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All women I know are in my situation

1000 replies

growli · 25/06/2023 13:17

Pretty useless DH. They're left to look after the kids. Called nags if they complain.

It mostly falls on them. The marriages are pretty rubbish.

I've posted here so many times about my issues with my H and my lifestyle with small kids.

I always get told I need to divorce. I get told that there are other men out there who aren't as useless with their children.

In real life, every woman I know, faces something similar. Mainly responsible for everything to do with kids and house, works full time most of the time too.

Husband works hard, but doesn't contribute to looking after the kids or household. Complains of not enough sex.

The women I know are highly educated and in successful careers. We all feel stitched up. We were told if we study hard and are in successful careers, we wouldn't end up being slaves to our husbands and children.

What happened to the men our parents raised ? For them to expect women to still be like their mothers ? Doing everything for kids and family.

Mothers and mothers in law in general ( even though they raised us to be successful career women with choices ) don't have a whole lot of sympathy as it seems a raise to the bottom and ' how much harder ' it was for them.

I realise I'm generalising

OP posts:
InSpainTheRain · 25/06/2023 13:44

This isn't my experience at all. My DP of 29 years is supportive, hardworking, was a SAHD for a while when the DCs were young and coped perfectly well, he's always done his fair share - sometimes more especially if I go away for work.

I realise that I'll be called out for "victim blaming" or similar as that's the way these threads often go. But I do think there are precautions people can take by not jumping into things too quickly, I'm aware the sounds like I am not spontaneous, but it pays dividends later.

I have always been really careful to have a few rules for myself. I have never been reliant on him financially (or anyone). I could walk tomorrow, (I've earned my own money, and always have a pot for me). We stay together because we love each other and are happy. I never assumed I'd be a SAHM and said that upfront, I said no kids if it would impact my career (he was more keen on kids than me). If I ever feel critical of him I ask myself if actually it's valid, or in fact my standards are higher or different to his in which case I back off. I would always take care to not tie myself to anyone (we are not married because I'm not keen), I'd rather be together because we want to be. Whilst I have always loved him in my own mind I assessed him objectively before we moved in together: what was his work ethic like, is he a "doer" or lazy, is his attitude to money, parenting (as far as I could tell) and religion the same as mine etc. That may seem really cold and calculating but I think it's worth really considering and not sweeping problems under the carpet under the guise of "happiness".

GG1986 · 25/06/2023 13:44

I will be making sure our son is not lazy like his dad. I blame his mother for doing everything for him and pandering to his every need.

bobby81 · 25/06/2023 13:44

I used to be one of those women & never thought I'd be brave enough to leave (some domestic abuse as well.) But 5 years ago I did it & although the divorce was awful it's all been worth it. I'm now with the most amazing DP who does more than his fair share of everything. There are decent men out there.

lankyhanky · 25/06/2023 13:44

I have an amazing husband who probably actually does more than I do with regards to parenting. We both work really hard in our jobs and both contribute to housework and bills equally. Many of my friends are in a similar relationship. A couple of my friends have married complete gits, but they would have known that before marrying them and choosing to have children with them. I'm sorry you picked a poor choice of a husband.

EbonyRaven · 25/06/2023 13:45

growli · 25/06/2023 13:27

That's easily said. It's not like we just all shut up and take it. But they just don't listen / tell you that you're a massive nag and refuse to make any proper changes.

So you're letting him call you a massive nag, and be hugely misogynistic towards you as WELL as not lifting a finger in the house?! Shock Fuck me, he's got you well trained. Rip the scales off your eyes woman...!!! This isn't the dark ages.. Women don't have to do all the domestic shit now, and they don't give up and stop asking their husband to do stuff because he calls them a nag!

Your husband sounds like a right fucking catch! Hmm

Curious to know your age. I am guessing 20s or early 30s. Because women middle aged and older would not be putting up with this shit. If my DH called me a nag for asking him to help (if he was a lazy twat,) he'd fucking regret it!

Also, I find it hard to believe that a bunch of women in successful careers, who are 'highly educated' would put up with this. I believe many women you know have shitty lazy men, but I find it hard to believe they're highly educated successful career women. No woman of that standing would tolerate such behaviour from their man.

planningnightmare · 25/06/2023 13:46

stop accepting selfish partners. you don't need to.

