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How much support from OH is enough?

(12 Posts)
givemeababy Fri 16-Oct-15 11:04:59


I am really struggling with feeling angry towards my OH and i don't know whether or not i'm being mad (pregnant) or reasonable.

I don't feel as though i am getting any support while i am pregnant. Before we went into trying for a baby, i talked about how i didn't want to have another child (i have one 9yo ds with ex) because i had found it so difficult and lonely last time. He assured me that this time it would be different and he would be there to support me. We've had a really long road to get here (5 miscarriages) but finally i am 4 months.

He is a very sweet man but really lives in his own world. He doesn't do anything to actually ADD to my work load but i really want him to do things to make me feel looked after. He does his own washing, clears up after himself and isn't drinking alcohol at home unless we have people over, all of which is great, but surely normal? We both work 5 days a week. I organise the cleaner, the childcare for my son and of course the schedule for my son... which is fine, he's my son, but having a kid can feel a bit like another job on top of my actual job (packed lunches, play dates, homework blah blah).

What my DH is not doing is thinking, oh maybe i could offer to do the shopping, maybe i can strip the bed and wash the towels without being asked, maybe i can offer to look after my step son for a few hours so she can have some time off at the weekend; maybe i can buy her some flowers, maybe i can offer to give her a foot massage, maybe i can arrange childcare and take her on a surprise date... Maybe i can bring her tea in bed or tell her i'll get up and do step son breakfast and she can have a lie-in...

Am i asking too much? he does offer to make dinner in the evening when he gets home after a long day (i rarely want it as no appetite in evening and he's cooking for himself anyway) , and he does clear up afterwards. he will make lunch for me on the weekend if i ask, and do the clearing up.

am i being spoilt princess if i complain?

AuntieStella Fri 16-Oct-15 11:09:50

Whether you would sound spoiled will depend on whether you've ever told him what you want him to do.

Which is, in this case, to start thinking about what needs to be done. It's sometimes the feeling of it all being down to you that can be the worst. There's a book called "Wifework" that might be an interesting read for you. Because although irksome that he hasn't even noticed the imbalance in the thinking (and implied responsibility), as he hasn't, it will need to be drawn to his attention.

Houseworkavoider Fri 16-Oct-15 11:12:11

No, I don't think you are wanting too much. I would have said 'not asking too much' but it dosent seem that you have asked him to step up.
Communication is the key. If you don't, you will end up feeling more and more resentful.

Doje Fri 16-Oct-15 11:12:56

If he's anything like my DH, you just need to ask him to do these things. My husband will do anything I ask (within reason!) and do it happily, but won't always think to do it by himself.

I go with the premise that if I haven't actually asked him to do something, then I can't be cross if he hasn't done it.

AnnaMarlowe Fri 16-Oct-15 11:15:50

You need to talk to him about it and ask for what you want.

Annarose2014 Fri 16-Oct-15 11:19:18

I have to say I never expected flowers or a foot massage....

I'm stumped as to why you're so angry with him. It sounds like he's not that bad at all to me. He offers to make meals and is fairly tidy.

If you want him to do laundry and shopping just ask. It sounds like he's do it.

Thurlow Fri 16-Oct-15 11:22:20

You don't sound like you're being spoiled to ask for that (except maybe the flowers and foot massage, depending on what's normal in your relationship!)

The thing is, though, he might not realise. We know how tired or rubbish we feel when pregnant, but unless you tell him, he doesn't know. He probably thinks he is supporting you. If he's not had a pg DP before, then he might not realise that you need the support to be practical, rather than emotional.

As a PP says, it's not really fair to be cross with someone if you haven't really explained what it is that you want. Just tell him the truth, that you'd like him to do a bit more around the house that he normally does.

givemeababy Fri 16-Oct-15 11:42:48

Thanks everyone. That's really helpful. I know he will do whatever i want (within reason!) if i ask, he's not a shitbag, he's just not very thoughtful - what it comes down to is that i don't want to always have to ask. All the same jobs need to be done all the time in any house, and i don't want to be the one that does all the thinking about it and decides who does which job. i already have to tell my 9yo old what he has to do every day, should i have to tell my DH too? I don't want to be in charge of everyone. We have had this conversation before. We have it about every 6 months. I thought it would change when i got pregnant. And yes, i do want him to think about what he can do to make me feel better (cup of tea in bed! lie-in at the weekend etc.) because i am pregnant and knackered, and he's not. Maybe i am a bit princess-y

Thurlow you're right - i think he does think he's supporting me. I think he would say he's thinking about me all the time. It's just I can't see it if it's just thoughts in his head rather than practical help.

I will have a chat again. i feel less angry after this already. i was cross because he kept me awake last night texting and watching telly in bed while i was trying to sleep. Which didn't seem very thoughtful.

AnnaMarlowe Fri 16-Oct-15 11:51:40

It's not thoughtful, so you say 'I'm tired, I need my sleep and you are disturbing me - lights off or go elsewhere.'

For the rest of it just agree some specific long term responsibilities.

simplydivine05 Mon 19-Oct-15 19:20:36

I think men in general just don't think like women. My other half gladly helps with everything around the house (and we're not expecting yet) but sometimes I have to ask. He's more in the habit now of asking me what needs doing but he still needs telling! The only exception is that he cooks most days while I work and he always vacuums at the weekend. He will also have "boys" time with my ds (his step son) unprompted. Anything else I ask him to do.
I think you need to speak up rather than silently seethe. If you speak up and he still doesn't help out, then you've got an issue.

Brummiegirl15 Mon 19-Oct-15 19:39:00

Flowers and foot massage???

To be fair to him you are feeling resentful but you aren't actually telling him. He's not a mind reader . If you want the light and tv off or more doing, then tell him!

I'm 25 weeks pregnant and exhausted. I've had a long road to get here too with countless losses before this one. My DP is currently working crazy hours on a work project.

In that he'll come home about 7pm
and then be on emails until 1am and up again at 6am and the whole shebang starts again.

Today he's on day 8 of about 15 and is getting home at about 9pm and up again to go to work at 6am. I'm not seeing him and feel pretty much on my own. When he is here, he's either buried in work emails or so exhausted he's flat out on the sofa.

But I'm also upset that he's desperately under pressure at work and I'm doing fuck all to help him because I'm so tired. All I can manage is to cook him some dinner and wash and iron his shirts. Our house is a tip.

But it's not long term and DP's salary is the thing enabling me to have a full year off and not worry about going to back to work until I'm ready.

So all I can do is be there for him, even though I'd do anything for him to be here with me rather than bloody working

sepa Mon 19-Oct-15 19:46:33

I think you need to ask rather than assume. Like others have said, men don't think like us, don't get annoyed by things we do etc.
I think expecting him to do these things is expecting too much. Asking him to do these bits is fine.

Foot massage and flowers may be too much. Your not that far into pregnancy at the moment so things can still be done by yourself.

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