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Normal division of housework

Gottagetthrough posted 3/15/2021 08:40 AM

Im a SAHM. Wh has a demanding job. He resigned summer 2020 due to a fight with OW2, and has branched out on his own. Hes working a lot but not the 90 hrs he says

Yesterday he had anxiety, crapped himself in bed, washed the sheets and spent the whole day ( until 6:30 pm) in bed

I took my kids to a party (it was Covid safe with masks, in a large open area and with people from school that my kids are around anyway... plus my kids get covid tests thru school)

Due to covid and finding an acceptable safe, space the party was an hour away. This meant i had to find something to do in a new city with my toddler (we walked and ate snacks )

Got home, showers, then worked on a diorama for one kidís class. This kid has some learning disabilities so i has read the book with him over two weeks. I helped him on his project, made (a quick) dinner and took dog out. No help from wh

He comes in kitchen that is full of art supplies and dried clay on the floor. Complains about the state of the house. Texts me later that night basically saying im a failure at my ďjobĒ because the house is a mess. I told him my job was not to clean up after him (he takes off suits and literally leaves them crumpled on the flooor )

He said it is my job as a SAHM. At that point i blocked texts. We sleep in different rooms .

My question- my house is a mess. I love art and let my kids paint all the time. Im ok with couch forts and Lego projects in progress all over the house. All i ask is that they dont eat in their room and true messes be cleaned up (ie, food or clothes on the floor)

Wh and I both grew up in spotless homes. My mom is a type A personality who never goes to bed with dishes in the sink. She works her butt off.

MIL lived in a multi generational home with her grandma, mom, aunt, and family is down the street until about 3 years ago. (Aunt who owned the house died so Mil moved to a small home alone) So there was a ton of help, with many people to act as baby sitters, cooks, cleaners. Plus MIL hates mess and doesnt allow stuff like finger paint

I see why my house is cringy for wh, after growing up with a spotless home. HOWEVER- he doesnt help with the kids or mess. He could have babysat the toddler yesterday but did not. He doesnt get groceries, do dishes, etc. when j grocery shop, i have to take the toddler with me bc he refuses to babysit his own child.

How much do those of you who have had a SAH parent in the home do? Either you are the SAH parent OR you are the working parent

[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 9:15 AM, March 15th (Monday)]

This0is0Fine posted 3/15/2021 10:06 AM

We both work.

I just want to say, no matter the division of chores, I would never call watching or raising my own kids "babysitting". Do you call it babysitting when you do it?

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 10:06 AM, March 15th (Monday)]

zebra25 posted 3/15/2021 10:14 AM

Live how you want to live in your house with your kids. Don't listen to or worry about comments he makes.

If I am remembering correctly from your past posts he has made it clear he does not want to participate in being a family so he does not get a say.

Don't drive yourself crazy expecting anything different from him.

Keep doing what makes you and the kids happy. Sounds like it was a nice day.

WalkingHome posted 3/15/2021 10:37 AM

I have never seen a mother refer to her child as "this kid"...


Are they not your biological children? Are they his children from a prior relationship?


Your post has a high degree of emotional detachment from your children and your husband. Why is that?

It feels robotic and slightly dismissive...why tell the world that your H pooped himself in the bed? That's kinda sensitive and what if he needed to come on here for support, might be humiliating for him...but you did it so easily and so effortlessly?


Bigger posted 3/15/2021 10:57 AM

Your question is a very typical and ďnormalĒ one in relationships.
HoweverÖ IMHO itís not as normal or typical if you consider in what forum you posted.
Are you two separated, divorcing or divorced?

If itís in-house separation is there a separation agreement in place? Is it clear what the purpose for the separation is? Iím thinking this isnít a sustainable environment and you need to move on Ė with or without him.

Division of labor? WellÖ SAHM or SAHD does not equate to one doing all the housework AND the raising of the kids. If you are doing in-house separation then maybe it might be an idea to already create a custody-schedule of sorts. Like you might see to the kids weekdays (enabling him to work) from 6AM to 8PM plus do the housework but that he has the evenings and nights for the kids plus every other weekend. He might as well get used to it Ė even if it might make him crap his bed.

ibonnie posted 3/15/2021 10:58 AM

WalkingHome, have you read any of Gottagethrough's other posts or are familiar with her story at all?

