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Husband says he works harder than me and doesn't seem to respect my work outside or inside the home


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First time poster, please be kind.

H and I have been married almost 3 years. We actually met at work and started at the same level. After we had my son, our pay and seniority levels steadily grew apart. I didn't mind that too much as I was planning on leaving. I hated the job for years and it was affecting my wellbeing. Last year I finally quit having already started my own education business and made plans to retrain as a teacher. 

A few weeks ago H (who is wfh) had organised for a number of tradesmen to come in to fix different bits around the house. When  I got back in from school I joked that the plumber had come back only to say the exact same thing that he'd said several weeks ago. I also made a joke about the electrician starting so many jobs but not finishing anything off. H went out of the room in a huff, which I really wasn't expecting. He then came back, ostensibly calmer and said that he had worked really hard organising the workers and that he had a lot on with his own work etc. He said that he had worked twice as hard as me anyway and I was being critical of the extra work he is doing. 

I was really taken aback. H has always indicated that if I wanted to give up work and be a SAHM that would be fine by him and that he sees equal value in working outside  the home and the work in the home.  But while this is what he has said, the fact that he came back and was calmly able to say "I work twice as hard as you" has really shaken my confidence in him.  If he is working 10 to 12 hour days, it inevitably falls on me to keep the normal household stuff going, do drop off and pick up from nursery, all this while running my business,  and my teacher training course (which requires  study alongside working in school). I had thought that this was our understanding. That when one of us has got more on, the other one will pick up the slack etc. 

We did resolve this argument, as he insisted that he only said that spitefully in the heat of the moment and of course he doesn't think like that. However, I haven't been able to forget what he said and I have resolved that I could never be a SAHM in this relationship as I can see him losing respect for me or thinking I don't do anything all day while he does all the hard work. I've never wanted to be a SAHM anyway. 

However, I am now in a position where I am the one that has a lot on workwise. In particular, I have a lot to catch up on with my teacher training course. I have made really clear to H that I wanted to ring fence the first week after my school placement to catch up on work before going back into my business day to day. 

 

A couple of days ago he suggested us taking a short weekend break by whatsapp. I replied quickly on my lunch break basically saying i would be keen. However by the time I finished he had already asked his boss for the time off. 

When I got home I looked at the dates he had suggested properly and realised that it was the week I was due to return to my business

Because of my placement and family holidays over Christmas I have not physically worked in my own business since the end of November last year. 

I explained that I was hesitant to take another week out when I could get back into my setting and suggested we do the break in March instead. I said the Match dates were also better as they involved less days out of the business for me and we would actually be able to have a longer holiday. He then said 'well you dont know that you would have been in all those days in the February dates anyway'. I asked what he meant and he was like, well you sometimes work from home you don't always go in so I don't see why the February dates are a problem. He then sulked out of the room and when I called him out on it he said he wasnt sulking he just had work to do. Later he made a big thing of how he would basically look bad for asking for the leave then changing his mind. He was then generally in a mood with me. 

So despite my better judgement I gave in. I said we could do the February dates and I would go into my business for a week before we went away. I am basically giving up the week I had ring fenced for catching up with my coursework. I told him I could work mornings and  evenings and try and get as much as I could done before we went away. 

The holiday is now booked. I feel so resentful towards him and dont even think I will have a good time on this holiday if I have to spend all day with him. 

I'm not sure if I'm looking for advice or validation  that he has treated me poorly. I'm also not sure if I'm reading more into the situation than there is. Should I believe him when I say he values both our work equally? Right now I don't think he does.

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Is your business producing an income? Going back to school is not working, it's trying to get another career off the ground.

If you think the contractors are incompetent,do some research and find better ones.

Resentments come out in arguments. In this case he resents being the sole breadwinner while you go back to school. 

Focus on your child. Either be a SAHM as you both agreed and both understand it to entail, or go back to work.

If he's going to hire contractors and take care of that what's up with the snide remarks about it?

You're at a bad stage. You're both contemptuous and resentful. Sit down and speak frankly and honestly about what you both want.

Edited by Wiseman2
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23 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Is your business producing an income? Going back to school is not working, it's trying to get another career off the ground.

If you think the contractors are incompetent,do some research and find better ones.

Resentments come out in arguments. In this case he resents being the sole breadwinner while you go back to school. 

Focus on your child. Either be a SAHM as you both agreed and both understand it to entail, or go back to work.

If he's going to hire contractors and take care of that what's up with the snide remarks about it?

You're at a bad stage. You're both contemptuous and resentful. Sit down and speak frankly and honestly about what you both want.

Hi @Wiseman2, maybe I wasnt as  clear as I could have been.  I am not a SAHM and I do not want to be and have never agreed to be. H is not the sole breadwinner.

