Why Can’t My Wife Let Me Unwind at the Pub after Work?
Dear Needing Escape,
Thank you for your letter. This kind of issue comes up frequently with couples, particularly early on in one’s marriage or partnership. It often involves a topic that has potent but conflicting meanings for the people involved. A classic, somewhat stereotypical example is the guy who is a fanatic for his home team and MUST watch the game. His spouse (or partner, I use the words interchangeably here) may roll her (or his) eyes or argue or whatnot; clearly, each person sees the activity or event differently. It may be the same for a woman who just HAS to see Bruno Mars or Dave Matthews or Prince for the first or umpteenth time, or buy those Jimmy Choos at 25% off.
In this case, the symbolic “event” or activity revolves around something even more potentially charged with meaning: alcohol and drinking. Alcohol is symbolically loaded (no pun intended) for many who have complicated histories with drinking and corollary activity. I’d be interested—were I your couples counselor (and this is all conjecture, mind you)—to know the roots of your wife’s concerns. Did she have a former partner who drank too much and/or cheated on her? You say, “I don’t think she trusts me,” which to me hints that there hasn’t been a direct conversation about this. It’s striking how often couples don’t communicate directly with each other, usually because we’ve never learned how to in our own families. It helps to speak one’s concerns directly to your partner—how you feel about it—for the purpose of understanding first, before “winning” the argument. Because it has to be win-win (or else it’s lose-lose).
Listening is, in a way, even more important than direct expression of emotion; try to “mirror” the other person’s point of view emotionally, without interjecting commentary or editorializing, which means you might say, “I hear you saying it bothers you when I do this because (fill in the blank).” “It sounds like you’re feeling worried or frustrated about (blank).” Focus on the feelings, and don’t worry just yet about finding a compromise or solution (or “proving” your point). I find that couples often find such answers organically once their heart-centered listening is in place. It sounds like she really values her connection with you (a wonderful thing) and gets anxious about whatever this activity symbolizes for her. Perhaps her best friend’s husband hit on a girl at a bar and they broke up. Perhaps her dad was a womanizer, or ignored her mom by hanging with his buddies at the pub … and so on. (Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson is a good book on this, by the way.)
I would also encourage her to listen to you and what these evenings mean for you. Rather than get into a tug-of-war power struggle—yes I will go, no you won’t, you’re not the boss, etc.—I would first suggest you reflect on why this is important, then communicate this to your wife. It sounds like this has become a necessity for you, and that raises my curiosity. What is it about this activity that feels essential (versus, say, a round of golf or a movie)? Both you and your wife would need to understand that before it’s “taken” from you. Maybe you had a controlling ex-partner, or maybe you saw your father controlled by your mom, which created marital strife, or maybe you believe your wife is overreacting or patronizing. Most people don’t like to be told what to do—or rather, “feel” like they’re being told what to do. (Often, requests, needs, or feelings are either stated or misinterpreted as demands.) The first step would be to state these feelings to her while keeping the focus on you and your feelings, rather than, “You’re being a controlling pain when you (blank).” Then she might try reflecting this back to you, so you each “try on for size” the other’s perspective without trying to negate, shoot it down, etc.
I had a tiny niggling intuition while writing this column that maybe your wife feels like ONLY a few rounds with the lads does the trick—while she’s kept at a distance. Perhaps her anxiety about being distant leads to you somehow feeling over-controlled (the classic pursue/avoid game). Perhaps she feels excluded (while you feel controlled and perhaps criticized). My hope is that after you share your feelings, you find an activity together. Maybe your wife could join you for a round one of those nights; maybe you could have people over to your house to watch the game. The guys can watch the game while the gals either join in or do something else. Or have a weekly barbecue. Something inclusive. There’s a very either/or tone to what you’re describing and a separateness that may be at the heart of what’s bothering your wife, who obviously wants to share your experience with you—togetherness and sharing are essentials for healthy long-term relationships. You’re both right, and both points of view need to be honored to prevent corrosion to the relationship. Hope that helps! Thanks for writing!
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JOSHUA DJune 6th, 2014 at 8:42 PM
I have been through the same thing man. My wife got mad because she thought that I felt like I could not come to her when I was having issues away from work, when I just needed some time to myself. The only way I could do this was to go somewhere else after work because I just couldn’t get that kind of release at home. If she would just let me mellow out a little then I would be better. Itried explaining all of this to her but she wasn’t having it. So we tried it her way for a while, and well, it didn’t go too well either. We compromised in that now I can stip in somewhere for a drink a couple of nights a week but then there are other times when I make it a priority to go straight home. It works for us because I think that this way we both feel like we have some say so and both are getting what we need.
TylerJune 8th, 2014 at 5:14 AM
It sounds like the two of you have some things in your marriage that you need to have sorted out. I understand that you have been at work all day and that you feel a little stressed and crazed and just want some down time, but what about her? Don’t you think that her day has also been a little hectic and that maybe she just wants to have you around to help her unwind? You have to look at collectively what is good for the marriage and not just what is going to feel good to you at the time.
JackieSeptember 2nd, 2016 at 5:37 PM
Thank you- I totally agree with you. Wish I could find a partner with your perspective. :)
Lisa Nosal, MFTJune 8th, 2014 at 12:28 PM
It would be interesting to know how old the kids are and what the work split on taking care of the kids, housework, dinner, etc. are as well. It’s quite possible the writer’s wife also “need escape” and cannot do so while her husband is relaxing at the pub.
NoSeptember 2nd, 2016 at 11:55 AM
She’s stay at home mom, there should be non”split”.
BryJune 25th, 2019 at 10:29 PM
Wow! Do you mean there should be no share in looking after the children if she is stay at home??? This is very harsh. I have done both working mum and stay at home and yes, working mum is frigging exhausting but so is stay at home. This whole issue is about this guy finding some work/ life balance. Why is it that so many people believe that if you are a stay at home mum you are not entitled to work/ life balance? Unless the kids are at school all day its a full time job raising babies and can be very isolating indeed- lets not be so quick to jump into such heavily laden gender steriotypes- everyone needs a break, everyone needs work life balance and everyone needs the support or their partner during the working week whether that means supportively giving them space, date nights or coming home and doing bathtime.