Edited to add:

If you've read any of GGT's other posts, you would see that she's constantly doing things for and with her three children.

I don't have a lot of sympathy or empathy for GGT's mentally ill, serial cheating, verbally abusive WS. If he wants help, he needs more than SI's forum can offer.

[This message edited by ibonnie at 1:07 PM, March 15th (Monday)]

Gottagetthrough posted 3/15/2021 11:39 AM

Hey WlakingHome! Thanks for the input. I do believe im very emotionally detached from my husband, however i am not from our kids. I guess i called kiddo 2 ďthis kidĒ in writing because in my mind i have 3 kids and im differentiating from kiddo 1 and kiddo 3.

Regarding the pooped in bed- im just flabbergasted that happened. (Thank goodness i sleep in the guest room) My wh would never come on here for support. Heís a narcissistic cheater who doesnít empathize with me or people at all for that matter and only apologizes to me when he realizes i am leaving. I am staying for now for financial reasons and to get enough of a backbone through therapy to dump his ass. Hes told me for years that im fat, lazy, insane, no one would put up with me... until OW 2 in 2019 i thought we could work things out and rug swept a lot. I am very numb to a lot.


Bigger- there is a separation agreement. I have sole legal and primary physical custody of the kids. He has agreed to supervised visits at my discretion. This is due to his bipolar disorder and bad choices in the past. As of now, heís safe to watch the kids while i grocery shop. 10 years ago he was not.

This is just a way for him to keep me down and questioning my
worth. I realize that. But it still pisses me off. And i do wonder how much other families split household chores. I agree to a point the lionís share should be mine, but things like taking a toddler grocery shopping EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. is too much.

[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 11:47 AM, March 15th (Monday)]

tushnurse posted 3/15/2021 12:16 PM

You do realize that if you lost that 200lb's of dead weight no one would be there to criticize you, and your parenting, plus your kids wouldn't have the constant negative energy walking on eggshells that you are dealing with living with this man.

Let him shit his own bed someplace else.

crazyblindsided posted 3/15/2021 12:31 PM

I would ignore every word he says and just keep doing what you are doing and that is being a great mom to your kids.

My STBX shit his pants often and would leave them on the washer for me to clean so I get how disgusting that is

Your post has a high degree of emotional detachment from your children and your husband. Why is that?

We are in the S/D forum she should be emotionally detaching from him.

Darkness Falls posted 3/15/2021 13:26 PM

Currently Iím the primary caregiver to the kidsóI work part time, but not much. Itís a long story; I would like to work more but itís not my choice at the moment due to childcare needs and Hís schedule.

The general cleaning and tidying of the inside of the house is my responsibility due to my having more time. The messes he lets the children make against my wishes, both inside and outside, are his. He cooks his own food and does his own laundry (his choice). If he prepares food for the children he cleans that up, although if we are at home together (rarely) either of us will wash dishes or clean up random messes that we see.

He is doing a project in the backyard so that area is a disaster. He will be responsible for cleaning that up when finished. He also takes care of the pool and lanai area. Once he cleans up his mess from the yard I will resume mowing the grass on my time off.

HellFire posted 3/15/2021 13:37 PM

She probably calls it babysitting, because this man has nothing to do with the kids. She has begged him to help her with the baby, when she was sick and exhausted. He flat out refuses. Read through her posts. There are dozens of examples of him being abusive and cruel towards her. Dozens of examples of him refusing to interact with their children.

He doesn't behave like a father in any capacity.

Poppy704 posted 3/15/2021 14:59 PM

I was a SAHM for the majority of my first marriage, and even after I went to work , I was solely responsible for all domestic drudgery and childcare . Now in my second marriage I work and attend college from home and my husband works 50-60 hrs each week. My life has much more balance. If I make a mess (or my daughter makes a mess under my supervision), I clean it up. I donít leave my daughters art projects to dry on the counters or the floor, I donít leave the sink full of dishes if I decided to bake cookies, the living room is not so covered in toys that it makes it difficult to watch tv. But Iím not my husbands servant. If I donít feel like making dinner, I donít. He puts his own dishes in the dishwasher and puts his laundry in the basket, and he brings me home flowers and thanks me for all I do. We both walk the dogs, take out the garbage, empty the dishwasher, etc.

