Post # 1
I’ve often said that the biggest thing my fiance and I fight over is dishes. But, wow, do we fight over dishes (and other housework). My Mom told me today that I need to sit down and talk about this with him before it reaches the boiling point, but it seriously HAS reached a boiling point. I am so fed up with the amount of chores I am doing – I know some people are fine doing more around the house, but I am not. I want to be splitting it 50-50 and it’s been more like 70-30 for awhile now and it is making me LIVID.
So my fiance is a PhD student, works from home most of the time, sets his own schedule most of the time, but has TONS of work to do. Hours and hours. I have an office job and commute daily, but get home at a reasonable time and am done for the day. Because I commute (and drive while he doesn’t really), I do all the errands. Occasionally he comes, but often alone. I cook almost every night and we long ago decided (when he was the one cooking, so this is my fault) that we don’t abide by the one cooks, one cleans rule since we both enjoy cooking (to a point) and hate cleaning.
So I buy the groceries, I cook dinner. We split the dishes. He ALWAYS leaves me the harder to wash dishes – the pots and pans, the greasy bowls from salad. Even the plates, though, he can’t get right. Dishes are put away greasy, with food stuck to them. Once a dish started growing mold! I have to re-do stuff.
I can understand if finals week or when his papers are due, I take care of a little extra. But he swore he would make up for it in the summer when he has more time. He hasn’t, and the semester starts again soon and I just find myself getting more and more upset, to the point where I am nearly violent with rage over something inconsequential.
I’ve seen advice columns on similar things that say that the dish/chore struggle is really a struggle over something else. It’s not – we just both hate chores (and he is super busy and I am super paranoid about being his housekeeper) and this has always been an issue. Has anyone gone through this? Have any advice?
Post # 3
@Entangled: whille you were typing this post, i was arguing with Fiance about the SAME DAMN THING!! Im a social worker so i have a desk job….a draining desk job that involves home visiting bu a desk job nonetheless. Fiance flips burgers and works on cars so his schedule varies ALOT. nonetheless today i came home and he was at a friends house chillin…I left and came home to clean and cook ANNOUNCED that was what i was doing and still….nothing. I dont have a solution for you….but i can definately sympathize cuz we are in the same boat
Are chores really the main source of your disagreements? If so then i wouldnt worry about the whole “its covering up for something else ting” However, if there are other instances in which you feel like he doesnt respect or value your opinion then you guys definatley should have a sit down.
My mom told me that part of the problem with me and Fiance is that ive basically spoiled him. he is used to me working, cooking and cleaning…running errands etc and i need to show him what it is like ti have me not do these things for him to truly understand
I however am slightly too OCD to let household chores go undone for a long enough time to make a difference.
GOOD LUCK feel free to PM me if you just want to vent like i said i TOTALLY understand!
Post # 4
“and I am super paranoid about being his housekeeper”
to me, that sentence screams “other issues”. I feel like you are concerned that he is taking advantage of you (perhaps in other areas as well) and that he doesn’t appreciate you. could this really be the source of the problem?
if you search your feelings and this really is only about the dishes, I have two suggestions. For a while, try washing only the dishes you use (or stop washing them all together) and let him take care of his own. this should only be temporary though until he realizes that he has been doing the same thing. Alternatively you can pick another shared chore and secretly stop doing it until he brings up how frustrated he is that you don’t help.
Also, have you thought about getting a dishwasher?
Post # 5
I hear ya! I have been struggling with my boy for ages on the cleaning thing. We do have the one cooks, one cleans rule for dishes because that works well for us. It is also the only way I can make sure he does ANYTHING around the house!
I was very honest with him a while back and said that I feel like I was his housecleaner and didnt think it was fair because I work longer hours and have more out of the house commitments. I was mad because I was leaving the house an hour before him, going to the gym after work and getting home at 7pm to the dishes not being done from the night before and mess everywhere.
He agreed that he was being super lazy but we also realised he has different definitions of messy. He is never going to think to clean the bathroom, but if he at least puts his laundry on and tidies up after himself I would be a lot happier.
Just be honest with him and tell him you feel like his cleaner half the time and you need him to start doing a bit more.
