Busy Dad Doesn't "Help Out"
Q: My husband has always spent many hours on the weekends pursuing his own hobbies or off with his friends. I was fine with this arrangement for most of our marriage, but we recently had twin girls and now I feel like a single parent! He says he needs a break from the kids and his demanding job, but don't I deserve that, too? How can I get him to be a more involved father? - Teresa, 40
Dr. Susan: He's missing so much! I think the tack you need to try with your husband is to point out the small daily milestones you're experiencing that he is missing. New kids are exhausting, and twins even more so, so you really need his involvement. But the time he puts in will be more rewarding than he can imagine. The two of you will have so much to share and remember, which will also strengthen your adult relationship. Perhaps one of his hobbies could be brought to bear on the girls. Think super-duper double photographic baby book or online something-or-other to share with relatives. You both need and deserve breaks. By the way, this time in your married lives is THE most stressful, and many marriages don't make it much beyond. Talk it over, without recriminations.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.