He thinks I don't do enough, but he doesn't know the girl I USED to be.

posted 2 years ago in Engagement
Post # 31
Member
5916 posts
Bee Keeper

sarahparkview :  Absolutely THIS. OP please go back and re-read sarahparkview’s post again. You weren’t LAZY- you were suffering from mental illness to the point where you couldn’t function. And even if you’re doing some things you weren’t before, you’re still struggling to get better.

And yes, you HAVE come a long way- don’t look at the progress you’re still trying to make and beat yourself up- look at the progress you’ve already made and tell yourself you can do this!

It’s not that easy of course, simply telling yourself “I can do this”, you need to continue/ re-start any therapy/ medications that have helped you in the past. You need to stop equating mental illness with laziness. You need to actively participate in a plan to take care of yourself, physically and mentally. 

And you need to ask yourself if being a Stay-At-Home Wife is the right fit for you. Now I’m absolutely not criticizing those who choose to be a SAHW/SAHM, this is IMO a choice that should be respected and some women thrive in it. But for others it’s NOT the right fit- and what worries me is that you were already on the path to wellness when you met him- you went from being agoraphobic to entering the workforce and he met you as a co-worker. Now you’re in a new city and he’s at work and his kids are in school and you’re home alone all day and seemingly unhappy. It’s very telling that you describe yourself as ‘unemployed’ rather than a homemaker. You may be someone who thrives in a work environment but becomes depressed being at home all day- turning to the TV and having to push yourself to make dinner 3 nights out of 7 doesn’t sound so much like laziness in your case, but warning signs of a downward spiral back into the reclusive depression you suffered from when you lived with your parents. 

Your fiance needs to know the difference between mental health issues and laziness as well. Hopefully you’re in therapy- could he attend a few sessions with you? Can you talk to him and tell him everything you’ve told us in your post? He should want what’s best for you- therapy, possibly outside-the-home employment- not to dissuade you from working so you can be chauffeur to his kids and clean house. 

And while I do agree that, under ordinary circumstances, the partner at home should do the bigger share of the cleaning, laundry, meals etc- bigger share doesn’t = all and it sounds to me that there are 5 people in that house and only 1 expected to do anything. 

Good luck to you Bee, I know you say your fiance is a great guy but make sure this relationship and situation is a healthy one for you. It sounds like a lot of changes need to be made- and not just by you. 

Post # 32
Member
988 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

 Definately make the kids help out more! They are at the age where they SHOULD be washing clothes, folding, picking up after themselves, taking care of the animals… my 13 year old son does all that and more. I tell him to sweep the kitchen, he does. NOT because I can’t do it myself, but because he needs to learn those things. 

If the kids leave apple cores on the counter, call them down to throw it away themselves. Dishes aren’t in the dishwasher? Same thing. Tell them they have till 6pm each night do to their chores (cats, fold laundry….) Sure they will hate it, but oh well. You aren’t there to be the kid’s maid. You are there to teach them responsibility.

Remember – you are raising kids to be adults, not raising children. I know how hard it can be, especially since you are the new adult figure in their life, and are trying to figure out boundaries.

Post # 33
Member
1631 posts
Bumble bee

If you were to break up, would you have a plan B? 

I ask because I think being a stay at home girlfriend is a very very vulnerable situation. Stay at home wives have legal protections — in a divorce, they get assets and alimony. Stay at home girlfriends can end up broke with nothing in a breakup, and gaps look bad on job resumes. 

I don’t want you to feel trapped if the relationship goes south. 

 

Post # 34
Member
2019 posts
Buzzing bee

I think a chore chart would be helpful here. A public one for the kids, and maybe a private one for you. (Because you’re not a kid who needs their chores up on the fridge with a sticker). 

The kids can have chores like doing their laundry, cleaning up dinner dishes, cleaning up after themselves, putting their book bags and homework away, etc. If they don’t do their chores, no going out with friends, allowance, tv, ETC. 

For you, your to-do list, I would write out a list each week and check items off as you go. If yourboyfriend is working 8 hours a week + another hour when he gets home, aim to give yourself 6 hours (to start) of house work per day. Keep bumping that up to 9 hours a day. Eventually you will get better, faster, and more efficient with your tasks. Maybe your day can look like this: 

wake up, throw in a load of laundry 

make yourself breakfast, wake the kids up, make the kids breakfast/make school lunches 

take the kids to school 

come home, flip the laundry 

spend 1-2 hours taking care of the house (straightening up, vacuuming, dusting, whatever) 

take a break for an hour or two 

go pick the kids up 

start making dinner 

eat dinner 

kids clean up dinner, fold and put away laundry 

can you have a conversation with your boyfriend about all of this? Make lists of what needs to be accomplished each week, who is responsible (you, him, kids). It seems like some of this could be resolved just by better communication of expectations and agreement on what will be done. 

