So I found an article last week that really, really, really pissed me off. It discussed a couple who experienced a role reversal in their marriage. The long-time stay-at-home-mom went back to work when her husband’s business closed and he wound up staying at home with their four kids.
I had a hard time dealing with this woman’s petulant, whiny attitude. She goes on and on about how smug she felt with her husband’s difficulty adjusting to home life with the kids as she would go to work every morning. How she’d constantly nag at him to get a job. That she was so happy being at home while her husband took care of her. How she wanted to be taken care of and missed it so much when she went to work. How she doesn’t find her husband attractive anymore because he isn’t in a suit and expensive aftershave every day.
On the flip side, he was talking about how his self-esteem and sense of masculinity just crashed. How he feels with his wife not being attracted to him. He is the one who is learning anything from this experience in how hard it is to stay home with kids.
But this woman irks me with her attitude. Entitled, spoiled, demanding and degrading. This is not how you treat your husband when he is going through a time when he feels bad enough. You are single-handedly destroying your marriage. Quit degrading him and being such a bitch and maybe, just maybe, he might get his confidence and self-esteem back. This woman has power issues. It is not about whether the “old ways” work better. It is about making it work and being a team, not one person being better or more hard working than the other, which she has always seemed to think she is. This is a man who has never gotten credit for what he does and continues to be degraded. I understand it is a tough position but hurting your partner is no way of coping.
And I’m sorry, not sorry, but if a suit and expensive after shave are the only reasons you were turned on by your husband, then you have issues. What is so un-sexy about a man who takes care of his kids? Who tries his best to make you and those kids happy in spite of the hard time he is going through?
What about if a man can’t work? I have been a housewife for about six months and love it. My husband let me walk out of my job to stay home and work on my books, which I appreciate immensely. He is hard-working and incredibly understanding. However, my hubby has been put on long term disability due to his bad knees and Marfan’s Syndrome worsening. Our doctor is sending him for knee surgery this year. He isn’t thrilled about it. He loved his job and as a team, we had a good system worked out. It’s an inconvenience, but in perspective, it is only temporary. I would rather have him be able to walk for a while longer and not be wheelchair bound before he is 35.
So I am back at work. I don’t understand what is so bad about this. Why there is such a stigma to househusbands. It depends on the couple but marriage is always, always teamwork and it is about what works for you as a team. It makes no less of a husband to stay home. No less of a man. Things happen and you deal with them as they come along. Together. With respect, compassion and empathy. He has issues even getting out of bed some mornings. It is hard to watch and I can’t imagine what it is like for him. The best I can do I is make sure he doesn’t have to do too much to strain his knees and take care of him as I can. It is a blow to any man’s confidence to have your doctor tell you that you physically cannot work anymore. If someone told me I couldn’t write anymore, I’d be devastated.
But it doesn’t mean I love him any less. I don’t see him as any less of man. In fact, it is quite the opposite. He has spent months getting up early and going to work in spite of needing a cane to walk most days. In spite of me telling him repeatedly that if he needed me to go back to work and he needs to stay home, just say the word. He didn’t admit defeat until our doctor admitted the defeat for him and handed him a doctor’s note. That is far from weakness. I admire him even more for pushing through like he has. As much as I enjoyed staying at home, it is my turn to step up as a wife and equal party in this marriage and ensure our bills get paid and we have food on the table. It is as much my responsibility as it is his. It is teamwork.
You take that on when you take those vows. It is not an excuse to become a petulant, bitchy, spoiled brat and degrade your husband the moment he hits a rough spot in his life. Men are not perfect. Men have feelings too. Men can be brought down by bitter words and toxic attitudes, especially when it comes from a woman who is supposed to love him. Respect and understanding go a long way. It is not the role reversal that is killing their marriage. It is her self-entitlement and the way she cuts her husband down simply because he did something every human being does once or twice in a lifetime: he failed. There is nothing worse when your dreams crash in around you than having a wife there who reminds you in such hostility of it every day
There is nothing wrong with househusbands. John Lennon did it while Yoko went off and worked. He stayed at home with their son, Sean, and apparently quite enjoyed it. Just because society shoves the conventional in our faces all the time, doesn’t mean the unconventional is wrong or any less masculine. If you can’t treat your marriage like a team and be an active, understanding member of your team even when things get tough or change, then you shouldn’t be married.
Full article can be found here: