November 16, 2010,
M.B. asks from Ballwin, MO on November 13, 2010
Im Mad at My Husband. Am I Just Being a Brat?
I will give you a little history about my husband before I proceed to bash him. He is currently working 10 hour shifts at night 6 days a week. So when he is home, he only has a few waking hours here.
I am 13 weeks pregnant with our 3rd baby and very ill. I am basically raising our kids by myself and trying to cope with being sick, needless to say, Im not doing a very good job and I need help. Whenever I ask my husband for any kind of help with the kids or the house, he refuses to do it and says he works all the time and shouldnt have to help.
This morning he wanted to go hunting and I told him he needed to be home to watch our son because I had to take our daughter to the doctor this morning becasuse she is very sick and my husband threw a fit when he had to wake up and help me, I understand hes tired from working, but if I hadnt put my foot down, he would have been awake hunting anyways. I know hes got a lot on his plate, but so do I and I feel like Im losing it and almost feel helpless. If I felt better, it wouldnt be too bad. I feel like my husband should be willing to help me during this time, instead I have to ask other people for help and thats embarrassing. He has no sympathy for my situation whatsoever. I dont know what to do....
So What Happened?™
I want to thank you for your great advice and encouraging words. A few things I might want to add though, ;). I do work, I am self employed real estate appraiser. Luckily I get to make my own schedule and its pretty slow right now. Also, I didnt mention that he had already been hunting 3 times this week. I also did tell him that if he helped me today, I could care less what he did all day Sunday. I will have to disagree that telling him last night that our daughter was very sick and asking him for help is far from emasculating him. At our doctors office there is a "sick" room that we have to sit in, and in efforts to not get my son sick, I didnt feel like taking him was an option, especially considering how much of a handful he is.
I guess my point is, I know my husband works hard and he does dserve free time, but I dont get "free time" Ever. Which normally I would just suck up if I wasnt feeling so bad. I do understand how much hes working. But my life feels pretty much miserable right now and I thought out of everyone, my husband would be supportive of me. If I had someone to help out, trust me, I would. Anyways, we will get through this, I cannot wait to feel better and deal with this better. Thanks again!
N.G. answers from Atlanta on November 13, 2010
60 hours per week. Give him a break and hire a mother's helper to give yourself a break. A middle schooler would love to come in a few hours here and there and do some chores to give you and your husband a break.
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T.K. answers from Dallas on November 13, 2010
Emotions run high when you're pregnant and you have a sick child. So, you have a right to be bratty. But since you asked, I'm gonna call brat on this one. Just trying to give you some perspective. There is a very traditional division of duties in your house. You've agreed to it. I know you're overwhelmed. But having all the financial responsibility is overwhelming too. Does he insist you help with that? Or does he just soldier through and find a way to make it work - like working overtime so you can stay home. He does have a responsibility to you and his kids that goes beyond financial, but to insist that he do what you want, when you want, is kind of immasculating. To tell a grown man that he CAN"T go hunting is very immasculating. That's like him telling you that you CAN'T take a nap when the kids are sleeping because you need to help him pay bills. It's a negotiation. You need help. No doubt. But that's when the women in the family step up. Grammas, aunts, sisters, best friends. It's not embarassing to ask if gramma can keep your son so dad can go hunting. It should be a source of pride that you have a hard working man. I hate for you that he doesn't see your side. But demanding he help is not going to fix with that. You have to raise a man, just like you raise children. Help him see that fathering his children is a rewarding duty. Make him feel appreciated for working hard and ASK him for help with the kids. Calmly, sweetly, expain your perspective to him. Try to see things from each others point of view.
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T.M. answers from Philadelphia on November 13, 2010
Honestly, I'm probably in the minority here. I think that if you were already going to the Dr. for one kid, what's the harm in taking the other along. By doing that, you would have freed up time for your husband to do what he wanted to do and maybe he would have reciprocated by doing something for you later today. I understand (believe me) that it's a pain in the butt to have to take the kids with you everywhere, but it can be done. I realize that you dont feel well either, but that doesn't change the fact that you were already going to take the sick child to the doctors.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that you could have told him that you will take both kids to the doctor appointment, so he could go hunting. But, when he gets home tonight does he think you might be able to take a few hours to yourself. I think he might be more prone to say yes.
