A pregnancy will lead to massive lifestyle changes. Creating a baby is no easy feat, so diets, work schedules, and sleep schedules all need to shift accordingly. Typically, if both parties involved in the pregnancy are on board and understand that it's a difficult transition to build a human eyeball in a stomach, the 9-month endeavor can go smoothly. If not? Well, then we get a situation like the one below.
Reddit user, u/Anonwife139, raised a few eyebrows when she told her story entitled:
My (30f) husband (36m) has gone on a chore strike
While strangely uncommon for a husband to go on a chore strike, perhaps it's for an understandable reason. Maybe it's to help redistribute the wealth or maybe he has a big project at work coming up and needs to really buckle down. That wouldn't change the fact he's a jerk, but still. It wasn't that, though, as Anonwife139 described:
My husband and I have been married for 6 years. We both work and have usually done a decent job of dividing the chores. I am 7 months pregnant with our first child.
Since becoming pregnant, certain chores have become really tough for me. For example, I have a lot of trouble doing the laundry because I can't bend/lift like I used to. I also struggle with things like cleaning the bathroom because I have to get down on the floor. The doctor has recommended that I cut way back on physical activity as it is.
I sat down with my husband and told him that we need to redistribute the chores and he got very upset. He said that I'm using the pregnancy as an excuse to be lazy and that he shouldn't have to do my chores. I suggested that we swap some chores because his usual chores (cooking, doing dishes) would be much easier for me to handle. He refuses to listen and said that he likes his chores and doesn't want to do mine.
Now I am trying to keep up with my responsibilities but have been falling short. My husband decided that since I'm not doing my half of the chores, he won't do his. Now I feel like I have to do all the essential housework because he refuses to take care of himself, me, or the house. With this on top of the job and the pregnancy, I'm not sure how much more I can handle. How can I address this and help him see how unreasonable he's being?
TLDR my husband refuses to swap chores to accommodate my pregnancy and now won't do chores at all
People most definitely had words for her layabout husband.
Let The Professionals Do Their Jobs
Well, I guess if I were you my next step would be to bring him to an OB/GYN appt and have the doctor explain why the chores need to be temporarily swapped. But wow OP. I really, REALLY wonder how your husband is going to handle midnight feedings and such.
Best Start Talking It Out Now
Good heavens, how's he going to be once you've actually given birth and need time to rest and heal?
I'd insist on marriage counseling, starting right now. For better or worse? Sickness and health? What the actual f-ck is he thinking?
Take It From Someone Who's Been There
My (soon to be ex) husband said almost those exact same words to me - that I was using the pregnancy as an excuse to be lazy. This was in the last couple weeks of pregnancy and I was miserable. He never did very much to help around the house or with our children. I spent another 11 years like that (there were other issues in our marriage, but this was a big one) and it was awful. Don't be me, OP. Set firm boundaries, go to couple's counseling, and if things don't change, leave. I'm sure it's scary to think about that since you have a baby on the way, but I was a single mom with my first child and it was easier than having my second child with my husband. Be strong- you got this.
Maybe A Big Change Is What You Need
Hey Op, do you live close to your parents or family? I'd suggest given your husband's petulance and lack of support that you move home for a while.
Cuz chores aren't an employment contract. They're the basic things you do to maintain your home and doing more because your spouse is pregnant and can't keep up is an absolute basic thing to expect from your husband.
Given his petulance, it sounds like you two need counselling. But given his current behaviour he's going to say nothing is wrong.
Not to mention physical labour is a bad idea at certain stages of the pregnancy. Basically, that's very little you can do about your husband at the moment (if at all). So move out and go home. Get some help from family or your parents or friends.
And hopefully this is the short, sharp shock he'll need to raise you guys need to talk to a relationship therapist and actually work at it.
(personally his refusal to do chores to begin with in the relationship would have made me dump him all those years back. Ugh. But well I assume there are reasons you want to stay married)
Walk A Ten Feet In Their Shoes
Maybe he should strap a 15-20 lb weight around his stomach and then try and complete his chores!
Fatherhood is going to hit him like a ton of bricks.
Edit: I was told 30 lbs would be more accurate.
Have The Signs Always Been There?
We both work and have usually done a decent job of dividing the chores.
hes always been touchy about the housework. It took a lot of time for me to convince him to do the chores he has now.
How can I address this and help him see how unreasonable he's being?
At this point? By telling him he can either go with you to a marriage counselor or a divorce lawyer.
