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Feminism: chat

Ways that men "check out " of family life

255 replies

Whatwouldscullydo · 19/12/2021 11:19

Inspired by another thread where its apparently unreasonable to expect someone to stay and help on Xmas day and wanting them to do so is controlling, it got me thinking of all the ways in which partners , very often male partners, check out of family life

We see many threads on this also

We have- hobbies. The ones that seemingly involve alot of time and/or expense. Often involve smoking or drinking or getting dirty and smelly so inevitably upon return showers etc are needed before they can hug or pick.up.a child.

Luxury poos. Never is it ok to wait for u. You must wait for them by any means necessary. Strange how even bodily functions can be used to assert dominance or unavailability.

The " I've been at work all day" excuse. We all know the house cleans itself. The dinner miraculously appears in the slow cooker and the kids can walk several miles to school by themselves even in reception.

The " we can't afford the work " excuse. Usually followed by a day off fir them to do their hobby.

The " you have the car" clause. Because buses don't exist.. nor do trains . I mean how did i manage before I got the car?

The falling asleep on the sofa method. This is a particularly frustrating one because fir some they honestly believe their presence in the house is enough to be considered to be contributing.

And last but not least the " I don't know where anything goes/how to get there/ I don't know anyone / the kids prefer u to do it" method used to excuse no one putting washing away or getting home work.done while you are working.

Feel free to add any more

OP posts:

Plinkplonk1234 · 19/12/2021 11:23

You're not wrong at all on those.


TheBermudaTriangle · 19/12/2021 11:25

Absolutely - to your final point - being deliberately crap or not even trying to do something they are not interested in eg nappy changing, baby feeding.

It's so tedious when you hear them whine about, "oh but you are much better at it than me", as an excuse for them to check out and leave you to either fix what they have done, or just do it yourself.


Whatwouldscullydo · 19/12/2021 11:31

I've thought of one more.

The creating of obstacles.

Such as not wanting to take toddlers into the mens ( toddlers obviously within the permitted limits re members of the opposite sex in toilets ) , there being nowhere ( allegedly) to change a nappy. Or the kid apparently hates the bus/train/buggy. As if these aren't issues we have all dealt with daily without any of the fuss it seemingly requires

OP posts:

onedayoranother · 19/12/2021 11:43

Have to give my late husband credit as he didn't do most of those. Two exceptions- he sometimes thought reading the paper and simultaneously watching the cricket was ok when spending time with the kids, rather than actively engaging with them; and one memorable easyJet flight where he thought it perfectly fine for me to have two kids under five while he sat alone, rather than one each (and certainly not him having both)! In fact that did happen quite a lot - it was me with both or at most he with one, rarely him with both (he did take them both swimming most weeks however).


Buytoomuchonebay · 19/12/2021 11:46

God this is my dad to a tee
He’s 72 and doesn’t know where his socks are kept,let alone what a washing machine is

Not a chance would I put up with this
My partner isn’t perfect but he pulls his weight

Best laugh is my parents had 4 of us-dad took us to the allotment four times my whole childhood to ‘give your mother a break’ and once lost two of us!


ThisIsStartingToBoreMe · 19/12/2021 11:46

My ex husband used to work away all week leaving me with 3 kids under 5. Fair enough, I coped.

He used to come home at the week-end and busy himself with stuff for him to do. Including going to the barbers. I used to ask him to take our son with him for a haircut and he used to say "the barber doesn't cut kids hair on a Saturday". I said, "he does cut kids hair on a saturday, he just doesn't do kids prices, they have to pay adult prices (£2 more, big deal). After a lot of arguing about this he eventually took our son to the barbers one day.

Son came home in absolute tears because his hair looked like a mushroom. God knows what my ex must have said to the barber. Bastard. I should have divorced him 10 years before I did.


DDUW · 19/12/2021 11:48

This reply has been withdrawn

Message from MNHQ: This post has been withdrawn

Athomewiththehales89 · 19/12/2021 11:48

I wouldn’t buy presents or cards for anyone including all of our families and friends so you are choosing to as I wouldn’t be bothered if they had nothing 😂


Samedaysame · 19/12/2021 11:50

My ex could not vacuum because he didn't know which way the pile on the carpet was meant to go


Dozer · 19/12/2021 11:51

Think most of your examples concern out and out crap fathers/partners.

Just quietly, constantly not doing stuff (eg cooking, domestic work, school related admin).

Claiming DC should be able to do X,Y or Z independently, with no coaching.

Working very long hours in paid job.

Gardening - when beyond the quick essentials.

DARVO when this is brought up.


FindingMeno · 19/12/2021 11:55

Not doing the grocery shop, so apparently cooking is tricky because they don't know what there is.

Not signing up to school emails so they don't get that responsibility.

Not dealing with any late night pick ups /dramas if they're up early for work.

Seeing any daughter problems as womens stuff so they're exempt from helping.


FissionMailed · 19/12/2021 11:59

I'm just going to say it...
I hate the 'hobbies' excuse.
I don't give a shit if it's Fishing, cycling, golf, jogging, gaming or any other hobby they use as an excuse.

Fishing always has to be done for several hours, sometimes over night, often entire days.

Cycling is always training and days out cycling or trips away cycling.

Even gaming, locked away in a room,.or taking over the living room, sitting staring at a screen to avoid interacting.

Ground rules for any partnership, hobbies are for free time, time after necessities are complete, work, household chores, family time etc are all necessary and should be put before hobbies.


