[quote="mylittleway2000, post:1, topic:204396"]
My husband and I have been married for 20 years, and we have four kids ages 15 and younger. My husband is a good provider, but he does almost nothing around the house to help, and I really resent this. I've asked for help, but he says he needs to be reminded. At that point, I just think it's easier to do it myself.
We've been to a counselor a few times, but he says we're like everyone else - there's nothing really wrong in our home.
I know I can only change myself, and I offer up my work in the home as a sacrifice; I also pray about this, specifically asking the Blessed Virgin Mary to interceed for me (I don't imagine she ever resented St. Joseph).
I don't mind hard work, it's just that I feel worn into the ground. I'm concerned that my sons will think it's normal for the husband to sit around all the time, while his wife does all the work in the home. I was talking w/ one of my sons about how important it is that he learn how to help w/ chores around the house so he'll know how to take care of himself as an adult. He replied, "I'll just have my wife do it."
What should I do, in addition to prayer, to help me w/ the feelings of resentment?
I learned a rule in college: In the absence of a specific agreement about who does what and how often, 80% of housework will be done by the roommate who is driven nuts by it first. This is a recipe for resentment. It is too late to marry someone who is driven nuts by household messes as quickly as you are, though. You can work towards the middle--you learning not to worry so much about what isn't done and him learning to routinely ask for work to do--but you are probably always going to be the "main breadwinner" when it comes to household chores.
So I'll ask you this:
a) What made work around the home "your" work that he "helps" with? If he has a job and you don't, then of course you will spend more hours at it, accordingly. It doesn't mean all the work is yours.
b) Has your attitude that the work is "yours" given you the impression that you are the sole person who prioritizes what is going to be done or not? Just as he doesn't have the right to decide unilaterally that he is going to kill himself by working three jobs 100 hours a week so that you'll have plenty of money to spend, you don't have the right to decide that more work needs to be done around your home than can realistically be done, or that your standards have to be his standards. He ought to realistically expect some amount of leisure time each day.
c) If you feel worn to the ground, you need to make some down time for yourself a priority, too. Don't blame him because you don't take care of yourself. You ought to expect yourself to have some leisure time, too. This is actually required in seminaries, monasteries, and convents. Some of those who experience these rules call it "forced fun", but these places generally do have a time each day when socializing and relaxing are required. Read "Story of a Soul" by St. Therese. Even the Carmelites have it.
Having said that...if he "just doesn't think of things", you and he might try to think of jobs that he does as a daily routine. That way, once he gets the routine, the work of reminding him doesn't fall on you any more. The routine might even be "I get one hour on the computer to wind down after work, then I go to the refrigerator and look on the wipe-off board for what still needs to be done before we're done for the day"...with a timer. It might be "I see to it that dinner is made, the dishes done, and the counters are cleaned on Friday and Sunday nights", which he gets to do to his standards, by the way, within the reasonable boundaries of hygiene and health. It might be "I do the laundry of all males in the house" or "I empty the dishwasher before I leave for work and get the coffee maker ready before I go to bed". It might be lots of little things like that, if added one at a time. I would suggest that it does need to be accomplished in a way that doesn't make either of you feel that you are his mother. That will not work.