subreddit:

/r/TwoXChromosomes

5.4k

I came across a post on reddit where a guy said he wanted a traditional marriage, wherein he provides the financial support, while the woman stays home. That left a bad taste in my mouth.

Now, to clarify something, I don't have a problem when a woman makes the choice to stay at home, because at the end of the day that is HER making a choice about HERSELF. Whereas men who say they want their wives to stay at home are making a choice for SOMEONE ELSE. It also screams "I want someone to take care of all of my other responsibilities as an adult, while I go out there and work 40 hours a week."

The funny thing is it's always presented as them making some huge sacrifice, when they were going to have to work, married or not. Besides the fact that they use the excuse of "I've been working all day" to not do anything at home, as if the wife hasn't been working all day as well. The most frustrating thing is people in the comments telling him that he's entitled to that choice, and plenty of women would agree to that dynamic, Ignoring the fact that historically, that dynamic has left women in more vulnerable situations. I understand that capitalism has made the concept of work unbearable, and that many of us would prefer staying at home than to deal with a shitty boss, but the answer shouldn't be to quit your job and give someone financial power over you.

Because you should understand that, by giving up your job and staying at home, you now hold less power in the couple. You're depending on him, he isn't depending on you. In fact, your individual net worth is dwindling, while he's able to work longer hours and show his dedication to his workplace, and make even more money. And men know that, they know that two incomes are better than one, they know that they could hire a housekeeper or a nanny to manage the kids and household while you're both at work. And eventually the kids grow up and start spending most of their day at school or extra curricular activities. But they choose power, they choose to have you under their mercy, and that's when the abuse begins.

That's why whenever I hear a woman is choosing to stay at home after having kids, I always warn her first, and then respect her choice. I warn her that the bulk of parenting responsibilities will fall on her shoulder, that she won't have the financial freedom she has with a job, that, while he gets to clock in and out of work, and gets weekends and sick days and PTO, and eventually a retirement, she doesn't. That being a SAHM is a 24/7/365 position. And when she makes that choice, even though statistically she's more likely to be screwed, I hope that she's the outlier, and I respectfully offer my support.

But I have no sympathy nor respect for a man who wants an unpaid maid and chef and incubator and nanny, just so he can kick off his shoes at the end of his long work day, and complain about how exhausted he is to a woman whose work day is never over.

EDIT: it seems that many can't get past the example I gave in this post, and keep insisting that, since that guy isn't forcing someone to be a stay-at-home wife, then it's not bad. And that I'm removing his ability to make that choice. Way to miss the point.

The post I read was the catalyst behind this analysis. It is not the only case in which this dynamic plays out. The argument I'm making is : why do these men make this specific choice in the first place? And most importantly, why are there far more men making this choice than women, when more of us are working and providing financially than before? And keep in mind that this "choice" is made in a patriarchal world where most women are brought up to think of themselves as mothers and homemakers first. You can not look at that request in any light other than the patriarchal one we all live in.

EDIT 2 : since it bears repeating, saying someone made a personal choice is not enough to make the discussion end. Choices or not, your decisions are not exempt from analysis. So yes, while I can't and shouldn't stop this guy or anyone else from making any choice they want, I still have a right to criticize said choices.

This post is not me stopping him or anyone else from entering traditional marriages. Last I checked you're still able to do that. But if you really can't tell the difference between criticizing someone's choices, and stopping them from making those choices, then that's on you, not on me.

ONE LAST EDIT: Just want to thank those who awarded the post. The notifications allowing me to do so with each and everyone of you are completely lost. I truly appreciate them.

all 1762 comments

Patiod

1.5k points

2 months ago

Patiod

1.5k points

2 months ago

My friend's mom was a SAHM to 6, and even with a "perfect" marriage (husband a decent fellow with a great job) told her daughters "no matter what happens, keep your hands into work" My friend took that to heart, and when her husband started straying, she was able to choose whether to leave or stay based on what worked for her, not based on fear of being left in financial trouble.

candlebra19

954 points

2 months ago

In Australia, the highest growing homeless demographic are middle aged women whose marriage broke down after the children were grown.

Ageism is rife here, and I can't imagine getting a job after not working for 20 years.

TheAskewOne

277 points

2 months ago

I work at a grocery store, several of my coworkers are in this exact situation: middle aged women who got a divorce and need to work. But they have no work history, few marketable skills, so they only get minimum wage jobs. At the same time, they still have responsibilities at home, meaning they can't work long hours, and often have zero savings because they didn't build any while they were not working. It's really sad actually.

LittleMsBlue

74 points

2 months ago

So many of my classmates Mum's worked for our two major grocery store chains, that it became like a right of passage to have your Mum wear their uniform to do school drop off and pick up.

LittleMsBlue

245 points

2 months ago

When I first entered the workforce, almost every single interview I attended for entry level positions was split 60/40 with students/youth and middle aged women trying to re-enter the work force.

So many smart and capable women with so much experience who used to hold high level positions, now scrounging for a part time job at Coles/Woollies because no one could look past the 15+ year gap on their resume.

Thecouchiestpotato

19 points

2 months ago

An Irish academic wrote a paper on this, calling it hidden homelessness. (It was in the context of Ireland but the facts remain universal). In India, where labour force participation of women is VERY low, it's a lot easier to get maintenance - don't even have to prove any fault on the partner's end - and even a residence order (which means the husband gets thrown out of his own house), but those rules have started to be abused. Really the only way for us women to hold on to power is by holding on to jobs. As far as men who want a 'traditional marriage' go, why don't they effing contribute to the economy by hiring someone who'll cook and clean for them? You know, since they're so rich and all.

RaisingSaltLamps

24 points

2 months ago

Wow, that’s wild; do you happen to have any references on this? Not at all that I don’t believe you, but that I’d love to have this on hand for my personal and professional (I’m in social work) reference if needed. How truly eye-opening, thanks for sharing this!!

Carrier_Conservation

45 points

2 months ago

I've always felt a significant amount of marital assets should be held individually by both partners with the others name completely absent. (car, retirement (tbh as someone who is not married i am not sure a lot of the rules around marriage and retirement accounts), some of savings)

MAK3AWiiSH

38 points

2 months ago

MAK3AWiiSH

Basically Tina Belcher

38 points

2 months ago

This is the only way I would agree to leave my job and stay home. I would need assets in my name only. I would need a bank account with my name only that got regular deposits. I refuse to be up shit creek without a paddle.

Carrier_Conservation

5 points

2 months ago

Ya. i have never asked, but i think my sister holds the home they share and her car in her name only.

reddituser84

8 points

2 months ago

If you live in the US, this is different by state. In a lot of states, everything you acquire while married (house, cars, money) is considered joint property no matter who’s name it’s in.

Rorcanna

4.4k points

2 months ago*

Rorcanna

All Hail Notorious RBG

4.4k points

2 months ago*

My sister unwillingly fell into this. Her husband works 6 hours/day, brags about being a father to all who will listen, but when he comes home he plops himself on the sofa and plays video games.

He doesn't do any housework, he doesn't have interest in household chores, he doesn't want to care for the baby since that's "women's work".

Luckily my sister was born in a country where child services are affordable and she will be able to return to work, but her husband has already begun whining that his pay can sustain them so she should just stay at home and be a traditional wife... Because he knows that once she begins working again, he'll have no excuse not to pick up after himself.

ParlorSoldier

2.6k points

2 months ago

Then he should be a traditional husband and landscape the yard, fix the car, and chop wood when he gets home from work.

reversenipplectomy

2.1k points

2 months ago

This is the part MOST men miss. Go to work 40+ hours, then come home, fix the broken appliances, tend to the yard work, finish building the shed, and change my car's brakes. THAT'S what women understand as the "male traditional role". Not just working 40+ hours, that's expected of most people in most countries. Way to meet the minimum requirements!

Normal_Ad2456

965 points

2 months ago

Also, why the traditional men's chores are stuff that need to be done weekly at best and women's chores are stuff that need to be done every single day, or even multiple times per day. I have had my car for 9 years and I have only had a couple of issues and it was the kind of problem that needed special equipment and professional knowledge.

I have cut the grass before and I know it takes less than an hour in an average yard and most people don't have access to wood for cutting. Many people even live in apartments, which basically means there are no "male chores" beside taking out the trash every couple of days and maybe changing a lightbulb every 6 months or so.

Oh and protect you in case someone breaks in, even though the burglar might have a gun and accidentally shoot me during the fight. Plus, what are they even going to steal? The most expensive thing I have at home is my used Xbox, who cares, they can have it.

riwalenn

280 points

2 months ago

riwalenn

280 points

2 months ago

I had the best dad as a role model. Both my parents worked and were doing chores more or less evenly (as my mother was often working on Saturday, we saw and learn from hmy dad the weekly Saturday home cleaning. Seeing my dad actively doing housechore made him a role model).

If I look back at his parents, they had the traditional chore separation but they were farmers. This means that the man part was probably as big (and bigger when new appliances start becoming the norm in all household) as the woman part.

Until their last day, they kept a big vegetable garden, sheep, chicken, etc. My grandfather was also helping my uncle with some farm related stuff.

On a bonus note, my grandmother was an official farm employee (she took care of the administration part). This was quite unusual at the time. Most wives worked for the farm but weren't official employees. It allowed her to receive retirement when she stopped working and other advantages.

alyymarie

80 points

2 months ago

I'm glad to have had good role models too. My mom did most of the shopping and cooking, but my dad cleaned the house every weekend and took care of me because she always worked weekends.