Sayeed RJanuary 19th, 2017 at 8:44 AM
Is It always meant for the care. If a man got married is that means he will always have to work? at office, home and everywhere? wife can also take some break. Taking care o children and house works are not meant to do or 24 hours. Why cant the writer’s wife take a break and give him a break? I think making things easy or the other is the main concern of a relationship. Either one can impose things/ obligation to other or just waive things to other. Please tell me the best.
LindaJuly 12th, 2018 at 1:56 PM
I do all the housework, I’m a stay at. Home mom. Sometimes my husband does not get home til 4:00 am
JazzyJune 9th, 2014 at 4:01 PM
I had a dad who complained about this too, and so he would go to “unwind” and what that really meant was go get drunk and then come home and beat up on us for the things he assumed or imagined that we were doing when he wasn’t there.
Yeah, this was always his excuse that he just needed some time to himself but that kind of time did nothing for us in the end. It felt good while he was gone and terrible when he would come back home.
It made you wish that he would just keep all that time and all that drinking and find another hobby but of course that never happened.
You might think that this is a good idea for you but take a step back for a minute and look at what it is doing to the family.
BronwynJune 10th, 2014 at 3:54 PM
Wouldn’t you rather have her say that she would like for you to come home instead of the alternative? Which would be for her to tll you to stay gone as long as you like? I bet you wouldn’t like that answer either.
andrewJune 11th, 2014 at 12:57 PM
I say go home and talk to your wife and ask her to be honest with you about why she really doesn’t want you doing this. She could be going through some things or have some insecurities that you don’t know about and these things are all just now coming out because of your desire to do something with other people after work. You have to know that she is not being unreasonable and think about it from her perspective. I don’t know if you are the kind of guy who would want her doing the same thing after a long day away from you all, so you should think about that a little bit too. There can be a solution but I don’t think that the answers are here, but probably at home after a long discussion with your wife.
Christine GloverJune 15th, 2014 at 9:38 AM
Well! What would help you to go home to your wife and children instead of stopping off at the pub?
AlJune 16th, 2014 at 4:13 PM
Look at the flip side- what if she wanted you to stay gone all the time? How would that make you feel? Pretty rotten I would presume, and that is probably what she is feeling, like you don’t want to spend any more time with her and the kids than you absolutley have to. Must be kind of hurtful for her to have to be feeling that and not feeling like she is getting anything back from you. Hey, I understand having a bad day and wanting to hang out with the guys, but there is also that commitment to family that you need to have and I think that you are forgetting about the fact that they need you too.
claudine sFebruary 3rd, 2015 at 9:18 AM
From the point of view of a woman: I just hear selfishness. I was a stay at home mom to two close-in-age boys. I had two little guys in diapers at the same time. I could not WAIT for my husband to come home from work. I was exhausted at the end of the day. I needed adult company, another pair of hands, and the love and encouragement of my husband. Happily, my husband could not wait to get home to me either! That is the crux of this issue. The wife wants her husband to be eager to get home to her and his children. She wants him to unwind WITH her, not away from her. This husband seems to be saying, I cannot come home to you because you and the kids add to my stress, you do not ease my stress. I understand her feelings of rejection. It is rejection. He has to be fueled with alcohol before he comes home!? Women want a man to beat a path to her door, even though she is a wife and mother, just like he did when they were still dating!
bbMarch 15th, 2015 at 7:43 AM
i understand that being a mom is a hard job and you do need help, but how do you know he isnt good with the kids when he gets home from a hard days work earning a living ?
bbMarch 15th, 2015 at 7:46 AM
i think if he does his part he should be allowed an hour to him self a couple of nights a week, and the same to his wife
WifefedupAugust 23rd, 2016 at 5:05 PM
Very true! My husband comes home 3 hours late every day and some Saturday drink already.
And when he comes in he will find something to do, the little thing.
Im ready to leave cause I feel like this, if he is not in a hurry to see you then he sees you as a burden.
CarlosAugust 5th, 2017 at 7:41 PM
The more you harass him, the more he is going to feel like he needs an escape. it becomes like an addiction to have a bit of time for yourself. when i got married, i shortly after started, drinking when i came home after a hard day. i find the more tired i am, the more i need a drink. we both decided to have kids one year after our marriage, my wife has always had comunication problems, eally bad, like her mom, i think it runs in the family. if i’m talking to her, she won’t listen. so i’m kind of used to it. now since the kids, she will tell me, can’t talk right now any time i try talking to her. so i’m used to it. sometimes i still try if there’s something i wanted to let her know or talk about, but there’s no, point we have nothing in common except the kids. so we can’t even talk or anything. basically, i come home, i start drinking right away, we all have dinner, i try to talk, i can’t. talk to the kids a little, and then i try to sit on the computer, check the news, the weather, watch something, try to relax and drink. but i get harassed because i’m not paying enough attention to the kids or to her. i has got really bad where i always feel like i need an escape but it just goes in a circle, there is no escape, i’d leave my wife but i don’t want to do that to the kids. i would miss them too much and it’s not right. i believe kids should have a family. it’s not their fault. this weekend i took a friday off to have an extra long weekend, planned some family trips, when we got home, i drank the rest of the day and got massively harassed for 2 hours listening to bs screaming and telling me i’m a piece of crap. i really wish she just would be better. actually make good meals, she does stay at home and take care of the kids which we both decided, but she doesn’t give a crap about me, she only harasses me and tells me how i should be and basically that i’m a piece of crap. since being married, i have started drinking a lot, and i know i shouldn’t but its my escape i guess, either way she doesn’t care about me drinking. i’m loosing my hair, i never get sleep, and i really feel like my health is going quick, i can’t see a way out because i am very comitted to my kids even though i don’t always spend the whole day with them, as she would like. i’d leave if i din’t care about my kids as much as i do. i’m not allowed to go anywhere. was recently going fishing once a week with a friend from work, second time i went, she started b$tching, tried talking to her, went 2 more times, from 6am to 12pm at the most. now today she started with me over that. this just goes round in circles, i’m trapped. i work many hours a week, and i honestly have less stress at work then i do at home. and my job is not easy. i just really feel like i need an escape, i don’t go hang out with friends, i just stay home. i’m not allowed to do anything and i’m always being harassed about not being a good father, not giving enough attention to the kids ect, always making me feel bad about myself. i think i am going to start going to councelling but i think it may cause more problems.
