Shalom Bayis Question

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  • #611246
    newhusband
    Member

    Hello,

    This is my first post on this forum, I would like some anonymous outside input. Please be frank.

    We have been married less than a year and are expecting our first child. We generally have good communication and get along on most issues, but occasionally we bump heads on an issue usually small, but sometimes an important one. I am having a harder and harder time discussing areas where we disagree with my wife, any argument that isn’t aligned with her desires turns into her crying and me usually giving in to what she wants. I recognize that she is very hormonal and emotional during the pregnancy but this is making me resent our disagreements. I don’t want to resent my wife for any of our decisions but it is becoming harder and harder.

    Our home has been deteriorating in cleanliness for some time and I made some slight/kind (to the best of my abilities) hints that it would be really nice if she could try to maintain the home some more. The last few months I have taken on a significant amount of chores to help her while she is pregnant and not feeling herself. Her response was that she doesn’t want to do housecleaning work and doesn’t understand why I want her to clean our home. She wants to hire a house cleaner so that she doesn’t have to clean the home. I am very against hiring a house cleaner, I cleaned my own home before we were married and don’t want someone else doing it. I am working full-time now and don’t have the time to work, clean, and spend time with my wife and want her to be taking on more responsibilities at home. Her opinion is not based on a lack of time, or difficulties relating to pregnancy, but simply out of a lack of desire to maintain the home. She feels she can be Yotsi the obligations of being a homemaker by paying someone else to do it.

    Am I being unreasonable to not allowing her to hire a housekeeper. We have gone back and forth on this issue, and this is one I feel very strongly about and it is only getting her AND ME more upset every time we discuss it. The issue is not about money, BH I earn enough money to hire a housecleaner if it were necessary, but I feel like it is completely unnecessary. I told her that if we have 4 kids and she has to make a choice between spending an hour with our kids or with cleaning for sure I’ll get a housecleaner in a minute. But if we get a housecleaner now it won’t be because we need it, but because she wants it and does not WANT to care for our home.

    She asked me what I want her to do when we have disagreements. “Should I just do whatever you want when we disagree, and not have my opinions?” I don’t want her to be a mindless robot/slave to anything I want, but i feel like there’s no compromise lately.

    Can I get advise on two fronts, first on the specific issue of the housecleaner and second on general shalom bayis advise regarding disagreements in the home. If I am being unreasonable so be it, I will give in. I don’t want to burden her unnecessarily, but I also want a healthy relationship, and I feel like we are moving in a dangerous direction and if we don’t start compromising one of us is going to build up regret.

    #986671
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Agree to get a housekeeper until 6 weeks after the baby (Bezras Hashem), and she agrees to revisit the issue with a clean slate at that point.

    She is probably so bent out of shape due to the pregnancy, that she can’t think about cleaning. Its normal, deal with it (and I’m a guy).

    #986672
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    As far as the Shalom Bayis question, Shana Rishona is something to survive, until you figure out how to actually live with each other. It does get better.

    #986673
    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    In the short term, you need to talk about it.

    Here’s how to talk about it:

    1. Tell her “I love you and so much appreciate all the work you do in the house” (mention some specifics, like if she washed the dishes for Shabbos or did laundry). Tell her how you think about her at work and wonder how she’s feeling. Ask her how she feels.

    2. Stop. Listen to what she tells you. Agree with whatever she says. Don’t say anything more about the cleaning except compliments if you notice she did something. Also compliment her on other things.

    3. Wait AT LEAST 24 hours. That way she won’t think you only care about the cleaning lady issue. Repeat Steps 1 and 2. Only go onto Step 4 when you haven’t argued about anything else that day.

    4. Do Steps 1 and 2 again. Now you can bring up the cleaning lady. Be honest and say you’d really rather not hire a cleaning lady. You’d be happy to help, but you’re tired when you come home, so if she could please tell you something you can do that takes less than 10 minutes before work you’d be happy to. Would that be enough of a help?

    5. If she says Yes, do whatever she asks for. She probably just didn’t feel appreciated and your compliments and participating fixed that. Have her keep you company while you clean and mention how happy you are to spend time helping her.

