AGMom

Husbands Being the Main Source of Stress

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Something I came across, quoted: 

"46 percent of mothers in the U.S. feel more stressed out by their husbands than their children, according to a new survey.

A poll of over 7,000 mothers across the country, conducted by Today Moms, found that because of different parenting views, a lack of help with household duties, and the typical pressures of marriage, many mothers feel that their husbands are just another child to take care of.

What's more, the average mother reported her stress level overall at a whopping 8.5 out of ten."

 

What do you think? Anyone feel inside this boat? How do you avoid this situation? I feel like this is currently my relationship with my husband. He's stubborn. He's a "grumpy" cleaner, meaning he's always in a bad mood when he helps out with any chore. It makes me want to give up on asking him for any type of help, because there's usually huffing and puffing involved, no matter how politely I ask. I really do my best to avoid being that naggy wife, but it is BEYOND frustrating when I'm being ignored. To be honest, I feel like we're back to our first year of marriage where we both had some growing up to do. We've been married 9 years. We have a 2 year old boy and boy #2 will be arriving in about 5 weeks. 

I don't know if I'm exaggerating his behavior or not (pregnancy hormones?), but I do feel insanely ignored around here. I can understand my 2 year old ignoring me and wanting to do things his way- because, well, that's part of his development. He's 2. But my husband? Our boy a really good, sweet kid. But, you know, he's going through his terrible twos which can definitely be frustrating. To add, I feel like my husband is just another kid. He stomps around and mumbles when I ask him for any help. It's impossible to talk to him without being ignored 75% of the time. When he talks, however, boy he can talk! But typically about one thing, one particular hobby he likes. It's exhausting to listen to him talk about it constantly, but I listen and act interested. However, when it's my turn, he drifts off into Lala Land. Earlier this evening, he actually pulled out his guitar and equipment and starting playing while I was talking. And to get things straight, I don't talk for hours at a time. I fully understand anybody would tune out endless chatter. I do it. I'm typically not much of a talker anyway. However, he started playing his music when I was about 30 seconds into the conversation. He was staring into his sheet music and wouldn't acknowledge me. He even interrupted a few times to say something to our son. I just faded off and walked away to play with our son in his room so he could be by himself. 

Anyway, when I do try to have a decent conversation about it- and not during a heated argument, but quiet downtime, the only response I get is defensiveness. "Why is it always my fault?" From there, he'll talk about all the nice things he does to try and offset the current topic. Oh, for crying out loud ,why do I even bother?! 

I'm depressed, I really am. There just isn't much of a marriage anymore. No intimacy, too much disagreeing. Again, feeling like we're newlyweds again who can't seem to get each other.
 

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Hello AGMom!

First, welcome to lds.net, glad you are here with us!
Second, your concerns sound very familiar to another recent thread. I don't want to ignore your concerns, but lets see if this thread helps shed some light on things for you. "Kara" is another Sister who posted basically your same concerns:

Here is the link:  How to serve my husband, or, my house is a mess

Let us know what you think.

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On 4/7/2016 at 7:22 PM, AGMom said:

No intimacy,

This is probably a much bigger part of the problem than you recognize. 

I would say (knowing this is very difficult when things aren't warm between spouses) make a concerted effort to smile at him more, touch him more in passing, welcome him home with a kiss, say goodbye with a kiss, and try to increase other kinds of intimacy as well. You don't have to talk about it, in fact I wouldn't. Just try it and see if he reciprocates in kind with less grumpiness and negativity. 

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On 4/7/2016 at 7:22 PM, AGMom said:

Something I came across, quoted: 

"46 percent of mothers in the U.S. feel more stressed out by their husbands than their children, according to a new survey.

A poll of over 7,000 mothers across the country, conducted by Today Moms, found that because of different parenting views, a lack of help with household duties, and the typical pressures of marriage, many mothers feel that their husbands are just another child to take care of.

What's more, the average mother reported her stress level overall at a whopping 8.5 out of ten."
 

Interesting stat... Do you have the one where they ask Husbands what they feel most stressed out about?  (Does anyone??)  I kinda of doubt it... but if someone did such a study I am highly confident that similar level of Husbands would report their wives causing them more stress then their children.

Having a successful marriage is one of the most important things we can do in this life, so its not surprising that it is also one of the hardest things we will ever do.  And it is also no surprise that it is under attack.

