Asked DH to clean up his mess…he got very defensive and petty?

posted 2 years ago in Married Life
Post # 16
Member
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

IMO most men are just plain lazy when it comes to keeping house. I have never seen a clean house or apartment owned by a single man (well at least not “clean” to my standards), my own brothers included.

Post # 17
Member
1246 posts
Bumble bee

Nothing boils my blood like these kind of ‘messy husband’ posts. It is amazing to me that these guys manage to pick up their coffee cups, lunch dishes, etc at WORK but somehow ‘just don’t see the mess’ when they’re at home. You can be sure that their bosses, co workers, etc wouldn’t be dealing with this shit on a daily basis. They would be spoken to about how their personal messiness impacts others in the workplace/ lunch room, etc.

You need a list/ cleaning schedule right away and your husband needs to be directly involved in creating it  and adhering to it. For me…. I could probably deal with a whole lotta difficulty in a relationship before I would be okay in picking up after a man-child for the rest of my life. If you have kids, it’ll teach them that it’s the woman’s JOB to pick up after her husband and that this is perfectly acceptable. 

My husband has always been messier than me (and let’s face it, most of the population is) but I flat out told him that I simply refuse to live in a dirty house and that if  he thought that it was my responsibility to clean up after him- then he’d be living alone. For. Real. I was married before him and divorced that guy- for this reason. 

Every now and again, my husband (and kids) get slack about their cleaning responsibilities and I remind them that because I have a VAGINA, it doesn’t make me better equipped to wipe down the counters, run a load of laundry or pick up after them.

 

 

Post # 18
Member
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

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SmartCookie1 :  Exactly. The last time my husband told me he didn’t “see” the mess I told him he needed to go to the eye doctor and get his damn eyes checked. 

Post # 19
Member
2651 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

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flowerchild45 :  I ‘ve read that article a bunch and I love it.  It’s one of the reasons my first husband and I got divorced.  Same as OP, I knew he was messy when I married him, and I’m definitely not a clean freak by any stretch of the imagination (my now-husband is much neater than me!)….  But cleaning up after a grown man day after day, when he knows full-well how much it would mean to you for him to put in some effort, is demoralizing and builds resentment.  And resentment kills a marriage faster than just about anything.

OP, one thing that helped me with my messy ex was to delineate chores. He was in charge of cleaning the kitchen and doing the dishes.  I was in charge of all laundry and picking up general clutter.  Granted, he would sometimes take a couple days or more to clean his stuff and it would annoy me (silently), but at least it was HIS job to do and I didn’t feel like all the cleaning responsibility was on me. Maybe try that?  But, you have to be able to let him do his chores on his own timeline, within reason.  I was ok with that generally, but again, I’m not a huge clean freak.

Post # 20
Member
7633 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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Dr_dazzle :   I don’t know what it is about boys that their moms just do everything for them. 

Ugh this is so true for a lot of guys in my generation. If I ever have a boy I am determined he will not grow up dependent on women to do basic household chores for him!!

OP, I am sorry you’re dealing with this – I agreee with pp that your husband is acting like a spoiled brat about this. My husband also tends to be a slob…I showed him this article and it finally kinda broke through to him why his slobbish ways bothered me so much: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a12063822/emotional-labor-gender-equality/

Read the article and see if it resonates with you. If so, it might be worth sending that to your husband once things have calmed down and then having a discussion about it. He probably doesn’t realize half the shit you do around the house because you don’t make a huge deal out of it, unlike many men who act like heros if they unload the dishwasher one time lol. I bet if you stopped doing all household chores for a week though, he would sure as hell notice cause the house would fall into total disarray. 

Post # 21
Member
1519 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

You should take a note from Lynette from Desperate Housewives and let a rat loose in the house to freak him out. 

Post # 22
Member
3970 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - Canada

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MissMayhem :  One of the reasons I love my SO… His house was cleaner than mine the first time I saw it. I’m a pretty tidy person and I know he cleaned before I got there but even months later when he was working crazy hours, his house was always tidy and pretty damn clean. Now that we live together, he’s actaully cleaner than me. He grew up in a home where his dad worked long hours and his mom looked after the home and worked odd jobs. I dont know where he learned it, but we will definitely be teaching our future kids his housekeeping skills!

Post # 23
Member
632 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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Dr_dazzle :  I wish I knew how my M.I.L. taught her sons to clean up! I think I’m doing all the things she did, but my own LOs just don’t seem to see the mess they make. I hope that changes… I feel bad for their future spouses otherwise! 

Post # 24
Member
758 posts
Busy bee

Ugh, I see where you’re coming from. I think it’s also all tied to the mental labour women carry in most relationships. 

Luckily my SO and I split chores and he gets most of the messy/gross jobs. He does dishes/garbage/cat litter/laundry and I do the day to day vacuuming, bathroom, and deep cleaning once a month. 

