7 Steps to Dealing with a Lazy Wife

You come home from work to find piled up dishes from dinner the night before. Clothes are everywhere and nothing in the house has seemed to move while you were gone – including your wife. Your wife says “Honey I don’t feel like cooking – how about you run and get us some takeout?” How does God want a Christian husband to deal with this situation? Is laziness something that God wants men to confront in their wives or do they need to leave this between their wife and God? Even if they think they should confront this how can a Christian man go about this?

Before we answer these questions from a Biblical perspective I want to share a real life story that I received in an email.  The man who sent me this story goes by the name of Tom.

Tom’s Story

“First off, Thank you so much for seeking to dispel so many paradigms through your thorough study of Scripture.  I’ve spent too many years halfheartedly trying to be a “spiritual leader” in my home, and finally I’m just stepping up to be THE head of my home (as Christ is my head in everything).

I’ve had my share of struggling times, and a couple of the most recent ones I’ve started writing you drafts on!  However, after I get fed up, things seem to turn around before I have the chance to finish.

I’d like to ask of your wisdom when it comes to achieving a well-managed home.  My wife has stayed at home for our marriage, aside from a couple of brief casual jobs, and a part time one that lasted a few months.  We got married as egalitarians I believe, and though both of our parents were fairly traditional (both our moms at home, dads working), they never taught us about egalitarianism or complementarianism.  I think we absorbed a lot MORE than our parents taught simply through church and the culture around us.

Our house is usually messy.  We’ve had periods of incredible organization and tidiness, but it doesn’t seem to last.  I’ve gotten grief from believing / hoping that one day it could be habit for dishes to be cleaned up after a meal, rather than later in the day, or the next day.

My wife has made me some amazing meals, and gone to great lengths a few times to do so.  But more often, some frozen piece of food will be taken out and warmed up (starting at “supper time”) when there is fresh food in the fridge.  I’ve had to learn to shut up and get out of the kitchen more – I enjoy food, and when I have the time I’m willing to cook it.

Today was my “day off”, and my wife was booked away for lunch (a small job we agreed on).  As I’m ordering my kids around to unload/load the dishwasher, set the table, and help out a bit I started to get angry.  Cleaning a day or two of dishes so that I have space simply to make some noodle soup (my wife neither asked me to cook nor provided an idea/plan).   The last 2 days I’ve worked (while with kids for a couple hours) in my home office, and at a regular job.  I bought us a takeout meal on Friday, and cooked part of the meal yesterday.

My whole marriage I’ve resisted complaining, so though we’ve had arguments I’ve never gone to someone else to ask “is this normal”, or “can I not expect more in my marriage”, etc.  When we talk she gets grumpy, or complains that I’m micromanaging her, or if she sees that I really am getting fed up by something specific, she’ll say “Fine.” and go do it with an emotional cloud that I’m positive even the kids can feel in the room.  I come home, or come up from my home office and have to remind her about things that still haven’t been done – it makes me feel like a housewife; except I’m also working pretty full time.  When business is slow I will take a little time off, relax a bit, but also help tidy or put things away, cook, etc.

So many stupid little details that I’m sorry to bother you with, but the backlash I get from talking to her about any expectations is almost as wearying as living in this mess, and wishing I just had time to relax, to play with my kids (rather than stepping in when I can tell they’ve had no attention, few boundaries, or TV/tablets for much of the day). “

We’ve had bigger issues before, and got through them.  We have some great sex, some incredible days together.  But when it’s time to get back to work, I feel we should both work (me in my career, her in our home).  Then we can play together, rather than working in the house together to catch up by the time my work begins again.

After reading the manosphere, I’ve come to realize that idealism and self-awareness is something I’ve naturally pursued, and the fact that she doesn’t seem to pursue it (at least in her role as I do in my role) seems naturally “female”.

For the sake of my sanity, of my love for my children, and desire to have space & peace at home, what can I do?

We do have so much positive, but I’m tired of getting angry at home.

We’ve only ever had one full time income, so she’s noted (many times) that she doesn’t have a “budget” for much furniture (we may buy a few small pieces, or one large piece per year), or other home things.

I had to prioritize my business, and she wanted to start a family, which we began in our first year.  We love our kids, but definitely live simply.

I know you’ve mentioned discipline, but as we don’t have much discretionary income, it’s hard for me to see how I can withhold anything from her.  Family allowance etc. goes straight to her (which is good, she has become better at managing it).  It’s like my personal authority has its limits, and positional authority is better known than mentioned!”

My response to Tom and other men who face the issue of laziness in their wives

While both genders struggle with all types of sins including laziness there are some sins that are more prominent in one gender over the other.  For instance men often struggle with having a lack of empathy, grace and mercy in their personal relationships including their relationships with their wives and children. But on the other hand, one of the greatest struggles for many women is the struggle against the sin of laziness.

The reason for this is because women can often times allow themselves to be completely controlled by their emotions.  For many women if they feel like doing something then they do it and if they don’t feel like doing something then they don’t do it whereas most men are creatures of duty so whether they feel like doing something or not men will do their duty.

So if it could be said that men could learn or thing or two about empathy from women it could equally be said that women could learn a thing or two about duty from men.

Does a Christian husband have the authority to confront his wife’s laziness?

Imagine that your son or daughter left their bed a mess and left toys and clothes all over their room. Would you go in and make their bed and clean up their clothes and toys? If you did this would this be showing your child kindness, empathy, grace and mercy? I think we could answer this question with a resounding “no”.

Why? Because if we go and clean up their room we are not teaching them that it is THEIR responsibility to clean their room. We are in essence enabling the sin of laziness in our children when we allow them to keep their rooms messy.

But somehow our modern culture has a different standard when it comes to a woman keeping her home which is something the Bible clearly commands:

“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” – Titus 2:4-6 (KJV)

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” – I Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

Today we make excuses for women that we would never allow with our children to make when it comes to their chores. If a man complains about his wife being lazy a list of excuses and possible reasons for her not doing her duty are given.

We are told today that all of sudden in the age of dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, conventional ovens,  microwaves, refrigerators, electric irons and all of the other household tools women have at their disposal that they simply can no longer do the things women have been doing for thousands of years even now that they have these tools.

I wonder how many women would complain that they just “can’t do it all” if they were taken to some third world country with no electricity and they had do everything by hand. The fact is women today are spoiled and you know whose fault it is? It is the same person’s fault if a family has spoiled children – it is our fault men!

The Bible says “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church” (Ephesians 5:23) and Christ tells us regarding his churches that “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Revelation 3:19).

It is true that some leaders only have the power to influence those who follow their leadership but they have no authority to discipline those who follow them. Some falsely claim this how a husband leads his wife – by influence only.  But this is contrary to Biblical teaching. A husband is not only his wife’s leader but he is also her authority and she is subject to him in all things.

Consider these Scriptural teachings on the subjection of wives to their husbands:

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:24 (KJV)

“1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives…

5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” – I Peter 1:1 & 5-6 (KJV)

God’s Word is clear that he has established men not only as leaders of their wives but also as authorities over their wives and with all authority comes the power to discipline those who are under that authority. A husband has the authority to discipline his wife and his wife’s submission is NOT voluntarily but rather a husband can and should compel his wife’s submission.  For more on the subject of the Christian duty of husbands to discipline their wives see these posts “Should a Christian husband make his wife submit?” and “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife“.

So when it comes to laziness or other sinful behaviors by your wife, you as a Christian husband have not only the power but the responsibility to discipline your wife. In fact the act of a man disciplining his wife is a sacrifice on his part in much the same it is a sacrifice for a parent to discipline their child. No loving parent enjoys disciplining their child and no loving husband enjoys disciplining his wife.

The sacrifice of disciplining your wife

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” – Ephesians 5:25 (KJV)

Many Pastors, teachers and Christian women point to Ephesians 5:25’s phrase “and gave himself for it” as a way to dismantle everything the Bible tells wives about submission.  We are often told in churches across America “Sure women are told to submit to their husbands but men are told to sacrifice themselves for their wives”.  But this is only telling half the story.

What all these Pastors, teachers and women neglect is what it means for a husband to give himself for his wife.  This is explained in the next two verses:

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” – Ephesians 5:26-27 (KJV)

A man is to sacrifice himself for his wife’s holiness and not to enable her sinful behavior. If a wife is acting lazy or selfish in some way a husband is not to enable this sin by doing what she should be doing or giving her aid where no aid is truly needed.

Men let’s be honest. Sometimes we just pick up after our kids because we want to avoid a confrontation and we don’t want to disturb the peace of the house at that moment. In the same way and really to a greater extent we “pick up” after our wives for the same reasons.

We come home from work and see the house in disrepair and when our wife asks that question about getting takeout we take the easy way out – we say yes and we go get it.  But what have we taught our wife in this situation? We have enabled her laziness and taught her it is ok to neglect her duties to her home when she does not feel like it.