Now if your husband is here we could offer all kinds of advice to him, but he is not here.  We have no way of reaching him... we can only reach you.  So a question for you (More for you to think on then to really answer) How much time have you spent recently on nurturing the most important relationship (after the one you have with God) you have (aka the one with your husband)?

Because it is all to common for a wife to let the kids consume all her time effort and energy.  Don't get me wrong being there for your kids is good and important, being their for you husband is better(barring some kind of abusive situation)  Finding a balance were you can do both is what it sound-like you need to do

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I have no idea how you go about trying to enlist your husband's help or what else is going on so don't take any of this personally.  These are just some thoughts on getting husbands to help that stem from my own observations and experiences:

- if you treat somebody like a child, they are more likely to act like one. 

- guys don't want to feel like they are an underling to their wife

- guys love to feel like they are their wife's hero, tap into that

-  praise and affectionate gratitude are very motivating

- constructive feedback is OK in small doses when given with love and kindness

- criticism given frequently with frustration will make him want to quit altogether

- don't expect his housecleaning skills to match yours, or for him to notice everything you notice

- let him work on the jobs he is most comfortable doing

- its OK to let some housework slide

- your relationship with him is more important than the housework

- he won't feel inclined to help somebody who neglects his needs

As for the survey, I think men who grow up in the church have a better chance of being prepared for being a good husband than others, although parents are likely the biggest influence. In the end this all comes down to you having to communicate with him. 

Frustration usually comes from trying to control things you can't control.  Don't try to control him, try to work together with him. Don't just stand there and tell him stuff, ask him what he thinks, can he suggest another solution, what does he think of perhaps paying somebody to come help you, get him talking to keep him engaged and remember that he is not your enemy, he is you team mate and partner and this is probably not his comfort zone.  You are on the same side, you need to work out a game plan together.

 

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1 hour ago, Eowyn said:

This is probably a much bigger part of the problem than you recognize. 

I would say (knowing this is very difficult when things aren't warm between spouses) make a concerted effort to smile at him more, touch him more in passing, welcome him home with a kiss, say goodbye with a kiss, and try to increase other kinds of intimacy as well. You don't have to talk about it, in fact I wouldn't. Just try it and see if he reciprocates in kind with less grumpiness and negativity. 

This.

My husband is a grouch and I tend to be the dippy/happy girl. In a way, my personality makes it fairly difficult to really bother me--also makes me a great canary for when someone is truly obnoxious. But Husband, while being very kind, is a grouch, but improves if I remember to make sure he feels loved and appreciated.

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AGMom,

I am sorry to hear of your challenge. I am a husband, and your story reminds me of how much a trial I am to my wife sometimes. She is patient and loving, for which I'm grateful.

Marriage is Love School. It's one of God's main ways to teach us to truly love. My advice is to keep being patient and love your husband. If you both keep working at it, things will get better. The best thing besides your continued patience is for him to keep growing in the gospel - that will help him and you more than anything.

You can't change another person, but God can. My wife's main tool in our marriage is to pray to Heavenly Father that I will learn the lessons I need to in order to become a better person and a better husband. It's worked well for her. If she keeps praying about something I need to understand, eventually I get it. :)

Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love and serve God. And then to love each other. These two things are what life is about.

I wish you the best.

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On 4/7/2016 at 6:22 PM, AGMom said:

Something I came across, quoted: 

"46 percent of mothers in the U.S. feel more stressed out by their husbands than their children, according to a new survey.

A poll of over 7,000 mothers across the country, conducted by Today Moms, found that because of different parenting views, a lack of help with household duties, and the typical pressures of marriage, many mothers feel that their husbands are just another child to take care of.

What's more, the average mother reported her stress level overall at a whopping 8.5 out of ten."

 

 

a poll about mothers, by mothers....I'm sure there is no bias.  Try going to work all day, putting your very best happy face on for strangers, then going home and having your you know what's cracked the second you walk in the front door.  

It's not easy, don't think he's not stressed as well.  He may have different ways of dealing with it such as hobbies, and other healthy outlets.  He doesn't want to do house work, no surprise, he probably just spent 8+ hours doing something he didn't want to do.....

Unless you both work, there is a minimal expectation of an even split on the house work.  If you both work, then he needs to man up and do his fair half, and not complain about it.  

Lots of good advice above.  You can only change yourself, not him.

