Every couple is different, every family too. In an ideal family, the adults should support each other and contribute equally to the education of children. However, we know that in many cases “between saying and doing is half a sea” and, unfortunately, in many homes is still the woman who has to bear the burden of housework and child rearing.
Therefore, it is not strange that a survey conducted in the United States with more than 7,000 mothers revealed that husbands generate 10 times more stress to them than children. 46% of women surveyed said that their partners were contributing more of their children to increase the stress.
Unfulfilled expectations of mothers
Some of the women have even claimed that their husbands were making them “work” more than their children. Others observed that kids didn’t cause them many headaches, but the childish attitudes of their partners bothered much.
In addition, some also complained about the fact that their partners helped not enough with chores, and therefore not much was left as free time. There were some who pointed out that the wedding itself is stressful, because of the effort that requires each day.
Certainly not everyone is lucky enough to have an understanding partner willing to share the housework and the education of children. But it is likely that in these results are also affecting the expectations. For example, you can expect that a child face a whim and you prepare to deal with it, but don’t expect an adult to behave like a child. We can not expect a child to understand certain things, but we expect understanding from our partners.
When the person, which can be the man as as much as the woman, doesn’tt meet these expectations, not only we feel disappointed, but also defrauded. These negative feelings are added to daily stress and may end up being the straw that breaks the camel.
Fathers are convinced to make enough and demand more recognition
Interestingly, in another survey conducted by the same researchers with 1,500 fathers, half of them recognized having shared the care of children with the partner. But the strange thing was that out of 2,700 mothers interviewed, 75% said they were doing all their own.
Many fathers also confessed they feel wounded because thought they had a secondary role in the family. Two thirds of the fathers also said they would like to see recognized their efforts from time to time, at least with words of encouragement.
This study reveals that there is a problem of communication and expectations in many homes. Some fathers believe they are doing enough and that is not recognized, while mothers think it’s not true.
Whose fault is it?
Leaving aside the cases in which one of the parents does not apply enough to the education of the children, the fact is that be a father is stressful and often is easier to give the responsibility of our bad mood or our inability to manage the daily routine to the other adult.
Maintaining a relationship also requires a fair amount of work and women often ask too much to themselves, pretending to be perfect mothers, partners, daughters and girlfriends. This tension to satisfy everybody ends up destroying them.
However, it is important to find the cause of this dissatisfaction because it will end up affecting the couple's relationship. In fact, several studies found that a stressful marriage, where there are constant conflicts, is harmful to heart health as much as smoking and increases the chances of suffering from cardiovascular diseases in men as well as in women. A survey conducted recently with 300 Swedish women found that the risk of suffering from a heart attack is multiplied by three when their marriage is conflictive.
What is the solution?
Nine out of ten couples recognize that their relationship has deteriorated following the birth of their first child. In any case, to avoid that one of the two members be overloaded of tasks and ends up stressed, it is important that communication keep flowing at any time and in both directions. So if you're a dad or a mom:
- Ask your partner what you need, when you need it. Don’t pretend that he/she read your mind.
- Don’tt try to do everything, you don’t have to and don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Be satisfied to give love to your children every day.
- Talk with your partnerof you fears, insecurities and dissatisfactions. It will bring you both closer.
- Make it clear what you expect from your partner, with no recriminations.
Liu, H. & Waite, L. (2015) Bad Marriage, Broken Heart? Age and Gender Differences in the Link between Marital Quality and Cardiovascular Risks among Older Adults. J Health Soc Behav; 55(44): 403-423.
Doss, B. D. et. Al. (2009) The Effect of the Transition to Parenthood on Relationship Quality: An Eight-Year Prospective Study. J Pers Soc Psychol; 96(3): 601–619.
Barnet, R. C. et. Al. (2005) Marital-role quality and stress-related psychobiological indicators. Annals of Behavioral Medicine; 30(1): 36–43.
Orth, K. et. Al. (2000) Marital Stress Worsens Prognosis in Women With Coronary Heart DiseaseThe Stockholm Female Coronary Risk Study. The Journal of the American Medical Association; 284(23): 3008-3014.
Husbands stress out their wives more than sonsJennifer Delgado