Husband takes ‘me time’ but won’t give it

A husband frequently asks for alone time because of the demands of his job, but declines to reciprocate when his wife needs a break. There are several solutions, including hiring a babysitter, Carolyn Hax notes.



October 20, 2022 - 2:56 PM

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Dear Carolyn: My husband has a very demanding job. I stay home with our three very young kids and do some work from home as well. We somewhat split chores as far as meals and dishes, etc., although I do all the major cleaning, shopping, laundry and the bulk of the child care.

Several times per week, he’ll “ask” whether he can go play his favorite sport with his friends. This nearly always means it has already been planned (sometimes by him) and he’s letting me know. This generally means I get to bring all the kids to one child’s practice, or get all three in bed by myself — all things I do regularly anyway because of his work schedule, but things that are much easier with his help. I call these games “me time” for him, and he calls it “exercise,” so it’s something he “has to do to stay healthy.” (Eye roll.)

My problem is that it is never, ever reciprocated. Any two-hour time frame with my friends requires weeks of planning. He says he can’t take the time to give me that kind of break because he’s working, “helping” at home and fitting in family time, and I should just hire a babysitter for any free time I want.

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