Sam BMarch 15th, 2015 at 4:17 AM
I know exactly how you feel. I have the same problem… My job is extremely stressful during the day and I bring back work I have to do at home. When at home, my wife counts on me to spend some time with our kids. This I happily do as I love being a dad! But once the kids have gone to bed, she expects me to do “my share” of the house work and spend some time with her before I can continue doing the work that HAS to be done.
Now the problem here is that I do about 80% of all the house work while she sits around all day doing pretty much nothing. If I do happen to get a day off from work, she decides we should spend it together. Meaning going shopping and visiting HER family.
I have one night each week that I decided I want to spend with my friends. She has already limited this to a one hour quick stop and is now constantly nagging that I need to “grow up” and stop doing this.
Basically, the last couple of weeks, my life has literally been: Wake up way too early, work at work, work at home, work at home for work, go to bed way too late. My nerves are wrecked, I explode at the least pressure and still she doesn’t believe she intensifies the problem and I need something else to alleviate the stress.
Don’t let it get this far man! Talk to her and tell her how you feel and why you need that time-out from stress. She won’t like hearing you say that she’s a source of stress and she’ll try to turn it around and make it all about her but don’t let up! Keep turning it back around.
TDecember 5th, 2016 at 8:25 AM
I’m not saying what you’ve expressed will make folks feel comfortable. However, the truth, boldness, and accuracy in which you told it your story will resonates with a lot of men. Guys that want to learn about women should listen to the advice of women and by contrast the same is true about gals looking to learn about men.
So don’t get angry. Simple listen to the message.
bbMarch 15th, 2015 at 7:40 AM
lol look at you all saying that he shouldnt have some alone time? Every body needs time for them self even if it only for a hour! and who says he does not help out with the kids and the house? i think you should only go to the bar a couple of times a week instead of everyday
triciaAugust 20th, 2016 at 6:53 PM
Yes the key word is a few nights! No he should not go after work nightly to unwind. Guess what works stressful and so is being a mom but its called adulting. When’s she suppoaed to have HER time with him? He prob comes hone and wants to eat shower and go to bed and he just gave his time to his buddies he could have given her
JeanetteApril 19th, 2015 at 2:03 PM
I now can’t remember a day my husband didn’t drink and although it’s not excessive, 3 pints and a glass of wine at home, I make sure we don’t buy it, it’s the pub every night without me and at weekends he still finds an excuse to be there, Am I mad, soft or what? He shouts at me if I mention it, I’m boring, but it’s got me to a state I don’t want to meet out friends because it’s said place. I work slightly longer hours than him but he moans at dinner, takeaway is his favourite! He calls me fat! I’m 91/2 stone when I should be 81/2 stone and babe station is always so much better than me! I want to spend more timetogether, not getting told off for interrupting a film or food being crap’
KaylaApril 24th, 2015 at 4:59 PM
From the point of view of a laid back wife whom does her best to fit the biblical standards of a virtuous woman and christian wife: I have respected my husband for two years and let him do his unwinding while still carrying my regular duties as a loving, supportive, committed wife and mother… And men this is not a good idea you need to fix the problem and not resort to drinking or the pub. I let my husband do this with no nagging and respected him as a man to do what he needed to do and this habit has turned into a alcoholism it is not the answer to winding down it’s and excuse and can especially become so damaging to a family. It can also lead to a woman struggling with wanting to play a more motherly role which is so hard for us not wanting to be that we are not your mothers you are grown men and should prioritize responsibilities which to be lovingly honest is not the answer, we don’t want to nag and it makes it so hard not to tell you that you are not prioritizing, hurting us and to continue to let you lead as the man in the marriage and trust you in your leadership roll. Please search for a different solution. Bless you all.
A woman in emotional pain.
Hazel blueApril 30th, 2015 at 4:46 AM
My husband when we met was doing yoga meditating walking not drinking alcohol. Said he didn’t want to drink again as years ago he had a bad lifestyle drinking every day
We moved in together , I got invited out with friends to a pub night out he didn’t want me to go he used to kick off if I was gone longer than an hour with friends for lunch implying I was meeting men
So I stopped going never had pub night out friends stopped asking me.
We got married then he made a new friend a single guy so he starts going to the pub I reminded him what he did to me he said it’s okay you can go now I trust you !!
I got pregnant had heavy bleeding he saw it it was a lot a few days following I said can you not go to the pub as im scared I’ll bleed heavy again last time ambulance took me to hospital he went to the pub got in at 12.35am he said you weren’t happy so I thought sod it
He goes out 4-5 times a month now just to pubs no more yoga no more meditation short walks he said he’s probably the person he used to be more
Mean while im on my 8th week bedrest & I think he’s bern very unfair
You can’t make rules for one and do the opposite yourself
Michael CMay 19th, 2015 at 10:15 PM
i got home then to the pub to chill out after a hard day i dont no why i just do but not to get piss only 1 as i drive
i dont ask to do it every day but it drives my wife crazy but if i offer to say home with our kid she dose not want to go out she says she just wants to spend time with me
KatieMay 26th, 2015 at 10:14 PM
From a womans perspective; I get irritated that my partner goes to the pub after work, not because he’s drinking but because I’ve been at home all day with the kids and the evening 5-7pm is the busiest and most stressful, esp as I also need to cook dinner. I dont mind if he goes here and there, but if i continue being ‘fine’ with it then he pushes the boundaries and ends up going most days! I understand he works, but we too need a break. The original poster who says he goes out for 1.5hrs – well he’s just missed doing any of the hard yards at home.
MichelleJune 28th, 2015 at 10:53 AM
Look at it this way. What would you do if your wife went to the pub everyday ? Just for an hour or two! You too would feel rejected. I understand you and your wife are both entitled to alone time every now and then but if you actually need to have a drink before you can go home to your wife and kids you need to seriously rethink your marriage and current situation.