Post # 6
This is a regular fight in our house, too! But I think I caused it by babying him too much in the past. FI’s mother is a major hoarder (as in worse than some of the people you see on the show), and he never learned how to clean. So, on the off chance he does make an attempt, I usually have to re-do whatever it was so it is up to my standards of clean. Me doing most of the cleaning when we were in a small apartment was fine, but not so much anymore since we bought a house.
He knows it gets on my nerves and tries to make up for it in different ways that kind of even things out. I couldn’t tell you the last time I did laundry or walked the dog because he takes care of that as well as handling most of our finances because I am just bad with money. When his messiness gets really bad though and our living room looks like a frat house on Sunday afternoon, I just tell him, and he usually agrees that he has been lazier/messier than usually and makes more of an effort to to at least be neat about things.
I can’t offer any solutions, but I definately know how you feel!
Post # 7
What works for us is to divide up chores very, very explicitly. As in, I do all the dishes, but he cleans the bedroom. I do the grocery shopping, he does the laundry. We try to make the overall distribution equitable, and by divvying it up this way one person doesn’t creep over time into doing more then his/her fair share.
That said, I’m also a Ph.D. student, and my husband has definitely been doing the grocery shopping for the last few weeks while I try to meet a deadline. But I did the same for him while he was finishing up his degree.
You also need to make sure that you’ve set standards that make sense for both of you–does he just not think the dishes need to be done every day? If so, you need to negotiate standards you can both live with, which might be slightly less clean than you prefer. And you might consider spending money on a dishwasher, a housekeeper, or whatever else makes the problem better.
Post # 8
I don’t have much advice for you because I have not worked FT since getting married. Consequently I feel it’s my job to do all of the household chores to “pick up the slack” for not working FT. Also I notice that it just doesnt bother him if the trash isn’t taken out or the lawn not mowed, and it drives me flippin nuts! But before y’all come down on Darling Husband too much, we are renovating our home and he spends every weekend for about 12 hours a day working on that. Personally I’d rather do dishes than climb on the roof or operate a jackhammer!
Post # 9
Thank you guys for the advice on this. I still don’t quite know what to do but I’ve calmed down a good deal. Unfortunately, getting a dishwasher isn’t currently an option and we do have a housekeeper, but she only comes every three weeks. I couldn’t afford every day which would be needed to get rid of the problem entirely. Oh, that would be nice, though!
@Meowkers: You’re right that there are other issues with my paranoia about this, but they’re unrelated entirely. They’re more gender/gender roles issues – so they’re relevant in that they make me paranoid, but don’t really have anything to do with him appreciating me.
I think we really are going to have to sit down and look at chores and housekeeping as a whole and find a way of splitting it that we’re happier with. I mentioned to him when we came home that the status quo is making me miserable and causing me to nag and yell at him and we need to calmly re-evaluate.
Seriously, just being able to vent with people is really helpful. Thanks for replying.
Post # 10
My fiance & I have a rule: Whoever cooks, does NOT have to do the dishes!
And I always cook, so most of the time my Fiance always washes the dishes. Luckily he hates leaving dishes in the sink just as much as I do, so he starts washing them as soon as we’re done dinner. We have a dishwasher though, so he just has to worry about the pots & pans for the most part.
I do all the grocery shopping, but honestly it doesn’t bother me. I’ve gone grocery shopping with him maybe once or twice, and he drives me NUTS when we go together lol. So I’d rather go alone.
When it comes to other chores, I think it’s pretty even… he always cleans the bathroom, and I do most of the vacuuming & dusting.
Post # 11
I don’t mind doing the dishes BUT I LAID DOWN THE RULES VERY EARLY ON!! I’m an immigrant from a very traditional country so women ‘baby’ their men. It’s just not possible in America. There were times when I was working 80-100 hour weeks. Who has time to come home except to sleep. I asked him nicely and he agreed. He doesn’t cook that well so that was easy. I cook, you do the dishes. I do laundry, you do the bathroom. I shop for groceries, you iron the clothes etc. It’s worked out semi-ok. I still feel I do the majority of work though, time-wise. It takes longer to cook THAN to do dishes but if that’s the best I can do…. I never saw my father wash a plate or boil an egg!