Post # 1
But the problem is, sometimes he ACTS like a child!
When I point it out to him, he said “this is how I am. I know/do some things, and I don’t know/do other things, and I never will.” Meaning that it’s up to me to figure those things out, or get them done because he won’t do them.
But then I resent him because I feel like he expects me to be his mom, so I treat him like a child. I find myself talking down to him, nagging him, and getting frustrated with him just as a mother would with a child who is constantly expecting things to be done for them.
He’s taking the “this is how I’ve always been” stance. But I can’t change my resentful feelings. HELP!
Example: He got a new car and still hasn’t received the license plate for it. His temporary paper plate expired 1/23. I keep reminding him to call the dealership, call the DMV, call anyone, but he hasn’t. I’m pissed because he won’t take the initiative to figure it out, and he’s pissed that I keep nagging. I know deep down he’s just waiting until I get frustrated enough to do it myself.
Post # 3
I would just leave him with his unexpired plate and wait for the police to pull him over. Then he can use his own money to pay the ticket for not having a valid license plate. You need to break the cycle of doing things for him or it’s going to be that way forever and you are just going to resent him.
Post # 4
My husband and I went through a period of time where I felt like he wasn’t being responsible and as a result I felt like a mother who was constantly nagging her child to do something.
What I learned was that we both had to change our behaviors. I had to change my perception of him and realize that nagging was not solving anything. Basically, if there was something that needed to be done that he was responsible for, I would remind him once that it needed to be done. After that, it was in his court to choose to follow through or not follow through. The consequences were then his. He pretty quickly realized that I wasn’t going to nag (or do the activity myself just because I was frustrated) and his behavior changed.
Post # 5
Did he ever live alone/with a roommate before moving in with you? (Other than in a college dorm) Because if so, he does know how to do these things, and you need to let him. If he gets a ticket, maybe he’ll figure it out. Just keep reminding yourself “it’s not my problem.”
If it’s something that does affect you, like cleaning, you need to have a heart-to-heart in a calm moment (i.e., not when you’re pissed off because he hasn’t done the dishes in 3 months) and tell him how much you hate feeling like the maid/his mother. That it makes you feel disrespected and resentful, and that is having a real impact on your marriage. Then ask him what solutions he can think of to this problem. In other words, involve him in solving the problem.
Post # 6
He did live alone, which also frustrates me. I know he KNOWS how to take care of himself, but since we’ve been living together, it’s like he’s given up because he knows I’ll just do it.
I’m really going to try to take a step back and let him suffer the consequences, but it’s so difficult. I’m very diligent, and I hate seeing anything fall through the cracks. It keeps me up at night to know that things aren’t getting done.
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2010 - MacLean Park
Why don’t you come up with an arrangement on who does what? Get dishes that are different colors, and you are each responsible for your own things. If you cook, he does the pots/pans if he eats it. If he doesn’t, then you clean it up. Same goes both ways. If he doesn’t want to take care of things, then that’s his problem, not yours. I’d separate all your laundry, and if you have two bathrooms, then choose one for yourself and clean it how you like it. He can deal with his grossness in the other.
If it’s the case that you like the house immaculate, then it’s your responsibility to get it there. By that I mean if you need the house vacuumed every day, dishes never in the sink, everything absolutely sparkling at all times. But keeping a house tidy is something you have every right to expect, and request that your husband/boyfriend/SO participate in. Simple things like keeping common areas clean of clutter, keeping dirty dishes from piling up for days, and no food messes anywhere to keep the bugs and vermin out. I think you need to have a sit-down talk with him about what both of your expectations are.
As far as the other stuff, as long as it doesn’t affect you directly (like the license plate issue, obviously don’t drive his car anytime soon!) you can make him a list where he can easily see it, and let that be his constant reminder. We have a chalkboard fridge, and I write stuff for my husband’s “honey-do” list there. That way, he still knows what needs to get done, but I don’t have to constantly remind him.
Post # 8
You need to let this stuff go. I know, it’s hard–I worry constantly about things and let them keep me up at night. And I always just take care of things myself because I don’t trust anyone else to get them done. But, that’s not a good way to live. It’s kind of miserable. I’ve been in counseling for a while, and this is one of the things we’re working on. The stuff that’s his problem has got to be HIS problem. Don’t take it on. And you really have to remember that he’s a grown man and treat him that way. Let him take care of things. He’s not going to do it the way that you want him to, or in the time frame that you like, but that is his business and his choice. You cannot be his caretaker. You have to respect him enough to let him take care of himself. Really. It’s not easy, but when you start panicking about these things that he’s not doing, you need to take a moment, take some deep breaths, and go focus on something else. Because this is not going to get better as long as you’re taking on all his to-dos and making them your own.
