Some people view relationships as transactional. They only do something if they think they’ll be rewarded for their efforts.
Unfortunately, One woman is married to a brute who refuses to help with the kids or house unless he gets something from his wife in return.
The Family Situation
The Original Poster (OP) came to Reddit seeking advice on how to handle her upset husband. They’ve been together for over ten years and have two very young children (4 and 1-year-old). She’s on extended maternity leave while he works a 4-10s schedule, giving him three days off a week.
She Does the Bulk of the Housework
OP shared that she does most of the housework while raising two kids.
“I cook dinner, put the kids down, clean the kitchen, clean up the toys, and then it’s 9/930, so we relax for a bit and go to bed,” shared OP, describing an average night.
She added that he helps occasionally but typically lays on the couch all night, only moving to eat the dinner she cooked for the family.
The intense workload and two small kids make finding time for intimacy difficult. OP’s husband expressed his dissatisfaction with the situation, but she told him she’s overburdened as it is.
“I say if he helped out more at night, I would have more time to relax and be able to get into a mood to want to do it,” she explained.
A Week of Illness
OP shared that her entire family has been sick for weeks. She had strep throat, and then everyone caught a stomach bug.
Between two kids’ constant vomit and diarrhea, OP barely had time to clean herself, much less handle the chores around the house.
And a Clean Kitchen
OP begged her husband to help. She spent the day cleaning vomit and washing clothes, so she asked her husband to unload the dishwasher while she put the sick kids to bed.
He agreed, going above and beyond by loading the dishwasher and cleaning up the kitchen.
Husband Demands His Prize
Proud of himself for doing one extra task, OP’s husband asks for intimacy, ignoring her vomit-covered shirt.
“I’m so confused since he knows I’m dizzy, barely eating, covered in puke still, and he also has a stuffed nose which is a new illness,” reported OP.
And Throws a Fit When She Refuses
Of course, OP didn’t feel in the mood. Any reasonable person would understand, but OP’s husband decided to throw a fit.
“We get into an argument about how I always have an excuse no matter what I say the issue is,” she said, adding that he threatened to cancel the family trip they had scheduled for the following week because it would only offer OP another excuse to refuse intimacy.
OP Doesn’t Know What To Do
A confused OP came to Reddit seeking advice.
“I’m sort of at a loss,” she said. “I don’t know how else to explain to him that I’m not an object, that I have more needs than just a clean kitchen, and that I’m literally covered in puke.”
Husband Needs to Ditch Transactional Mindset
One Reddit user advised OP to discuss her husband’s transactional view of relationships. She doesn’t owe him if he does her a favor.
Relationships are about balance, compromise, and helping each other, but the husband views assistance as tit-for-tat.
He Needs To Step Up
That OP’s husband only “helps” OP when he wants something is also telling. He works forty hours a week and thinks that’s equivalent to her 24/7 job raising kids and caring for the house.
He needs to step up in a big way and do more around the house. It’s not “helping”. It’s contributing an equal share.
His Threats Are Telling
The fact that he threatened to cancel a highly anticipated vacation is telling. He seems to think that since he makes the money, he gets to control their entire life. It’s a dangerous attitude, and OP should think long and hard about whether this is a one-off or a symptom of a deeper problem.
Therapy in Order
No one wants to tell OP to throw away a decade-long relationship, especially when two young kids are in the mix.
Parenthood is complex, and the husband may express his stress over it in unhealthy ways.
At the very least, however, they should seek counseling. His behavior is borderline abusive, and if he can’t see that and shift his ways, divorce may be the only viable option.