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Is it unsustainable to be the perfect wife?

(159 Posts)
flummoxedbanana Tue 10-Dec-13 23:02:16

A friend commented today that I need to stop the 'perfect wife act' at some point. I'd never thoughtof it being an act, though perhaps it's quite old-fashioned.

I do literally everything for the children. Dh has never been woken or dealt with them at night, I organise and do absolutely everything for them. I do all the cooking and housework, including jobs like putting the bins out, cleaning pets out, going to the tip etc. I do all food shopping, buy all presents, send relevant cards to his family members. I buy his favourite things and stock the fridge with beer for his days off. I make the effort sexually to send flirty messages and pictures, dress up, take charge etc. I take an interest and support him in his career. I encourage him to go out with friends, I don't lecture him or anything.

I don't feel obliged to do these things. I love him, enjoy my life and am the sort of person that gets most enjoyment from making others happy. Is it unsustainable to remain this way do you think?

Ledkr Tue 10-Dec-13 23:03:31

Nice try 9/10

Dontlaugh Tue 10-Dec-13 23:04:54

1950 called, they missed you.
What does your husband contribute to this family?

Tinks42 Tue 10-Dec-13 23:05:51

Well, he sounds very lucky. What does he do for you?

Cutitup Tue 10-Dec-13 23:05:58

I don't get Ledkr's answer. I assume she thinks you're a journalist.

If you really do these things and it works for you, then carry on. If you're happy, then carry on. What is the problem?

NotAnotherStuffedTurkey Tue 10-Dec-13 23:06:17

fbiscuit

wonderstuff Tue 10-Dec-13 23:06:50

Wow. I wonder if there are any perfect husbands out there?

Mellowandfruitful Tue 10-Dec-13 23:06:57

Well, first off, that wasn't a very nice comment by your friend. If she'd said 'you need to stop putting everyone else before yourself and your own needs' that would have been quite different to calling it an 'act'. Does she have an axe to grind with you?

I don't think I could live as you do, but then it's not my life. If you are genuinely happy then that is important. A lot of people live through their partners and children and are deep down quite unhappy about it but don't realise that for a long time, if ever. So I suppose the question is, are you sure this makes you happy? And another question would be, do you have any dreams or desires of your own that you don't get to do because of the comprehensive support you offer to your family? If so, why not pursue some of them - I hope your DH and family would be glad to see you do that. Do you feel appreciated for what you do?

Cutitup Tue 10-Dec-13 23:06:58

I assume he provides for you. You also provide for him. This used to be normal and I think it's just fine if it works for you.

wonderstuff Tue 10-Dec-13 23:08:29

I do wonder, what does he do for you? And how do the children feel about him?

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 10-Dec-13 23:08:58

My colleague and I had a 'get hit by the bus' rule. If one of us got hit by a bus, the other knew where things were, could cope, had enough information to deal, knew the skills. If my job is important, so is my home life. If you got hit by a bus or turned out to be imaginary, what would happen.

TheHippyWhoWearsLippy Tue 10-Dec-13 23:09:26

If you are genuine & you enjoy it then I don't see why not. As long as your not mentally exhausted, you don't desire your life to be different then why should it be. that's how it was not so very long ago & my grandparents are still going strong with a marriage just like this 65 years later & very much in love.

I've tried to be like this but it's bloody hard work doing it all by yourself. My husband felt a bit left out so we try our best to help each other where we feel we need it most. It's working for us. Each to their own. As long as everyone is happy then there is no problem.

So which are you?

A journo or the other thing we're not allowed to ask you?

NotAnotherStuffedTurkey Tue 10-Dec-13 23:12:48

Just a thought... Is Matthew Wright back from the jungle yet?

Yes he is.

Despite my fervent prayers that he'd be eaten by a jungle cat.

Or maybe have some sort of freak accident whilst doing The Carlton. fsad

NotAnotherStuffedTurkey Tue 10-Dec-13 23:17:49

I couldn't bring myself to watch, but did they make him do lots of horrible things? fgrin

I didn't really watch it but he was kicked out quite early I think, which is marvellous!

flummoxedbanana Tue 10-Dec-13 23:20:37

Nope not a journo or a troll.

Friend insists on everything at least being 50/50 in her house. She sees we are happy but thinks dh doesn't give as much as he gets. He works hard, is kind, patient with the children, he prioritises them, he is loving and attentive to me, he is my best friend and I trust him 100%. In my opinion, what more could I want? I would like more time to myself/alone with dh but I'm content to wait until the children are older.

nailslikeknives Tue 10-Dec-13 23:20:55

Are you happy? If so, crack on.

TweaselsDrankMyGluhwein Tue 10-Dec-13 23:22:46

I try to be like this. I dressed up for DH but he just wasn't turned on by the Scooby Doo costume and the giant head kept getting in the way when I tried to give him a blow job.

flummoxedbanana Tue 10-Dec-13 23:22:57

And yes, I do feel appreciated. He does/says lots of things to show it and my older daughter often voices it too. I like to be busy and I like helping others.