Comedycook · 19/12/2021 12:03 DC are older so theoretically I can have long showers but I'm so used to thirty second showers because of when I had young DC that I still have very short showers. I just think of everything I could be doing during that time instead. Also my quick showers means the bathroom doesn't get too steamy and everything soaking wet. Dh has ridiculously long showers and afterwards we have to use the window vac to dry the dripping tiles. I think it's male entitlement.


Slowchimes · 19/12/2021 12:08

You've left out the garden shed op! Smile


Whatwouldscullydo · 19/12/2021 12:12

Gaming drives me crazy. Xp would game for hours. You'd assume it was OK cos he was home and well surely they'd help if needed.

Famous last words. Cooking dinner and trying to do washing whilst an 18m old toddled about climbing furniture with a partner " just about to deal with it" was fun.

The and wire u the cash style of parenting. A real joy...

OP posts:

RJnomore1 · 19/12/2021 12:18

I know the thread you’re talking about.

I agree with your comments by and large btw but I do think that in many cases women are creating and facilitating these situations.

I wouldn’t put up with any of that shit you describe for two seconds. What I do have though is a relationship with an adult where if he agreed to go do something for 90 minutes and be back at x time I could trust him to do that. I could trust him to pitch in and do his share of the work the rest of the day. I could trust him to parent his own children while I did what I needed to. I could trust him not to disappear for half hour for a poo, to shower in a decent amount of time, not to do a crap job or make my life awkward.

So while it’s a man issue, and I realise I’ll get roasted for saying this on feminist chat 😬 we need to raise the bar in what we do. Why facilitate this shite. Why tolerate a relationship which doesn’t have the very basics I spell out above. Why live with someone you can’t trust to balance his and your life and where his actual bodily functions are an issue.

I’d rather be alone.


Whatwouldscullydo · 19/12/2021 12:30

Unfortunately I did find that out the hard way. I did eventually end it. Its hard work doing the thinking for other adults all the time.

Unfortunately often you don't discover these things until you are in the situation where its much harder to get out. Particularly the loss of self confidence and of any kind of life that is maternity leave.

That had a bigger impact than I could possibly have imagined.

Its also a very slow creep. So much so you don't even notice at first. Then by the time it becomes obvious to un undeniable amd un-ignorable degree Its several years down the line.

I am.grateful for the fwr section of MN tbh it's woken me up to many things. Without the realisation I wasn't going crazy ( I mean as seen on the other thread who the hell objects to someone taking a shit right) I would probably either not have noticed or felt so shit about myself I just didnt give a crap any more.

Lockdown for ne was this stark realisation that take away the hobbies, take away work, take away the tiredness and the daily stresses of school runs etc you still end up doing it all by yourself.

Its not the hobby or work.etc thats the problem Its them. The rest is just a plausible excuse/attempt to justify being shit

OP posts:

Clymene · 19/12/2021 12:36

Thank you for starting this thread. I was really disappointed in that thread by the number of women who think it's controlling to call out fathers checking out of family life. Or even worse, that women should be careful of saying anything because they and they family will be on the receiving end of emotional abuse.

For many women, this behaviour from men only starts when they have children. So by that point, they are too emotionally/financially invested in the relationship to walk away easily. But they know it's an issue. It's why so many of them know that they shouldn't risk rocking the boat.


Fritilleries · 19/12/2021 12:39

Nobody has mentioned the constant phone usage in front of children when they're in charge of the children.


RJnomore1 · 19/12/2021 12:41

@Whatwouldscullydo I get that, the creep. I kinda get why men do it too when they get away with it, who doesn’t want an easier life suiting yourself. I’m not sure what the solution is, we definitely need to get girls self esteem higher in the first place, perhaps that would help.

While we keep on making men’s lives easy they are going to keep on accepting it. Can you get electric shock toilet seats with timers? 😁


RJnomore1 · 19/12/2021 12:42

@Clymene I get terrible frustrated by all the threads where women are contemplating or have given up their financial independence too.


Whatwouldscullydo · 19/12/2021 12:42

Yes rocking the boat is exactly it.

I mean who among us hasn't gone to town/shops and bumped into a family member who proceeds to say how wonderful it is that then dad is home taking care of the kids. Single mothers r the scum.of the earth with their benefits and council houses but by God a man is a Saint If he's a single dad.

There's also that permanent underlying feeling of dread and fear that once you make the break and stop being the facilitator, will they see much of the dad at all. And of course who is it dealing with the anger and upset from the kids.

The feeling of everything feeling like you are training a puppy. Good boy, have a treat you took the kids to the park...

OP posts:

Whatwouldscullydo · 19/12/2021 12:43

Electric shock.toilet seats. Grin

Damn u data..before u could just turn off the wifi

OP posts:

RJnomore1 · 19/12/2021 12:44

As I get older I am gobsmacked by the number of men I see who act like overgrown toddlers without shame. Even in public in front of complete strangers.


Nailsbythesea · 19/12/2021 12:48

The mental load check out of not knowing any important dates or time school ends etc or the time the football starts for their training etc the long detours on the way home to pop and do errand or get petrol.

The doing one small task like tiny bit of diy and making a huge mess. I remember my ex spending an entire day putting up a blind - left drill and screws all over the bloody place (with crawling babies) left dust everywhere, he put it up it took me an hour to clear and tidy away and he wanted a round of applause and sit down and a beer for his ‘hard day on a Saturday’. He sat down and the bloody thing fell down. The following day I put 4 blinds up myself that were still up 7 years later - did I get a round of applause and excused from diy for the next 6 months - nope! But he expected it.

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