While browsing my Facebook, an article about why men usually criticize their stay-at-home wives caught my eye. Originally posted on The Huffington Post, a popular, liberal based, blog site, Dr. Samantha Roman attempts to explain the common demands of parenting small children, and how it can negatively affect a marriage. She chose to focus on a subset of (SAHM) stay-at-home mothers, since a typical relationship dynamic is more likely to slip into this crisis. Men with a Type A personality, ambitious, organized, over-achieving “workaholics”, are often attracted to Type B women, their laid back, creative counterpart. But once the housework, children’s behavior, or their wife’s physical appearance does not meet certain standards, some Type A husbands become critical, leaving a Type B SAHM feeling hurt or angry.This may seem like a small issue but it can easily spiral out of control resulting in infidelity and divorce. The author, a clinical psychologist and dating coach, provided readers with reasons why so many couples face this problem, but failed to offer any practical (or free) advise to overcome it.
Once a stay-at-home mother to three children, all under the age of three at the time, I can relate to this exact struggle. I decided to share a few things I learned from experience, and a few trips to the marriage counselor. Also, while doing some research, I stumbled on a website that offers support with understanding different personality types. In my opinion, this kind of information will avail most relationships.
- Recognize and understand your own personality type, as well as your spouse’s and children’s. Pay attention to everyone’s behavior patterns and how they interact or conflict with another.
- Accept that “personalities” are developed during childhood, and indirectly affected by one’s cultural. They are not permanent and can be adjusted to fit any lifestyle transformation.
- Communication is key! Most SAHM don’t understand why their husbands seem so upset or unhappy. Talking, and genuinely listening, to each other’s problems will make a dramatic difference.
- Compromising saves marriages. If a critical husband has valid concerns, both parties should try to agree on a compromise that leaves everyone happy.
- “Me” and “Us” time should never be neglected. Raising children is non-stop hard work. The stress from everyday life can easily overpower the newlywed love you once enjoyed.
My advise? Take the good with the bad, and do all things in love. If your husband complains about dinner never being ready, let your children enjoy some safe, independent play an hour before he is due home, allowing you time to cook. A basic compromise would be for him to clean the kitchen or help the children with their nightly bedtime routine and allow you a well deserved break. Let’s not forget about date night! Once a month, or even once a week, hire a sitter so you both can enjoy some time together. Remember, love bears all things; keep reminding yourselves, each other and your children that your family is rooted in love.