How To Know When To Get Relationship Help

One of my earliest posts for My Mommy Manual was How To Move Past the Nit-Pick.  I have taken my own advice.  There has been a lot of deep breathing, accentuating the positive, and looking toward the long distance.  However, it’s come to a point where I just cannot click and move on.  In fact, there’s been a lot of clicking, but we’re not moving on.  I am stuck with the question of how do I accept another’s shortcomings and still be authentic about what’s not working in our relationship.

My husband and I are at an impasse. We’re not communicating well. We’re not having sex. We can barely have a conversation right now without one of us taking a sassy tone with the other.

I’ve seen other relationships crack under the same pressure. He works too much. I feel over-burdened by having to manage all things related to the house. You know…keeping the house picked up (kids’ toys!), cleaning, laundry (oh the never-ending piles of laundry that need to be washed, folded or simply put away), meal planning and cooking, paying the bills and balancing the checkbook. Then there are our two boys with drop offs and pick-ups, soccer practice, swim class, homework and play dates.  Let’s not forget the trips to the library, Target or whatever other household need there is. I’ve asked Husband to do the dishes after meals that I cook and yes, he has had to put away a load of laundry now and again. He’s complained that he’s doing a lot more around the house and I’m not doing enough. Them are fighting words, Buster Brown.

I’ve started working from home again. I cram 15 hours a week into the 12 or so hours I have when the boys are at daycare or kindergarten. I also volunteer in the classroom twice a month. No wonder I’m not doing as much or as well around the house.

We both feel the strain of little time and too much work.  There is a lack of acknowledgement of each other’s pain because we’re so angry that we can’t get the kind words out past our own annoyance and upset. We’re stewing on our own self-made pot of resentment and isolation. Every attempt of conversation leads to more of the same thing:  frustration, disappointment and dissatisfaction.

It’s time to seek professional help.  I am ready to turn our arguments with each other into a fight for our relationship.  I want us to work, but something has got to change. We can’t go on like this. I knew that signing on for a second marriage and taking the plunge into parenthood would be tough. Now my limits are being tested in ways that they haven’t been before and it’s uncomfortable.

Make no mistake, we’re both in it for the long haul and we both are committed to work this standoff out. We need someone else to hear our stories, to mediate, to show us the path back to love and care for one another. We need the lid to be removed from this pressure cooker and to stir our hearts a bit.

When we’re as stuck as we are and unwilling to budge, it’s time to get help.  We’re seeking counseling.  But can we agree on the practitioner?  Stay tuned…

by Expert Mommy, Jen Hibbits


  1. I think the hardest part of working when the kids are sleeping or at school is exactly what you say here – the myth that on top of getting your work complete ***slipped in sideways in your day*** you are ALSO going to somehow find the time to wash and fold three bins of laundry and clean the kitchen floor.

    Boundaries. Boundaries Boundaries. This is the thing I cling to when working to get through tough times like you mention here… (and we’ve ALL been here or WILL go there… trust me. SO not alone here Jen.) Sounds weird I know, boundaries, but for me it means saying “no!!” to extra things that take my time and energy when I’m feeling the crunch at home with my family… THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT thing in my life (besides my relationship with spirit…) Also helping my relationship with my kids and hubby when I first know my boundaries and then am able to hold them in place. Breathing. Makes my day just that much sweeter and gives me loads more peace in the tough times.

    Hope talking to a third party is helpful for you and your hubby. I find it to be. Check the Yoga Parenting Lesson on Boundaries too. Might give some insight into where you’ve let some slip. (Talking to self here— ever always teaching what I need to know ;0!)

  2. Thanks Suzanne. I’ll definitely check out your site on Boundaries. I do have a saying that I wholeheartedly believe in – there’s enough room here for everyone. And this includes me and the things that nourish me and my soul. Just trying to find my way and still be married (Husband is great, truly!) with children. Thanks for your love and support. **hugs to you too**

  3. Oh, I have soooo been there, Jen. This is probably not what you want to hear but I’ll share it anyway…

    Counseling, at the end of my marriage, did not help save it but was invaluable in allowing us to communicate in a productive way through separation, divorce and now, co-parenting.

    What I have learned and continue to remind myself is just because I am no longer married does not mean I don’t have a relationship with my former spouse. In many ways, it’s the same still and I have to be very conscious about creating a different, better, healthier dynamic between us… if not for myself or for him, for our kids.

    Isn’t that what relationships really are? A way for us to learn more about ourselves. You have an opportunity in front of you. To know yourself and grow yourself through this relationship “impasse” could be a great gift.

  4. I just wanted to say bravo for writing such an open, honest post. Good for you for getting some extra support. You sound like an amazingly thoughtful and feeling woman and mom. I’m cheering you on!

  5. How have I not been reading your previous posts?? Probably because, I’m right THERE WITH YOU! Work 40 hours, housework, kiddo, part-time photography trying to take off. I’m glad you posted this. My hubs has totally been on me about my attitude lately. And it’s like this:

    “Have you considered, HUN, that while your out taking down your tree stands, I’m working 60 hours a week or somewhere there near. And dishes. And sweeping. And baby. And- WHY don’t I want to have sex tonight? BECAUSE I’M FREAKING TIRED OKAY??!!”

    So. Kudos to you! For talking about it. For recognizing the time to take action and not let it go to ruin.

    Lots of love to you!

  6. Thank you Practical Mommy for the love and support. I will always listen to what you have to say even when our outcomes may differ. You are a wise and wonderful woman and I enjoy having you in my life even though it’s virtually.

    Thanks SMS for taking the time to comment. I love cheerleaders!

    Jennspastic – by the name alone we should be friends IRL. Thank you!

    I know I’m not alone and that’s what’s so great about the mommalicious blogging community. cheers ladies!


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