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AGONY AUNT: "It used to be equal... now we’re married, he leaves everything to me"

AGONY AUNT:

Sunday 26 December 2021

AGONY AUNT: "It used to be equal... now we’re married, he leaves everything to me"

Sunday 26 December 2021


This month, Jersey’s favourite socialite-turned-Agony Aunt wades into the battle of the sexes.

Fenella Bond had this to say to 'Hopeless in St. Helier'...

Dear Fenella,

I really hope this letter finds you living your best life as per usual. You’re always so confident and you know your own mind so well, I’m hoping that you can help me with my conundrum. So, a bit of background: me and my husband have been together for five years, married for two. He’s the love of my life and he’s such a great guy. We’re a young professional couple and we’re really in love. 

But: he has never helped me around the house and I’m starting to get overwhelmed with the demands of work and maintaining the household. It used to be pretty equal when we were living together, but now we’re married he just leaves everything to me.

When he gets home, he ignores all the chores that need doing and either video games or goes to the gym. He’s recently started talking about having kids which I would normally be really excited about, and it’s definitely something I want at some point, but at this rate I have no idea how I would manage with everything on top of having children.

What should I do?

Hopeless in St. Helier x

 Hi babes,

Thanks for your letter and thanks as well for checking in with how I’m doing. I am indeed living my best life, thank you for asking. At the moment everything in my life just feels like it’s aligned so perfectly and I can’t wait for the next opportunity which comes my way. Who knew a perfect life could get even more perfect? *Sigh* turns out you really can have it all.

Anyway, back to your broken marriage...

I’ve got to say, I’m a bit confused. You say that your husband wants kids, but how can that be the case when it seems that he himself is still a child???! I’m also really hoping you must have made a mistake when you said that you’ve been putting with this for TWO WHOLE YEARS without doing anything about it??! I’ve got to say – and this doesn’t happen very often – but I, Fenella Bond, life coach to the stars, am shocked to my very core. 

baby.jpg

Pictured: "You say that your husband wants kids, but how can that be the case when it seems that he himself is still a child???!"

I’m not clear on how things managed to get to this point and I’m even more confused about the fact that all of a sudden your fairly competent boyfriend managed to forget how to do any housework the moment you guys put a ring on it. Like what’s up with that? It reeks of some very toxic masculinity to me and, if you’ll pardon my language, it really is NOT a vibe. Like, at all.

I have a bit of a gift for reading into subtext (I got a B in Psychology A-level) and I could tell straight away that there was trouble afoot in your letter when you spent so long talking about how much you love this man and how great of a guy he is. Now, I don’t know this man. He could be the best, but NEWSFLASH: if he regularly defaults on doing the *bare minimum* around your *shared living space* without even feeling like that’s a problem, he’s not acting like a great guy, or a great husband.

Now, a more basic Agony Aunt might tell you to gently bring this up with him as there may be some ongoing issues within the power dynamic that the two of you need to address. Where did he learn that husbands get to do whatever the hell they want whilst their partners clean up the mess? Can you tackle the imbalance of expectations and the emotional labour issue together in a loving, respectful and kind way?

cleaning.png

Pictured: "If he regularly defaults on doing the *bare minimum* around your *shared living space*... he’s not acting like a great guy, or a great husband."

That’s not my advice. I reckon you should go full on nuclear. Starting tomorrow, you should just stop doing everything you’re doing around the house. Keep bossing it at work (of course), but otherwise you just look after number one – and in case it’s not already clear, number one in this instance refers to yourself, Hopeless.

Go and do the stuff that makes you happy outside of the relationship that you normally don’t have time for because you’re too busy re-enacting a marriage from the 1950’s. Go out with your friends, catch movie after work, go to the gym, take yourself out on a date. Sort your own dinner but leave him to fend for himself until he’s hungry enough to look up from his video games and clock how lazy he’s being.

Why have the conversation when you can be passive aggressive A.F (which here, of course, stands for ‘as Fenella’)??? I know it’s not easy, but trust me when I say that this has got to stop. You ought to be a team! And if he’s not supporting you then you need to deliver a cold, hard wake-up call ASAP, babe.

It’s like my long-time friend and confidante Adele once said to me: “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but if it is broke, it needs fixing. You know what I mean?” I repeat those wise words to myself every single morning in the mirror as my personal stylist blows out my hair and now I want to pass that affirmation onto you.

You deserve better, Hopeless, I hope you’re ready to want better for yourself. See what I did there? Gosh, I truly am an inspiration.

Loads of love and kisses,

Auntie Fenella xxx

This article first appeared in the Dec/Jan edition of Connect, which you can read HERE. 

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