Imogen asks :

Hi Lucy, 

I've been married to my husband nearly three years and we have a two year old son. I love him to pieces, but we keep coming back to the same argument. 

He works 40 hours a week, and I'm a stay at home mum. But on his days off he just sits on the computer playing games, for most of the day. If I ask if he can do something for me (housework wise or with our son) he just snaps at me, or says he'll do it in a minute but it ends up being quite some time later - which means I end up having to do it myself anyway. I know that I don't ask for anything unreasonable, but it does feel like he doesn't realise exactly what I do at home. 

I understand it's his days off and that he's entitled to some down time, but when it seems to be more on that, than doing something with us, it really frustrates and upsets me. 

I always feel like he'd rather be somewhere else than with us when he's on the computer. I have asked him before why he spends all his spare time on it, he says that it's the only thing he can do (as he doesn't watch telly or go out with friends). 

I end up shouting at him and getting upset about it and he promises he'll spend less time on it and spend more time with me on our own and with our son. It works for a few weeks then it goes back to the same after. It makes me end up feeling like I'm his mum instead of his wife. 

I just don't know what to do as I really love him and he means the world to me, but I just don't know what to do about it anymore!

 

It sounds like he may be using the computer as an escape. Perhaps he needs to talk about work but uses this as an outlet instead? It might be worth trying to talk to him about his day rather than focusing on the fact that he has gone to the computer. Once he realises that he can confide in you about his work, this could turn into your quality time together. He may be inclined to ask you more about your day too. He may gradually gravitate away from using the computer and spend the time with you.  

 Help me!

Help me!

People often assume that motherhood is not a full time job, however as you well know it is a 24 hour job so you need time off too. What do you do to get a break from motherhood? How important is this to you? Perhaps come up with a system whereby you get some time to yourself and he gets some time to himself and you both get time with your son and with each other. You could do it on a rota like basis so that you are both getting some time out and its scheduled so, you both know what to expect.

So, for example a Saturday afternoon could be dedicated to doing something with your son, as a family for a few hours. This makes it quality time and you will more likely plan something in, rather than waste this opportunity.

If you both have a couple of hours to yourself, then you will also use this to its full advantage, doing a little of something that you enjoy will boost your mood and give you something to talk about and may ultimately stop your fighting.

Monday nights could be his night to go on the computer- Tuesday nights could be your time to go to the gym, watch your favourite show or take a bath and read a book. Me time, family time and couple time are all important to keeping your relationship healthy and happy so you might just need to break the habits you are in and work on making new plans that take everyone into consideration- but it will mean you both have to be on board.  


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