Dear Holly,
I have a significant issue that I wouldn’t mind hearing your thoughts on. I’m a stay-at-home mom of three small children and another on the way. My husband and I have struggles in our relationship so it’s not always a peaceful existence. My husband is emphatic that the problems in our marriage are completely my fault – I’ve heard those specific words a number of times.

At present, I have family close by and I can leave my kids with them once a week to go for lunch on my own and then do whatever shopping or errands need doing, almost exclusively for the household, rarely for myself. My husband disagrees with this use of my time. He thinks I should take the kids with me on any errands and stay home to get stuff done because so much could be accomplished without the kids here. And to go out to a restaurant? Wasteful and selfish. He’d never do it. When my relatives are away, fairly regularly, that’s it – I don’t get out. Hubby won’t step in to watch the kids so I can have a break. My problem is, we are planning on moving and I won’t have family to help me. I’ve talked to my husband about the possibility of a mother’s day out every second week when we move and he says no. He says it’s selfish and a mom should want to be with her kids. He is always telling me what ‘other women’ do, and holding them up as an example to me.

I feel at the end of my rope with all of this: unrespected, unappreciated, no freedom, no support. I told him I feel like a single mom sometimes. Then I yelled at him, said a few uncomplimentary things and left the room. I’ve turned rather shrewish with him, which is really not like me. I encourage him to do what’s good for him: balanced work, exercise, time for himself. He doesn’t necessarily take advantage of it, but the ability and freedom is there if he so chooses. Any suggestions?