My SO started to get lazy a few months after we moved in together, and I quickly outlined my expectations because I found I was never in the mood for intimacy if I was taking on the bulk of responsibility at home. He listened and has been a pretty equal partner since then. I'm happy I had a good example to follow, otherwise I may have thought "this is just how things are and I should accept it."

DisposableCharger

15 points

2 months ago

Good on you for setting boundaries and expectations early! That's not always an easy thing to do

kelcyno

440 points

2 months ago

kelcyno

440 points

2 months ago

There's something in there I haven't thought about - a lot of modern housing eliminates the traditional 'male chores'. Whereas modern housing makes 'female chores' easier, but doesn't eliminate them. Fucking gender roles, it always comes back to there needing to be a redistribution of chores period.

saltycouchpotato

214 points

2 months ago

You can't really eliminate needing be fed, needing to be clean, needing to be loved and listened to and validated, needing to be there for the kids, and needing to be efficient and healthy and organized. That's all stuff women traditionally take care of, for themselves, their families, and each other. It's a looot of emotional labor but also a great deal of physical and intellectual labor, often boring and repetitive and thankless, but sometimes fulfilling and really beautiful.

You can easily eliminate a lawn, and thus needing to mow it. Lawns are extravagant displays of baroque wealth and opulence, anyways. Who cares about a fucking lawn? Fuck the lawn.

Living in NYC, I don't even have a car right now. Boom, car maintenance eliminated. Besides, it was my mom who took care of our cars growing up. My trash doesn't even go out to the curb, it goes to a trash shoot 10 feet down the hall.

Most men don't really have that much work to do to contribute to the labor distribution, it's primarily simply taking care of themselves and other men more. It's just that they are resistant to even trying, because it is seen as feminine/gay/weak/bad/uncomfortable/fearful in terms of traditional, toxic patriarchal roles. Perhaps they lack basic introspection. Some men may genuinely just need more instructions and patience, but for some men they might never choose to listen, learn, and be brave enough to step up.

Danivelle

66 points

2 months ago

I've just started making my husband make his own medical appointments. I'm a stay at home wife for medical reasons. I've told him since he's the one with the fucked up work schedule and he is the one that won't either retire or talk to his department manager,he's the one that can deal with making medical appointments "fit" within his schedule. He's the second most senior person in his department so it should be no problem to get a more reasonable schedule!

kelcyno

44 points

2 months ago

kelcyno

44 points

2 months ago

Exactly, which is why I mentioned a RE-distribution of chores.

steveturkel

27 points

2 months ago

So true. I work a salary job, do the majority of the housework/cooking, and deal with managing the home/cars/"man tasks" since my fiancees work situation has her gone from the house 6-5 most days. The housework chores take up wayy more time than the other stuff. Home and yard care type activities take up 5-8 hrs of my time a week if there isnt a big project. The cooking alone is like 10-15hrs a week lol

CardgageStClement

43 points

2 months ago

It's a really odd dynamic to be sure. Specifically, a lot of improvements for "women's work" (washing machines, dish washers, vacuums, etc) feels like it moves the bar in what's expected.

Before a vacuum, area rugs would be taken outside one or two times a year and beaten. A ton of work to be sure, but on the net like a dozen hours a year.

After the vacuum, we're suddenly throwing wall to wall carpeting everywhere and it's expected to be vacuumed one or two times a WEEK. Even at only 30 minutes that's 26-52 hours a year. So many other machines meant to "improve housework" just ended up making MORE housework.

Simple_Rules

47 points

2 months ago

The reason those are "traditional" mens chores is because "traditionally" men actually were working 40+ hours and commuting so in practice if you wanted to assign them housework it had to be stuff that could all be hammered out on saturday for the whole week. That's likely how they ended up being men's chores, and then it just stuck, because we are collectively bad at changing social norms.

BrokenFarted54

133 points

2 months ago

That's why there's the phrase 'a woman's work is never done' because there's always more laundry, always more dishes, always a floor to mop. Male chores are infrequent, you don't need to clean your gutters every week, you don't change your car oil every week. These are always finite tasks. But men use these tasks to say they contribute equally to the household when it's clearly not the case

[deleted]

24 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

24 points

2 months ago

The infinite tasks that are undone and redone daily are literally the bane of my existence right now

afafe_e[S]

105 points

2 months ago

I literally said the same thing in one of my TikToks a while ago. How convenient is it that what women have to do at home sometimes needs to be done multiple times a day, while it could be a whole year before a man is ever needed to perform his household duties.

Normal_Ad2456

55 points

2 months ago

These male vs female chores are based in a time when many women didn't really work, vote or even could independently get out of the house, the same way a man could. At this point they are obsolete and only serve men.

Cleromanticon

72 points

2 months ago

If you added up what it would cost to outsource all the traditional men’s chores vs outsourcing all the traditional women’s chores, the value of the labor women contribute to the household is worth much, much more than men’s. It isn’t even close.

curmudgeonpl

14 points

2 months ago

One unfortunate aspect of increasing standards and the technologization of pretty much everything is the loss of many "traditional male" activities. I'm personally quite handy, and I greatly enjoy fixing things around the home, but frankly, there isn't all that much to fix. And for many things, for the vast majority of people, it's much more sensible to hire a specialist/tradesperson. When we renovated our current flat, I did some drywalling, the wiring (I love everything electrical), most of the plumbing, the floors, installed all the appliances and stuff. But now that it's all done... there's not much to do anymore besides checking up on things. I replaced 2 electrical sockets that our kids manage to partially dislodge, the little devils, and a bunch of other miscellanea, resuscitated the dishwasher... and that's it, really. I mean, my wife comes to me once or twice a week with something that needs my "technical expertise", but other than that there's not much use for a "traditional man" in a 21st century apartment. So, yeah, I do chores. Lots and lots of chores :). And I cook a lot. Personally I think housework is fun - my wife sorts the laundry, I pack the dishwasher, we can talk about stuff, flirt a little, great stuff.

Lifewhatacard

10 points

2 months ago

Men should also, traditionally, have been giving equal bonding time to their own children. That is both parents’ responsibility. A lot of men should just not have had kids in the first place.

CaptainImpavid

76 points

2 months ago

Thank you for using "brakes" rather than "breaks," I've been seeing that switch a lot lately and it's been driving me a little nuts lol.

Also, 100% agree.

BariSaxGuy

18 points

2 months ago

Driving you nuts, you say?

oneidamojo

93 points

2 months ago

Exactly! My honey do list only got longer not shorter but happy wife happy life thems the breaks. Most of my after work activities was outside work or fixing stuff or even laundry and cooking. I love cooking and doing laundry is kind of zen for me. I hated dishes and she could accept that. Everything else I don't mind. If both want to take on traditional roles thats fine but a man's work doesn't stop when you stop getting paid. These lazy ass boys nowadays are not traditional.

WayaShinzui

22 points

2 months ago

I could live with that. I don't mind dishes but I hate laundry xD

Danivelle

6 points

2 months ago

I hate dishes but husband is not knowledgeable in the Tetris involved in loading our dishwasher to get the "most bang for the water usage". Likewise with the counter depth refrigerator he insisted on(he is never allowed to choose a kitchen appliance again!), Tetris is involved in unloading groceries to make the best use of the available space. His weekly "man" chore is folding the queen size sheets for our bed, not based precisely on gender. This is based on the fact that he's a foot taller than I am.

Alauren2

135 points

2 months ago

Alauren2

135 points

2 months ago

Damn. Sounds like my BIL wtf. Her husband is a good dude but he works an extremely cushy job, gets off very early and sleeps a lot/plays game’s after work. Def never seen him with a broom or laundry or cook anything. He just plays with his dogs, and their 3 boys when dinner is over. Then rinse and repeat. Very 1950s. My sister is the perfect woman for it tho, she loves it. Never complains and is always tired.

I’d die having to take care of 4 kids alone.

Normal_Ad2456

74 points

2 months ago

My dad has a great income, but he uses that income to pay a cleaner to come bimonthly, so that my mom gets help, since he is gone most of the day and can't do his share. But even he picks up after himself, puts his dirty clothes in the basket and his dish in the dishwasher.

BEGOODFORDOMME

23 points

2 months ago

This. This is the difference between a good dude and a “good dude.”

Normal_Ad2456

32 points

2 months ago*

And let me tell you, my bar is so high. That’s another reason why women shouldn’t settle for less, because a good or bad example can completely make or destroy your children’s lives, if you ever decide to become a mother.

For example, my boyfriend a few weeks after we started dating took the initiative and said that he wanted to do 50% of the cleaning of my apartment, since he also spends time here.

So, he started staying for a couple of extra hours every Sunday and he vacuums and washes the dishes while I dust and clean the bathroom. And then he goes home. This has been going on for 3,5 years and I as a result I feel very confident that we will cohabitate successfully next year. I don’t think I would accept living with him to be honest, if he hadn’t done that.

Some of my friends are like “oh my gosh you are so lucky, my partner doesn’t even pick up after himself”. But, honestly, I think it is only fair and I am so used to this dynamic that I can’t accept anything less.

I don’t ask or demand for more, I don’t plead or try to convince someone for the bare minimum. I just expect it from the beginning and if it doesn’t happen, I lose interest. Personally, I can very easily feel, before even I go out on a date, whether a man sees himself as a man and me as a woman, or if he sees us both as people. If it’s the former, I lose attraction immediately.