GwenOctober 23rd, 2015 at 9:00 PM
My husband goes out for a drink every night after work.
He needs to relieve stress from work. He got very used to doing it and had a great time every night…I begged for time together, but his stress relief came first. I don’t really see him much anymore and I could really care less..
After his DUI cost us 10k and all the hate it cost us.. He wins, let him be at the bar every night.. There are lots of nice men out there that would put their wife in front of drinking at a bar to relieve stress.. I hope your wife will find a nice man to put her first, soon..
SarahOctober 31st, 2015 at 5:30 PM
Have you ever thought about your wife needing some time away from the kids at the end of the day? While you’re at work, she has to take care of them and their needs all day long. I bet she just wants a break or adult interaction. So when you are gone for 8 hours at work and want to take another 1.5 hours to continue to leave her with the kids alone, she has every right to be mad. Take her out on a date or get a sitter. It’s not all about you.
November 5th, 2015 at
your and my situation is quite similar,,only difference is you have wife and i have girlfriend..
MarnNovember 19th, 2015 at 5:15 PM
I am so. F$%king. Lonely.
I have friends. I go out sometimes. To the bar sometimes. Not often.
My husband treats me like sh%t when he drinks, even if it’s only one beer, doesn’t ever speak to my heart or make me feel young and appreciated, he’ll ask how I’m doing then go straight into b$tching about work as if I’m his guy friend without a need for decompression myself. Or if i don’t answer the phone because he called me a dumb sh%t last night he goes straight to the bar after work to do nothing productive, just for attention that he doesn’t need or deserve like this guy writing here. It’s all for outside attention and approval, an ego stroke. He’s not committed to the marriage or his vows of protecting his wife or caring for her and keeping his ego in check. He’s only committed to his own desires individually and doesn’t care about his responsibility as a MAN. Mature men do not avoid home or conflict in it. They contribute to it to make it a safe place just as the wife has been doing by herself all along. Oh you make the most money at home? Because men are given higher wages than women and don’t have to organize a sitter, or lug a small human to work every day? Good for you, you can take that extra dollar and shove it up your as%. It’s time we left these little boys who have big egos with nothing to show for it, and found peace, or a less egotistical c$ck. After filing for divorce and getting custody, of course.
The GoodTherapy.org TeamNovember 19th, 2015 at 7:48 PM
Thank you for your comment, Marn. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about emotional abuse at https://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-emotional-abuse.html and additional information about what to do in a crisis at https://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html
The GoodTherapy.org Team
Heather L.December 13th, 2015 at 1:51 PM
Divorce his sorry a** and take half. Trust me–you won’t regret it, and you deserve every penny you can get out of him. You are right. He is avoiding responsibilities and is “decompressing” at the bar while you come home from work, fix dinner, deal with home responsibilities. Then he can arrive after all the household duties have been taken care of and dinner has been served to his chauvinistic a**. I’ve been there, and I won’t be doing it again. These men who avoid their responsibilities at home are selfish and don’t deserve to come home to a woman anxiously awaiting him. FTS. My advice? Get your hair done, get your makeup done and Hit the pubs yourself after work. Give him a taste of his own medicine–trust me, he won’t be doing it long.
CarlosAugust 5th, 2017 at 7:51 PM
you are very selfish. all these people who just get a devorce and the have kids are all very selfish. i guess it’s the norm for kids to have devorced parents now, but you people are disgusting. i may be angry at my wife because she nags and harasses me, makes me feel like crap all the time. believe me, i would probably leave her, but we are a family, i would never want to do that to my kids. some people should be ashamed.
JackieSeptember 2nd, 2016 at 5:45 PM
Unbiased opinionNovember 29th, 2015 at 4:17 PM
Unbiased a opinion here.
No American man under the age of 30 should consider marriage in the USA. Freedom is much too valuable and important than being controlled by another human being. You cannot even go to the bar to drink and watch the game for an hour. After you spent 12 hour a day working and providing a roof over her head.? I never knew some men still live in Nazi Germany!
A man who works 12 hours a day occasionally needs time for himself to cool off. I do not say this should be everyday, but for a woman to deny this based “oh i gave him a child, is selfish” This is single biggest reason why men in the United States have shorter life spans than women. Not only do men work hard to provide food and roof for their family, but the woman who is supposed to be supportive and understanding further add to his distress and breakdown of mental health. Women just imagine you work all day and as you come in the door your partner starts with nagging, emotional abuse, bickering and arguing. If a person does not feel welcome in their own house, What is desire to even want to go home? This phenomenon is very prevalent in America, travel to different parts of the world and it is expected for men to have a relaxation spot. Too many American women have a me first mentality or they feel since they are married they own their man and can set the rules on where men can go. They often use the i have to take care the kids to deny intimacy! Does marriage sound like a good deal. Anyone under the age of 30 should have a good paying job date women and take your time with marriage. close to 50 percent of them fail anyways. It is a construct that is not a winning one many cases. Do not be controlled by anyone, and Do not abandon your children. Drinking for a hour at the bar and coming home responsible is not abandoning your children.
Lucy GJanuary 1st, 2016 at 7:34 AM
I have the same situation with my husband. When we dated, we were inseparable and he hardly drank. But now it’s a regular occurrence,part of his lifestyle to visit friends and drink and smoke. I feel like I’m pushed to the side and am last on his list even though he denies this when I tell him. I have a busy toddler and when he works long hours I am alone with her and must tidy up and cook and it’s tiring. So when he is off, I will take my time coming home. And so it goes, until I get a divorce. He does not want to change regardless that I’m tired of waiting for him and am so unhappy.
RanayJanuary 5th, 2016 at 1:35 PM
I am a bartender at a local pub and there are a lot of men who act differently when their wife does come with them . I really do not enjoy this job anymore . I think your life is more important than what the drunks are doing at the pub . I was dating a man who goes from bar to bar , he can no longer drive and he has become very sneeky . Be careful not to get sucked into that life . not healthy . wish the best for you and your family .
