The manual in marriage.


I know, “throw out the manual” is the answer.

But I’m having conflicting thoughts about a particular situation.

I’m someone who’s always been self-sufficient, doesn’t like asking for help, etc. mostly because I have *had* to be self sufficient and people don’t always show up when you ask for help. So I learned how to be driven and successful mostly on my own.

Fast forward to getting married later in life (mid 30s) to someone also mid 30s. Married life worked great because I didn’t really have a manual for my husband. A few years later, baby #1 comes along, great, I can somehow still manage a full time job and a kid. Baby #2 comes along and now I’m having trouble “doing everything” and still staying sane, so I find myself asking for specific help from my husband.

When I ask for help, and he fails to show up or follow through (all of this is new for him too, I get it), how do you not feel disappointed and not reinforce the thought “I should have never asked for help in the first place.”

Throwing out my manual and expectations that the father of my kids will help with their care in the evenings (after we both have worked full time jobs) seems more like I am just reinforcing the thought that I can only ever depend on myself…. And to be honest, I don’t like that thought. I don’t want to think I can only depend on myself in life but throwing out the manual seems to be telling people “don’t expect anything from anyone bc they have free will and can do whatever they want”.

So is the ultimate answer “just depend on yourself only”? How is it ultimately not better to just be on your own then?

Thanks for your help!