About Him · Discipline

House Husband: Setting Expectations With a Written Agreement

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 While this is clearly an outdated assumption, it is still an implied expectation that is very much present in our society.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.

Overcoming Challenges

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?

Set Expectations

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.

Socialization

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:

  • Hygiene
    It is expected that you will be showered and dressed by 8am daily for the purposes of completing household tasks.
  • Sleep
    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.
  • Laundry
    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.
  • Cleaning
    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.
  • Gardening
    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.
  • Children
    All errands, childcare transportation, soccer practice, meals must be completed at their expected times. Children should be bathed and ready for bed before dinner.
  • Appointments
    Doctors appointments, car repair, house maintenance will all be managed and attended to.
  • Meals
    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.
  • Finances
    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.
  • Drinking
    Habitual drunkenness is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
  • Drug Usage
    Usage of illegal drugs during the day will not be tolerated.
  • Diet
    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.
  • Exercise
    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.
  • Friendships
    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.
  • Masturbation
    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!

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jd

Emma and all, 

Happy New Year!

I think that this is an interesting post, which I presume is meant to be more provocative and eccentric than normative like other earlier posts that espouse the virtues of male orgasm control as a means of creating greater bonding and intimacy for couples (which despite the absence of first-hand experience I believe have some universal validity given different physiologies of male and female pleasure and orgasm).

I approach the topic as someone who could enjoy be “kept” in a variety of ways that might be construed, would be happy to serve my wife and her friends at a social gathering and would find a kinky delight in posing for a little drawing or painting session that they might (but certainly won’t) engineer.

I find the first 2/3 of the post to be an interesting exploration of a set of problems that couples are encountering all around us. I think, though, that I would resist setting the stage with reference to the “traditional household model” which, whether it every truly existed in modern society, was deeply flawed from the start. I don’t think that anyone would argue that we descend do from a people like those of Lake Wobegon, where all the men were alphas and successful breadwinners and all the women docile and submissive wives. Right? I mean there might have been one or two families in my neighborhood where I grew up in the 60s and 70s who appeared to embody this successfully but the remainder struggled to eke out meaningful lives despite what social expectations may have been present for them, or they divorced or drank too much etc. I don’t think that I’m articulating anything contrary to what you’ve laid out Emma, I’m just saying that the “traditional model” if established in the past was never successful for many, both men and women. And if there was an implicit contract in that traditional household model it presumed, probably wrongly, that his take home pay could cover the family’s housing costs, health care costs, transportation and education expenses and purchase 14-16 hours of her expert domestic labor as cook, housekeeper, childcare worker, tutor, domestic engineer, executive logistics planning and gardening, and still provide some excess as to have earned him his slippers, and evening paper when he returned home for the evening, a cocktail, dinner and perhaps sex. For it to all add up her work had to be undervalued. She had to either buy in to the low value of her work of feeling that she had no other option.  This arrangement seems preposterous when I reflect on it from the perspective of 2021 and would be wary of trying export that failed contract from the 50s and 60s, switch the roles and some pronouns and try to use it now expecting a different result in terms of happiness and tranquility. I have read about these domestic contracts existing and have assumed that if they do exist they are the product of fairly rarified, advanced and committed D/s relationships. It seems to me that the Venn diagram depicting intersection of couples ripe for this kind of post-nupt D/s agreement and those whose employment circumstances are being disrupted by either the pandemic or other adverse economic forces is a fairly narrow slice of a big pie.

I would agree that women might find themselves having to defend their stay home husbands and those that do so should be celebrated and those that redirect their embarrassment back at their husbands as resentment should be viewed suspiciously. I realize that men look at porn and men masturbate and that less of both would be good in many ways and that you Emma have laid out for us various generally thoughtful ways in which women can help make their men better men, better spouses and better lovers by taking a more active and confident role in their shared sex lives and in a man’s relationship with his penis, but I guess I want to resist the idea that without work in the public space most men will squander their days masturbating, playing video games, and won’t be team players who see the imperative of the domestic work around them at home. I know you Emma didn’t exactly say these things and I don’t want to put words in you mouth but something about the movement in the piece toward a written contract makes me uncomfortable. It codifies the exchange of his performed domestic labor to maintain domestic tranquility, and maintenance of his sexual appeal for her money and the possibility of sexual gratification or fulfillment. Isn’t this just a slightly tweaked replay of the implicit contract in the failed traditional arrangement referenced at the beginning of your blog “where he pays for everything and she in turn provides (domestic labor and) sex. I think that perhaps the difference is that possibly men having their sexuality more controlled and denied might be willing to channel that energy into the various domestic tasks with enthusiasm and with enough teasing be willing to undervalue their domestic labor that they would provide as stipulated in the contract, and perhaps barter less effectively in this sex-bartering system defined in such a contract.