KouignAmann Tue 10-Dec-13 23:23:14

Yes it is unsustainable. I managed 27 years before I ran away to live on my own. It is lovely! And now I have a DP who SHARES all this stuff and life is so much better.

Dontlaugh Tue 10-Dec-13 23:23:50

It is interesting that you are posting though, asking/seeking opinions on this.
I find if I am satisfied with a situation then I don't seek opinions on it, whereas if I am not I will happily ask the postman what he thinks.
Is this ringing a bell at all?

Mellowandfruitful Tue 10-Dec-13 23:23:59

Can you afford babysitters to cover the time to yourself / alone with your DH? If so that ought to be pretty straightforward.

I still think friend's remark was phrased unpleasantly. She could have put it in terms of concerns for you, but didn't.

NotAnotherStuffedTurkey Tue 10-Dec-13 23:26:30

Tweasels What other costumes can you recommend? grin

Onefewernow Tue 10-Dec-13 23:27:50

I'm wondering how much he respects you, whilst he relaxes on the sofa .

not that this should dictate whether or not you do all the housework, but do you work? if so the distributiom of labour def unfair.

Diagonally Tue 10-Dec-13 23:28:28

Is this a good friend, how long have you known each other?

Friends can sometimes pick up on things. Why do you think she mentioned it?

RhondaJean Tue 10-Dec-13 23:30:06

Bloody hell. I suppose it's sustainable as long as you keep going but surely your life is worth more than just facilitating other people to swan through theirs with ease. Don't you want to achieve anything for yourself? How old are your kids? Are you reaching them how to look after themselves if old enough?

Men are one thing (and my preference is for an adult man who can shoulder his half of ALL types of responsibility) but it is surely an unkindness to do "everything" for children and IMO is more about you making yourself appear invaluable than supporting them to become fully functioning adults.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 10-Dec-13 23:30:13

I would be confused as to why DH didn't want to step up sometimes. His DM would have bloody killed him sooner than watch him eat a meal and not clear/wash up. I [heart] my late MIL.

Heathcliff27 Tue 10-Dec-13 23:30:31

tweasels fgrin

basgetti Tue 10-Dec-13 23:31:22

It is up to you how you live your life but I'm not sure that waiting on a man hand and foot sets a great example for your children.

flummoxedbanana Tue 10-Dec-13 23:31:48

I've known her for twelve years. Yes I do work but from home. There's been a few comments that it's all too good to be true and bound to go downhill one day confused

wonderstuff Tue 10-Dec-13 23:33:33

How long have you been living like this?

TheZeeTeam Tue 10-Dec-13 23:33:59

I guess the only concern would be that if you derive so much of your happiness and self worth from making your family happy, what will you do when they grow up and don't need you quite as much any more? That can be a real bash to one's self esteem.

wonderstuff Tue 10-Dec-13 23:34:57

I know one woman who lives like this, I wonder if one day she's going to wake up to how unequal it is. I worry about her self esteem.

flummoxedbanana Tue 10-Dec-13 23:35:02

I have a degree and a successful career. Kids are 6 yrs and 18 months but very confident and capable.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 10-Dec-13 23:36:57

Does the 6 year old have chores because studies show that chores are good for children's development?

TheZeeTeam Tue 10-Dec-13 23:36:58

There you go then, you're sorted! Well done! You know, there are literally thousands of people on MN that are happily married though. It's not that hard!

stickysausages Tue 10-Dec-13 23:37:54

Hatie Kopkins... is that you??????

flummoxedbanana Tue 10-Dec-13 23:38:20

Yes, TheZeeTeam, I have considered that. I find myself now feeling like a spare part at times because my six year old is fairly self-sufficient and 18 month old has become more independent. I do derive fulfillment from my career too though. I guess my life and priorities just changed when I first fell pregnant.

flummoxedbanana Tue 10-Dec-13 23:40:10

Chores?? Um not as such. She is helpful and considerate - I.e. Setting the table, taking plates to the kitchen, putting washing in basket, picking up after herself etc.

ilovesmurfs Tue 10-Dec-13 23:41:18

Well I don't a think much of a man who doesn't do anything for hsi children, it's not exacltys ettogn a good example is it I'd you do all the housework and childcare. I want my sons to grow up with a hands on father who see that men can do this stuff as well, I certainly dotn want thm growing up thinking its 'women's work' which is essentially what your kids are learning.

TheZeeTeam Tue 10-Dec-13 23:41:32

LOL at the independent 18 month old. Do they take themselves off in your car to meet their mates at the mall?!! grin

flummoxedbanana Tue 10-Dec-13 23:43:54

Considering she was unputdownable til she could walk she feels bloody independent now smile

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 10-Dec-13 23:44:03

Does the 6 year old do more around the house than her DF then? Yikes.

If your sux your old was a boy, would you expect him to do chores?

RhondaJean Tue 10-Dec-13 23:52:51

Ok, so, you work, you do everything - what exactly is the purpose of your dh?

