Finding Balance

Updated on November 17, 2008
J.H. asks from Hesperia, CA
81 answers

I don't seem to get much help from my husband. I work 2 part time jobs, I am going to school and trying to get some family time in somewhere too. I take care of the house, pretty much completely by myself. I do the dinner planning and bill paying. Housework, laundry, etc... and yet my husband still wants intimacy. He's frustrated with our intimate life and so am I for that matter.
I will admit that I am not that good at bringing up things when I am bothered. But I am truly starting to hurt inside and wonder why I am here in this marriage. I do love my husband and I want to work this out.. how can I go about talking about this without blaming or pointing fingers or telling him to frickin help out a little bit. I'm overwhelmed and need his help. Which is hard to admit, because I am superwoman! :) All kidding aside, I want our conversation to be constructive...
Any thoughts??
How do I find that balance?? I know the scales are tipped way on the end of housework and caring for my son versus caring for my relationship with my husband. How do I make him see that I truly want it to be different, but need his help?

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So What Happened?

I got an overwhelming response! Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and words of wisdom. Our son has been very sick the past few days and it included a trip to the hospital for IV fluids. So we have not had the opportunity to talk yet. But I am taking everyones advice to heart and am going to put my thoughts together, make sure that I have a plan and really communicate my thoughts, desires and needs. As well as listen to his.
I am a bit humbled by the amount of people that care and have responded. Thank you!

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S.G.

answers from Detroit on

J.,
I do not think you need to finger point at all. I just tell mine that I am getting run down and could he ... and give him one specific small task at a time!
Otherwise, I just want to kick him. He does not help except washing his clothes when he runs out! Heehee!
Maybe hubby is just like a lot of guys and really just does not notice.
If you are appreciating his help, you will want more intimacy!
:)

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K.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

J., I hope things are better now. It sounds like you were in a really tough place this summer. You should be proud of yourself for doing soooo much on your own.

I read through all the responses, and I have to say, I was really surprised. It's 2008 and it seems like in a lot of marriages, not much has changed. Things are different at my house, and I owe my parents a real debt of gratitude.

My parents married in the sixties, expecting to have a traditional marriage, and then the women's movement hit. My mother started thinking about how much she was doing with me, the baby, and how it wasn't fair. She told my father she wasn't willing to have a second baby and double her workload unless he started participating. To his credit, he did. He was much more involved with our lives than most fathers we knew. They both raised us to expect equality, friendship, romance, and love in our relationships.

So when I was dating, I was looking for a guy who was decent and generous and fair (and feminist) as well as being good-looking and fun. My husband and I went into our marriage expecting that we would be equal partners, and we've succeeded. It can be difficult at times, but if there's a problem, I always talk to him about it.

We have the added benefit of him being a bit of a neat freak, so yes, I'm married to a guy who regularly walks around the house putting things away. He takes care of the finances, I do all the cooking; he does the weekly grocery stock-up shopping, I take the cars in for repairs or oil changes; he is in charge of getting breakfast for the children (and making their lunches), I'm in charge of supervising bathtime and toothbrushing; he's in charge of bedtime stories, I'm in charge of birthdays.

One important thing is that we never assume that everything at home and with the kids is MY job, and that when he does something to clean or take care of the kids, he's "helping." Stop right now with asking your husband to "HELP"!! Everything at home and with the children is BOTH of your jobs. You just have to figure out how you want to divide it up. You've been doing your job and much of his; now you want him to do what is fair, and take on his responsibilties for home and child care. I'm home more than my husband is, so I have a bit more home and child care responsibilities than he does, but once he's home, too, then everything is shared.

And the benefit is, we still like each other. Intimacy is not a problem for either of us (it's not something I do FOR him -- that is just sad), and we enjoy each other's company and conversation, and we get a babysitter regularly so we can go out and have fun together.

It feels weird to have typed this all out. Having a happy marriage between equals shouldn't be this unusual in this day and age. I really hope that you and your husband have made strides in repairing the damage so that you both can be happy.

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A.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I didn't read any of the responses but I'm sure you had lots of good ones. I also saw that you already have a plan, but I had to add.

First off, what does your hubby do that he isn't able to help but is perfectly able to demand intimacy?

Secondly, you really should make sure you talk with him about things such as this before they get to the point where you are reconsidering your marriage. Talk before everything becomes so internalized to you that you can't control your emotions about it. Talk to come up with a solution, not just to talk.

Thirdly, when you talk to him, make sure you stick with statements where you're saying "I feel ..." not "you're doing this and this" because then you are able to focus on the fact that you're not blaming, you're simply expressing how you feel.

I have a really great book which I think may help you and your husband if you have the time and energy to invest in it. It's called 12 Hours to a Great Marriage (here's a link with a description for you: http://www.theparentreport.com/books/display_book.html?bo... )

Whatever happens, I wish you and your family the best, and I hope that your super-human abilities don't need to be tested to their full extent for any longer. A fast recovery to your son too!

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M.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear J.,

I coach women like you to put the quality of their lives first and then schedule the rest. You may be doing too much and not listening to your inner wisdom. You really do have the answers within you. Ask yourself: If I was absolutely happy in my marriage, my mothering, and my accomplishments, what would that look like? (Write the answers down) This is not Pollyanna thinking. This is the kind of thinking that happy, successful women engage in. The answers may surprise you. You may find that there are things that you are doing now, that you could postpone and do in another year or two. There may be opportunities to prioritize your life so that you have more rest or have healing practices (like acupuncture, yoga, walking outdoors in nature). When you are taking care of YOU, then you'll have the energy and be receptive to being loved. That's when you can shift from resisting love to being present to the amazing gift that it is to have a man want to pleasure you. Of course, you may have to teach him what you like, but the opportunity is for you to be receptive to his love.

Be Inspired and Inspire Others,
M.

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S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Try to cut out the things that aren't absolutely necessary. I am not sure how old your child is, but if they are young enough for you to stay home and you can afford it you should quit your jobs and stay home. The time with your child is fleeting and you will NEVER regret spending it with him/her. If your child is in school work during school time if you have to make ends meet. Unfortunately schooling for you is not a necessity and should be put on the shelf. If you want a career or to move up the ladder then you may find yourself with a career and no family. You really have to decide what is important to you and focus on it. If your family is important than do what you can to put them first. Our society says you will not be happy unless you are fullfilling yourself, but it is not true. You will find happiness in serving others. It is when you begin to let bitterness begin to take root in your heart that you start to resent what you are doing. Do it because you love your family not because no one else is doing it and tell yourself that when you do your jobs around the house. As far as intemecy goes....I have 4 kids and am NEVER in the mood, but have found that I am always in the mood for a full body massage, just as often as my husband wants sex. I have begun requiring a full body massage from him if he wants sex from me. I feel it is fair because as he needs sex so I need the massage and find that I am willing to give him what he wants when I am relaxed and see he was willing to meet my needs as well as his own.
Sister....if you can afford a house keeper, get one. If not, check out flylady.com and just do what you can and stop letting your house yell at you for not getting it done. Try giving your husband a job or two to do that you don't touch, I have not cleaned the toilets in 17 years of marriage and now my kids (10 and 13) do the dishes and weekly clean the floors in our 2 story house. If your child is 7 or older they are old enough to start learning chores.....it takes a few years but teaching them is worth it when they take over a room on their own and you will be relieved of a duty. If they are under 7 you will invest invest invest and see little return for a while as far as help goes.
It feels like forever, but they really do grow up and this time is so short that it will be gone before you know it. don't let our culture convince you that you need the latest gadgets to live. Live on as little as you can and keep life simple and you will not regret it!
Hope this helps......My kids are ages 4, 5, 10 and 13 and I have been married 17 years. I have asked my husband how often he wants sex and have been schedualing it into my daily routine (every 2-3 days that is:) to make sure he gets it and is satisfied, sometimes I wake up in the morning and jump him just to check it off my list. He knows I do it for him and him alone and I know he appreciates it and then he tries harder himself because he knows I am making an effort!
Good luck, marriage is already hard, it is much harder with kids, but worth doing whatever it takes to make it work!
More power to ya!

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M.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

One of my rules is I can't expect people to read my mind even though it would make life oh so much easier! When I need help, I need to ask my husband and not feel bad for asking. We are afterall a team. I remind myself, if I don't ask and he doesn't help, it's my deal. If I ask and he declines, then I can be a little mad at him. I hear you on the intimacy thing...just a little sleep and laying there doing nothing sound so good when you've been on the go since 5am. I remember one time, my husband asked me "do you think there will be a day again when you'll ask for sex?" My response was "do you think there will be a day when you ask if you can do the laundry..." I really think they completely forget or don't see how much we are constantly doing. It just doesn't occur to them. Just be honest with your husband with what you need from him and hopefully, you'll be able to be there more for what he needs from you.