Post # 35
Member
477 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I’m not sure why people assume that if someone is a Stay-At-Home Mom or a stay at home anything that all of the responsibilities fall on them. Yikes. My husband and I both work so we split responsibilities (and sometimes depending on our life outside of work, one of us does a little more while the other is busy, etc). If I did end up ever staying home, I’m sure I would take on more, but he would never let me, let alone EXPECT me to, do it all. Sorry, I don’t agree with that at all. I can’t wrap my head around expecting someone to make me dinner every day. Especially when he doesn’t want you to work, and it sounds like you’re not 100% on board with that. I think you need to have a talk with him about expectations. Yes, you should help and yes you may do a little more than him, but it shouldn’t all fall on you.

Post # 36
Member
477 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I would also like to add that I was with someone once who claimed I “never did enough” no matter how much I did (we didn’t even live together, this was just based on when I was over at his house…HIS house…). Nothing was ever good enough for him and he let me know it constantly, so I’d be sure that when you talk to him about this, you get a clear vision of what his expectations vs your expectations are because I don’t want you to end up with someone like that. It’s exhausting.

Post # 37
Member
5049 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2017

I have a few different thoughts on this.  I fully believe each person should pull their own weight whether its contributing to the home, work, school or doing all three.  It seems that you have been thrown into this situation.  Do you want to be a stay at home FI/WIFE/STEP-MOM?  Or would you prefer finding a full or part time job and share the household responsibilities with your SO?  Is this even an option?

I also fully believe in being self-reliant.  God forbid something was to happen to SO or your relationship was to diminish how would you fend for yourself?  What gives you purpose in this life? I think you really need to put less onus on making SO happy and put more attention on what you want from your life.  Figure this out, see how it fits into your relationship and then discuss realistic role expectations between the two of you.

I would think being home all day would take a little extra discipline and time management to keep productive and organized.  Would you do better with structure?  Create a plan for chores on certain days and meal prep ahead of time?

Lastly, I don’t think its very fair of you to expect children to fend for themselves when you have admitted up until your mid to late twenties your parents catered to you, illness or not.  I’m not saying do EVERYTHING for them, they need to be taught self reliance but if they are young you should be providing meals.

Post # 38
Member
1361 posts
Bumble bee

kisses4levi :  

1. Do one or two “big batch” cooks a week.  It is hardly more difficult or time consuming to make 3 pounds worth of meatballs than 1 pound.  The crockpot is your friend.  Cook a big chuck roast or pork shoulder and you will have 2-3 meals for the entire household.  Keep a container of cold tuna or veggie pasta salad in the fridge for small in between meals.

2. Are you sure once a week is cutting it on the laundry?  If the kids live there full time and you have 5 people in the house I don’t see how this is possible.

3. The micromanaging needs to stop.  Decide what your own expectations are and then draw some boundaries for your fiancé, he needs to back off.  A nudge if you fall of track is one thing but constant micromanaging is not good.

4.  Decide if you really want this lifestyle and dynamic in the long term.  It might be just where you’re at now with school.  But to him it might be a forever thing.  He needs to be informed now if this is a temporary set up.  

Post # 39
Member
2477 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Delete

Post # 40
Member
2923 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

kbeexo :  If one person in the couple stays home, you bet I expect them to do the majority of the household chores.  How is it fair if my spouse stayed home and I worked an 8+ hour day and I came home expecting to make dinner for everyone because my spouse watched tv all day (because that’s what the OP admitted to doing).

OP, I won’t comment on your depression because I don’t have any experience with it and cannot relate.  But I will say that it sounds like this arrangement isn’t working out.  Yes, if you’re not working the majority of the household chores fall on you and you should be cooking more and doing laundry more than once a week.  However, that doesn’t give the other members of the household a free pass to treat you like a maid.

Post # 41
Member
1409 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

My Darling Husband & I both work full time and I cook around 3-4 times a week (by choice). 7 months ago I was living with my parents and had never cooked anything in my life and also didn’t do any chores (so basically like you!). I’m still working on my cleanliness but cooking isn’t as hard as you think! I love throwing stuff in the crockpot when I leave for work and coming home to a cooked meal. I think you probably have time to cook more than you do. There are some really simple, quick recipes out there that would take hardly no time (and I say that as someone who is super slow in the kitchen).  I do think if a partner is staying at home, I feel the majority of house duties and cooking should fall on them. But that doesn’t mean that your Fiance and his kids shouldn’t pick up after themselves or do simple tasks. I think it’s good advice to think about what you really want.  You just need to decide. What is a typical day for you? How much time do you devote to TV?

Post # 42
Member
7413 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Let me start by saying that I hope you’re getting ongoing treatment for your depression and anxiety disorders.  Therapy and medication can make a tremendous difference. 

Honestly it sounds like no one in the household knows how to take responsibility and be an adult. Kids leave apple cores laying around, your fi splashes spaghetti sauce in the kitchen and walks away from it, you shut down and watch TV all day… this isn’t how grown-ups live. There is no excuse for any of that.  Cleaning up after yourself is just a basic function of adulting. 

