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Mamasteff

I need to vent a little bit about my wonderful husband.

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Thanks for giving me a place to blow off some steam.

 

He went away for three weeks to the place we formerly worked in North Africa. While it was, indeed, stressful for him - he was by himself, thinking only of himself as far as food, shelter, and rest. So, in a way, I consider it a vacation.

 

I do not begrudge him this.

 

However, he is home, and I am in some serious need of being taken care of. I cared for the girls in his absence, planned everything, kept us busy, got everything done. And today, his 4th day home, I am realizing that he is still under the assumption that he is the only one who matters.

 

Was three weeks too long? "It's 6:30, honey, we are not at home and the baby is crying. We need to get them some supper. Let's go home." "okay (turns to another sports channel at my mom's house; picks up his book to continue reading, or jumps back in the pool)". Or even better, "I'm not really hungry right now. But I might be later." Great. In the meantime we have two kids to feed and I am NOT going to make two dinners.

 

So I finally convince us all to go home, then watch as he heads into our room - to be alone?? and dd 10 does the same, while I am left in the kitchen with fussy hungry 2 yo who needs entertaining and feeding, pronto. Argh.

 

I ask dd to come help me make dinner and participate. I ask dh to come in and cut up a small snack for toddler, while I am making dinner, so it will go more quickly. The man acts like a 14 year old teenage girl (I remember being one!) Deep sighs, this is SOOOOO difficult and I am being SOOOOOO unreasonable.

 

So I made him take the girls out for a walk to the store to get eggs. So I could vent. And dinner could cook.

 

Thanks. That's all. (I do REALLY REALLY love him though. But we need to get back into we are a family and ALL of our needs and desires are important.)

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Here's the thing with men (in *general*, certainly some more more sensitive, ymmv, all the usual disclaimers). They are not mind readers. Women really are sort of mind-readers (compared to men) and pick up a lot on body language and what is unsaid. Men do not.

 

In order to get what you want you're going to need to express yourself more clearly and forcefully.

 

Not: "it's getting late and probably need to get dinner"

 

but instead: "honey, the kids are hungry, I need some help packing up because I want to be driving in 15 minutes."

 

Not: "could you help with the toddler? He's getting fussy"

 

but instead: "I do not have eight hands and dinner isn't going to make itself, please come and help by doing x, y, z. You can retreat to your man cave after the children are in bed."

 

eta: just to be clear, (points to sig line) I completely understand where you are coming from. My husband travels a LOT and it's not always to war zones, sometimes he's staying in 5 star hotels. Yet, he's always treated like a hero because he's been off doing big important things in the world and the kids and I can get lost in the shuffle quite easily.

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Here's the thing with men (in *general*, certainly some more more sensitive, ymmv, all the usual disclaimers). They are not mind readers. Women really are sort of mind-readers (compared to men) and pick up a lot on body language and what is unsaid. Men do not.

 

In order to get what you want you're going to need to express yourself more clearly and forcefully.

 

Not: "it's getting late and probably need to get dinner"

 

but instead: "honey, the kids are hungry, I need some help packing up because I want to be driving in 15 minutes."

 

Not: "could you help with the toddler? He's getting fussy"

 

but instead: "I do not have eight hands and dinner isn't going to make itself, please come and help by doing x, y, z. You can retreat to your man cave after the children are in bed."

 

eta: just to be clear, (points to sig line) I completely understand where you are coming from. My husband travels a LOT and it's not always to war zones, sometimes he's staying in 5 star hotels. Yet, he's always treated like a hero because he's been off doing big important things in the world and the kids and I can get lost in the shuffle quite easily.

:iagree:

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See, I guess I thought "Let's go home" was clear enough!!!

 

For most other women it totally would be! But I know with my husband I have to be very specific like with the "I want to be driving away in 15 minutes" and leave no room for interpretation.

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My husband goes through a similar "adjustment period" after long absences. And although I know where the other posters are coming from, with some men, you not only have to tell them specifically, but tell them several times, over the course of weeks before anything sinks in.

 

Once my dh gets into a mode, it is incredibly hard for him to change into a different mode.

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I am trying REALLY HARD to be kind and supportive, and CLEAR.

 

I even told him almost what I told all of you - that it is really hard for me to be as patient with him because I used up all my patience in the last three weeks. I need him to look around and jump in, or at least listen carefully and not ignore my requests.

