Ask Rene:
I Need HELP From My Husband!

Hi Rene-

I am a stay at home mom of 3 beautiful girls ages 6, 5 and 1.

I have been married for 8 years to a man I thought would be my partner in crime. Well it’s not true; he’s not my partner in crime, he’s just another person I have to clean up after. I feel so disconnected from him that laying in bed next to him makes me cringe.

He works long hours at his job (when his boss has told him numerous times to only work 8-5/6pm at the latest. He’s finishing college online, which his family is helping him tremendously by doing some of his coursework. He comes home and doesn’t do a dang thing to help me.

I cook, clean, deal with the kids, take care of our dog, do the trash, mow the lawn, set up doctor’s appointments (yes, even for him), deal with my own health issues (I have RA) and deal with my developmentally delayed 5-year-old.

I am exhausted and when I ask for help or try to delegate to him some stuff to do he blows me off. I was recently in the hospital for my RA and when I came home, no dishes were done, the laundry and trash were piled up and the kids had been eating microwave food the whole time I was in the hospital.

I was very upset and gave him a piece of my mind and he told me it’s not his job to do things around the house. I don’t know how to handle this anymore.

I have been getting sicker and sicker and now have heart issues due to my RA but he doesn’t help me, not at all!

What should I do?

Tired in Teaneck


Dear Tired:

Your letter is an interesting one. First of all it’s critical that you get help. Not tomorrow, not next week.! But there is also one thing you can do to help yourself. More on that in a moment but first, here’s what I would do if I were you.


Creative Commons/Ed Yourdon


He needs to know you need help. More than that he needs to know how his lack of help is making you feel and if I could be so bold, I would say bitter. Guess what? I don’t blame you a bit. There’s no reason that EVERYONE who lives in that house should not be helping out, and that includes the 5 and 6-year-olds. He needs to know the more work there is for you the sicker you are becoming and if he loves you, he’s got to help out.

Once you’ve gone through that, it’s time to draw up a chore chart. Perhaps one of the things your husband hasn’t understood is exactly what you need him to do. So you’re going to make it easy on him by spelling it out, not just for him but for your girls too. If that doesn’t work, move on to the next step.


Creative Commons/Ali from Riyadh

Actually I think you should do this even if he falls in line. Frankly, the part of your letter that worries me is the very beginning where you say you can’t even stand to be in bed next to him. Okay, that’s a whole lot of poison and you don’t need that in your life as you are trying to manage your physical condition. You’ve got to see some who can help manage that, work through that to a successful resolution. Why?


Creative Commons/fmgbain

Your children need their mother. Not only do they need her but they need her to be healthy. So you have to figure out what steps you’re going to take to get there. Now, part of that is learning to implement this, the thing I was alluding to at the top of my response. Let.It.Go. The one thing you have in your power is the ability to let some of this roll off your back. Then do it. No doubt a home cooked meal beats microwave food but in a pinch (and in the short term) it’s fine. Don’t worry and stress over that; your husband did what he thought was best and that he could manage. You have to let him do that; you need to focus on getting well, not on all the things that you would have done differently.

Also try enlisting the help of your doctor, friends and neighbors. If you’re too tired to do things, let them help you, then don’t micromanage, just let them do it, even if it’s not exactly the way you would.

You can do this mommy. You MUST do this.. for your health!


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