Your wife’s laziness sets a bad example for your children

If your children see their mother leaving her house in disrepair what example does it set for them? There is a saying about how children learn things from their parents. With children things are often more “caught than taught”. What that means is if you say one thing and do another most likely your children will do what you do and not what you tell them they should do.

So in the case of allowing your wife’s laziness to go unchecked there are two things that you are teaching your children no matter what you say to them otherwise.  In the short term you are teaching them to leave their room a mess and not pick up after themselves.  Why? Because mom does keep up the house why should they keep up their room?

Think about how hilarious the following scenario is and it occurs in homes all across America each and every day. A mother yells at her children “your rooms are a mess – go and pick up your clothes and put your toys away” while right behind her as she says this there is a sink full of dishes that has sat there for two days and a laundry room with a pile of clothes that stands as tall as her children.

But there are even worse long term influences from allowing unchecked laziness in your wife to continue. We must remember as Christian parents that we are raising other people’s spouses.

If you don’t confront your wife’s laziness then you are teaching your sons that they should not confront their future wife’s laziness if that were to occur.  If you come home and constantly bail your wife out of her responsibilities by getting takeout or cooking yourself or doing the laundry you are teaching your son that it ok for them to enable sin in their future wives instead of confronting it.

If you don’t confront your wife’s laziness then you are teaching your daughters that it is ok for them to be lazy wives too. A lot of women follow the pattern of their mother.  So it is up to you to confront this laziness in your wife so that your daughter can see that the way her mother has been neglectful of her duties is NOT an example that God wants her to emulate.

Disability is not the same as laziness

Now I need to stop here and give the obvious exceptions. If your wife is sick or somehow physically unable to keep up with the affairs of the home then this is not a matter of laziness on her part but rather the inability to do these things.  In this case God has called us as husbands to lovingly step in and aid our wives.

For instance in the weeks before a woman gives birth she may be bedridden or she may be bedridden for weeks after giving birth or after other surgeries.  Of course in these instances we as loving husbands need to step in and render aid wherever it is needed.

My wife was in a very bad car accident 3 years ago that left her permanently disabled. She suffers from PTSD, depression and anxiety in addition to chronic pain as a result of that accident. She cannot physically do everything she used to do. So I have no problem as her husband stepping in and helping wherever that help is needed.

I have been asked to write on being a “caretaker spouse” by many Christians who deal with this situation and I plan on doing that very soon. But I will just say that even if we as husbands have a disabled wife – it is our duty as husbands to both help them and also push them to do what they can be reasonably expected to do.

For example – my wife for some time did not do much in the months that followed her car accident and that was completely understandable.  In the beginning I did not want her lifting a thing.  But as the months progressed and we got into a year from the car accident after physical therapy her doctors said that her lying around all the time was not good for her.  She needed to get up and move around and even force herself to engage in some light housework where she could even while enduring some pain.

I had to push her and sometimes we got into fights about it. But it needed to be done for the benefit of her spiritual and physical condition and the benefit of our home. Overtime as I saw she was able to do more I pushed her more. This is a tricky area when dealing with a disabled wife – but even in this case God wants us as husbands to exhort our wives to do whatever their best is in their current condition.

Grace and mercy should always accompany discipline

Guys – remember what I said about what we struggle with verses what our wives struggle with? Sure your wife might struggle with laziness but perhaps you may be struggling with grace and mercy. You truly need to look at the pattern of your wife’s behavior to know for sure how you should handle the situation.

Ask yourself this question – is it the norm for your house to be in disrepair or do you eat out every other day of the week because your wife does not want to cook?  Or are these things the exception? If they are the exception then you probably should consider showing your wife some grace and mercy during these rare times and give the woman a break.

Now that we have discussed the fact that husbands not only have the right but also the duty to discipline their wives for laziness now let’s discuss some practical steps men can take to accomplish this.

7 Steps to dealing with a lazy wife

Step 1 – Know beforehand that this will hurt her

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” – Proverbs 27:6 (KJV)

Very few women if any will take it well when their husband tells them he believes they have been lazy and neglectful in their duties to their home. But it must be said.  This is the sacrifice of discipline that you must make as a husband.

Step 2 – Speak the truth in love

“14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” – Ephesians 4:14-15 (KJV)

The “L” word is not a swear word. In some Christian circles a man saying his wife is acting “lazy” is akin to him calling her a cuss word.  The KJV uses two words for laziness – one is “slothfulness” and the other is “idleness”:

“By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.” – Ecclesiastes 10:18 (KJV)

So yes speak the truth in love – but speak the truth.  If it walks like a duck and acts likes duck – it’s a duck. In fact the Bible says that a godly wife is NOT a lazy wife:

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:27 (KJV)

There is no sugar coating this gentlemen – if a wife is not keeping up with duties of her household she is being lazy and she must be called out on this.

I think that initially you should try and handle this in private with your wife away from your children and with most other issues.  But at a future point if she continues in this sin of laziness it will become evident to the children that mom is doing something wrong.  I will talk about this more later.

Step 3 – Make the consequences for her laziness clear

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” – Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

At first give her a warning. But let her know that if you come home and see the house is a mess, laundry is not done, the home is not clean or dinners are not being prepared there will be consequences for her laziness.

I have talked in more detail about how men can discipline their wives in my post “7 Ways to Discipline your wife”.

Step 4 – Follow through on disciplinary consequences if she fails to change her ways

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” – Hebrews 12:11 (KJV)

If you thought confronting your wife about her laziness was the hardest part you would be wrong.  Following through on the consequences you promised will be the most difficult part.  But remember why Christ sacrificed himself? It was to make his bride holy and so to you must do this to try and yield the fruit of righteousness in your wife’s life.

Step 5 – Attempt private discipline first

Once you have examined “7 Ways to Discipline your wife” you will notice that most of these methods could be instituted in a way that does not draw attention to your wife from your children.  I would suggest you try these kinds of private discipline first.

One method of private discipline that I added as an update to “7 Ways to Discipline your wife” is using your time as a husband as a method of discipline.  This is especially important to men in Tom’s situation where finances are tight. Many women value their husband’s time more than almost anything else.  A man can use discretion with how much of his free time that he allocates to his wife as one method of discipline.

Step 6- Move to more public discipline if private discipline does not work

An example of public discipline would be turning off the internet or cable in your home. Perhaps you might lock these things out with a code only you know. If you need the internet for work or children need it for school you could put the new code only in your computer and theirs and not your wives so she will have no access while others can still use it.  If you have to do this to shake your wife from her laziness this will get the attention of your children as it affects them.

Contrary to what some Christian teachers may teach – you do not have shield your children from your correction and discipline of your wife especially if she puts you in the position to have to do things that are more publicly visible to the rest of the family.

Some might say that this type of discipline undermines a mother’s authority in the eyes of her children and dishonors her before them in direct contradiction to I Peter 3:7’s admonition for men to honor their wives. But this could not be further from the truth.

The mother has dishonored herself by placing her husband in the position to have to elevate his discipline of her from private to public. Matthew 18:15-17 teaches us this principle that first correction is to be attempted privately but if the person remains in unrepentance their sin is to be made public.  Wives and mothers are not an exception to principle.

Step 7 – If she spurns your discipline then bring her before the Church

“…How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;” Proverbs 5:12 (KJV)

An now we come to the most public form of discipline a man might have to bring against his wife.

As husbands we have a duty to discipline our wives for sinful behavior. But whether it comes to our wives or our children there is only so much that we can do to discipline them and try and get them on the right path. If they despise our discipline and rebel then we must leave them in the Lord’s hands.

It is only when we have exhausted what we can do and if they continue in steadfast rebellion against our attempts to discipline them that we then should bring them before the church (Matthew 18:15-17).

But again they may not even listen to the church.

We must face the fact that discipline does not always yield the results that we want for those we love that are under our authority and spiritual care. But discipline requires two active parties for it to be successful. It requires the authority to perform the discipline and it requires the one under authority to learn from the discipline and change their way.

However, even if the wife does not learn from the discipline and change her ways this does not mean removing the disciplinary measures.  Once all measures have been taken those measures should stay in place until repentance is made.

How will things get done around the house while her laziness continues?

This is a very practical question and one we must carefully consider.  The laundry is not going to do itself, the dishes are not going to clean themselves and the meals are not going to make themselves.

The way you would handle this if you have no children and have plenty of money and the way you would handle this if you have children and little money are going to be very different.

If you have money then as a form of discipline you should have confiscated your wife’s credit cards and not given her weekly money. Hire someone to come in and help with the laundry and house work.  As far as meals go out to dinner by yourself and do not take your wife.  Make sure there are is some food for her in the house as that is something you are required to supply her with as her husband.  But it does not have to be fancy food.  Make her eat sandwiches.