LeahFebruary 4th, 2016 at 3:06 PM
All I can say to this is get the heck over yourself. I don’t know why in today’s day and age men need so many special privileges. Buddy time, pub time, gym time, me time. Really. Please. Give me a break. You know there was a day when men worked much longer days at a younger age and didn’t complain and just went home and helped with their families that THEY helped make? You expect at least an hour to yourself every day? Let me guess, this is one of those relationships where your wife gets out once or twice a year and you try to take a 100 hours for yourself after each outing she has because you feel it’s “even.” Get. Over. Yourself.
ClaudineFebruary 5th, 2016 at 5:35 AM
Leah, love it!!! Tell it like it is. A man gets out into the cut and thrust of the world, building his career, his profession…the things that he trained and studied for. The woman stays at home and brings up the children [a very noble and worthwhile role to play….nothing wrong with that!] but she usually puts her own career and interests on hold for the sake of the children and the family. I did just that. Only now in my late fifties can I think about my own talents and how to fulfill them. Raising children is one of the most tiring and stressful businesses when we look at a snapshot of one day of mothering and being a housewife. Often it is lonely too, with little adult interaction. Yet, the man, feels that he should have time in the pub to unwind?!!! So the wife must have yet another hour or two at home with the children, when all afternoon she has been looking forward to her husband walking through the door so she can interact and engage with her closest adult friend; her most intimate relationship.
I like to be married to a man who cannot wait to get home to his beautiful family…a family that he created.
February 5th, 2016 at
Thanks Claudine! Wouldn’t it be great if man and wife could take turns? There is pressure on each to fulfill their assigned gender roles “properly”.
JonAugust 23rd, 2019 at 4:54 AM
I would love to be a stay at home dad… I even BEGGED my wife to share her maternity leave to allow me to care for the child and bond while still young. I was firmly told no, and being a male I have no rights to take the leave to co-parent.
Contrary to popular belief many men would relish the chance to be the primary care giver to the child – yet very few women are willing to give up this opportunity. I have an exceptionally stressful job and I do go for a drink a couple times a week to de-stress on the way home from work – I also get shouted at for taking an hour to myself a couple times a week.
Funnily enough though, whenever I offer to swap roles my offer is declined… meaning she wants to be the stay at home carer, send me out to work to provide for the family (we are on equivalent wages so she could provide just as easily) and then have me do 50% of all the housework as well. I get staying at home is hard work but it is selfish to argue over 2 hours a week, especially when those 2 hours can make a massive difference to family life.
When the law changes and fathers are granted the same legal status as mothers for parental leave… and maybe when women start to allow the fathers to stay home more… family life may improve all around.
As things stand now though, I feel like a 2nd class meal ticket, just here to pay bills and clean… by the way, she also goes out on a saturday and sunday for a few hours each week – so she actually gets more personal time than I do.
KristineMarch 6th, 2016 at 11:37 PM
This sounds more like a battle of the sexes than reaching a fair compromise. I am the main bread winner in my family, I have the more stressful career yet my husband disappears most weekends and is off drinking somewhere. I don’t think he’s not entitled to his time, I think he needs to balance his crap better. I stayed at home after two children were born, best time of my life and the worst. No adult company, redundant days of cooking and cleaning, not being able to do a single task without lugging another individual around, temper tantrums just to run to the corner store – and the job doesn’t end at 5 pm, you can’t just have a cpl to unwind when another life is in your hands cause you might end up all night dealing with the flu. My hubby stayed home with our last child, thought he would have it nailed, so much time on his hands, would be buff and the house would be spotless…. Turns out he gained 20 lbs (not muscle) and the house was a disaster most days and his energy down… Sounded like your stereotypical housewife! Personally I found working 9-5 easier and coming home to the expectation of a meal and a clean house the easier route. House/kid rearing is not measurable and goes completely underestimated. Glad we both got to experience both sides. This isn’t about men needing this or women being nags, it’s about compromise and mutual respect. If you respect your partner, regardless of which end of the spectrum you’re on, you need find a compromise. These are power struggles and who’s right and who’s wrong and if someone’s telling you you can or can’t you’re gonna prove you can – just as that person saying you can’t is gonna make that point clear. I mentioned my man is MIA most weekends at least one eve of it anyway, but I try to go somewhere and is nag, nag, complain, complain – I beg to differ that nagging is solely a female flaw, just a matter of perspective. Compromise ppl, if you can’t then you clearly arent interested in that person or you’re taking what you have for granted – try to imagine if you were given an ultimatum would it really be worth the petty struggles? I don’t think the sexes are all that different, just the roles and expectations of each. Everyone just wants respect, to feel validated and the feel useful and wanted. Good luck to everyone!
LizMarch 11th, 2016 at 1:11 PM
I lived with a “high functioning alcoholic’ for 12 years although the first 10 of those 12 years he was far from “high functioning” in fact I recall many times when he would be unemployed and claiming he was depressed and *needed* a drink. He was a binge drinker and quite often a volatile one with nasty words and indirect threats. I found him truly revolting when he was drunk and he made a complete fool of himself in front of me, my family and his friends (who became increasingly younger as he grew older because people in their late 30s don’t want to settle down and not stay out till 5am and be blind drunk)
Long story short as much as I adored him, I came to realise alcohol was his first love and it comes before me or indeed anyone. He was a rolling stone and as long as you are content to go drinking with him and put up with his drunken rants, then you had a relationship with him. As soon as you even suggested slowing down, having a family, he started to vanish to the pub when he was meant to be out shopping or after work.
He had this problem before I was in his life and as far as I can tell, he still has this problem now as he cannot seem to settle down with any girl (even one who was 15 years his junior)
He was SO much in denial as to what the root of his problems were or maybe he knew but loved to drink that much he refused to accept the reality that who ever he was with the same issues would always be in his relationships.
When sober, he was charming, intelligent, witty, engaging and affectionate. Isn’t that always the way? I clung to the hope that as he grew older he would calm down, grow up, get sick of drinking but as far as I am aware, he is living the exact same life with the exact same habits causing the exact same problems.
Had he not been a drinker, I think I would have wanted a child with him but as we were, he was the least dependable person in the world so I never stopped to think about having kids.
Now its too late and I am with a dependable man who is solid and stable but I am too old. I crave a family.
Yes, I have issues with this man complaining about needing his “time” How about taking the family out for dinner and have one or two beers? Saying you don’t get the “release” when you go home says you don’t want to be home and that would make any woman (or man) feel worthless.
