Why He Put Others Ahead of You

Does it seem you’re always the last person on your husband’s list? Is this especially the case when you want him to do something around the house? He has time to help all kinds of people do all kinds of things, but he never finds time for what needs to be done at home.

Care or Neglect © Stuart Miles | dollarphotoclub.com

I’m not trying to justify him here, but I do want to give you some possible reasons for his wrong behaviour. 

  1. He’s a Pleaser: The pleaser is all about his image. He wants others to like him, and doing what they want is part how he does that. If he thinks he has your love no matter what, he’ll say no to you so he can say yes to others.
  2. He Can’t Say No: This is similar to number one, but the motivation is different. Some men feel bad when they say no; others fear what will happen if they say no. This leaves him without enough time, and saying no at home seems safer than saying no to others.
  3. Confusing Why Things Need to be Done. If he sees what he does around the house as “for you” rather than part of what needs to be done to maintain the house, he may feel he’s done “enough” before he’s done what he should do.
  4. A False Sense of Balance. Even if he fails to do things for you regularly, he probably does more “for you” than anyone else. He may take this to mean he’s doing enough.
  5. Passive Aggressiveness. He’s upset with you about something else, and saying no to what you want is his way of getting back at you. He may or may not be aware he’s doing this.
  6. Family of origin issues. My parents expected an unreasonable level of neatness from me when I was young, and I rebelled by being messy. When I got married I continued in that, hurting my wonderful wife. Only when I understood what I was doing and why was I able to change. I’ll never be a neat-nick, but I’ve attained a reasonable level of order. 
  7. Bad time management. It’s easy to give so much time to others he doesn’t have enough time for his family and what needs to be done at home. This is usually coupled with one or more of the above.

If you can identify the reasons or reasons for his neglecting you and what you need him to do, it may help you motivate change. 

~ Paul – I’m XY, and living in an RV makes the honey-do list much shorter!

Must Read Post: Ladies, here’s the surprising reason why your husband cried at that Tom Hanks scene and you didn’t | Shaunti Feldhahn 

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10 Comments on “Why He Put Others Ahead of You

  1. You missed a big one, in my opinion. Sometimes at home he gets grief rather than praise. (“It took two years but he finally fixed the fence!” is not a compliment.) Maybe he’s doing things for others because they are appreciative. We all need feel-goods to keep our spirits up.
    K recently posted…Lenten Challenge: Luke 1My Profile

    • @K – Yes, I did miss that. Although expecting praise for something way overdue is asking a bit much. But I see men who get no praise even if they go above and beyond.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Grown-up and Loving It!My Profile

  2. I agree with Kendra – if he’s never appreciated he’ll look for it elsewhere. Another big issue is for those in a sexless marriage. After repeatedly being told no in that department, we too feel used (you just want me for my money, so I can do this/that, etc). While my own attitude admittedly may be wrong, if I’m not married in the bedroom why should I be married outside of it? So we put more time into work, business, church activies, etc… anything to keep us from being reminded how pathetic our marriage is, how much our marriage is NOT how God intended it to be.

    • When I was starving in my marriage, I still did what was requested of me. I still put in effort. I still washed his clothes, brought him coffee, massages his back, prepped his shower, made his meals, woke up before him to see him off to work, greeted him at the door when he came home.

      Marriage lack on his end did not excuse marriage lack on my end. Sure, I had days where I just couldn’t and gave myself time off from serving. But, I would feel the nudge to continue in my conscience and continue again.

    • @Starving in CO – This could be the passive aggressive approach to dealing with a lack of sex. It can also be a very human reaction to feeling taken for granted.
      Of course some women don’t have any interest in sex because they feel their husband only wants to be married in the bedroom. I’m not calling you that, but it does happen.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Grown-up and Loving It!My Profile

  3. Maybe it’s not always true, but I have found a huge difference between being a working woman who made more money than he did and staying at home. I will go back to work as soon as I can. We used to be a partnership. Now, he does me “favors” – with conditions and complains if the gratitude expressed is not sufficient. There are few things that seem to kill a man’s respect more than having a stay-at-home wife. The happiest I ever was during our marriage, when he treated me like a queen, was for a few months – when he was unemployed.

    • I think that depends on how he feels about his wife’s position. If he is a man who greatly supports stay-at-home wife or motherhood, I think he is more likely to treat her fairly. But, if he wishes she had a job and resents her staying home, he is more likely to treat her as you describe.

      This is a shame because we are to do what is right and loving despite the circumstances. If it is agreed (or not helped…like a lay off or maternity leave) that the wife stays home, he has no business becoming less of a husband for it. I am MORE busy at home than I am working. Having a 40 hour work week and coming home to someone who has taken care of everything else sounds like a freaking vacation to me!! I get up before 5 am and often don’t stop until 10-11 pm except for snippet breaks here and there throughout the day.

      • @libl – I’ve always seen our marriage and family as a team effort. Making an income is important, but it’s not the only thing needed.
        You’d think this would have been a non-issue in the past when most women stayed at home, but it was not. I think most men thought they were more important because they made the money. But maybe that had more to do with how men felt about women in general.
        Paul Byerly recently posted…Grown-up and Loving It!My Profile

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