“My husband only works and sleeps. What do I do?”
A healthy home consists of two people who come together to contribute toward building a home they can call theirs.
When I say “make contributions,” I do not mean only financial contributions.
I am also talking about a home where both partners realize it belongs to them, and they make efforts to build.
They also recognize that the kids belong to them, and they create time individually to nurture and raise their kids.
A home is where both partners make the time to take out the trash, clear the dishes, and do other things to keep their house clean, running, and in good shape.
A marriage where one partner, usually the man, works and sleeps while the other partner, usually the woman, is left to take care of the kids, clear the dishes, cook, and do every other chore is not a healthy marriage.
It is not so because it is not favorable to one partner, and the partner burdened with house chores does not have time to relax and rejuvenate.
If you are a woman and you find yourself in an unhealthy marriage where your partner only works and sleeps, you are likely to feel one or more of the following:
1. You feel exhausted.
Contrary to what many think, nurturing and caring for the kids and doing house chores is a full-time job.
Many times, the women burdened with this responsibility also work full-time or part-time, yet they still have to take care of the home in the evenings.
It’s natural to feel exhausted.
2. You may begin to resent your partner.
Relationships grow when both parties have their needs met.
In a marriage where your husband works, sleeps, and leaves you to do the house chores and care for the home, you will feel exhausted, unloved, and unappreciated.
If these feelings persist, you may discover you resent your husband and that he has begun to irritate you.
3. You may start to withdraw from your partner and feel emotionally distant.
If your partner works, returns home, and sleeps all evening and night while you are responsible for preparing dinner, taking care of the kids, and other chores, the implication is you have no time to spend with each other, catch up on the day, and bond.
With each passing day, even without realizing it, you grow apart and distant from each other, and with time, you may come to the point where you feel like you two are strangers in your home.
4. You may feel cheated.
Who would not?
I mean, this is a family you two started and vowed to build.
Now, it seems as if your husband has the time of his life while you are left to take care of the family that belongs to you two.
Other feelings may cloud your mind when your husband persists in his actions, but you need to know that however and whatever you feel is normal.
It does not mean your feelings are right or wrong.
It simply means you are human, and your feelings are worthy of attention.
My Husband Only Works And Sleeps: How To Handle Your Husband
If you find yourself with a man who only sleeps and works, here are five ways to handle him:
1. Stop nagging or criticizing him.
If you want something done by a grown-up man, adjust how you give orders.
Do not criticize the little he does if you think he did not do it to your taste.
While you can bark orders at children, and they will run and obey you in a hurry, this does not work with adults.
It is not even the best way to motivate someone and get him to do what you want him to do.
There must be no threatening, no pointing fingers, and no arguments.
These are not healthy ways of coping with his attitude and will only make him more adamant about not working.
2. Talk to him to understand him.
Listen, there are many reasons people do what they do, and it is not really because they want to hurt you or cause you pain.
Your husband may have come from a background or had an upbringing where he was not allowed to participate or help in the house.
He probably was taught household chores are for women and that providing for the family is for the man.
You may even discover that he longs to help but does not know how to start or how best to offer his help.
But you will never know, and you will never truly understand him if you do not ask, if you do not talk to him and if you do not try to understand him.
So talk, talk, talk.
While you talk, let him know how you also feel about his attitude.
Be honest and kind, and you will get the best out of the conversation.
3. Let him do the chores he prefers.
Depending on how your conversation with him went and how willing he is to start assisting in the house, start by giving him the choice of chores.
Do not tell him which chores to do.
Instead, let him choose the chores he will do in the house.
It is a more collaborative approach, and he is likely to commit to getting the chores done when he chooses them than when you tell him what to do.
Remember, this is a start, and there is a likely chance he will pick up more chores as he gets more and more comfortable.
4. Do not micromanage him.
As women, we cannot help being supervisors and telling people how to do what they do, especially in our homes.
Sometimes, when a chore is done contrary to the way we do it or the way we want it done, we supervise, criticize or demand that it gets done in a certain way.
If you need your husband to participate and help around the house, then drop that attitude.
Understand that your husband is a unique and separate being from you and will not do things exactly as you do.
Instead of demanding he completes tasks like you, let him use whatever process or method works for him.
5. Appreciate him and be positive.
For the small chores he performs, appreciate and praise him.
It is not really about the fact that he did some chores, no matter how small.
It is about recognizing his effort to help you and make you happy.
So, be appreciative of his efforts.
6. Be patient with him.
As a grown woman, your mom may have trained you and taught you how to keep your home neat, nurture the kids, take care of them, and do other chores while your husband never had such an opportunity.
While he makes efforts and learns, be patient with him and be kind.
No pressure, no criticism.
7. Get help.
If you have tried talking with your husband, but he would not listen, if he gets angry whenever you bring up the topic, and you cannot seem to get him to understand you, feel free to seek the help of a relationship therapist or marriage counselor.
They can help you to understand each other and come to a compromise.
I believe you cannot change an adult, but I also know you can talk with an adult and bring him to the point where he decides to change his behavior and do better.
Your husband is a grown man, and if you focus on changing him, you will be frustrated.
But if you apply these tips and are patient, you can lead him to the point where he decides to stop working and sleeping and do better in your home.
And if nothing works, focus on yourself by doing the little you can per time.
If you can afford it, get some help by outsourcing tasks.
I mean, paying people to do some household chores like cleaning the whole house, ordering meals instead of cooking.
Just do all you have to do to make things easy on yourself.
Remember you have to take care of yourself.
If you don’t, who will?