Post # 25
Member
135 posts
Blushing bee

Well…if he isn’t going to clean up after himself, can he take on some other duties to make things equal? There’s a lot more to taking care of a home other than cleaning; he could manage the yardwork, car maintenance, handyman duties, etc. If it’s really bad, maybe just sit down with him and take inventory of every household chore and responsibility, and then ask him how he thinks the list should be equally divided between the two of you. It puts the ball in his court (“hey honey, you’re so smart, what do YOU think is the best way for us to tackle all these chores?”), plus it may help for him to see a written list of all the work that goes into maintaining a household.

Regardless, and assuming that you don’t just sit on your ass all day while he works his hands to the bone, there is no reason that all the cleaning should just automatically fall on you! Otherwise, he can start paying you a maid fee lol 🙂

Post # 26
Member
8751 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

 I don’t know what it is about boys that their moms just do everything for them.

Let this be a good reminder to all boy moms – don’t let your sons get away with this shit when they are young! My husband is messy and my Mother-In-Law will say “oh well, boys…” like she expects messiness from boys and thinks they just magically change their habits when they grow up to be men. 

Post # 27
Member
2723 posts
Sugar bee

It’s funny because I’m actually used to being around men that are the tidy ones! My dad was a huuge neat freak growing up, while my 3 sisters mom and I are pretty average. My husband is also way tidier than me as well. 

I’m the messier one in the couple and I can still say that it’s not fair to make your partner live in your mess. You may never have the same standards of day to day neatness, but leaving garbage and food scraps lying around isn’t just messy it’s GROSS. There needs to be a limit, especially when it’s getting to the stage of being unhygenic. 

I’ve also gotten a lot better at keeping things tidy and I actually enjoy it more now because it makes my husband so happy when I do. It’s one of my favourite ways to *treat* him when I know he’s stressed out at work or something. 

Anyway – cleanliness is NOT gender specific. We need to stop believing that so that mothers stop babying their nasty teenage sons and leaving their wives to pick up their adult messes.

Post # 28
Member
1646 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

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survivinandthrivin :  To be honest, I think you were the one being petty.  I’m assuming you were already wiping down the counters?  What’s one more wipe?  You say you usually pick your battles, but I think in this case you picked the wrong one.  That said I don’t think it’s anything for him to hold a grudge over and carry on to the next day, how ridiculous! 

I think you both need to sit down and come up with a household standard and chores list that you BOTH agree with.  Be his partner, not his parent.  

My Darling Husband doesn’t clean to my standard, and he’s messy.  For example, he has a disgusting habit of leaving a piece of chewed chewing gum along with other rubbish on his bedside table.  Drives me insane. 

I decided on things I could let go and things I couldn’t.  I can’t stand the clutter, so one of my chores is to clear all the clutter out of the house every night/put things back.  It only takes 2 seconds if done every night and yes that includes both of our stuff.   I hate vacuuming and mopping and don’t care if it doesn’t always get done to my standard, so that’s my DH’s job, that he does weekly.  It’s on the list, and he knows when he gets a day off he runs through everything on his list, ticks it all off and it’s done.  I do the same with my list.  

Post # 29
Member
9425 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

ugh.

I don’t have advice cus i left my ex over basically this shit.  He always felt like he was not only lifting his fair share of weight (at home with chores; in our joint expenses; etc..) but in fact he was the one putting more in than me.  Without a doubt he was putting in way, way, way, way less than me–when we finally got a joint account and tracked who put in how much he’d regularly call me out for being “behind” and we’d actually add it up and see he would be thousands behind me. 😐  But at least with money he could then see the evidence, even if he did the math multiple times before believing it, and correct his behavior (by putting in his share).  When it came to chores.. well, he just screamed at me when I brought anything up.  The only chore he did was vacuuming, which is.. great.. but not laundry or the kitchen or the bathroom..

Anywho, no advice, since clearly I just decided ‘fuck it’.  Just sympathy cus that sucks!

With my husband he was definitely messier than me when we started and I have all sorts of tips and tricks that helped get him to help out way more (in fact he currently does more than me cus pregnancy has me all sorts of tired and lazy and him all sorts of sympathetic) but I don’t think any of them will work if the fundamental problem is your spouse simply doesn’t want to put in any more effort than they currently are.

Post # 30
Member
9425 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

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youngbrokebride :  I get what you’re saying, that she was petty, but it’s hard not to do shit like that when you feel like you’re literally someone’s maid; following them around and cleaning up after them.  You tell yourself, ok, what I’m going to do is just not clean up their messes so they can see how much of a mess they make and learn to be more tidy. 

Yes, it’s kind of petty.. but when you’re at a loss regarding how else you can get your spouse to do anything around the house it can feel like the only rational thing to do.   The argument “but you were cleaning X anyway, why didn’t you clean mine” can apply to literally every chore when it comes down to it, except for the ‘deep cleaning’ stuff which I’m willing to bet her husband doesn’t do either.  Yes, I will wipe down my husbands kitchen mess if I’m cleaning the kitchen anyway.. but its because I’m not the one stuck cleaning the kitchen every. single. time.

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