    6. If she says No, it wouldn’t help, get a cleaning lady. Don’t fight with her because you just can’t win. If you don’t get a cleaning lady, she’ll feel like you don’t care about her even more. If you do get one, make sure you don’t act like you resent it, make it an act of love so she doesn’t feel like you resent helping her. Either way, you’ll be much happier than if you keep on letting everything turn into an argument.

    Also, I agree with all the posters who are going to say you should go for marital counseling.

    #986674
    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    newhusband- I don’t even understand why you’re arguing over this. If you have the money, take the cleaning help. Right now, your wife is working full time carrying your child. She might feel awkward blaming everything on pregnancy, so don’t expect her to say it in every argument. Dropping hints that the house is a mess isn’t helpful- I’m sure she already knows. It’s already a blow to her pride that she can’t manage without cleaning help, don’t make it worse. If you don’t want to commit to long term, try it for a week or two and you’ll see what a difference it will make in your home. If you don’t want to trust random people in the coffeeroom, call your rav. He’ll probably tell you the same thing.

    #986675
    Mind reader
    Member

    If you can afford it there is no reason in the world you are holding back cleaning help from your wife! unless you are a very controlling man why wouldnt you want your wife to have it easy, did you marry her to be your slave? yes if you cant afford it, its another story. like my mother told my brothers before they got married, most imp things in life to spend money on is shelter, food, insurance and help for your wife.

    #986676
    newhusband
    Member

    I floated the idea of agreeing to a temporary housekeeping arrangement to help while she is pregnant and she flat out said she wants the housekeeper permanently, not because of the pregnancy, but because she doesn’t want to clean the home.

    While we were married for only a month before she was pregnant, between sheva brachos and a deep cleaning that I did before she moved to our home there wasnt a big need for cleaning, but she never really took the initiative either. Her mother always cleaned their family home while she lived with her parents and my mother always cleaned my family home when I lived with my family.

    I really don’t want to be an evil husband that forces her to do things she doesn’t want to do, but I also want her to care for our home. I’m worried when we have kids she’ll just want a nanny and a cook and an xyz whenever she doesn’t want to do something herself. I was always raised with the philosophy that just because I have the financial means to outsource some things around the home doesn’t mean they should be, and that I should never hire someone to do something I wouldn’t do unless I wasn’t able to do it myself.

    #986677
    ezranik
    Participant

    Dear Mr Indignant Over-Worked House Cleaning Slave,

    According to recent scientific studies and logic you are not only causing pain and resentment in your wife; whos body has bloated and changed in a way she has never experienced as well as the emotional roller-coaster she is currently going through; and seemingly on her own, you are also harming your child and when your 15 year old rebels against you and tells you they hate you, you at least will be able to pin point the origins of this resentment your are currently inculcating in them.

    B’sha Tova

    #986678
    2morecents
    Participant

    I’m married for 20 years longer than you are. Take it from me, it’s not worth giving it a second thought. Smile and pay for the cleaning lady. No guy in the whole world will ever fully understand why a wife needs to have a cleaning lady. It doesn’t matter if you or I understand it. when the solution to your sholom bayis is as simple as saying “sure, hire a cleaning lady if you need one” take that solution with both hands and thank H’ for making your sholom bayis solution so simple to achieve. To fight for otherwise is just being an idiot. Stop being an idiot my friend.

    Regarding all the other arguments you find yourself having with your wife and the resulting resentments, understand this: Your either going to adopt the idea that your wife is always right no matter what and have sholom bayis or your going to think that somehow your opinion is more right than hers and suffer hell in your marriage because of it. It’s as simple as that. Your wife is always right. The sooner you get used to that the sooner the 2 of you will be happy and be stress free.

    But what if she’s wrong??? So what? If your opinion happens to be more right than hers once in a while and you go with her opinion anyway, probably the world won’t come to an end and the resulting sholom bayis and happy, healthy home will more than make up for the occasional lack of choosing your more right opinion in that specific case if it should ever happen.

    Besides, women have binah yesairah and usually happen to be right. When they’re not, they usually figure it out on their own and eventually say so. So in the end, the best outcome will play out ok anyways.

    #986679
    golfer
    Participant

    Newhus, Congrats on your recent marriage!!

    Forgive me for making assumptions, but I’m thinking if you got married, you’re an adult.

