Post # 1
I am in a big fight with my husband right now and I need some advice.
For the past two weeks he has been out of work. He is a contractor and is in between jobs so instead of helping me around the house, taking care our of dogs etc. he just is using this time to relax and watch tv all day.
I love my husband dearly but right now I am so angry. I feel like if I wanted to do everything by myself I wouldn’t have gotten married only to simply take care of another person. Why won’t he be a team player with me? I have tried asking him for help and letting him know what needs to be done around the house and nothing! A couple of nights I have talked to him about how frustrated I am and all he says is sorry. So today I completely lost is and all I get is sorry and that he is sick of getting nagged? Really it is not fair for me to have to go to work all day (at a very stressful job) and come home and still have to cook and clean and more than regular because he makes a mess every day and still take care of the dogs. I do it all when he is working because he usually does work later than me but when he’s home I can’t stand it.
I am so angry right now I feel like I hate him, which I don’t. But I am so hurt and upset that he doesn’t want to be a team.
Does anyone have any solutions on how to approach this and ask him to help and work with me when he just shuts down and ignores me every time I bring it up.
Post # 3
gosh that a tough one – and i think this is one of the biggest arguments newlyweds have. I dont think a lot of people would agree with me, and this is me being a bit spiteful but if talking doesnt work maybe action would – i would let the dishes sit and his laundry let it sit i would not pick up a thing and see how long it takes him to get frustrated with the mess, or not get frustrated.
BUT before all that i would highly recommend have a serious sit down discussion about it – tell him you mean business, you are not his mother, he is a grown man and can pick up after himself. maybe splitting the chores would work, ill do this if you do this. i do all my husbands laundry because he cleans the bathrooms (which i hate) everything else we kind of do together – we do a big scrub down on saturday mornings and then pick up here and there throughout the week.
Post # 4
Boy that’s tough. And I understand you probably end up getting more frustrated because nothing is getting through!
Cleaning up after my husband – I do it when I want to but then leave it otherwise and eventually he will clean up after himself. This took some getting used to because I am cleaner. But it’s really not so bad and if it bothers me enough, I’ll clean it up.
Cleaning in general – I would say I do 80% – 90% of the chores. I do them until I feel I’ve done more than my share and I’ll ask him to do it. He may not do it right then, but he will within a day or two.
Cooking – I wouldn’t cook for him. There is nothing in the marriage handbook that says you have to. If he’s not willing to help, then I wouldn’t do it for him.
Being out of work – This happens a lot. Men/women out of of work and then not wanting to do anything. I don’t get it but you and him aren’t alone in that. I’m actually not sure what you can do about it. My husband works 4 10’s and on his day off he will sleep, go to the movies, maybe go grocery shopping but that’s rare.
How are you talking to him? Or asking him? Another thing that has helped us is I started a to do list on the whiteboard. He actually started getting stuff done and crossing it off.
Post # 5
@totheislnds- He won’t care about a mess. I knew he was a slob when I married him but he is such a hard worker and will eventually be the financial provider that I am completly ok with it when he works around the clock. But when he is home and does nothing I completely lose it. I just don’t know how to talk to him. Honestly if I talk to him not I would say a lot of things I don’t mean so maybe I will give it a little time and then sit down when I’m calmer but I don’t want him to shutdown.
Post # 6
@Talishazwi- I am asking him each morning if he minds doing xyz while I am out and there is also a to do list of household stuff on the fridge. However I think when I ask him to do stuff it is more a blow to his ego that he is not working and I don’t know how to work around the ego. I am not upset that work has been slow as I have a very well paying job and can handle the finances but I need him to be a team player. I feel so alone and do not know how to get through to him.
Post # 7
I understand where you are coming from, and it’s definitely never fun to feel like the bread winner, maid, chef, everything else, when (if you’re like me) you had been expecting a partnership out of being married.
I would try and let it simmer for another week, don’t say anything accusatory, and when you get home from work see if he can help you make dinner or maybe help you fold clothes while you watch tv, something non-strenuous that you can both do together that will be a big help.
As a contractor, there will be down times. Assuming he’s a very hard worker, when he is working, it’s fast and furious and very stressful. He probably is thinking in his head that this is a vacation and the down time is well desreved/warranted/so on. He’s probably just trying to make the most of this down time, because he knows when it comes around to go back to work/finds a new job, it’s back to fast and furious. Side note: My boyfriend NEVER takes time off, and he finally has gotten so burned out on his job, that he decided to take a week off and stay at home. And that is exactly what he has done. He hasn’t cleaned (but then again, he’s NEVER cleaned and to expect him to start just because he has time off isn’t about to change that). He did fold A single LOAD of laundry (and then proceeded to leave my folded laundry downstairs and take his upstairs, not sure what that was about), but that was it. And he has NEVER been one to sit around and do nothing. Anywhoo…. I digress. Maybe he is just trying to unwind, and to catch his breath. We often don’t realize how stressed we really are until we don’t have any.