-M

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A.B.

answers from Denver on

I have not read the other responses but, I am reading a great book. (I know you may not have time for, but, I have found it wonderful to help me communicate what I need. It is called the 5 love languages. Please start communicating with your husband for the sake of you and your child. A divorse is no fun. (I did it without kids but could not imagine with one)
Most men are clueless unless we communicate with them. And you are right on with saying you don't want to point fingers....start with "when you ______, I feel________. and see if you cna get him to help out. You cannot do it all. You are in all. I look at being a superwoman as letting them know waht you need and letting them do some of it "their way"
finding balance. Good luck

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T.L.

answers from San Francisco on

I don't know if your open to christian ideals that are Bible based. But there is a website LOTE.org. The pastor's name is Chip Ingram. You can go on there and click on the listen online button. He is doing a series called house or home. He kinda lays out what everyones roles are. I got my husband to listen to them. My husband has been doing the dishes and taking out the trash alot since! Look for, Is there a man in the house? It is great. Good luck and I hope your son gets well soon. That is so hard to deal with things like that with other problems looming. God has a plan for you and your family being healthy is one of them. Let me know if there is anything I can help with.
T.

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D.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

J.:

I am a stay at home mom, and I do some office work for my husbands' business. I endearingly call myself the CEO of the household. I have three boys that I am raising. My husband often complains that dinner is not done early enough, and that I am often in a bad mood. Well, when I have the bills, the shopping (and putting away of purchases), taxi schedule, cleaning, cooking, appointment scheduling, errands, office work, cooking, homework with the boys, laundry, discipline, etc.....and he comes home and heads straight for the TV...YEP, that would put anyone in a bad mood. I don't like to admit to defeat and ask for help, but we do have to once in a while. My husband says, "I don't know you need help unless you ask. I am not a mind reader and I don't take hints." I have heard my friends' husbands say the same things.

We went to counseling years ago, and the thing that stuck with me is....

1. Honest communication is a good thing to have.
2. A woman must be blunt when stating what we want, or it
will never get done.
3. Always use statemets like "I feel......" instead
of "You always (or never)......"
4. State your needs in a way that make your husband
believe he will be your hero and he will gladly do it.
I have found this one to be true.

I have over the years told my husband that "as we grow our needs and wants change....so as that happens I may ask different things of you and I need you to be there for me that way".

You should just say that you need to talk to him, set aside some time, in a relaxing area and tell him that you feel overwhelmed, and you feel that a little help would really benefit you both. You work as much as he does, and you want to be able to spend time with him at the end of the day....his helping you after work would create more time together. Men are really simple, if they feel they are taking care of their woman, they are happy. If you make them feel like helping you is making you happy, everyone wins.

My husband now helps with the little things, and that gives us more time together. If your husband is willing to help, you just need to let him know you need it.

I've even told my boys the same thing I told my husband, when they leave all their things all over and constantly expect me to clean after them. They complain that I don't spend enough time playing with them. I told them that I am like a glass of water. Every task, every request and every complaint take some of that water out. If they contiue to expect so much of me.....then they can expect the glass to be empty which leaves nothing for me to give back. I end up empty and because I don't feel good, I have NO desire to make them feel good.

I have 4 men to contend with, large and small. They have to be remindes often, but when done the right way, you will get what you need from them.

Good luck.

D.

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L.L.

answers from Charleston on

So I know it is a little late, but I also work and do school, and we are expecting. When I started back to school my husband and I sat down and I told him that since my obligations had increased, I couldn't keep up with everything as I had before. So if he wanted my time, he needed to help provide that time. We decided to divide and conquer .. . . he really likes to cook and seems to get every dish we own mess in the process, so we decided that the kitchen is his to keep up with. He cooks and does the dishes now. I do all the other cleaning - dusting, floors, laundry, bathroom cleaning, and such. I also asked for his help with the dog - since he HATES walking, and I hate bathing her, I do all the daily stuff and he bathes her once a month. It seems minor, but it is one more thing off my list. I think the most important think I did was express my need, and then ask my husband what his favorite and least favorite chores are to do . . . and then I listened. When he told me what he liked and didn't like, it was easy to volunteer for the chores that he hates (laundry is a big dislike of his) and he is more cheerful about helping because it isn't a "honey do" list and there is a clear dividsion of what is his responcibility and what is yours.

Another big thing (but hard) was that once we made this agreement, I never nag him. The first week, the dishes stacked up in the kitchen, it it was pretty gross. But I didn't clean them and I didn't say anything. After about a week of the dirty dishes nolonger disappearing on their own, he really took the agreement seriously and has pulled his weight fairly consistantly since then. Some times, you have to give them time to take the initiative themselves.

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M.A.

answers from San Diego on

J. - none of us are superwoman, as much as we try to be! Everyone is generally saying the same thing. You have too much on your plate, tell your hubby to help more and he'll get more from you...etc.

You obviously know you need to have a heart to heart - schedule this talk! Tell hubby that you would like to sit down and talk about how things are going between the two of you - but that you want to schedule it so both of you walk into it with an open mind and an open heart. As busy as you are, this isn't a conversation you just bring up. He's blindsided by it and feels like he's under attack - it's not likely to go well. Men really are clueless, they don't know how to help or where to help. When you do talk, point out the things you miss about your pre-baby life - let this lead you to how overwhelmed you are. Baby changes EVERYTHING! The fact that he wants intimacy says a lot - he misses you.

A couple years ago I hurt my back and could barely move the first few days. Then as it got better I tried keeping up with all the household duties and I'd hurt it again. After a couple months of this I started feeling like a failure because I couldn't keep up with it and was also in constant pain. NONE of which my hubby knew. Why? Because I didn't speak up. Finally when I did tell him the first thing he said was he didn't even notice I wasn't keeping up with it. 2nd - if the house is a little messy, he's OK with it. 3rd - why didn't I tell him sooner? His solution to it was that he would have someone come in and clean the house and he would take care of dinner for a few weeks and then we'd go from there.

My point - we HAVE to tell them what we need. We're often trying to live up to what we THINK are someone's expectations, not necessarily what they really are. I thought my hubby expected a clean house all the time, dinner every night...etc. Just knowing that it's OK if laundry is piled up in the hall and there are breakfast dishes in the sink took SO much pressure off me. Now that baby is here I don't worry about it.

I really hope things get better for you. If you do have a true heart to heart I bet it leads something in bed that night!! :o) I know it did for us...

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S.G.

answers from Reno on

J.,
Wow, you are superwoman! Do you think you could give yourself a little break? If you want to balance you need help, you can't do it all. Don't point fingers or blame, just tell your husband how you feel, and you'll have to reiterate with him that these are your feelings (they're a little slow that way) and also tell him what you need (they need instructions, remember we're dealing with men) in order to give him what he needs. On your husbands behalf, if you're acting like superwoman, he may actually believe you have it all handled and you don't need help. Give him a chance to step up to the plate.
Take care of yourself and best of luck,
S. G.

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S.F.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Dear Jennifer,
It is super important for men to feel that they are doing a good job caring for/protecting their families and to feel accepted and nurtured by their partners. If you do it all, you are leaving no space for your husband to do anything that you want him to. I would suggest taking a huge step in the direction of just caring for your child and cutting back expenses so you don't have to work so much. You will be able to enjoy your son that much more and will be able to remember that this son you "couldn't be more in love with" was brought to you by the love you shared with your husband. He needs to stay first. It's hard- I know- I have been amazed how becoming a mother has me feeling so much less the enchantress and lover than I used to.
All the best, S.

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B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

The Mars Venus Diet and Exercise Solution is a MUST read book for women in your situation. Dr John Gray is amazing. He will expalin why you feel the way you do based on the foods you are eating. He will tell you what foods to eat to keep you up, energized and motivated and "in the mood".
Once you get it and want to discuss anything please contact me.

B.
www.HeyYouGetReal.com

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S.G.

answers from Las Vegas on

I am a military spouce and a stay at home mom of one and three quarters (due in Oct.) I know exactly what you mean on every issue you mentioned. What I found to be descreetly helpful was to get a day planner and fill it out for one whole month. As you are filling it out, assign certain days of the week certain house chores and schedule an exact time for it. If you have to, extend some things by a half hour or an hour to completely fill up your day. (don't forget travel time)... leave it out in a place your husband will find it. On the page of your full scheduel for the month, randomly place frustraiting "Note to Self" ex... where is there time for me... too tired for intimacy-clone me.... HELP...

