It seems that husbands can be assholes sometimes. I mean, yes, yes they can.
Does this Sound Familiar?
You’ve been watching the kids all day, your husband comes home, barely throws you a kiss, gives the kids a giant hug, and proceeds to head to the refrigerator. He grabs a beer and sits down on the couch with the remote.
You’re seething. And burning dinner, because you’re also breaking up a fight between your children while simultaneously trying to clear out the dryer to get to the kitchen towels and find the oven mitt.
Yet your husband needs a break. He just got off of a long day at work. He needs to unwind. While you do all the work.
When he does do the dishes after dinner, he winks at you and flicks you with a towel. How are you going to thank him? Heh heh. He wants praise. He wants sex. He wants you to affirm that he just helped you immensely.
And all you can think about is how much you want to strangle him.
Sound familiar? My life used to be like this too.
Every marriage goes through a shitload of upheaval after having kids. You’re both trying to grasp at straws, figuring out the new rules and the new roles. How do you get everything done now that a little person takes up 95% of your brain capacity?
So you both try really hard to do your best. At one point, you try harder than your husband. At one point, (perhaps unbeknownst to you), he tries harder than you. And you know what? At some point, it just evens out. At the end of a lifetime, you will both have tried just as hard, done just as much housework and experienced just as much guilt as the other.
Your husband isn’t the babysitter. Many relationships go through a period during which your husband wants to be praised for “helping.” And all you want him to do is be an equal partner. After all, it took both of you to make this baby. Both of you should experience the same amount of parenting, no?
And for whatever reason, during the season that is having a child under 5, you are going to experience a lot of resentment. A lot of unanswered telepathic requests. A lot of feelings of “look how much I do.” You’re probably going to feel like your husband is never on the same page as you. He just has different expectations. He thinks differently than you. You feel like he will never see things your way.
And that’s what you tell yourself. That’s what you tell your friends when you’re venting about yet another day of what feels like marital upheaval.
“He just doesn’t see my point of view.”
Do you want to know the truth? That’s an excuse that you tell yourself right now so that you can be pissed at him.
If you really believed that he didn’t care about your point of view, didn’t care how hard you worked, didn’t want to see eye to eye with you, didn’t want to meet your need of being in an equal partnership, then you wouldn’t be together.
Seriously. If your husband is really such an incorrigible asshole, then why are you with him?
That’s a tough question. Because there are many times when you ask yourself the same thing. But what is it that draws you back? What is it that keeps you committed? There’s much more to a relationship than who does more laundry. And if you keep telling yourself that your husband just doesn’t agree that you need some help with the housework or you need a break from the kids for more than an hour a week, you’re going to stay in your stuck place in your marriage. You’re going to keep feeling resentful, and you’re going to keep feeling as though you’re with a person who doesn’t “get” you.
And if you’re truly with a person who doesn’t “get” you, your marriage will eventually fizzle out.
So if you don’t want to get divorced, if you want your marriage to work, if you know deep down that this is the man you want to be with for the long haul, stop making excuses. Stop ending the conversation with “My husband just doesn’t agree with my point of view about what a mother and wife’s role should be.” Because that is an excuse, and it’s a conversation ender. And if it’s true, if it’s not just an excuse, it’s a marriage ender.
And maybe this isn’t the guy for you. Maybe you do feel stuck in a relationship that’s going nowhere. The get me a beer, bitch mentality is definitely grounds for divorce in my relationships. But my husband knows that. So when I feel like things are unequal or I’m getting the short end of the stick, I don’t relegate him into being the evil spouse on the couch demanding that I cook and clean for him.
The Fix for an Asshole Husband
Instead, I speak up. I let him know what my expectations are. I let him know what I’ll do for him and what I’d like him to do for me.
Please know that this conversation doesn’t fix things right away. For my husband and I, this conversation used to last for years. Sure, things would change a little bit at first, and then we’d slide back into our old ways. And instead of giving up and thinking that things would never change, I kept talking about what I wanted. I kept communicating with him about what he wanted.
Because I want to be in a relationship where both parties are equally respected and respectful of each other. I want to be with someone who really cares about my happiness. And I always knew that I was.
Trust me, if I ever had the inkling that my husband didn’t give a shit about my happiness or wellbeing–if I really, truly felt like that, my inner warrior woman would’ve sent him out the door.
You see, that is a deal breaker in any marriage. If your husband truly doesn’t agree that you should be happy, that the two of you should communicate so that you can respect each other’s greatest dreams and smallest desires, then he is not the man for you. I hate to say that, and I know that there will be some of you reading this right now whose warrior woman knows, deep down, that this is true for you.
But if you know that he is the one you’re going to stay with, then don’t relegate him to the ranks of the true asshole. Because although he may act like an asshole sometimes, why would you be married to him if he was a true, actual asshole?
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