I advise you go look in the mirror and have an honest conversation with yourself about who you are, what you want, and how you can change and be a better person/wife/mother.

You mention you have a 2 year old and one on the way.  If he was good enough to make the first baby with, and good enough to make the second baby with, then what are you complaining about???????

Edited by mdfxdb

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AGMom, years and years of living in a divorce-is-illegal country has brought me to this realization that works perfectly for my house:

  • Mr. Anatess is Mr. Anatess and does Mr. Anatess things.  These things are a byproduct of his own personality and a healthy dose of how he was raised.
  • Mrs. Anatess is Mrs. Anatess and does Mrs. Anatess things.  Also a byproduct of my own personality and a healthy dose of how I was raised.

I don't expect Mr. Anatess to be Mrs. Anatess nor do Mrs. Anatess things.  Because he's not me.  Likewise, Mr. Anatess doesn't expect me to do Mr. Anatess things.

So, the trick to marriage is to figure out how Mr. Anatess' and Mrs. Anatess' completely different personalities, traits, and everything-else-that-make-them-who-they-are-individually work as a team to get things accomplished.

Mr. Anatess is not the romantic kind of guy.  If I ask him do I look fat in this dress, he will tell me Yes if that's what he sees.  That's just the way he is.  It's not because he's a rude, uncharitable person.  It is because he just doesn't see how it benefits me to go out looking fat when there are better dresses that doesn't make me look fat.  He's a dress expert after all having been a runway model in his younger years.  So, I have learned that if I don't want him to tell me I'm fat, instead of asking him do I look fat in dress, I tell him - I want you to compliment my dress.  Then he'll find something about the dress or me in it to compliment.  Do I wish he is more the romantic type who has the ability to "read me" and be able to say the nice things I want to hear without me telling him what I want to hear?  YES YES YES.  But, that's not who he is.  And Mr. Anatess is the guy I married because of who he is.... so it's silly to expect something different.

Now, about house chores.... I'm a clean freak but I hate house chores.  My mother is OCD so I grew up with a very well-organized very clean house.  My husband doesn't mind house chores but he has a different idea of what clean means.  The gas station restroom down the road is cleaner than His parents' house's bathroom.  That's the way he grew up.  So, he will literally leave mud streaks on the floor and not see it.  Drove me insane on the membrane in our first few years together.  But, that's who he is.  I understand it, I get it.  So, I have to work with it.  So, I instilled the no shoes anywhere in the house rule... which is how I grew up.  Cut down on most of the stuff.  Then I divided the house into my job and his job.  I cook, he washes dishes.  I do laundry, he puts it away.  I clean the house, he cleans the bathrooms and the outdoor spaces.  Etc. Etc.  And so... I would cook and then it's NFL season, so he sits infront of the TV until midnight so I wake up in the morning with the dirty dishes still in the sink.  Meh.  Big deal.  I can cook breakfast around it.  Eventually, he gets to it.  Bathroom gets pee stains around the toilet seat that I barely have room for my left butt cheek to take a pee in, I grab Clorox wipes and wipe the thing down... no big deal.  He'll eventually get to the rest.  Eventually, after 18 years of being married, we have gotten good at getting the house in order.  Especially after I found a work-at-home job so I can sit infront of my computer making some money so I can pay a cleaning lady to do a lot of the stuff for us.

So yeah... there are times when I would yell and scream and throw plates at my husband (I have a really bad anger management problem), but that's part of being Mrs. Anatess that my husband gets to deal with as well.  But we still get things done because we both are of the same purpose... that we are in this together forever and ever and ever.

My motto therefore:  You have the freedom to be You.  I have the freedom to be Me.  Let's find out how You plus Me get things done.  Don't sweat the small stuff.  Eventually, You and Me start to become a WE.

Edited by anatess2

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My husband is actually suffering a little because of household chores. Now, as we both work full-time, we have divvied up the chores and all told this works out quite nicely. However, Husband grew up with a scatter-brained mother in a rather messy house... and so did I. I have spent the last few years trying very much to change this. I am improving, but am still far from perfection. My goal to become a neater person leaves my husband complimenting me when I have done a stellar job on a chore, but also suffering when I become stressed over getting something clean. In fact, this past conference he had to play the Priesthood Leader/Head of the Home card and tell me I had to watch conference instead of listening to it while I spring-cleaned the kitchen cupboards.