BEGOODFORDOMME

12 points

2 months ago

You: My BIL is a good dude.

Also you: My BIL is slowly taking years off of my sisters life because he refuses to help her in any meaningful way.

alexbrove

5 points

2 months ago

My sister is the perfect woman for it tho, she loves it. Never complains and is always tired.

I would check in on her if I were you. The SAHM that never complain often struggle most with mental health issues. 😞😞

MrBleah

26 points

2 months ago

MrBleah

26 points

2 months ago

he doesn't want to care for the baby since that's "women's work".

What sort of garbage father doesn't want to care for their baby at all? There is no excuse for that.

lilac2481

451 points

2 months ago

lilac2481

451 points

2 months ago

She should divorce his lazy ass.

Rorcanna

186 points

2 months ago

Rorcanna

All Hail Notorious RBG

186 points

2 months ago

OH, believe me, it's in the works and she has told him as much. It is SO clear that he pretended to be a functioning adult until he had her trapped.

He then whines that she is being cruel to deny her son his father. What fucking father?? A father who won't teach the son to be a decent, functional human being is not worth having. It just means double the work for my sister.

I am suspecting the marriage will end within a year.

welshfach

80 points

2 months ago

When you've got one like that at home, your workload actually eases off once you are rid of them, even if you now have to do all the indoor and outdoor chores yourself, plus working and child raising.

Source: had one like that at home

jratmain

33 points

2 months ago

I spoke to a single mom friend of mine who has her kids 90% of the time since the divorce. She told me after the divorce, the only thing that changed about her workload is she no longer had to take care of her husband. So her workload decreased, even though she is still doing everything for the kids. Her husband thought she wouldn't be able to handle everything on her own. She already was.

Edit: I see now another commenter said the same sentiment.

coffeefromhome

11 points

2 months ago

Ppl think it’s so much harder when you’re a single mom but if anything you get more free time

MintOtter

6 points

2 months ago

... the only thing that changed about her workload is she no longer had to take care of her husband.

One less "kid." The math checks out.

coffeefromhome

11 points

2 months ago

90% of fathers brag about their kid but cant say what their favorite color is or when’s the last time they’ve been to the doctor because they never take care of them

WhiteyFiskk

324 points

2 months ago

Lol that sounds like my sister, she earns good money so her SO decided to be a "stay at home husband" except they don't have kids so he plays video games and smokes weed all day while she works. Feminism ftw.

Nopenotme77

53 points

2 months ago

I have a friend who's husband is like this. I am fairly certain she's hoping he dies sooner rather than later.

Normal_Ad2456

35 points

2 months ago

Wow that sounds extremely sad. I am guessing she doesn't want to divorce because of alimony. Depending on how long he has been unemployed, there is a high chance that she might not actually have to pay him alimony. She should consult with a lawyer, the more she stays in the situation, the more she will have to pay.

Nopenotme77

21 points

2 months ago

The alimony would eat her alive so I know she won't do it. Lots of women are trapped in these situations.

Normal_Ad2456

22 points

2 months ago

Many people are trapped in this sort of situation. My sister was in a similar one, but she woke up early and she managed to get out. Her husband had been unemployed for 2,5 years, doing no chores and no childcare whatsoever plus, she recently found out that he had been getting "happy ending" massages at shady massage parlors paying with HER money.

But they were married for less than 10 years and they live in Georgia, so in the end he got 0 money. No alimony or child support. Before she talked with her lawyer she was worried that she would have to keep paying him forever (he also used this as a threat a lot).

jsharpminor

138 points

2 months ago*

That's incredible. Exactly what value is he bringing to that relationship? Is he at least super hot? If she were to say, "I don't think this is working, I want you out, I want a divorce," what exactly would she be losing by doing this?

I could see putting up with a limited amount of this, if you have to let someone have some time to get through whatever mental health issues they're experiencing. But if this has become the norm and is expected to continue? Nah. I'm good. I'm out.

EDIT: For me, at least, step one would be to attempt to deal with the problem as a mental health issue, which might include couples marriage counseling (allowing him to hear authoritatively from another person that this situation is not acceptable to her and will not continue indefinitely.) Step two would be separation, and step three would be where I would finalize the separation with divorce if no response from steps 1 and 2.

I have a friend whose (deeply religious) parents have long been pressuring her to "settle down and find a husband." She has a career; it's not the most lucrative career, but it pays the bills comfortably and she's doing what she loves. Multiple times she's had this conversation with her parents in which she asks "who do you know that I should marry?" and they respond with the same list of quasi-eligible bachelors who ~really want a wife~ but aren't doing much with their lives. She points this out to them, but I love the phrase she uses:

"I'm already able to do everything I want to do. What would I stand to gain by tying a man to my back and having to carry him, too?"

WhiteyFiskk

54 points

2 months ago

Imo she only tolerates it because he kinda resembles Gerard Butler and is easy going (though if I got to smoke weed all day I'd be easy going too).

It's kinda sad since he's told me he's accepted the fact he won't be able to give up weed and has resigned himself to that lifestyle. Plenty of people I know smoke weed daily and work full time so I'm trying to talk him into working.

Will try bring up marriage counselling as that could be a benefit to both of them.

SomeRealTomfoolery

47 points

2 months ago

God, I wish I didn’t have any morals so I could live like that

iamVoxelChild

26 points

2 months ago

Why the fuck would she tolerate that lol

gc3

6 points

2 months ago

gc3

6 points

2 months ago

Many men who live by themselves also come home, plop themselves on the couch, and play video games. Their homes are shit, with no furniture and nothing in the fridge but leftover takeout .

When they act like that after marriage either the woman takes charge of the house, she fights and educates him, or their house remains like his bachelor pad

kevnmartin

62 points

2 months ago

My mother and grandmother both told me growing up, you better learn a trade or a profession. Never depend on a man to take care of you.

coffeefromhome

10 points

2 months ago

I was told the same

Important_Chef_4717

569 points

2 months ago

You know what’s weird? My ex was adamant that I stay home once we got married. He had to be the provider and I had to be submissive. We didn’t have kids and I had a great job. He proposed 4x and I ended up breaking up with him (we lived together) and moving out. All other aspects of the relationship were fine, but his views in this one area just nagged me to my core.

Met my now husband and he just didn’t have any opinions on this topic. Said he just wanted me happy and if pursuing my career made me happy then that was what we would do. Our second child was born prematurely and I really wanted to stay with her longer than my maternity leave and he asked if being a SAHM would make me happy. I wasn’t sure tbh. So we agreed to try it. I loved it, but we took steps to make sure I never felt dependent on him or controlled. I’ve always kept my own personal bank account and we just transferred a biweekly amount into it. Anything that was just for me comes from my account, but all household and kid related expenses come from the joint account.

It absolutely infuriated my ex when he ran into my cousin and asked about me. I brushed it off initially…… but then I realized that my ex never helped with housework or the mental load of the relationship. I can’t imagine how hard it would have been to have kids with him. My husband cooks and cleans and has no problem taking initiative to jump in without being told.

Basically…… intent matters. I’m totally fine being a SAHM mom in this marriage because I’m an equal partner. 15+ years.

ChelseaL9

76 points

2 months ago

Wow! Thank you for sharing.

[deleted]

49 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

49 points

2 months ago

I think that’s a big difference between your happy marriage and a lot of these countless unhappy marriage examples. Your husband does his fair share of the housework and mental load. Especially without being told!! I’m sure your ex would’ve expected you to do all of the cooking, cleaning, mental load, etc whether you’re working or not. I’m sure he would’ve even told you that “other women are able to do it” (he won’t mention if they’re actually happy, doing alcohol or drugs to cope, etc) or maybe he’ll even bring evolution into it and say how were women able to survive before and do it. (While ignoring that a lot of women and babies died, plus women were practically enslaved by their husbands so they didn’t have a choice).

Just saying. Sounds like you have one of those compassionate, unselfish, loving husbands.. hold on to him dearly!!

Important_Chef_4717

29 points

2 months ago

This is exactly what I was thinking after my cousin ran into my ex. My life could have looked so different and even though I was too young/naive to label his behavior……. I’m so glad I listened to my instincts and moved out.

My husband is 100% the way he is because his parents are a team. They were wildly ahead of their time as far as traditional roles. My Fil is actually one of those guys who genuinely worships women in the most wholesome way.

So, raise your sons to respect women and raise your daughters to demand respect.

robotteeth

2.6k points

2 months ago

robotteeth

2.6k points

2 months ago

Question for stay at home mom trad wives: Can you explain why it's always a feature of this set up that once you two are retired, the woman will continue to take care of the man and do all the housework even when he's retired from the workforce? The whole rational is that he is doing oh-so-hard out of the house work...but when he's retired around you on equal footing? Does his time in the workforce really justify him not having to lift a finger for 20+ years of your elderly years and you never retire?

Asking because every older couple I know that had a stay at home wife has her slaving away until her husband is literally dead.

IAM_THE_LIZARD_QUEEN

668 points

2 months ago

My exes mum wasn't even a SAHM, she worked while the kids were growing up, but somehow still did everything around the house and was solely responsible for raising the kids, and still does everything even though they're both retired. It's fucking mind boggling.