When he sees that you are spreading yourself too thin and sees how you feel about things; without you telling him, he should offer to help out. Sometimes guys need a visual. They don't understand without everything being laid out infront of them; even the most loving husbnads. When he initiates the conversation, you can get more into depth about the issues you face yourself and the issues you are finding in your relationship without seeming like you went to him for help... after all... he brought it up and/or offered to help so you are just taking advantage of it.

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A.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi J.,

I think you should communicate your issues with your husband when neither of you are mad or stressed out. Find a neutral place to talk and just let him know that you want things to be different but you are feeling incredibly overwhelmed with all the things you are doing and see if he will work with you on figuring out how to change things. Maybe you take only one job and he helps with the laundry and bill paying. Or figure out some kind of compromise that works for both of you. I think if he knows that you are stressed out and need help and are willing to work with him then he will be willing to work with you, too. And I bet he'll probably be understanding. Especially if he knows the reason why you are not being able to be as intimate as you like. You should tell him that, too. If he knows it bothers you, too, he'll probably be pretty willing to help out. I hope everything works out for you.

A. K

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L.P.

answers from Honolulu on

Hi J..
I was in a similar situation...I did it all...the marriage failed. I never really spoke my heart, now in my 3rd marriage, I'm an expert in speaking my heart...but speaking in "Love" and not in condemnation. Just ask your husband to listen, know that you love him, but hear you out. Tell him honestly how you feel because I learned the hard way that they have "NO CLUE!!!!" When he finds out, he can take it to the bank and do something about it. RE: This only takes effect for Maximum of 2 weeks and then you have to sit him down and tell him the EXACT SAME THING OVER AGAIN. They fall into a rut of needing constant reminders...not ragging ...sticky notes...haha. I tell you it works. They will appreciate your honesty and just knowing that you need him and his help will really make him feel like "The Man." He's grown accustom to having a super woman. So, he has come to a place of complacency and thinks you can do it all so he's not needed. The advice below is good and I'd suggest once you did your part in "TELLING HIM" You'd get immediate results and also, start feeling like doing the bed thing...much more willingly.

GOOD LUCK!

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C.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Jennifer,
I just went through that with my husband. I didn't have a talk with him until I was ready to walk out- big mistake. Sit with him calmly and simply tell him that you need more help from him. You are too stress and need MORE help from him. What I've learned is that one needs to be more specific on daily basis when asking for help. For example, he gets home. I greet him and tell him that when he is ready I need him to take over for half hour to do whatever I need to do. Then later that evening say " laundry" needs to be done, would you like to do it or take over the baby. That has worked for me. I am also very friendly in bed and at all times, telling him that he turns me on every time he does something around the house voluntarily. I know it sounds stupid, but it works. I am much happier and less bitchy and he is more hands on.
Good luck, and I have to admit you get more done with sugar and honey- although i hate that quote (jajajaja)

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K.H.

answers from Albuquerque on

Thank thank thank you and your husband because now I love mine even more. Just yesterday I was so mad at him. He is sleeping now but I cannot wait to say sorry to him. I am taking him for granted. My husband cooks, does the bills, fix things. I get so so so so dang mad at him for not helping with the laundry. I guess I am definetaly going to keep my mouth shut and do ALL the laundry as usual but this time with a smile that he is cooking dinner while I do that. Oh and he helps with picking up the kids. Whew! I feel like loving my husband all over again. Thank you J. and hubby and Mama Source. Everybody go hug all who help you and others tell them to read this~! My only advice have your hubby read all these responses! God Bless!

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J.L.

answers from San Diego on

Hi Jennifer, running a home and taking care of a full time family is hard work. Obviously you are not superwoman, or you would not have writing in tonight, we all, myself included do believe at times we are superwoman, to the point that some husbands dont see that their wive's need help, so thry don't offer ( they still should at least once in a while right). Some wive'e are so prideful they won't ask for help. If I were you I would sit down and tank to your husband, and tell you love him, and you miss the imitate part of your marriage as well, I'm so tired at the end of the day, I honestly don't have the energy, tell him you have the heart for but not the energy, and them tell him, babe I feel like I need some help, I love being your wife and I love being a mom, but I need some help, this way you are not blamming, you are not pointing fingers, and you are expressing love and a desire for your husband. In a marriage, as a wife, God comes first then your husband, then your children, THEN everyone and everything else, and that is not easy, i've been married for 27 years to my husband, and all though I do very well with the balance, I still at times need to remind myself what my pryorities are supposed to be, at the same time, the husbands ned to do the same. So when you have your talk, and he asks you what you would like him to help you with, have some answers for him, don't say I don't know just help me, wrong approach, and when you give him a few things, don't give him a big oh long list, don't over whelm him, then you'll both be over whelmed. My husband was always a hands on dad, I didn't have to do everything, there were things I claimed that was mine, and that was laundry, I do laundry a certain way, and i didn't want clothes ruined, my husband loves to cook, he does not mind helping me. Our kids are grown, our youngest is 19, and she helps she does her own laundry, washes her own dishes, things like that, I still pretty much take careof the house, I run a Home day care, I take care of the yards forthe most pary, landscaping and gardening are my hobies, he does help me with that at times, he takes out he garbabe cleans uo the backyard after the dog, he walks and bathes the dog, plus he works one full time job, one part time job, and he has 2 business, so I don't really exspect to much from him around the house. Think about this you can catch more bees with honey than with venegar, so when you talk to your husband, be loveing, choose your words and your tones very carefully, and see what happens. If this doesn't not bring about the changes you are looking for, I have more where this came from, I really don't believe most husbands want their wives working themelves into a frenzie, it really hurts them, most husband I would think would want their wives, vibrant, energetic, aposed to tired and unresponsive,so why wouldn't they want to do their part, if it's going to benefit them as well. Let me know what happens. J.

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T.S.

answers from San Diego on

Wow - I'm amazed at everything you do. I work part-time from home so I can stay home with the baby, and my DH and I have always split chores (mainly because DH is a neat freak).

Anyway, I have found that the best way to make a conversation constructive is to be able to have a non-defensive dialogue. By that, I mean you don't put your husband on the defensive. Of course, your husband wants intimacy - he is a man! However, I totally empathize with you being overwhelmed and tired. Here's a secret though: MEN LIKE TO FEEL NEEDED. That is different from them feeling that you're putting demands on them.

So... first of all, prioritize what's important to you. Honestly for me, the human element wins over the house element every time. For me, this means my child and my husband. If you can afford it, do try to get a housekeeper to come in once a week. If that's not an option, then take care of your child and then when your baby goes to bed, spend some time with your husband. We always try to do a crossword together and cuddle up on the couch to watch some TV. Or, tell your husband you'd like to go to bed early with him and hint that it's not for sleeping :)

Either way, use that quiet time at night to either ask him nicely for help cleaning up (start small!) or go ahead and talk to him. I'd start off with you making a point to always say "I feel/think..." instead of saying "You ...". Say that you miss him, and that you love him with all your heart but that you're so tired and overwhelmed with everything. Tell him that you are trying to balance things but you would really appreciate any support or help he can give you to achieve a balance that would make everyone happy and content. Hopefully he'll be open to you!

Relationships are so much about communication and some negotiation!

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L.A.

answers from San Diego on

Welcome to the wonderful world of being a wife and mother!!! It is a real shocker at first, I know. Men just don't get it! They go to work and feel that they are doing their fair share. They have tunnel vision! They don't see what needs to be done. Add to that a wife who tries to do everything because she won't ask for help and you have a typical marriage. :0) But there is hope! Men can be taught! For insight and tips I also recommend Dr. L.'s book. It will help you understand. The change must begin with you. You need to understand that the most important thing you can do for your son is work on having a good marriage. You need to find time for your husband. You need to ask for his help. You need to stop being the martyr - don't feel alone, most of us have been there - and explain to your husband that you are overwhelmed. Every wife knows that there is nothing sexier than a man doing housework! Explain that to him. Tell him you miss being intimate, too (lie if you have to) but that you are worn out! Exhausted! Overburdened! You owe it to your husband and your son to speak up instead of building up resentment. Your attitude will set the tone for the conversation. Be calm and reasonable and don't lay blame or point fingers - just don't do it. Make the conversation about your lack of intimate time with your husband and what you can both do to change that. Don't expect a miracle. Don't expect too much. Lower your own expectations a bit in terms of housework. The goal - he does a bit more, you do a bit less and expect less, and learn to be happy in a less than perfect house. A happy family and a loving marriage is FAR more important than a clean house. Speak up in love. If you don't, you have only yourself to blame. Good luck! It is a tricky business to educate a husband, but it can be done.