My education business is income generating and I still contribute exactly half of our mortgage and bills, same as I historically always did because we worked the same job and because I would personally never feel comfortable relying entirely on someone else financially. 

I am training to become a teacher alongside the work I do in my own education business. I work 4 days a week, with a mixture of physically being in my business and working from home on my business. 

In that context, this is not about finances. My contribution (financially) has not changed since I left my old job. 

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School is work. My husband works more than full time and for the last several years worked on an advanced degree.  That degree also was his work IMO. 

I think these are the issues (I was a SAHM for the first 7 years, also contributed to the family income as I had assets from my 15 year prior career but absolutely 1000% wanted to be a full time parent and had no intention of "staying" in one place "at home" -so SAHM didn't describe what I did).

Issue 1 -you lied to yourself about being ok with being a "SAHM".  So you're going to be more sensitive to such comments.  You mostly did it because of practical/logistical reasons so you're projecting a bit when your husband makes comments.

Issue 2- it's not a comparison game. Sometimes you will be working harder, sometimes he will be sometimes you'll both be on vacation or you'll hire a sitter/housekeeper.  Whatever.  Please don't go down the comparison path.  I say this because when I feel frustrated (I now work part time for the last 5 years but often it's closer to full time) I say stuff like that but realize that a lot of your work is invisible. Like, when my son takes a shower later - wa la- he'll have a clean towel and his body wash dispenser will be full - my husband sleeps late and works late nights so he never sees how hard I work every morning from around 6:15am-8am getting my son out the door and to school.  But I never see how hard he works at night because I go to bed early.  Recognize that.  

Issue 3-accept your husband's apology -see what I said about invisible work - it's incredibly stressful especially now during covid to organize work around the house -we have a maintenance staff in our building and it's still so hard and stressful.  I have to schedule around my husband's sleeping times, meeting times, etc.  And then the covid risks.  Sometimes even if something hurtful is said we have to move past it.  He was frustrated.  Let it go.  Yes there are exceptions - really abusive language - or repetitively critical - but this was a one off and I can relate to his frustration -can you?

keep working towards shifting back to working outside the home and outsource a bit more for your child - this SAHM gig is not a good fit for you.  I knew when I was ready to go back to work outside the home - listen to yourself and see if you can work outside the home more hours and sooner than planned.  Good luck and i'm sorry about your struggles.

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Could it be that you are spreading yourself too thin? What's your part in all this? Are you not making time for your partner and he snapped?

Also, could you explain what you mean by ring fencing? Are you talking about separating assets? How does this impact the household? 

I think what hubs said was mean and I wouldn't like it either.  But he did apologize and say he said it in anger. 

I think I would try to tell him, that you want to believe that he only said that in anger, but it's been impacting your thoughts lately.  Try to work through the resentment with communication. At the end of the day, this is your life partner. You have to work together to get back to a loving safe space to be yourselves again or resentment will just build up and ruin your marriage.

Relationships take a lot of forgiveness but in order to do that, you might need to express some things.  Set a new boundary that he needs to know words can't be taken back and just because he was angry isn't a good enough reason. 

I mean come on, is it reasonable to go to level 10 anger over this?  Does he have a hard time controlling his anger?

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Thank you for your replies so far. There's a lot there for me to unpack. I think there is a lot to be said for just forgiving him for what he said and taking him at face value when he says its not what he thinks he was just frustrated. 

 

Just a few things to clarify. I am not a SAHM/homemaker. The job I do now is less time consuming each day than the previous but is more physically demanding than what I used to do and what H does. Also because it is my business I can build in more flexibility and dont have to answer to bosses in the same way any more.

When I mentioned ring fencing, I just meant setting aside a week with no engagements or physically working in my business for me to catch up on my studies. 

I think I am spreading myself thinly at the moment. The course is a one year accelerated programme. So its intense now, but will not be for much longer as I'll be done by the summer. 

Good, solid advice so far. Very much appreciated.

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There is some disrespect there. I’m not sure why he’d insinuate you’re a SAHM or give that role a negative spin either. Even though you are not a SAHM and it was a misused term by him it should not have carried any implication that he does more work than you. 

You’ve both talked about this already. Do you trust him that he won’t make such a comment again? I’d leave this and stop letting it affect your work and other areas. While you don’t forget, learn to forgive.

If this comes up again be firm and tell him you won’t accept those kinds of insinuations and disrespect. It’s demeaning to you and what you’re doing to further yourself. Remain motivated and continue to find motivation in what you are pursuing. Don’t do it out of spite to prove your husband wrong in your marriage. 