    If so, you’re not the little boy who went shopping with his mother before Shabbos and chose the candy corn, And the twizzlers, And the marshmallows, And the sour belts. The choices are tougher now. And you might not be able to get every single thing you choose.

    In the example you gave us, it seems pretty clear, you can have the smiling, happy wife, or the wife who scrubs and shines your floors.

    Pick one.

    The choice is yours.

    #986680
    cinderella
    Member

    You say that the issue with hiring a housekeeper is that she doesn’t need it, she wants it.

    So that’s my problem here. You don’t feel like you need it. That’s great but she feels that she does. You refusing her this because you don’t feel it’s an absolute necessity is plain mean. You’re putting your needs before hers.

    Okay, listen. Your wife of less than one year is carrying your child. She does not want to clean. She may not have the energy to clean. Regardless, GET HER CLEANING HELP. Stop getting stuck on your stupid reasoning.

    So what you do now is go run buy roses. Then pick up ice cream. Then bring both to your tired wife. As you massage her feet, tell her how you’ve suddenly realized how stupid you’ve been and how getting her cleaning help is your new top priority

    #986681
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    You should have told her to ask, so that we could all tell HER that it isn’t worth it and to just clean so you’ll be happy.

    Also, I agree with all the above posters.

    And it isn’t a stirah, you both need your needs met.

    #986682
    funnybone
    Participant

    I think that people are being a little rough on you, but basically have the right idea.

    There are important items and unimportant. You seem to be having a lot of unimportant battles. Let them go. It’s not fun to always lose, but if you put your foot down on only the important ones, you can say that hey, all the other ones I gave in, but this one is really important to me.

    My own Shalom Bayis is pretty simple, whoever feels stronger about an issue the other one usually gives in. If I want something, but my wife reeaaaaaaaly doesn’t, I will give in. Same goes the other way.

    #986683
    funnybone
    Participant

    BTW, I have a great rav who I discuss my shalom bayis with. I get great advice and it has saved my shalom bayis on various occasions (usually he tells me to give in!). I highly recommend a rav or mentor to discuss future issues with.

    BTW, I agree with your basic premise. Why do women need someone else to vacuum, mop, etc.? especially if they’re not working outside the home? But, if that’s their expectation going in, if that’s what they are used to seeing by your shvigger, then you need to accommodate it.

    Good luck. Don’t forget that giving in keeps the Shechina in your home! What more can you ask for!

    #986684
    besalel
    Participant

    i do not think its a bad idea to tell her “look, i cant force you to clean but i will be unhappy living in an unkept home. what would be more difficult for you, cleaning or living with an unhappy husband?” marriage is about sacrifice (and taking the lesser of two evils sometimes)

    #986685
    newhusband
    Member

    Thank you everyone for your feedback on the housecleaning issue. if I didn’t make myself clear, the issue I had wasnt simply hiring the cleaner it was a sense for my wife to care about the state of our home.

    I’m going to get a housecleaner for the sake of shalom bayis, but I have a feeling it will solve the symptoms (dirty home), but not the underlying problem (caring for the home). How do I deal with that issue is what I am looking to figure out.

    I don’t want to fix the symptoms by throwing money at the problem today because its going to morph into a bigger problem tomorrow. I feel very open-minded on trying different things to change the dynamic in the home but at the same time giving in anytime my wife wants something will only make me upset. I don’t want to resent her, I am all for a partner in marriage, I’m not looking for anything less. But if I work full-time and support the family, and a housekeeper cleans the home and makes the food and babysits the kids that is not a partnership and I fear that is the directions things are going.

    Am i being unreasonable?

    #986686
    Trying2bgood
    Member

    I just want to say that you seem like a great person and you are eager to make your wife happy. It definitely seems like it’s not the actual cleaning help that’s troubling you but the underlying middos/ perspective/ mentality of your wife.

    I’m sorry I don’t have any advice for you (well, maybe some, but I’m not giving any) I just wanted to commend you for trying to understand her and I hope that the two of you have many happy, loving, understanding, special years together

    #986687
    newhusband
    Member

    Thank you everyone for your feedback on the housecleaning issue. if I didn’t make myself clear, the issue I had wasnt simply hiring the cleaner it was a sense for my wife to care about the state of our home.

