(Closed) Hesitating to propose til proven hard-working?!

posted 10 years ago in Waiting
Post # 17
806 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

DH and I have split housework pretty evenly as far as I can tell.  I don’t feel like I do more than half of the day to day upkeep.

What works better for us is to have “his chores” and “her chores” – rather than each doing 50% of every individual chore.  If someone is more uptight about the way a certain chore gets done – then it becomes their chore.  In my house, DH cares way more about not letting dishes pile up in the sink, so he’s the one who does dishes 90% of the time.  I am afraid of letting him do laundry and sort properly, so I’m the one who does it.  Of course, the other person can pitch in and help out with chores that aren’t theirs if the other is having a busy week at work, or just feels like it, or whatever.

This way, it is totally clear whose “job it is” to do something without having to refer to a chart or have a discussion (aka nag each other).

I feel it is kind of BS that he’s auditioning you for marriage, so to speak.  I hope you can take back some of the power.  Maybe YOU don’t want to marry HIM unless he stops acting like a d-bag about the chores!  Ideally, the two of you would find a compromise.  It’s not that YOU need to live up to his ideal of cleanliness and order.  The two of you need to find a happy place that’s a little neater than you would want, and a little messier than he would want.

Post # 18
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

@blinx81: I think that 50/50 is subjective and generally one or both partners feel like they are doing more or the other is doing less. This may or may not be reality.

One thing that helped in my past marriage, was to write a list of all the chores that I had done, and all the chores that my (then) DH had done in a week to show the imbalance (due to him not doing enough). I didn’t tell him to do a chore wheel to take turns (though I considered it). I, instead, just brought it to his attention via the list so that he could visually see everything I had done and everything he had done in two neat coloumns next to each other. It was very clear who was doing what and how “equal” it was. Maybe something like this will help your BF see that you are doing your fair share?

Also, I think people have different strengths at different things. In general, I do more of the day-to-day cleaning, but my SO does the “deep cleaning,” and mops the floors, washes the car, scrubs and cleans the stove, cleans the fridge, etc. He also does trash/recycling, carrying heavy stuff, etc. It works out well because he is better at mopping the floors, and I hate scrubbing the oven, but I don’t mind cleaing the toilets, you know?

One thing I think if/when you do talk to you BF again is to try to explain that there really is no true 50/50. If you’re better at something (cooking, for example) maybe you do that more. Couples aren’t obligated to both cook X times a week just so it’s “fair.” The only way to truly be “equal” or “fair” is to be unequal – a total paradox.

Post # 19
261 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Ok.  How petty.  Number one.  I’d be pissed at the fact that he tried to use engagement as a way to make you contribute.  Why do guys think it will controll us if they say “well if you don’t do this, I might not propose to you”.  Do they ever think of what we could say?  “you’re being a douche and I can’t believe you would try to punish me in that way.  Did you ever think that maybe now *I* don’t want to be engaged to *you*?” 

I see it all the time on these boards.  Men thinking that it’s the one point of control over a woman.  But it’s totally a double edged blade, and depending on the way he presented his possible unwillingness to propose to you, I would tell him that just as much as it’s his right not to propose, it’s you’re right to say yes or no.  I would not take lightly what he said about maybe not wanting to propose.  Especially over something as trivial as housework.  That’s not cool.  Tell him to grow up. 

Post # 20
261 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Ok.  I was really upset for you when I wrote my post before and I’m not sure it was helpful.  I’ve cooled down now and I’d like to try again. 

I don’t think it’s fair that he thinks he can like…make you change your habits by holding engagement over your head.  That’s a tactic you use with a 2 year old, not your girlfriend/fiance.  I think maybe it might be time to sit down and do the chore chart.  I mean….he’s not getting the results he wants now and I doubt threatening you with non-engagement is going to get him results either, not without garnering resentment. 

I also think it was a REALLY low blow to bring your parenting into it.  You would be pleasantly surprised to find how many women grow into motherhood!  Just because you don’t pick up his socks now doesn’t mean that you will be a bad parent!  Because parenting isn’t about picking up socks!  I would bring this part of your discussion up with him again.  Ask him like…for real, does he think this?  Does he truly think you will not be able to handle being a mother?  It speak volumes about his perception of you.  It’s one thing if he said it to spite you, you know, just to be mean.  But it’s worse if he really thinks that about you.  🙁 


Post # 21
3311 posts
Sugar bee

Good luck- I don’t agree with what he is doing and holding the engagement over your head about this is’t cool. Basically he is telling you something like this is a deal breaker for him, he isn’t sure he could marry someone if chores aren’t split 50/50…. Marriage isn’t 50/50- it is let’s do this TOGETHER and achieve for our greater good.

