My husband is all for me making money when it doesn't affect him or what he wants to do- but he can be difficult about pitching in to help with the kids. He doesn't particularly like his job, but he refuses to take the risk of looking for one that might be more satisfying or might pay better.
When he comes home, he wants to relax and have no responsibilities. He wants to enjoy the fruits of not only his labor, but of mine as well. He seems jealous of my initiative and my willingness to take some risks in my career. Sometimes he even tells me, that I "just work for fun" because I have a passion for what I do and I enjoy it most of the time. Sometimes he accuses me of working to get away from him, because I sometimes see clients on Saturdays mornings. If I do any work related tasks at home around him, he accuses me of "working all the time" (which I have learned means he's feeling neglected, like I am distancing him).
So sometimes I have to look at whether I am distancing him and ignoring his needs.
Your husband sounds similar--- sounds like he'd be fine with you working too if you worked the same hours he did and you arranged all the babysitting, making sure his time at home is minimally, if ever impacted. When he said he was for it, I bet that was before he realized how it would change his life.
Prior to kids, I used to do alot of caregiving gestures for my husband, like running his baths, putting toothpaste on his toothbrush, etc. We worked the same shifts, and then I still had plenty of time and energy and enjoyed doing those little nurturing things for him. But I no longer have that kind of time and energy. That pretty much stopped when we had kids. I understand those behaviors made him feel loved and now he sometimes feels neglected, and sometimes expresses he can't wait till our kids are grown and it's just us again.
Sometimes it is very hard to support each other. Your husband may well prefer to have you be with him and nurture both him and the kids in the evening.
I think alot of men see the caregiving of the kids as the mother's responsibility, and like another here said, they act like they should get some great honor for doing so, as well as seeming to think we should mother them as well. It is so frustrating, although I admit I sort of set up those expectations of his that I would act in a mothering, nurturing way toward him.
But the "distribution of labor" in a marriage is something that has to be negotiated, kept reasonably fair, and negotiated repeatedly as you go through different phases of life. You can't hold him to any of the positions he took in the past about whether he supports your decision or disagrees with it-- you have to find out what is under those and then negotiate to get the most important needs of you both met, while making some compromises.
And yes, you may have to take some stands that say-- I am not going to let you call all the shots in the family--- you *will* be negotiating this with me. This issue is just too important for me to just say "whatever you want, honey." My husband sometimes tells me I'm "too *%$# independent." I try to see if I'm neglecting my marriage, but beyond that he's just going to have to live with that independence because that's who I am-- if it's important enough to me, I *am* going to do what I think is right to do, even if I have to put up with some conflict and keep negotiating each little thing.
Does he know that you feel so strongly about this that it makes you think about separation?
SW 8/1/08 229.
| current weight: 153.0