Thursday, March 1, 2012
The Problem Example: My husband and I have been together for many years. We have 2+ children together. I would have gone back to work, but daycare would have taken all my paycheck, so we both decided it wouldn't make sense and decided I should just stay home. Since becoming a stay-at-home mom, I started watching other people's children for extra cash for the household. I am aware this is not bringing lucrative income, but getting to stay home with our kids is one benefit, the extra money is just that, an extra benefit. Yet, my husband still brings up the argument that what I do does not help, financially, and wants me to get a "real job". It's a constant fight and it has gotten old and annoying. Even though I am helping out as much as I can while getting to stay home with the kids and not have to pay a daycare, he doesn't ever seem to understand that we agreed on this situation and that I'm still bringing money to the household.
(My advice can ALSO be used for those who do NOT "work at home", those who are unemployed/looking for work, or have children who go to school)
My Answer: This seems like your typical marriage/living together rant. The man bitches that the wife doesn't contribute, even with a stay-at-home job. I've had the same bitch for the past three years with my husband. Our relationship is FAR from perfect, but we can talk anything out. This is NOT how all men are, and not how ALL women's situations are. Just most of the ones who help in causing this argument. Now, hear me out on this. Don't start ranting and raving until AFTER you've gone ALL THE WAY THROUGH this, please. I do NOT take a man's side on their argument with this situation, but here's what I've gathered from what mine has said:
His view/example: Man gets up every morning, hurries up to get ready for work and has to leave the house and travel (probably quickly) to work and deal with jackasses going too slow on the road in front of him. Man is grumpy and jealous because woman can either stay in pjs or put on sweats and t-shirt, throw hair into a ponytail and sip her coffee. THIS is how he sees her for the REST of the day and, yes, it's makes him jealous and/or pisses him off. He's at work, dealing with other people, a.k.a. idiots, and you're home with the kids... the loving, sweet, caring and huggable kids, as he sees them. He loves them, too, and wishes HE could get all that (clears throat) 'extra quality fun time' with them. After all those hours of dealing with people, he makes that same rushed drive home, with the same idiots going too damned slow and hampering his travel time. By the time he gets home, woman is frazzled from dealing with the kids, housework and errands and JUST WANTS peace, quiet and rest. Woman starts rattling off what she's gone through for the day, usually as soon as man steps in the door. This adds to HIS list of "crap for the day" and doesn't help. He trods over to his chair/couch to turn on the TV and gets the 3rd degree for not helping with the kids, not listening to your rant session, not caring about you and your day... and now he just wants to explode. Woman keeps going, and going with the list of things she needs him to do, bringing up that he NEVER helps and. he. explodes. The only thing he can revert to is the old "If you had a job..." because in HIS mind, it's true. This starts the big argument that NEVER, EVER ENDS. Now, here's MY explanation on how to help the situation and understand the man's reasoning...
1.) Get ready WITH him. Get yourself dressed in real clothes, put on makeup, do your hair. Even just a little, not "going out" dress and makeup. Just enough to look more "done" than you woke up looking. Even if you're not going anywhere, it makes YOU feel better to be ready and "done up". You may have the gumption to do something that day that you've just not "felt" like doing for weeks, months, YEARS.
2.) While he's getting ready for work, do something for him (make his lunch or get his stuff together) or start (even pretending) to do some housework, if you don't already. He doesn't KNOW what he doesn't SEE. Just like some of us who have husbands who go out with the boys and we picture them at a strip club with titties in their face and possibly asking for a BJ in the back. What we imagine doesn't make it TRUE, but it STILL pisses us off... right?
3.) Complaining about how the kids were that day does not make him understand that it's HARD to stay home with them. He doesn't see that. How do most men "watch" their kids? They turn on the TV to Spongebob and sit there watching it with them... all... day. What do we do when the man gets home? Try to keep the kids quieter than they were earlier for us because the Dad is home from work and is tired. They're already a bit tired from wearing YOU out. It's a conundrum. Just leave the day out of the conversation. He's heard it a million times, he knows what you're going to say and he'll just tune you out and not listen, anyway. They are SO GOOD at that, and, yes, we all WISH we could do that. Right? I'm jealous of it!
4.) "You time" will need to be planned. It all depends on both schedules, but even if it's an hour every week, with the help of a sitter, family, or him watching the kids while you go to the coffee shop or window-shopping with the girls or a few hours every other week dancing with your girls... whatever. Even waiting until the kids are in bed and having that nice, long, hot bubble bath then reading a book, sipping some wine, watching your DVR'd shows. YOU need YOU time. HE also need HIM time, same as mentioned before. You two also need a date night, same thing as well, even if just once a month or two. It would be SO nice if every night, you could take a long, hot bath, RIGHT after the man gets home, with no interruptions like in the movies or on TV, but this is REAL LIFE and it doesn't happen.
5.) When the man walks in the door, he says to himself "I'm home, NOW I can rest for a bit..." Don't start jamming his 'chill mode' by throwing all that conversation at him. He wants to sit and chill out. He needs a reboot. Yes, we do, too, but give him a moment to gather himself. Men are different than women in EVERY way. Meet him at the door, give him a hug/kiss, tell him you're happy he's home (Don't ask "How was your day?" unless you have the time to listen and feel like returning a "Oh, wow, that sounds good/bad" and that's it. You can do that later, if you can't right then.) Let him sit, bring him a beverage, let him watch TV for a bit so he can forget the day.
6.) Man reverting to the old 'get a job' makes him feel better because he thinks then YOU would understand what he goes through. He does NOT think about the fact that YOU would also still be doing all the housework and dealing with the kids the rest of the day. Why not? Because most of them think "That's her job" and you signed up for that by having them.
And, honestly, they can't express that what they REALLY mean when saying this is "I think if you had a job, made your own money, had to go to work every day like I do that it would help you understand what I go through every day, help your attitude, get you out of the house, away from the kids for a bit, make some nice friends and maybe you'd be happier." THAT'S what they really mean. Promise. Ask them, if you'd like. Just expect a "yes" answer, though.
7.) The thing is, the argument usually isn't really about the money. That's just another "throwback argument" he'll revert to because of the stress and inability to communicate.
My husband also complains about money, even though we have enough to be 'comfortable' and although HE'S the one who spends a LOT of it on going out with the boys and "boy toys". But, it doesn't make a difference when I bring that up. He'll just go to the "It's MY money, I earned it, and I'll do what I want with it" crap. Therefore, the above is what I've come up with to help the situation. Without any talking, without any finances being brought up, without any fighting as to who does how much work...
Let's also say, for the sake of the argument, you don't HAVE to do EVERY thing I listed. Even just ONE of these things is worth trying to help save yourself from a CONSTANT, annoying, same ol same ol argument. If doing one of them seems to help, you'd feel it necessary to try a second, and maybe a third... before you know it... all's well that ends well.
Posted by And, This Is Why I'm Me at 9:44 AM