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M.M.

answers from Honolulu on

Tell your husband step it up! Then you will have more energy for him. Right now you are doing everything. Is he just working? When you have a child that is not enough. He needs to help you out as soon as he comes home....ask you honey what can I do to help out. Not just come home and do his thing. Then you will feel good about the situation and feel that your husband understands what you go through and you will want to be with him. You are not wonder woman or a robot. I had the same deal and my baby is 7months and he is just now starting to really help out. He might also feel overwhelmed. So are you but as women we deal with the issues and take care of business....sometimes men just don't know where to start with the baby thing.

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G.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi J.,
I have been married for 40 years 3 kids and did everything pretty much and was tired of it and did not ask for help in the best way. If I could do it again and know what I know now of course it would be different. So what I learned is that we only get treated the way we let people treat us and if you sit down with the hubby and let him know how much you would love to have a great sex life with him and how he could get the one thing that would keep happy too. Than let him know how he could help and don't be afraid to ask for help they really don't know you need it unless you ask. We as women seem to think we have to do it all or for some reason were not worthy enough to get help. But approch it from love and kindness not nagging or argueing. Allow him to see the benefits he could reap from the helping hands. Most men don't even think about it unless we ask. You would be wise to have a date night away if you can get a sitter and be his lover as well as the mother of his child. You are deserving of having some help and doing it all just is not nessesary to be a good Mom and wife. Good Luck and stand up for yourself you are worth everything.
Your Friend out here! G.

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A.H.

answers from San Diego on

My husband and I had to work on this as well. We sat down and listened to each other, without interupting or getting upset. After we had each voiced our concerns, frustrations, and feelings, we were able understand each other better. This doesn't work for everyone. If you think you may not be able to listen without interupting each other than you could each write a letter, voicing the same issues above. Then exchange letters and read. Think about what was written and come together to calmly discuss the letters. Once you've gotten everything out on the table, keep it that way. If something bothers either of you, you should be talk about it as soon as possible so that resentment doesn't build up. Also make time to date again. Plan a date for at least once every other week, every week if possible. This way you two can reconnect. Make sure that each of you actively shows appreciation for the work that the other is doing. If you take time to notice and tell the other that you are thankful for what they are doing, the other will reciprocate because they feel appreciated. My husband doesn't always help with the house either, but he lets me know how much he appreciates what I do. Occasionally, he does help, and that's fun too because we can spend time together when we're working. This way the work gets done faster and we can do something else fun when we're done. I wish you the best of luck!

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L.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Read Dr. Laura's Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands, check it out at the library, it will REALLY help you and give you a great perspective and insight.

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Jennifer, I just went through a similar phase with my husband. I have a 3 yo and 8 mo old little girls and felt like I was doing everything. I told my husband are you kidding me when he would try and I had jsut finished XYZ chores, kids stuff. Told him help me a little and then I feel better. It had to be give and go. Sometimes i'd let the house be and sometimes he would be rewarded for helping. I was also wondering if you are nursing. For me I really didn't feel like it being intimate and maybe I used housework as an excuse. I recently stopped nursing (low supply, baby started to prefer formula) and wow things have changed. If this isn't the case for you I would suggest talking to your husband abotu feeling overwhelmed. Let him know that at the end of the day it really is exhaustion. That you are not trying to neglect him or your relationship. Ask him to help you balance things out. (I know it stinks, Superwoman doesnt need help) But really we all do sometimes.

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M.D.

answers from San Diego on

J., you're doing too much! Plain and simple, you need to make your family a priority and table some of the other activities.
If you must work because of money, then table the school until your little one is in school. How can you possibly do all of that and be a good mother and wife?
This may sound harsh, but I've been there and your marriage, son and family life are going to be the things that suffer. Do them and yourself a favor and try not to be superwoman.
Good Luck
M

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Y.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

I've always been of the mind that honesty is the best policy; it doesn't have to be brutal honesty but it should be forthright and spoken from your heart. And honestly, how can you be generous with the most intimate parts of yourself when you don't have much left to give after a full day of giving everywhere else?! Balance is essential for a happy life, in every part of our life. There has to be a sharing, a give-and-take in our relationships or else resentment (which we might be ashamed to admit), irritability, and finally all out anger or rage might finally erupt and by then it might be too late to repair the damages. So I say deal with it up front and openly with honesty and compassion right now and let your needs be known. You can't expect your husband to be a mindreader and by being honest, he can't use the excuse that he "didn't know" about how you were truly feeling. Good luck and remember we can't possibly and shouldn't be expected to be "superwoman" all the time! :)

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N.S.

answers from San Diego on

Hi Jennifer,

I highly recommend some sessions with a good marriage counselor.......when I was in this situation, it helped so much! You can have someone who will help keep things constructive in the conversation.

I've always looked at marriage counselling like getting an oil change on your car......it works soooo much better if you do it before you see smoke and fire.

Best wishes

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J.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

No matter what a great guy your hubby is, MEN JUST DON'T GET IT. I mean truly get it, we have to spell it out for them. My hubby is great and helps alot, but he still does not grasp the concept of how hard it is to care for a child. My hubby knows it is hard work to be home with our daughter, but still will not volunteer to do diaper duty when he gets home from work. I have to ask. I would say you just have to talk to him like you are talking to us. Counceling would not hurt to have a mediator between the two of you. Best of luck and please know you are not alone. He also does a ton of laundry and cleans the house when I am at work. I think he does this so I can see that it can be done. I don't agree that it can without neglecting our growing child. I think it is so important to interact with them, teach them, play with them, and love them. If she is awake I want to be with her. My hubby just puts Harry the Bunny on and does the housework. We don't agree on that! I think a little tv is okay, but not using it as a sitter. Well best of luck to you.

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Read two books - Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands and Proper Care and Feeding of Marraige - both by Dr Laura. They halted me immensely and I'm sure will help you too!

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K.P.

answers from Las Vegas on

I have been in this same boat! Men aren't the only ones that need intimacy, keep that in mind. Amongst your superwoman duties, are you making time for him? If you are truly doing everything, then you need to make time for him, and then let him know that you are struggling and need his help. He is more than likely feeling shut out of everything and possibly feeling that he is NOT needed because you do everything! He may be relieved when you finally let him know that you love him deeply and truly NEED him as well. Try reading Dr. Laura's book The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage, it worked wonders for me and my husband, not to mention the great effects it has had on our family environment.

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G.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

See a therapist? I started seeing one when my daughter was 3 months old. Your personality sounds a lot like mine. I also started attending Al-Anon meetings (my husband has 20 years of sobriety and attends AA meetings regularly). We still had a lot of fights the first year and finally when my daughter was around 9 months, we had a huge fight, I threw off my wedding rings, that woke him up and we had a talk and from then on split the chores and each get our free time.

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K.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

wow, you sound very busy, so I empathize with you, if you can't give up some of your chores, can you get a little help from a sitter, or family member or your husband?, I hope you can, that helped me. I got a sitter to help me out, even if it's just a few hrs. here and there, you will feel better. Also remember your husband is #1 in your life(even though it seems like our babies are)

good luck,K.

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G.S.

answers from San Diego on

You have a lot of good tips here from others. I just wanted to add that I DO think it is REALLY important that you bring it up. (You can't expect him to change if he doesn't know what he is doing wrong.)

Also you said you want it to be a constructive conversation. We have a rule in our marriage not to use the words "always" and "never". They are hurtful and not constructive. IF you say "You never help me around the house" the first thing he does is think of the one time he did. And it doesn't give him the opportunity to change if you have tagged him as a person who "always" or "never" does something.

Stay in the present so it doesn't feel like you have been harboring it for 10 months either (even if you have). Try and stick to examples ONLY from the past two weeks.

I think these are constructive ways to bring up a problem without really hurting the other person. Remember, if you bruise them, they are less likely to want to change. I will pray for you guys.... :)

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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi J.! You've taken the words right out of my mouth! I know exactly how you feel. I've felt the same way for a while now. I'm not in school right now but planning to go back soon. However, I'm scared that our house will go to you know where in a hand basket if I'm away from home. I don't believe my hubby will step in and help with the housework. But thankfully our son is 10 years old so I have him to help me. J., I wish you the best of luck. I'll read the other responses to see how others advise us to keep our relationships intact. I wish I could be more help. I just wanted you to know that you're not alone. Others feel the same as you. Take care!

