Friday, May 18, 2012

Another First

This one not really a positive.  Last night was the first time that I had sex with my husband when I really didn't want to.  It didn't totally suck but I was really not into it.  Why, because he had been inconsiderate to me earlier and I guess I carried that forward.

So this post is about some of the issues that we have in our marriage - some of the ways that my husband isn't perfect.  Since I am the author of this blog this will be my take on things - I'm sure he has his own take.

My husband and I both work full time, he physically goes to work and I work from home.  He has a job where he has to be there for 7 hours, while he is there it can be stressful, he is a middle school guidance counselor - but her rarely brings work home.  I have a job where I am a salaried employee and I am basically on call 24 hours a day.  I work approximately 60 to 70 hours a week.  I work every night with the exception of Friday and Saturday.  I am well paid and I enjoy my job most of the time - but it is hard and definitely not something that is ever left at the office at the end of the day.

Outside of work I am the one that does the laundry, does the homework, makes the lunches, takes care of the pool, does the banking and bill paying, and takes care of cleaning the house.  My husband does the outside work, except for the pool.  Basically, he doesn't seem to realize that I work as hard as I do and could occasionally use some help with homework, laundry etc.

Last night I spoke up as I had work to do and there was laundry to be folded, homework to be done and kids to be put to bed.  He did get up and help - but it bugs me that I have to ask.  It feels like he doesn't recognize that I am actually working even when I don't leave the house.  So I was slightly annoyed because I really shouldn't have to ask for help - he should be proactive in more areas.

I got the help I needed and the kids were in bed - I settled into our bedroom to wrap up some work and he starts channel surfing to find something to watch.  He settles on Game of Thrones - he has read all of these books and really enjoys them.  I know others that watch this show and understand it is really good - BUT I can't handle the violence.  I physically can't be in the room.  So I got chased out of our room so he could watch.  That annoyed me.

Our DVR is in our rec room/bar.  Every episode of Game of Thrones is recorded so he can watch at his convenience.  He knows I can't watch this show - or many others like it.  But last night, he decided to  watch it anyway and I was the one that had to move.

When it was over I came back into the room and he of course wanted some action.  I had some internal dialogue and recognized his needs above mine - felt a little superior in doing that (hey I'm not perfect - I know I am not superior but last night I was cranky and this was my rationalization.)

Still don't feel great about this - but kept the resolution going.  My husband went to sleep happy on a day that I would rather he went to sleep feeling crappy for not meeting all of my needs.  I am lucky that more than 5 1/2 months in this is the exception and not the rule.

I will, now that I am cooled off, discuss this with him yet again - it is far from the first time that we have discussed this.  I think it is a man thing - I usually put others needs before mine and have since I was little (taking care of my mother when I was 10).  He has always had to look out for himself, his mother died when he was 11.  He does what he needs to for himself and what he is asked to, but doesn't look out for things that will help others before sitting down to relax.

Okay -just a rant - I'm over it - still love my husband, still recognize all he does, still take too much on, still looking for my husband to step up a little bit more.



  1. Sometimes you have to take one for the team, maybe your husband should learn that lesson...but good job keeping to your resolution.

  2. Maybe he purposely put on the show because you were working in the bedroom rather than getting ready for sexy time:-) He knew you were irritated with him earlier so maybe this was subtle "return fire".

    1. Or perhaps he figured that in my bad mood his chances were slim so he might as well go for it!

      I'll ask him tonight - my guess is his reply will be he thought I was so into my work that I wouldn't notice.

  3. I take a slightly different perspective, based on this comment:

    "So I was slightly annoyed because I really shouldn't have to ask for help - he should be proactive in more areas. "

    Well, maybe. And when you did mention it to him, he did get up and deal with it. The GoT thing I can also understand, since you didn't make it clear that you weren't into it, and would prefer some other kind of entertainment. But . . .

    As a dude, I have to say that you really can't expect him to read your mind, or pick up on the subtle signals you think you were sending him. Those can work with other women, who are constantly aware of the subtext of a conversation as much as the content. Or with some men who are sensitive enough to be attuned to that on a regular basis -- like a real PUA is. But a husband-and-father, at home after work, trying to put the petty concerns of his day behind him, proactively leaping into action like that is unlikely unless he himself has taken the Red Pill and is fulfilling his role as Captain.

    Don't forget, as First Officer you not only have the right, but the responsibility, to call his attention to areas that need to be dealt with in keeping the ship on course. But be very mindful of just how you phrase such things, as men DO pick up on subtext and innuendo when you have THAT tone in your voice. If you had expectations of him when he got home you should voice them -- give him a list if necessary -- and invoke his aid. You should NOT get pissed-off with him because he hasn't done what you think he needs to do when you haven't made that clear to him beforehand -- that's unfair to him.

    It would be like him being pissed at you because you didn't proactively give him oral pleasure when he was clearly waiting for such, but didn't voice the idea. You might be willing to do it, and even eager, but if you don't know that's what he wants at that particular time, you can hardly be held accountable for it. And then once he does eventually say he wants it, he's pissed off that you didn't guess, and by that time the whole mood is ruined and no one wants to do anything.

    I commend you for going ahead with it anyway, but I do urge you to try to be more verbally clear with your husband in the future. If you don't like what he's watching, see if he'll change it if it means you'll sit in his lap and enjoy some in front of the tv cuddling for an hour or so before bed. More than likely he's willing to change his plans if the suggestion is made respectfully, without judgement, as a request and not a demand.

    Just my thoughts.