If you don’t have money and especially if you have children then you won’t be able to hire a house keeper and you won’t be able to eat out.

Wash your clothes and wash your children’s clothes but purposefully leave your wife’s clothes for her to wash.  When you make dinner for you and your children do not make your wife a plate and be sure to discard any extra food at the end so she will be forced to make her own meal.

What if my wife works outside the home?

If you both work outside the home then the dynamics of who does what around the house may be slightly different. But it is still possible for a wife to be lazy in regard to her duties to her home even if she works outside the home.

The first question you need to answer is – did you approve of and agree to your wife working outside the home? If you did then you may need to pitch in and help out with things around the house.  But even in helping out your wife still needs to care for her home.

If you did not approve of this and she did this on her own against your wishes then she is responsible for all of the domestic duties of the home. You do not have to aid her going against your wishes by doing half the house work while she works outside the home against your wishes.

I find it interesting how many women point to Proverbs 31’s virtuous wife planting a field and selling clothing she has made in the market as proof that God is OK with women choosing to have careers outside the home. I have discussed why this does NOT in fact show a career woman in my post “Can a woman work outside the home?” What they miss is this woman did those things outside the home and then came home and did EVERYTHING inside the home.  Her husband came home to find a house where everything was in order.

Conclusion

These methods may seem harsh but really they are not – they are necessary.  Remember that your wife has brought this on herself and if you love her it will grieve you to have to do these things.

The sin of laziness is a serious sin before God – we as husbands must treat it as such even with our wives whom we love.

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” – II Thessalonians 3:10 (KJV)

91 thoughts on “7 Steps to Dealing with a Lazy Wife

  1. My wife is pretty good about keeping the house, but she was diagnosed with valley fever a couple of year ago and that has directly affected her energy levels. I help out where I am needed, and we have three teenage kids, so that helps.

    That being said, good luck to any man out there that wants to confront his wife on her laziness. Not only will you have an angry wife in your home but you can expect her friends, possibly your friends and more than likely members of the church calling you out for your cruel and heartless behavior, nothing in the vein of acting ‘Christ-like’ I assure you. Pray, brothers, spend one day in prayer and fasting before taking this on if you decide to go through with it. Not to determine whether or not you should. As BGR has so eloquently shown, it is our responsibility – but we fast and pray that the Lord will give us wisdom and words, so that our wives will listen rather than take affront. Unfortunately, as I stated in a previous post on my own blog, the church and society like to elevate women’s house into the stratosphere. We have all heard it said that being a mom is ‘the hardest job in the world’ when, in fact, it has gotten easier and easier in the past few decades. With the advent of technological advances like ovens you program to cook for you (based on item being cooked, weight, etc), dish washers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners – the hardest job in the world just gets easier and easier.

    Oh, and if you do decide to go this route be prepared for the Facebook backlash. One thing my wife does like to do is take to FB and post ‘woe is me’ pictures and quotes, never telling anyone what is really wrong, but definitely rallying the troops in her direction should she ever spill the beans. I have confronted her on it before, and will likely have to again before cutting her off. Facebook is the go-to place for women to get affirmation from other women (and some men), so be prepared to answer questions about why your wife is posting sob stories and frowny-faces.

  2. I understand as a wife that maintaining the house is our responsibility. But, as wife who also works outside of the home, is it too much to ask for my husband to lend a helping hand once in a while? We both work 10-12 hours a day, then when we come home, I’m the one doing the chores, cooking dinner, tending to our pets, and catering to my husband while he sits on the couch watching tv. I get that he worked all day, and I did too, but it gets a little old when I come in and do what I have to do only to watch him expect me to wait on him hand and foot…

    He’s said “inside is your responsibility, outside is mine” well, that’s fine and dandy when it’s summer and he takes care of the yard every weekend. But what about the other 9 months of the year where he sits inside and barks orders at me? Is there a balance at any point in time where everything is not left solely up to me? What about when we have children? They’ll see their mom working all day, and working in the home when I get off work, and daddy is sitting in front of the tv…isn’t that promoting laziness? I’m not angry, I’m just trying really hard to understand how he can expect me to work outside the home AND maintain an immaculate household when i’m just as exhausted as he is. He wouldn’t want to come home after 10-12 hours at work and start another 5-6 hours of housework and chores on his own…

  3. @Snapper,

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely seen plenty of men in my own age group (so early to mid twenties) posting passive aggressive Facebook messages when they’re mad at someone or trying to make someone feel guilty. Angsty song lyrics and poetry are particularly popular. It’s not just women in this day and age who refuse to be direct about things and who go to the internet and friends for affirmation rather than actually addressing their problems with the person who’s causing that problem.

  4. @BGR,

    This is a well-balanced and fair post on dealing issues of laziness on the part of wives.

    Do you have any advice for how men and women should deal with home-care when the wife has at least one infant or toddler in the house, and she’s the only one who’s old enough and responsible enough to supervise and attend to the needs of the baby? I know that it’s easier to care for the home while minding a baby (or babies) nowadays with modern technology and that a mother to a new baby can definitely use the child’s nap time to get move involved tasks done and the child’s play pen/baby seat time to do smaller tasks while maintaining any eye on the baby. But in general, the house probably won’t be as clean or the meals as elaborate during those times than when the children are older, more able to pick up after themselves, and don’t need constant supervision.

  5. Yeah, this is part of the feminization of men in the U.S. I often get tempted to do the same when I see my wife post stuff, but I don’t see the point in it. I don’t do passive-aggressive and neither should men in general. That’s a woman’s tactic. If your mad at me just come out and say it, we will either work it out or cut it out. I have a friend that does stuff like that and I am working with him on getting him out of his old way of thinking.

    Unfortunately a lot of other men eat up the garbage they have been fed over their young lives instructing them to ‘get in touch with their feelings’. I can understand not being an emotional stone, but I women don’t like their men being emotional faucets either. I have been interested lately in the lifestyle of the stoic, though that may be a little to far in the opposite direction. Still, history is filled with hard-ass men who showed little emotion when a job needed to be done, but plenty when they were able to spend time with their families. I think of John Wayne often when I think of a stoic. He always seemed to me like a hardened man, but the pictures of him with his family on the JW Facebook page show a man who loved his wife and kids, and wasn’t afraid to show them that.

  6. @Snapper,

    I don’t think that it’s an issue of letting out emotions vs. being stoical. The problem is the indirectness of it. I don’t have any problems with men expressing their emotions as long as they’re direct about it. Stoicism isn’t bad if you can pull it off, but a lot of men can’t. They think that they’re hiding it and dealing with it when they’re upset or angry about something, but those emotions still end up being pretty apparent because it makes them shut off completely and act more irritable than normal. Also, they end up snapping over something small and unrelated to the thing that initially made them mad. I honestly prefer it when they just tell me what’s wrong rather than try to ignore it and act off until they end up snapping. Basically, channeling emotion rationally and productively is better than either letting it pour forth uncontrollably and better than bottling it up until it comes out suddenly (and also uncontrollably).

  7. As I see it a person who ‘snaps’ due to pent up emotion is not a true stoic. Stoicism involves removing emotion from the equation, but if its just pent up then its not truly removed, is it? Passive-aggression is an emotional response, it is anger without action because you either feel you cannot affect the outcome or you are too afraid to take the actions necessary to deal with the problem. This is not something men should be doing. I am not saying it isn’t something men do, we can obviously see that this happens, but it is something that all men should try to remove from their behavior. It is childish and is a sure sign of immaturity. It may be tough to swallow an emotional response down, and even tougher to destroy it completely so it doesn’t come back to haunt you, but it is something I think men should strive for. Of course, that’s not to say we should be cutting off ALL emotion, but certainly that which leads to bad decisions or harmful outcomes should be controlled and eliminated. I don’t think it is something men are taught to do nowadays because of the emotional push of feminization. Even your response was the typical ‘if you bottle it up its going to gush out and your going to snap’. This is something I hear women say in order to try and get their men to be more like them, more ’emotionally vulnerable’. With proper training and the right frame of mind, however, I believe men can let a lot of negative emotional response just flow off of them like water of a ducks back.

  8. @Snapper –

    “Pray, brothers, spend one day in prayer and fasting before taking this on if you decide to go through with it.”

    Wisdom.

    Can you imagine what it’d be like if we were all willing to set aside time, on some regular basis, to fast and pray for our marriages and families?

  9. This seems pretty reasonable. I know that BGR and I don’t see eye to eye on everything discipline related, but to me a lot of this just seems like one spouse no longer enabling the other. Just like you wouldn’t expect a spouse to be obligated to buy alcohol for an alcoholic spouse, there’s no reason why a spouse should be obligated to buy take-out for a lazy one. I did have one question about hiring a housekeeper. I don’t disagree here, I’m just confused about the logic of doing this. Wouldn’t a lazy spouse be glad that someone is cleaning the house regardless of whether it’s the other spouse or a housekeeper? And I should say that I don’t think hiring a housekeeper is wrong in all situations at all. That question was strictly related to situations similar to Tom’s.

