The role of staying home to take care of the household is nothing new and the role itself is gender neutral but traditionally female. After posting my interview with Vikter, a stay at home dad I received more than a few inquiries from both men and women. Men were fascinated by the role and the unanticipated relationship consequences that came along with taking a stereotypically female role. Women had many of the same concerns but expressed a fear that their spouse may sit around and do nothing all day.
With a Covid-19, many households have gone down to a single income and things are a bit tighter. Paying for a housecleaner, gardener and other luxuries are a thing of the past for some families. That isn’t to say that families hurting for cash are the only ones going through this sort of transition. For those who remain employed, the demand of a Zoom based telecommute workforce with constantly compounding expectations is causing some families to reevaluate their careers and make a conscious shift.
In this blog I hope to go through some concerns presented by both genders and outline a written agreement that you and your partner can sign if you decide to move forward and take this step together. Let’s start by going over the pitfalls of this kind of relationship and then we can talk about how you can successfully navigate the challenges together.
Divorce & Loss of Sexual Interest
In the traditional household model, the man pays for everything and in turn; the wife gives him sex. While this is clearly an outdated assumption, it is still an implied expectation that is very much present in our society. The concern among men is that the inverse might also be true. When she pays for everything, he doesn’t contribute to the family and therefore does not earn sex. Let’s get to the root of the concern, he is worried that a transition to the home may result in his sexual needs not being met.
Some of this also ties directly to traits that we generally use to determine how attracted we are to someone. Women as a general rule will typically gravitate to more outgoing and “manly” men. The perception of his more female household role is something that you will need to work together to overcome. Ask yourself honestly – Do you think you would still be able to find a stay at home dad spouse sexually appealing? However you answer isn’t a reflection on you, it is simply a reflection on how you are wired. If your answer is no, I would most assuredly not go down this path.
It is no secret that a family with a male homemaker has a much higher divorce rate. In most cases, the woman typically builds up a level of resentment over 12 to 18 months before getting to a breaking point. This typically manifests itself in resentment which leads to a lack of sexual interest. The lack of sex is often accurately perceived lack of respect. This slippery slope is a self perpetuating cycle that often ends in needs not being met and ultimately separation or divorce.
Social Stigma, Loneliness & Depression
In social settings and conversation, women often find themselves having to defend their stay at home husband in ways that wouldn’t be perceived as necessary for a woman. The woman can find this embarrassing and redirect or project this as resentment back at the husband.
Stay at home spouse depression is a real thing! All of us, men included are likely to define ourselves by their work. Men especially can find the homemaker role to be emasculating among their peer group. This fear of facing peers, can cause some men to isolate from their friends. Isolation and loss of workplace identity can lead to being overwhelmed by a seemingly unending to-do list.
I’ve outlined a slew of reasons that might make you reconsider making such a massive shift in your relationship. This is a change that will almost certainly upset the dynamic that you’ve grown accustomed to. What sort of rules can you put in place before making a shift to help prevent resentment? What can you do to ensure that he feels sexy, respected and desired?
Setting realistic expectations is key to ensuring that you respect him and his contributions to the household. Switching between so many roles such as house cleaning, gardening, meal preparation, childcare, pets, laundry and childcare. With children in many schools attending via remote learning at the time of this writing, teacher is another role to add to the list. All of this while ensuring that he still spends quality time with you. It can all seem daunting and all of this without bringing in a paycheck. So how can you ensure that all of the above happen? The key is creating a good schedule to help him stay on task and to prevent the housework from piling up. Staying at home also has physical consequences due to lack of exercise and accessibility of poor diet choices. I highly recommend that you agree on a diet and scheduled amount of physical exercise to keep his body and mind sharp. After all, it is hard to be mad at a toned and muscular dad-bod for long.
Give Feedback & Let It Go
Don’t micromanage or nag him. Simply agree on a task list and allow him to complete that list in the manner and order that he pleases. If you can contribute a method that might make him more efficient, contribute sparingly. Remember that this can be seen as critical. If something isn’t completely finished or is otherwise imperfect, take a deep breath and use that time to be thankful for his contributions rather than critical of his efforts.
That said, provide feedback on his work. Review his task list regularly and give him positive feedback where deserved. If certain tasks need improvement, withhold positive feedback and add the task to tomorrow’s tasks with clear instructions about expectations.
Encourage him to maintain and cultivate friendships outside the home. We are social creatures and his social interactions outside the home will keep his mood uplifted and help him normalize his role amongst his peer group. From a very young age, relationships and attachment is built upon the telling of stories. As we grow into adulthood, storytelling helps us build essential relationship bonds. The stories he gathers at home will be far less interesting to both of you so you might as well get some good stories to listen to. During all of this, take time for yourself! As the primary breadwinner, there is pressure on you that might make you feel overwhelmed. It is important that you keep the same social circle and do many of the same things you are attempting to cultivate in your husband.
Make Him Feel Desired
Feeling sexy and keeping the flame alive is key in any relationship but is essential in a relationship such as this. You may need to keep this front of mind and make an intentional effort to make him feel loved, appreciated, desired and respected. There is no one-size-fits-all here but being sexually assertive and allowing him to take a more passive role is key. This will make him feel pursued and desired. This isn’t a perfect fit for all guys but when you find things that resonate with him, keep it up!