    1. He knows I can tolerate those things - I can't watch GoT, True Blood, Braveheart, Gladiator, and a bunch of other movies and shows with violence that is shown. I just can't handle it, he is fully aware. Yes he would have changed it if I asked but at the same time he absolutely knew and at that point I was past asking - I had too much to do to take on that battle.

      Just a perfect storm last night - I am not carrying any anger today - but worth reflection and worth a conversation tonight where I can speak rationally without going off the deep end.

      Appreciate your thoughts and perspective - please know I am often too verbal although maybe not always crystal clear.

    2. First - great blog, and serious kudos to you for taking this approach to grow your marriage and commitment to each other!

      I'm in-charge in my household (though we're not yet married), and I also perked up when I read that quote:

      "Last night I spoke up as I had work to do and there was laundry to be folded, homework to be done and kids to be put to bed. He did get up and help - but it bugs me that I have to ask."

      My reaction was similar to Ian's. Mind, I'm not criticising you at all - I really am impressed at your commitment to your plan. But how did you phrase it to hubby?

      My lovely, smart woman understands the way to get me to do *anything* is to ask in a way indicating she needs help...that I would, in a sense, be "rescuing" her from something that's causing her stress. Rather than demanding/commanding to do something that (in her mind) obviously needs doing.

      Talk about playing on my ego and sense of responsibility!

      One of the amazing things is how much of a win/win this is! She feels less stress, and cared for when I respond positively, I feel appreciated and successful...a touch of the heroic...for "saving her" from the stress.

      I have a rule in my head - when she asks for help like this, I MUST go, NOW. Interestingly, I usually want to go, because it pains me to see her stressed.

      Perspective sure is everything!

      PS...I found your blog via a link from There's some really great insight into relationship and gender dynamics over there. I also recommend Evan Marc Katz's blog - (he's a dating coach, but his blog has some really good insights too)

    3. PS.PS. I do think your hubby dropped the ball when it comes to the video thing. But maybe you both were irritated, and these kinds of things happen then.

  4. Sounds like a tough decision that you had to make. You said exactly what I was thinking - good thing this is the exception and not the norm.

    I said it on Athol's blog, I will say it here. If you find it is becoming the norm, I wouldn't continue with it. I don't want to be a detractor from your goal, but I think having sex when you don't want to once in awhile is A OK, and frankly a great thing for someone to do for their partner.

    Over time though, I think it can lead to resentment and loss of attraction.

    As an aside on the household stuff, I am a man and I have to say your husband sounds like me. My wife and I have a similar setup. I admit, I have blinders on at times about laundry etc... She gets pissed at me too if I don't take initiative and help out without her asking, and it probably bugs her more, but I honestly don't even notice it. I don't mean to walk right past it, I just don't think of it.

    Not saying that to make you feel better or trying to tell you you don't have a right to your feelings, just trying to offer a male perspective from my experience.

    1. In 21 plus years I have been in the resentment and loss of attraction - so I totally agree with you there. Last night I was under stress and in a bad mood - that played into my feelings which is why I felt like I should perform my wifely duties.

      He isn't in the dog house - getting things out on the blog helps me process and I always appreciate the thoughts from other folks.

  5. Late to the party here, I know. Just wanted to say that I am in the same boat with "I wish he would step up and help more." We started out with the man-does-outside-chores and woman-does-inside-chores model, but that's a ridiculous standard when I have three preschool kids at home and am expected to be primary caregiver.

    We've had so many conversations about him helping out more, it's ridiculous. But of course, it's always "I just don't think of it" like Ponyboy above says. It's such a stupid excuse - how long have you been a husband? A father? You *still* haven't figured out that things need to be done? You *still* don't pay attention to when your wife's having a busy week/month/life? Get your head out of your you-know-what already!

    So, I am right there with you. It's tough being the Captain (not the First Officer, as Ian above said) and steering the ship. It's even harder when the lazy guy sitting there lets you do all the work but still thinks he can claim the captainship.

  6. I'm with you - I have 3 sons and I am hoping that I can teach them to 'see' the laundry and be proactive. I have to take a little of the blame here as I may be an enabler - most of the time I tend to clean and fold, etc when I am home alone during the day. They come home and the 'cleaning lady' has it all done for them. Lately I have been really good at calling folks back in to clean up after themselves.

  7. "Outside of work I am the one that does the laundry, does the homework, makes the lunches, takes care of the pool, does the banking and bill paying, and takes care of cleaning the house. "

    Holy crap. We have a pretty even split of household chores (except for the compulsive disinfecting, which is more her OCD than anything that needs to be done, and that because she cannot be satisfied that it has been done unless she's the one who does it) . . . and she's a stay-at-home-mom. But I do the outside work (we split garden maintenance) and get on the day-to-day housework (laundry, dishes, Swiffer the floor, vacuum the rugs, keep things picked up and tidy and put back in their place) every day before anything else.

    My wife also provides very clear indication of what she doesn't want to watch. But even if I knew she hadn't wanted to watch it in the past, but she wasn't indicating displeasure at it in the moment, I'd take that as a possible "change of heart", or at least assume that, for whatever reason, it wasn't a problem tonight.

    Although I've found the kind of stuff that I'd like to watch that she doesn't like to watch never gets watched. I'm pretty well attuned to my wife, and the contempt with which she holds certain things I like tends to make me like them less. Thus, I get less enjoyment from them, and usually don't bother watching them. Which leaves me more time to work out, get myself in shape, and have great sex later. So . . . coming at it with a philosophical attitude all works out. ;)