    I saw on the other post that you’re doing an amazon book soon. Can’t wait to read it!

  10. From Tom’s Story:

    – “Our house is usually messy. We’ve had periods of incredible organization and tidiness, but it doesn’t seem to last. I’ve gotten grief from believing / hoping that one day it could be habit for dishes to be cleaned up after a meal, rather than later in the day, or the next day.”
    – “but the backlash I get from talking to her about any expectations is almost as wearying as living in this mess,”
    – “We do have so much positive, but I’m tired of getting angry at home.”

    ***

    it is VERY hard when a couple has different ideas on what constitutes a clean house. i knew a family once where there were two different ‘codes’ of clean … “Daddy-Clean” and “Mommy-Clean.” (in this case, Mommy-clean was much more thorough).

    my first husband and i had the same ideas of how a clean house should look, and with very little exception, we were always on the same page.

    one of my bff’s is married to a brilliant man who works in one of those high security jobs where he can’t tell you his title, or his position, and certainly not anything about what he does. he’s an awesome man, and they have a great marriage. but he does NOT like you to mess with his stuff. she tried to organize it once in their early marriage days, and he about blew a gasket. since, she leaves his messy stuff alone.

    i used to keep everything spotless all the time. i have had to learn to relax on that a lot as i am not physically able to do so in this season of my life. however, the man i’m married to now really likes his piles of stuff and is comfortable with messy. this has been HARD for me to learn to live with. HARD. the only personal benefit is when i physically cannot keep the house up to my own standards of clean.

    there was a time when i could not physically fall asleep at night if my kitchen wasn’t spotless, and i mean spotless, and my house at least picked up, and the laundry mostly caught up. i had to learn to let that go when i was a single mom. i simply could not do everything i expected of myself and have a sped kid and give my girls the attention they needed.

    ***

    so, while i definitely see the need for wives to need discipline from time-to-time, and i definitely see the need for wives to need authority and direction as an overall part of the marriage, i wonder if some of this is a difference in how each perceives what ‘clean’ is. i have had to back off on what i define ‘clean’ to be married to the man i’m married to now. i’m not saying that since she is the wife and is under his authority that she isn’t the one who needs to change. i’m just wondering if, when she sees the house, she thinks it’s clean, whereas he thinks it’s messy.

    i had a friend years ago who was a germaphobe (not unlike myself), and i was absolutely shocked once when i was in her house, and used the bathroom, that the floor had not been cleaned behind the toilet in awhile! i mean, she was a germaphobe like me! (although, i know there’s a difference btw ‘my’ dirt and someone else’s dirt in one’s own house). if i were insistent now that little things like that were always done, whether i was able to or not, my husband would not be happy b/c he simply does not care. he would see it as a waste of my energy and it would cause a rift between us.

    ***

    however, if the husband’s issue is his wife’s laziness while he’s working so hard, and to him this is presented in how the house appears to him and how the food is prepared, then that is a whole different issue, imho.

    for example, IF she kept a perfectly clean house, according to his standards, and yet had several hours a day to be lazy, even if he didn’t know it, would that still bother him?

  11. ” It may be tough to swallow an emotional response down, and even tougher to destroy it completely so it doesn’t come back to haunt you, but it is something I think men should strive for. Of course, that’s not to say we should be cutting off ALL emotion, but certainly that which leads to bad decisions or harmful outcomes should be controlled and eliminated.”

    Which is actually what I’m arguing for. You just read something else into my argument.

    “Even your response was the typical ‘if you bottle it up its going to gush out and your going to snap’. This is something I hear women say in order to try and get their men to be more like them, more ’emotionally vulnerable’.”

    Do you think that women made up that saying out of nowhere, or you acknowledge that they came up with it after years of dealing with men who kept having that same reaction?

    On the flip side, I noticed that you read my statement about dealing with emotions rationally and productively as an encouragement to be emotionally vulnerable. That’s not actually what I meant. What I meant was acknowledging the feeling to yourself and deciding if it’s rationally based and justified. If it’s not rationally based, then you need to let it go. If it’s justified, then you need to solve the problem that’s causing it. This isn’t about letting your emotions out whenever you have them, nor is about letting them rule you. It’s about understanding your emotions so that they don’t rule you and so that you can master them.

  12. @Ame,

    “however, if the husband’s issue is his wife’s laziness while he’s working so hard, and to him this is presented in how the house appears to him and how the food is prepared, then that is a whole different issue, imho.

    for example, IF she kept a perfectly clean house, according to his standards, and yet had several hours a day to be lazy, even if he didn’t know it, would that still bother him?”

    I don’t think that BGR has a problem with his wife or any other wife taking some time to enjoy herself once she has everything in order. I might be wrong, but I don’t think that he’d take exception to a woman taking some down time as long as the house is clean, the children are cared for, and meals are well-prepared.

  13. another interesting thing on the meal issue:

    my first husband and i rarely ate out as part of our normal routine. we had date nights where we ate out. but i always prepared some kind of meal, and he liked my cooking. i would consider myself an above average home cook – i can easily put together a meal with most anything on hand and rarely need a recipe. i’m also really big into healthy eating.

    the man i’m married to now likes to eat out, he likes frozen dinners, and he doesn’t always like my cooking – actually, this has been one of the challenging ‘conflicts’ in our marriage, of all things. while i’ve tried to cook some things he likes, i’m terrible at cooking them, and no one else likes them. as a matter of fact, there have been times i’ve tried something and no one liked it but him … like, i was going to throw it away b/c it was so bad, but he liked it.

    so, once again, i’ve had to make some huge adjustments here. the things he really likes that i cannot make, he’s learned to eat at a restaurant. i’ve had to learn to not get my feelings hurt when i prepare a meal that he doesn’t care to eat. i’ve had to learn to not get my feelings hurt when he heavily re-seasons food before he eats it. i’ve had to learn to not to get upset when he prefers a frozen (blech! barf!) meal or fast food (ick!) over my cooking … and i’ve had to learn to let him give my girls these kinds of foods (hard for me! a delight for my girls who’ve said more than once, “Mom, if you hadn’t married him, we’d never have known what junk food is!)

    ***

    so … is this an issue of how each perceives food should be prepared?

    or is it an issue that he perceives she is lazy when she doesn’t present a full prepared meal every night – even if it doesn’t take her long to put together and she still has time left over to be lazy?

    or is it that he wants her to be filling all of her time with measurable things, including presenting his perceptions of a clean house and prepared food? (which, as the authority in the home, he absolutely has the right to expect).

  14. I would think that most women would feel both shame and anger at another woman coming into the house to clean. At least, if I were to go this route and hire someone to come in and clean I would make sure it was a woman/women. Most women generally hate competition and, even though they are paid, I would think that another woman traipsing through the house taking care of HER family would make a woman both ashamed and angry. Maybe she wouldn’t act on it right away, but eventually (hopefully) she would decide to get up off her behind and take care of her business.

  15. I think a lot of the ‘pent up rage of men’ that drives feminism is unproven fear. You have SOME women that have experienced this and spread the word around. Because women are so emotionally empathic to one another the fear spreads and turns into a reality in their minds. I don’t doubt it happens, but I do doubt it happens as much as people think. Also, you will have noticed that I said that the training needed to control and release these unhealthy emotions is not often taught to young men by older men, who have become increasingly feminized. The failure to learn this technique would lead to some men ‘losing it’ as they naturally know how to hold in their emotions (no on has to teach a boy how to do that), but fail to learn to to deal with and release it. However, if reading in the ‘manosphere’ has taught me anything is that women will eventually come to disdain ’emotionally vulnerable’ men. In fact, I can assure you I have plenty of personal experience with this from my younger days.

    If I misread any part of your post I apologize.

  16. I don’t know how possible it is to determine exactly how many women have experienced this pent-up rage, but I’ve experienced it firsthand from more than one man in my life, and I’ve actually experienced those feelings myself.

    For everything else, fair enough, although I’d say that you and the others on the manosphere have a fair bit of disdain for emotionally vulnerable women. And I could understand that, to an extent. No one likes dealing with another person who can’t control their emotions. However, I would contend that most women are fine with listening when their husbands are upset about or frustrated with something and are happy to share in his joy.

  17. Snapper, I think in the case of laziness (where shame is warranted), a woman is very likely to experience some shame in the sense that her husband has given up on her and is inviting another woman to clean their house. But, that does not necessarily have to be an issue across the board. My mom tried desperately hard to keep our house clean, but with her back issues, her desire to spend a lot of time with her grandchildren, and her piano teaching (which my dad thoroughly encouraged her in), a lot of the times it fell through the cracks and it really discouraged her. When they did hire a housekeeper, it took a weight off her mind and freed her up to spend time doing things that my dad and her preferred her to be doing. This elevated her rather than crushed her. And she felt so much better living in a clean house. She really came out of her shell and started having friends over again after like a decade! Today they host their church’s small group which would never have happened in previous days. Keep in mind that her standards were very similar to Ame’s. My dad didn’t mind how the house looked when we were growing up, but to her it was a disaster. So in the case where the woman needs to get off her butt, absolutely shame will likely be felt. But that isn’t always the case.