A lot of women are not accepting a low standard in their relationships, good article here:

Letittow · 25/06/2023 13:46

growli · 25/06/2023 13:27

That's easily said. It's not like we just all shut up and take it. But they just don't listen / tell you that you're a massive nag and refuse to make any proper changes.

Why do you put up with it though? It's not normal for a partner to talk to you like that, nor to not do anything.

MuserDame · 25/06/2023 13:46

I left knowing I would most likely be single forever and I have been, I didn't leave to go through different shit all over again though.

For whatever reason, being family scapegoat? I tend not to be assertive in romantic relationships. I got to the healed point where I was walking away from red flags but emotionally healthy men weren't looking to commit to me so... single parent it is/has been.

No regrets though. The resentment I used to feel, it was destroying me. Doing everything myself for two small dc wasn't half as bad. 16 years have passed. If I had no regrets when dc were small, I certainly don't now because I have my own house, pension, freedom, space, peace!

Don't leave hoping for a better man. Leave if you know that being single will be better than "this".

It's almost 16 years down the line for me now and the tables have turned now I feel. Maybe this is all in my own head and always was but the women I used to feel were the lucky ones, husbands who were kind, they're still kind of trapped financially. It's a reflection of my desire for independence that I see it that way though.

TheTurn0fTheScrew · 25/06/2023 13:48

I do see some of this TBH. When dc2 had a pre-reception home visit, H was there when they arrived. I was dashing back from work and was 5 minutes late. When he noticed it was raining he went to get the washing in. Cue " he's amazing!" from the teacher and TA. I had no idea the washing was out, which made them fawn even more. All for one load of washing on his day off.

People also expressed surprise that H helped run the party games at his own kids' parties, in his house. Apparently the other blokes preferred to go out and leave their partners to it.

And this is a man who I still think could be a little better acquainted with the hoover.

MrsElsa · 25/06/2023 13:48

YANBU. The expectation is that women "shouldn't put up with it" which is a nice cop out squarely putting all the load and responsibility straight back onto women's shoulders! Men doing whatever they fancy and somehow it's womens fault for not pulling them up on it, as if men aren't capable adult human beings who can spot bad behaviour, inefficient systems, inequality etc.

My DH will do things he's asked to. Sometimes he's a nasty twat about it and sometimes he just does it. But still his expectation is that I have to ask. The mental load of what needs to be done and when is all on me. It's fucking awful. Not what I signed up for. Looking into the future fills me with dread sometimes and I regret having DC - I had them I now realise because I was full of good feelings towards the future, I had hope, it would be fun to have a family etc. But 10 more years of this is like being held prisoner. So little of my energy, creativity, brain space used for me. Everything going on 1 adult and 2 kids.

Totally unfair

Emptychairdoasolo · 25/06/2023 13:48

A relation of mine I won’t say whether it’s the mum or dad, but the couple have kids. Mum is a surgeon and the dad is WFH. They both have to travel for work.

When the dad goes to work away, the mum maintains her job and does the childcare alone apart from their nanny who goes home when she gets home. When the mum is working away the dad brings family from across the country to stay with them and I think keeps the nanny for a few extra hours so he doesn’t have to do the childcare alone.

Says everything really.

HideTheCroissants · 25/06/2023 13:49

Odd because most of the women in my friendship group are in supportive and equal marriages. DH does a lot in the home (these days he does more than me for various reasons). He was always very hands on with the DC. I certainly don’t have more “load” than him. In fact he bears the financial load as I didn’t work until both children were in secondary school and now I only work part time and term time only.

purplecat1 · 25/06/2023 13:50

TightPants · 25/06/2023 13:20

Even the women I know with ‘good’ husbands carry all the mental load 🙄

This is very true. I have a good hands on partner, does a lot around the house, has the kids when I work. I can go out for an evening or away for a weekend and no grumbles from him at all. Ironically he was raised in a very patriarchal family from a very traditional, patriarchal society, but the older family members he looks up to and admires most are the women, mainly he mother and one grandmother. So maybe that has made a difference.

However the mental load is all mine!

LapinR0se · 25/06/2023 13:50

I do:
all grocery shopping
all cooking
all laundry
shopping for kids’ clothes
Making kids’ lunchboxes
organising extra curricular activities
Organising childcare

he does:
all driving
all financial and legal admin
putting out rubbish
mowing the lawn

JamSandle · 25/06/2023 13:51

Most of my married friends complain about this too. It has made me really question if I want to get married.

notsofamous · 25/06/2023 13:51

I’m in a Scandinavian country, and I don’t know a single woman who has it the way you describe. Not a single one. Thank god for that, because it truly sounds awful.