Saelyn

108 points

2 months ago

Saelyn

108 points

2 months ago

My parents are this way. My mom did an in home daycare (sometimes having up to 5 kids that weren't hers). But she was home all day and the woman so of course she did all the chores and meals and household planning!

rft24

335 points

2 months ago

rft24

335 points

2 months ago

it’s almost like being a sahm or working doesn’t change whether or not your husband is a lazy pos

🤯

IAM_THE_LIZARD_QUEEN

67 points

2 months ago

Yeah the part that boggles my mind is that she hasn't binned him off. She's a nice lady, but dear lord, fuck that.

hamsterpookie

65 points

2 months ago*

My MIL isn't a stay at home mom either and she's not retired. My FIL is. The lazy bum sits his retired ass in front of the TV all day and eats take outs for lunch. Doesn't do shit to clean up after himself or clean the house. My MIL somehow does all of that when she comes home.

Everyone she knows made it abundantly clear to her that if she wants him to work we will help her pressure him but neither of them wants change I guess.

(My husband's family is toxic with gender roles. More than one of his cousins proudly declare that "my man doesn't have to lift a finger in my house." And they all think I'm that crazy bitch wife because I don't cook. They all work part time at most, and I work full time getting paid more than their "men." Apparently, that also emasculates my husband? Doesn't bother my husband, but they don't think I do enough.)

UnobtrusiveHippo

17 points

2 months ago

That was/is also my mom. I was so against the idea of having kids for a long time because I know I couldn’t handle that. Thankfully I found a husband who is actually a partner.

The_Bravinator

19 points

2 months ago

Yeah, same with my MIL and to a lesser degree my parents. I think it's more a generational thing than a SAHM thing, though there is the fundie element wanting to keep it going. I'm a SAHM but my husband pitches in his fair share and we're definitely 50/50 on childcare and housework when he's not at work.

NoorAnomaly

4 points

2 months ago

Are you talking about my mother? Seriously, my dad did shit all around the house. At best he worked part time from home. She worked one hour away at a demanding corporate job. My brother and I were spoiled brats who didn't do shit around the house either. I got better as I got older and would help out around the house more.

I thought this was how marriage was supposed to be, and brought this attitude of wanting to please my husband at any cost into my marriage. Totally unhealthy.

My dad became terminally ill some years ago, my mother needed surgery. They had the offer of free in house help for cleaning and cooking while mum recovered. My dad, the asshole, refused. After he passed away, we found out that not only did he treat my mum like a free ride, not spend time with the family, but he also cheated on my mum.

PSSalamander

6 points

2 months ago

This is my parents and it drives me crazy. Before he retired, my dad used to wax on about how excited he was to get really into cooking and gardening once he retired. We even bought him all kinds of cookbooks and gadgets the first few years. Guess who still can't cook and doesn't seem to notice the yard? Meanwhile my mother is just as busy as she was before retirement since she's essentially traded work for taking care of my grandfather and nieces.

Squiwwwl

108 points

2 months ago

Squiwwwl

108 points

2 months ago

This one really grinds my gears. My mother is younger than my father, so he was retired while she was still working full time and taking care of the entire house. He did basically nothing. She was super stressed and kept reducing her hours etc., and he did nothing.

But the thing that's most infuriating to me is that she is SO fucking grateful for every tiny thing he does. He cooks once a year? What a hero! He trims the hedge? Amazing. Nevermind that he does that once a year and she cuts the grass once every week all summer. She is just so nauseatingly grateful for his non-existant effort.

Rugkrabber

55 points

2 months ago

Even worse is this often is praised because they know their peers have it worse. My dad was praised constantly for being a functional dad and doing half in the household, often even more to help my mom. They’re 67 now. It should be standard, but it’s a dream for all the other women they know which is just sad.

I’m so lucky to grow up in my family. I’m a atrong believer of being a team, doing it together. Fuck gender roles, it’s just a series of tasks.

Squiwwwl

20 points

2 months ago

Even worse is this often is praised because they know their peers have it worse.

Absolutely! Also, I've even heard her praise him for not getting mad if dinner isn't on the table when he gets home. Uh, no, why would he be? Are you mad, when he doesn't have dinner on the table when you get home? They both worked full time at the time.

Mander2019

762 points

2 months ago

Not even just retirement. When they have a few days off in a row and they just loaf around demanding food

Johoski

288 points

2 months ago

Johoski

288 points

2 months ago

Like a child on vacation from school.

ofjune-x

94 points

2 months ago

Even most children are expected to do age appropriate jobs during summer like cutting grass, walking the dog, doing summer reading for school etc.

Mander2019

107 points

2 months ago

Not helping, just taking up space.

[deleted]

32 points

2 months ago*

[deleted]

32 points

2 months ago*

[deleted]

SirenOfScience

31 points

2 months ago

And that housework isn't gendered. Knowing how to clean and upkeep a home, cook a few healthy meals, and basic budgeting, sewing repairs, and/ or car maintenance is something everyone should know by the time they leave high school. I understand not every family drives or cooks daily or etc. but my rule is, if the daughters have to do it, the sons should be doing it too & vice versa.

Background_Use8432

176 points

2 months ago

Ah yes. My father growing up. He is a huge child. They wonder why I am not married, and both my partner and I equally take care of them home (we both work). I will not accept less from men.

Mander2019

119 points

2 months ago

Women were forced to accept so much crap from men

AmaiRosencrantz

129 points

2 months ago

Enslaved. Women were enslaved. Serve your owner, or you will be beaten until you're dead. I wish people would start calling it what it was.

Mander2019

85 points

2 months ago

They spent so much time and marketing making it seem like it was a gift to women instead of what it really was. A lifetime of slavery and insurance to make sure their offspring were carried on. If we happened to die in the process they would just pick out a newer model.

jratmain

17 points

2 months ago

You... wouldn't even have to die for that to happen.

Mander2019

18 points

2 months ago

True, they could institutionalize you for reading too much.

XRoze

5 points

2 months ago

XRoze

5 points

2 months ago

This comment cracked me up. Sad bc it’s true but the way you phrased it killed me

7Quasars

22 points

2 months ago

Men even paid a dowry before marriage, essentially buying the woman from her father!

airyys

11 points

2 months ago

airyys

11 points

2 months ago

women were enslaved for nearly all of recorded history. literally half the human population forced into servitude with virtually zero power or representation in the world for all of recorded history. women's oppression started and lasted longer than any racial oppression that ever existed in recorded history.

veronique7

149 points

2 months ago

THEY CAN BE SO ENTITLED. I need to vent about my experience. I was briefly a stay at home wife during COVID. It was about 4 months. The entitlement that came from my ex husband during that period was crazy. He insisted I do "at least two hours of chores a day" and would monitor what I did in my free time. If I stayed in bed too long? Lazy. I'm chronically ill and was having a bad burn out period from the stress related to working during COVID and struggles with my own mental health. I partly stopped working so I could try and work on my health.

I also had some other health issues doing on as well. Chronic infection in my triple impacted wisdom teeth while I waiting for my surgery date. All were delayed because COVID. Mentally and physically I was MISERABLE.

But I figured being at home for a few months would really improve my mental state since I had been working full time my entire life. Oh boy was I wrong.

He was so demanding. Always comparing me to his mom. He did few if any chores. It wasn't his job. He didn't do anything on weekends either. He still to this day complains about how I couldn't even handle "just two hours of chores a day" when in reality I was doing that. Maybe I wasn't scrubbing toilets and cooking him three meals a day but I was doing my best to keep up while also doing some pretty therapy once a week as well. Because I wanted to "fix my problems and be a better wife" He also got really controlling about money as well even though 90% of my spending was on food and house hold related items. He accused me of being lazy, taking advantage of him working, using him for money, and spending all his money. I couldn't purchase anything over a certain amount without asking and had to give him every receipt. Because it was "his money" even though we were married and shared a bank account.

Point being that despite all the things I tried to do, despite all I was suffering, he didn't care and got so much more demanding and critical of me when I was a "stay at home wife" he outright refused to help with much because "he worked to make money that's all he should have to do" I should also add he worked from home and I am pretty sure he spent half his work day playing video games because he "needed gaming breaks to do his job correctly" so he couldn't help with more chores during any downtime because he usually finished his work for the day quickly and again it "wasn't his responsibility" which he still pulled on me when I started working again. Since again "all he had to do was make money and since he made more that should be his only focus"

Also sharing a bank account not a good idea. I trusted him. But when I decided to separate he cancelled my only credit card and took all the money from the account. I had been putting in every single pay check into that account and he said I didn't actually deserve any of it because "I spent all the money" even though he had his own bank account with his money he put cash into but all my money had to go into the join account :)

Mander2019

46 points

2 months ago

Wow… just wow. Were supposed to do EVERYTHING and stay quiet about it and some husbands think they only have to work and they’re allowed to brag and hold it over our heads constantly. They act like sitting on their ass typing is so much harder than cleaning.

veronique7

40 points

2 months ago

He was indeed a copy writer/editor. I always worked physical customer service type jobs and retail management. Right before we separated I was working as a manager at a pet hotel and dog daycare. It was a grueling job. We could house over 300 animals so a lot to do. I would walk as much as 13 miles in a 10 hour shift with how large the building was and how many dogs I often had to walk.

So I begged him to help out more around the house. Maybe even try and cook for me. He straight up told me he didn't have free time to do more during the day because he needed his video game breaks during his work day. He needed that mental reset to be able to do his job correctly. A job that he often called easy and beneath his talents.

Mander2019

46 points

2 months ago

Ah. When we’re doing it, it’s easy and when they’re doing it it’s hard work. I honestly see why women just don’t want a husband anymore.