 

Because I had been short tempered when kicking them all out of the house, the only thing I THINK he heard was "I am having a hard time..." and then, at least by the look on his face, it was that Charlie Brown "mwah wah, wah wah wah wah..." from then on. Oh well. I will keep trying.

 

The best thing that ever happened to our marriage was when I broke my right arm and could not cook, clean, dress myself or our (at the time) only child. He had a LOT of work to do suddenly, for 8 weeks. For the next several years I got SO MUCH help from him, because the amount of work it took really stuck with him. (Not that I'm saying I want to break my arm again... just... )

 

I was VERY CLEAR after dinner about dishes needing to be cleaned up, put in the machine, baby needed a bedtime story...

 

I'm hoping we'll get there. Soon. Or I need an extra dose of patience. Or something stronger!

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I am trying REALLY HARD to be kind and supportive, and CLEAR.

 

I even told him almost what I told all of you - that it is really hard for me to be as patient with him because I used up all my patience in the last three weeks. I need him to look around and jump in, or at least listen carefully and not ignore my requests.

 

Because I had been short tempered when kicking them all out of the house, the only thing I THINK he heard was "I am having a hard time..." and then, at least by the look on his face, it was that Charlie Brown "mwah wah, wah wah wah wah..." from then on. Oh well. I will keep trying.

 

The best thing that ever happened to our marriage was when I broke my right arm and could not cook, clean, dress myself or our (at the time) only child. He had a LOT of work to do suddenly, for 8 weeks. For the next several years I got SO MUCH help from him, because the amount of work it took really stuck with him. (Not that I'm saying I want to break my arm again... just... )

 

I was VERY CLEAR after dinner about dishes needing to be cleaned up, put in the machine, baby needed a bedtime story...

 

I'm hoping we'll get there. Soon. Or I need an extra dose of patience. Or something stronger!

 

*Contemplates breaking own arm*...breaks out the Mike's instead and hands one to you. :) :grouphug:

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You could always break your arm again! ;) I'm sure it is a rough adjustment! I hope tomorrow is a better day. I'd try again to tell him what you have told us. You are making reasonable requests.

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For most other women it totally would be! But I know with my husband I have to be very specific like with the "I want to be driving away in 15 minutes" and leave no room for interpretation.
:iagree:

 

It doesn't matter how brilliant they are (and my DH is ;)), but sometimes they just don't get it. :blink:

 

Communication is clarification. I've said this in another post. I have been working on this myself in my communication with DH. Maybe your wonderful man just doesn't realize what you are going through. I'm sure a gentle and clear conversation would help.

 

I was thinking too that after being home for just 4 days, he may need a good week to get in the swing of things again.

 

I'm glad you can vent a little. ;)

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I am trying REALLY HARD to be kind and supportive, and CLEAR.....I'm hoping we'll get there. Soon. Or I need an extra dose of patience. Or something stronger!

 

I didn't see this post in time. Well, good for you! You hang in there, and ice cream with some cookie crumbs always helps me to feel better!

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Whenever my dh is away for a period, I automatically schedule a day free for me. I let him have a day or two for jetlag and then, I go out shopping (or whatever) for the whole day.

 

I get downtime and he gets to reconnect with the kids.

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I agree...after a day or two of downtime..it's time to reconnect with the family. I'm usually pretty bold in my request lately. I leave nothing to chance. :lol:

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I used to give my husband options: Would you like to cut up a snack for the toddler or change the baby's nappy? Which one do you want to do? Pack the dishwasher or tidy the family room?

 

After a year of this he asked me to stop as he got the message

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I used to give my husband options: Would you like to cut up a snack for the toddler or change the baby's nappy? Which one do you want to do? Pack the dishwasher or tidy the family room?

 

This is what they taught us to do for preschoolers at my ds's co-op years ago. :lol:

 

ITA with other posters who recommend being very specific and firm.

And definitely take a day for yourself - you so deserve it!

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With Sylvester Stallone where he intentially breaks is arm in the POW camp? I'm thinking that would be your best bet:)

 

 

The best thing that ever happened to our marriage was when I broke my right arm and could not cook, clean, dress myself or our (at the time) only child. He had a LOT of work to do suddenly, for 8 weeks. For the next several years I got SO MUCH help from him, because the amount of work it took really stuck with him. (Not that I'm saying I want to break my arm again... just... )

 

 

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