    I’m going to get a housecleaner for the sake of shalom bayis, but I have a feeling it will solve the symptoms (dirty home), but not the underlying problem (caring for the home). How do I deal with that issue is what I am looking to figure out.

    I don’t want to fix the symptoms by throwing money at the problem today because its going to morph into a bigger problem tomorrow. I feel very open-minded on trying different things to change the dynamic in the home but at the same time giving in anytime my wife wants something will only make me upset. I don’t want to resent her, I am all for a partner in marriage, I’m not looking for anything less. But if I work full-time and support the family, and a housekeeper cleans the home and makes the food and babysits the kids that is not a partnership and I fear that is the directions things are going.

    Am i being unreasonable?

    #986688
    mybrother
    Member

    From the sounds of it, i feel like ur scared because this isn’t just about cleaning help.

    You see the hand writing on the wall. and its the lifestyle that u disagree with.

    from what i understand, You guys have a fundamental lifestyle disagreement, and giving into the cleaning lady is NOT going to solve it, its just gonna be a truce until the next battle. the next argument might have different variables but the core argument will be the same.

    Theres no simple answer yes or no answer,

    my advice is couples counseling.

    the quicker you get to work on this the better

    i wish you the best!

    #986689
    live right
    Member

    you say that your wife “does not WANT to care for our home.” I don’t agree with that statement at all. she does want to care for your home, but her way of doing it is by hiring a cleaning lady. just do it. then in a month come back here and tell us if it was worth it.

    and b’shaah tova on your baby. don’t take it for granted that you will iyh be receiving a special gift so soon after your marriage.

    #986690
    geshicked
    Member

    Newhusband, all you should want for your wife is her happiness. Truly feel that and make it your life’s goal, then in return she will make your happiness her only focus. That’s the whole secret to shalom bayis — leave yourself out of the equasion. If you worry about yourself, you relieve her of the responsibility to do so. And if you stop focusing on her and her happiness then she will be forced to pick up the slack and think about herself before she thinks of you.

    Halachically, if you have the means you are supposed to provide your wife with cleaning help. More money available? More cleaning help. Even more? A cook. Why do chazal even bother to discuss this topic? Probably because you are not the first nor will you be the last couple to have this discussion.

    There is no good reason to deny your wife this request. Just because you’re not used to it? You moved OUT of your parents house, remember? Perhaps the two of you have different standards of cleanliness. If her standards are unsatisfactory to you, then get a cleaning lady to fill in the blanks. Don’t impose your way on her. If you don’t want to get a cleaning lady, then either roll up your own sleeves or be satisfied with the way the house is now. You can’t have it both ways. It will only get harder for her when she has a newborn so make peace with it now one way or another.

    The time before your kids are born is special. Please don’t squander it arguing about “principles”. And just thank Hashem that you’re in a position that it’s not about the money. May it always be so for you!

    #986691
    geshicked
    Member

    And to all those wondering why women need cleaning help…imagine if you will, (in the days before computers) you spent nearly 3 hours completing a particular draft for an upcoming deal. Unfortunately, your spouse came along and spilled coffee on it. Argh! So you sit down to do it again. Ahh! Finished! Only to have your five year old use it as scrap paper to practice cutting with scissors. Argh! So you do it again. Another three hours. Whew! Oh no…the baby just threw up on it! You cannot believe that you have to do it all over again!

    My point? cleaning a house is an endless job. As soon as you finish cleaning it, someone is messing it up and you have to do it all over again. As opposed to your 9-5 job, this one is 24/7. If you dont want to hire cleaning help then agree not to EVEN SLIGHTLY mess up any of the cleaning work she already did. Doesn’t sound liveable? Then hire a cleaning lady so you wont be constantly ruining you wife’s hard work. Imagine how frustrated would you be with your wife if she kept deleting the files you were working on and then asked how come you still have work to do?

    Newhusband, you only know the house of your parents from when you were old enough to remember it. You don’t know to what extent it was clean when you were little. Unless your mother had cleaning help, chances are pretty good the house was not so pristine.