You aren't being a perfect wife, you're being a doormat IMO.

Twinklestein Tue 10-Dec-13 23:53:49

If you work OP, why do you do everything at home?

Surely that means you are working, in all, more hours per week than your husband? Do you feel comfortable with that?

I think there's a difference between being a SAHM and being a servant.

HerrenaHarridan Tue 10-Dec-13 23:56:53

People suggesting op might not be genuine should search her posting history or report rather than troll hunt on the thread.

Bizarre as this thread may seem I recognise the nn as its always made me laugh.

Wrt to the op.

It's not so much that its unsustainable, its unhealthy! You may not feel the urge to strive for 50/50 but you should at least be conscious of the example you're setting your kids.

Personally I couldn't maintain a relationship with someone that thought nothing of me doing all the donkey work. Even if they made me feel appreciated shock

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 00:03:56

Do you change the light bulbs? Or find out what is wrong if there is a power failure or whatever, and change a fuse if required?
Would you put up a shelf if it was needed?
Would you buy a 20kg bag of bird seed and carry it to the car then get it out of the boot and put it in the garage when you got home?
Would you clear the drains with rods from the trap outside if they got blocked?
Would you climb up ladders and cut off branches from a tree that was getting out of control?
Would you carry heavy suitcases or bags?
Do you wash the windows outside even if it involves going up a ladder?

As a man I'd feel completely ashamed of myself if I let my wife do any of these jobs. Nor would I ever leave it to her to take out the bins.
What's wrong with your husband that he doesn't want to do that?

The one thing that is fantastic about you is that you make the effort sexually, dress up and so on, and presumable give him a good sex life. If my wife cared enough for me to do that I'd be in heaven!

HerrenaHarridan Wed 11-Dec-13 00:10:47

The pp however shock

Good grief! Ashamed if your wife changed a light bulb.
It's hardly fucking rocket science

wtf did I just read???

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 00:14:47

It's dead easy unless sometimes it can be a little awkward if it hasn't been changed for a while. But anyway, my wife never needs to do it and never will while I'm there.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Wed 11-Dec-13 00:15:09

Do you change the light bulbs? Or find out what is wrong if there is a power failure or whatever, and change a fuse if required?
Would you put up a shelf if it was needed?
Would you buy a 20kg bag of bird seed and carry it to the car then get it out of the boot and put it in the garage when you got home?
Would you clear the drains with rods from the trap outside if they got blocked?
Would you climb up ladders and cut off branches from a tree that was getting out of control?
Would you carry heavy suitcases or bags?
Do you wash the windows outside even if it involves going up a ladder?

What is really interesting about those jobs, and true of all of the fucking 'blue jobs' is that they are specific and infrequent. Unlike cooking, cleaning, tidying, getting up with children, laundry, bathing children, drop off and pick ups which happen every day or every week. Ladies, we got screwed, and not in a Scooby Doo type of way.

Twinklestein Wed 11-Dec-13 00:15:37

I'm sure your wife does care about you, even if you have some very odd ideas, not dressing up as a French maid doesn't mean she doesn't, I infer she wants to have sex that she enjoys...

woodlandwanderwoman Wed 11-Dec-13 00:16:06

OP you're happy, good for you. I disagree with pp that by asking there is an implication you're not because I think that reevaluation (in your case maybe reaffirmation) is just as important when things are going well as when they are not.

Nothing is forever, you may feel differently about what you do in the future and it sounds like your husband knows how much you commit to the family and will be the first to support you.

Great post from sixth above, very true and great to hear the other side!

I say good luck to you and be proud of yourself.

woodlandwanderwoman Wed 11-Dec-13 00:21:36

MrsT you are very right about the infrequency!

ScrewedUpJune Wed 11-Dec-13 00:21:57

I've not read through all the responses OP but I would like to ask you one thing:

Are you happy - truly happy with your husband/father of your child/children?

HerrenaHarridan Wed 11-Dec-13 00:22:06

Hear hear mrs terry

Ill trade a 50/50 share of night wakings, nappies and cleaning for a 50/50 of light bulbs, shelves and lugging heavy things.

And then we can talk about sexy clothes

tinmug Wed 11-Dec-13 00:23:16

I actually feel bad for your OH, being such a passenger in his own life. He seemingly does literally nothing.

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 00:25:01

I infer she wants to have sex that she enjoys...
Your inference is wrong. She has no interest in sex at all. But anyway, makes no difference. I'd never want any woman to carry anything heavy or go up ladders if it's at all awkward, or change a light fittings (not just the bulb). I'd feel like a wimp if I let her do things like that. I'd think most men feel like that surely?

Most men would feel that.

Because, sadly, most men are still mysoginistic wankers.

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 00:27:21

And many women are cold hearted bitches.

Twinklestein Wed 11-Dec-13 00:28:12

No sex is the sex that she enjoys... (I rather thought it might be).