JD 

subhubphx

Good morning Emma. Congratulations on this post. I love it. For whatever it may worth, I believe it is an EXCELLENT place to start and grow for those out in the world that find their lives, their loves and their relationships evolving more and more into the blissful experience of a loving FLR/WLM.

Clearly everybody has their unique dynamics that would define differences from others, or even what you have laid out here, but what you have laid out here is excellent IMHO. Written agreement or not? It’s really not that important. What is important is that there is an agreement. I would tend to agree that a written agreement is more helpful in both people staying focused on what has been determined or agreed upon going forward. Ms. K and I had used written agreements/rules from the outset of our WLM, but later felt that is was no longer necessary or useful as our WLM matured.

In our marriage, I am and have been very much the primary bread winner. Because of the Covid, I’ve been working from home since March. This fact hasn’t changed the bread winner status, but of course meant that I was at home nearly all the time. The Covid was a catalyst for a significant growth in our WLM and the resulting deepening of our love for each. I guess there is a bright side to horrible things as well.

Some time around mid July, Ms. K. openly declared that she will be systematically training me to serve her more and more domestically, in addition to the already established servitude as her submissive husband. As a result, I now am responsible for “most” of the domestic chores, and for making sure her house is clean, welcoming, organized and uncluttered everyday when she arrives home from work. Both of us have never been happier.

Your practicable advice for the changing dynamics, socially and otherwise for a man to become stay-at-home (for whatever reason) are spot on and very much appreciated. For many guys (especially younger guys), feeling as though their masculinity has or is being systematically taken from them, is normal and expected. Especially given the fact that society has taught them that their value in life is closely tied to their perceived and projected level of masculinity. Not toxic masculinity … the good kind of masculinity. Let me tell ya fellas, being a bit of a gray beard in life and having picked up some wisdom along the way, masculinity is as masculinity does.

With experience comes wisdom, with wisdom comes confidence, with confidence comes strength, and with strength, comes happiness in life. Some of these things might seem out of place when talking about a submissive husband or boyfriend in FLR/WLM, especially if he is required to make the bed every day wearing nothing but panties and a butt plug. *grin In fact, the opposite is true. All of them are essential, and this post is a good blueprint for how to get there.

Btw, what a hot picture of the wife/gf encouraging her aproned and naked boy at the sink. You’re pretty good Emma at finding the sneaky hot stuff.

subhubphx

Thanks for that Emma. Much appreciated.

ThePrincess

Hello. I’m Vikter’s wife. I’ve been reading posts as a guest but I decided to create an account today. 🙂

I recently came across an app called OurHome. It’s designed to be a motivational app for kids to do chores with points attached to chores for special rewards.

We made it our own with rewards like Release Day and Fun Spanking. Each household chore/expectation adds up towards a new reward. If a chore isn’t done on time, you can set it to deduct points.

I have daily chores that are expected to be done with lower point values. Then weekly/monthly chores with higher values. I also wrote it all out and put it on the fridge in a calendar format so he can visualize it and see what chores are coming up. He can then plan other tasks like large cooking projects or shopping days. Once communicated, I put shopping trips, etc in the app as a task to be done with points attached.

I am on maternity leave right now. I set some expectations I’d like to see get done that were obviously slipping while I was working. This app will be great once I am back at work because I can check in on him and see what he’s accomplished.

J.S.

I notice that you mention “fun spankings” vs. his discipline spankings. I am sure discipline spankings are both longer and harder than fun ones but are there any other things you do differently to make sure fun time is different than correction?

ThePrincess

We both enjoy spankings. We don’t want to take something we both find sexy and fun, and turn it into a punishment everytime. He may purposely start misbehaving or I’ll find too many errors in his work.

Fun spankings are definitely lighter and there’s more playing and touching involved. It helps increase the excitement. His cheeks turn more of a rosy pink.

He knows when hes getting punished. “You are getting X spanks because…” “Yes Princess. Thank you Princess.” They are harder spanks. I like to use my hairbrush. It makes a great THWAP! sound. His cheeks turn a bright red color. There’s an aftercare cuddle session.

J.S.

