Dear Dads: What are you DOING in there?

“I’ll help you fold the laundry – just let me use the restroom first.”

These words send a shiver of annoyance and fear down my spine. On the surface, it seems like a very innocuous – even helpful – statement. But I know that there are several of you who understand how loaded these words are (no pun intended – I swear).

You see, my husband means to be helpful. The sentiment is there – but the reality? Well, thirty minutes pass as the load of laundry is folded and put away … and he’s still in the restroom.

Why, please someone tell me why, does it take men 30+ minutes to use the bathroom?

But like, seriously. Why? At first I was concerned that this was a health issue. I mean surely spending more than 30 minutes in the bathroom cannot be a sign of a healthy system. But the way he swaggers out cool as a cucumber, clearly this is not the case. Spending a half an hour on the toilet is enough time to make your insides go completely outside. And yet … he seems perfectly fine.

I ask him, “oh – are you alright? Does your tummy hurt?” He looks nonplussed as he answers, “No, why?” WHY? Why? Because you have literally spent nearly HALF A MOVIE’S length of time on the toilet.

His timing is also very convenient and thus suspect.

While he has plenty of time to use the restroom, he always seems to need to go urgently right when I or the kids need something. His go-to line, “Yes – just let me use the restroom first.” And that particular phrasing makes it impossible for me to argue or say no. He is agreeable and on the surface this seems like a very reasonable request. It’s one of our more basic needs. He’s not asking for the moon – he just wants to potty.

And yet …

It does not escape me that his time in the bathroom increased and directly correlated to the following things:

  • The invention of the smartphone
  • The rise of social media platforms
  • The number of children we have

Oh, yeah. I’ve done the math.

In fact, during the course of our marriage, I think it would be a conservative estimate to say that he has spent half a year sitting on the toilet. The majority of that time likely accumulated after 2012 when our first child was born.

But it’s the bathroom. Where do we go from here?

I can’t stop him from using the restroom. And I’m sure as heck not going to start reminding him to go like one of our kids so we don’t bump into a need to go right when one of us requests his assistance.

One friend suggested a squatty potty. This seems like a great idea – I was prepared to get one for every toilet in the house. But then another friend burst my bubble when she said she tried that and no dice. If anything, it may make him more comfortable. That is not the game we are playing here, my friends.  

And speaking of comfort – I once tried to give him a taste of his own medicine. I went to the restroom and made a concerted effort to spend as much time as possible in there for a “break.”

Yes – sitting on a toilet alone feels like a luxury that I fear I may never be able to afford.

In fact, I can’t. I couldn’t even last 5 solid minutes. My bottom fell asleep and I got insanely bored – even with my phone.

Another friend suggested cutting off the internet after a certain amount of time. This can probably work for many of you – but unfortunately, he’s outsmarted me on this one because we have unlimited data on our phones.

Ultimately, in the grand scheme of life, this prolonged trip to the bathroom doesn’t really bother me. It is definitely annoying when you have small kids that need things constantly – and right when you need your partner the most, they disappear for an inordinate amount of time. And it continues to mystify me every time it happens – what are you doing in there? What can possibly take so long? Why does every single dad I know do this?

And the worst part? I know I’ll never get an answer. And maybe I’m not supposed to. Maybe this is one of those “the less you know, the better” type things that keeps the mystery alive in a marriage.

Yeah. That’s it …


  1. OMG I could have written this! WHY WHY WHY!?!?!?! PLUS, he’s mystified how I go to the bathroom so quickly – you know, anything less than 20 minutes. ARRRGGG! Thanks for writing this hilariously honest post that every woman will identify with!! 🙂

  2. The reason:
    It actually takes that long, and if you pay attention you’ll figure out it’s about the same time every day, plus if you push to hard you’ll get hemorrhoids (I think, I’ve never actually tested that last one)

    Most men try not to go at work as that is considered “stealing company time”.

    As far as it always seems to be when you need him most?
    Sorry girls, the kids and you just constantly need him, and that’s why you picked him.
    Because dependability means something.

  3. It’s because we need time to our selves because you girls stop putting out and we still have a sex drive and we need time to handle things. There is clearly an answer to this. Sometimes we get fought doing other stuff on the phone and never get around to it. How do you not see this. Handle shit in the bed and we will spend more time helping out.

    • Wow. Your wife is a very lucky woman. Here’s a hint… If you weren’t in the bathroom showing her you don’t care about her by doing this several times a day and actually helped around the home you live in, she may just find you a little more attractive and have enough energy to touch you at the end of the day (although if your looks are as repulsive as your attitude and the way you’re clearly comfortable speaking to women, I doubt that). And how do you not see this?

    • Yeah that is a load of crap. You are blaming an issue with your own relationship as the reason all men do this. My husband does this and I have a much higher and kinkier sex drive than him. I am literally game to sex anytime he asks and will do pretty much anything he wants in bed, yet he still hangs out in the crapper for way too long when we have stuff to do. If I ask him to leave his phone before going in, he poops and comes out in a normal amount of time so clearly it is the phone and not the need to masturbate or the need for me time.

      Doing his portion of the work that needs to be done around the house when he is home is his responsibility. We both have work we do during the day, his is going to a job, mine is homeschooling our 5 kids and dealing with the house and food and chores during the day. When he is home it is only fair it is 50-50. Taking hours in the crapper is a cop out for being lazy. Do your part of the chores and when we are done we can both relax together. And maybe have some of that sex you are talking about (hint, if you take care of your wifes sexual pleasure completely instead of just worrying about your own she might be more into you, communicate and get her to tell you exactly what feels good. This is why my hubby gets so much, he is totally into figuring out exactly what I need to get off numerous times in numerous ways, it turns him on, and I am thrilled to reciprocate).

  4. Wow, to the fellas responding to this. Grade A husbands, let me tell you. Moms would like time alone, too, and I probably have a higher sex drive than my husband and he still does this. Except, I do ask, and I do know. Shoot, half the time I can hear the video (news, usually, or movie trailers) he’s watching. It’s time to hinself and that’s fine – but not when I’ve just asked for help, which we’ve discussed like adults so that it no longer happens at that time. Be a freaking adult and help out with the house you’ve helped to dirty, the kids you helped to conceive, and hey, maybe your wife won’t be exhausted and touched out the next time you want something. What a thought.


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