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C.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

I remember once an instructor of mine told this to me (she had 4 kids). While the kids are still in the house the chores wait because spending quality time with the family is something you cant replace. She says her house finally got cleaned when the kids went off to college! A kindly reminder that a marriage is a compromise between the two of you. My husband helps me around the house constantly even when I have been a stay at home mother. You are working two job, taking care of everything else to run a household. Why not while you are bathing your son ask your husband to load the dishwasher or take the garbage out. If he is resitant and after speaking with him regarding him helping out a little, try this....dont do a chore that you do often and see if he even notices. If he starts seeing things not getting down maybe he will be inclined to help out more. It seems though as if he has been trained along the way that you will take care of everything. Now put two children in this situation...you really need to ask for his help. I remember when my son was younger I would cook dinner, my husband would wash dishes. Compromise and balance. Good Luck!

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S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I just let me husband know that the best aphrodesiac for me is to watch him wash the dishes. The only thing that turns me on more is to watch him clean the bathroom. Vacumming sends me through the roof!

Sneak up behind him and show your appreciation.
As he gets used to working then you can get him to do more. Most men have never been taught to LOOK for the needs of a house and family. You have to teach him just like you teach your kids-I know it's a bummer to have to do his mommy's job for her but now you know and you can make sure your son is well taught to take care of his girl.

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C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

Well, I have been there but with working a full time job and going to school. I don't think you need a grocery list because that will probably result in him making one of the the things he feels he does and why you should be intimate.

Are you able to ask if he can give the baby a bath or shower while you clear the dinner mess and tell him you will meet him upstairs or in bed? Although it really sucks, can ya give him a little and then go get back to the books? It was hard for me because my husband watches TV in bed, so reading in bed was out of the question and anytime he didn't get the attention he wanted, the TV went to such high decibels the neighbors could hear it.

Will he give your tired body a massage? Don't fall asleep, but turn that into a little play and intimacy. You do have to give into the relationship even though you are tired, just assign things he can handle and tell him you will meet him in the room.

Best luck.
C.

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S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I can feel your pain. I had that struggle for years with my husband and on top of all the items you list above, I also manage his business's finances. When I finally started my own business, he finally agreed to a housekeeper which I wish I had all my married years.

I would suggest you plan out a date night and discuss it with him. That's a good baby step. Men measure things differently. They think we're even because they 1) take out trash, 2) pay someone to change car oil 3) pick up milk and we 1) bath and dress the kids every morning and night, 2) go to the groceries, cleaners, kids' dr. appts, etc. 3) manage the finances. They count by quantity we count by value and amount of work. It's rather strange.

But, perhaps if you tell him, "hey, let's plan a date night. But, in order for me to have my day finished and our child dropped off with the sitters on time so we can go out, I'm going to need you to help with this, this and that so I can take care of that, that and this."

And, see if that works. At least it's a start and then can lead into a discussion later on daily or weekly tasks that are overwhelming you.

Good luck,
S.

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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi J.,
You are doing so much. I think you need to sit down with your husband and let him know how tired you are and how much you do want to be with him. And then ask whether he would rather take over so of the household chores (ie bill paying, cleaning etc) or if he would rather hire a maid or a bookkeeper to help.
You sound like a very high energy girl-so am I- but energy is finite and you are at the breaking point so someone, either a professional or your husband, has to step up. Good luck to you.
J.

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R.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

My advice is to get a sitter and get away from the house to talk. Go out for dinner and explain to him without attacking him how you are feeling. It seems that as women we tend to take on more at home, which often seems unfair especially when you also work outside the home. I can tell you both myself and friends have felt how you feel. In fact my hubby and I went out on a date a couple of weeks ago and I had a very similar conversation with him. It went better having it away from baby and the busy daily routine. My husband really listened to my concerns and I explained to him that I don't want us to lose our relationship just because of the baby. Now I don't know how your marriage was pre-baby or if there's more going on between you two. What I can say is that if your husband respects and values you he will listen and respond apprpriately to your needs. I broke down crying (which I don't do often) because I felt so strongly about what I as saying. My husband really listened and took it seriously. If he doesn't you will have to think about your happiness and the well being of your child (my opinion is two happy parents not living together is better than two miserable ones who are). I hope that helps. Sometimes too I think that we as women expect that by the things we do and say in the moment men should clearly understand and they usually don't. Now if our friend was there she'd get it. My husband is very intelligent and bright but has told me that for him to understand what I need I should be direct and specific. If I give him a list of things to do and a time frame they get done! Oh and I'm sure you already know this but marriage should be a team effort and partnership. Seems like you're holding up way more than your part of the deal and although you're no doubt superwoman, eventually it will wear you down. Good luck to you!

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S.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi J.,
I have no advice, but wanted to say that I could've written your post. My first son is now 10 months old, too, and I, too, feel like I'm doing all the "work" and am not sure how to broach the subject with my husband. I've read the responses to your question and hopefully the two of us can find something useful in there. Point is, thanks for posting and you're not alone :-)

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M.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

There are many women in your shoes. You have to get your husband to understand in the days when women where the only ones responsible for the house and kids they did not work out of the house or out of the home like many women do today. It is to much for one person to handle. That if he wants you to do the children and house 100% then he must do the bringing home the bacon 100% and if you choose to work that is your money and only yours if he chooses not to help with the womens job you should not be expected to help with the mans job. But you must always tell him what you are feeling when you have had a time to think it out and are not mad. You should never use sex as a weapon. Even if you are tired once you get started the tiredness goes away and if you have been telling your husband what feels good and what you like you will never go away saying man I wish I hadn't done that. It also make you feel better and brings your marriage closer. If your man is happy you will be happy and when mom is happy everyone is happy. Trust me men are simple they just want love and respect and that you and his kids think the world of him, but they are not mind readers you need to tell him what you need and feel when you both are open for talking. If you have a good man who loves you which sounds like you love him very much and I assume he is a great man. It is worth the work it takes to making a good marriage but it is a daily thought of what you can do to make your marriage better what you can do to make your husband a happier man and you will be a happier women. Best of luck

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T.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am sorry you are going through this. Maybe you could bring it up as a joint issue. Ask him "do you think "WE" need to work on our relationship a little more. Some men are like kids, they just need some TLC, he could be a little jealous of the time you spend with the baby. When my husband and I are frustrated with each other(which seems to be more and more since the baby arrived), there is a silent tension for a couple days and sometimes I just walk up to him and hold him and hug him for a long time. After a few minutes, I just tell him that I miss him and I miss "US". We talk it out and most of the time, it works out w/o any harsh words. I married him b/c he was my best friend and there are days when I wonder why but then something always reminds me why we got married in the first place. Tell him you are exhausted and ask him if he could help you out a little. Or hire some help once a month. Your son is only 10 mo old but he will sense the tension. I know how you feel, luckily, my husband was understanding and now helps with housework. I work 50 hrs a week from home and take care of my 14 mo old. We adjusted our budget so I could hire daycare 2 days a week and he helps me with the dishes and laundry, takes the 1st feeding(milk in a sippy cup) before he leaves for work at 6:30 and puuts her back down, she sleeps til 9 . Then he takes over when he gets home, i cook, he gets her ready for bed and does the dishes so i can work. Good luck!

R.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear J.,
I love all the advice the other mom's gave - THEY ARE ALL SUPER!
And just to top it off I have a little 3 minute video fable that tells the way it feels in word pictures here:
http://web.mac.com/musart/iWeb/musart/The%20Night%20Princ...
I just hope your computer can display it (it requires the Quicktime 7 player). If you think it might help him see how you feel sometimes maybe he would watch it too! Let me know what you think of it. In any case, we all feel for you! All of us ladies have been there at some time or other! Luckily my husband & I are still together after 38 years! You can't fail unless you quit! (as Abe Lincoln said). So don't quit!
Blessings,
R.

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V.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Make a list of all the thing's you do and all the things he does and show him why your not as intimate as he is, cause your "freakin" tired!! Good luck

V.

