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 # 46
Member
477 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

sunnierdaysahead2 :  I actually said in my response that if I stayed home, I would expect to take on more, but my point, if you read it again, is that one person shouldn’t be responsible for ALL of it. I don’t care how you break it up, but just because someone stays home doesn’t mean they should be responsible for all of the housework and all of the cooking. Key word is “all”. Yes, OP needs to continue to grow in being a partner who pulls their weight (I see that she admits to a problem with watching TV, but I don’t see where she says she watches it all day?), but I find her FI’s expectation of dinner needing to be on the table every night (or he gets frustrated) to be a bit much. 

Post # 47
Member
2394 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

So you quit your job for him and are now the live in mom and maid, and it’s still not good enough for him? If I were you, I’d find a job. 

Post # 48
Member
7775 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’m a Stay-At-Home Mom to 3 kids, one of whom is in middle school, and I am prone to depression, so I have a couple thoughts:

1) There is no way doing laundry once a week is sufficient for 5 people. Not possible- unless you are literally spending a whole day doing it. I do a load at least every other day. And that is with my 14 year old washing her own clothes (I do her sheets and towels).

2) Depressoon is a real thing, and it’s not about being lazy necessarily, but watching TV is not going to help the situation. If you were going to the dr, or therapy or a support group or journaling, gardening- I think it would be more productive and better for your mental health.

3) I do the majority of the housework, but that doesn’t let the other members of the household get to be slobs. Everyone still picks up their dishes, gets their clothes to the laundry baskets. And you better believe if I ask my husband to help with something he does. I think you and your husband should have a family meeting to talk about expectations and responsibilities.

Post # 49
Member
197 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

slothbear :  Old-fashioned and ungrateful?  Stop right there.  She is his girlfriend, living 100% off his income.  She should ABSOLUTELY be taking care of the house since it’s, you know, HER ONLY FUCKING JOB.  I would say the exact same thing if she were the one working and he was staying home.  (For him to do the housework obviously).  

I work full-time and do a lot of the dinner cooking, and we make our own breakfasts and lunches for the most part.  But you better believe that when I was in between jobs for 5 months, I cooked him breakfast every morning, made lunch for him to take, and had dinner ready every night.  And cleaned and did laundry (which I still do).  He didn’t MAKE me do any of that, but I felt like that was my job at that time, so why shouldn’t I?

Just because you and OP are children who failed to launch doesn’t make you right.

Post # 50
Member
197 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

kisses4levi :  Get a job and hire a maid.  You’ll have more money, and the house will actually be clean.

Post # 51
Member
197 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

kbeexo :  Because when one person is making all the money and is spending all the time away from home, shouldn’t the other person naturally pick up the slack?  It’s just a different kind of division of labor.  I think the working person has every right to expect the non-working person to handle most of the household stuff.  

Post # 52
Member
477 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

ohitsheragain :  I never disagreed with that. I’m not sure why that keeps being brought up, like I told OP she is a princess and shouldn’t have to lift a finger? I’ll repeat again that my statement was that (and I used me as the example) yes, someone who is home would do more. If I stayed home I would do more. Not all. That is my point. Sorry, but I’m not ok with someone being frustrated if dinner is not on the table every day. My husband would never treat me that way, nor would I treat him that way. Split the duties. OP should do more, but that doesn’t mean everyone else gets to do nothing.

Post # 53
Member
557 posts
Busy bee

Have been following this board and there is a lot of polarizing advice everything. Time to pitch in.

1. First things first, OP the way you were is irrelevant what matters is the way you are now, though good job on changing. Stop the self-pity. You are NOW living with your SO. The PRESENT matters.

2. This is not a feminist issue.
Speaking as a woman, if I was a full-time worker and paying all the bills for myself and my SO who was doing NOTHING but staying at home, the least I would expect of my SO would be to make meals when I come home from work at least 4/7 days a week. I would be furious if I had to come home from a long day at work and there was no supper ready, laundry not done, house a mess. Seriously OP, WHAT do you do at home? Surely it can’t be that difficult to throw a few items in a crock pot or boil pasta, it literally takes ONE HOUR to make a decent meal.

If this way the other way around where the girl is working all the day and the guy is playing video games in his underwear then people would be out in pitchforks asking her to dump the guy.

 

3. His children are OLD ENOUGH to look after themselves. They are in their teens. Stop picking after them. You are a partner not a maid or stand in mom.