My husband would think I was a wimp if I couldn't climb a ladder or change light fittings... (So would I).

tinmug Wed 11-Dec-13 00:29:35

I'd never want any woman to carry anything heavy or go up ladders if it's at all awkward, or change a light fittings (not just the bulb)

Why?

Genuine question.

Please explain to me whether it's my vagina or my breasts which prevent me from climbing a ladder etc. I work on a building site and I do all of the things you've mentioned and much, much more. Is my uterus going to fall out onto my steel toe-capped boots any day now? Or are you just a pathetic gender essentialist arsehole?

And many women are cold hearted bitches

So?

scallopsrgreat Wed 11-Dec-13 00:33:33

And many women are cold hearted bitches. I can't imagine why your wife wouldn't be interested in you. You seem so nice hmm

Twinklestein Wed 11-Dec-13 00:33:45

I don't think that most men are misogynist wankers or that many women are cold-hearted bitches. Who are y'all hanging out with?

Is there a point to that statement or were you just helping us poor ickle women drive home the point of inherent misogyny?

Cause, you know, women can't drive.

tinmug Wed 11-Dec-13 00:34:14

And many women are cold hearted bitches

Hehehehehehhehehehehehehehehehheehehehehehehehehehheheheheh
hehehehhehehehehehehehehehehehehehehhehehehehehheheheheheheh

twinkle sadly, I do think there's rampant misogyny in today's society.

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 00:36:35

"(I rather thought it might be)".

Why? It makes no difference. Never did.

Tinmug - if you actually wanted to do all the heavy jobs, well, that's fine! I wouldn't keep you back from enjoying yourself. You could get on with some heavy digging later too.
I'd happily get on with reading a book or working with Adobe photoshop at the computer.

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 00:38:21

Or have a go at baking a nice cake smile

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 00:41:17

You seem so nice

And waltermitty missus sounds just wonderful!grin

MillyChristmas Wed 11-Dec-13 00:42:47

Flumox ...are you a Surrendered Wife per chance ?

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 00:43:01

Or maybe scrubbing the kitchen floor, loos, changing the nth pooy nappy of the day.

Why limit yourself to just a few of the womanly chores?

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 00:43:55

That was in answer to frenchsixth's quest for a womanly chore instead of all that backbreaking lightbulb work.

bunchoffives Wed 11-Dec-13 00:46:05

Oh shit. I'm single. No wonder it's so dark in my house confused

I could change a fuse when I was an 8 yr old girl

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 00:46:15

To answer the OP's question- I can't really. I'm a little confused about what a "perfect wife" is. From your list it looks rather then same as "domestic service" to me. With sexual favours thrown in. Wouldn't be my bag but if you're happy with the arrangement why does it matter what anyone else thinks?

woodlandwanderwoman Wed 11-Dec-13 00:46:30

I don't think French is saying women can't do those things, it sounds like he is saying that he wants to make a contribution to the home and that's the type of jobs he takes care of.

Doesn't matter what the actual job itself is, could be entirely the other way round (wife does diy and husband cooks) but his point is that cooking, cleaning, nappies blah blah are not the ONLY things that keep the world turning and just because he may not contribute 50/50 to this work it doesn't mean he contributes nothing.

In my situation my DH does all the things French said because I can't be arsed to after going everything else! He is also here for 70% less waking hours than me so that makes up for the infrequency of occurrences.

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 00:47:26

Reminds me of that lightbulb joke.

How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a lightbulb?

It is funny and not at all -ist, I promise!

tinmug Wed 11-Dec-13 00:47:33

*Tinmug - if you actually wanted to do all the heavy jobs, well, that's fine! I wouldn't keep you back from enjoying yourself. You could get on with some heavy digging later too.
I'd happily get on with reading a book or working with Adobe photoshop at the computer*

confused Um... ok?

I am a labourer and if the weather is nice I'll be working outside tomorrow, including doing some digging.

Are you trying to make a point? I'm not stupid, honest - I have a degree in PPE from a good university but I genuinely don't get your point. PS I can sort of work a computer too.

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 00:49:16

Scrubbing floors and cleaning loos would be nothing to me. I worked as a cleaner in offices and did menial work in a hospital for a while. There's nothing to scrubbing floors for God's sake!

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 00:49:17

Answer: "Don't you worry about me, I'll just sit here in the dark!"

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 00:50:59

It's not bloody hard no! Neither is any of the other tasks you mentioned. It's all housework. It's boring and repetitive and dull and it's never, ever finished.

Unless your other half is 3 ft tall or disabled I can't see why you feel you're sparing her by doing those infrequent chores.

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 00:51:50

You just get down on your knees with some soap and water and a brush and cloth and get going. Same goes for cleaning toilets. Easy! But not, if you're a lazy bugger.

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 00:52:57

When you could in fact be sharing them 50-50 or according to ability/ preference I mean. (DH does the building of sheds and things in this house- if I had to do them they would stay up about 3 minutes before being blown down) Everything else (I literally can't think of anything else we don't both do) is shared.

Twinklestein Wed 11-Dec-13 00:53:08

How many feminists does it take to tell a joke?