    Ame, thank you so much for sharing about you and your husband’s differing tastes in foods. Growing up, I made fabulous gourmet food for my large family. My husband, however, loves to cook and with my work schedule, he typically does most of the cooking. I have also struggled with cooking for two after cooking for 10 for so long. I remember when we were first dating, he wanted me to make Chinese for his birthday dinner. I had never made Chinese food before and while I thought it was pretty good, he thought it was terrible and repeatedly refers to it as “that terrible Chinese food”. Not too long ago, I woke up with unusual energy and decided to make him breakfast. When I asked him what he wanted, he said scrambled eggs, and then backtracked and asked if I knew how to make those. I started crying right there because I really wished he could have seen me back in the day! But, I have had to learn to adjust my expectations to fit our married life and our schedules so I can do what he needs me to do. So all that to say, that was very encouraging to read, and I’m glad to know I am not the only woman who has had to stifle hurt feelings along the way. 🙂

  18. @AnnaMS – when the man i’m married to now and i first married, i would get up early and make him breakfast. but even though i was adding variety, he got to where he didn’t like it anymore. so, i get that extra sleep, and he does his own thing, and we’re both happier 🙂

    my bff from high school is an amazing cook, like chef-cook. she married a man who also cooks chef-level, but they have two very different styles. they’ve been married 25 years now, so that’s all blended together. i had in the back of my mind that if i married again i’d marry someone who could cook … that didn’t happen! well, he *can* cook, but no one but him will eat it! and he totally wrecks the kitchen (which i then have to clean). it’s just easier for me to cook … which i really don’t mind doing and actually enjoy most of the time.

  19. I see no shame in hiring a housekeeper when one is needed, my point was more towards a lazy housewife whos husband has to bring another woman (or, person, I guess) into the house to do her job. My hope would be that she would feel shamed because of it. Someone with physical issues should feel no such shame.

  20. I have no disdain for emotionally vulnerable women, but I am wary of women whos emotions are totally unrestrained. I, too, would agree that most women don’t mind listening to their husbands when they feel the need to get something off of their chest, but a man who acts like an emotional woman will soon find his woman cares little for him, and I don’t blame her. How can a woman put her faith and trust and well-being in the hands of a man who acts like a woman? I couldn’t put the faith and trust of my business in the hands of a man like that, much less a woman and her most base needs.

    It is unfortunate that you have been on the receiving end of another mans inability to keep himself in check. My hope is that, with the rise of blogs such as this one there will be a resurgence of men who will take the task of manhood to heart, and teach their sons to both control and release their pent-up issues.

  21. @Snapper –
    “I would think that most women would feel both shame and anger at another woman coming into the house to clean.”

    well … possibly. if she is doing nothing else and is perfectly capable and has the time, she *should*.

    if both he and she decide she should spend her time doing other things, and they both agree to hire help to clean the house, then that’s no issue.

    after my babies were born i had a lot of back issues. my ex made good money, so he hired someone to come in and do the heavy cleaning twice a month – it was wonderful. i’d actually do that again these days if i could find someone i trusted as much as i trusted her … we became friends and are still fb friends.

    it IS invasive at first … and finding someone you trust is critical. but it’s not an all-bad thing. there are good reasons one might hire cleaning help.

  22. Snapper – oops … we must have cross-posted … just read your post about hiring a cleaning person.

    btw – emotional men who can’t control extreme emotions are ewwwwwww!

  23. “I, too, would agree that most women don’t mind listening to their husbands when they feel the need to get something off of their chest, but a man who acts like an emotional woman will soon find his woman cares little for him, and I don’t blame her.”

    I think that I understand you here. A woman should make her husband feel comfortable enough that he can get things off of his chest with her and discuss his problems with her when he wishes to without receiving judgment from her, but he shouldn’t force himself to become more openly emotional than he naturally wants to be. Plus, most women do understand that their husbands will occasionally go through hard times as well, especially if things get really tense at work and he fears losing his job or if a relative or friend dies, and won’t mind offering comfort and support in those harder times, but they want him to have emotional control in less dire circumstances. I think that some women also understand that some men like to talk out problems with their wives because talking out a problem helps them come to a solution. (Or at least my husband likes thinking out loud to me and usually ends up coming up with a solution by the end, just by explaining it to me and taking in any questions or input that I have.)

  24. back to the clean house thing …

    ***IF*** it is an issue of perception – what one thinks is clean the other thinks is messy … trying to understand how the other perceives things is difficult.

    this example might be a bit extreme … but my sped kid has this problem with perception. i would ask her to pick up a room, and she wouldn’t do it … or so i thought … till i figured out it was her perception of clean. since she loves mysteries, i came up with this idea of her cleaning a room so it looks like no one has been in there … that she leaves it Without A Trace that anyone was ever there, and we call it WAT a room. that clicked in her brain. now, she doesn’t *like* it … but she definitely understand it!

  25. @Allie,

    I can understand your frustration feeling that you are doing more work than your husband. It sounds as if he has asked you to work outside the home and if this is the case he should be pitching in and helping you when you both get home. Really what you husband is doing is “wanting his cake and eating it too”. You don’t get to have a full time homemaker and full time career woman – this is not something that is inconsistent.

    I have no sympathy for a woman who goes to work full time against her husband’s wishes and if he has been providing for the family if he does no house work. But in your case he expects you work full time while also expecting you to take care of the house full time and I agree that is not treating you fairly. And if you continued working full time while taking care of everything when you get home as he relaxes I don’t think that is a good example for your children.

    But really there is the greater point of the fact that he is forcing you to work. The best example for your kids would be you to be at home full time so you can serve the needs of your husband, your children and your home.

    Now though we come to the reality you face of having a husband who is not treating you fairly and he is being disobedient to God’s Word in doing so.
    Here is what you can do.

    1. Bring your grievance to him in a respectful manner.

    “13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;
    14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?
    15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?” – Job 31:13-15 (KJV)

    God has granted those who are under various authorities the right for them to respectfully bring their grievances to their authorities. So give this a try if you have not already. You just want to make sure it does not turn in nagging. Let him know how you feel and the leave it alone for a while.

    2. If he does not change on this you may have to accept this unfair treatment

    “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” – I Peter 3:1-2 (KJV)

    You are not your husband’s authority and that means you are not responsible for his sin. God has put you under his authority to be his help meet. Husbands sometimes sin against their wives and wives sometimes sin against their husbands. Sometimes the sin is even a pattern of sinfulness as this may be the case here. But the difference between the two is that God has given the husband the spiritual responsibility for his wife and her sin to the extent that he can discipline her. A wife does not carry this same responsibility for her husband.

    God says if your husband is disobedient to the Word(and that would include treating his wife unfairly) she is to continue submitting to him and reverencing him as her husband and in some cases this may win her husband over but in others he may remain blind.

    Allie – I am not saying this will be easy. But when you give your husband’s sin to God it really will take a burden off your shoulder. Believe me those household things you are doing after work that he should be helping you with are going to be harder if you are carrying that frustration that he should be helping you. But if you know that he should be, you have respectfully asked him about and he says no and then you give him to God your burden will be easier.

  26. @AnnaMS,

    On the question of the housekeeper – I hear what you are saying that won’t this just make the lazy wife feel good like she does not have to anything? It should not. Because before the husband hires a housekeeper he has removed all funding from his wife. She has no money to go out and have fun. She can’t shop online because he has blocked her internet and removed her credit cards. The reality is the laundry will not do itself and if this man works a lot and can afford a housekeeper why should he do his own laundry when he can pay to have it done. He could also instruct the housekeeper not to clean up after his wife or do her laundry as a further statement to her about her laziness.

    I also agree that hiring a housekeeper is not wrong in all situations. An example would be if the wife is disabled or if she elderly and simply can do the basic things like laundry anymore. That is not about laziness – that is about the genuine inability to do certain things. But where I think housekeepers become wrong is where you get these women who simply think house work is beneath them and so they force their husbands to hire a housekeeper. That I do not agree with.

  27. @AnnaMS,

    “I saw on the other post that you’re doing an amazon book soon. Can’t wait to read it!”

    Well don’t hold your breath because it will be some time – LOL. I am working on it in my spare time which between my day job and keeping up with this blog on a daily basis is very little. At the pace I am going it will probably take me two years. It will be in an ebook format – I just need to find an ebook publisher when I get it done. So it could be read on a computer, a nook or a kindle.