VinceMarch 19th, 2016 at 11:56 PM
I have a stressful job as well. I dont want to get into a battle of the sexes but here is the thing. My wife chooses not to work. (Which I support) it It makes it tough on us financially, but it is her choice. We have two amazing children. Now I work crazy amounts of hours and my job requires that I make decisions that can end up with hundreds of people dead if I make a mistake. Now I do agree that a hour a couple days a week can help with unwinding. Trust me my wife does not want me coming home somedays to tell her how close to death that I was. So if I go out, I let it go and feel no need to talk about it. Now my wife does not like that I go out. So a compromise that worked out perfect for us was, I grab my favorite beer that was about $10 at the store. (Compared to $5 a glass at the bar.) I would crack one open enjoy it then I would do laundry, fold clothes, clean the kitchen, pick up after kids, vacuum, etc… Whatever needed to be done around the house while enjoying my beers. The simple tasks mixed with a beer or two would end up really clearing my mind and I would actually be productive. So when 8pm rolled around kids were in bed so me and my wife would enjoy a show or movie together. I am very young only 24. I know practically nothing in life yet. But I do know my wife needed the help. At the same time I needed unwinding and alone time. So if I did the laundry while watching a show my wife would leave me alone. Because once everything was done. It was just me and her on the couch. I am not pro-going to the pub, as well as, I am not pro-staying at home. I only advocate what works for you. Happiness is key if you cant achieve that then there is no point in perusing it.
Suzanne TJuly 1st, 2016 at 2:02 PM
U r wise for 24. Ur wife is blessed.
Julie A. M.November 17th, 2017 at 7:01 PM
You have the best attitude ever. Your wife is indeed a very lucky woman. Some people never figure this out.
SallyMay 7th, 2016 at 11:44 AM
I agree to the last comment, but I’m a women with the same thing. Yes I do need to unwind, it’s not about chores all day, and yes to have a beer and listen to music it makes it fun, and your not so stressed out. Live is too short make it fun.
Suzanne TMay 9th, 2016 at 2:08 PM
Let’s make it fair: take turns going out each day. End of conversation. No arguments or complaints by either party accepted!!!
NanaJune 16th, 2016 at 2:07 PM
For me and my spouse it was the other way around. He always asks me to come home or where i am. I encourage him to go drink with his friends and he can come at 1 am or 2. So that i have time for myself and put my mask or do my nails. I never calls and never ask to come home only to find him already at home so early at 9pm and i didn’t wash my mask of!! I don’t mind him enjoying his time alone he needs time to be a man, be with his guys, working on his cars,fishing etc. Suggest your wife that she can have time for herself too. Like doing some yoga, keep her body in shape, be busy so that she won’t panic about you not being home all the time. ;)
SarahJune 21st, 2016 at 11:02 AM
Why don’t you come a home and let her go to the pub every evening. See how happy that makes you.
SteveJune 28th, 2016 at 2:20 AM
Women just don’t get it a quick pint after work helps you unwind
ClaudineJune 29th, 2016 at 1:12 AM
Men just do not get it; a weekly pedicure or neck massage really helps a woman unwind. Is the man prepared to give his wife the same money he spends on unwinding so that she also gets to unwind?
CelinaJune 28th, 2016 at 4:26 PM
I’m so glad I found this post, thanks to most of you for your opinions cause they helped me realize I’m not overreacting. My husband of 16 yrs has been going to the local bar for the last 2 years since we moved out of State. I guess he must be depressed that we moved here cause he rarely went to the bar at our last home. He’s up to 4 days a week now, sometimes more. My young teen children notice he doesn’t do anything at home and that he’s there all the time, I can tell it’s frustrating to them. I told him I don’t mind if he goes but he shouldn’t stay for more than 2 hrs, he has stayed over 5 hrs many times and not answering his phone. I’m at stay at home mom, I need him home for me and the kids and he needs to stop neglecting his home responsibilities. I don’t know what to do, he won’t listen, he thinks I’m overreacting but this can’t go on. It could only get worse right? What do I do?
SeanJuly 4th, 2016 at 10:02 PM
As a man who has stayed home all day with the kids and worked 50-60 hours a week I will say staying at home and taking care of the kids is by far easier. I can cook 3 meals, clean the house, and play with the kids and still not feel very stressed. Now working 8-12 hours a day absolutely wears me out and sometimes I would need personal time to recharge and be able to enjoy my family. If you are a stay at home mom you have it made.
just sayingAugust 6th, 2016 at 4:00 PM
Before I got married I worked 7 days a week, I had three jobs and I was a happy woman because I honestly just hated to stay at home and not earn money. It made me think of why I got all this education and was prepared to be independent and earn money, but instead I become dependent on someone.
It is the feeling of becoming dependent that makes me stressed out as a woman. I lose my confidence and start to worry, & feel useless. I started to feel if my husband ever was to leave me I will be in a very poor life condition.
Being alone is not a problem for me though. I enjoy my alone time.
My husband must travel to another country for his job, usually takes about 1-1 half month, and I got really worried when he told me he was going to pubs or disco’s with his colleagues to unwind.
Before, when I still had a job I never worried about men doing what they want, because I had my own career and I had my own income. I had the confidence that I can live without men putting roof over my head or feeding me.
Also I am worried because my husband’s colleagues love to cheat with b*****. My husband had been honest and told me all about it. If he wanted to go to pubs he will tell me, and even send me pics when he is in the pub or disco.
At first, I thought he must be crazy to put one of his feet in these “dangerous situations” with his wife cheating colleagues and I have found it difficult to trust him but I have no proof that he was, or is cheating on me.
So I try to calm myself and try to think why men think they need to drink and go to pubs to unwind. At first, I also thought he must be crazy to tell me to support him by letting him go to these places sometimes to unwind. Then I decided to give it some thought before I nagged him since I hate to nag. I spoke with him to get his point of view, I asked my guy friends and did some research. Then I gave it a lot of thought. Men just have different psychology than woman. And he was just being honest, he always told me of when he went, and when he returned to the hotel he would give me a call. He tried to reassure me that he did nothing bad, he was there just for 1-2 beers for 2 hours maximum & he went once a week. Sometimes alone(which I prefer more), & sometimes with his wife cheating colleagues.