One to tell it and another to say 'I don't find that very amusing'.

woodlandwanderwoman Wed 11-Dec-13 00:53:13

confused oh dear French, you lost my support with that floor comment too.

Scrubbing floors can't possibly be as demanding as changing a light bulb.

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 00:53:16

french, you said it.

Twinklestein Wed 11-Dec-13 00:53:31

(I'll get me coat)

woodlandwanderwoman Wed 11-Dec-13 00:55:26

Anyway, IMO every wife is perfect in her own way smile

Night all.

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 00:56:08

a good university

I hear this often. Would you care to name a bad one?

bunchoffives Wed 11-Dec-13 00:56:42

Frenchsixth, you've got some really predictable stereotypical views that must be very tedious to live with.

And OP, I don't really get why you started this thread. If you're happy fine.... but it all sounds 'unsustainably' boring to me. Particularly making the 'effort' biscuit

woodlandwanderwoman Wed 11-Dec-13 00:57:08

Can we get back on topic?

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 00:57:30

Well, French, I was at Cambridge. In a mixed college. Where were you?

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 01:01:10

I never said I wouldn't do daily tasks as well, did I? Of course I would. As it happens I do practically all the shopping, for example. And always make my own breakfast and wash the dishes afterwards. No big deal, so don't bother being sarcastic.

tinmug Wed 11-Dec-13 01:03:23

How many feminists does it take to tell a joke?

One to tell it and another to say 'I don't find that very amusing'.

Oh gosh that is just brilliant! Gosh how clever and funny you are! I mean really - whether you're a woman or a man, you are very very insightful and funny! Ha ha ha! I mean now you say it, I can see it: feminists are, quite simply, women without a sense of humour! I mean, women wanting the vote, and feminist campaigners achieving it! (waste of fucking time if you're a bird OP, let's face it! wink ) Women not wanting to be raped by their husbands, and feminist campaigners achieving that - what a load of fucking nonsense! Why weren't they spending their time perfecting their fellatio techniques?

Humourless? Yeah. Yeah. Kind of like... you know... anyone who's being treated like an arsehole for no good reason. Suicide is always an option - never forget that smile xxx

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 01:03:44

Wow! All hail the man who makes his own breakfast and can wash up the dishes!

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 01:05:46

Well, French, I was at Cambridge. In a mixed college. Where were you?
Probably working in a hospital, cleaning blood off surgeons' boots and various other menial tasks at that time.

You still didn't actually name a 'bad university'. Have you a problem with answering that?

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Wed 11-Dec-13 01:07:45

John Moore's. That's a shit hole.

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 01:07:58

London Metropolitan.

tinmug Wed 11-Dec-13 01:07:58

a good university

I hear this often. Would you care to name a bad one?

How do you mean, you hear it often?

tinmug Wed 11-Dec-13 01:09:26

You still didn't actually name a 'bad university'. Have you a problem with answering that?

You didn't ask her, you asked me.

tinmug Wed 11-Dec-13 01:10:40

Wow! All hail the man who makes his own breakfast and can wash up the dishes!

shock

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 01:12:11

I know, right! What a catch!!

tinmug Wed 11-Dec-13 01:15:12

<suspicious>

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 01:17:11

A few too many exclamations marks there, aren't there? I'm just so totally in awe of this grown man who can make his own breakfast *and^ wash the dishes. hmm

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 01:18:17

Thank goodness my DH is not a tosser and also believes in equality. He wouldn't be my DH if he didn't.

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 02:29:27

Not everyone thinks badly of London Met - this student, for example:

^hi! I'm a former London Met student and like sjvie said despite the disorganization of the uni, I had a really good time there. the courses were really good and the teachers (most of my teachers anyway) were excellent, real down to earth, and I was able to to go to them for anything.
I know all the Masters students were able to get good jobs in their field right after graduating, one of them who was a Communications Major just came back from working for a news company in the Middle East for a year.^
Be careful of stating your opinion as if it were a fact.

frenchsixth Wed 11-Dec-13 02:31:37

A duchesse would never marry a tosser. Not unless he had money and land maybe?

LuisCarol Wed 11-Dec-13 02:43:18

I'd think most men feel like that surely?

No

Grokette Wed 11-Dec-13 04:11:42

Who needs 20kg of birdseed? <unhelpful>

nooka Wed 11-Dec-13 05:22:27

In my mind no one is perfect in any case, but also taking on all the childcare functions prevents the other parent from having a full relationship with their children. So I'd see that as not 'perfect' at all. Plus the issues about setting a very poor example for your children with such an unequal household set up, where the father is more of a guest than a fully participating member.

I don't understand why any woman would want to behave like this, or why any self-respecting man would put up with it. I doesn't seem like a healthy dynamic at all.

flummoxed the things you say your dh gives you are of course great, but they are not an alternative to getting off his butt and contributing to running his household or parenting his children. Being generally nice to your wife and children should be a pretty normal expectation in a relationship after all.