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D.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

J., Try to reduce your activities, quit one job, give up school for awhile...not forever just for now and you can have imperfection in your home. Life will not end if there is dust on the TV. you will find this out when your baby is walking and your are even busier! Your husband may feel like he can't do it right so why bother???
Cut yourself some slack and reduce your self induced work load and you could end up wanting to take a shower with your husband and loving it!!! I know from experience...
do it or you will be alone. No one appreciates Superwomen enough...it ain't worth it!!! D-

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A.W.

answers from Greenville on

I can understand exactly how you are feeling. I am a former Marine (now Civilian); my husband was a Marine too. When we went through what you are going through, we were both in the Corps; however I was doing it all. After 4 years of dealing with it and really getting TIRED I had to tell him, this is my advice to you. Pick a weekend (do not leave it for later), pick a time that you know he is in an okay mood and you are also willing to accept his response (whether you like it or not). Do not defend yourself, do not get emotional, if you start feeling upset, you are more than likely going to start racing your voice, and you will get NOWHERE. It is very likely, he has asked you many times "What’s wrong?…Are you okay?...Did I do something to upset you?" Or questions to that effect, and you said "Nothing, I’m okay"…that's if you didn't rip his head off, 'cause it is obvious you are upset and disappointed. So, when this happens, take a deep breath and say " I feel overwhelmed, and I need your help", and he may reply "You just have to tell me how can I help" or "Every time I help, you don't like how I do it"…I will tell you, stop trying to be superwoman, teach him how to become part of the family and how to share the responsibility of up keeping a household, if you can explain to him that part of the reason why you don’t feel like being intimate is because you are tired, upset because you don’t know how to ask for help, and really feel overwhelmed. Give him the impression he is the one that is going to solve the situation, he will feel validated, ask him what he would like to help you with, that he knows he can stick to it, and not just do it for 2 weeks, that would be a start. If he doesn’t know, then pick a thing or two that he can help you with, that would alleviate your stress, be reasonable, remember just because you have been doing it for a long time, doesn’t mean he would do it too. You deserve time for yourselves (and self), you need to make time on your busy schedules to talk, if you have a T.V. in the room (get rid of it), as much of a convenience it may be, they take too much time away from the relationship. When my husband suggested that to me, I fought it for so long, but I must admit, now that it is gone (and has been gone for a year and a half), we seldom have disagreements, it was a blessing in disguise. It is very easy to quit, think about this, the challenges you and your spouse are experiencing are so small, but do so much damage if you don’t communicate, you MUST communicate, and remember why you married each other and the vows you said to each other, marriage is not the place to be proud, is the place where you compromise. I hope my advice helped. Remember, treat others the way you would like to be treated, apply to your life (just think about it)

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L.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi J.,

A simple solution for you...don't just ask your husband for "help"...instruct him to help with particular tasks.

After 22 years of marriage...I learned that by asking my husband for assistance (particular tasks) I no longer "resented" him for not being sensitive to my needs of the major work load of day to day chores that fell on my shoulders.

By simply asking him to do household chores, or helping with our daughter's needs, etc...has opened up a better line of communication and quality time for intimacy.

Do not "expect" your husband to know what needs to be done daily...most men are not wired that way. And expectations...can leave us open to disappointment.

You DO need his help...so ask for it when necessary. You will be surprised how helpful he can be when asked to perform a simple house hold task and how happy you will be...one less thing that you have to do!

Don't play martyr/superwoman...it doesn't work.

I hope this helps...good luck!

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S.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

I know it's hard, but you have to say something. Ask him for his help. Maybe even bring up the fact that sex is more likely to occur when you know that X, y, and z gets done (ha! ha!) But seriously, the first step is being able to ask for help. He probably has his issues of being tired as well, but in a marriage, you do have to share responsibilities. Obviously, if he comes from a family where his mom did everything for the family, you'll have to tread a little more lightly, but as long as you don't raise your voice and are reasonable, I think you have a chance to start a great conversation with him.

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E.L.

answers from Visalia on

J.-
I totally understand- boy do i. Here is how i would tackle it (and have in the past)- I would find some quiet time, maybe in the evening with your husband, and begin the conversation with your own words "I realize the scales are tipped way on the end of housework and caring for our son versus caring for our relationship, i truly want to be different but i need your help." He will respond to you for the very fact that you are realizing that you have neglected the two of you. He is probably feeling bummed that everything but him gets your attention. While a family needs the house work done and kids need attention and raising, a family cannot ultimately be successful if the cornerstone relationship is faltering. I think it is important for children to grow up seeing their parents take care of one another and give time to one another. It teaches them how to love and be in a relationship when they grow up. Intimacy is the main aspect of a relationship that makes it different from all other relationships in our lives. You must also see, and help your husband see, that intimacy comes in more forms than sex alone. Conversations where you share feelings or ideas only with him, shared experiences- both good and bad, shared glances, kisses that are not fleeting or pinching one another's butt as you build up for more in bed that night. Help your husband see that you need more leading up to the sexual encounter than once your head hits the pillow you start going at it. If he starts helping you with the dishes, show him you appreciate it by visiting him while he is doing it- flirt with him. My husband likes to stay up later than i do- i am beat after homework, making dinner, bathing the kids... I want to play with him too, but not at 11pm at night. Our kids go to bed at 8pm, so i try to encourage playtime by 9 or 9:30 so i can get the sleep i need later. He feels great from my attention and i feel like i am taking care of him and getting the enjoyment too. We now share house chores and split the bill paying job. Trust me there are many times that i do NOT want to do anything, but i never still feel that way after we are done. My last suggestion is to do more than talk with your husband about it, do something different yourself- Ask him to do the dishes after dinner for you- go take a shower or sit down with a glass of wine or something and then after dishes are done, Give him 20 minutes of play time... then start the conversation! be honest about your feelings, you are hurting and he deserves to know- he cannot do anything if you don't fill him in and help him.

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E.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

i'm reading Proper care and feeding of husbands by Dr. Laura. Great book!

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there,

For sure you need to go to couples therapy. Good therapy would help you both learn effective communication, and appreciation of each other's issues and needs. These skills will also make you better parents, and set a positive rold model for your child.

How to get your husband to help? First off, ask him! Explain it using only sentences that start with "I". Ex, I'm overwhelmed and need some help, I'm exhausted. . . Also, let him know that you're frustrated with your lack of intimacy and that you'd love some help so that you can slot that in!

I know you said superwoman jokingly, but Shakespeare so nine tenths of every joke is the truth . . . Clearly you have way to much on your plate and need to prioritize. Good luck!

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L.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear J.

I just want you to know that i feel for you. I am currently debating divorce. I have one girl from my current marriage and two teens from my previous marriage. My husband just told me that my kids are not welcome in our home!!! I feel horrible since i always wanted a companion that would be there for me in good times and bad. So for the past two years i have been nothing but a secretary to my husband that would include running errands, cleaning the house, cooking, keeping track of our finances etc. The other night after we had a small argument and he told me that he didnt want my teens here anymore, he decided to ask for sex. When i said no he began to yell at me and call me used car with two dirty bags of trash!!!:(
I felt betrayed! and since then we had not spoken. I told him to move out for my children come first, but he wont go!
I am in the look for a job! and God first i will be blessed and things will be better for me.
I just know that when things come to you and you feel frustated and sad, know that you are not alone, there are many like you going thru trial. Stay strong clear your mind and take action if you have to.
Wishing you luck
L.

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P.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

If your husband is not smart enough to figure out you need help, hire a housekeeper. At least have someone come in a few days a week to help you out, and make sure the money for this comes from his assets. Tell him you have been feeling guilty about not spending enough time with him and being too tired to be intimate as much as you'd like. I suspect he might offer to split the chores with you if its going to cost money to get things done.

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M.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Please know that this so normal!!! It is not just you and your husband going through this. This is adjusting to having a baby and all the work that goes with it. I think you stated you needs very well. You do need to talk with him just the way you wrote this post. State you concerns and of course try to do it at a time that you can both focus on the subject. Chances are you fear your husband wont take you seriously or worse might not be able to help you find a solution.
Take the first step toward change. There is a good book called "baby proofing your marriage" Even if you do not have the time to read it you can just glance through it and pick up some great advice and validation for what you are going through. If you have a very hard time talking about your concerns with him maybe you can read a couple things from the book with him. They give points from the man and womans point of view and there are so many issues exactly like what you are dealing with. If it is too hard to address these issues and find some common ground please try couples counseling, it can be such a resource for new parents!
The Good news, you love your husband and you love your son. You are superwoman because you have a family, now trust that you, your husband and your marriage can grow! Good luck to you.
M., M.S.,LMFT
www.supportfornewmothers.com

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H.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi J.,

It sounds like you are taking on more than you can yourself handle and your husband's "needs" are pushing you over the edge of what you can handle. It is easy to sometimes put your relationship with your husband last. However, there are two things to remember in all of this: Loving yourself (and speaking up for your needs) and Loving your husband will make for a happy healthy family and a happy healthy child. So how can you delegate some responsibility to other people to make some space in your life for taking care of yourself and for cherishing your relationship with your partner?