Post # 54
Member
5923 posts
Bee Keeper

There is a huge difference between expecting the person at home all day to do a larger share of the cooking and cleaning and in expecting that having someone at home all day entitles the other members of the family to act like slobs. Since when does being a Stay-At-Home Wife = running around picking up other people’s tossed aside apple cores and wiping off hardened food splatters from other people’s messes? It seems that the boyfriend and his older-but-not-grown children had no system of cleaning or personal responsibility in place before OP came along (beer cans everywhere, kids who think it’s okay to toss garbage wherever it lands for someone else to clean). OP needs to be taking the necessary steps to be well and healthy and productive- but playing Cinderella to a family of slobs isn’t one of these steps. 

Post # 55
Member
2495 posts
Buzzing bee

I agree with PP who have pointed out that mental illness =/= laziness.

I have been in your shoes. I struggled SO much to just put one foot in front of the other – for YEARS starting in college. Life felt like slogging uphill through mud, while it seemed everyone else was breezily walking by on even, firm ground. 

In that mindset, YOU are not to blame for the fact that you can’t get as much done as others. It’s a problem with executive function. 

It seems from your post that you’ve come a long way, and you SHOULD be proud of that! Your mental health has improved to the point that you can actually DO things and be productive. Speaking from experience I understand just how gratifying that feels. 

So, first thing’s first. You 100% need to put your own mental health first in this situation. It’s easy to get lost in a great relationship, especially when a lot of kids are involved. The tendency, for women, is to put ourselves last. Don’t do that.

You are stressing over HIS expectations and criticisms of YOU. Don’t do that. Focus on whether or not HE’S being a good partner to YOU. Is he holding up his end of the relationship? Is he the same guy you fell in love with, or has he been slowly changing into a more critical, negative partner?

Next, you need to take his critical focus off yourself for a while, since that seem to be where a lot of your confusion is coming from. Have a serious talk with your SO about his parenting, what he expects from you, how that translates to real-world situations, etc. You two clearly need to get on the same page. 

This should be a conversation that you have prepared for. You should already have decided on some expectations YOU have of children you will be helping to raise (speak of “children” generally, not HIS children – he will be less likely to take offense if you point out bad habits “children” can get into.)

For instance, you may decide that one of your expectations for ANY child you help to raise is that that child will have daily chores that will need to be completed after they are home from school before they can access the internet via phone/computer/ipad. 

Another expectation may be that the child(ren) help with cleaning up after dinner before being allowed to leave the kitchen EVERY night.

These are normal expectations to have of teenaged children. It teaches them how to adult – it shows them how much effort goes into the household things they may be taking for granted, it teaches them appreciation.

So, entirely separate from how much work YOU are or are not doing, you need to get on the same page regarding the children. And you need HIM to have YOUR back when the children try to talk back or break rules. 

In your shoes, I would also ask for a brief reprieve from his “contructive criticism.” He is being a nag, plain and simple. A supportive partner should try to help you come up with a plan to be more proactive and productive, not tear you down for the things they feel you could be doing better. This may be a “small” part of the relationship right NOW, but definitely do not think for one minute that it will STAY small. Nagging is one of the biggest relationship killers. 

You struggle with depression and anxiety. You seem to be in a type of remission right now, which is great. But an unhealthy relationship can bring those issues back to front and center in a moment’s notice.

He needs to recognize and admit that YOUR mental health is more important than you being Suzy Homemaker. He needs to be supportive. He needs to 100% NOT tear you down.

And please don’t be hard on yourself for the time you spend watching tv. It’s an escape from our own minds, and that is much more appealing to people with depression and anxiety than to other people. So other people don’t understand, really, the allure of something that gives us a break from the whirling thoughts in our heads. They don’t have whirling thoughts they feel the need to escape from. “Checking out” is a form of self-medication. It slows down our brains. 

But what you CAN do is make a schedule for yourself for the time the children are at school. You can schedule out blocks of time for chores and for tv. When I was a nanny, this was particularly helpful for me. I would run around the house gathering all the laundry, put in a load, then plop on the couch to watch tv. Pause to switch over laundry and put another load in. Then back to the tv. 

Another thing that MIGHT help you get more chores done is an Audible account. It’s about $17/mo and you get one audiobook a month. Audible was a LIFESAVER to me when I was a nanny. I would pop in my earbuds, put my phone in my back pocket, and spend HOURS just walking around the house doing all my chores, lost in the world of the book. Audiobooks don’t require you to stare at them, so they give you the escape of TV, but still enable you to do chores. 

Post # 56
Member
2495 posts
Buzzing bee

ohitsheragain :  Pretty insensitive to call someone with depression and anxiety a “failure to launch.”

People who’ve never struggled with these issues will NOT understand how hard they make normal adulting things that the rest of you take for granted as being “easy.” 