Post # 9
Oh I can relate to this. Here’s an example of how I dealt with it. It’s a tad passive-aggressive but it worked. He told me he’d take the trash out. He didn’t. I mentioned it again that night. Again, he didn’t. He expected me to just do it. Nope. I left it right where it was. It sat there for a WEEK (I was disgusted and REALLY wanting it out of my foyer) but then….he did it. 🙂 He expected a reward (which I laughed at) but he did it. Lol.
Since then, he’s started realizing that I’m not his maid and we’ve had a lot easier time with things like dishes, trash, cleaning. I also let his side of our room junk up and just refuse to go over there. He can complain about not being able to find anything and I’ll just calmly say “If it were in X space, it would be easy to locate.” We’re getting there……
Just letting you know that I’m sure a lot of people have different styles of doing (or not doing) things and that learning to not take on his stuff on top of your own will be hard but it will SO be worth it. I am a lot less stressed, I resent him a lot less and I don’t hate cleaning anymore because I don’t feel like I’m “picking up” after anyone.
Post # 10
@mrsmdphd:Thank you so much for this advice. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. It’s going to be really difficult not doing things for him, but you’re right, he’s a grown man and he will figure it out himself…eventually….hopefully.
As for everyone else, thank you for th advice. We have no problem with household chores, but it’s the bigger things, the “life” things that he has seemed to leave 100% to me. It’s like he just doesn’t think it’s worth his time or brain power.
For insteance, he’s pretty sure he has a cavity, and I’ve given him our dentist’s phone number, but he hasn’t made an appointment. I swear he’s subconsiously thinking “if I point out how my tooth hurts enough, she’ll call and make it for me.” It’s so hard not to just go and do it, but I have to learn to hold myself back. I guess he’ll either figure it out or be in pain. Not my problem!
Post # 11
@CanAmBride: What IS it with men and the doctor appointment phobia?? FI has something wrong with his tooth, he had to go to the ER for pain meds last week. He had been complaining about it for MONTHS! I was like, duhhhhh. He finally has an appointment for this Friday that he made all by himself. 😉
Good luck. It’ll all work out.
Post # 12
I’ll sometimes say, I don’t think that’s a very good idea because________, or that could be unwise. Then he might listen to me or realize I am right. For example, my DH not wanting to continue paying for his car insurance or reup his AAA. He did after I gave him the reasons why. As far as cleaning though I don’t nag. I do a lot of it, but he does pitch in and help when I ask(trash) or even with
out me asking(laundry) because I don’t nag him about the rest of the stuff(like dishes).
My own DH was putting off his doctors appointment for a followup for his knee surgery, and it took months to convince him to go back. But he finally listened, on the honeymoon.
My DH just needs to figure things out on his own with his own thinking, but I often influence. Somehow he realizes I am right on his own, eventually though.
Post # 13
Did you call the dealership?
My FH does some of these things all the time, but if a certain amount of time has elapsed and it isn’t done, then I do it. The consequences are mine also, the money all comes from the same place for tickets. My FH hasn’t done any of the paperwork for his ex’s death, well, rather than let everything just go, I got on the phone, had him sign a power of attorney and took care of it. It is better than listening to him months from now whining that he should have taken care of it. Now, he get to thank me for doing it and he feels really bad that I had to. Sometimes people are just bad at certain things and the other one picks up the slack, I consider it part of working together to better the whole.
Post # 14
@CanAmBride: Think it’s cause his mama always did it for him? UGH–time to grow up, buddy! I agree with PPs–let him get pulled over and let the tooth explode. He’ll learn eventually. But don’t say “I told you so.” Because god forbid you be right. 😉
Post # 15
Yea I agree with others that you cannot nag him forever nor do these kinds of things for him forever.
My husband lived at home and his mother was like this. I am trying very hard not to get in this cycle. Some things that helped us were to ensure that I praise him when he does do something good. Men love positive reinforcement. If he does the laundry, even just his own laundry, make sure to point it out. If he does the dishes, thank him. Things like that go a LONG way. I don’t think my husband minds doing some of those things because he knows it makes me happy. If he was only doing them to stop my nagging, he eventually would stop.
Another things that has helped us to for me to explain why I need his help. When our car needed new plates, I explained, that I could not get to the DMV on my lunch break and it was silly for me to take time off of work to go run that errand when he had time during the day that he could go. Logically working through those things helps.
Post # 16
He knows you’ll do it because you do. Stop doing it and he’ll eventually do it himself. It’s really messed up that he’s taking the passive agressive approach to getting you to do everything for him, so don’t fall for it. If he gets a ticket that’s HIS problem, not yours.