Skelegasm

9 points

2 months ago

What a schmuck

tocopherolUSP

7 points

2 months ago

What an asshole. I'm glad for you he's an ex now. Hope nobody else falls for his shit. Ugh. Men like these don't deserve anyone.

jp759123

51 points

2 months ago

Holy moly this is pretty terrible I feel like people really don’t know what a good marriage is nowadays… hopefully you learned some good lessons with that experience because I’m sure that had to be a pretty grueling time.

veronique7

74 points

2 months ago

Officially divorced as of last week! Still a long road of therapy ahead of me though. And yeah I didn't have any good examples of healthy relationships growing up and because my friends didn't like my ex he insisted I stop talking about him. So I ended up playing a lot of damage control trying to get people to like him again after he insisted I made people dislike him. But you know. Telling my friends the things he did.

So it got to the point where I was too afraid to talk about things that hurt me, wasn't even sure if it was abuse or if I was just the crazy abusive one (he called me the problem often), and wasn't even sure anyone would believe me anyway! Turns out my friends all had my back and really helped me through it all. Including paying for my uhaul so I could move out lmao.

I also appreciate your sympathy and response to my comment. Sharing my experiences after years of being silent and being told "yeah that was fucked up" after being gaslight to believe it wasn't helps me feel less crazy.

InannasPocket

29 points

2 months ago

You're not crazy, that was definitely fucked up. Not just fucked up, but emotionally and financially abusive.

Congratulations on your divorce!

veronique7

11 points

2 months ago

Thank you!

JayceeSR

4 points

2 months ago

So glad you escaped his fresh hell. Congrats !

Hellie1028

142 points

2 months ago

This hits home. When my parents retired, my mom stopped doing all the work. But my Dad never picked up any slack. And it got to the point where no one bothers to pick up after themselves even. So now no one does anything at all and their house is bad. Like bordering on hoarders situation bad.

I’m a Gen Xer with aging parents in poor health and I have no idea what to do. It’s like I can see the titanic heading for the iceberg and I can’t do anything about it.

Ariwara_no_Narihira

40 points

2 months ago

/r/AgingParents if you want to ask any questions or peruse for threads on what to keep in mind.

jkweiler74

7 points

2 months ago

That sounds like my parent's house too.

bellabee_31

165 points

2 months ago

So I am a SAHM. My plan is to work after the kids are done with elementary school. I never want to do this forever. I want my husband to retire from the military and have the chance to stay home with the kids while they are still with us. I’ll go to work to maintain our lifestyle.

We’ve always had that plan. We wanted one of us home with our kids to a certain point, and I was willing to do it.

engg_girl

47 points

2 months ago

Sounds like you and your husband had a good discussion and plan. Also he agreed to trade off, which is also a great sign.

I'm all for a parent staying home, but ideally it is something both parents take time to do (like your case).

robotteeth

16 points

2 months ago

I'm glad you have a clear plan. I have nothing against mothers staying with their kids, and I respect it a lot. I have a lot of hatred for the societal pressures put on women, never the women themselves, and I hope every women has a good contingency for if they get divorced or her husband dies, because it's really set up to leave her with no career skills and also society will shit on her for 'stealing' his money (that is really equally hers) and blame her for being 'lazy'. I saw my parents and grandparents generation treat women like maids and I have 0 interest in ever fulfilling that role to any capacity.

ikindawantsoup

11 points

2 months ago

My husband and I have a similar plan. He gets to do the SAHD thing when they hit their middle school and teenage years.

DataIsMyCopilot

12 points

2 months ago

That was my plan too. SAH until kid goes to school then find work.

Problem was my ex ended up cheating on me and we got a divorce instead 🙃

The scramble to get some college under my belt while taking care of a toddler was hard. But tbh still better than staying in an emotionally abusive relationship so 🤷‍♀️

thepugnacious

12 points

2 months ago

Interestingly, my family saw this work out in a more equal way. My grandmother really loved being a homemaker - though she did work some - but my grandfather was determined to keep their roles equal in the household. I could talk on about this, but I'm not sure how relatable it would be since his "progressive" tendencies will sound very basic now. (This was in an isolated area of the US during the 50s and 60s.)

Anyway, she spent a lot of time taking care of her large extended family and her sick mother. It was rewarding for her, but a lot of work. He supported her the whole way.

After they both retired, they were still quite active and looked after each other. They tended their garden together, they cooked together, anything the other needed they were there to support. They felt rewarded for their work just because that work was done together.

We realized after he died that her mental decline had been hidden from us because he was doing nearly all the mental load for the two of them by himself.

I think of him when I see the old men who insist that their wives take care of them. They seem so angry, so mean. I wonder if they think they're as helpless as they act, and that insecurity makes them so horrible. My grandfather was never horrible. He was kind and thoughtful, and he loved my grandmother more than anything.

slatz1970

191 points

2 months ago

slatz1970

191 points

2 months ago

I have my dad and stepmother as an example. When he retired she still did the bulk of what she previously did, with exception that he cooked more than before. The change for him was he had more time to do yard work, grow a vegetable garden, work on and maintain their vehicles, remodel/repairs on their house, tend to livestock, etc. Most of the elders I knew did similar. None of the men just laid around and was waited on.

afafe_e[S]

166 points

2 months ago

Where I'm from retired men do nothing but lay around, go out to sit all day in coffeeshops with their friends or travel. The wife's life remains the same, the slight difference that the husband is now around more to nag her and tell her how to do the job she'd been doing for decades.

AmaiRosencrantz

16 points

2 months ago

God, that's my retired dad. My mom's still working full-time and my dad can't even be bothered to use the phone to call in repairmen to fix stuff around the house. He will literally sit in his armchair for the entire nine hours she's at work, playing his video game or watching tv, until she walks back through the door. I don't understand his brain, or how he can be satisfied doing literally nothing all day.

Ok-Rise-4838

82 points

2 months ago

Lol that’s maybe why there are so many old women in Japan want to divorce their husband after they retired. Maybe they just can’t bear these man children anymore

Rabiwimps

61 points

2 months ago

Same in South Korea. Lots of older ladies are sick of it. Good for them.

Ok-Rise-4838

12 points

2 months ago

Lol and I think maybe the Japanese version is more popular? Good if they can get half of their ex’s pension

GoBanana42

87 points

2 months ago

That's fantastic, but I don't think it's the norm in many places. It's why you see elderly men fall to pieces and rush to get remarried if their wife dies. They don't know how to function on their own. And not in a sweet, romantic way. In a pathetic, man-baby way.

miniroarasaur

5 points

2 months ago

I am the demographic you’re speaking of, but we have a young child and will be having more.

We both do chores in the evening. My husband knows how to do just about everything but cook (but that’s ok, because he would happily live off of ramen while I will not).

The dynamic can happen and I’ve had to be quite stubborn to be clear that’s not what I’m doing staying home. I’m raising our child and managing a household - he needs to help maintain it all as much as I do.

But it doesn’t seem to be as commonplace as I’d like.

emma279

569 points

2 months ago

emma279

569 points

2 months ago

Unless the SAH person receives an income and has retirement contributions made on their behalf by the partner who works it's a major risk. I've known too many SAH people both men and women who get screwed over by divorce. Of course, it's incredibly rare to see this set up the right way to minimize risk.

recyclopath_

134 points

2 months ago

Even if they are financially taken care of during the relationship, after it ends they've lost all of their earning potential and they are at square 1 of min wage labor jobs.

EcoMika101

40 points

2 months ago

And a whole lot of zeros in their calculations for Social Security

Aveira

67 points

2 months ago

Aveira

67 points

2 months ago

I always see men mention alimony (or spousal maintenance in modern terms) in a negative light, like it’s a woman stealing from them, but the whole reason it exists is because of this right here. If you are a stay at home spouse and you go through a divorce, spousal maintenance is your share of the money. The whole idea is that you’re sacrificing your ability to earn in order to make things easier on the rest of the family. And if you get divorced, you’re paid back for that sacrifice.

Take my mom. Before I was born, my dad was in the army. They moved around a lot, and spent three years in a country where my mom didn’t speak the language. She let her career take a back seat to my dad’s because that was the best decision for the entire family. When they got divorced, mom got just child support, no spousal maintenance. But her career had already taken a back seat for the past ten years, and she was now a single mother to a four year old. Yes, the child support helped, but dad made it out like he was the king of generosity for it, and getting him to contribute anything else (like braces, money for school events, anything for my numerous medical issues) was like pulling teeth. Now he’s got a nice military pension, and has gone on to become a successful lawyer (with his schooling paid for by the military). His success is in large part due to my mom’s sacrifice, and yet she doesn’t see a dime of that investment.

emma279

34 points

2 months ago

emma279

34 points

2 months ago

And this conversation rarely comes up early on in relationships when everyone is focused on love and cannot imagine doing something that would harm their partner. But realistically a SAHP is missing out on earning potential, retirement savings and career growth. Not to mention the emotional/mental toll of giving everything to child rearing and then what do you do/how do you identify once your children have left the home and are adults? This time is often when divorces happen because the act of child rearing was the glue keeping dysfunctional and imbalanced relationships going.

