Communication is a huge problem in my marriage. I'm so tired of doing all the cleaning, yard work, house repairs and remodelling. I work part-time but pay all the bills we have except the rent and utilities. When I am at work my husband stays with the children — five and six — but he spends his time watching TV and does not check on them. When I get home in the late evening the house is in a mess and the children are all over the place. I quarrel with him everytime I come home. He makes my life so miserable as he gives me no help. He just does not care. I am exhausted and fed up.
There appears to be many households where the male partners live a laid-back lifestyle, leaving the burden of rearing the children and housekeeping matters to the women. To these men home is a place for rest and relaxation only; where you eat, sleep, have sex and watch TV. They fail to recognise the other important factors that are involved in the making of a home and family.
Unfortunately, these men were socialised from boyhood to relax while their mothers and sisters would be doing the housework and even yard work. They would observe their fathers going to work, coming home, kicking off their shoes and depositing themselves on the sofa with the newspaper while their partners took dinner to them on a tray. So it could be that your husband came from a family background like this where the male members of the household were treated with kid gloves.
Things and times have changed, and the era of the master and servant has long gone, and men will now have to step up and play a more supportive role in their relationships and family units. Your partner needs to recognise and appreciate the mental stress that he has caused you by his negligence and refusal to offer help. Maybe if he were to exchange places with you for a week he would realise the magnitude of the work you do in and around the home. Raising young children is a full-time job that is most exhausting and adding housekeeping to the mix is a recipe for burnout resulting in physical and mental illness. And then on top of that the same gentleman expects you to be available to him when you are done putting the children to bed.
You need to have a serious conversation with your husband, sharing your concerns and clearly stating the help you need. Too many times the lady allows the man to have his way and not communicate her feelings to him. Don't assume that he knows.
If a face-to-face talk bears no fruit, write him a letter outlining the things you do and how overwhelmed you are carrying out these activities alone. Let him know what you want and expect of him.
Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com . Check out his work on www.seekingshalom.org and his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/