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How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  4,719 ratings  ·  749 reviews
"Get this for your pregnant friends, or yourself." --People

Recommended by Nicole Cliffe in Slate

Featured in People Picks
A Red Tricycle Best Baby and Toddler Parenting Book of the year
One of Mother magazine's favorite parenting books of the year

A hilariously candid account of one woman's quest to bring her post-baby marriage back from the brink, with life-changi
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2017)
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Violet Baron Yes!! It's insightful, full of research and thorough reporting with a narrative flow and great humor. Loved it.…moreYes!! It's insightful, full of research and thorough reporting with a narrative flow and great humor. Loved it.(less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  4,719 ratings  ·  749 reviews

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Heidi The Reader
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book gave me so many "ah-ha" moments that after a hundred pages I started to feel like an idiot. Why did I assume that so many of these little "life after baby" marital frustrations had only ever happened to me? How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids made me feel like I was part of a larger group called 'mothers who try to do it all and feel secretly guilty that they can't and wonder how everybody else does it.' What a relief to know it wasn't just me.

Dunn weaves her personal stories in wi
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every mother and mom-to-be
If you only ever read one self-help book let it be this one. It's almost a five for one deal in that the author has painstakingly researched and ferreted out the best of the best in various areas of psychology that is vital for a healthy marriage.

I think that many, if not most women can relate to the cover image of this book. The harried, flustered mother just trying to get by day by day with as much sanity as she started with, while her frustratingly nonchalant husband casually lives life by t
Granted, I'm not the target audience for this book, because I don't hate my husband. It was actually gratifying to read expert advice on how to interact with your spouse and think, "What? Everyone doesn't do that?" But I found the "husbands suck" premise offensive and cliché, and the "make your partner do half the work" message misguided. Your partner only does less than half the work if 1) they're an a-hole, and/or 2) you do more than half the work. The book could have been two sentences long: ...more
Jun 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017, june-2017
Jancee Dunn is a terrible writer who inexplicably thinks she is hilarious, and fills her awful book with *constant* unfunny asides and parenthetical expressions until you want to throw it across the room. This is also known as Heidi Murkoff syndrome. This memoir of two Brooklyn hipsters hiring a team of experts to teach them to parent is just as insufferable as it sounds. And I'm still confused about the title, because when she flies off the handle and calls her husband "useless piece of crap" f ...more
"one of the greatest gifts you can give your child is a loving relationship with your spouse..."
Sometimes, we tend to forget that.

This book was not what I anticipated. I expected a funny, light book and I got a self improvement book. Not that I minded.
I found some of the situations disturbingly exagerated, some having lots in common with (my) real life and some beyond reality (some things just cannot be done).
I am not sure what this book offered me but I would give it to my spouse to read. After
Jess | thegreeneyedreader
3.5 stars - This was pretty good. I thought it would be more comedic than self-help, but it was pretty much a self-help type book with a few laughs at the beginning. I did take some valuable points from it, but it didn’t really help me feel less annoyed with my husband. Meh, maybe I’ll revisit some of the points later.
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: practical-stuff
I have a master's degree in music therapy, which means I've taken quite a number of college level classes on counseling and psychology. In addition to my formal education, for fun I've read books on relationships, marriage, and parenting, in addition to counseling and psychology books for general audiences.

It's not surprising, then, that everything Dunn covers in this book I've heard before. Although there was nothing new for me, I probably would still recommend this book, simply because it bri
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
So, obvious disclaimer: I don't hate my husband. After hearing an interview with the author on a podcast I listen to, and running across the audiobook on my library app, I figured I'd give it a listen to see if I could glean any new tips.

This book would fall into the same category as Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, which a more sarcastic person might describe as "incredibly privileged NYC mom tries to make her dream life even better." 

The premise of this book is that the author realized
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Don't let the title of the book scare you away from reading it; it's wasn't a terrible read. Jancee Dunn did her research and was able to cite several reputable scientists, researchers, therapists and other professionals to discuss many aspects of young family life and relationships. This is by no means a self-help book for the reader, more of a narrative about the author's life.

I found some of her anecdotal narratives to be really harsh, especially toward her husband, that was hard to read. Sh
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting, self-help
This book has been mentioned a lot in a moms FB group I'm in, so I decided to check it out. The unfortunate title (which I assume was chosen by an editor in order to sell books) put me in an awkward position as I tried to explain it to my husband, but as it turns out, the book was less about dealing with a bad husband and more about learning to be a good partner. I honestly took more from it about how I can adjust my own behavior rather than my husband's, and came to the conclusion that my husba ...more
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
Thank u netgalley!! have one of my GR friends, Dana to thank for this. She had written that she needed this book yet wasn't approved for it so after reading the summary I though I would try to request and for some reason got it. I dove in and it was like reading about myself. I have definitely had moments where I did hate my husband but to be fair there were moments before kids. Anyway, she writes verbatim how arguments happen with her husband and they are probably familiar to every couple who h ...more
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs, 2017-wom
This was like visiting an old friend. I began reading Jancee Dunn when she published her first book and have been reading her ever since. Although I do not have kids or a husband (divorced), I found it to be interesting and insightful not only for Jancee's own struggles but as an overall view in conflict resolution. You can apply a lot of the advice, tips and suggestions that she has learned to a relationshp with a roommate, employee, boss, sibling, friend, etc. A lot of it is plain common sense ...more
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I liked this but I still hate my husband so I don't think it offered any useful information. Ha! This was fine - a Gretchen Ruben type of take of improving a marriage once kids arrive. But pretty much the whole time I read it I thought - she is married to a lazy A. So really - this just made me really happy about my own marriage. So there you go. ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Game changer! Every married couple with kids needs this book! I am so happy it was recommended to me! I listened to it on audio but I'm going to buy the print version so I can refer back to it! ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this much more than I expected! I think this book is equally harsh/enlightening for moms AND dads. not gonna lie, the snarky title hooked me into reading this. the irony? I think my husband would find this book so helpful and interesting too, but I don't want him to know I was even reading a book suggesting that I hate him post-kids (I don't). I need to create some decoy "how to not hate your wife after kids" book jacket to slip over top of it, and give it to him for Christmas. ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meh. The anecdotes weren't that relatable for a mom in the MidWest. Lots of statistics thrown out that are pretty common sense. Parts were affirming-- as a mom of 3, married with a full-time job. . ..yea.