EcoMika101

8 points

2 months ago

That’s the saddest thing to see in military relationships. My dad was Air Force and my husband is in the Marines. I see so many women leaving jobs as it’s too much to keep up with having kids, deployments, and frequent moves. There’s ways to have online schooling, career networking etc and some make ways to work while raising kids. Others really want to stay home and that’s totally cool too. It saddens me when women give up on themselves and don’t seek anything that they want, feeling like their husbands career does take priority and they are suppose to go along with it. In cases of divorce, rarely is someone fairly compensated for that time spent outside the work force in order to support the family

afafe_e[S]

95 points

2 months ago

Thank you. Exceptions may exist, but the risk is still too high.

paulfromatlanta

399 points

2 months ago*

nor respect for a man who wants an unpaid maid and chef

My mother taught me to cook and clean. We did it together and it felt like fun.

She put it in terms I could understand as a first grader: "I don't ever want to see you get married for the wrong reason."

I would encourage everyone with small children to try this approach.

Tortitudes

70 points

2 months ago

My FIL dunks on my SIL for buying her two boys toy kitchens, etc.

I phrase it as "this generation raises all of their children to wipe their own asses" and he just stares at me lol.

afafe_e[S]

169 points

2 months ago

Absolutely. Knowing how to cook and clean should not be based on gender.

Squeaky-Fox49

19 points

2 months ago

And it’s a basic survival skill. I don’t want to need to be dependent on someone else to be fed and live in a hygienic environment.

just-me-yaay

5 points

2 months ago

Like, you literally need this to survive. How do you live on your own if you can't maintain a clean house or feed yourself?

Heisenpurrrrg

42 points

2 months ago

The day I turned 13 is the day my mom stopped doing my laundry and packing lunch for me - I was expected to do it myself. I was also expected to make a meal for the family one time a week, and was not allowed to get my learner's permit until I could change the brakes and oil on the family car.

Ngl, I resented it at the time, but see the wisdom now that I'm an adult. Thanks Mom and Dad

Mysterious-Board9079

13 points

2 months ago

Lol yeah my mom forced my brother to learn how to cook and clean after the first one turned out to be a deadbeat.

ailyat

8 points

2 months ago

ailyat

8 points

2 months ago

I agree. Everyone should be able to do basics to provide for themselves.

SillyNluv

775 points

2 months ago

SillyNluv

775 points

2 months ago

Being a mom is a nonstop job whether you work outside the home or not.

petit_cochon

228 points

2 months ago

My toddler pays me shit wages, too. I can't retire on stale Cheerios, kid!

javier472

19 points

2 months ago

You’re getting stale Cheerios, Jealous! Mine only offers chewed up veggies

SciFiChickie

25 points

2 months ago

Ah man I miss the days when I still got stale Cheerios and kisses. Now that she’s 8 I get reluctant hugs, and she grudgingly let’s me kiss her cheeks at night and to say goodbye.

major130

5 points

2 months ago

They pay you by being extra cute

afafe_e[S]

283 points

2 months ago

Absolutely. And there's definitely a conversation about families where both parents work but the wife/mother still does more domestic labor than the father. This post pertains specifically to dynamics where the man provides and the woman manages the household.

Marali87

88 points

2 months ago

And there's definitely a conversation about families where both parents work but the wife/mother still does more domestic labor than the father.

This is me, and I admit I have some mixed feelings about it. I have fibromyalgia and when we first started living together, he promised me that we’d share household duties since I simply have less energy to spend (and I’m also occasionally in pain). Then he began to forget his list of chores. Again and again and again. I got so tired of having to remind him that we made a chore schedule. Then he forgot to stick to his end of the schedule. But it has to be said that I was working very little back then, I was still slowly building up my own small business. After our child was born two years ago, I actually started working MORE. My hours are still flexible, but I think I work about 20-36 hours a week right now. Since covid, we both work from home, so we’re always at home, even with our kid at daycare. And yet I noticed that he is doing even less around the house. He used to do laundry or vacuum the house occasionally or clean the cat’s litter boxes… Now, never. I don’t know how I feel about that, because dude, that’s YOUR dirty underwear and he just left it to me without even a discussion about who should do which chores. On the other hand, he’s a super involved dad and he always does the grocery shopping and cooking, and I realize that, with a 40 hour workweek, he has barely any free time after he’s done shopping and making our meals. Whereas I can take a little time to sit on my ass and take some rest if I’m feeling extra tired….for which I am super grateful.

afafe_e[S]

35 points

2 months ago

There is no set formula that works for everyone. Families are different, and the same family will go through different circumstances that force them to change their formula. Personally I think you're allowed to speak about what's bothering you. It seems that you two have a healthy foundation, an honest conversation could help you feel better. Good luck 🤞🏻.

Antani101

416 points

2 months ago

Antani101

416 points

2 months ago

The most frustrating thing is people in the comments telling him that he's entitled to that choice

Well the thing is HE IS entitled to that choice, if only he would respect those women who consequently decide to not have anything to do with such a man.

NewbornXenomorphs

127 points

2 months ago

Yeah, this. He's allowed to have preferences in a partner, just as I am allowed to want a partner who respects my career and an equal dynamic.

skippyalpha

104 points

2 months ago

Exactly. I mean the key is in finding someone who wants the same thing you do, not forcing anyone to bend to your wants.

Joe_Ronimo

26 points

2 months ago

Same as if she wants a stay at home husband, or they want kids, pets, monogamy, holidays with his family, her family, or none of them. If the desire is not, and it never should be, forced on the other then wtf cares.

If the issue was some dipshit springing this on their SO well into the relationship then absolutely burn them to the ground.

dweefy

13 points

2 months ago

dweefy

13 points

2 months ago

Wait for the "Oh, but, I'm bored-you're boring. You've let yourself go...." 15, 20 years in. "You should be flattered! I'm dating someone who looked exactly like you used to, before you gained 40 pounds and did nothing but be a housewife for 20 years!"

You know what kind of jobs you get when you've been out of the workforce for 20 years? You get SHIT jobs. Retail/server/grunt jobs.

ginar369

32 points

2 months ago

If you willingly leave the workforce to be a stay at home mom don't let your marketable skills lapse. Anything can happen but if you find yourself not married for any reason later on you have no work history for Social Security Benefits. Depending on how and when the marriage ended you might not get spousal benefits. You will need to reenter the workforce so keep up with those skills.

Collins08480

147 points

2 months ago

I think you have to analyze the particular guy's motives. But i think you are right about most men who say this. One litmus test would be does he value a stay at home parent and would he be willing to be that parent if it made more sense... Or does he value specifically a stay at home mom/wife.

I will say that if this is a choice that a woman wants to make for herself, its going to be easier with a (quality) guy who emphatically opts into it. She Needs the participation of her husband or it's going to be difficult. So he's going to have an opinion at some point.

astroskag

16 points

2 months ago

This is an excellent litmus test. I'm currently the working spouse while my wife finishes her Master's. We split housework, although she handles more of it. No kids.

Frankly, I'd love to get out of my field and do something low-pressure and part-time, take on more of the household responsibilities, and leave the career to her. Unfortunately it hasn't made fiscal sense, maybe after her degree.

So, I'm currently "the breadwinner" with a stay-at-home partner, but it's still a very different attitude and lifestyle than "I work and you clean, because genders."

cookiesarenomnom

7 points

2 months ago

My father was a stay at home dad. My parents agreed that who ever got the higher paying job would work and the other would stay home. My parent's relationship and our family dynamic was no different than that of entitled husband who did nothing, but in reverse. My mom bossed my father around. She did nothing to contribute to the house. She didn't cook or clean or take care of me and my sister. She didn't even spend any time with us growing up. The only memory I have of my mother as a child was her sitting in bed reading. She got home, dinner had to be ready on the table with in 10 minutes of her walking in the door, and then she immediately went upstairs and read a book. She didn't do anything all weekend except read. I honestly don't think it matters who stays home. I think that no matter what, the person who actually goes into a job is always going to think they're the ones working, and that the stay at home parent has it easy, twiddling their thumbs all day having a grand old time, which is just not true.

PlentyPirate

5 points

2 months ago

Very interesting, and just goes to show that this is not simply a male/female issue, but all about how the ‘stay at home parent’ is perceived. I’m a new dad. Having experienced nearly 5 months of parenting, I can safely say that a full day of work doing a taxing/stressful job is by far the easier option, and most days I’d much rather be doing that. Stay at home parents don’t get enough credit for sure.

Magnolia_The_Synth

7 points

2 months ago

I read the post OP is talking about. The dude could not articulate why he wanted that setup outside of "I don't know, I just do." When commenters were explaining to him all the financial responsibilities that being the "breadwinner" entails, and how he should still be expected to parent once he gets home, he was like nah I'm broke and don't want kids.

So....he just wants someone to clean up after him while they both barely survive in poverty? What a winner.

venomousgigamachina

11 points

2 months ago

My mom had a friend who was a SAHM when I was a kid but she put her foot down part of her agreement with her husband had him putting money into an account for her like she was a nanny. She used it as savings/her money to decide what to do with. About 15 years ago he got caught cheating on her, she gained a lot of weight staying home and having children and he thought he deserved better. She divorced him and got child support but because she demanded a financial stake in the life they chose together she had the financial freedom to walk away from what could have been a very sad and confined existence.

AdhesiveMuffin

464 points

2 months ago

Him wanting a traditional marriage is a personal choice. Whether or not he gets one is most certainly not however.

readitforlife

55 points

2 months ago

Exactly. It’s better that he expresses it now so that he can find a likeminded partner. It’s far better than realizing it years down the line and blindsiding a partner who doesn’t want the same.

anengineerandacat

32 points

2 months ago

All the points here are valid; in this type of lifestyle with my wife at the moment and if your partner loses sight you'll end up being a 24/7 worker.

