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Husband's not helpful

Originally published in the Free Press Dec. 3, 1955

Dear Mrs. Thompson: My problem is about my husband not helping me while I am working. Is it too much of me to ask him to help me wash dishes every second night, set the table every night, and make my supper Saturday and wash the dishes then, as I work all day and he works only half a day?

I work every day, come home the same time he does, cook and wash dishes. I do all the washing, ironing, scrubbing, waxing and other housework. He even wanted me to take ashes out, but I just wouldn’t do it. So he takes them. That is the only chore he does.

Saturday, he sleeps half a day while I am working, and comes to pick me up. Nothing has been done at home. He is healthy and strong and goes to work every day. He doesn’t drink or smoke. I thank God for that, but he is selfish, stubborn as a mule, jealous of me (so it means he loves me) and he is greedy.

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Originally published in the Free Press Dec. 3, 1955

Dear Mrs. Thompson: My problem is about my husband not helping me while I am working. Is it too much of me to ask him to help me wash dishes every second night, set the table every night, and make my supper Saturday and wash the dishes then, as I work all day and he works only half a day?

I work every day, come home the same time he does, cook and wash dishes. I do all the washing, ironing, scrubbing, waxing and other housework. He even wanted me to take ashes out, but I just wouldn’t do it. So he takes them. That is the only chore he does.

Saturday, he sleeps half a day while I am working, and comes to pick me up. Nothing has been done at home. He is healthy and strong and goes to work every day. He doesn’t drink or smoke. I thank God for that, but he is selfish, stubborn as a mule, jealous of me (so it means he loves me) and he is greedy.

He wants me to go to work. I keep myself nice and clean, my hair is always set and the house is clean. I’m a good cook, and I believe he loves me because he stopped drinking for me. When I ask for help the answer I get is "It’s a woman’s job, and if men help their wives they will spoil them."

— Tired Wife

Dear Tired: So your husband wants you to work and help him with his job of breadwinning, which is ordinarily a man’s work, but doesn’t feel obliged to help with what he calls women’s work. That doesn’t make sense.

However, you don’t have to keep this job. Tell him you are very sorry, but you just can’t stand working full-time and looking after the house too, so have decided to resign.

If he makes a fuss say you would be willing to try it awhile longer if you had more help at home. Ask if he would be willing to pay for a cleaning woman, or give you more help himself. Unless you get firm assurance of some assistance, give up the job, and see how he likes it with only one income.

However, if he does help you, don’t take it for granted. Praise him for being so kind, and tell him he is wonderful. Obviously he is a man who needs a build-up. If it makes him happier to act like the king of the castle, humour him, but don’t let yourself be a slave.

Read the rest of this letter and other letters from our archives at wfp.to/ageoldadvice.

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