He’s off on a 3 1/2 hour bike ride and I’m at home getting mold off the patio furniture and packing up “clutter”. What’s wrong with this picture?
We’re moving in about a week to our new home, but I’m not quite sure why I’m saying “we”, when I’m actually doing all the work. I decluttered to stage our current home to put on the market. I packed up items that we don’t need to use now, which means they should probably be thrown away or given away. I cleaned the house and decluttered the countertops for showings and open houses. I sat with our two pups in a local motel while the house was being shown. I maintained conversations with our realtor and attorney. I arranged for the mover, have done all the change of addresses, have found a consignment person, etc…etc…etc…
No wonder I’m exhausted, waking up in the middle of the night, stressed over will we sell the house and wondering what I’ve forgotten to do and will it rain on moving day. Guess who’s sleeping soundly? I can’t remember even being asked if I could use any help. Seriously.
I gave him ONE thing to do last week – call the audio/video guy about what our needs will be in the new house. When I asked if he contacted him, guess what the reply was? NO! So, I waited a few more days and got, “I left a message. I’ll try again tomorrow.” It’s 2 days later and I’m afraid to ask…Oh, I forgot. He did declutter his triathlon gear when we were getting ready for the open house. Of course, he did that – not going to let me touch it, because he knows I know the meaning of declutter!
When I finally mentioned this to my husband, all I got was a smile. Not even an acknowledgment that this was indeed the case or a thank you for shouldering the burden. A smile… So, I pressed on and finally got, “What do you want me to say? Why should I worry, you do enough of that for both of us. Besides, I trust that you everything is taken care of. That’s who you are.” Okay, the last part was nice, but I’d rather have the actual help than kind words.
I was at an event last night and mentioned this to some friends. Shocker! They were not surprised at all and said it would be the same in their house. While it was very sad to hear, I did find comfort in our common bond. One even said that everyone thinks her husband is just the best because he’s so nice, which he is, but is of no help at home. But is this the way it has to be?
I’m really not sure how to change the situation. If I keep bringing it up, I’m afraid it will cause a big conflict and solve nothing. I know from past experience, the more I nag, the less positive response I get. Am I resigned to the “when one spouse does all the work syndrome” or is a compromise possible?
Does this sound familiar to anyone else out there? Who’s got some good ideas for a shared work household?
Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub and LifeDoneWell co-founders and contributes to multiple blogs. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include traveling, real food, the environment, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.