You bring up an excellent point about both of you enjoying spankings. I think spankings work best as a punishment when at least one, and preferably both, partners actually enjoy spankings on their own without it being part of a punishment. Then when a punishment is needed the spanking is simply more severe than a “fun” spanking would be and may or may not involve different implements.

mstara

Hi
Well what another thought provoking and interesting blog post.
I’d never really given this issue much thought but as I read there were a number of points that resonated with my own experiences.

Firstly it was the bit about women having to defend their stay at home husbands. We have always both worked, me part time for a while but both full time latterly. But I do have friends where the husband is the home maker and, now that you’ve raised it in my consciousness, I can recall how these women are ‘protective’ of their domestic status. And I must admit that there has been a part of me who has thought that it was a odd arrangement where perhaps the husband wasn’t pulling his weight and was a bit of a failure. Not fair I know, but probably part of my own social conditioning that I have entertained these thoughts.

I have also had a couple of women I know who have been the main bread winner who have gone on to have affairs. One of them had the attitude that as she was doing all the hard work then she was entitled to enjoy the spoils of the status of being the dominant partner in the marriage. He knew that she was seeing someone else but didn’t do anything about it and I think that diminished him even more in her eyes.

Finally it was the bit about keeping him focused. Back last summer my hubby was furloughed, only for a few weeks thankfully, but we didn’t know how long it might have lasted. Making him get up at the same time as I was certainly kept him in a routine and we had discussed a number of jobs that were very overdue that he could tackle while he was nor working. I’m pleased to say that he completed nearly all of them with only one remaining 1/4 undone. The promise was that if he’d did well that week I would reward him with an edging session, of course if he didn’t then he would go un teased. It really did seem to give him the motivation to crack on with the jobs.

As a really final postscript, in the early days we tried a chastity contract. We wrote out all sorts of terms and conditions about frequency of teasing, what I would wear, when he should do etc. I have to be honest that it only lasted about a month and a half before it was forgotten and we settled into a kind of routine that has morphed over time.

servant

(Google Translate)
Thank you for this article, again, very interesting.

That women should stand up for husbands who stay at home, that doesn’t surprise me. The world is not ready, although things are changing. It’s up to us to make them evolve a little faster.

The idea of ​​a contract is interesting because it makes us think about its advantages and disadvantages.

The contract makes it possible to sit down and reflect together on what is desired and what is possible. Things are written and the expectations are clear. It’s best for everyone.

In the contract offered to us here, I like the maternal side. “We will learn to keep the house”. And the pedagogy is positive. If tasks are done, there are points that lead to rewards, if there are delays, points are lost.
We can therefore imagine that the submissive, in principle, has no rights but privileges. Watching TV, resting, going out, eating what he likes, having hugs or having fun, it must be earned through work.
Positive reinforcement learning.

We could have the same contract but with negative reinforcement through punishments.
More in a domestic worker contract style.
Either the punishments are light and kinky and it’s playful and gives pleasure (positive reinforcement), or the punishments are real and feared and it’s negative reinforcement.

The contract can be interesting to start. It offers a framework. But it does have a downside, and that is that it requires precise control. Every task done must be checked. It’s a real job for the Mistress.

In the model, role reversal, 50s bride style. Household chores are not contracted out. The contract is tacit. The submissive is supposed to know him and have integrated him.
Control there is always, but it is more general.
The work is done but not to receive a reward or to avoid punishment but for love. love to serve the person you love.
This is a higher level of maturity.

Headtrip

Another great and thought provoking blog, Emma. Reading the 1st portion made me reflect on my failed marriage and if I could have done more to prevent the depression that sets in for the stay at home spouse (regardless of gender). It should be mandatory reading for any couple in a one-career relationship. As an aside, I think most traditional relationships today find the working partner does far more than just go to work, I know I sure did. But I was way too busy to appreciate the lack of self worth that set in for her.

I really wish we would have talked through everything you point out, Emma, but I still have problems digesting the written contract thing. Would a stay at home wife accept a written “agreement”? The only way I would accept one is if she had a lock on my privates.

Oops! Unfair!!!

goldilocks

Emma,

A thought provoking post indeed. Well done!

For some reason, we both find that written agreements are not our cup of tea. We feel it is needed when there is a lot of scope for misunderstandings between couples. If one is able to adapt and adjust to one’s partner then all the points covered in the above agreement will gradually materialize on their own with just one principle –respect your partner and honour his or her wishes. A written agreement seems like a set of training wheels which spoon feeds the partners each others’ expectations rather than challenging them to figure it out on their own.