I think you all need to sit down together– including the kids– and decide what you want your house to look like. If you want there to be fruit flies buzzing around and spaghetti sauce on the wall, then you’re all set. If you don’t want to live like that, then each of you has to make a commitment to do better, and each of you has to hold each other accountable. Everyone has to agree about which tasks will fall to you since you’ve got more free time; this will probably be stuff like running the vacuum, changing the bed linens, and cooking (and you all need to agree on how often you’re expected to cook). And everyone has to agree to doing their own basic sanitation and hygiene: don’t leave plates in the sink, don’t throw trash on the floor, clean up when you spill (I can’t believe I have to type this out… I mean… it’s really basic stuff…).  .

You may also want to consider getting a job and paying for a weekly visit from a cleaner. You may be happier and more interested working outside of the home, and if the housework is a big reason you don’t work, then maybe it’s better to let someone else do it.

Out of curiosity, how old are you that you’ve gone straight from your parents’ house to your fiance’s house, and how old is he that he has teenage kids?  A big age gap could have an impact on the expectations and dynamic here.

Post # 43
Member
2510 posts
Sugar bee

Here’s an idea. There are three kids old enough to be cooking. If you continued making dinner 3 times a week, they each had a designated day of the week on dinner duty, and your husband had one night (or you ordered takeout/had leftovers that night) then you’d be covered for the full week. You could cook with the kids if they need help, but this would be a good way to build their cooking skills, which will serve them well later! 

Next, start meal prepping. Spend one day a week making a few casseroles, a crockpot full of beans or soup, etc. That way there’s always something you can whip together quickly. Planning out menus could also help, e.g. Meatless Monday/Taco Tuesday, etc. 

Post # 44
Member
768 posts
Busy bee

I do feel that if one person is staying at home (even taking care of children) the house should be their job. I.e., if I was ever a Stay-At-Home Mom or my husband were ever a Stay-At-Home Dad I would expect to have dinner cooked or some type of food every evening, house cleaned, and laundry done so that our weekends and evenings could be spent as a family. That being said, if your Fiance has kids in MIDDLE and HIGH school this sh!t is ridic! No freaking way would I be okay with my kids that age literally doing nothing and making messes and not cleaning up after themselves, etc. If you feel that you could be doing more that’s fine, you can work on that, but I would also ensure that the kids get a chore list and at least the high schooler starts cooking one dinner a week. I don’t think this is about your laziness and I think you may be being too hard on yourself, you’ve made huge progress! Plus, even if I or my husband was expected to do all of those things around the house done that doesn’t mean that we get to be ungrateful and entitled about them. I would still expect to be appreciated and acknowledged for my contributions to our household and if one of us is really not feeling it we could order in dinner one evening or the other person could make it.

Honestly, it doesn’t sound like you’re in the healthiest relationship. Your post about having to find a job that can accommodate hours so you can still do everything for the kids and worrying about him being mad concerns me. I could just be reading it wrong but I want to make sure that you’re not putting this all on yourself. A big part of this is his responsibility too. I know that you were in a bad place before and want to make sure that you’re not thanking him for even being with you basically (which you do NOT need to do). Are you getting any therapy or counselling? I hate when people always suggest that for no reason but a couple of your posts really do make me feel weird about things and I really hope you can get some perspective soon about this whole situation and not be so hard on yourself.

Post # 45
Member
11648 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

It’s probably hard for you to judge this situation since it sounds more like role playing and your focus is on “being everything he needs” than being an adult partner, but the way you describe him moving the goal posts on you is troubling. 

 

your desire to please him and be what he needs is more alarming to me than your failure to make dinner, and I say that as someone who was honestly quite taken aback by the way you grew up, so yes, I expect any partner to be fully contributing no matter their gender. 

Are you sort of privileged (aside from your mental health issues, which are their own issue) and maybe a bit clueless? Yes. But his moving of the goal posts and running your confidence down is also troubling. 

You have a lot of growing up to do, but that isn’t a reason to cut you down. He isn’t perfect, you need to realize that. His expectations of you aren’t untouchable standards. You need to be a grown up for yourself, not him. You’ve gone from living at home and doing nothing in the home to being a stepparent kind of, in a year’s time. 

and like so many other bees have said here, you were working when you met him. You had a job. You quit it for him and moved. you’ve given up something that made you feel good and competent. You’re struggling with mental health issues. One of the issues for you seems to be competency, which you at least started to address with your job, so I would like to see you getting that kind of external positive feedback again esp to help with your mental health. 

IMO you need support in determining what is appropriate, responsible and healthy for you,  not recipes. 

Pleasing him does not equate being a grown up. A grown up advocates for herself, understands the overall needs of the household and can work with her partner to divvy up the chores based on time and resources. 

 

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