Post # 1
My FI is a wonderful man, and has many amazing qualities. However, I am starting to feel like his mother. I work just as many hours as he does and make the same amount of money. I make sure the kitchen is stocked with food, because he cannot think further than one meal when shopping. I make sure all of our bills get paid on time, and I have basically planned the entire wedding on my own. He forgets to feed his dog and give him medication, so I do it -I cannot let the dog suffer. I ask him several times to do simple tasks like arrange boarding for when we go on vacation, and he forgets. This weekend, we are going to my friend’s wedding and I asked him on Sunday to give me his suit to be dry cleaned. (Apparently thinking of that on his own or going to the dry cleaners was beyond him) This morning, I was late to work because he forgot and I had to dig up his clothes to be dry cleaned. If this was not my friend’s wedding, I really would have let him go with a dirty suit or nothing appropriate. I feel like I take care of so much, and am starting to worry how I will be able to manage once we have kids. His mother does everything for her sons, and this is how it started. His brothers are 28 and 30, and she goes over to their apartments and cleans. The other brothers don’t even have jobs. She pays their rent and bills while they go to school which consists of one class per semester. I have tried to delegate some wedding tasks to my FI, and his mother just does it for him Fortunately, my FI has a great job and is ambitious, and FMIL lives 2000 miles away! He does do laundry and help with cleaning and cooking. I just feel like I have to manage the whole household ensuring all is taken care of and running smoothly. I want him to think of stuff on his own and follow through without me always having to ask and ask. I don’t want to sound like a nag or just end up doing it. I get so angry and frustrated that I don’t want to talk to him. I feel like my life was so much simple when it was just me. I love him, and love spending my life with him. I just need some things taken off my plate Any advice?
Post # 3
Here’s what I do – when its time to do chores, I say "Do you want to do X or Y? I’ll do the other one." That way it’s not a "Will you please do X?" and he can’t say no. 🙂
If he says that he just wants to sit down and relax for a while,that’s fine and I sit down with him, and after a while I say we have X,Y, and Z that need to be done tonight, which one do you want?
If it is things that can get done together, then I say "Do you want to do this now or in an hour (or day, whatever)?"
Hopefully that works for you too!
Post # 4
all things being equal, i think you two need to sit down and write a plan of action (POA) for your household. maybe your FI doesn’t realize that the bathroom doesn’t come with a never-ending roll of tp or that food doesn’t grow in your fridge:-) honestly, chores are one of those things that could easily get taken for granted and overlooked. if you sit down with him and list everything that needs to be done and split it between the two of you, maybe he will come to see how much work is involved in chores. if he still is not up to helping you, mention getting a housekeeper and the price tag that comes with it….maybe then he’ll take action. good luck!
Post # 5
It’s all about habits and habits are hard to change so both of you need to be patient with each other. I have this problem myself.
Set the you guys’ agenda in a corporate manner. Maybe set a time to meet each day or each week, (e.g. when you guys eat dinner together) to talk about what you guys need to do the next day or this coming week or this coming weekend. (plan of record; drop dead deadline, etc). Build up this task-list together. Assign him his list and email him the list. Tell him that both of you will share each other’s progress in the middle of the week (or in the appropriate time) next time you guys meet or talk about a change in the plan of record. I will think that if something appears on a periodic basis (clean bathroom, for e.g.), after several months, he will that drilled to know that that’s a task coming up.
And if he doesn’t do something on the list, then you’ll have the justification to bring it up to him (without feeling guilty about nagging). It’s all business and it’s not about being his mother. It’s about running this household (or business). Good luck!
Post # 6
What works best for me is to ask "Hey babe, are you busy?" He will usually respond with why first. So I tell him-the cat box needs cleaned, or can you help me with the dishes. And unless he’s truly busy (paying bills, work stuff) he will drop what he’s doing and help me.
What Appleblossom said: "If he says that he just wants to sit down and relax for a while,that’s fine and I sit down with him, and after a while I say we have X,Y, and Z that need to be done tonight, which one do you want?" That totally works too!
I do have to add that my fiance lived on his own with no parents and/or SO for over 9 years before I moved in. So he’s used to cooking and cleaning without being asked. But like any guy, he has his lazy moments.
