With me and my husband, when we hit bottom, I told him that if he didn’t stop doing a particular thing, we were going to marriage counseling. A lot of people would say that wasn’t very submissive of me. Thankfully, he stopped doing it and he was able (after a lot of clear speaking on my part) to realize that he had been hurting me. We were able to get back on track without any outside help, beyond me reading some marriage books and us talking.
Again, I am very nice to my husband since then. In fact, paradoxically, I’m a whole lot nicer than I used to be when my views were closer to yours.
I’m doing very well now. What I meant is that husbands are the first line of defense for ensuring that wives’ mental health is doing OK, but this is not really an area where conservative religious husbands typically shine, even though their wives (by virtue of heavier household responsibilities, larger families and longer careers as SAHMs) are in much more danger. This is an important area for new fathers to show leadership. Sometimes husbands don’t want their wives seeking professional help and what then? Going to the doctor against your husband’s wishes is unsubmissive, isn’t it?
No doubt my husband did have his own problems–but not only was he not making an effort to help with the toddler, he was also trying to stop me from doing things that would have been good for me (like leaving the house by myself and having some sort of interactions with other adults) and he was also choosing to pick fights with me over stuff he didn’t even care about (as I eventually discovered). He enjoyed arguing (it’s his job) and he didn’t realize what a toll it was taking on me to deal with him making ever little thing a federal case.
Thankfully, this was not over an extended period of time, but toward the end, I think I was sinking into depression. Everything, even just getting Baby Girl into her car seat and leaving the house, seemed impossibly difficult.
A lot of people would say that was unsubmissive of your wife.
I was asking my husband for help–it was just that he would argue with me over just about every minor request and it was hard to get an hour’s help from him with our youngest. (Granted, he was often doing stuff with the big kids, but I didn’t need a break from the big kids–the big kids were no trouble at all.) He made asking him for anything a burden in itself.
Thank goodness he doesn’t do that anymore!