I found that the best approach for me to get my husband to understand is by speaking gently, sincerely and femininely. If I raise my voice, or complain his male ego shuts down. The worst approach, doesn’t get me what I want and it is stressing to speak like that to someone.
When I tell him what he does, makes me worry and I would be sad if he did do something, that works very well. I told him I understand he needs to unwind, I understand that he needs time with his friends, which I never complain to him when he back at home and goes out.
He thinks about all of it, and he then started to change and told me he will go down to the hotel bar for a beer be back his hotel room within 30 minutes.
I can see he only wants to make me happy, so I return it also with understanding that he can still go out, just not so often.
And he told me 100 times to trust him, sometimes I am embarrassed that I cannot trust my own husband. Since I have no proof if he cheats, so I take it as my own insecurities and not his problem. I even have told him this.
He has become more gentle and understanding since I told him it is not his fault but it is my own that I am insecure.
I have told him I like to be reassured. I found out that being really sincere by saying to him what I like instead of saying “don’t do this” or “don’t that,” works better for us.
I know his main goal is my happiness. When I complain complain, even if I complain about a haircut, he takes it to heart. He will tell me next day how I look beautiful, which I have already forgot about my small complaint.
I guess with men, maybe it’s best not to attack their ego, not to be too demanding, no needing to raising your voice, no need complain, & no need to nag.
Sincere, gentle, soft, & femininely, works like a charm and makes me feel better too without stress.
Because I feel men love to provide and make their wives happy and protects them.
So a little sign of disrespect (even when we don’t feel like we disrespect them in any way) gets them to turn into a rock made of ego.
They just want to be trusted, loved and appreciated. To be respected that they worked their ass off for us.
Also what I find that help’s me is to pray and look around the house. Then I realized that I don’t pay for anything, I eat for free and the utilities are paid, the house is paid, & everything is paid for. All these things don’t come from a money tree, they come from my husband hard work. Then I start to feel better and I know I am loved. I keep calm knowing that although he is working far away but he is doing this for us. He works 12 hours a day when he is working far away.
And I learned that,thinking about things before voicing them to my husband helps us both. Because he thinks about everything, I should not worry him too much with things that is not important.
And to give in sometimes, also helps relationships. Women also have egos, but my ego is I want my husband to do what I want. I learned that this is so wrong. He choose me, but he is his own person.
Sorry for my English.
Have a great day
ShonAugust 21st, 2016 at 7:22 AM
Ive been married for 5 years and I can honestly say that coming straight home from work everyday and dialing into the family does not help the man out in anyway. I get up at 5 and often get home between 645 and 740pm. It’s instant bombardment with energy, information and demands. No one cares how this affects men long term apparently. I don’t feel like playing after 13 hours of work. I don’t feel like having to cook, or run an errand or talk about important things after a long day. Its irrational to expect this from anyone. It’s this constant..I need more from you…that depletes a man. How do you get back up everyday knowing this is how you will be treated? I personally feel like I’m unappreciated and like I’m gonna die earlier than I’d like at this rate.
pamulaNovember 3rd, 2016 at 5:13 PM
Funny. My husband just came home from decompressing at the bar for two and a half hours. He came home to me in my room with the door shut. He knocked and wanted to talk, and I said no. I told him that I was not wanting to talk to him, because I was having a beer, decompressing and watching a movie. Yea…he felt very rejected. Too dang bad. Fair is to fair. I’m in my woman cave……
M. H.January 5th, 2017 at 2:50 PM
So let me get this straight. You want to go to the local pub to “unwind” after a long day at work while your wife is at home taking care of the kids?!?! How immature does some of these men have to be to see how crazy that is?!?! You wanted to get married and create a life with someone, YOU wanted to have kids, escaping at the local pub several times a week is absolutely ridiculous and your wife is spot on to be upset! How can any man justify that. If she is a stay at home mom she is working all day long taking care of the kids and anxious to see you when you get home only to have her hopes of you coming home after a long day to be happy about seeing her and the kids to unwind you say it helps to grab a beer for an hour or so and watch the game to “unwind”. I wonder how you would feel if once you got home she left you with the kids to go “unwind” at the pub with her girlfriends. See a lot of men think it’s no biggie because no one does it to them or they think they would have no problem with it but the truth is most men would go insane if we did this type of stuff to them. You need to get your priorities straight and reevaluate what is really important in this life!
LeahJanuary 5th, 2017 at 3:02 PM
Spot on. Best comment.
Jonathan R.January 29th, 2017 at 12:03 PM
I believe that a women neededs time for her self and man to day should come in to a conclusion that will help the man and the women to be happy with thay lifes
cazmomJuly 19th, 2017 at 7:24 PM
We all need time to unwind, why does it have to be in a pub drinking alcohol everyday? Coming home to your wife eventually slurring your words, eating your dinner prepared several hrs ago and then sleeping for the remainder of the evening on the sofa. Would you look forward to that if the shoe was on the other foot. I have tried to encourage my hubby to get involved in our sons football, but I worry he brings him to training and then a quick drink on the way home! I have tried a compromise, saying a couple of evenings is ok, but not every evening, to no avail. It is now causing money problems, and nothing is done in the house for several years now. It is the alcohol that is my trigger, I dont want to spend my evening with a drunk. My view, he just wants the alcohol to the detriment of spending time with his family. Yes my father chose the pub over his family. he would make promises to take us places, but then would end up in the pub and we would go nowhere. It caused my parents marriage breakdown after he tried to kill her. and now it seems Ive picked a pub lover too, not a violent one some consolation. These men are not present in their home and Im not talking about the 2-3 hrs they are in the pub, when they come home they are drunk so are not available to their family. Go and watch a football match yes, but if you are going to the pub every evening, that is a problem in my book.
