Book Review: The Lazy Husband -- How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework
I've had a long fascination with books like The Second Shift, Taxing Women, and A Housekeeper is Better than a Divorce, but was always frustrated that the books held no anwers to the question, "How can I get my husband to do more around the house?" So when I saw The Lazy Husband I couldn't resist.
The book is written by a male psychologist who confesses that he once was a lazy husband who was dragged into contributing more on the homefront by a wife who just wasn't going to put up with it anymore. He does a great job of presenting the male point of view, laying out techniques for changing the balance of work in your marriage, and remaining realistic about the process and what can be accomplished.
The chapter on "Creating Change" begins,"It's important to think strategically if you're going to get your husband to stop being lazy." It has a "how-to" section on each of the following strategies:
- Appeal to his sense of fair play
- Suggest that changing his behavior will benefit him in some way
- Cash in on a favor
- Show him how much you're contributing
- Disclose how unhappy you are with the current arrangement
- Work with his priorities
- Consider eliminating some of the chores
- Make trades
- Improve your bargaining position
Along the way, the book also encourages you to consider how you may be contributing to the problem by too high standards, gatekeeping, or your approach to requesting help.
Another chapter, "It's a Personality Thing" analyzes common personality types and how to create change with them:
- The Boy-Husband
- The Worried Wife
- The Worried Husband
- The Perfectionistic Wife
- The Perfectionistic Husband
- The Angry Husband
- The Angry Wife
Overall, I highly recommend the book. It has well thought out, realistic, sensible advice from a man who has lived the tranformation and become a better husband as a result.