If your husband doesn't do enough around the house or with the kids and you are beyond frustrated and tired of nagging, Joshua Coleman has some effective, workable strategies that can turn your situation around. He helps you to understand why your husband behaves the way he does, and provides plans for change. The Lazy Husband will help you to understand how to motivate your mate to be a better partner to you and a better father to your children.
A happy marriage is a balanced marriage, and by following Coleman's common-sense advice you will increase your happiness and increase the peace in your household.
While the title The Lazy Husband: How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework is rather inflammatory, Joshua Coleman's latest book (he's also written The Marriage Makeover: Finding Happiness in Imperfect Harmony) offers the shockingly simple and mature advice that asking your husband nicely to help out more around the house goes a lot farther than yelling at him for being "lazy". It's a little more involved than that, but essentially Coleman's advice is to stop getting upset and start creating a dialog between you and your husband about expectations for the care of your house and children. Only when both are truly involved can there be any expectation of equal workloads.
Those of you who know me are probably wondering: Why am I reading this? Is there something wrong with me & Kyle? Not exactly. True, I do tend to be a bit of a neatfreak while he's much less worried about clutter than I am, but what really attracted me to the book was the fact that it dealt with a problem in our society that has bugged me for awhile, mainly the fact that while it's perfectly acceptable for women to have careers, it still isn't okay for them to give up primary care of the house and children. As the book points out, part of the reason the wage gap still exists between men and women is because women are still the ones who miss work to take kids to doctor's appointment's, soccer games, etc. making it harder for them to be "Employee of the Month" and thus earn as much as their male co-workers
Keeping that in mind, I was surprised that Coleman didn't try too hard to push the egalitarian style of marriage. He described how women in traditional (homemaker) marriages can become overwhelmed with housework, as well as women in more egalitarian marriages, and argued that both are perfectly entitled to ask their husbands for more help if they're feeling overwhelmed.
That's not to say that he doesn't also address the fact that sometimes wives have unrealistic standards or that they underestimate how much their husbands do around the house. As one man remarked when hearing about Coleman's book, "The Lazy Husband? How about a book called The Bitchy Wife?" but Coleman cites several studies showing that it is overwhelming women who feel like they have too much to do around the house, not men. Besides that, one of the tools he suggests is couples sitting down together to determine who really does what around the house and decide together how to more equally distribute the work, no matter who's doing the most.
One of the points Coleman brought up that I'd never really considered before is that fathers today have trouble seeing the problem facing their over-worked wives because, as they see it, they're a lot more involved than their dads were, so what's the problem? While something is better than nothing, a lot of men don't realize the enormity of everything involved in keeping the house clean and making sure all the children's needs are met & have no conception of just how much more than them that their wives do, which is why Coleman's suggestion for both parties to sit down and really see who does what makes a lot of sense.
I wanted this review to be short and succint, but I fear that I could go on for quite awhile about the good common sense approaches explained in this book, but suffice it to say, I thought it was a great remedy for a problem plaguing our society.
This is not a commentary on Joe because he really does a lot around the house, but ...I was curious?
So far it's geared towards women who are not the primary breadwinner so that's kind of annoying. I can only take so many "no really, your job *does* matter" speeches. Look at the stats man! A significant portion of your readers make more than their husbands.
I didn't read the whole thing. So I guess I'm the Lazy Wife.
I don't even want to go into the sexism that runs rampant throughout this book, starting with just its precedence, but I guess the main question is: if you're a wife and you have a husband who isn't helping out as much as you would like, will this book help you? Answer: Maybe. Plus a cocktail and a huge dose of patience.
This book would probably be more useful for my situation were my situation different. I know that sounds like something a lot of women could possibly say, but I really did give some of the suggestions some serious thought. I think it really depends on your situation.
The advice in this book is fairly balanced. On one hand he says you should crack the whip with your husband in a gentle, loving manner that won't bruise his ego too badly. On the other hand, he also says women should look at themselves as being at the root of the problem. I can also agree to that one. Rarely is one person ever the root of the problem without any assistance from the other party.