Executive Function is a real thing. Our brain chemistry dictates how good our Executive Function is. Different bain chemistries = varying levels of Executive Function. It’s science. 

OP needs support, NOT more bashing.

Post # 57
Member
2491 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Ok, lots of good replies here so I’m going to try not to repeat information. I agree with PP’s about trying to make a schedule for your days. Get into a routine. My mom doesn’t work and she watches a ton of TV but her house is also always spotless. I think partially because she plans out her day. For example, she watches TV in the morning while drinking her coffee, and always it’s something recorded so she can fast forward through the commercials to save time. She’s also the kind of person who cleans up her dishes right after using them instead of letting them pile up.

I know that I really like to make lists of the chores I want to do that day because it’s so satisfying to check something off of a list! Makes me feel more accomplished at the end of the day looking at the big list of things I did.

I feel like if I have only like 1 thing to do, I am lazier than if I have 10 things to do, because if I have a lot to accomplish and only so much time, I know I have to get moving if I want to get it done. Perhaps if you did get a part time job it would actually help your productivity at home?

 

Post # 58
Member
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Just because you lived the majority of your life being pampered by your parents, doesn’t give you the excuse to slack off as an adult. You are a young able-bodied woman who should either be working, or fully taking care of your responsibilities. There is no reason in hell why you shouldnt’ be able to throw together 5 meals a week. That’s harsh, I know. But it’s time to grow up. If this isn’t working for you, then please get a job so at least you’ll have an excuse as to why these things aren’t getting done. Plus, you’ll probably feel better about yourself.

Post # 59
Member
27 posts
Newbee

I work from home and my SO leaves for work at 4:30 am, is on his feet all day, and comes home exhausted from getting up at 3:30 every morning. Because I am home all day (even though I am working), I take on most of the household chores, but honestly there isn’t much to do because the expectations are clear to everyone in the home (I also have 2 teenagers). On the weekends, SO and the kids all help with a thorough weekly cleaning. So, a few things that might be helpful for you, from my experience: 

1) Get a crock pot or an Instant Pot. You will never regret it. Set the food in the morning and go about your day. Dinner will be ready when it’s time to eat, with minimal effort.

2) Your Fiance seems to expect the kids to take care of themselves, but doesn’t seem to want to enforce it. If I were you and their lack of helpfulness was causing me more work, I would shut off the internet/tv/etc. and no going anywhere or having friends over until they clean up their mess. Period. 

3) Have a talk with your Fiance about cleaning up after himself, as well. He’s a grown ass man and should not be leaving messes for other people to clean up. Not only is that unfair to you, it also sets a HORRIBLE example for the kids – it’s no wonder they don’t help out! You are allowed to have your expectations respected, too, just as much as he does. It is *ridiculous* to me that he leaves a mess of spaghetti for you to clean up. You are not his mother. Stop acting like it. 

4) One day per week, when everyone is home, have an “all hands on deck” day where everyone (INCLUDING your FI) helps deep clean the home (vacuum, dust, mop, etc.). You don’t get a “day off” from your responsibilities, which means they should have no problem helping around the house on their days off, either. 

Listen, they live there too. This is not just your home to keep clean, and everyone should contribute in some way to help keep the place manageable. Yes, you are the one home all day, but you are not a slave to two messy teenagers and an Fiance who can’t even wipe up a spaghetti mess. Stop being a doormat, accept your responsibility to keep the home tidy, and make it known that part of doing that means calling other people out on their bullshit and making them clean up after themselves. 

Post # 60
Member
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

Sounds to me like you need to have a conversation about roles and responsibilities.  I love my fiance, but personally find this to be one of the more stressful thing to navigate when living together.

I’m *almost* in the reverse situation of you.  I work the more typical 9-5 job and pay for the bulk of our living expenses.  My fiance works from home and has a more flexible schedule, but still works quite hard.  When I’ve had a particularly hard day I catch myself feeling resentful he doesn’t do more around the house.  When you’re not there all day it can be easier to notice what the person didn’t do than what they did.  Thanks to a lot of therapy I am decently in tune with my feelings and can at least realize that often it isn’t about the housework at all but instead about work stress or the pressure I feel as the person who pays most of our bills.

In my experience, I’ve found these conversations can be MOST productive when they are not had in the heat of the moment.  Set some time aside when you can both be calm and level headed to detail out what will be his responsibility, your responsibility, and the children’s responsibility.  I think the more concrete you can be, the better so there are no misunderstandings.  I think this is also a good time to talk about your thought process of why you do certain things then and to make sure you’re both sharing expectations so you can see where you are aligned and where you are not.

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