using that time to look for employment. He should definitely be pulling his weight in the house cleaning department. I see no reason that you should have to come home & clean & cook & help the kids with their school work. He should have the house cleaned or at least mostly cleaned by the time you get home & he should have already helped the kids finish their school work before you get home, so that way you only have maybe a little house work to do & the dinner to cook. & I don't think it's unreasonable for you to expect him to start that either. Here is my question for you....if you were the one not working (the stay at home spouse) what would he expect your responsibilities to be? what would you have to do to pull your weight in this partnership if the roles were reversed? Whatever the answer to that is is exactly what he should be doing now since he is the one in that role. A marriage is a partnership, you shouldn't have to be running everything, were does his part of the partnership come in?
I would expect him to do more around the house. I too am a full-time working mother of 3 with an unemployed husband for now 5 months. However, none of our kids are school aged (3,1,3 months). He takes care of them most of the time because I work 12 night shifts 3 or 4 days a week. I have never been the cooker so he always has teh food prepared. I still do most of the housework but he does all the yard work. I have been a stay at home mom and I know the challenge it is which is why I never complain because I think that is the hardest job. However, since your children are gone at school or grandma's he should be doing more around the house. He has plenty of free time unless he is spending 8 hours job hunting everyday which I don't think is probably the case. You really should just have a talk with him sooner than later. If you wait too long you may have built up some resentment which won't be good for your relationship. Hope you find a happy medium or he finds work soon.
That just isn't on. The trouible is that many men had so little experience of doing household chores when they lived with their parents that they just have no idea where to start. Sitting at home is not an option. Presumably he is still looking for work? Then it's time for him to learn some time management skills. Isn't it ironic that we all need time management skills in our employment but some people never learn that they can be applied to our private lives too.
Introduce him to Fly Lady www.flylady.net . He'll find advice on getting his home under contro AND learn how to plan meals. Start with the launch pad - http://www.flylady.net/c/lp.php . It will help him get started - note that there is also a section for children (teaching them to take care of their home)... It's never too early. Above all, don't expect everything to change overnight - let him take baby steps, help him get off the ground and then it's up to him. THEN you can tell him how much you appreciate him
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
My now husband is unemployed on and off. But it took us a very long time to get some sort of plan worked out. Lots of anger on my part and disappointment.
I understand how it feels to come home to a messy house. We do not have children, but that kind of makes it more frustraiting because then you don't have the excuse of that they were busy.
One thing I want to point out is that if your hubby isn't used to being unemployed or he was laid off/fired... He could be depressed. I've seen this happen many many times.
Don't be surprised if it doesn't take more than one discussion about this. You do need to make him understand that you love and appreciate him as much as before. You just expect a little more from him if he is sitting doing nothing in a house of filth.
What does he do in a day usually? Is he JUST sitting around watching tv? Or is he really actively looking for another job? If he is just sitting there... I would really think he is at least mildly depressed and you kind of have to tip-toe (I know its very hard believe me)
Talk, talk, talk. Let him express what he is feeling--sad, frustrated, overwhelmed, underappreciated and WHY. And then tell him (calmly and lovingly (again.. I know its hard)) how you feel. He may just be in shock and feel useless.. If he didn't CHOOSE to be a SAH spouse then it is tough.
What I do is take it a day at a time, lists are good.. But we just aren't list people.. Before I go to work everyday I just ask that he do at least ONE thing (sometimes more but at least one) because usually if DH will do one he will do a lot more and you aren't coming off as the "naggy wife" Sometimes I'll come home to a emaculate house.. Sometimes not... Its not something that is a perfect system, but it helps.
I've seen my dad go through this, my DH, my brother-in-law, and my sister. Unemployment is very difficult, its both unexpected in our day-in-age... But sadly very common. All of the people I knew were out of work for different reasons, be it disability, hurt/surgery, laid off, depresson.. Any number of reasons. Just be patient. Our expectations as spouses that still work are VERY different than how your partner may feel.
I know this post is a little old, but its very important to still value your spouse no matter what.
I would expect him to cook, clean, babysit, and help the children with their homework. I don't see how you are able to get any rest. He need to appreciate you for being the bread winner of the family. What do you need him for, if he can't help you. You are supposed to be a team. You are a good woman.
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