I coach women who are busy, high-powered, over-committed and exhausted. Most of them are married with children and holding down part or full-time jobs. Their husbands are busy too – they are not just sitting around watching football and drinking beer. These guys are involved with the kids, the house and the extra-curricular activities. In fact, most of the women I coach have really great men in their lives who are committed to supporting them in getting the help they need from a coach, nanny, housekeeper or assistant.
And yet, I often hear the complaint that they are not getting enough help from their husbands, or, they are not getting the RIGHT kind of help from their husbands. And for some reason, rather than talk to the men in their lives, they just take on more. They don’t want to rock the boat. They see that their husbands do so much, and assume that if he isn’t doing something it is because he just isn’t willing to. Or, they assume that their husband just is not capable of doing more. And so, they take on more, they get exhausted, annoyed and resentful. Believe me, there isn’t a husband out there, that wouldn’t like to avoid being married to an exhausted, annoyed and resentful woman, really!
So, why is this happening? Women who can lead fortune 500 companies, cannot seem to ask their husbands to pick a toy up off the kitchen floor? Where is the disconnect that allows this to persist? I have a few ideas.
First of all, women are human. Human beings like to feel that they are BETTER at something, than other human beings. Our culture supports the idea that women, in general, are better at home and family. And, because it makes us feel good, we buy into that. But why are we better? Is it just because we get the practice? If you wash dishes, do enough laundry and change enough diapers, anyone can get pretty good at that stuff.
Second, we can sometimes fall into the trap of wanting our husbands to KNOW what needs to be done. We can look around the room and see everything that is out of place and yet, our mate, can just walk right by. Is he ignoring it? Does he see it at all? Does he care? Don’t assume you know WHY he is not noticing what you notice. We are all wired differently.
If he leaves the house in a way that is messy or not the way you like it, don’t take it personally. He is not dis-respecting you or trying to tell you something when he leaves his dirty dishes in the sink or his socks stuffed in between the sofa cushions. He was simply at the sink with a handful of dirty dishes and then, he happened to be at the couch when he took off his socks. That’s it. It’s not about you.�
So, what are the solutions?
Coach Me Quick! Action Steps for a Helpful Honey!: ( The solutions may come with a slight shift in perspective)
1. Give up being an expert around the house.
2. Tell your husband what you would like him to do. Be specific. Ask him if he is willing to help in these ways.
3. Give your honey a squeeze. Tell him you appreciate him.