DavidJuly 23rd, 2019 at 2:56 PM
Almost every night I open the door I am greeted with a hailstorm of complaints from my wife. And we have no kids. A couple drinks at the bar and seeing some friendly faces helps relax me before the torment to come
EconomistMay 9th, 2020 at 9:15 AM
Then you need to be married to someone whom you want to come home to – see their smile, get a kiss, a hug and a big grin when you walk in the door. If this is your life now join the 50% of people who are divorced and do it quickly. Because now you’re teaching yourself to solve emotional problems with alcohol and addiction.
NikJune 1st, 2020 at 2:52 PM
I am in the same conundrum. My husband has a stressful job and 3-4 nights a week will binge drink at home. After raising concerns that he was spending too much time away from us at the pub. He now does it at home and I see he drinks alot!! He does it in the back yard, so again, away from us but worse, the children are him avoiding and always with a drink in his hand.
I work full time, do all the children’s logistics, sick days, laundry and we share shopping and cooking only.
I left, and returned to find him complaining daily about my anxiety about his drinking and not being able to, then drinking in his car (secretively, two long necks) before he gets home as he needs it for his job. This has been a feature of our relationship for five years with me trying to negotiate, compromise, nag, give up. I don’t know. I don’t have much freedom as he does this and then I watch the children until bedtime. I’m seeing a therapist Now but don’t feel there is much of me in this relationship. Just him and his needs.
I am lost.
JmJune 2nd, 2020 at 4:33 PM
My heart really goes out to you and your children. Your husband will not change unless he feels he will lose something more valuable to him if he doesn’t get control over his alcoholism. If you stay that will not happen. You also get a choice here in whether you want to live like this. Is this the life you want? I’ve been there and I can tell you unless he makes the decision to stop drinking on his own your wasting your time. I know it’s hard but continuing to enable his behavior will not get you a different result. I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with this.
RMJune 4th, 2021 at 7:31 PM
I have been in a relationship for 22 years my husband is 6 days a week in a bar which has a a very bad reputation I have asked him to cut down on the bar but he says I just want to control him I have given up and asked him to move out we don’t talk no more we don’t eat together no more we don’t have kids together I have always been ther for him when he has been sick but he has not been there for me he has neglected me but he won’t leave he uses the excuse that he needs to make time for his friend is like his relationship is with his friends he has no family. His family is my kids I no longer feel the same for him I just want to live in peace I feel he has some deep issues I want him out of my life …
KDKAOctober 14th, 2021 at 4:39 AM
Been married 34 years and my hubby has been drinking every single night since. When we first married, I was drinking with him, then kids came along a few years later and I stayed home to raise them. They are now adults, but during this time, hubby was on night shift, so I didn’t realize how much and often he drank since I was in bed when he got home. He got a day shift 4 years ago and everything is going downhill. He is 63 and I am 58. I thought this would be “our” time finally. Nope, I was wrong..it’s HIS time and he will do nothing to change he says. He says he likes this and he has been doing this for years and without any complaints, so I should calm down. I tell him it’s now MY turn and OUR time..he walks away. Recently, I have made a bedroom for myself and feel this is my only sanity in getting away..sex is almost obsolete anyhow because he is always drinking and doesn’t want to make time for me, but I would love to at least have hugs and conversation..nope..he will not communicate or respond to me unless it is something on a comfortable level, like music or his job. Other than that, we rarely talk, unless it’s something he brings up. My strong communicating ability and his poor one meet with a brick wall. I feel the marriage is over because he is selfish and stubborn and there is no talking over anything ..His only response is “but I love you.” Love means a lot more than words to me, but he says he LIKES this and I am wrong for wanting to take that away and I should want him to be happy! I have told him he needs to get help but that is out of the question. I wouldn’t mind if he drank a night or two-even 3 or 4, but 7 nights a week gets old..there is not ONE night for us together unless I agree that he can drink. Even if there is sex, he goes straight to the fridge afterward and downs a beer, like he has been in the desert and ready to die from thirst. That once a month or every two month “sex” is his way of saying, “See, I love you and I have taken this time just for you”. . I don’t even want to have sex with him anymore, so it’s not my prize. That is what I get after all these years. I have taken care of everything in the house, managed the finances, made appointments, handled problems, called for repairs, dinner every night no matter when he eats it..he has always had clean laundry, a packed lunch for work the next day..I do the job of a servant, not a wife and that is how he likes it. YES, I have tried to nicely talk about it (the work load isn’t a problem for me, it’s the drinking and the time we don’t spend) and when that didn’t work, I got angry about it..that didn’t work either, so now we don’t talk much at all..what is the point when I am the only one trying to reach out and communicate? This is getting to be overwhelming and I am ready to leave. I take care of our grandchild and do not have a regular job, so there is no money for me to leave. Can anyone really tell me that he is justified in this thinking? If so, I would love to hear your responses. Thank you.
JmOctober 14th, 2021 at 10:23 AM
I can hear the incredible frustration that you are dealing with. I think you can’t do much more to make it clear to him that you want change but he won’t hear it. You do everything to make sure that he knows he is loved by the many things you have done for him and continue to do for him but that leads me to one question. Why? A relationship is give and take and from what I can see you’re not getting anything out of this but unhappiness. If you can’t afford to get a place of your own then at least focus your attention and effort on someone who is worth it. YOU! Find out what things bring you joy and spend more time doing those things instead. He’s a big boy so he can do his own laundry, make his own lunch and dinner. If he starts making demands tell him that it’s no longer rewarding doing these loving things for him when he gives nothing in return. Start living for you!
KDKAOctober 15th, 2021 at 2:40 AM
Thank you so much for understanding. Yes, it is overwhelming, and to make matters worse, I developed a chronic health issue–an autoimmune disorder likely triggered by stress, says the doctor. I had a blood clot go through my spleen and on life-long blood thinner because of it. It’s okay and I am dealing with it better now, but life is short and nobody wants to be nothing more than a servant, or an unequal partner–not worthy enough of his time. I gave this marriage my ALL for many years and now I am starting to do as you said..little by little I have emotionally left and I am reaching out for support for the first time. Thank you again ♥ Best wishes to you.
DominicSeptember 6th, 2022 at 8:29 AM
I feel like a lot of people are missing the big thing for me, the wife is not willing to compromise but the husband is. We can’t always have everything your own way all of the time. Without compromise then it’s not a relationship of equals.
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