Regarding the trip, I’m a firm believer in doing what you say and not backtracking on promises or agreements. You agreed to go on the trip but failed to note the dates. It was a mistake on your part and your error. Don’t push the blame on your husband or look for reasons to resent him more. Enjoy the trip, come back refreshed and enjoy your work and courses. 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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You falsely frame your passive-agressive comments as jokes when you were really giving your husband a dig at decisions made with contractors. He acted just as poorly with his dig.

You came to a consensus about the vacation, so push all the negativity aside and go on the vacation with a good mindset. Don't punish him by being moody. Start now by researching your itinerary for the vacay, and be excited about discussing those plans with him. Ask him which souvenir he wants while on the trip--your treat.

We can't always act as one would think Mr. Rogers would when faced with family issues. But to lessen the frequency of poor communication, I recommend you purchase, or get from the library, books on couples communication and take turns reading each other chapters. Make a goal of a chapter a day. One good one is Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.

Because right now, the poor skills you both possess will cause so much bitterness in the marriage that it will end. Also, make sure you're keeping an emotional connection strong with your husband. Read some articles on how to do that. Life is difficult, so man yourself with as many tools as possible.

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2 hours ago, KremeBrulee said:

ust a few things to clarify. I am not a SAHM/homemaker. The job I do now is less time consuming each day than the previous but is more physically demanding than what I used to do and what H does. Also because it is my business I can build in more flexibility and dont have to answer to bosses in the same way any more.

Yes so if you are working outside the home I'd outsource more housekeeping/child care responsibilities especially since you're bringing in income.  

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If you seek offense, you will always find it.

You agreed to the trip, so it would be a childish waste of your time and money to go hostile on husband and make both of you miserable.

You insulted husband's handling of the contractors, and he retaliated with equal rudeness. You both sound insecure about one another's perceptions, and that could be the result of losing kindness in your household, which you can opt to turn around at any time--by example rather than by demand.

If you want to keep drilling a deeper hole to climb out of, you'll only amplify your own difficulty and harm your own happiness--for zero payoff.

Demonstrate the kindness you wish to receive, and allow for a time lag for husband to catch on. You will thank yourself later.

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17 hours ago, KremeBrulee said:

I think I am spreading myself thinly at the moment. The course is a one year accelerated programme. 

You seem to be burning yourself out and that's not your husband's fault.

You also mentioned SAHM many times in your post and went on and on about it, even though it's irrelevant. Why drag that into your arguments?

You're getting into the who-does-more-around-here war. That's a no-win situation.

Be smart like your husband. Hire more help. Housecleaning, nannies, takeout food,etc. He hires contractors rather than play superdad and whine about it.

If you are this burnt out and stretched thin you're no use to yourself or your child.

Edited by Wiseman2
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So your husband actually apologies when he expresses his feelings in an agitated way, and he initiates and plans getaways for the both of you without forcing him to do so, and he fiscally supports you to go back to school?  I'm jealous here!

Sometimes it helps to remember to breath, and take a moment to think are you also thinking about where he's coming from.  Not to invalidate your feelings, but he should be able to get on the soapbox from time to time, and just vent, and feel safe to do so.

I would take a step back and check in from time to time, and also count your blessings.

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On 2/12/2022 at 10:14 AM, KremeBrulee said:

I think I am spreading myself thinly at the moment.

That's probably why it rubbed you the wrong way when your husband made that comment. He may not have realized your state of mind. But he sounds like a decent guy and I'm glad you guys were able to talk it out successfully. 

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1 hour ago, tattoobunnie said:

Sometimes it helps to remember to breath, and take a moment to think are you also thinking about where he's coming from.  Not to invalidate your feelings, but he should be able to get on the soapbox from time to time, and just vent, and feel safe to do so.

This is really great marriage advice, especially for parents of younger children.

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1 hour ago, smackie9 said:

Whatever you pay for daycare, hire a nanny. She can cover the housework and watching the kid. It would sure free up a lot of stress. 

Typically nannies are much more expensive and have to be treated like an employee -also the OP might want the socialization aspect.  Not all nannies do housework beyond the kid's dishes, maybe child's laundry, etc.  If they do- even more expensive.

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26 minutes ago, smackie9 said:

I know nannies can be expensive to most people, but when you have two professionals earning money, a good one is obtainable. 

I was commenting on spend the money on daycare on a nanny -that money won't pay for a nanny most likely and especially won't pay for a combo nanny/housekeeper.  Certainly if they can afford a nanny and a housekeeper or combo your suggestion is great!

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Ya I can't imagine washing laundry and vacuuming after a 12 hour shift/ juggling a kid's needs/setting up a career/working, etc let alone have dinner on the table. They need outside help and there are plenty of options, like grocery delivery/pickup, box meals, weekly maid service, taxi type service for kids, etc. 

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