  28. @Snapper,

    “That being said, good luck to any man out there that wants to confront his wife on her laziness. Not only will you have an angry wife in your home but you can expect her friends, possibly your friends and more than likely members of the church calling you out for your cruel and heartless behavior, nothing in the vein of acting ‘Christ-like’ I assure you. Pray, brothers, spend one day in prayer and fasting before taking this on if you decide to go through with it. Not to determine whether or not you should.”

    I agree with you that this is not an easy feat for any man. You will feel as if the whole world is against you if you try and tackle laziness in your wife. Again as I said in the post I am not talking about a wife having a rough day here and there or perhaps right before or right after she has a baby things are going to get out of whack. I am talking about the chronically lazy wife here where the house being clean, laundry being done, meals being made are the exception rather than then norm. I just want to make that clear.

    But our world goes out of its way to make 1000 excuses for lazy wives. I have already had several emails from women yelling me saying if a woman is every lazy it is the husband’s fault. Maybe she is depressed because of some way he is treating her, maybe she is sick…ect. They think that a woman truly being lazy on her own accord is somehow a myth. And again I am not saying there are not lazy husbands out there too – because there are. But we are talking here about lazy wives.

    You are correct though about prayer – everything must be bathed in prayer. A man must know he is not only confronting his wife in doing this – he is going against his culture as well but it is responsibility as the spiritual leader of his home to tackle this sin.

  29. @BGR,

    I definitely got that you weren’t talking about women who had the occasional off-day due to illness or dealing with a sick child or a particularly active baby. You also made it very clear that you weren’t referring to women whose physical health limited them. Plus, I would guess based on what you’ve said before that you’d recommend treatment first for a wife struggling with depression. Then, of course, it would be the husband’s duty to push his wife to start doing more things around the house. Not only is this getting the wife to do her duty; it’s also something that people struggling from depression often need to get them out of their slump once they’ve started therapy and/medication. Just as your wife’s PT encouraged her to try to do more stuff around the house to ensure that she could recover strength and mobility, so too do people with depression sometimes need that extra motivation to get going.
    Sometimes there are legitimate reasons why women struggle to get everything done in a day, but there are also definitely women out there who just don’t work very hard and don’t manage their time well.

  30. @Alex,

    “Sometimes there are legitimate reasons why women struggle to get everything done in a day, but there are also definitely women out there who just don’t work very hard and don’t manage their time well.”

    Yes I believe we are on the same page here. There are extremes on both sides of this issue. There is the husband who if his wife has one off day is yelling at her and giving her the business instead of showing her grace and stepping in to help. The husband who fails to see something is causing depression in his wife. But on other side of this we have women who truly struggle with laziness especially as it relates to the duties of their home. We have a society that has gone out of its way to say the existence of the “lazy wife” is akin to big foot. This is not the case and we must accept and confront the reality of this problem.

  31. @Ame,

    “so, while i definitely see the need for wives to need discipline from time-to-time, and i definitely see the need for wives to need authority and direction as an overall part of the marriage, i wonder if some of this is a difference in how each perceives what ‘clean’ is. i have had to back off on what i define ‘clean’ to be married to the man i’m married to now. i’m not saying that since she is the wife and is under his authority that she isn’t the one who needs to change. i’m just wondering if, when she sees the house, she thinks it’s clean, whereas he thinks it’s messy…

    however, if the husband’s issue is his wife’s laziness while he’s working so hard, and to him this is presented in how the house appears to him and how the food is prepared, then that is a whole different issue, imho.

    for example, IF she kept a perfectly clean house, according to his standards, and yet had several hours a day to be lazy, even if he didn’t know it, would that still bother him?”

    I don’t think a man should go after his wife for being lazy if these things are done on a regular basis:

    1. Clothing is washed – family members not constantly having to go find their own clothes in the dirty laundry pile and clean them.
    2. Meals are prepared each day – whether your husband likes a frozen dinner in the oven or fresh just do your best to please him.
    3. The floors are vacuumed and swept where there is not a pile of dust and garbage lying around on the floors and counters.
    4. Dishes are done on daily basis(not necessarily right after meals – but they do not sit in the sink for days).
    5. Regular shopping occurs to make sure food is stocked and other things like shampoo, soap, medicines and toilet paper are there.

    Some men may be more perfectionist than others – but I don’t think the list above is unreasonable for full time homemaker to accomplish.

    As far as women taking breaks during the day while their husband works – I am all for that! Most homemakers will be slaving over a stove when their husband comes home and also helping the kids with home work and other things. The evenings are very busy for most families. The afternoon is the time when most moms get their quiet time and I am OK with that. So if a woman is doing laundry and cleaning during the day and getting things prepped for dinner and she wants to take a couple hours off to watch TV that is fine. The point is the work of the home is getting done. She does not have to work at the exact time her husband is – because when he gets home is he going to be working when she is? Probably not.

    One other thing I would like to mention here – some have raised the point about “what about the kids helping around the house”. Obviously kids should clean up after themselves (scraping plates and putting in sink and cleaning their room and other messes they make). But what about helping by doing the family laundry and washing the dishes or even cooking dinner?

    I do think teens should have chores and should learn basic skills like cooking and laundry. I definitely think if mom is disabled or is forced to work the kids might have to jump in more and help out. But if mom is not disabled and is fully capable of all these things and is a full time homemaker why should her children who have to go school all day and then do homework after they eat spend the rest of their evening doing what she could have done during the day. Is it right for her to just sit around all day and do nothing while her children go to school and her husband goes to work and then expect them to help with her? NO WAY. This would be completely and utterly wrong.

  32. BGR – i agree with you on everything.

    “I do think teens should have chores and should learn basic skills like cooking and laundry. I definitely think if mom is disabled or is forced to work the kids might have to jump in more and help out. But if mom is not disabled and is fully capable of all these things and is a full time homemaker why should her children who have to go school all day and then do homework after they eat spend the rest of their evening doing what she could have done during the day. Is it right for her to just sit around all day and do nothing while her children go to school and her husband goes to work and then expect them to help with her? NO WAY. This would be completely and utterly wrong.”

    YES!!!!!!!

    i don’t know why parents think their kids need to act like they own the house when they don’t. i think there’s almost a competition out there among women as to whose kids do the best and most chores around the house without whining or complaint. grrr.

  33. @BGR
    @Allie

    i wanted to take a moment to respond to Allie because i think i hear some things unsaid.

    Allie said she and her husband work 10-12 hours a day. Those are aggressive career hours.
    – Are you both in aggressive careers on aggressive career paths?
    – If so, how does your husband feel about you being on an aggressive career path? … not about you working, but about you working up aggressively in your career?
    – Are you at a higher level in your career than he is?
    – Is there any possibility he feels competition with you regarding your careers?
    – Do you have the option to work fewer hours?
    – Do you value your career more than you value your marriage?
    – Do you value your career more than you value your husband’s career/work?
    – Does your husband expect you to excel and move up at your career?
    – Do you value your career more than you value managing your home?

    i have yet to see a marriage and home work well when both husband and wife are deeply invested in their careers. if there’s a choice as to whose career gets priority, the husband gets to choose, and the wife will probably not like his choice b/c she will not understand how his mind is thinking making that choice. she will be emotionally reactive, so she will need to choose to accept her husband’s choice.

    when both husband and wife are invested outside the home, something has to give. in Allie’s situation, what has to give is her. she’s the one who must sacrifice. i don’t have a problem with that – and refer back to what BGR stated.

    i know there are situations where the husband demands the wife work and have a career, and if that’s the case, she must comply. also in those cases, if they don’t go all-out with fixed spending, they can afford to hire a housekeeper and prepared meals and lawn care.

    but here’s where feminism has, once again, ruined the home. it’s not simply that the wife is home being a homemaker, it’s that she brings love and balance into the home. she brings heart into the home. she brings peace into the home. when she doesn’t manage it well, it says to everyone else that she does not value the marriage and children, if she has them. it says home is not important. her husband is out working his butt off everyday to provide for the home because he believes the home is important. when she does not manage the home well, when she’s perfectly capable, it can make him bitter. he’s done his part so she can do hers, but then she refuses and blames him for her not doing her part. it makes no sense. it’s not logical. it makes him angry, and it should.

    different seasons will require different things. when i was pregnant with my first i was sick almost the whole nine months. it was terrible. i couldn’t smell, i couldn’t cook, i couldn’t go to the grocery store b/c of the smells. my husband couldn’t make coffee in the house. it was terrible. thankfully, my in-laws were living close at the time – the only time they did, and she would make us dinners that i could eat – i couldn’t eat a lot of foods, either. when i had two babies, one w/special needs and high maintenance, that required a different balance. toddlers … preschoolers, school age, teenagers, etc. and then the other things in life … an ill family member mom needs to tend to … husband looses his job … just life. so things that are set in stone and must work that way for forever aren’t realistic. balanced flexibility with a focus on what is important and what is not. another example … with babies it’s still important to take care of the home … if doing mommy and me things takes away mom/wife’s time from the home, the class needs to go because the home comes first.

    the other thing feminism has done is insist women have careers and go to college, so there’s huge college debt/loans that need to be paid off. if a wife brings that into the marriage, that becomes another huge financial issue that is not good b/c they become a slave to that debt.