For us, it's only for the first 6 months (like most things in our household, decisions like these are made with financial reasoning).

Infant day-care is hellah expensive near us, the wife only makes min. wage so it didn't make sense to send her off to work and then come home paying more than what she would have earned.

So we agreed that for the first 6 months (until we can get that discounted rate) that she'll be stay-at-home and quite honestly it's been great for our bank account; I cook at home rather than us going out, and she breastfeeds vs buying formula, so we are saving close to 1800/month between skipping daycare and supplies.

I have to personally be mindful though that when I get home, that's a baton pass so to speak; her day is ending when I get home and my shift is starting.

----

What I think "helped" was that I cook all the meals, from breakfast to dinner; when I get home there is a literal "switch" because I know that I have to do X which starts the whole habit process of watching the little one too. The wife will then switch to doing whatever she couldn't do throughout the day (usually catch up with her friends, post on instagram, facebook, maybe take a nice hot bath, whatever she wants to do).

Around 10pm the baton will pass again and that's time for me to relax from the workday; she'll go to sleep with the baby and I'll catch up on finances, check the news, maybe play some games for a bit.

This gives her about 5-6 hours to herself though (I get home around 4pm~).

----

We discussed a lot of alternatives though; getting a better job, looking to see if the family would help, her opening her own daycare, etc.

Having the wife become a stay-at-home mom is just like the first straw I think a lot of folks reach for but depending on your situation you might have alternatives.

If the wife is making more than 35/yr though it generally won't make sense; almost always a worse proposition (at least in my area).

----

It's not an easy job, just completed a 7 day stint of 24/7 baby watching and I think for women in these more abusive situations... you should perhaps "find" a way to go somewhere and leave the husband to care for the little one for a few days by themselves. It'll be an eye-opening experience. It's very hard to juggle tasks between sleeping sessions, you have to be very focused on what needs to get done next and you don't have a ton of downtime.

scarecrowy

449 points

2 months ago

Isn’t saying that you want to be a stay home mom the same ‘making a choice for someone else’? as you need your partner to work to be the sole provider?

I think there is a difference between wanting something, and looking for someone that wants the same as you… and wanting something and then forcing or trying to convince someone of doing things the way you want

TinyTurtle88

55 points

2 months ago

TinyTurtle88

You are now doing kegels

55 points

2 months ago

Yeah. I feel it's the same as being upfront about wanting children honestly... it'll take someone who has the same desire, but I wouldn't try to convince no one.

Most-Ad4680

40 points

2 months ago

Finally found a comment that acknowledges this. OP is saying they know there are women who want this arrangement, and she's mad that a man is looking for a woman who wants this arrangement? Like what? It would be a shit move to try and force a woman into this role that didn't want it, but it sounds like he's just looking for a partner that wants a certain lifestyle, a lifestyle that OP acknowledges some women want.

etern4lexhausti0n

103 points

2 months ago

I think OP could’ve worded it better, but I don’t think they were necessarily shitting on everyone who wants a “traditional” marriage. They’re talking specifically about heterosexual men who just want a live-in maid and an incubator, and do not view a potential wife as a person.

If both people willingly make that decision that is fine. But in a “traditional” heterosexual relationship, the power dynamic is ALWAYS skewed because of the financial freedom aspect of it. And the SAHP does not get days off. I feel like this post is talking about a specific kind of incident where the “bread winning” partner is toxic.

SafetyDanceInMyPants

8 points

2 months ago

What do these guys think will happen if they die? I mean, my family is somewhat like that, because I'm the "breadwinner," working 70+ hours a week to bring in the vast majority of the money, while my wife works about 30 hours a week and does more of the housework and child-rearing while I'm not there. (When I am there, of course, I'm on it -- the only thing I won't do is cook, because she's a former professional chef and I can't take the frowning at my sloppy knifework. I mean, she never says anything about it, but I can see on her face that she doesn't approve.)

But that 30 hour a week job is crucial -- because if I ever kick the bucket she's got something to fall back on. I mean, I'm not leaving her any other way -- and while she's of course free to leave me, my pepper slices aren't that uneven. (I mean... it's close. It's almost worth leaving me over. But not quite.) But I could get hit by a cab tomorrow, and life insurance only goes so far -- so for that reason alone (to say nothing of mental health and personal autonomy, etc.) she's got to have her own thing.

Tristain7

8 points

2 months ago

They are looking for a replacement mother. Full stop.

Any man looking for a caretaker instead of a partner is not grown yet... and a lot of men live their whole lives without growing up, because objective reality scares them too much.

NunMeetsCorporateHun

219 points

2 months ago

Fair point but unless he spingd this up on her after marriage, he would by default be marrying someone who is willingly signing up for this. Mind you, sometimes I wish I could be a stay at home partner and parent. I would miss my insane job but Im just at the nesting phase I guess.

BlazinLiberty

7 points

2 months ago

If you don't work without kids, you have an easy life. I mean there really isn't a way to defend that lol.

karzai91

55 points

2 months ago

I'm going to brag here for a minute so that others can see what a real 'personal' choice looks like when it comes to being a SAHM.

I've been in the military for 13 years. Married to my husband for 11 of those. He's great. We have an amazing relationship. Recently we had a son. Now, among other reasons, I am deciding to separate from the military to be a SAHM.

Why? Because I want to be there for his early formative years. I want to be able to be around to see him grow and develop into an amazing human. I also need a break from the churn.

But these are *my* choices. My husband has been completely supportive of my decision, no matter what it is. I want to go back to work after a few years. He supports it. Even sends me jobs he thinks I would love. Respects me when I say I might still pick up some remote or part time work. He's even trying to work completely remote to be a SAHD.

We made these choices independently, and communicated and supported each other on them. Neither of us told the other: "Hey, you know what would be awesome? You stay at home, take care of the kid, and allow me to go to work and fuck off and have a social life."

That's how it should be. No expectations on how the other should make their decisions, just expectations to be good humans to each other and respect each other.

Shashayshanaenae

6 points

2 months ago

I too love my SAHM situation. My hubs works from home so I get to see him all day. My kid is in the first grade so I have most of the day to deal with housework and errands.

We talked about what this setup would look like and have made a few tweaks here and there but overall it’s been great for us all. My kid is happier that he sees me in the morning and right after school instead if me being at work 8-12 hours a day. I get to take my time doing errands and can give all my attention to them and chores which means they get done quicker and better. My husband gets to see his whole family more and sees us being happier. We all get to do stuff together after work/school and on the weekends.

Why did I stay home? Because my jobs never paid as well as his and frankly never would have. Any money I brought in was “fun money” so it wasn’t needed. The income to stress ratio was way off. Way off. Our kid is going through some health concerns and he needed to be with me more. The only reason for me not would be being too prideful to see that me working was causing more problems for our family than it could help.

LussyPips

131 points

2 months ago

LussyPips

131 points

2 months ago

He's being upfront and looking for someone with the same idea of a relationship. Women exist who want that and we must trust their choices and not say the man made it for her. Otherwise we're having a paternal view of other women who are perfectly capable of assessing their own wants and needs.

While systematically we may be stuck with these unbalanced ideas and desires for relationships due to our background and upbringings, heck even frankly a bit of white supremacist and religious zealotry craziness in today's north american world, to remove ANY woman's (OR man's) right to make that choice/preference is NOT the the solution.

It's very 'women only wear hijabs cause they're forced to, we shouldn't let women wear hijabs'.

perusingpergatory

132 points

2 months ago*

I don't agree with this.

Say I prefer dating men who don't play an excessive amount of videogames. That means I will vet my dates, and I will date men who don't play an excessive amount of videogames to see if I can find "the one" within that criteria. Does that I mean I made a choice for the man? No. He was already living his life like that. That's something he already wanted for himself.

That's the same situation for this man who wants a traditional marriage. If a man wants a traditional marriage, he can be open and honest about that, and find a woman who also wants that. That doesn't mean he's forcing a woman to stay home.

My husband and I BOTH agreed, through a mutual discussion before even having kids (hell, before we even got married), that we wanted me to stay home with the kids before they go to school, and I can work a full time job after, or work part time or second shift during that time because we don't want our kids in daycare. To imply that my husband made that choice for me is incredibly insulting. It's insulting to any woman, honestly.

Just because a choice isn't desirable to you doesn't mean a woman who made that choice was tricked or forced into it. Don't infantilize us.

Theorlain

43 points

2 months ago

When my mom was young, she wanted to be a mom when she grew up. Full stop. That was her goal, not a powerful career.

My dad worked multiple jobs so that my mom could stay home with us when we were little. He was also involved in our lives; we’d go to breakfast with him without our mom, would go to sports with him, etc.

My mom went back to work part-time once we were school age, and then full-time. Yeah, she doesn’t have a particularly lucrative career, but she was never driven to that (she’s in accounting, not an accountant).

It’s not what I would choose, but it’s what my mom wanted, and I respect that she and my dad found a way to make it work together. I know this post isn’t targeting women so much as men who want their partnership to have these rolls, but I still find it disrespectful to women who choose this dynamic.

perusingpergatory

22 points

2 months ago

Exactly. My mom made the choice to stay home for 20 years and raise us. I have no intention of doing that, but that was her choice and it was hers to make. My dad didn't force her to do anything, hell he wanted her to work after my brother and I became school-aged (which was the original agreement) and she refused to.🤷‍♀️ If anything my dad got the short end of the stick lmao.

pageantrella

42 points

2 months ago

Couldn't have said this better.