That being said, your household is not going to function like other SAHM/working dad households because you are doing in house separation and you have an unusual custody agreement. You legally agreed to do the parenting. He is still providing some financial support. You are essentially in a business arrangement at this point, not a marriage. Your soon to be ex should fending for himself per your agreement . You shouldnít be doing any cooking/cleaning/shopping for him. But perhaps for the time that you are both living under the same roof, the two of you should come to some agreement about how to keep shared living spaces comfortable for both of you, because for now his monetary contribution is allowing you to focus on the kids. Once you separate households, you will no longer need to cooperate.

[This message edited by Poppy704 at 2:59 PM, March 15th (Monday)]

Gottagetthrough posted 3/16/2021 04:33 AM

you would see that she's constantly doing things for and with her three children.

Thank you, ibonnie



You do realize that if you lost that 200lb's of dead weight no one would be there to criticize you, and your parenting, plus your kids wouldn't have the constant negative energy walking on eggshells that you are dealing with living with this man

Yes. And i also realize a lot of the mess is his. I also think he exhausts me and I would have more energy if he was not living here.

. You legally agreed to do the parenting. He is still providing some financial support. You are essentially in a business arrangement at this point,

Yes. I guess thats what Iím trying to wrap my head around. I do need to do all of the parenting however, things like care for him should be off the table.

Why did he have to have OW 2? I feel like we were ok before that. But, thinking back, we werent. Hes always been mean. I homeschooled the kids for several years and got shit for that. ďYou think youre smarter than a teacher?!Ē

(TRIGGER WARNING: talk of pregnancy loss)

I had a miscarriage in 2017 and asked him to get me some ice cream the day after. He yelled and said you knew this was going to happen (i took meds to help everything out) why didnt you plan better. (As in get your own comfort food earlier in the week)

I might need surgery for a hernia sometime soon. I am looking into medical transportation to get me home bc i k ow he wouldnt help. My kids would help with the youngest so I am thinking about doing the surgery after school lets out.

This marriage is 100% over.
I just need to get the guts to kick him out, since he is not leaving

Sorry for the ramble. Sometimes i have to remind myself how crappy he is. He will go from one extreme to another and for a small moment i have hope. But i cant get sucked into that because he makes me feel like trash.

[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 4:45 AM, March 16th (Tuesday)]

Bigger posted 3/16/2021 20:04 PM

Is the separation agreement dated?
Would you consider going for prime residency until the divorce is finalized?

Gottagetthrough posted 3/16/2021 20:32 PM

Separation agreement is notarized- and so it has the day we signed it on it.

I dont know what the residency thing is? A big issue with not kicking him out is because I dont want a scene. Im terrified that he will freak out and all of my neighbors will know. I live in a small town and that would be horrendous

[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 8:32 PM, March 16th (Tuesday)]

Bigger posted 3/17/2021 04:05 AM

Maybe the best thing to happen to you would be for others to know. That can both create external pressure on him to behave within norms and open up for support to you. People have issues in small towns just like they do in cities. You two wonít be the first in Anytown to divorce.

Realistically you canít believe that you two can be ďseparatedĒ forever without someone knowing about it. Are you two still going to friends for dinner or having people over as a couple? Is there a goal with the separation? Is it part of a process to eventually improve or save the marriage or is it the first step towards divorce?

Prime residency is the decision of the court (judge) that one partner has residency of the marital home. The process of divorce is a lengthy one and there can be all sorts of logical and sensible reasons for why the two people divorcing canít reside under the same roof. Since heís agreed to you having custody it would be ďnormalĒ for the judge to decide that should be you. The decision is temporary Ė it does not forfeit his rights to the asset in the divorce settlement and it also generally outlines what costs remain his until the divorce is finalized.
Once that decision is in place, he has a legal obligation to move out and you have the right to deny him entry. Its not as dramatic as it sounds and itís actually very common. In fact itís the norm when people divorce that they look for alternative residence rather than stay under the same roof.