He's not just failing to do his chores through negligence. He is actively refusing to be a partner, or a member of your family. It honestly sounds like he doesn't care about you, or the pregnancy, at all.
Honestly, what was your relationship like before you got pregnant? Did you feel loved, cherished, emotionally supported?
Form A "Reality Check" Intervention
Time to call in the troops for a good old fashioned shaming.
Anyone from his side of the family, friends of his, your doctor, etc. They need to come together & get him to see he needs to cowboy up on this shiz.
You're seven months preggos. You're already doing extra work just by virtue OF GROWING A NEW HUMAN. He can scrub a toilet for a few months. Jesus.
Also, mother of 2 myself. I just read your post to my husband & he had some serious not-nice words for him which I will not repeat here but yeah, your husband/apparent first born is being a dingle. Call in whoever you have to to get him to see reason because what happens AFTER the baby arrives & you're stuck dealing with 4th trimester crap and TWO babies.
Find Solidarity In Those That Have FIxed Their Situations
I'm currently 9 months pregnant, found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks. Ever since then my husband has:
- done most of the cooking, dishes, and other kitchen stuff
- done almost all of the cleaning, especially anything laborious
- put together the nursery (painting, furniture, fixing the moulding, etc.)
- attended all of my ob/gyn appts with me
- run out to buy things for me when I need/want them
- generally been attentive to my needs
I'm not saying this to brag or be a jerk but because it is what I would expect a father to do. I'm carrying our son--he understands the toll that is taking on my physical and mental health. He loves me and is kind to me. Again, that seems like the bare MINIMUM you should expect from your life partner.
This is not going to get better when you have a baby in the house who cries all the time, needs feeding and changing on the hour, and deprives you both of sleep.
I strongly suggest you go to a counselor now to talk about expectations after the baby is born. And if he can't make some significant change and show some damn empathy.
The Beginning Of The End
This truly is the beginning of the end. This ball of yarn is eventually going to unravel. But, because of everything, naturally, you are going to try to make it work for a while longer. But always keep it in the back of your mind being married to someone that selfish is a house built on sand. Take every step and measure to protect yourself when it ends. Make sure you have income, a job, saving socked away, and your own separate attorney. I know you think we're all crazy for saying stuff like this.
But it is just one of those things that is obvious from a mile away but invisible when up close.
Pregnancy is hard on your body and uses a lot of energy and resources... does he debate this?
You physically can't take laundry out of the washer at this size... what's his solution?
Your doctor believes your level of physical activity is harming the fetus... does he care?
I think you should move in with your mother for now. He has escalated his "response" by going on strike. Your ONLY OPTION here (other than doing all his chores) is to show him you are also willing to escalate.
I agree with many people here who are saying marriage counseling. However, if he's been great for five years and is just now freaking out, then it's probably because he's freaking out about a lot more than chores. I bet he's the type of guy that likes routine. I would bet that he's scared of how crazy life is going to become after baby is born and this is him acting out.
This is a lot of speculation but I would bet this hits close to home. I would bring this up when you go to marriage counseling. However, he has shut down and you need to talk to someone soon. I don't think you should hit the object button though. Impending fatherhood is terrifying and I don't think everyone remembers that.
This seems like a case of you ignoring what he tells you. You shouldn't have to convince your husband to do those work, I understand if you did. But are you truly surprised that he didn't want to do any more housework? Especially when he didn't want to do it in the first place?
While you're saying he's married a lot since you met him, that doesn't mean he's anywhere near mature enough for a baby.
Simple logic says, you are 7 months pregnant, n bending over is hard. Someone who refuses to see that isn't mature.
You have a long battle ahead of you, please open your eyes and prepare yourself to take care of that baby 24/7, because you won't have the energy to convince your husband to take care of your baby with you, you'll be doing that alone and he will barely lift a finger, I've seen it so many times.
Sounds like husband plans on being a Kodak Moment Father. I hope you're ready for him to just abandon you when it comes to baby maintenance and assume that you'll still do the housework in a timely manner even though you haven't slept in a week and you're still in pain and oozing god knows what from the birth.
This is an omen, OP. Husband thinks chores are women's work and you know it. If you still want to roll with this, have your doctor tell him face-to-face.
More Harm Than Good
My mother has a lifelong hernia because my father refused to lighten her burden after she'd just had a C-section. He said she was being lazy. I was so glad they eventually got divorced because it was indicative of exactly who he f***ing was in every way.
What would a person who loved you do?