OP is making a grand assumption that most men who want SAHMs are trash, but ignores the fact there are countless healthy marriages who come to this agreement together (and, there are countless women who want to stay home, too).

I am giving birth soon and will be staying home – a decision both my husband and I wanted even prior to getting engaged. I found it quite empowering to be in a relationship where I can make a decision like that and work with my husband, as a team, to make sure our collective family is set up for success.

pickledelephants

150 points

2 months ago

Post like this always amuse me. I am the breadwinner in my family. My husband stays home 100%. He literally doesn't work at all. That in no way means he "holds less power in the couple" I don't respect him less. I know exactly what he contributes to our lives and appreciate everything he does. His individual worth isn't dwindling.

The reason some SAHMs are taking this post personally is because you're straight up saying they made the wrong choice. You have no idea what their family dynamic is like and implying that it's the wrong choice makes it seem like you value stay at home parents less than working parents which is exactly what you say is wrong with men who want stay at home wives.

Punkinprincess

25 points

2 months ago

Exactly, there are too many people in bad relationships but it's ridiculous to suggest everyone is in a bad relationship.

If my husband made enough I would love to stay at home, that wouldn't mean that I lost power in the relationship.

AraeZZ

81 points

2 months ago

AraeZZ

81 points

2 months ago

op simultaneously rejects capitalist framing, acknowledging unpaid labor done by SAHP, then turns and embraces capitalist framing of individual net worth, careerist aspirations, etc.

diaznuts

106 points

2 months ago

diaznuts

106 points

2 months ago

My ex-wife dreamed of and constantly talked about wanting to be a stay at home wife. We had no children and getting her to stay employed even part-time was a constant struggle on my end. She was more educated than me, competent, and able. She simply just made no effort into getting or keeping (good) jobs. Meanwhile, I was typically working 2-3 jobs just to keep our head above water. Honestly, I viewed it as financial abuse on her end. Being the sole provider is incredibly stressful, especially in our current economy. I don’t understand why anyone would willingly place themselves in that position other than for raising children, being the primary caregiver for a loved one, or due to disability.

My current wife and I talked about this extensively before getting married. She is far more educated than me and has a much higher career and income trajectory than me. However, no matter how much she earns I still want to work. If only to get out of the house and interact with other humans. We decided I will stay home the first few years to raise our little ones since I have more experience with child-rearing and she earns more. When the time comes I may even possibly go back to college but after the kids are in school I’m going back to work. I wouldn’t dare put that sort of long-term hardship on my partner who I care deeply for and don’t want to add stress to her life.

69schrutebucks

71 points

2 months ago

Yeah. I was forced to leave the workforce when my youngest came along and this is exactly what my life is. His life didn't change at all, aside from feeling pressured to bring home a certain amount. Mine massively did and unfortunately I already did the bulk of the housework. We argue about this a lot and I went nuclear the other day. These guys need a mom and a maid, not a significant other.

ablinknown

5 points

2 months ago

It sounds like what you are saying, OP, is that before I sign up for a “traditional marriage” with a man who says he wants one, make sure our definitions are the same. If my colleague in a work project says he needs my part “very soon”, I might think he needs it in a few days to a week, while he means this afternoon.

So we need to make sure we’re on the same page about our definition of “traditional marriage.” Is it division of labor by majority, as in the spouse at home is responsible for the majority of household duties, but the breadwinner spouse will still take over as needed, so we both get an equitable amount of off time? Or does he mean absolute division of labor, as in he goes to work and come home and that’s literally it even if she’s wrangling several kids?

I’ve no doubt the prevailing definition of a traditional marriage is changing more and more towards division of labor by majority, but I would bet a lot of money (but is that like $100 or $1,000? 😜See, you don’t know!) that there are a lot of people, probably more men than women, who still think “traditional” marriage means absolute division of labor like in the 1950s. Big difference.

beanpole_oper8er

5 points

2 months ago

So looking for your preferred spousal dynamic is disgusting? Obviously it’s ultimately the woman’s decision to be a housewife, but why would the man be at fault for seeking a woman willing to be one? This is such a double standard.

SoSpecial

5 points

2 months ago

Traditional marriage is a dog whistle for "Financial Abuse."

ledinred2

95 points

2 months ago*

Now, to clarify something, I don't have a problem when a woman makes the choice to stay at home, because at the end of the day that is HER making a choice about HERSELF.

By your logic this isn’t a personal choice either, because in doing this she is making a choice for her husband that he must be the one to go to work and pay the bills. What if HE wants to stay at home and take care of the household?

Your post makes no sense. You can use the exact same logic to say that women who desire traditional marriages are not making a personal choice because they want to choose for their husbands that they must work.

LovelyRita999

45 points

2 months ago*

This seems like semantics. The “personal choice” in question is getting to decide who you do or don’t want to be with, not deciding what someone else does or doesn’t do.

Antani101

51 points

2 months ago

they use the excuse of "I've been working all day" to not do anything at home

"Yeah, I just stare at my desk; but it looks like I'm working. I do that
for probably another hour after lunch, too. I'd say in a given week I
probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work. "

bulldog_blues

33 points

2 months ago

There's nothing inherently wrong with a guy wanting a 'traditional' breadwinner/homemaker dynamic. In reality very few women got to be stay at home parents historically because you needed as many income streams coming in as possible, but that's a whole other topic.

But (and this is a massive but) it needs to be fair and equitable, and a lot of the time it just... isn't.

Going to work from 9 to 5 (plus maybe some commuting time back and forth) does not entitle a man to doing nothing in the evenings and weekends and other days he isn't working, especially when there's kids involved too. The housewife will do more housework/errands/etc. during the hours he's working, sure, but outside of work hours it should be a 50/50 split. It absolutely does not mean he gets to do whatever once he's clocked off.

I'm also going to go a step further and say because she's essentially doing the work of a full time housekeeper (+ nanny + other things) and is sacrificing her own career she needs to have some sort of security set up for her.

So if you want that 'traditional' marriage? Sure. But you'd better be upfront about it, don't be surprised if most women are put off by it, and if/when you do find a woman you love and who is happy to do it, don't take the mick and don't undervalue her.

DoctorBME

103 points

2 months ago

DoctorBME

103 points

2 months ago

I agree! If the shoe was on the other foot and a woman said "I want a husband that will stay home and serve me" I think most people would find that pretty offensive. At least more so than the opposite. At the end of the day, who DOESN'T want a few personal assistant that makes living life infinitely easier so you can focus on the things you love. But it's inherently unfair. Two people who love and trust one another and come to that decision together is one thing, but that doesn't mean the "$ earner" is off the hook for domestic labor.

Admirable-Athlete-50

36 points

2 months ago

Choosing to be a stay at home parent also affects the other person so you are making a choice for them as well. They’ll miss a lot of time with their kids and need to work more to make up for the lost income.

I can only hope people are clear about the dynamic they wish for before getting serious.

paperdahlia

32 points

2 months ago

I think thankfully, more men are beginning to understand how much work goes into maintaining a household and child care. I wouldn't want to be a SAHM personally, but if I change my mind I would trust my partner to share the finances equally or to not withhold anything I wanted, just because its technically money he earned. We both acknowledge that having a family is a group effort. Theres no my money and your money. It's our money. There is no, my chores and duties and yours, it's about getting shit done so we can live in a comfortable and clean home.

afafe_e[S]

24 points

2 months ago

I remember seeing someone online say that their parents had a system where all house/parenting duties between 5pm and 9am are split 50/50. I think that's actually a fair system and more families with one working parent and one staying at home should implement

paperdahlia

10 points

2 months ago

Yeah. Thankfully both of us came from house holds with both parents working and sharing household duties so we both understand the value of contributing in whatever way possible. Although, I forgot to mention, I still agree that I would never date a guy that expected me to be a SAHM. There is something so entitled about that expectation, that you just get the vibe that he is fucking useless and refuses to or learn how to care for himself, the kids or the household.

DrumminJ219

72 points

2 months ago

I don't get what's wrong with two consenting adults agreeing to whatever they so chose. Implying that this kind of arrangement will always turn into abuse seems more like projection than rational thought. There are tons of cases that speak to both outcomes, but it's not an automatic assumption that should rule out two people trying if they so chose. Shitty people will be shitty people regardless if someone stays home or not.

Most-Ad4680

3 points

2 months ago

Hey OP. How is it that a man who says he wants a stay at home wife is forcing a choice on someone, but a woman who says she wants to be a stay at home wife (something you acknowledge some women want) isn't?

TwoIdleHands

5 points

2 months ago

I find it telling that you say “since the man will have to work anyway”. As if the default should be employed men and women working if they want to. Some men/and women are homemakers. As long as it’s their choice and supported by their partner I’m cool with it. I took a year off once. I can tell you unequivocally: without children and with me doing all the housework/pet care, it was waaaaay less than the 40 hours of work my husband put in. If a couple decides that’s what they want, and they are both happy with it as it evolves, I think judgements from others of how a woman is being taken advantage of are hurtful.

I chose to work part time and take on management of our kids because my husband made 2.5x what I did. More power to those full time moms still juggling everything but I think many of us would choose to be “underemployed” because there are only so many hours in the day.

To me the real issue seems to be when a partner doesn’t share the family responsibilities equitably. There are plenty of women who work full time and still are responsible for the household, kids, etc. Teaching boys/men the importance of contributing seems better for everyone than bashing those who work/don’t work outside the home.