    Pregnancy is tiring. You will never be able to imagine what it is like. And since your wife never experienced it before, she can’t yet distinguish between what feelings will last forever and what will pass as she regains her stength. Yaakov Avinu also asked to sit “b’Shalva” but IY”H you are on the cusp of what will become the busiest and messiest period in your life. But mark my words, these days fly by and when it is again only the two of you in the house you will be begging for the grandchildren to come over and mess it up a bit! Maintain shalom bayis over everything else and don’t stop thanking Hashem for your amazingly good fortune!

    #986692
    interjection
    Participant

    Besalel: marriage is about sacrifice but its about me sacrificing. It isn’t about me telling my spouse that my spouse had to sacrifice. When the focus is not on what you’re giving up, but rather that this is something that’s necessary for the good of the marriage, it bd ones an act of love and is no longer a sacrifice.

    Op your wife is pregnant and is meanwhile creating your baby. Pregnant women are a species all their own. They think, act and feel different than their non-pregnant selves. When a pregnant woman says something, it absolutely does not set a precedent for the rest of your lives. However if you don’t appreciate your wife enough when she’s pregnant it will set a precedent that she will always feel under appreciated. Her body is at work all day creating a new person from scratch. I think she’s working hard enough as it is. If you can afford it, definitely get her the cleaning help. No man can understand how hard pregnancy is but you will have better sholom bayis if you try:)

    #986693
    the-art-of-moi
    Participant

    Newhusband-

    Seriously? Your wife is pregnant. She wants a cleaning lady. If you can’t help her, then stop being abusive and for xxxxxx’s sake! GET HER SOME CLEANING HELP!!!! What is up with men? SO insensitive.

    End rant.

    #986694
    jbaldy22
    Member

    @besalel

    trying to be logical with a pregnant wife is not a recipe for success.

    Basically agree with the rest of the posters that this is not an issue that you will be successful with at this juncture. Best idea is to have a rav/mentor you can talk to about such things.

    #986695
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Please don’t use your great upbringing against her. Think of it this way, it is her feeling to have help and it iss your feeling not to. Why is one feeling better than the other? Go with the Meikil.

    Although she says now that she’ll always need it, it doesn’t mean anything. You can’t imagine enjoying stake when your stomach is aching. And even if it turns out that she will always need it, back to the first sentence: don’t use your great upbringing against someone else.

    #986697
    theroshyeshiva
    Participant

    As a clinical psychologist and a couples therapist, IMHO it seems that there is a deeper issue here that needs to be resolved. Today the argument is about the cleaning lady, tomorrow it will be about something else. Sure, you can get the cleaning lady, which practically speaking makes sense. However, what I’m hearing in your posts is that you believe in some sense that she does not measure up; that she is not keeping her responsibilities. You’ve made a judgement here, you’ve concluded that she is not keeping up her side here. Please stop and think about what I’ve written. If you give it some honest thought I believe you will understand what I’m saying. You must resolve this issue immediately. Research shows that when couples lose respect for each other, it’s a siman that divorce is on it’s way. What do I mean? Each spouse should feel that the other is mamash the best person. If she doesn’t respect you or you don’t respect her, it will breed resentment, and that’s the tone that I hear in your posts as well. It is shana rishona, as others said, so it will get better with time, but you must find the things that you admire in your wife and you must find a way to come to terms with who she is.

    I know that what I wrote is quite a pill to swallow, but swallow you must. Again, I am a professional in this field and I’m giving you my honest impression here. Generally I don’t respond in the CR, but I thought it my duty here.

    #986698
    funnybone
    Participant

    You’re wife is pregnant. She isn’t showing any interest in cleaning the house. Maybe ask her why.

    Either she will explain to you that she physically feels lousy, fatigued, lethargic etc.

    Or she will explain to you that she is mildly depressed.

    I understand that you don’t feel that your marriage at this point is 50/50. It usually isn’t. Marriage is 90/90 (alter Novominsker Rebbetzin). When everybody gives 90% of what they have, then it’s a successful marriage. Give in, give in and give in. There will be a time that you will receive more than you deserve as well.

    #986699
    old man
    Participant

    You have a serious problem. You can deal with it in two ways:

    1. Ask advice from semi-literate adolescents whom you do not know and do not know you.

    2. Go with your wife and get professional counseling.

    You’ve done #1.