OK. Well it's lovely that you're happy but you're not modelling a great role for your children - either of you. Are both your DCs girls? In some ways that's not so bad - it's boys who are destined for a tense marriage if they are raised to think housework is nothing to do with them and it's all done by pixies. But your girls may want careers - even demanding ones - and they're likely to put themselves under immense pressure if they think of the housework as being totally their preserve.

Joysmum Wed 11-Dec-13 06:23:38

I think it's great to want to be the best you can be in a marriage. As a SAHM i do a lot at home too, but then he does a lot too, just not in the home and is paid to do it. In times gone by I was the main earner whilst he was only only £55pw as an apprentice.

I like to dress up and have a good sex life, he makes sure I'm satisfied every time and u feel sorry for people for whom sex isn't as exciting as it always was.

I like to make him happy and simplify his life as much as possible, he likes to do the same for me.

Could I remain as a SAHM for ever and only get pleasure from making others happy? No! And that's why hubby pushed for me to get something for me and I have my horse. It's also why I take on buy to lets and (to the horror of that previous male poster no doubt) do as much if the renovating as possible myself. I devote myself to making my marriage happy but I'm not perfect. My hubby also devote himself to making our marriage happy. We both do do in our own ways. Just because I do the majority of the home stuff, doesn't mean he does fuck all and doesn't mean I do everything or am the only one working hard to have the best marriage we can. I don't see the need to bleat on about equality or look for inequality because we've got ours right, well most if the time at least.

Mimishimi Wed 11-Dec-13 06:55:54

I'd hate to be working full time and doing all the housework. Sadly I've seen lots of women in this situation and it has never been sustainable over the long term - something always gives, sometimes the marriage, often her health or that of the children (eg turning to fast food because no time to cook). If both partners are working full time, housework should ideally be split in half or outsourced.

LineRunner Wed 11-Dec-13 06:57:01

I'm with Grokette. That's a lot of fucking bird seed to keep in a garage.

Thants Wed 11-Dec-13 07:10:51

That's sad that your husband doesn't parent your children op.
Do you work?

sorry if my previous post sounded disrespectful to any sahms, even in those circumstances i would still expectmy husband to participate, just obviously the balance will be different.

is there something we are missing here? like, for example, are you quite controlling about how things are done and your husband just stays out the say so as not to annoy you? or is he just lazy and happy to sit back whilst you do everything?

either way i dont think its very healthy for you, and also as an example to be setting to children that after a long day at work mummy serves daddy. i know sahms whos partners come home and roll their sleeps up and get on, these families have a balance where the woman does more at home, but the children do not see their mother serving a man and runninh herself into the ground while a man sits on his arse watchinh tv.

personally, whilst im someone that works hard in and outside of the home and probably do a bit more in both arenas than most, my career is the pivotal factor in ensuring a healthy balance is shared by everyone in the family. if you work from home do you actually do all the work you set out to do each day or is this compromised by having to get that load of washing done etc? would you consider working outside the home where you would also benefit from adult conversation and perhaps seeing other women who enjoy hobbies and nights out with their friends?

RelaxingWithUncertainty Wed 11-Dec-13 07:15:01

OP - some key questions:

What is the split of work if you are on holiday - camping/self catering?

What do you think will happen when you both retire?

How much time away from the DC do you get? Do you ever leave them for the weekend and if so can your DH function in the house without you?

Does he ever put DC to bed, bath them, read to them?


Talk us through a typical weekend. What is he doing when you are cooking/clearing up/researching activities etc?

Lazyjaney Wed 11-Dec-13 07:22:55

Your friend is probably dissatisfied with her own life and jealous of you OP.

Some people love getting all domestic, some don't, as kids grow up things change so what works at 6 months doesn't at 6 and 16

Diagonally Wed 11-Dec-13 07:24:46

Mimishimi wtf do you think all us working single parents do!

Of course it's not unsustainable to be working ft and doing everything around the house.

Whether it's right when there are two adults living in the home is another thing entirely.

If I had a partner then of course I would expect them to pitch in 50/50.
Anything else would feel like servitude and I would not want my DC to witness an unequal balance in terms of the division of labour in a partnership.

ShriekingGnawer Wed 11-Dec-13 07:28:37

I bought a 20 kg bag of birdseed last week! Much cheaper than small bags. I managed to carry it to the car all by myself. and then my tits fell off and I grew a penis

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 11-Dec-13 07:37:21

Is it sustainable? Depends how long you can take the strain.

I wonder why you do this, though. What's your self esteem like? How much time and freedom to pursue your own needs and interests do you think you deserve? What kind of a relationship role model did you grow up with? What kind of a relationship role model do you want to give your kids?

DeckSwabber Wed 11-Dec-13 07:47:10

I think your 'perfect wife' stance is actually very selfish. You are not sharing.

Does your husband get to feel any satisfaction in being a parent, or do you want all the sense of achievement and the credit?

And what about your children? It gives a bad message to both sons and daughters. They may struggle with grown-up, equal relationships.