Post # 7
Actually, in our house, it ‘s the hubs who has to coerce me into doing things. He just gives me a rundown, and we have our system, but I need encouragement sometimes.
When it comes to big projects, he entices me. For instance, I am supposed to be cleaning out my closet right now. If I finish that, we will go out to dinner tomorrow. Sometimes, if I do extra laundry, he’ll pick up slack somewher else, or take my kids out for ice cream so I can get a break for a little while.
Sometimes it’s something as little as "do this and I’ll watch that movie I really don’t care to see with you."
But it took a big adjustment for us to get here, and lots of whining on my part, and frustration for him.
Post # 8
Miss Starlet’s comments remind me of an article I read in the NY times about how to "train" your spouse.
Post # 9
You may need to come up with a more organized system for some chores. Maybe create a checklist for the fridge (yeah, I know, it seems childish, but hey — maybe it’ll work!). Write out your meal plans for the week, and maybe create a shopping list like this: http://secret-agent-josephine.com/blog/downloads/SAJs-shopping%20list-ralphs.pdf — this way you have everything all on one list, you can make a list along the side of what recipes you’ll be making, and he can be responsible for finding out what ingredients you need and shopping for them (maybe make it easier the first couple times by checking off what ingredients you need, and letting him learn).
I also like Appleblossom‘s idea of asking him WHICH chore he wants to do, rather than ASKING him to do a certain chore. =)
Post # 10
@pren79… that’s really funny. I’m notorious for losing my keys, and I grew up in San Diego, so I’ve been to the dolphin show probably 30 times! Very interesting! I’ll have to show this to hubby!!
Post # 11
Definitely start by sitting down together. Explain your frustrations as well as your understanding that this is new to him and that you want to find a way that this will work for both of you. Take turns choosing household chores that you want to do. Then decide together on a schedule for each task. Put it in a chart, if necessary. Maybe Tuesdays at 7 he will do the dishes while you do the laundry and Sunday morning he will wash the dog while you mow the lawn. Once he gets more into the habit of doing things it will be easier for him to do them without your reminder.
If he is techy, set up a calendar and have it send him reminders. Mr. and I both use google calendar and use it to keep track of just about everything.
The key though is really going to be communication. He needs to be willing to do something the first time he is asked if he is not going to be able to remember to do it later on his own. And if you approach it as partners instead of as though you are the mom and he is the little kid, you will be more likely to get results.
Post # 12
Sometimes, my FI forgets things, ok he forgets things a lot. I know he really means well but it can get frustrating, and can really make me feel like i’m on overload. So one thing you could try is alarms and lists, if there is something my FI really needs to remember I tell him it’s super important. Than he puts an alarm on his phone on for the time he’s planning on doing it, with a little note that explains what he needs to do. This has helped so so much, he still forgets things, but he’s trying so hard and the reminders help keep him on track. Maybe you could set up a calander or something for him to look at every day, and fill it with daily things that need to be done, and use different colored pens for priority. If the dry cleaning was really important write in red and if he’s supposed to load dishwasher, write in black, not such a huge task. This might help him understand how the house runs, and all the work that’s involved in keeping it looking nice.
Post # 13
It’s still not great, but a couple things have helped. First, hiring someone to do the stuff neither of us wants to do (e.g. bathroom, mopping, vacuum etc.). I feel like we’re contributing to the economy and no longer fighting about bath tub rings. If that’s not a possibility or not enough (for us it’s not), then another thing that’s helped is being upfront about how I feel about this stuff. which first meant examining what was really bothering me. Yes cleaning up after two people is more than one, but I still used to do it all on my own. And I realized that what bothered me was that he was taking me for granted. If I cook and he doesn’ do the dishes, I interpret it as his not appreciating my effort. After explaining it to him that way, he’s better about things. And in the end, the less I say, the better. I tell him the dishes need to be done. They probably won’t get done when I want them to get done, but if I don’t bring it up several times, he’ll probably do it sooner than if I do. And finally specificity. I honestly don’t understand how he got through the days before…but he did, mostly doing it last minute I guess. So since I want things done beforehand, I have to spell it out for him beforehand. Making lists for him to check off is great. It still feels liket he responsibility is on me to think of everything, but it’s much better for us this way.