Adira posted 3/17/2021 06:36 AM

Hi Gottagetthrough
Iíve been a SAHM/Carer for 20 years, WH worked full time until Sept 2019.
His attitude has always been ďIím the provider, you take care of the menial, uninteresting crap that I canít be bothered withĒ
He mowed the lawn & occasionally fixed/built stuff. I did everything else, parenting, kid#2ís medical requirements, finances, household, his pets.
Even with a verbal separation agreement, heís been extremely resistant & manipulative in an effort to get me to crumble. So Iím still doing 90% of everything. I get where youíre coming from, itís exhausting.

Maybe next time tell your WH heís a colossal failure at his ďjobĒ of being a decent husband & father. What a jerk.

homewrecked2011 posted 3/17/2021 14:36 PM

If you get a min, in your spare time, try to find/ďlisten to a book- called Love Must Be Tough. Itís like ďtough loveĒ-cutting no slack for being disrespected, and itís written by a Pastor. A lot of it wonít apply, but one main thing I got out of it is that the WS has been crossing the line of respect with the BS for years. Itís not ok. The book is a quick, easy read, and the pages are spaced out, which helps when focusing is an issue, in my opinion. It made me realize I wasnít alone with the issue of a WS. It also made me realize how to gain my confidence back, just by the common sense in the book.

Also, I go to phone-in Alanon meetings-their number is on the website, you dial a code and listen or participate. They have years experience of helping prople when living with rude spouses, drinkers or people who act like drinkers.

Iím so sorry youíre dealing with this. It was honestly a relief when my ws moved out and I could start my life. The Alanon meetings will help you bc youíll be able to accept that you are ok, youíll not get your energy sucked out of you by ws, and youíll already be on the way to a new life/thought processes by the time he leaves.

(((Gotta)))

TX1995 posted 3/17/2021 15:34 PM

I am a SAHM. When my kids were younger, my house was messy most of the time. I am/was clean (no dirty dishes, etc.) but tend to let things clutter or pile and am not anal about cleaning up a project ASAP. THere's a funny story where I had to call the police once because my front door was open when I came home, WH out of town, and I was freaked out. Policeman walked in an asked if my house was already like this (picture clothes and toys all over the living room floor). I grew up in a home that had messes, but we were clean.

WH is the opposite (no piles or clutter anywhere, but doesn't think to wipe a counter). It always bugged him. He said the opposite, but inside did not see how I was always messy. His mom was/is insanely clean. No piles or clutter anywhere at any time. He was raised to be the same. That house is sterile and museum like. Kids not made to feel super welcome.

After DDay 1, I basically fell apart. WH had to do A LOT. Take care of kids. Take care of house. Since then, he has taken on A LOT that he never did. We are definitely more evened out in terms of what jobs we have. He helps with school dropoff/pickup and meetings now. He helps with homework/projects. He even schedules and takes to some doctor/dentist appointments. He's still not a cleaner, but when I ask for help, he will do it. (Plus he does 100% of the yard/pool which takes a lot of time.) If I cook, he cleans. He empties the dishwasher every morning. Cleans out the kitty litter.

One thing I think is problematic for SAHMs is that we forget that our job is to raise our kids, not be wholly responsible for the household duties (or our kids!). And we let ourselves/spouse/family/society guilt us into feeling like it is. I always felt like I was asking for permission to do something that didn't involve kids, or asking my H to parent his own. Now, we both check in with each other (Hey, I know I usually pu Sally, but I have a thing, would you be able to do that today? Hey, I would like to go on a run, is this a good time/can I help you with anything before I go?).

We also had a long talk about this stuff after reading the LoveLanguages book. He thought I didn't appreciate him bc although it's not HIS love language, acts of service were the only way his parents showed love. So obviously, since I wasn't doing all of the laundry and keeping a spotless house, I didn't love him, and if I took an afternoon and played with the kids while he did yardwork, we were just lazy. I told him I expect him to take out the trash and mow the yard. Just like he expects I will meal plan and clean the toilets. It's just what people do when they live in a house and have to share responsibilities. Once we figured that out, we now recognize both the mundane stuff and the extra mile stuff that is done. It's nice to hear a thank you for cleaning the bathroom or taking out the trash sometimes. Perhaps your WH could learn how to do that instead of complaining....

Gottagetthrough posted 3/18/2021 15:39 PM

Thanks for the info everyone

I appreciate the validation.

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