I sometimes hear from wives who honestly believe that they are losing their husbands due to a situation that is very difficult to change. Many people believe that if you know why your spouse isn't happy, then the logical thing to do would be to fix the problem causing the unhappiness and then to move on.

But when your spouse is unhappy because of the very act of being married and being part of family life, then the situation becomes a bit more difficult. A wife might say: "Lately, it's become obvious to me that my husband doesn't like the day to day responsibilities that come with marriage. He says that knowing he has to support me overwhelms him. When I ask him to do some upkeep at my mother's house, he acts like I'm asking him to do the impossible. The other day, I mentioned that he did not seem to be very happy lately and he actually admitted that he envied his single friends. He said that the only thing that they have to worry about after work is going home and doing what they enjoy. My response was to wonder why was my husband's life was any different. And his response was: 'I don't enjoy coming home to so many responsibilities. It is like having a second job. And having one job is enough.'  I was angry, so I snapped with a snarky question and I asked my husband what he planned to do about his awful life. His response to me was that he was considering his options. This makes me feel like he's thinking about leaving me, separating, or pursuing a divorce. And I don't know how to negotiate this. I'm not sure there is anything I can do to help him feel less responsible. When we got married, we agreed that I would stay home because one day, we're going to have a family and it doesn't make sense to start something I know I won't finish. My mom is widowed, so my husband is the only man she knows who can help her out."

Putting Yourself In His Shoes: Try To Envision The Weight Of The World On Your Shoulders: I hear this complaint from a lot of unhappy men. I am not saying that their perceptions are correct, but many describe feeling 'the weight of the world' on their shoulders. They feel as though they have to take care of everyone else.  Of course, if you are a mom and / or wife, I'll bet you have this same feeling.  And when you feel this way too, it's kind of hard to sympathize. I find that wives understandably have a tendency to think that their husbands are whiny or selfish about this. We assume that because they are men and have been brought up knowing that they will one day be providers, then they should not complain about this today.

I try to handle this in my own marriage by asking myself how it would feel if I knew that everyone else's financial and physical well - being depended on me? How would I feel to know that my family wouldn't have the necessities - food and shelter - if I didn't provide it? I admit that would feel like tons of pressure and it would probably cause me some anxiety. I'd worry about becoming sick or disabled or disappointing my family.  That's a heavy burden to carry. And when I realize this, then it becomes much easier to sympathize with my husband.

Weighing Your Options / Spreading The Load: I think that there are a couple of things that you might try here. You could just wait and hope that this passes, but I think that this is extremely risky.  Waiting might make it appear that you aren't sympathetic enough to take action or that you don't really care how your husband feels.

The next option is to attempt to show him that he doesn't have all of the crushing responsibilities that he thinks he does. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can pare down your lifestyle to show your husband that being happy doesn't always mean spending money or you can figure out a way to bring in a bit more income to lighten his load. You could also ask other family members to help with your mom or you could hire some things out to also lessen it all falling on your husband's shoulders.

I understand that you both agreed that you would stay home, but I have a good deal of friends who have started small businesses at home. They aren't rich doing this, but many have a nice extra income which helps the household budget tremendously. Perhaps you could ask yourself what you are good at and figure out a way to make a little income using that skill. For example, I have a friend who is so talented in crafts. She has an Etsy shop and she brings in a nice extra income this way. It gives her a creative outlet and it makes her feel good knowing that she helps her family's finances.

Reading Between The Lines Regarding The "Responsibilities" Of Family Life: Finally, ask yourself if this is really about the "responsibilities." It may well be. And I always believe that you should start by taking what your husband says at face value. But sometimes when problems crop up in your marriage, not everyone is honest (or even knowledgable) about the core issue. They may truly believe that they are telling the truth, but there may be other issues at play. Sometimes, when you don't feel connected with your spouse, you pick apart every potential problem. And in reality, once you are reconnected again, you can weather many storms without much problem. My point is, sometimes a husband who is very happy in his marriage doesn't mind the responsibility as much because he is getting a pay off in other areas.

I am not saying that this is always the case. It may not even be a factor here.  But I am just saying that it makes sense to take an honest inventory to make sure that you are addressing what is truly wrong.

This is not a problem that can't be overcome. Remember that everyone wants to feel valued and at peace at home.  If you can take action with this knowledge, things will sometimes get much better.   I wish I had learned this lesson BEFORE my separation instead of after it. It would have saved me so much time and pain. As it was, I had to completely change course to save my marriage. There's more at http://isavedmymarriage.com

Author's Bio: 

There are links to more articles about saving your marriage at http://isavedmymarriage.com