    Now do #2.

    #986700

    newhusband, you sound like you are really trying hard and I think most of the posters here are being too hard on you. The most important thing, in my opinion, is to continue to compliment your wife on everything she does, and to say nothing (or very little) about the things she doesn’t do. Compliments feel good. The more she sees that you appreciate her, the more she’ll be motivated to do more for you.

    Shana Rishona is amazing and wonderful in many ways, but it’s also very difficult. Give yourself some credit, and give your wife some credit. Your lives have just drastically changed, and they’re about to drastically change again. B’sha’ah tova, and please keep us posted!

    #986701
    Ma Chovaso
    Member

    New Husband,

    Household help is quite common these days, so I’d say bite the bullet and get her help. You can have someone for a few hours once a week… from personal experience this goes a long way.

    As far as your concern about building resentment if you constantly give in: Don’t fret so much about the future. If you are able to be gracious and understanding now (especially because she is pregnant) then do so without worrying about how it will affect future communication. Marriage is about giving. If you are better at in than her right now, embrace it.

    #986702
    Ma Chovaso
    Member

    And to old man,

    I am not an adolescent or semi-literate… it does not seem that this couple is in need of professional counseling at all. The money they would spend on a therapist can be better used on cleaning help.

    #986703
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Old man is a funny name for a seld identified half literate adolescent.

    (Also, welcome back, seems like I haven’t seen you for a bit)

    #986704
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    One more note: Being Mechanech her was her parent’s job. You weren’t Mechanech your friends, don’t be Mechanech your wife. You can use your display of appreciation to convey what matters more to you.

    Witholding it for a lesson is the worst reason to do so.

    Shanna Rishona is actually about making her happy, not the other way around. I don’t know if you are aware of your own shortcomings or not, but people have these things. If it turns out that it will remain this way, work around it or with it.

    You didn’t really gain each other’s confidence enough be able to discuss disposition changes without sounding (or feeling) like you are having second thoughts about the marriage.

    #986705
    Naftush
    Member

    As a newlywed, an in-law who qualifies as da’at Torah gave me his view on dividing up the housework without my asking: each of us, he said, should see him/herself as responsible for all the housework.

    It has worked rather well for 31 years.

    #986706
    Naftush
    Member

    When I was a newlywed, an in-law who qualifies as da’at Torah gave me his view on dividing up the housework without my asking: each of us, he said, should see him/herself as responsible for all the housework.

    It has worked rather well for 31 years.

    #986707
    Mammele
    Participant

    There’s one piece of the puzzle nobody thought of. If your true goal is for her to care for the home, not davka clean it, and she’s physically okay and has some spare time, try to explore different outlets for her to beautify the home. There are loads of tutorials online, from easy curtains to ” faking” art, designing clocks, mounting photos etc. If she’s not depressed and you’re supportive, it may be a creative way for her to gain some attachment and appreciation of your new home.

    If you think she’s a little depressed I’d recommend discussing it with her doctor AND have him do a blood test to check her thyroid levels.

    Good luck!

    #986708
    yytz
    Participant

    I agree with those who said you should agree to get a housecleaner.

    You seem concerned that she doesn’t want to take care of the house. But even if she has a housecleaner, even one that comes let’s say more than once a week, there are still so many things she’ll have to do herself. A housecleaner can’t do everything.

    Most importantly, read and put into practice the teachings of the book Garden of Peace by Rav Shalom Arush. I won’t describe the teachings here because the book is supposed to be read by men only, and that’s for a good reason. But I strongly believe his teachings are truly the key to shalom bayis.

    Shalom bayis is not a common sense matter of doing what seems right to you at the time. You need to understand the underlying principles, something the book does really well (and unlike any other shalom bayis book.)

    I have realized I was doing many things wrong, and whenever something goes wrong with shalom bayis I realize it is because I failed to fulfill the teachings of that book. Conversely, whenever I do what the book says, my shalom bayis problems go away just like that. It’s that good!

    #986709
    brentout
    Participant

    I’m going to disagree with many posters here. You are the man of the house. And, well, sometimes it is necessary to just lay down the law. There are times there are disagreements in a marriage. And of those times often, in fact the vast majority of the times, you can both work out an acceptable compromise that everyone is happy with or at least can live with. But, naturally, that is not always the case. And from your description here this is such a time. And at the end of the day when there is no common ground one parties decision has to carry the day. There cannot be two kings.