Truth be told I didn't finish the book. I got bored with it.

BUT the overall take away for me-- I am thankful for my husband. Even if he drives me bonkers and doesn't do everything I wish he would. But I do have a husband who does help out a lot.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book and immediately started re-reading it from the beginning. As a first-time mom nursing around the clock, so much of this book resonated with me and helped me feel less alone during a desperate couple of months—also kept me from leaving my husband.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Funny, enlightening and filled with practical advice. What's not to like?

I'm absolutely going to have to buy this as a reference book. So many exercises and experiments to try!

It was everything I needed to read right now. Humorous, honest, hopeful.

Highlights include but are not limited to:
* reminder of Brené Brown and divesting from "the story I'm making up"
* "Stop playing the martyr. Just say, 'hey, sweetheart, I want you to know that I just cooked dinner, and you're doing dishes.' If you're in a constant state of Self-Righteous Angry Victim, you're fucked. It's o
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. This book should have been titled "Case study in couples therapy for a marriage between two white, upper-middle-class freelance writers with one child." If you happen to have a very similar personality to the author, with the same stereotype of husband, and one well-behaved elementary school kid, you'll find this book spot-on.

I did find it valuable for the lists of various marriage-improvement techniques and strategies. I'll look into some of them further. But I was disappointed in the lac
Rebecca Schuman
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jancee had me at "computer chess." I have already put many ideas in this book to use in my house, and I am happy to report that I hate my husband close to 100% less. Highly recommended to anyone who feels like their (usually but not always "her") carework ratio is underappreciated and out of whack. Speaking of whack, I did want to reach into my Kindle and strangle Jancee's husband Tom a few times! ...more
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No, I do not have kids. Or a husband just yet. BUT I read this again for Book Club and got something even more out of it this go round as compared with reading it back in 2017. Definitely recommend for anyone living with a partner (especially if they are tight quarters like ours!). The author is very approachable and real, speaking candidly and vulnerably about the issues that she brings to her relationship and how they dive into working through them together.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2017
I thought this was SO excellent. Full review here: ...more
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a amazing so many good lesson and things I did not even think of at all .
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book felt like the authors venting/therapy assignment that has sold due to its catchy title. I prefer the books she references and got more out of those.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great writing. I laughed out loud many times. With that said, I can't recommend it to all of my friends because there is a fair amount of swearing.

This book made me simultaneously grateful that I have a husband who does lots of housework and appalled at the husbands who don't. Probably the part that resonated most with me was the discussion of women who bear the "mental load" of family life. There is a lot of management involved in running a household, and sometimes (most of the time) that aspec
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was like a highly relevant and specifically tailored "getting things done", for me, the stressed out resentful mom person. I was suspicious of the title (I don't hate my husband?) but it was full of relatable anecdotes and validation and research and advice and examples of how the author acted on specific advice and what changed for her family/relationship. ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I chose this book because I thought it would be funny, based on other books I have read by the author. Instead, it was surprisingly helpful and touching. This was a good reminder that there are many small ways to help improve your relationship with your partner. The every day things matter more than the big gestures.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was really funny and a fun read. If nothing else, it was validating and amusing for moms. She's a great writer and I got some good marriage tips, though nothing groundbreaking.

I thought it was interesting that she said researchers have actually found that when subconscious brain activity was measured in men and women, they found that while a baby crying was the #1 sound most likely to wake up a woman, it didn't even figure in the male TOP TEN, lagging behind car alarms and strong wind.
I'm a sucker for titles like this, so I had to give the book a shot. I think the key takeaway here is that in an age of ivy-league preschools and child-prodigies plastered on social media, it is easy to forget that "one of the greatest gifts you can give your child is a loving relationship with your spouse", and this book is definitely aimed to help you in that goal.

Pulling no punches, I think the useful information in this book suffers from the author's perspective in her own marriage and famil
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New York Times bestselling author Jancee Dunn has written five books, among them the rock memoir But Enough About Me and the essay collection Why Is My Mother Getting A Tattoo? And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had To Ask, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Her latest book, How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids, will be out in March 2017. She also writes for many pub ...more

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