One of the things that can get in the way of the household chore list is motivation. An unmotivated guy can slide slowly into a depressive state. Manipulating his sex drive is a great way to keep him feeling desired while revving up the motivation. If left alone, men often resort to masturbation and porn. It doesn’t take long before this hijacks communication and other tenets of your relationship.
Gender discussion aside, the role of homemaker has an implied level of submission. Women who become stay at home moms usually don’t have a problem shifting to a more submissive role. I should note that this isn’t necessarily the case and and some readers of this site rule their roost and operate their female led relationships as homemakers.
Managing his ejaculations with can help fight complacency and battle the desire to masturbate. Some couples use the honor system and forbid masturbation completely. Other couples require permission to masturbate, a quick text message before setting off to do the deed. Still others utilize a male chastity device to prevent access to his magic wand. A chastity device is a wonderful way to work with our partner to manipulate the hormonal balance in his body. Working together to manage ejaculations is key to keep motivation strong. Pegging is another interesting way to allow him to explore his submissive side while at the same time embracing your dominant side. Physically accepting sexual submission will help him learn his submissive side. The sheer amount of dominance from the moment I put on the strap-on is incredible. I don’t think there is any substitute for the way it feels. Being in control is an enormous turn on which may help you learn to be more fluid about the societal gender roles.
Teasing is the icing on the cake of every healthy relationship. Sending him sexually dominant texts about taking him from behind, locking him up or making him do other exciting teasing fantasies is an absolute blast. Light humiliation is also very titivating to many guys. Teasing is the flame that keeps the spark lit and I highly recommend it.
A Written Agreement
Writing down goals and expectations is the best way to ensure that you reach your goals. While this isn’t a legally binding contract, its intention is to set expectations for your house husband. Here is an example of some things that you might include on your written agreement.
The wife shall be the person who works outside the home primarily so long as she is able. So long as the wife is the party who is the primary provider of income into the home, the husband shall be the person primarily responsible for the items below:
It is expected that you will be showered and dressed by 8am daily for the purposes of completing household tasks.
It is expected that you are showered, in bed and reading or asleep no later than 10pm every night.
- Body Hair
You will shave your facial hair daily and you will get haircuts no less than once per month.
A weekly schedule for laundry should be set and laundry for husband, wife and children should be completed on laundry days. Any laundry shall be folded and put away neatly by 5pm on the same day.
Household cleaning including vacuuming, bathrooms, mopping must be done no less than once per week on a set day that should be on the household chore calendar.
- Working From Home
On days where I am working from home, I should not be interrupted for any reason. If you must contact me, please do it by text message and I will respond when convenient. You should only call me or enter our home office if there is an emergency.
- Screen Time
Video games and television are allowed but are expected to be used minimally when you are taking breaks. If you have excessive downtime, you should approach me for new special projects. Television may be used in the background as you are doing cleaning or laundry but should not be the primary focus during those times.
The lawn, flowers, trees and shrubs should be maintained in a manner that is no less than the attached photos (include photos) and should be maintained on a weekly basis.
- Special Projects
Home repair and special projects should be outlined and specific start and end dates should be provided. Costs of the items needed should also be included so your debit card can be loaded with the appropriate funds.
All errands, childcare transportation, soccer practice, meals must be completed at their expected times. Children should be bathed and ready for bed before dinner.
Doctors appointments, car repair, house maintenance will all be managed and attended to.
A light breakfast and tea should be prepared no later than 7am on weekdays and 8am on weekends. Dinner should be prepared each night by 6pm unless otherwise agreed upon. Be creative and accept both positive and negative feedback on meals. You and the kids should have a healthy lunch no later than 12pm daily.
I will manage our budget and finances. You will be provided with a debit card which has the amount of your weekly budget plus a weekly stipend to be defined below.
- Weekly Stipend
The weekly stipend is an agreed upon amount of money which may be used for purposes that you deem necessary for your leisure and happiness. Your weekly stipend should not be saved from one week to the next.
Habitual drunkenness is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
- Drug Usage
Usage of illegal drugs during the day will not be tolerated.
A diet shall be maintained with the expectation that your BMI will stay in the normal category as defined by the CDC calculator. If you go into the overweight category, you have 7 days to get back to normal.
It is agreed that at least 1 hour of exercise will be scheduled and completed daily. Multiple hours of exercise in one day cannot carry over to a different day.
You must maintain friendships and regularly socialize with other men doing activities that you enjoy. This should be no less than once per week.
- Oral Sex
It is expected that you will provide oral sex as requested and you should offer to perform oral sex on a regular basis.
- Sexual Chastity
It is expected that you will enter and remain in a chastity device when requested by me. You may not attempt to remove or subvert the device in any way. You may only remove the device if it is causing extreme discomfort or pain using our emergency key and I must be informed immediately.
It is not acceptable to masturbate in any way unless you ask for permission and I grant permission for you to do so.
- Sexual Activity
For those who engage in non-monogamous relationships of any kind, you may want to address the specifics of them here.
Some of these things may not apply to your arrangement and I am sure that I’ve missed some things that are important to you. You may also want to set out some consequences for items that are not completed or rules which might be broken. I wrote a blog about punishment and correction which may be relevant for you. Kev and I have decided to not use spankings and the like but it might make sense for your relationship. If he and I were in this type of relationship and experienced challenges with things being done correctly or timely, it might be something that we would revisit. Do you have any thoughts on the above? Did I miss anything? Leave your comments below!