In my own life that looks like finding extra childcare one night a week for a date night with my husband (doesn't have to cost money, just has to be a night of cherishing time together). It also looks like finding someone to help out with the housecleaning (even if I have to pay them, although I usually find ways to do trades with people). It may also mean re-prioritizing my schedule so that I have one or two hours in the mornings just to myself where I am not working, not taking care of my children, not doing anything but what I want to do, which for me would be yoga, meditation, walking, hiking, painting, etc...

You are right about finding that balance! That is what it is all about. But it is about finding that balance between taking care of YOU and taking care of others. You will find room for your husband if you find room for yourself!

Many Blessings on your path to balance!
H.

I.X.

answers from Los Angeles on

Oh sweatie, this is a hard one. My husband is very helpful, so I don't know from experience, but my sister deals with this. If I found myslef in your situation, these are some things I might try: Instead of exploding with huge generalities like "you never help me" (not that you do this), wait for a time when you can calmly point out a specific example. When he is doing something for down time like watching tv or the computer say to him "honey, see how you still get your bits of down time and relaxation? I seem to have lost all mine, I don't get any down time anymore. Do you think you can spare some of yours to help me so I can have some down time too?" If you don't find him with down time, then you're both spread too thin, and what more can he do? It needs to be pointed out, in the moment, with a specific example, without losing control of your anger. I keep my anger at bay by adressing my needs regularly and not letting them load up. I know how hard that is for some people to do. But inside you all ready know, resentment is a marriage killer.

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M.L.

answers from San Diego on

Holy cow you have a lot going on! I'm exhausted just reading that. My question is do you "need" to work 2 jobs? Do you need to work at all? When you're working and at school where is your son? If you cut out a job could you cut out daycare? What is hubby doing while you're doing all this?

You've gotten some great advice from the other ladies. I would sit down and tell him frankly that you need help. You're exhausted at the end of the day and it's really taking a toll on the relationship. Ask him to fix meals and clean up twice a week. I hope you guys can figure something out. Good luck.

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M.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Put out. Withholding sex only widens the gap between you and your husband. A lot of good advice has been given about talking to your hubby, telling him where you need help but tread lightly! choose your timing wisely i.e. not when you're angry, tired, frustrated and at your wits end. Take hubby out to dinner enjoy his company again and bring up the topic while in a good mood. Btw- Why are you wearing all those hats in the first place? Is it possible to cut back on school or work at all? Your little one needs you to be sane!

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V.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

J.,

It is probably the fact that he also sees you as "superwoman" and that is why he has relinquish everything else to you to handle. Get a sitter go out to dinner and basically just tell him what you wrote. Try to do it without sounding whinny. If you don't do something soon you will burn out and start resenting everything you are working so hard to keep together. Why are you working two part time jobs? your baby is only 10 months.

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N.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Never use the work "you". Never accuse.
Use I or we could. Make a list of what you would like help with. Guys are not mindreaders. Sometime if you ask for help you get it. You need to be simple and literal or they get confused. Get a sitter and the two of you go out to relax and be a couple again. Date night is very important to talk and clear the air.
I could be wrong but you may be afraid of his reaction and that is not good in any relationship. You should never be afraid to state how you feel in a respectful way.
You may consider counseling for yourself to understand your self better. It sounds like your on the right path..
If your spouse surprises you with "no" then you differently need counseling for your own sanity. Good Luck

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T.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

OO J., oh honey honey honey, how does he know it bothers you if you don't say so, men don't read us girls mind, somehow that part of the brain was left out, what works good for me is I say I feel this way, its my feelings maybe not yours but its the way I I I I I feel. If he wants alone time with you , then say to him hey when I get some helping heands I can relax have one on one time with you with out looking at the cloack or the dirty dishes or the laundry.. you are allowing him to be this way Girl !!! make a list sit down show him all you do, ask him to pick some things to help with ... I guess I am blessed married 20 yrs kids 17 & 19 my hubby does the dishes, vacums, the laundry, cooks. How did I get him to do all of these things, easy I just asked, then told him do you want me to be a sweet sexy nice wife, or a ugly grey haired old Bit... you chose, I can make life misable for us both... he chose to help... Yeaaaaaaaaa !!!!

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L.P.

answers from San Diego on

I can only imagine how frustrated you are! The best approach is to schedule time with your husband to talk, while your son is asleep or out of the picture. Write down all of your feelings about this situation and share your feelings with him. Explain to him how much you love and appreciate him, and how much you too want intimacy, but that at the end of the day, after doing x,y,z and the other, you have no energy left! Do not say "you never blah, blah, blah" because that will only put him on the defense. Instead say, "I'd like you and I to be a team to tackle all of our responsibilities, so that we do have time for intimacy." I'd also make a list of all the chores/responsibilities and ask him to take full responsibility for some. For example, my husband pays all the bills and always cleans up after dinner. Other than trash, those are his! Then I often say hey, will you fold this laundry etc. Also, since you are "superwoman" make sure you let him take on those jobs, ie, don't criticize his work. Let him own those. If he is not cooperative, well then you have some issues to probably work out through some marriage counseling. All men are alike though. They'll get away with as much as they can and they need to be trained! I wish you the best!

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F.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi J.,
I know what you are going through. Maybe you can tell him specific things to do. For example, after making dinner ask him to help with the dishes. If he does help in any way after talking to him, make him feel special and he will continue. Sometimes even if you don't feel like being intimate, just do it. You will usually feel better and your husband will appreciate it too.
Have you considered a cleaning company to help with the household chores. Sometimes they are pretty reasonable.
As far as your bills, set them up automatically online. One less thing to worry about. One other thing you can do is make a list of all the chores that you have to do and put it on the fridge, maybe that will give him an idea of how much work you do.
Hope this helps! Good luck and hang in there.

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J.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Be honest - say you want intimacy too but are just too run down to feel good. Say you feel overwhelmed and could really use his help. When he does chip in you'll feel more responsive. He should notice that and take the cue that sharing the burden makes you want to share other things more too.

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L.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Welcome to being a woman! I have the same feelings often. I would stuff my feelings of frustration that I wasn't getting any help and be too tired at night to even think about intimacy with my husband. Some suggestions? Finding a way to address it with your husband is important so don't give up trying to bring it up. Also, could you be intimate with your husband at a different time:early morning, or earlier in the evening before you are thoroughly worn out?
The trouble with being a superwoman (I am one too) is that you can handle so much. You juggle things well and can take on so many tasks easily.What happened with me is I kept taking on any slack that my husband left with the household and telling myself that I was taking care of him because I love him. Then I was doing everything which left no time for his needs. Talk to him about what tasks he could help you with. (This used to start a fight with my husband everytime, but it is so important I just continued the fight until it began to change.) Now there are good days and bad days, but when i see my husband doing something to help me and give back to the family - it makes me want him intimately. Good luck!

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

You BOTH need to read The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage, by Dr. Laura Schlessinger.

You are doing too much, but he probably thinks you are doing fine because you haven't said anything. You don't want to wait until you become so resentful that you blow up (which you are probably about to do).

My husband and I have been married 13 years and hit a rough patch not too long ago. I searched and searched for the perfect book to fix US. Well, I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but only I needed to be fixed. I purchased two copies of the above mentioned book, one for him and one for me. I decided I'd read it first (the control freak in my HAD to know what the book said before I let him read it) also, he listens to Dr. Laura, me? I wasn't a big fan of her. Anyway, I read the book and oh my God! I just had to tweak a few things that I was doing and wa la!

If you are interested, email me directly your mailing address and I'll send you my extra copy!

M.
[email protected]____.com

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S.P.

answers from Baton Rouge on

One suggestion - Make a list of all you do and then make a list of all he does and put it in a beautiful card that reminds him how much you do love him and ask him to figure out what he can put in writing to add to his side to help bring some balance to your life. Let him know that you truly need his help. Putting it in writing hopefully will minimize conflict and keep him accountable. Some men do not realize what it truly takes to manage a household and the lives of the family. Be blessed!

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R.J.

answers from San Diego on

I feel the same sometimes, I learn to take care of my spirit going to church getting involved to a women group and read my books. That means that I stop all and i put my priorities in check and first of all i take care my spirit my relationship with God. Being happy and content inside then the rest i continue. Sometimes I accomplish all sometimes not but i am happy too begin thanksfull with all i have.
Also be honest with your husband gentle and prudent but firm honest and give him shores to do if he refuses or forget easy find a maid who cleans sitter have sometimes for you.
gyms with a small childcare...