I honestly would leave someone like him because of the bolded. I don’t feel he is IT for you if you both can’t work past this.

Post # 22
462 posts
Helper bee

@blinx81: First off, I’m really sorry you’re having to deal with this crap and feel like you’re being ‘tested’ for the role of being his wife.

I agree with the PPs about either talking to him about how you guys can work through this together, whether it be with charts, a points system chore game [where you guys can make up fun little rewards for whoever wins], or designating certain chores to each other.

My SO was never the cleanest guy, but then he had a traumatic experience with former roommates. He denies it, but I really think it affected him [his roommates were 100 times worse than my SO… it was disgusting. They didn’t help him clean when they moved out, and my SO got stuck with a HUGE bill]. Now he gets very antsy when things aren’t spotless. Sometimes it really frustrates me, because he really nags at times, but I also understand to an extent. We usually clean up the house together, and we’ll each usually do the chores the other hates [ie: he knows I’m not big on doing the dishes, so he’ll do them sometimes. I know he hates folding laundry, cleaning bathroom, etc].

But the biggest thing that concerns me the most in your situation, is that [as PPs have said] it appears he is holding it over your head, basically threatening that he won’t propose until you do what he wants. Not cool. And also not a great way to start a marriage.

I mean, let’s seriously think about this for a minute. Marriage is about two people who love each other, coming together as one for life and a promise to accept each other, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, through the good and the bad.

What’s going to happen if you get injured one day and literally can’t clean up? If he can’t compromise over something like who’s turn it is to do the dishes, how will he compromise on the bigger things in life? If he’s holding a proposal over your head over something like this, what’s next? He finally proposes, but won’t set a date until you promise to vacuum twice a day? You can’t have kids until you can cook every single meal listed in the ‘Joy of Cooking’ book?

I’m sorry but I’m just… so frustrated for you. Especially because I feel I can relate in a sense, in terms of my SO being the crazy neat one, etc. It just breaks my heart that you’re going through something like this, over something that can easily be worked through… but he isn’t willing to because he’s a “50/50” type.

He needs to understand that marriage isn’t always 50/50. Sometimes it’s 80/20, 90/10, or even 99/1.

It’s a partnership, you work together. It’s not “well, I did this, so now you have to do that.”

I really hope you can work through this, keep us posted! *hugs*

Post # 23
3586 posts
Sugar bee

ejs4y8- I was JUST about to say this too! There have been a LOT of discussions around here about “i do everything, my SO, the man, does nothing” and the conversation always ends up being that you should talk to him about it and try to divide tasks up better, even come up with a chore chart. And here, it’s considered ridiculous when it’s the other way around?

I’m sure HE doesn’t want to be stuck doing everything just like she doesn’t! And I agree with what another poster said: 6 months is plenty of time to have set habits and for the bf to be worried. I also didn’t read this as him saying, clean up your act or no ring, but more of, I don’t know if I want to be stuck cleaning up the house and being the bread winner (maybe) for the rest of our lives and she does little.


Post # 24
118 posts
Blushing bee

I agree with what’s been said above, but just wanted to throw out another idea. If he doesn’t want to do a chore chart, how about you both decide on a day to clean the whole house together? It doesn’t matter what each of you does as long as you’re both working during that time and the house gets clean. The rest of the week is just a little bit of maintenance cleaning. If you cook, he cleans up and vice versa. If you both cook together, you both clean up together. Alternate who takes out the trash each time. Other than that, what else is there to do during the week? This is how my husband and I handle things and it works great for us.

Another thing to consider is maybe he just doesn’t realize how much you’re doing because he doesn’t see it. Make it a bit more in your face. If you’re home 1st, wait to take dishes out of the dishwasher until he’s about to come home so he catches you in the act. You don’t have to put on a show forever, but just long enough to make him realize that you’re doing more than he knows.

Post # 26
1850 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

View original reply

I’m glad to see that you addressed the situation. All I could think while reading the original post was “Does she was to marry someone who treats her like an equal or like a child?” I’d be fuming if SO ever treated me like that. I totally thought what prettyflowers said was right on!

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