Saturday, January 2, 2010

Are We Our Own Worst Enemies?

A couple of weeks ago a close friend told me about a recent argument that she had with her husband of ten years. Over the past ten years she has confided in me about the fact that he does little to help her with the children or housework. She recently had another child about ten months ago and was diagnosed with postpartum depression, and the jackass husband still does little to help her.

About two weeks ago she informed me that she told him that "enough is enough" and one day while we were at work he text messaged her that he wanted a divorce. Isn't that lovely? I haven't spoken with her during the vacations and so I am assuming that he was merely throwing a fit.

In addition to the text message, before she came into work in the morning he had told her that she wasn't being a "good wife" because she rarely had sex with him anymore. She responded, "Well, if you would help me more often then I wouldn't be so damn exhausted and maybe I would actually feel like having sex".

Over the years I have listened to these little fights and watched her have to take primary responsibility for the children and household, while at the same time being the partner who makes the most money. (Hell, it's my opinion that if women make more money than men and have more of a professional job that requires more time and attention, then the men should be putting in more time than us with household duties. But I've digressed.)

Throughout the ten years I've discussed the situation with one of our close male friends and we've pondered the following question, "Is he really a lazy ass, or is she a 'micromanager' and won't allow him to really help her because he's not doing it the exact way that she wants it done?" I posed this question to her a couple of times and she was unable to answer and told me that she had to think about it.

All of my life I have heard similar stories from women at work or on the internet. I used to sit in the staff lounge and listen to women talk about how men are "like children", that they can't take care or themselves or do anything right. I've listened to other women complain that even when they technically aren't single that they still consider themselves to be a single mother.

I've always thought that this was bizarre. Most of my close friends (with an exception to the one that I mentioned) are not married or dating "helpless men" and I most certainly have never dated such a loser. Do men only act like this because they are allowed to get away with it? Are men really lazy, or are many women such control freaks that men just think, "Screw it-she's just going to bitch at me because I didn't do it her way, so I just won't do it at all". Would men not act like this so often if women stopped socializing them to act this way by not setting boundaries with them?

I'm at that point in my life where I see women as being way too complicit in their own oppression, yet are failing to take responsibility that they also are partly responsible for creating these "worthless men". I'm tired of the incessant "down with the patriarchy" crap that even I subscribe to because I have seen far too many women be responsible for their own demise.

When it really boils down to it, who is really at fault here? What are your opinions?


Anonymous said...

If you Marry a man who doesn't do will end up with a husband who doesn't do housework.

Watch what a man does at his mother's house. THAT is the kind of husband you will have.

If you got issues with men who don't share in domesticity, don't marry a man who can't find the peanut butter at his mother's house.

Wicked Bitch, Latina Fatale said...

Exactly, sweet pea-it's not like these men suddenly grow into lazy asses as soon as they are married. That is another "myth" that I've heard-the moment that you get married they change. I think it's bullshit and people just refused to see the truth before they got married.

RS said...

What happens when the guy lives alone? You won't see how I live at my parents' because they live in India...
OTOH: you can always see *my* place :-)
IMO, irrespective of who earns more, men should be equal partners at home. Which tells me - I need to stock my kitchen and clean up more often... ;-)

LetsEatCake! said...

Boy, this is a good question.

My experiences have been thus:

My partner and I have lived together for 3 years, and he has always been an equal participant in the household duties. GRANTED, there are many times he doesn't do it how I want, so I just do it myself.

The last 3 months or so, I've started making twice as much money as him. He works part time, at night, and the agreement is, he can continue to do this as long as he keeps our house clean.

He was always "pretty good" before, but I'll tell you, now? That house is spotless, top to bottom every day, and he has dinner on the table every night when I get home from work.

This leads me to believe somehow it's about the man feeling like things are equal. It sounds like maybe this couple needs to lay out some ground rules.

On the flip side, my other boyfriend, whom I don't live with, lives alone in a total pig sty. I will never live with him, for that fact alone. I believe some men (and women) are just downright lazy.

I also remember being a new mom to a 10-month-old, and for some reason being extrememly anal about how clean my house was.

They should try making some agreements about who does what, when, and how often they'll have sex in exchange.

Wicked Bitch, Latina Fatale said...

@RS-thanks for your comments. I suppose my feeling is that if there is one person who might have more of a time intensive job and possibly works more/longer, then the other person should take care of the house more. In this case she is a school administrator who works about 60 hours per week and he only works 30. As far as I'm concerned, he should be cleaning the house and helping with the kids more, considering that she works more and brings home more of the dinero.

Wicked Bitch, Latina Fatale said...

@Let's Eat Cake-

Sounds like a great deal!

I've fantasized about having my primary guy stay home all day and do everything while I just support him, but he isn't down for that. The great thing about him is that he works more than me and he still wants to cook and clean because frankly I'm not the domestic type and I think he is really one of those obsessive compulsive clean types. I'd rather pay someone to clean or just have him do it!! Both of my guys are pretty clean, except my secondary will only run errands and shop for me and won't lift a finger to clean

I agree that it's about ground rules and today she talked to me and said that now that she is starting to place boundaries, he is rebelling. I am convinced that it is all about setting ground rules and boundaries. If in fact he is just a lazy slob, then she just needs to trade something else with him. Even if he's a lazy slob though I told her to have him pay for a housekeeper and he should still help with the damn kids.

The Absence of Alternatives said...

This topic is too close to home. Were you talking to me? LOL. I wrote a post on this exact topic: "In addition to the Pre-nuptial agreement, draw up a chore chart and sign on the dotted line!" Since it is tacky to leave a link, here is some of what I wrote: "I hesitate in calling myself a feminist. Because I am embarrassed. Not because of the label, but because I would be living a lie if I call myself one. I am the woman that Feminists hold up as a bad example... An enabler." "I am relieved that I don’t have a daughter. I don’t know what kind of an example I would be setting for a girl: “Don’t bother. It doesn’t matter whether you get an advanced degree or not. Probably worse. Because now you know to feel resentment AND guilt when you do everything around the house.”"

Wicked Bitch, Latina Fatale said...

Oh, leave the link, leave the link!!

LetsEatCake! said...

Just making sure you saw this, I really think you'll love it.