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*sigh* I hope my children don't tell horror stories about living with an overwhelmed mother in a slightly-to-rather messy house (depending on how many balls I have in the air any given week). 

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On 4/7/2016 at 7:22 PM, AGMom said:

Something I came across, quoted: 

"46 percent of mothers in the U.S. feel more stressed out by their husbands than their children, according to a new survey.

A poll of over 7,000 mothers across the country, conducted by Today Moms, found that because of different parenting views, a lack of help with household duties, and the typical pressures of marriage, many mothers feel that their husbands are just another child to take care of.

What's more, the average mother reported her stress level overall at a whopping 8.5 out of ten."

 

What do you think? Anyone feel inside this boat? How do you avoid this situation? I feel like this is currently my relationship with my husband. He's stubborn. He's a "grumpy" cleaner, meaning he's always in a bad mood when he helps out with any chore. It makes me want to give up on asking him for any type of help, because there's usually huffing and puffing involved, no matter how politely I ask. I really do my best to avoid being that naggy wife, but it is BEYOND frustrating when I'm being ignored. To be honest, I feel like we're back to our first year of marriage where we both had some growing up to do. We've been married 9 years. We have a 2 year old boy and boy #2 will be arriving in about 5 weeks. 

I don't know if I'm exaggerating his behavior or not (pregnancy hormones?), but I do feel insanely ignored around here. I can understand my 2 year old ignoring me and wanting to do things his way- because, well, that's part of his development. He's 2. But my husband? Our boy a really good, sweet kid. But, you know, he's going through his terrible twos which can definitely be frustrating. To add, I feel like my husband is just another kid. He stomps around and mumbles when I ask him for any help. It's impossible to talk to him without being ignored 75% of the time. When he talks, however, boy he can talk! But typically about one thing, one particular hobby he likes. It's exhausting to listen to him talk about it constantly, but I listen and act interested. However, when it's my turn, he drifts off into Lala Land. Earlier this evening, he actually pulled out his guitar and equipment and starting playing while I was talking. And to get things straight, I don't talk for hours at a time. I fully understand anybody would tune out endless chatter. I do it. I'm typically not much of a talker anyway. However, he started playing his music when I was about 30 seconds into the conversation. He was staring into his sheet music and wouldn't acknowledge me. He even interrupted a few times to say something to our son. I just faded off and walked away to play with our son in his room so he could be by himself. 

Anyway, when I do try to have a decent conversation about it- and not during a heated argument, but quiet downtime, the only response I get is defensiveness. "Why is it always my fault?" From there, he'll talk about all the nice things he does to try and offset the current topic. Oh, for crying out loud ,why do I even bother?! 

I'm depressed, I really am. There just isn't much of a marriage anymore. No intimacy, too much disagreeing. Again, feeling like we're newlyweds again who can't seem to get each other.
 

Sounds to me like either

1)  There's another side to this story--his side--that you haven't fully considered; and the situation may be the result of choices made by both of you; or

2)  You married a jerkface.

We can maybe offer some helpful advice in the first scenario; but the second--not so much.  :( 

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By the way, about getting tuned out...

I tell you, my husband on Football Season has the attention span of a gnat.  I was in the hospital right after a c-section, trying to figure out how to get the baby to latch, with the baby colicky and jaundiced, with my belly hurting like the dickens... and I ask my husband to help with the baby and he asks me, "what do you want me to do?" with his face glued to the small hospital TV playing football.  Arrggg... SOMETHING!  DO SOMETHING!  But, that's my husband.  I know he's a football freak - I mean, we almost cancelled the wedding because his football team was about to lose Monday Night Football!  Anyway... so, when he says, "what do you want me to do?" he literally means it.  So, I tell him EXACTLY what I want him to do... "take the baby and walk around the room rocking him... maybe he'll stop crying."  Something he can do while watching football.  Because, if I would say something like, "I'm overwhelmed, the baby is not latching, my stomach hurts, the baby is crying..." he'll just flounder around not knowing what to do about it so he'll just tune me out and watch football.

Of course, because he is Mr. Anatess... he calls the nurse and asks her to help figure out what's wrong with the baby... while he holds the baby, walking around the room, and watching football.  I love that guy!