Several subjects are touched upon. How does your past color the way in which you handle the situation? Are you assertive enough? What kind of bargaining power do you have with your husband in order to urge him to do the things necessary for a more equal partnership? Even being a stay-at-home mom is credited as being harder work than the man with the job, being on the job day and night without fail, so it's understandable that women can feel overworked and want their husband or partner to pick up and balance things out at least a bit.
At the same time it also reminds women of problems they may have which cause more conflict than cooperation. Nagging, having unreasonably high standards, impatience, and perfectionism can all lead a woman to talk herself out of the assistance she so desperately wants. In this situation a woman can really be her own worst enemy and may very well be talking her husband out of giving her the help she wants and needs every day, simply by creating more conflict, being too picky, and not giving him a chance to do it his own way.
Over the years I've gotten a lot of advice to run a happy household. Most sources seem to say, "If you want it done (and done right) you have to do it yourself." This can only encourage a woman to think her way is the "right" way. All of the information in this book about men and women being wired differently points out that perhaps women are looking for a "right way" where there is none. However, no one seems to want to give a woman the suggestion of standing her ground if the request is reasonable. It's much easier to write men off as not being equal partners in all of this to the point of a woman being required to bear an unfair portion of the burden than it is to hold men accountable for doing their fair share.
There is also a whole chapter for the husband in question about what he can do to be a part of the solution rather than the problem. I will give the book this much, there is honesty in saying most men will be lucky to read the first whole page never mind the whole book, so restricting the investment to a chapter is probably a reasonable expectation.
Unfortunately, the point I'm not so keen on is the part about sex. Sure, it would be great, in theory, to just go with it for the man's sake if it's a bartering chip to get him to help me out more, but when he can tell your interest isn't there, perhaps it won't work out as well as he suggests. Not all men are so starving for sex that they don't have their preferences and would prefer their partner to actually be interested and involved. It may not be the majority of cases, but it can make things awkward, or as it has with my ex, it turned sex into a chore, something that became very difficult to enjoy on the best of occasions because it was just one more household duty that I didn't want to do to perform. While it may be a useful suggestion for some, I just think it warrants more thought than "do this and your man will be happier, which will mean he's more willing to make you happy." And again, it's not always so simple, cut, and dry.
While I do find the book a bit inflammatory and insulting at times, I think the positive well outweighs the negatives. One major point at which this book was made less useful for me was the concept of standards. Mine are much lower than my partner's and therefore I'm usually the one that's getting nagged about standards, not the other way around. Often times I'm getting on him about helping me keep to his standards. I also don't have much bargaining power in this relationship because, while for much of our relationship my income has been the larger one, he seems under the impression that I'll never leave, which is why he seems fairly secure that any threats I make are meaningless. This drastically twists our conflict outside of the realm covered in the book, which means it's not going to be something that can be applied to every situation, but I'd hazard to guess that most women inclined to read a book about getting her lazy husband to be more involved and helpful will find just what they need.
ok book summarizing then-current (published in 2005 but on "new nonfiction" shelf in my public library for some reason) research on division of household labor. Target audience is women married to men they would like to see doing more around the home and with the kids. Discusses some of the classic issues in this area such as divergent perspectives (he thinks he's doing a lot b/c does more than his father did; she thinks he's not b/c he does less than she does by a huge margin.......), differing standards for completion of cleaning tasks and so on.
Some of the vignettes and recommended approaches to discussion of differences seemed potentially useful, though many did not appear realistic. Does anybody actually say, upon being asked to do more, "well, I'm exhausted when I come home, and I shouldn't have to do one more thing after work. End of discussion!" That's a paraphrase, but statements approximately like that come out of many guys' mouths in his scenarios.
I can sum up the entire book in a few sentences: 1. If you're husband is a lazy louse, keep your looks up and get an education so you can get a decent job when you've decided you've had enough OR 2. Hire a cleaning person OR 3. Get help if he beats you. This author had a couple chapters devoted to domestic abuse and I'm reading this thinking, "Dude, he doesn't pic his underwear off the floor, he doesn't beat me." Complete waste of a book. I hired a cleaning person.
I thought this book would be right up my alley, but I felt it's more for women who stay at home with the kids, or women who are not as independent (thus the husband has the upper hand, thus the husband feels like he doesn't need to do as much)
After sitting down and taking notes, I realized that my husband really isn't THAT lazy.