Lweji Wed 11-Dec-13 07:50:26

Maybe she knows something you don't and is afraid to tell you.

Lweji Wed 11-Dec-13 07:54:15

And will you be one of those MILs who just needs to be involved and "help" their children?

I do wonder if you are doing it from a position of selflessness or actually selfishness.

CaptainHindsight Wed 11-Dec-13 07:59:38

fbiscuit

NearTheWindmill Wed 11-Dec-13 08:01:05

I don't see why the OP has taken such stick. My DH does the garden and the bins and loves us. I do pretty much everything the OP does although the DC are older teenagers now. I have about 5 hours of paid help a week and work full-time. I am out of the house for about 10 hours a day; DH is out of the house for about 12-14 hours a day. I go to work because I want to and I think it is important for women to have a life outside the home. I was a sAhm until our youngest was 5.

Our individual contributions to the family unit are in my opinion equal. Add in the fact that I earn one tenth of what my husband earns (possible even less than that now) and do I have any regrets for supporting him to the hilt - especially when the DC were small years and years ago when he was building his reputation. No, I don't. He has loved us, been faithful, is kind, is moral and I still love him as much as I did on the day I married him.

Interestingly our son who is on a gap year and nearly 19 and who has matured hugely in the last six months turned round to me yesterday and said "mum I really realise now how much you and dad have really really cared for me and xxxx". Worth it; yes of course it is.

custardo Wed 11-Dec-13 08:05:58

op - if you are happy, fuck everyone else

Lazyjaney Wed 11-Dec-13 08:07:28

Yes, how dare you enjoy your life OP, your DH is clearly failing you by not making you miserable and resentful. That's abuse, you know. Time to Leave The Bastard.

(Agendas out in force here I see...)

Ledkr Wed 11-Dec-13 08:15:51

near let's hope though that he doesn't expect looking after in his future adult relationships.
Genuine question btw as I've 3 adult sons who's partners are very grateful they can look after themselves.
With the op I'd be very worried about the children's future relationships as a subservient woman is hard to find these days so conflicts could occur.

As an aside I don't think I could have sex with someone I waited on hand and foot, it would seem weird.

petalsandstars Wed 11-Dec-13 08:24:18

Sorry OP I posted on your other thread and recognised your name. There is no way that the behaviour of your DH can be classed as kind, patient and prioritising to your children especially the younger one. Ditto for the loving towards the baby happy to take her when she is seeking comfort from you.

I'd listen to your friend.

If you do all that and he still behaves as described previously then I would seriously consider ltb as he really has no incentive to be any different and the children will resent him

purrtrillpadpadpad Wed 11-Dec-13 08:37:26

Op, aren't you the one with the DH who will come up to where your baby daughter is crying and reaching for you, and he will pick her up and take her into another room and shut the door? She hates having her nappy changed so he bears down on her going 'time for your nappy change' until she is crying and clinging to you? This is the same DH who has previously plonked your youngest DD on you when you were having reading time with your eldest, because your eldest isn't his, and he didn't like the closeness?

That thread was still going on the weekend but two days later you start a thread basically saying you're living the dream and he's great with the kids? I'm glad your situation has turned around but how did you get it to change so much so fast?

Ah, I know that thread.

Had a feeling there was something else going on here.

Hmmm, the plot thickens

LineRunner Wed 11-Dec-13 08:54:00

I remember that thread.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 11-Dec-13 08:55:20

Just searched your other threads.

Unsurprisingly, you have a history of abusive relationships. Your OP on this thread is the OP of a self-abnegating, enabling, people-pleaser.

I hope your light bulb moment comes that gets you working on your self esteem. Yes, it's nice to do things for others. But you deserve to be your own champion, too.

Bonsoir Wed 11-Dec-13 08:57:24

"With the op I'd be very worried about the children's future relationships as a subservient woman is hard to find these days so conflicts could occur."

This is quite a powerful argument (albeit one where some emotional blackmail comes into play). If someone suggests that you, as mother, should be running around after your sons, you can retort "I don't want them left on the scrapheap of the marriage market." IME the point gets through quite fast grin

Ledkr Wed 11-Dec-13 08:59:45

See! This type if relationship could never be healthy.
How could it be?
How sad. Op is minimising both the nastiness of her dh and her own feelings by trying to be "the perfect wife"

Ledkr Wed 11-Dec-13 09:02:02

bonsoir as a grandma it's also very moving to watch my ds with his ds and see what a hands on and terrific father he is.
Makes me very proud

RhondaJean Wed 11-Dec-13 09:02:37

To back up a little bit.

Was the implication that 20k is a heavy weight?

Really?

No wonder so many women have poor bone density!

milkingmachine1 Wed 11-Dec-13 09:02:40

What?! I didn't read the other thread, but from what's been written above the husband sounds awful.

OP - please explain, are you in denial about his behaviour?

Surely being in a relationship and having a family with someone is about sharing and working together as a team. If you're doing it all it doesn't leave room for your partner to enjoy spending time with his children, building a nice home environment etc.. Also, as previously said, it does set a bad example for your children.