And so I go through all this stuff for the baby and my husband is so happy he has this expression of adoration on his face when he looks at me and baby together.  But then he takes this pose and asks me, "what is this?".. and I said, "The Heisman Trophy".  And he looks at me with complete surprise that I knew what the Heisman Trophy is let alone what it looks like... and he breaks out in a big grin... and gives me diamond earrings the next day... not because I just went through 24 hours of labor plus a c-section... but because I knew what The Heisman Trophy is.

Yeah, people think we're crazy... but, I've started to love his football obsession (I still don't like football although I can tolerate it), and just know that if I want him to listen to me, I have to stand right between him and his game and tell him, "THIS CAN'T WAIT... YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO ME RIGHT NOW AND YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION".  And he will... even if it's the last 30 seconds of the 4th quarter with the offense down by 1 point driving at the 50-yard line...

Edited by anatess2

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Anatess2

I think you really know how to do it.  Quite impressive.

A lot like another Anatess that used to be around here.

I do wonder tho' if separate bathrooms would be a good idea for you and your husband.

Believe it or not, over the years, thru' personal experience and observing friends and relatives, I have found separate bedrooms to be a good solution for many couples.

But in your case, I think separate bathrooms might be ideal.

dc

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5 hours ago, David13 said:

Anatess2

A lot like another Anatess that used to be around here.

 

It's the same anatess.

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AGMom,

As you said, a lot of your frustration could be related to hormones.  For me, the difference between PMS and Pregnancy hormones was like the difference between a spring shower and a hurricane.  My poor husband!  

With that in mind remember that feelings are like waves of the ocean they come and they go.  When we are in the midst of a feeling...like anger, frustration, or depression, we tend to feel like it has always been this way, and will always be this way...but that isn't true.  Emotions ebb and flow like the tide.

Hang in there!

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Thank you for your responses. A lot of great advice on here.

Last night, I discovered a big part of the problem. I caught my husband looking at inappropriate photos of women on the internet. There's a website he frequently likes to visit that are usually funny images, but they have a "not safe for work" section, with women posing provocatively- showing cleavage, butt, etc. He was taking care of his needs while scrolling through the images.

I've suspected quite for some time he's been doing this, considering he hasn't touched me in ages. I felt really hurt, but went back to bed to try and go back to sleep without saying anything. When he came back to bed and started talking about how he couldn't sleep, and asked if I was having trouble sleeping too, I brought it up. At first he denied it until I told him I specifically saw him. From there, he acted like it wasn't a big deal. He told me he had zero interest in ever initiating anything with me because he never feels emotionally close. Considering it was past midnight, you can imagine it was hard to really come to an understanding. He defended it like nobody's business and all I could do was cry and tell him how hurt I felt- until I decided I didn't want to discuss it anymore because we were getting nowhere. It's bad enough feeling unattractive with my 9 month pregnancy self. My body has also changed since having our firstborn. Talk about a slam to my self esteem.  I slept maybe an hour last night, then took our son to church while my husband slept in.

I think the biggest issue I have, is my husband is never really willing to apologize when he screws up. It's always somebody else's fault. Apparently him dealing with his needs by going to other sources is my fault, not his. When I mentioned he's defensive about pretty much everything, this is a perfect example. I did my best to try and look past it- to try and really listen to what he was saying. He says we're not emotionally close anymore. He doesn't feel loved by me anymore. Because of this, he has zero desire to even touch me. He said it could take weeks for him to feel attracted to me again. All I could manage to interpret from that was how unimportant my needs are. How he was blaming me and justifying his actions. He wasn't sorry. He doesn't care about my own needs.  It all sounded too selfish, so I decided to just go to bed. From his view, I'm the one who needs to make all the changes. I'm the reason we fight. I'm the reason he doesn't want me. I have to do all the repair work, because, well, he's the innocent party. 

Today has been emotionally rough and I'm deciding to just stay away from him. I'm not saying I don't need to do anything, because I agree. we don't have an emotional connection and I know I can do a lot on my part to help fix that. I just refuse to take full responsibility for his sins and actions. But to be honest, I know I can't change him and I can't expect him to change. Maybe all I can do is my part to be a good, supportive wife and try and bond with him emotionally, just praying he'll actually reciprocate. Why does this approach feel so wrong and unfair? 

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AGMom, I'm very sorry to hear about this latest development. I sounds like things are very hard for you, and I can only imagine how hurt you must feel.

