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How selfish is too selfish?

Or rather are there times when you should be selfish?

I don’t know the answer and I just can’t seem to work out where things at home need tweaking to get them sorted – all I know is that things aren’t right at the moment

Mr M is having a bit of a break at the moment – to be honest it has done him the world of good although it is a little amusing how people now do a double take before getting all enthused about how WELL he is looking.  Looking back though he did look terrible – too much stress, too little exercise, too much junk food and too little daylight

All of which is well and good – tick in the right box and all that

Except he has decided that he is due a year of being selfish – that he has worked terribly hard for the last 15 years and it is his turn to be selfish and do what he wants

And he draws comparisons to the three months paid leave I have between jobs back in 2006 when I did a bit of travelling and the such like

The trouble is that life is different now – like it or not our life isn’t that of two 20-somethings with not much in the way of commitments and a reasonable disposable income

Here and now we do have two children, a mortgage and all the other trappings of middle age that aren’t that easy to walk away from

One of the other things that is upsetting me is the assumption that, despite the fact that I haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of having a similar patch of selfishness at some to-be-agreed-date in the future, is that I’ll happily sit back and let this go on and still happily be here when he decides that enough is enough and he isn’t going to be selfish any more

The actual selfishness isn’t big things, it could be an awful lot worse (admittedly I say that crossing all my fingers and toes) but when I’m working hard and having to get up early and go into work the knowledge that he is going back to bed after breakfast with the paper is a little, well, irking

But kudos to him and it is keeping his general knowledge up

No really the things that I find hard are that I still appear to be responsible for the washing, the groceries and when I get in from work I’m the one who has to sort out dinner – I’m usually tired, I’ve usually had a rubbish commute and you know what how hard can it be to think about dinner and shove something into the oven?

I’m a suffering from a monster expectation gap where I thought him being around more would make my life easier when actually I should just enjoy the fact that he is around more?

Is selfish a good thing from time to time?

Or more importantly – how do I work out how to move forward from where we are now to a place where both of us are happy and one of us isn’t trying to avoid submerging under a pile of resentment?

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8 comments to How selfish is too selfish?

  • *wide eyes* Sounds to me like he’s having a laugh at your expense. WTF is he doing all day, that you are still doing laundry and dinner? Are you still paying for childcare or is he doing all of that? Still, even if he is, I don’t think you would be unreasonable at all in asking him to take over the responsibility for food shopping/cooking, at least. I deliberately haven’t said anything about my circumstances as all families are different etc but hmmm. He might find ‘keeping house’ to be rewarding and relaxing, when he gets into it?

  • David Mackay

    If you let this continue you are a doormat. I’m sure you’ve already spoken to him about it but if there’s no change you might want to think about some direct action. Don’t wash his clothes. Don’t make any dinner for him. No doubt you’ll still have to sort the kids out, but eventually he might begin to realise how selfish he’s being. At that point you can have a grown up conversation about dividing tasks.

    • You are right, as always, have pulled out the old list of ‘if you’re going to have a sit down have you considered doing…’ list to see if that helps nudge him and yes, won’t be picking up any laundry for a while

  • Selfish is all well and good…at the right time and in the right place. But when your partner is working long hours with a long commute, surely the least you can do is shop for and prepare dinner? If he wants to take a year out and your finances can support it, then brilliant. But part of the bargain should be that he takes over domestic duties – cooking, cleaning, shopping, school run etc. It’s only fair.

  • I ABSOLUTELY hear you. I think it’s a balancing act between letting each other have that space (or “selfish” time) and helping each other out so there’s no resentment. But that’s a tricky line to judge. We went through this debate a few weeks ago when my husband was on holiday over the summer (he’s a teacher). I was still working, getting up at 3.30am, putting in 12 hour days, doing the majority of the washing etc and I just felt that he wasn’t supporting me as much as he “should” have, whereas he felt that he was entitled to the holiday. In the end, we agreed that we’re BOTH a team. And if one of us has bigger work commitments it’s up to the other to pull more weight at home. Seems only fair really. That’s life.

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