RoachFish · 25/06/2023 13:51

I was definitely in an unequal marriage and after years of dissatisfaction from me I ended it. Now I carry all of everything but it is so much easier without the frustration that comes with watching someone pretending to be oblivious to your unhappiness. Even in the relationships around me that seem equal the woman is always carrying most of the mental load. They may have shared parental leave, sick days, finances, cooking etc but it’s only ever the woman who does the extra bits like clear out the kids wardrobes/toys, buys presents for the kids friends, plans their social life etc.

Scirocco · 25/06/2023 13:52

That's not my personal experience, but it is something I see a lot. When my DH does something annoying, I remind myself how much he actually does; it's a shame that actual 50:50 parenting and relationships aren't the norm.

In appreciation of my husband, he's a genuinely 50:50 parent, with equitable distribution of household jobs too, and he's a far better cook than I am! This week has been a rubbish one for me with work and having done my back in. He didn't need me to say a word - he did everything that needed to be done and has taken DC out for the day so I can get some rest before it all begins again tomorrow.

Tandora · 25/06/2023 13:52

EbonyRaven · 25/06/2023 13:21

I'm sorry you are in this situation, but not all women have men like this. As a pp said, if you put up with it, and let it happen, and don't put any rules in place, and make things change, you only have yourself to blame. Most men are inherently lazy, and won't do anything if they don't have to. Kick his arse into shape and make him do 50/50.

This is exactly it though isn’t it? Even women who seemingly enjoy a 50/50 share (where are these unicorns except on mumsnet?) have to do 100% of the “project management” and therefore also the mental load. That’s not 50/50 in reality. Managing everything is utterly exhausting and sometimes it’s easier and quicker to do something yourself than to try to delegate- especially when you are dealing with a lazy, resistance and often tactically incompetent man.
You can hardly blame this injustice and inequality on the OP,..

drpet49 · 25/06/2023 13:53

Hothotdamage · 25/06/2023 13:20

I don't know how many women you know well enough that is their situation but it's not the case with my circle of friends .

Nor mine

Nowvoyager99 · 25/06/2023 13:53

Being single is just so much easier all round.

notsofamous · 25/06/2023 13:53

My DH will do things he's asked to. Sometimes he's a nasty twat about it and sometimes he just does it. But still his expectation is that I have to ask.

How on earth can you live like this? Why do you?


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Sissynova · 25/06/2023 13:54

This is just not my norm at all. Most of the men I know look after their children and enjoy it just as mothers largely do. Some took several months split leave, some went down to 4 day weeks to do childcare rather than full time nursery.
They all split drop offs and pick ups with their partner, they all attend ‘dad mornings’ at school or nursery.
The only people I know in the sort of relationship you describe have chosen to work limited hours and therefore it makes sense that more childcare and housework falls to them. It will never truly feel equal in that type of relationship imo even though you are both contributing.
I just refused to have an adult relationship let alone children with a man who thinks children are woman’s work.

Godawfulday · 25/06/2023 13:55

This may be the case but also if a group of friends are have a bit of a moan together about their partner it would probably seem out of place to see how good their partner is. Here anonymously it’s easier to say. The threads will reflect people that are having troubles.

A thread about how good partner has been elicits response that they should be doing it anyway or that it is insensitive or a boast to start the thread in the first place with so many struggling sometimes with DV.

EsmeSusanOgg · 25/06/2023 13:55

It might be that on forums like MN, and in general when folks are having a vent, you only hear of the bad examples.

My husband more than pulls his weight. He does more housework than I do. We both work full-time. We're fairly evenly split on school/ child minding drop-offs. We take it in turns to accompany our child to kids parties and playdates. This morning I needed more time in bed, he sorted breakfast for himself and DS and they both played for 90 minutes making Lego before I emerged (third trimester has got me hard this time round). We share bedtime duties, when DS was smaller he shared nighttime/ nappy duties.

I'm better at remembering some of the school diary stuff, and life admin. But quite frankly I couldn't ask for a better or more involved partner.

I know many people with equally good marriages. But when things are good, there's rarely reason to vent.

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