Househusband backlash as high-flying wives ditch men they wanted to stay at home

Househusband backlash as high-flying wives ditch men they wanted to stay at home
Last updated at 09:00 10 July 2007

It’s the bitterest of ironies: thousands of men who’ve given up work to care for their children are being ditched by their high-flying wives - who wanted them to stay at home in the first place

At the time it seemed like a good idea. After all, Richard Dean told himself, he was earning less than his wife Louise, a high-flying marketing executive. And did it really matter who was at home to look after their children?

With that in mind, it was not such a difficult decision for him to give up his career as a manager in the manufacturing industry to look after their ten-month-old son, Jack.

He hoped it would bring them closer together as a family. In reality, it sounded the death knell for their marriage.

“I sensed that Louise was becoming more detached and less interested in me sexually within a year of becoming a househusband,” says Richard, 50. “She was always picking on me for silly little things she said I hadn’t done, like the washing up or not tidying away the toys.

"It was as if she was losing all respect for me, just because I was the one at home, doing the domesworktic duties. Then, one day two years ago, she announced she was leaving me - and taking the children with her. She told me she was going to go and live with her mother 20 miles away. To say I was devastated does not do my feelings justice. It was as if the bottom had fallen out of my world.”

For five years Richard, from Watford, Herts, had worked hard to become a perfect “mother” to their sons, Jack, who is now nine, and Edward, seven. But from the moment he gave up his job, Richard says Louise, 47, failed to see him as a “man”.

The phenomenon of the househusband is an increasingly popular one. The number of men deciding to become househusbands has increased by a staggering 83 per cent since 1993. According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, there are more than 200,000 fathers in the UK choosing to give up their careers and raise their children at home.

But are the couples who go down this domestic route sowing the seeds of marital disharmony? It seems that in many cases the rise of modern career women has had an unexpected - and disastrous - knock-on effect on many husbands who assume the traditionally ‘female’ role.

In short, having a man whose primary function is not as alpha male breadwinner, but domestic drudge just ain’t sexy.

Divorce lawyer Vanessa Lloyd-Platt says that in her experience, the decision to allow the wife to be the main wage earner will have a detrimental effect on as many as half of these relationships, and that divorce statistics in these cases have risen by at least five per cent in the past two years.

“My warning would be to think long and hard about letting the man stay at home,’ she says. 'I know it is very trendy for the wife to be the breadwinner, but in my professional experience this decision will strain the marriage. It may be fun at first to say 'I have a househusband’, but the wife will quickly begin to resent the fact the man is not pulling his weight financially.

"She will think: 'You’re not supporting me’ - within all of us I think there is still a very deep-seated belief that men should be the protectors. A gradual lack of respect begins to eat into the relationship, and it puts men in a very vulnerable position.

JUST IN: Tim Campbell won’t return for House Husbands third series

TIM Campbell has confirmed he won’t be returning for the third season of House Husbands.

In a blog post, Tim wrote:

“In other 2014 announcements, I now won’t be returning to House Husbands next year. The producers have decided at the eleventh hour, that Tom won’t be returning. It was a surprise decision and to be honest, as a fan of the show, I am disappointed that a unique TV family is no more and Tom would leave his partner and children suddenly off screen… Don’t blame me, I’m just the actor! However I do hope this means that they can now write more for Kane who I think it a great character and for Gyton who I have loved working with. Of course I wish all of the cast and crew nothing but the success they deserve in series 3, they have truly been an absolute joy to work with.”

House Husbands will return early 2014 on Channel Nine.

Firass Dirani (John Ibrahim in Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Justin in House Husbands, Charlie in The Combination, Hacksaw Ridge, The Marine, Killer Elite, Pitch Black) and I :DDDDD #FirassDirani #UnderbellyTheGoldenMile #Underbelly #HouseHusbands #TheCombination #HacksawRidge #TheMarine #KillerElite #PitchBlack #AACTA #AACTAAwards (at The Star Event Centre)

How many feminists are marching in protest over this?

When Stay-at-Home Husbands Are Embarrassing to Their Wives
There was big news flash splashed across the front page of Sunday’s New York Times: superachieving moms on Wall Street have househusbands! The article pointed to a tenfold increase (since 1980) in the number of women in finance with stay-at-home spouses, allowing them to achieve success without the distractions of domesticity and child rearing.
That formula shouldn’t surprise anyone. And I don’t doubt the uptick in the number of households where husband and wives are exchanging roles, but this arrangement isn’t really new. The real news is that until recently, no one wanted to admit it.
I’ve been covering the elite echelons of big law firms for over 10 years, and I can tell you that many of the women who make it to the top of the heap often have a man at home who’s shepherding the kids around town, planning the meals, and otherwise keeping the hearth fired up. Indeed, you can go to any number of big firms in New York Citywhere there’s a modicum of female partners (the national average for female equity partners has barely surpassed 16%), and the buzz among the associates is that those women in power are either unattached or married to men who stay at home. “They seem to belong to some sort of househusband club,” said one associate about the female partners with kids at Davis Polk & Wardwell. They just didn’t like to talk about it.
(MORE: Judith Rodin and the Myth of Women ‘Having It All’)
I sensed that reluctance when I did a story on female partners at big Wall Street firms with househusbands a few years ago. Though three couples were happy to speak to me on the record about their arrangement, many more bowed out about going public. “My husband and I talked it over, and we’re not comfortable with the scrutiny,” said one partner.

No one at all? I’m shocked.

I’m sure modern feminists blame the men for this. These women all had guns to their heads by Patriarchs and they were told not to feel good about their househusbands.

It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the inherent dislike that women in general have of men below their socioeconomic station, something that is true of almost every species of life form on Earth, not just humans.