When Your Husband Feels Like A Roommate
have you ever gone through a phase where you and your husband feel like you are more like roommates? I think most marriages go through a roommate phase, especially when you have babies because there is a tiny human who physically needs you.
I saw this on Instagram. It was posted by the Herself Podcast which is phenomenal. It really got me thinking about this topic. And it makes my heart hurt. Time alone with your husband should be exciting and joyous, not something you dread and not something that fills you with overwhelm.
This is so Common
After talking with friends and reading about this more, it seems like this is happening to most couples at one point or another and it usually takes one person in the relationship to make the first move.
If you are feeling like this is a stage you are in try this:
- Make a point to serve your husband with his love language
- Lead by example and treat him the way you want to be treated.
- "expectation without communication results in frustration" I heard this on a New episode of the Woah That's Good podcast while I was writing this blog post. Perfect timing huh.
Eric and I went through this a few years ago. I came to Eric and told him how I was feeling and asked if we could go on more regular dates to fix it. He had 3 objections/ reasons why he hadn't taken action before.
1. Money - Going out is expensive. If you're like us, you don't live near family who could act as a free babysitter. So the cost breakdown of a date looked like this:
- babysitter $60 - $20 an hour for 3 hours (2 hour date, 30 minutes to drive there & 30 minute drive home)
- dinner $75 - 2 entrees, 2 drinks, tax & a tip and honestly I think that is modest
- total $135
At that point in our marriage, if we had an extra $135 we wanted to spend it on a family outing or a family membership that we could use over and over not a single dinner date.
2. He was happy with the status quo - I don't know if this is good or bad. But Ultimately, Eric didn't feel like there was a shift or strain. He was happy so he didn't realize there was something that needed fixing. This is where communication takes place.
3. He didn't feel like it should all be on him - My solution was that he should be planning dates and he should be making me feel special. He clearly said that this should not all fall on him. This is a partnership and we both need to make the other person feel valued and special. Which I mean, fair. The same idea is true here if you feel like you are the only one putting in effort and all your husband has to do is show up.
1. At-Home Date Nights - Eric had in his mind that dates had to be this big show or that I wouldn't be okay with low key at home. Which means I was giving off that vibe. I had to tell him that I am 100% okay with at-home date nights. But we clearly talked about guidelines and how dates are different than a typical Netflix binge because they are planned out. Even if it is a movie or game night, you have to pre-pick the movie and add an element of planned, think wine, a new cocktail, or dessert.
Not all of our dates are at-home we also do:
- Lunch dates, now that the kids are in school we are able to sneak out for a lunch date which means we don't have to pay a sitter
- EVERY time family comes to visit, we take a night out just the two of us
- Occasionally we pay for a babysitter.
@sandboxacademy At home date night Date for new parents Date your spouse Dates when your broke Budget date #datenightideas❤️ #valentinesdatenightideas #athomedateideas #youngparents #budgetdateideas #dateyourhusband #dateyourspouse❤️ #momoflittleones #valentines2023ideas💌 ♬ original sound - Emily | mom talk + activities
2. Schedule Dates /Make Them Routine - Eric plans a date night on the first Saturday of every month. Is it sexy, spontaneous, and romantic that way? No. But it happens like clockwork. What I was needing was more quality time with him and to feel like he was taking the time to think about me and prioritize time with me. This accomplishes that.
I think sometimes we get caught up in the romanticized world we see on social media. That is the highlight reel. I knew when I married Eric that he didn't have a romantic bone in his body. But thats not what I valued in him. It is okay if your husband isn't the most romantic, I think it is pretty common, but who wants to brag about that.
If setting a reminder on his phone to plan a date night for the first Saturday of the month is what he needs to do to remember, what do I care as long as he does it.
3. I Plan 1 Date Night a Month - We have 2 date nights a month. He is responsible for one and I am responsible for the other. It is really that simple. I was wanting him to do all the work and be the romantic, and he wanted some love and affection too. Fair enough.
And if you are feeling like all the responsibility falls on you, make a list of what needs to get done with your husband and divide and conquer. If you keep that list in your head there is no way for him to know what you want to get done.
You're Not Alone
If you feel like you are in a roommate situation with your husband or if you see that Mental Load of Date Night Post and resonate with it, I want to one say you clearly are not alone on this.
Marriage is worth fighting for and we have to let go of the expectation that is has to be super sexy and romantic all the time. I just don't think that is realistic. But you have to be willing to communicate to make it better. And don't be afraid to make the first move and go hit on your husband.