    ***

    when you get married, a wife must put her marriage above her career. in doing so, she makes her home priority. unless the husband is requiring her to have a career and all the home chores and management, then the burden of choice is on her. if she chooses a time-consuming career, then she must also choose the full responsibility of the management of the home.

    ***
    without knowing anything else other than what Allie provided, there are some things i would strongly recommend:
    1. do not make financial choices that depend upon your income, especially long-term ones like a house or a vehicle or using debt to finance vacations, etc.
    2. make sure there is nothing in your career that is competing with your husband’s; men do not like competition.
    3. reduce your time spent outside of the home and invest the extra time inside the home.

    that he comes home and refuses to help while making demands speaks loud to me. it sounds defensive. it says to me he’s not happy with something. i could be wrong here … but that’s what i hear.

  34. @BGR

    “I have already had several emails from women yelling me saying if a woman is every lazy it is the husband’s fault.”

    ha! i bet!

    like i tell my kids all the time … i don’t care who started it, i care who ends it.

    and like you’ve pointed out over and over, the Bible doesn’t give us if/then ‘outs’.

  35. once perceptions and expectations have been clearly established, the default always goes to the husband. he gets to choose the balance of chores and the expectations and whether or not they’re being met.

    here’s a little personal example.

    the last 24 hours for us have been extremely difficult. my step son was admitted into a hospital in the middle of last night (he will be okay, but it’s a long story not relevant), I had an appointment today that didn’t go well, we’re both running on very little sleep.

    my kitchen is clean … there is definitely a laundry pile, but everyone has what they need to wear … the floors are relatively clean (relatively b/c I think I could sweep and mop 3x a day sometimes in the kitchen with everyone using it all day due to homeschooling).

    so my sweet husband says, “We’re picking up dinner to go tonight. I don’t want you cooking.”

    I can cook tonight. really, it’s not that big a deal. if i’m too tired to clean the kitchen, my Oldest does a great job. she’s not required to clean it every night, and I don’t over-extend her, but when I need her help, she’s always willing.

    so, tonight we’ll eat out. I don’t have to do any laundry or clean any floors or cook. i’ll make sure the kitchen is clean before I go to bed.

    here’s a little background as to why this works:

    before we met my husband had determined that if he married again, he would not marry a sahm b/c his previous wife *was* lazy and blamed it on her husband. but, with my circumstances with my special needs daughter, I could not work outside the home b/c I could not make enough to hire the proper help to care for her when she wasn’t in school, to take her to doc appts, to care for her when she was (often) sick. but, for some reason, this man saw my heart and married me.

    now he’ll be the first to tell you he doesn’t want me to work outside the home. we live on a very tight budget. we don’t have any frills. we don’t even take vacations. but we’re happy. our kids are happy.

    do I sometimes wish for a day out there in the world? sure. do I wanna scream I have to clean the kitchen floor AGAIN? sure. do I hate stain treating laundry? YES! do I get jealous of what others have that we don’t? absolutely, and I have to confess and deal w/that with God. and then refocus on what we do have.

    we have both made our marriage and our family a priority and continue to make adjustments to keep it that way. it.is.hard. it is not easy. we’re very selfish people. we don’t always want to give for our marriage or our family. but we do it. and then on days like today, my husband steps up and rather than saying you can order out if you want, he flat-out says, “You’re not cooking. It’s too much. We’re picking up food to go.”

    happy he; happy me 🙂

  36. Interesting dilemma. I think since high schools have discontinued Home Economics classes this problem has become epidemic. Taking care of a house requires disciplinary, and organizational, skills that most women are not born with. In most cases, it must be taught. But, that’s another issue for another day. For now, I’ll use my own experience as an example of what I believe would work just as well as “disciplinary” action. I was brought up in a disorganized, messy household. It was never dirty, just lots of piles of things that never seemed to have a home. I married a neatnik. It took me a few years, but I realized that staying on top of the domestic chores, and NEVER letting things pile up, was the key to my husband’s success both at work and at home. It’s much easier to hang up one coat when you get home, then to run around and pick up, and hang up, 7 of them strewn all over the house. When you are faced with long neglected piles of clothes, dishes, toys, newspapers, mail, laundry, etc. it can seem like a taunting task to clean it up and that response may actually have nothing to do with laziness. My suggestions are as follows. The first thing the loving Christian husband should do, is ask his wife if she loves him. Second, when she says yes, he should quietly tell her that he loves her too but that her messy house drives him to distraction and stresses him out. Third, he should tell her that he and the kids are going to help her get the house in order on the following weekend. Fourth, he and the kids should then promise to NOT be part of the messy problem and everyone should happily volunteer to help Mom keep up with the domestic chores, especially the ones that frustrate Mom most. If it’s doing dishes, rotate nights and give her a break, but DO NOT take her out to dinner as part of that break. She should understand that money does not grow on trees and her primary contribution to the family, especially if she’s home full-time, is to do EVERYTHING she can to save money and going out to dinner doesn’t cut it. If she hates doing laundry, help where you can – someone load, someone fold, everyone put their own clothes away. In order to accomplish this, you may have to spend a Saturday organizing dresser drawers and closets so that all the clothes have a home, and ditch, or donate, the clothes you don’t wear so everything has a home. Attack any of these initial messes, as a family project, with Mom making the decisions about how and where she wants things located. If she’s going to keep up with things, she’s got to be the one who decides how and where she wants things to go. And don’t argue with her decisions. If she wants you to turn your dirty clothes, and socks, right side out, before you throw them in the hamper – DO IT! Lastly, praise, compliment and thank her when the house looks neat and clean. And husbands, this is especially important for you to do. Let her know how HAPPY it makes you when the house is clean and don’t forget to jump in to help if she’s getting overwhelmed again, stressed out, had a lousy day or is just too tired. Eventually, she will develop habits that work to maintain an orderly house and, just knowing how much the clean house makes you, and her, feel better, will be enough of an incentive for her to keep up with her domestic chores. And this will be especially so, if hubby takes her out on an occasional “date”, including some flowers and kisses, to specifically thank her for her very important contributions to your happy, clean home. 😄 Good luck guys.

  37. i think you’ve made some very important points here.

    if she doesn’t know how, she needs to learn. if she needs to learn, she needs to be taught. with the internet, there are so many ways to learn how to do things that would accommodate different learning styles (accommodating her learning style is actually important).

    it might help for her to learn one thing at a time and build up … depending on how she learns. i have a friend who dives almost blindly head first into every new endeavor. i need to ease into things.

    however if it IS truly a lazy issue, then it’s an attitude problem. and that needs something more serious.

  38. And her lazy “attitude” may be caused by unappreciative family members. The whole family needs to show their love and support for her contributions before she will feel confident enough to continue to tackle them. It can be a tough challenge for husbands to undertake too, because most want instant results. That’s not going to happen. Lots of baby steps will need to be taken before she hits her stride and her husband must lead by example and applaud each step.

  39. @KQ –
    “And her lazy “attitude” may be caused by unappreciative family members.”

    i hear what you’re saying, but i don’t agree with you. laziness and having a bad attitudes are sins. we cannot justify our sin by how others appreciate or do not appreciate what we do. it is nice if she gets help along the way, and encouragement … but they are not required for her to stop being lazy and stop having a bad attitude. what is required is a repentant heart and devotion to God acted out through her behavior.

    another part of this is something that’s covered often … we women are driven by our feelings. we cannot let our feelings about how we are or are not appreciated determine our choices. our feelings are a terrible barometer of what is real and true b/c they’re too variable and dependent upon so many unpredictable things.

    we have to do what’s right because it’s right … not because we’re appreciated. it helps, but it’s not required.

  40. Families are designed by God to support each other. This is the very least a husband can do for his wife. If you don’t agree, that’s fine, but love, kindness and consideration should always be expressed first, by family members for family members, who appear to them to be simply ” lazy”. Reprimanding them right out of the box, without trying to discover the underlying reason for the messiness first, will never work.

  41. I honestly feel like K.Q. Duane’s idea should be a prerequisite for BGR’s. It had seemed to me at least, that Tom had spoken with his wife about it numerous times and had tried his best to help her out as well before emailing BGR in despair and justified frustration. I’m not at all a fan of jumping straight into the war zone without trying other things first, and I can’t imagine BGR is either, but I don’t want to put words in his mouth.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t honestly see the two ideas as incompatible.