Post # 8
My husband and I went through this when we first moved in together during college (we were dating). He was between jobs and I was working 40 hours plus going to school full time. One day I left to work a 12 hour day, asked him to clean something, got home and he hadn’t done anything. I freaked out. He explained he didn’t understand why we couldn’t do it together.
… (it still makes me mad thinking about it).
I can tell you there is hope. After few weeks of constant coversations he began to understand how important it was to me we kept the place clean. And actually, he started to really like living in a clean home. My brother just movedin with us and my husband has been going a little crazy with how messy my brother is.
Basically, my advice is to explain you like a clean home and he’s your partner. Since he’s not working you expect him to contribute more at home. If he doesn’t respond to this positively, keep at him in a non-nagging way.
you- “Why didn’t you finish the list I left?”
him- “I didn’t feel like it..”
you- “You’re supposed to be my partner. Please start pitching in, you have no idea how big of a help it would be.”
If he doesn’t get it at some point- you’ll have decide what to do. For me, it’s a deal breaker. My dad is a wonderful father, but he never helped my mom. I would never want to be married to anyone like him.
Oh, and something else that helped my husband was when he started working 90 hours a week and I became a stay at home wife for a year (I was applying to schools and taking a few classes)- I did everything in the house because I was not working. Packed lunches, cooked dinners, house was clean everyday.. he saw how I channeled my energy into taking care of our household (and I know he secretly misses having a stay at home wife 🙂 Now that Im in an intense program- he’s been pitching it A LOT more. I appreciate his help more than anything.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2015 - Thorpewood
@roxy821: What would he do if you didn’t cook dinner? I know you said he doesn’t care about a mess (my boyfriend doesn’t either) but I know that if I don’t cook my boyfriend dinner he starts getting antsy. So if I’m feeling like you are, I just won’t cook dinner and when he starts wondering when dinner will be, I say “whenever you make it.” It doesn’t help with all of the other problems but at least you don’t have to worry about dinner.
Post # 10
@maureen9004- Thanks for the advice! My husband is a spitting image of my father. My dad was very active in our lives growing up and he worked 2-3 jobs to ensure that my mother was able to stay home from work. But he never helped! My parents used to get in a fight every holiday because my father did nothing to help. He doesn’t clean, doesn’t cook, etc. but he was always a great provider. I married my husband knowing this so I think it’s partly me fault but I still can’t help feeling like I’m going to fall apart.
Post # 11
@Missotter31- If I didn’t cook he would make a bowl of cereal or order a sub. His mother never cooked so he doesn’t know much of a difference.
Post # 12
I’m not sure if this has been brought up (only skim through the comments), if he won’t do chores alone, would he be willing to do it together. Every other weekend, Fiance and I clean. I clean the kitchen and bathroom, he cleans the living room and vacumms. When we cook, I’d prep the food and make salad, he would actually cook. If it wasn’t for us doing things together, it is not likely he’ll clean by himself.
Post # 13
@cutexkitty- He will do it together, the problem is that when I’m working all day and he’s not he does nothing and waits for me to get home.
Post # 14
I would just be passive about it. I don’t want to ‘talk’ to him about his laziness. Simply because I know that is not on his ‘To Listen’ list. And why should it be? He knows he isn’t helping out around the house. Telling him how you feel abt it isn’t gonna make much of a difference. Only SHOWING will make that kind of dent.
If I were in his shoes, the one way that would get me to start helping out and doing stuff is if I ‘see’ my spouse having to do it and that it’s tiring the HELL out of them. Which, in turn IS affecting our life in the bedroom. My behaviour would be affected more deeply if they are nice about their complaints, but very earnest. I would verbally point out things like “oh honey! I’m too tired for this/that only because I had to do this/this/and this when I came home from work. If you were in my place, you would feel the same way, right?’ Doesn’t have to be too tired for sex but anything else you are tired for. Cooking dinner? Going out for a walk? Going out to even eat? And do look physically tired, not angry and hissing under your breath every time you walk by between him and the T.V.
So those sort of open-ended rehtorical questions can trigger something in his brain that a simple talk just won’t. (Been there, done that!)
Talking isn’t the only form of communication. Sometimes you have to ‘talk outside the box.’