I don't know your husband, maybe I'm wrong here. But next time try sacrificing yourself for the betterment of your husband and see what his "response" is.
I wish you the best, and hope you horrible "morning" sickness goes away soon!
4 moms found this helpful
D.B. answers from Charlotte on November 13, 2010
M., hire someone. When he pitches a fit, then tell him since he would rather hunt on his time off, he can pay for help. And have it come out of the joint account, not your earnings. He can't have his cake and eat it too. If he wants free care, he can start stepping up to the plate.
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M.P. answers from Pittsburgh on November 13, 2010
Nope-you are NOT being a brat. I totally agree with you. Sometimes in life we have to do a little more. You are going at 100% of your capacity all day every day....he is going at 75% of his and expects the other 25% to be his time to relax. When you have a young family this is NOT the case...each must give 100% . Is it hard-hell yah. But it is not going to always be this way. There will come a day when the kids are a little older, can help out, and are pretty self sufficient. Until that day comes you both have to put out and give it your all.
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L.C. answers from Dover on November 13, 2010
I think you have every right to feel fussy. I know your husband is working long crazy hours but what that means, in reality, is that you are working long crazy hours, too, so that you can do the job of two parents. Single parents do it all the time. I was one and wouldn't care to repeat it and have all the respect in the world for what they do. But you AREN'T a single parent. So, there are going to be times when you need his help that he SHOULD help, even if he doesn't want to.
You have my utter sympathy. You are exhausted because of the hormones, you are sick because of the hormones, everytime a small wind blows it feels like your boobs are going to fall off because of, you got it, the hormones. You need a little help right now and you didn't get yourself pregnant. I mean, how unfair would that be - he got lucky and only YOU got pregnant?
It's all about negotiation and presentation, M.. Tell him how much you love and appreciate him. Talk him up and make a point to list for him all of the things that you see that he does and how invaluable they are to you. Then tell him WHY you need his help and specific ways he can help you. Give him things he can count on in return from you. So many days hunting, or sleeping in or whatever his currency would be. Then see if you can hammer out some kind of peace treaty that gives you both what you need.
Hope this helps and congratulations on the new little one!
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P.M. answers from Portland on November 13, 2010
It's human nature not to be able to feel another person's stress and suffering, and this is especially true when we're suffering or exhausted ourselves. It sounds like you and your husband both have needs for rest, support, and down time that haven't been met for awhile. The two of you are in one of those nasty downward spirals where both of you are grasping harder and harder for ways to meet your needs, and this means you're taking hunks out of each other, thus deepening your mutual debt of need.
I've worked 60-hour weeks, and over time, that can pretty much consume all available energy and good will. And of course, you're probably doing that and more as a young mom, so with that on top of pregnancy and sickness, your available energy and good will are pretty much non-existent. And I see from your profile that this pregnancy was not planned. Enter the Inner Brat in two adults trying to hold it all together, and not succeeding.
Demanding more from each other or accusing each other of lacking sympathy will not bring a solution any closer. If you can possibly find this capacity in yourself, acknowledge your husband's heroic work contribution and his need for R&R. Express your concern for his well-being, and wonder out loud whether there are ways for him to meet that legitimate need without making your life harder, since you are already at the end of your own rope.
A little empathy from you might go a long way toward softening his version of "brattiness," and make it more possible for him to care about your situation.
And at this point in this new pregnancy, throw pride out the window. You are both scraping bottom energetically. Bring additional resources into your situation whenever possible. Ask for the help you need from extended family and friends. We have only recently, in "modern" culture, become so isolated in our individual families and begun to expect ourselves to be so self-sufficient. It's not a healthy expectation, and a disturbing thing to model for our children.
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G.F. answers from Biloxi on November 13, 2010
No you're not a brat. your husband is! Yes, I know he works hard and you have been very VERY understanding of his work schedule by doing your best to take care of everything else so he can rest. So how do you deal?
I wish I could give you the magic words to get your husband to be more involved. Don't get me wrong..I totally understand where your husband is coming from. 10 hour shifts are no jokes especially at night...but there's plenty of time for him to get enuff shut-eye and help you before he starts off to work again. Could you try just talking to him? Don't point fingers..or say "you don't..or you won't". Just say, "I feel exhausted..I really need your help..I understand you work to support us..." Avoid the word "you" at all costs.
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