MissScatterbrain Wed 11-Dec-13 09:07:00

confused Earlier this week, you said that you love the idea of being a family but that the reality just isn't working. So why say you are happy?

And where are you?!

Leavenheath Wed 11-Dec-13 09:16:04

I've seen a few threads over the years with OPs like this and I can't recall it ever turning out any different. It always emerges that the women concerned are in abusive relationships, have lost hope of change and have turned into surrendered wives in a vain attempt to ward off further abuse. Obviously that never works either and in fact the situation becomes worse, because the woman keels over from exhaustion, can never shake the guilt that her children are being damaged by the man she won't leave and that the version of a 'relationship' her and her misogynist partner are modelling fucks the kids up for the rest of their lives.

Usually at some point the surrendered wife gets dumped for an OW anyway and this is a shock because these women believed all the bollocks about perfect wifedom having magical anti-infidelity powers...

OP your friend is a shrewd cookie.

She knows that you're fooling no-one.

She also knows that no man worth having wants a partner like this, or wants to opt out of parenting to the extent your husband does.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Wed 11-Dec-13 09:21:19

Oh op, you are clearly contradicting yourself thread by thread.

Which is it then? You're the perfect wife leading a very happy life or not?

Fwiw- being the perfect wife has never been an aspiration of mine.

Lancelottie Wed 11-Dec-13 09:21:30

In my experience, starting with a 7lb baby and doing daily toddler-hefting for years makes most of us very capable of heavy lifting.

Birdseed? Pah!

Just read your other thread. This is all bollocks isn't it?

flummoxedbanana Wed 11-Dec-13 10:32:37

Like I said on the other thread: everything is great between the two of us, everything is great between the kids and I, everything is fine between the kids and him - it's just when the four of us are together that we're struggling because of dh and dds relationship.

He isn't just sitting around being idle. On a weekend for example, as someone asked, the dcs come into our bed for cuddles and stories as they don't wake up early. Dh takes dd to make a cup of tea while I shower, I get dd1s clothes out so she can get dressed then take dd2 so dh can shower. I get her nappy changed and dressed then make breakfast for when he's finished in the shower. He plays with dd while I wash up, we both take dd1 to dancing then we usually walk the dog followed by going out or home for lunch. We then usually go swimming after dd2s nap and then home for tea, which I cook and wash up. Yes, he could do it but him seeing the childrenis more iimportant in my opinion as they see me when he's working.

purrtrillpadpadpad Wed 11-Dec-13 10:33:56

I just don't get it.

Leavenheath Wed 11-Dec-13 11:01:33

Everything isn't fine between the kids and him. They prefer it when he isn't around. You also communicate with your husband through your older daughter, rather than directly. He's also the second relationship you've had with a man who wants you to put him before your relationship with your children. All of this is on your other thread.

Then to complete the picture, there are other threads about you stalking his ex-wife's facebook and you being worried about her claiming a relationship has been re-kindled with him, plus another about him only just getting round to legalising contact with his other children.

I'd say your friend is worried that you've landed yourself with another wanker who although possibly not the Grade A tosser your ex-husband was, is an A- tosser instead.

That happens.

Your other threads indicate this has crossed your mind too.

Listen to your inner voice, love. Stop all this pollyanna stepford nonsense and recognise it for the denial it is.

Talk to your friend who sounds like she's got a bit of nouse and your best interests at heart. Talk to a counsellor if you want an objective sounding board other than this one.

Most of all be authentic.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Wed 11-Dec-13 12:21:40

Agree with leavenheath (again)

Your situation sounds miserable and you sound all over the place but as long as you act like a stepford wife you think it will be ok.

No it isn't sustainable.

NearTheWindmill Wed 11-Dec-13 12:21:57

Obviously a lot more going on here than indicated initially. But, Ledkr why such a snippy comment? Where did I say my children couldn't look after themselves. Care is about feelings as well as doings imo.

My DS has come from a stable, loving home where his parent love and respect each other. Where the DC have been supported and set firm boundaries, where right and wrong is defined, where hard work and an orderly home is part of our lives. I think he will be extremely well equipped to establish good relationships later.

Ledkr Wed 11-Dec-13 22:50:41

near I tried hard not to sound snippy, I'm sorry if you thought I was being.
Apologies.

i just read the other threads (or at least some of them). to be quite honest the op sounds fucked up and attention seeking (im sorry, but it does; several long posts with attention grabbing headlines and inconsistent content, just a bit weird), and her husband a shameless bully.

sometimes the help required by people who start these threads isnt the type of help they are asking for, and that required is professional.

iv seen threads like this before: a lot of people will invest time and emotional energy trying to help, go round in circles as the op wont provide real answers to anything, and the thread will be shut down as emotions get out of control.

wordyBird Thu 12-Dec-13 00:55:09

Agree with Leavenheath.

From your other thread it's very clear your DH is not kind and patient with the children. He sounds like a bully: and your DD is trying to tell you so. Everything is not great, sadly.

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