  42. @K.Q. Duane

    Ideally, yes, families are designed to support each other, but sometimes this is not the case. When it is not the case we have the bible to direct us in our behavior:

    1 Peter 2:
    18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

    The words of the bible might not always make us feel comfortable, or seem fair to us, but the words of God are for our benefit. Even if we receive no ‘support’ or praise from those around us we still follow the word of God because it is pleasing to him and commendable to us.

  43. @K.Q.,

    This is something I said in my previous post(which is referenced a lot in this post) “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife”:

    “Discipline toward your wife should always start with the gentlest approach first and only move toward harder forms of discipline if the gentle approach does not yield results. Warnings should always be given before harder types of discipline are implemented.”

    The Bible says “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1 This is something both husbands and wives should practice toward each other when they have disagreements and issues. What I am discussing in this post is a pattern of laziness, we are not talking here about the occasional bad day or even bad week. This assumes that a husband had spoken gently to his wife as I mention in my previous discipline article. But there is no change in the pattern.

    What this article is attempting tackle K.Q. is the existence of the slothful or lazy wife. As I pointed out since women are often so dominated by their feelings it is very easy for them to fall into a pattern of laziness and leave their homes in disrepair.

  44. @K.Q.,

    Your Statement:

    “When you are faced with long neglected piles of clothes, dishes, toys, newspapers, mail, laundry, etc. it can seem like a taunting task to clean it up and that response may actually have nothing to do with laziness…he should tell her that he and the kids are going to help her get the house in order on the following weekend. Fourth, he and the kids should then promise to NOT be part of the messy problem and everyone should happily volunteer to help Mom keep up with the domestic chores, especially the ones that frustrate Mom most. If it’s doing dishes, rotate nights and give her a break, but DO NOT take her out to dinner as part of that break.”

    On this part of your advice I think you and I will have some disagreement. If mom works that is one thing – everybody has to pitch in with things like the laundry and the dishes and other things, but if she stays home full time these things are HER JOB. Just like her husband has a job to do every day so does she. No one is going to step in and go do his job for him if he decides he does not feel like going to work one day.

    Aside from teaching the kids to pick up their own mess and hang up their own coat the work of the home belongs to the wife/mother. If everyone has to bail out mom because she did not feel like doing house work, let it pile up and then got overwhelmed by it then everyone has to bail her out this sends the wrong message. She is being a horrible example for her children.

    I am in the unique position of having worked from home for over 10 years. I do occasionally go into the office or have to take business trips but that is rare. So in my marriage to my first wife I had a front row seat to see how things work with a mom of 5. 8 years ago before our divorce(for her infidelity) she had two small children at home and 3 children in school. There was a LOT of sitting around watching TV and napping. The house was a constant mess and fresh meals were rarely cooked. When meals were cooked it was usually out a freezer box. Dishes would remain in the sink for days and I and the children would constantly be “recycling” our clothes(wearing dirty clothes over again) because she had a constant pile of laundry.

    There were some weeks I would just step in and do what you said and I did not say anything negative to her. I would do laundry during the day as I was working and into evening. I would go and out get fresh meats and veggies to make fresh dinners in hopes of inspiring her. But you know what I was doing K.Q.? I was enabling her laziness. She never changed.

    I can tell you the existence of the “lazy house wife” is no myth my friend, she is not like Big foot – she is very real all across America and I have witnessed her existence for myself.

    And as Ame stated – the issue here is about women realizing this is “a besetting sin” for most women that they let their feelings get in their way of their duty. I don’t disagree that husbands should praise their wives when they keep up the home- the husband of Proverbs 31 did that. But a woman keeping her duties to make sure her family is clothed(clothing is consistently washed), her home is in order and fresh meals are made daily should not be based on praise or appreciation anymore than whether a man goes to his job each day is based on his families praise and appreciation for him doing that either(while they should show appreciation of course).

  45. I think you missed my point. I absolutely agree that if Mom is home full-time that it is her job to care for her home. My suggestions ONLY apply to the FIRST time the family attempts to get her mess cleaned up. After that initial involvement, to get her over the hump, it’s up to her to keep the ball rolling, but with the family member’s gratitude and encouragement. NO ONE likes to be unappreciated for their efforts on the part of others.

  46. K.Q.,

    If this is a first time attempt and first time only then I would for the most part agree with what you said. I agree no one likes to feel unappreciated and I have previously written on this subject of the need for men to praise their wives and for husbands to encourage their children to honor their mothers.

    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/05/30/12-ways-to-honor-your-wife/

    But a wife does not have the excuse to the let “the ball drop” for lack of praise and encouragement(which is something I agree family members should do) but we cannot live our lives for praise.

  47. KQ and Anna –

    i think the base of this is very important and also very hard to understand because it’s simply not taught. when the Bible gives instruction, it does not give us the freedom to disregard based on another’s behavior.

    is it nice, as a woman, to be praised and encouraged? sure. is it a pre-requisite to doing what we should do? absolutely not.

    i know it’s hard. i’ve been there. my first husband was not an easy man to be married to. but when i read my bible, God did not give me liberty to behave in certain ways because my husband was harsh. God instructs us in our behavior in relationship to Him, not based on how others do or do not treat us. Does He give instruction to our husbands, too? absolutely. BUT, God does not tell us our behavior is in any way connected to how our husbands treat us.

    i’m going to quote the whole chapter of Colossians 3 b/c i think it is important in its entirety. notice that while we are each given instruction, there is no where that we are given liberty in that instruction … and certainly not based on how another behaves first.

    Colossians 3:
    1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
    2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
    3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
    4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
    5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
    6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b]
    7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.
    8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
    9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices
    10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
    11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
    12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
    13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
    14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
    15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
    16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
    18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
    19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
    20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
    21 Fathers,[c] do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
    22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
    23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
    24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
    25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

  48. I think Verse 16 “teach” and 19 “Husbands, do not be harsh to your wives” reinforces my point, and that is really all I’m trying to say. Love can cure a lot of ills and should always be tried first. If it doesn’t solve the problem then the 7 Step program should begin.

  49. KQ – i hear you. love can cure a lot of ills, and it would be nice to be loved in the ways we *feel* loved. BUT, it is not a requirement for us, as wives, to:

    – “2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
    – “5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
    – “8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”
    – “9 Do not lie to each other,”
    – “12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
    – “13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
    – “14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
    – “15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
    – “16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. – “17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
    – “18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
    – “23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”

    and then … he wraps up this whole chapter with this:

    – “25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.”

    yes, God does give instruction to our husbands and children, but whether or not they choose to obey God’s instruction to them, we are instructed to obey God’s instruction to us. it is VERY important that *this* be our foundation and *not* how our husband treats us first or ever because while we are under the authority of our husbands, when we stand before Jesus someday, we will only answer for our own behavior.

    if we take God’s Holy Word (as my mentor would always call it, and it is) and add or take away, not only are we guilty of another sin, but we screw it all up and give ourselves license to do anything we choose simply because we *want* or *feel*. God, in His great wisdom, knows our emotions and feelings, and He knows that, while they can be good and used for good, they cannot be depended upon. so God gives us instruction that is not dependent on circumstances, emotions, or feelings.

    we need to be very careful in how we think about these things. the words, “required,” “pre-requisite,” “feelings,” … these need to be held against scripture so that our thinking lines up with the Word.

  50. i will give a personal example of how this chapter has played out in our lives. my first husband, as i said, was a harsh man. his parents, who are retired from a career in the ministry, are even more harsh. after the divorce, he would take our girls to his parents house. there were some things my young daughter longed to do, but the three of them were adamantly opposed. these were benign things – meaning neither good not bad. so when she was at her grandparents house, both her grandparents and her dad would start in on her and hammer her with reasons why her desires were bad and wrong. here was this little girl, about nine years old, being hammered by three adults simply because she had desires for something different than they preferred. and.she.had.no.out. they would.not.stop. they kept on and on and on, and not only that, every.single.time. they were together, the three would pick up the gauntlet, yet again, and hammer her without mercy.

    so i really prayed about this and then sat down with my daughter. i got out a sheet of paper, and we wrote down the verse above, “20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.,” and others in the bible that say the same. we talked about this … about how, despite how our parents behave, we need to obey them. her dad, her parent, put her in this situation, and she had to obey him. not only that, but she.had.no.out. in a divorce, the state determines where a child is to be, when, and so, she had to be with him during certain times.

    then … we made a list of respectful ways she could protect herself and give herself a mental ‘out.’ some things on that list were: go to the bathroom – they wouldn’t follow her in there … start coughing – this would give her a way to physically respond and change the focus to her health.

    i wanted to teach my daughter that, regardless of what anyone else does or does not do, she is to honor God. i wanted to teach her that, regardless of how she feels or wants, she is to honor God. i wanted to teach her that regardless of what is fair, just, equal, or even abusive, she is to honor God.

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