As a disclaimer, I am writing the following from the perspective of a middle-class heterosexual woman who has learned from divorce. What I will discuss below may also apply to same-sex relationships. It’s just that I’ve noticed that a lot of heterosexual women, many of them married with young kids, go online to complain and seek advice to deal with the fact that their husbands aren’t pulling their weight. A frequent complaint is “he just watches TV or plays video games/on the computer and tunes out” or, “he goes out drinking with his friends too often”, or something along those lines. I certainly don’t buy the male “work is stressful, wahh wahh” argument for engaging in this type of behavior.
At the risk of sounding preachy, it is wise not to stay with someone in the first place if he doesn’t contribute enough around the house (or other humble abode), and doesn’t support your career/educational goals. Avoid these men like the plague. I don’t care if these men are charismatic, good looking, smart, financially stable, confident, kind, or possess other appealing traits. If a man does not vacuum, dust, do dishes, cook basic meals, clean the toilet or does not use his basic handyman skills (you should have basic handyman skills also), then who cares about his great job? Move on — he is a selfish deadbeat who thinks what he is doing is more important. Even if a man is wealthy enough to pay for a cleaning service or contractor to deal with household stuff, it is possible that his wealth could disappear tomorrow. Perhaps his issue is depression; in which case he is responsible for going to counseling or finding the correct medication to deal, not covering it up with alcohol/drugs or victimizing himself, because that is just BS. Also, his responsibility is for you to be happy; not his friends, mother, father or whomever else is in his circle, including but not limited to coworkers. Of course they matter, but not as much as you do, since those people do not sleep with him in the same bed, nor will they likely be the ones wiping his butt on a daily basis if he ever becomes disabled.
You will not be able to have a functioning relationship in the future if your man does not do chores. By extension, I doubt a man who chooses not to do these basic household tasks would ever be willing to change a diaper, and later focus an appropriate amount of attention on his offspring. He expects you to do that, which means less time for you to focus on what you want, like your career, or a fulfilling hobby perhaps. You have ambition, so guess what? You don’t need a guy like that. Even if you don’t want kids, it just won’t work. Leave now…
…I realize these not-so-positive traits may not be obvious until later on in a relationship and frankly this may become a problem that arises after having a child or children. Sometimes women are so obsessed with reproduction that they fail to notice that their man is a deadbeat. Okay, it happens.
As a woman with children, you should have expectations and needs that must be met, because being a mother is demanding, right? You cannot compromise these needs, otherwise you will set a bad example for your children. When you enter into a relationship, there is an implied contractual term that the other person will contribute equally. If you find yourself nagging and you are living a generally unhappy existence, your needs aren’t being met and it is time for an ultimatum. You could try counseling, and it may help. Ultimately though, your spouse/boyfriend/partner or whatever he is must get his s! *% together or the relationship ends. Even if there are kids.
I read a lot of women saying, “But I don’t wanna see my kids on a part-time basis”. Sorry, you’re going to have to live with the consequences of sharing custody of the children you chose to have with your deadbeat man (or hopefully now, your ex). You are responsible for your own happiness, but also the happiness of your kids. The cliché is you can’t make anyone else happy until you are happy yourself. This is true. So be a good parent and do what’s necessary to make yourself happy.