    #986710
    oomis
    Participant

    Am I being unreasonable to not allowing her to hire a housekeeper”

    In a word YES. I am not yet reading anyone else’s responses, because I had such a visceral reaction to your post. I think you sound like a good husband and person. But unless your wife was like this before pregnancy, you cannot possibly know how tiring pregnancy is for all of the nine months. I used to fall asleep sitting up during my lunch hour at work. I was physically uncomfortable as I became larger, and didn’t have the energy I needed to work full time and then work at home as well. Even when I stopped working in the last trimester, I literally had no energy on a regular basis. I did the laundry, the cooking, and shopping, but couldn’t do major housework and cleaning.

    Give your wife a break. Unless she has been acting like a princess since you met her, compromise and get her cleaning help for a couple of hours once a week to do the heavy work (floors, carpets, bed making, etc.), Show her that you understand. After the baby comes, it will be MUCH harder for her to keep a neat house. Some women are such behriyahs that they can do it all. Many cannot, and should not be made to feel like lesser persons because of that. If money is not an issue, hire someone. Most people do.

    You really do sound like a good guy, so please think about this. I haven’t had cleaning help for over 15 years, but when I was pregnant and/or had children running around, I really could not handle the workload myself at all.

    *****I just decided to read some of the other posts. Please reread the wisdom that many gave over. You are a newlywed. Do what you have to, to keep the woman who is carrying your baby, happy, and bless her for being the one that gets to feel all the discomforts of pregnancy, labor, and delivery, that you do not, while bringing this child into the world b’shaa tova. AND, all this, while adjusting to the first year of marriage. Don’t forget to tell her how much you value and appreciate her. Hatzlacha rabbah.

    #986711
    kollel_wife
    Participant

    I think I’m going to say something a little different.

    Firstly, I love cleaning. I now by choice have no cleaning help, but I did for many years when my children were small. I like things clean and very much dislike it when they’re not.

    Your need for cleanliness may not match hers, and she may not like cleaning (now during pregnancy) or maybe never will. She may acutally dislike it VERY MUCH. In that sense it’s not going to work to motivate her to do herself (even for you who she cares about). A cleaning lady may also motivate her to keep things up in between the cleaning lady. I’ve seen that with people who generally dislike cleaning. The cleaning lady does the bulk, but it then motivated them to organize the closet, etc.

    The fact that she gets upset at every disagreement and cries is manipulative in my opinion, although she may not be doing it on purpose. I think you should be able to talk about your feelings without her feeling you are demanding YOUR way. To be able to tell her you are uncomfortable with a stranger in the house, would prefer her to clean, but without her feeling threatened that you will NOT LET her have the cleaning lady. That you both can express your feeling about it. Give her time and space to do this in a unemotional way, where her feelings are understood. Then the two of you can weigh each one’s need and feeling and make a joint decision. If she feels heard and understood, she shouldn’t need to cry.

    Sort of like kids arguing about who gets the first turn or crayons first, etc. If each feels secure they’ll get a turn, they won’t get upset, but will handle waiting their turn.

    If she is getting very emotional about everything, this will not be possible and you may have to wait out this time period. This should pass after the pregnancy and post partum period, but if not you may need some help.

    Also, those who are used to cleaning help don’t necessarily require nannies. If she does feel incapable of taking care of kids solely herself – that is her feeling. Your feeling will be discomfort with that. It may take her time to taking care of children. You may find you are more comfortable with a teenaged frum babysitter than a non Jewish nanny. But each person’s feeling can be discussed and take-in into account.

    Much hatzlocha.

    #986712
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Do your definitions of a clean home differ? Are your expectations of cleanliness such that you expect to be able to lick the floors, while she is happy that there are no visible crumbs? If your standards are different and she says get a cleaning lady to meet your standards, then she is right, hire a cleaning lady. she is your wife, not your cleaning lady. I also agree that since she is pregnant, you agree to hire one until 68 weeks after the baby is born b’ezras hashem to give her time to get back on her feet.

