(Un)helpful Husband

by | Jan 9, 2023 | Family Life, Health, Marriage, Parenting, Society

Recently I stumbled across a “suggested for you” page on Facebook. It was some obscure Mommy Blog site featuring a long poem about a young mother’s struggles. Specially, how hard her life was because her baby was a scream machine and her husband was a useless oaf.

Reading the poem, I just got sadder and sadder. This woman spoke from such a place of desperation, loneliness, and need. She talked about her love for her child, how all the pain of pregnancy and labor was worth it, how she treasured cuddling her baby to sleep, how she couldn’t possibly stay angry with her little one. That part sounded a lot like my own experience with young motherhood.

But then, when she talked about her husband, she expressed nothing but contempt. She wrote about how he sleeps through all their daughter’s cries. How he just rolls onto her half of the bed when she gets up in the middle of the night. That he has no idea how exhausted she is each morning and through every day. How tomorrow he won’t remember or care how difficult the baby was all night, but instead will just smile and go off to work and come home for sex and do it all over again.

After finishing the poem, I read through some of the comment section. It broke my heart to see how many women said, “this poem is exactly how I feel” or “thank you for voicing my own struggles.” There was so much downright hate for husbands who don’t help with the babies.

What really stood out to me, though, was how nowhere in the poem or the comments did anyone mention telling their husbands they were struggling.

For the record, it’s only once in a blue moon that I actually walk across the hallway to get a crying Peter from his crib at 4 AM. Joshua does that for me. He changes Peter’s diaper in the middle of the night. He refills my water while I breastfeed. He takes Peter back to his crib and tucks him in after he eats. Unlike the mothers on the blog page, I cannot relate to the experience of feeling alone and desperate for help while my baby cries and I need sleep every single night.

But I can relate to my husband not being able to read my mind. Joshua can attest to this: if women do not ask for help, men don’t think we need any. It’s not that all men are horrible, selfish, stupid oafs who can’t do addition without their wife’s help. They don’t want to get in our way unless we ask them to help us. Otherwise, they simply, genuinely, do not know we need something.

If you’re feeling alone in handling, really, anything in your life with your spouse, then tell him! Your husband has promised to love, honor, and cherish you all the days of your life. He wants to help you. He wants to come to your rescue. Hold yourself and your spouse to higher standards. The three most valuable words in marriage are: “I need you.”

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Michelle C. Martin

Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University with her husband, Joshua, in May 2021 and married him in June on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has a degree in Communication Studies and has loved growing in knowledge of healthy and authentic relationships during her time in college and adulthood. Michelle and Joshua currently reside in Lubbock, TX where he works as an architect and she loves life as a stay-at-home wife and mother to their children, Peter and Cecilia.

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