Post # 1
Good morning bees!
Darling Husband and I have been married for three and a half years. We got married right out of college. I was 22, Darling Husband was 23. I had been taking care of myself since I was 18. I put myself through college with work and student loans. I paid all my bills.
However, DH’s mother paid all of DH’s bills before we got married. They paid for most of his schooling, plus he took out loans to live off of, while he was in school. So when we got married, I just started taking care of everything automatically. I managed the money, I paid the bills, and I did long term budgeting. I also did all the chores and meals. Darling Husband had it really good!
Anyway, I’ve been pretty unsatisfied with this arrangement for about two years. In January 2012, Darling Husband got laid off, so I asked him to help out around the house while he was home. (DH is in a union, so they called every week or so with a temp job for Darling Husband. He didn’t have to look for work.) I asked Darling Husband to do the laundry every week, to do the dishes every day, and to basically keep the house neat and tidy. Darling Husband sucked at doing the chores at first, but he improved. Currently, Darling Husband is working a long term assignment now, so he just has laundry duty.
I also asked Darling Husband to be responsible for a few bills: rent, the electric bill, and his student loans. Unfortunately, he’s not so great at remembering to pay these. We have a three day grace period for rent, and today is the 4th…and he forgot. (Our landlady is pretty awesome – if we turn the check in today, we’ll be okay.)
I don’t know what else I can do to aid Darling Husband in the path towards responsibility. We were TTC, but I just went back on birth control, because, honestly, I don’t want to have kids with Darling Husband right now. I know I’d be the one doing most of the work.
I’ve talked to Darling Husband about this many times, and whenever I tell him I’m unsatisfied, Darling Husband says, “I’m working on it. I’m a lot better than I used to be.” Which, to be fair, he is better than he used to be. But I need more from my partner. We have gone to counseling for this several times, and it hasn’t really helped.
Any advice? I don’t know what else to do, and I’m afraid I’m going to be stuck taking care of him for the rest of my life.
Edited for paragraphs!
Post # 3
You poor thing! I hope things get better for you! It sucks when you’re level-headed and your partner just hasn’t figured out responsibility yet!
Post # 4
@mrshunnybunches: I’m not sure what to tell you on this, it’s almost like you have a kid already. I think he just needs time to grow up. Unfortunately, this happens with a lot of children that are “taken care of” by their parents; they’re never allowed to opportunity to be responsible. My dad was like this, he came from a wealthy family that took care of everything. He was terrible with money, but insisted on managing it, and ended up putting my mom $500k in the hole when he died because he couldn’t pay his health/life insurance premiums on time.
If I were you, I’d probably just take care of the bills/budgeting. Let him work on the other things first. For me, this would be the “for worse” part of my vows, but it’s something that I could definitely deal with. If he’s hiding bills or gambling away rent money, that’s a different story, but it seems like your Darling Husband is just forgetful.
Post # 5
Aside from the bills (because those cannot be left unpaid) have you ever considered taking a hiatus from all the other chores? I know it could be hard but what if you just stopped cooking and cleaning. What would happen? It would start getting pretty raunchy and gross. Maybe if he lived in filth and had nothing to eat, he’ll start to pitch in more. He really has no idea how good he has it and once you take that all away from him, he may start to realize it.
Post # 6
@mrshunnybunches: I think that if you are the more financially responsible person, you should keep yourself in charge of paying the rent and the bills. That way you don’t have to worry about your Darling Husband forgetting to pay a bill or risk having a bill being paid late.
I would sit down with your husband and communicate clearly to him how you feel about how responsibilities are being taken in your household. If you aren’t happy with the way things are going, I would definitely talk to him about it. I think some of it could be that he is a man and a lot of could be that before the two of you got married, he was used to having his mother take care of a lot of things.
I think I would create a plan or a list with things that each of you need to take responsibility for and delegate those tasks to either you or your Darling Husband. And maybe at least to start off, each of you sign off when a task has been completed. That way at least there is some accountability. Hopefully the two of you can work things out! Good luck. 🙂
Post # 7
@mrshunnybunches: Ugh… I’m in a very similar situation, except that we’re 9 months into the marriage, rather than 2 years. I turned over ALL bill-paying information to him and told him he’s responsible for it (I had been taking care of it since we got married). He works full-time, but he’s never dealt with this kind of responsibility (his first mistake – he paid a bill using my account and didn’t tell me, and I didn’t have the money to cover it in the account!! Geez!). My Darling Husband is also awful at doing chores… I’ve taken the approach of being totally straight-forward about it. I told him he sucks at doing dishes, and his choice is to learn how to do them right, or stop wasting my time telling me they’re done when I have to rewash them. I leave the still-dirty ones for him to see. He “swept” the apt the other night but there was still gunk everywhere. I told him he wasted the 2 hrs it took him to “sweep” because there was still dust and dirt all over the floor. He tried again the next day and did much better.
Basically, I make him feel guilty. This probably isn’t the best thing to do, but he is getting better. I flat-out told him that we got married too young because he’s too immature and I’m too bossy. I also told him I don’t want to TTC until we’re both done with school (I have a year left on my masters and then he wants to get his). He said he doesn’t want to be an “old dad” (he’s already 28) but I said we can’t handle a baby right now.
My Darling Husband also complains that when he’s done with work on weekdays, and on the weekends, he just wants to veg and doesn’t want to deal with housework/cooking/etc. I told him, you think you’ll get to veg when you have a child to take care of? Take care of the free time you have now, because once we have kids (he says he wants 4… not gonna happen… I told him I want 3 tops), there won’t be any free time for anyone.
Sorry… this turned into my own rant… I’m in a similar boat! I hope your situation improves! Keep on him! He’ll grow up eventually… right?
Post # 8
@yippee62913: I did try not reminding him about dishes, and we had a massive cochroach infestation. It didn’t help. He couldn’t care less about filth.
@confettiegg2000: We’ve actually been married almost four years – I just didn’t say anything until two years ago! This has been an ongoing struggle. We’ve done counseling, making lists, assigning chores, everything. I don’t know what else I can do. I don’t know if he will ever grow up… I’m starting to lose hope.
Post # 9
If you are the more financially responsible person, bills and budgets should be your responsibility. Giving those roles to someone you know isn’t responsible is just asking for trouble.
As for the other stuff, your Darling Husband needs to grow up and start acting like an adult. But how you make him do that, I don’t really know.
Post # 10
@mrshunnybunches: Is he aware that this seems so undesireable that you are rethinking kids with him? I guess this only really works if he’s dreaming of becoming a father.
Your relationship does seem very parent child. Now with the rent check, are you ending up paying for it? I would say this is rescuing him if you go pay it in the end. Have him go to the landlady and pay it himself. I think he perhaps needs to see some of the consequences of not doing things (late fees, getting fined, etc).
Unfortunately, my ex was very very irresponsible. He was truly a man child and I did blame his mom as well. He never became a true partner. Part of it is just accepting who he is deep down and doesn’t really want to change that much on his own.
Post # 11
OK, so this will sound very mom&child, but a counselor recommended it to me and XH. Make him a chore chart. He gets “graded” either pass/fail or great/good/not so great for each chore. Every pass or great gets him $3, every pass or good gets $2, and every fail or not so great gets $1 for effort. At the end of the month, the money he “earned” is his for play stuff. Video games, bar night, chrome for his truck, you get the idea. That way, you are teaching him to budget, and to get extra just for him.