    #986713
    LevAryeh
    Member

    Whatever happened to ezer kenegdo? Ah, the beauty of Rashi.

    #986714
    Redleg
    Participant

    From the perspective of 43 years of successful marriage let me offer the following example:

    Avrohom Avinu was among the greatest men who ever lived and the father of us all. Yet when it came to a major disagreement with Sarah, HaShem said, “listen to your wife”. And this wasn’t about tidying up the tent. It was about disowning Avrohom’s bechor.

    You want a long, happy and successful marriage? Listen to your wife. Your success in life, in parnassa, in learning is through the zechuyos of your wife. do what she says.

    #986715
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    “agree to hire one until 68 weeks after the baby is born”

    I hope that wasn’t a typo.

    #986716
    apushatayid
    Participant

    I have to hand it to google. they really have their algorithms down to a science. I happened to disable ad blocker earlier today, and when opening this thread there was a google ad for todaysmaid.com 🙂

    DY. Whats a dash between friends!

    #986717
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    APY, about 15 months. 🙂

    #986718
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    newhusband,

    I’m going to get a housecleaner for the sake of shalom bayis,

    It might do better for your shalom bayis if you see this decision as an opportunity to bring pleasure to your wife (selfless), rather than to avoid arguments that you resent (selfish).

    but I have a feeling it will solve the symptoms (dirty home), but not the underlying problem (caring for the home). How do I deal with that issue is what I am looking to figure out.

    Why on earth do you think that you can ascertain holistic “underlying problems” with your wife’s attitudes towards the home after less than a year of marriage, where for all but one month of that time she has been pregnant? Honestly, I think it’s possible that the root of your problem is that you are blowing these “minor” disagreements way out of proportion and using them to make sweeping conclusions about your home and marriage. No wonder your wife cries when you have a disagreement – she tells you that she doesn’t like cleaning and wants household help and you imply that your marriage will be irrevocably harmed because she’s an unfit wife and mother in your eyes! Even if you didn’t say it, she can feel it with your “hints”. Stop judging what kind of mother your wife will be before your baby is even born, and what kind of wife she’ll be 1, 5, or 10 years down the road!

    My advice to you:

    1. Take almost nothing your wife says or does personally during pregnancy. I think you are seriously underestimating how pregnancy affects your wife. She is changing inside and out, and that can make anyone feel very insecure. She doesn’t want to clean up now, but for all you know, once the nesting instinct kicks into high gear, she may feel like you don’t care enough about the house!

    2. Deal with the present issues during any discussion or disagreement, not future speculations. Whatever you decide for how to keep things clean now, make that decision considering only the current needs, and stop extrapolating what it means to your marriage years down the road – especially for issues regarding parenthood. Don’t judge things that you haven’t even seen yet.

    3. From what you have written in this thread, you obviously see cleaning the house as a burden to yourself, using words like “significant” and “chores”. So why does it bother you that your wife sees it in the same light?

    4. Instead of dropping “hints” (disapproval and disconnection), start cleaning and engage your wife with conversation while you do it (connection). Any chore is more fun when you have company, and you will likely end up sharing yourselves and the jobs more.

    5. Notice and express appreciation for what she does.

    I don’t want to fix the symptoms by throwing money at the problem today because its going to morph into a bigger problem tomorrow.

    You are not a navi – stick to the present.

    I feel very open-minded on trying different things to change the dynamic in the home but at the same time giving in anytime my wife wants something will only make me upset.

    Stop viewing things as “me vs. her”. A happy wife is a huge win for you. Instead of keeping score and focusing on whether you or she have had your way, focus on solving the problem at hand.

    I don’t want to resent her,

    Then don’t. You are in complete control of your feelings.

    #986719

    Newhus:

    You repeatedly talk about your wife not caring about the “state of affairs” of the house.

    Could you please elaborate on what this means and how not caring about the cleanliness of a house translates into being a lazy mommy?

    I don’t think you’re using the right words to express your concerns.

    Please try to articulate your concerns in a clearer way.

    #986720
    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Please try to articulate your concerns in a clearer way.”

    His wife is probably writing on a blog somewhere how her husband has some problem with her housekeeping, but isnt being clear what the problem is and how it frustrates her to no end.

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