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N.H.

answers from San Diego on

Oh sweetie... you are bearing too much weight on your shoulders. My definition of marriage is a partnership where each party gives 100% and it sounds like your partner isn't supporting you in the way that you need. Two Jobs? school, child AND all the house work and then intimacy on top of all that??? Something has got to give and you need to ask for help. If he is not willing to grab a dishtowel or a vacumme to help I would suggest that you hire someone to help you. This way you can concentrate on your child, school and maybe have some energy left over for your husband! If he is the kind that says ... well... I bring home the money remind him that you are also pitching in by working and that raising a child IS a full time job. If he doesn't belive you... have him stay home all day while you go out and he will change his tune! ;) Finally - Try to get away for an overnight.. your baby is old enough now if you have someone you trust to watch him - this will help you both reconnect as a couple and may help with the communication and intimacy. My husband and I just went to palm springs for one night and it was luxury just to hold hands and take a nap together and talk about us for a change. The vibe lasted for a couple of months & we are going again in a couple of weeks. Good luck and remember you don't need to do everything by yourself there are two of you in this marriage :)

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P.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

J.,
It seems that you are getting pretty good replies on your need. I just wanted to add a little something that I learned yesterday (we are going thru a series on sex - in church!) I am learning so much. So here's what I learned:
Same bed, different planets. We sleep in the same bed, but it is very clear that sex is different for you then it is for your spouse. There are four distinct differences: our sex drive, our energy drive, our fulfillment and our emotional drive. When we as women don't have emotional drive taken care of, then it sucks the energy out of our fulfillment quotent and our energy in turn taking away our sexual drive. All men have the desire to feel respected while all women have the desire to feel cherished. Now you can't make yourself feel cherished - that has to come from your husband. From when a husband feels that his needs are taken care of (which I know is a tall order with everything else you are doing) then he can take care of what your needs are. So here was the list of areas to self-discover and work towards stronger sexual intimacy: Head; think more positively, Eyes; look at your spouse's positives, Ears; listen more carfully, Mouth; speak more open and honestly, Hands; get a grip on your time together, Feet; run to resolve all issues.
I really hope that you found one thing that might help out. Your spouse is for a lifetime. I know you are super frustrated right now, but you've got to at least talk to him and ask for some assistance. Let him know that you are overwhelmed. When he does help out that little bit, thank him for taking the time to make things a little easier on you. It will get better.
P.

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R.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

It seems as though you have a lot on your plate. Just like you need intimacy(talking, hugging,etc), for a man sexual intimacy is necessary. It seems as though 2 part-time jobs, school, baby, is leaving you with nothing for the man that helped you start your family. Perhaps some rearranging of priorities is in need. My husband and I have 2 children (5 and 2), he works full time, sometimes overtime, and I stay home. I take care of all the "home stuff" and my husband works so that I can take care of everything else. We've made choices to live this way (we only live off of $40,000/yr in Orange County) and it has enabled us to both have the evenings (when the girls are in bed) to spend time together as a couple. We women have to remember that it is not always honorable to be doing everything under the sun, being married means living for the respect and honor of your spouse, which means sacrificing for them. I'm not saying that you have to stay home, but perhaps one part-time job will do for now, as one day before you know it your child will be leaving the house, and you want to make sure you will still have a marriage when that happens. Perhaps your like me and you would rather snuggle than have sex every night (lol), but sometimes we need to see that the fact that your husband wants to have sex with you, after your body's been through a baby, you must see how much he loves and adores you. As far as talking about it, fess up to what your not bringing to the marriage, and ask him what he thinks he's not bringing, and make a pact to work on these things, just keep in mind that these things take time, and nobody's perfect. You fell in love for a reason, and you must not throw him aside, or he'll find somebody who will be by his side. Your in my prayers.

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D.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Talk to him about how overwhelmed your are. Focus on that and on how you miss time with him too- time to relax and time to be intimate. Don't focus on what he hasn't been doing. Remember what he is doing. Have him help you figure out acceptable ways to make you less overwhelmed. Be willing to give up control of some things. I am not implying that you are controlling but there will be an adjustment when he takes over some of your jobs. It's just the way of things. He will do your jobs his way and it will seem strange at first and maybe even more stressful for you. Good luck!

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J.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Jennifer,

Have you asked your husband to help out? Have you talked to him about feeling overwhelmed? I do a lot around my house too and I work a full-time job with overtime and have a business on the side where I have to be there all day Saturday, Friday nights after my day job, etc. If we don't say anything, they assume everything is okay. If you tell him that you need help and that you're feeling overwhelmed, maybe tell him that it makes you too tired at night to be intimate when you're constantly working, taking care of the house, etc. . . he'll work more with you. Engage him to him you and engage him in more constructive conversation. Sometimes people, men, women, do not see that there is anything wrong until we let them know. Don't have an argument, just tell him that you're feeling overwhelmed and its time for him to help you, that maybe you haven't asked for it before but you need it now. You haven't mentioned in your request if you've asked for help so I"m assuming you haven't because sometimes we try to be superwoman too. I know sometimes I feel the same and I know that some people are clueless.

A little about me:
Mother of two, one 16 and a half and totally selfish and a twenty year old away at school with a husband.

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E.B.

answers from Las Vegas on

"I do love my husband and I want to work this out.. how can I go about talking about this without blaming or pointing fingers or telling him to frickin help out a little bit."

What's so wrong about "telling him to help out"? Many women are guilty of not expressing their needs and assume that men will just get a clue by themselves. Look at it this way, if someone cooked all your meals, cleaned your house, took care of the kids without coomplaining, wouldn't that be great? Why would he offer to help if you seem fine without it? That's how men think. I'm sure your husband has no idea how you feel. Did you see "The Breakup"? I loved it when Jennifer Aniston tells Vince Vaughn, "I want you to want to do the dishes." And he says, "Why would I want to do the dishes?"

I suggest writing him a letter so you won't sound angry and come across the wrong way. If you get bitchy, men go on the offensive and you won't get anywhere. List all the things you do and suggest ways he can help. Be specific! You have to actually ASK for what you want. Don't be a martyr. Good luck!

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B.K.

answers from Des Moines on

Hi! You are NOT alone! ( we have 4 kids ages 6-15 ) I truly think this is the way a LOT of wives/mommy's live. I see this in most of my friends as well. I to work, pay bills, do all the cooking, shopping, organizing, cleaning, schedule hair cuts, Dr. appt., take them to those appt.s, keep track of when lunch money is due, get school books organized for morning, get clothes ready for morning, keeps sports schedules organized......and the list goes on. My husband does do most of the laundry and helps with homework and a lot of my friends husbands don't do that so I feel happy he does that much. --I to feel like EVERYONE needs a piece of me and I become SO overwhelmed and when I go to bed I am POOPED. I have NO desire for anything but to relax! I truly think our husbands have no clue. I really don't know what to tell you except to delegate more. I'm not very good at that but I have gotten better. -- I do have to say it gets a little easier when the kids get older and they can do more for themselves. But I think I have just decided that my husband and I had 'our' time before our kids were born and we will have 'our' time after. We do go out more than we did when the kids were all much younger. -- I also have to say we have never let the kids sleep with us as I really need that time w/o them and that is a small time when we can be alone.....even if we don't talk and we just lay there watching TV. We do hold hands and snuggle.....so I guess that is 'our' time. I know I wasn't much help.....but just to let you know you are NOT alone and you really do get thru it. Not always happily.....but I does get better!!

Good Luck, B.

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A.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Jennifer,

I understand your frustration. My relationship with my husband was way off balance for awhile like that as well. And I am similar to you - I want to be superwoman and not let anyone know that I need help sometimes. But I did,and it came to a breaking point and I had to say something.

I made a nice romantic dinner, and we had a glass of wine, and I said I wanted to talk about some things. I told him that, while I enjoy doing everything around the house, I wanted some assistance so that our relationship would not suffer. By putting it about our relationship health and not about "you don't help" or "I can't do it all" (both of which are finger pointing type phrases), he completely understood and agreed. I had thought about it alot ahead of time and had an idea of what types of things he could do to help me out that wouldn't be too "girly" or wouldn't make him feel like less of a man, or seem like I was less of a wife. Every household is different, so examine what you have that he can do and let him know.

It's very hard to admit that we need help, but even Superwoman called on Superman once in awhile... =) Good luck.

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K.C.

answers from State College on

My husband once said,
Letting my wife sleep in on a Saturday is the equivalent of foreplay these days.

He recognized the direct link between how much sleep I got, with everything I was doing with work, really young kids, house and ...how intimate I felt. His help Saturday mornings made things much better for both of us.

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