I wish I could help you more. I will just say that if this happened to me I would insist that my spouse go with me and discuss your whole situation with the bishop. Perhaps he will suggest counselling (I don't know, I've never been a bishop).

I would also like to say to try to not take it personally. I'm sure you are a loving, attractive, good woman. It sounds like you are doing all you can, from your side of the relationship. If your husband were willing, I would recommend he read the books Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus, and also The Five Love Languages. There are other great books out there, I'm sure, but these were helpful to me and my wife.

I believe in general that the thing that will help him most is the gospel, if he is willing to let it and to work at it.

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It seems like is porn use is part of the same "its not my fault" mindset he has (Assuming it(the porn) is it is not a much deeper reason)

Understand that the porn use is not about you...  It seems like he will try to blame you (and wives generally tend to believe it) but it is totally about him (and only him) and his failure to cope or otherwise handle the fact that life isn't easy.

He may or may not have had a porn issue before you were married, but chances are he figured once he was married all of whatever sexual issues he might have had would magically go away.  After all doesn't Hollywood teach us that "Happy Ever After" happens right after marriage?  Anyway... He finds out that marriage and relationship are continuous work..  There is high odds that he blames you for the reality check on his fantasy (after all you were the one that was suppose to make his "dreams come true") 

So faced with the reality that he needs to work on it, to sacrifice to maybe even suffer a bit (Like Christ did for us) instead he bails and blames anyone and everyone else for the fact that he is unwilling to pay the price.  And of course since he is unwilling to suffer his "needs" find a outlet and he "justifies" it being ok because everyone else fault.

Sadly other then maybe sparking a glimmer of understanding what I just said isn't really helpful in fixing things.

The only path you really have open for you is to do your best to love him as Christ loves him.  You can't change him.  You can't alter him... So don't make the mistake he is making and let your happiness and joy be dependent on the actions of another person being perfectly what you want them to be.  Instead love Christ, and love both yourself and your husband as you both are, and work to become more Christ-like in all your actions including toward you spouse.

I know that sounds hard and one sided because it is...  Look at it this way... as you focus on becoming more Christ-like your spouse might (just maybe) start responding in kind.  But if they don't you are still moving toward a very worthwhile and important goal

 

 

 

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Just wondering... The wives that feel the husband is just another to take care of... Dr Laura asked one wife a profound question. The wife wanted the husband to do more in the home. Dr Laura pointed out that the husband is already doing 100% of the work outside the home so how much more is the wife expecting the husband to do in the home? What's a fair number? 100% + 25% compared to 75% for the wife? What would the wife find to be fair?

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Where does child rearing, errand running, yard work, etc fit into that percentage?

I think when we start keeping score, we've already lost the battle. I know that the workload between my husband and I has never been fair.  I often have much more on my shoulders than he does, and he frequently has much more on his than I do. The point is that we're each looking at what we need to do to make sure the kids have what they need, and that the other is feeling cared for. Percentages and score keeping are inward-looking. Marriage is healthiest and most rewarding when the spouses' focus is outward. 

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9 minutes ago, Eowyn said:

I think when we start keeping score, we've already lost the battle.

Perhaps, but I think you (and many others) have missed the point.

In today's world, what men do is belittled, denigrated, dismissed, and generally disregarded as being useful. Only what the wife does counts for anything.

That's one of the principle reasons marriage, if it happens at all, comes later and later. There's nothing in it for the men.

Lehi

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9 minutes ago, LeSellers said:

Perhaps, but I think you (and many others) have missed the point.

In today's world, what men do is belittled, denigrated, dismissed, and generally disregarded as being useful. Only what the wife does counts for anything.

That's one of the principle reasons marriage, if it happens at all, comes later and later. There's nothing in it for the men.

Lehi

In too many circles, and in the media, this is true.  

Of course I was speaking to the ideal, which none of us has perfected yet.

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Lets put it another way...  A stereo typical husband works 8+ hours a day... The stereo typical mom is working at home for that 8+ hours a day during that time...  By the time that the husband get home they have both worked a full day...  But there is more to be done...  The question then becomes who handles the remainder?  If you say the wife then you basically belittle the work she has already done and the value she has added.  If you say the husband you belittle the work he has already done and the value he has added.

The simple fact of the matter is both probably need a bit of a break and the remaining work still needs to get done.  It needs to be divided in a way that doesn't belittle the contribution either member makes and it need to be flexible enough to change with circumstances change.  

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