(Closed) How do I get FI to do the dishes properly?

posted 6 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
1772 posts
Buzzing bee

Could be that he’s just trying to reinforce that he’s too ‘incompetent’ to do the dishes,so that you’ll remember to never ask that of him again.  

I’ve seen this same approach with laundry. (washing one red thing in hot water with the whites.  It’s just easier to do it yourself than to clean up the secondary mess they made)

That doesn’t address the issue that you currently cannot do the dishes and he should be picking up the slack.  He seems uninterested in learning/changing his behavior and I’m not sure how to make him more interested.   Sorry.  Hope your heal soon.  

Post # 4
7673 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@futuremrste:  Give him the dirty plate/cup next time? See how he feels drinking coffee from a cup with your lipstick on it.

Post # 5
1463 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I dont know if it is the best solution but I would wash them with him. For example he washes and you dry and when you are drying and see extra food, lipstick, etc. you can hand them back to him to rewash.

He wouldnt be upset because you are helping and it will not make him look stupid you just happened to see it. He will not know that you are teaching him to wash dishes properly. 

I have a daughter who hates cooking so I ask her to do me a favor and peel some potatoes and cut them up, then I ask her to put them in water with eggs, then I ask her to drain them, then I ask her to put some mayo in a bowl, and if she wouldnt mind putting the potatoes and eggs in and stir them up. Well guess what she made potatoes salad…hahaha

Sometimes you have to go in the back door to achieve the results you want.


Post # 6
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

Yuk! He needs to do the dishes properly! Who wants to give guests dirty cups? 

Maybe try getting him something different to wash them with? Like if he uses a scrubbing brush get one of those sponges with a scourer on one side instead. We alternate nights doing dishes, Anything still dirty I would leave on the bench for him to do again on his night, hopefully soon he would realise he is just making more work for himself.

Post # 7
6015 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

it sucks he can’t do them right, especially now.  BUT perhaps in the future, after your arm heals, you find something he IS good at.  My SIL was at her wits end with my brother, but he’s a great duster and he moves furniture when he vacums, he puts the lines in the carpet.  So she got a brand new dishwasher, for her, and a nice new vacuum for my brother.

Post # 8
1010 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@futuremrste:  Yikes! My Fiance is the same way, half-assed scrubbing the dishes, then rinse them off, leaves soap residue, the whole nine yards (minus lipstick, since I don’t wear that lol). I’ve told him that if he cannot help with washing, then we are going to be investing in paper plates and plastic cups! The cups can be rinsed out and reused a few times before becoming garbage. This might be a temporary option for at least *some* of the dishes.

Another idea would be to let the pots/baking dishes ‘soak’ in hot soapy water for a bit, THEN having him wash it–grease and grime come off easier if it’s soaked first, and may be easier for him to clean and rinse with less effort.

Post # 9
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012


YES folks… TTR doesn’t have the solution to EVERY problem !!

In reality, people do things differently.  And that means that “pleasing” someone else to THEIR STANDARDS can be an issue for many couples / relationships (Room-mates, Mothers & Daughters etc)

My first Hubby (just another reason he was an Ex) liked to reem me out about how I didn’t do anything correctly… name calling and all.  He liked to correct me like a child etc

My Ex-H was a Momma’s Boy and had very very UNUSUAL STANDARDS in life… I didn’t ever live up to any of them

(Did I mention he was abusive)

It sucked.

Mr TTR has definite issues with the way he “does things” versus how I do them.  Pointing out to me that I am perhaps obsessed about stuff that he doesn’t think matters a whole lot in the big scheme of life (and he’s probably right).  But I consciously bite my tongue a lot, because he is enthusiastically trying to help… his expectations and mine just don’t align.

My biggest issue, is as a guy he tends to have a whole other meaning to the word CLEAN… in his world it seems to translate into CLEAN ENOUGH *

This drives me up a wall

Where I take items out of our dishwasher, and put them aside to handwash because something didn’t come totally clean (usually because he overstacked the Destination Wedding to begin with)…

He’ll just stick that same item into the cupboard… with the reasoning that if it was “sanitized” in the Destination Wedding, then it is CLEAN ENOUGH

lol, H3LL NO if I can see dried on egg on the “outside” of the Frypan, it IS NOT CLEAN in my book

So ya, I am often re-doing dishes by hand… be it after I unload the Destination Wedding… or when I grab something out of the cupboard he’s put away

Rather than argue with him, make him feel bad… OR have him stop helping out entirely… I just do bite my tongue and do it myself to MY STANDARDS OF CLEAN

This CLEAN vs CLEAN ENOUGH (or even Dirty) idealism seems to permeate other parts of our lives as well.

I am very very particular about Food Safety… him not so much.  Dishwashing is one area… he also likes to “rinse things off” and then wipe them down with a dish towel.  I HATE Dish towels… as I find them very unsanitary.  And rinsing stuff off, does not involve soap.  Then wiping with a dish towel IMO just smears things some more.  Ick !!

Lol, to try and keep on top of this, I am the primary person to load and unload the Destination Wedding.  And I change the Dish towels every day. 

With Food, I now date everything that comes into the house (date purchased) along with the date it gets opened / or put into the fridge as a leftover.  This is so that I have better control on the “mystery” stuff / bottles that are in there (he’s a HUGE cook, and otherwise, I have no idea how long the bottle of whatever sauce has been opened for… when I met him, I tossed out oodles of stuff… I can’t imagine how long some of it had been around)

Dating stuff (I use labels) is also helpful for rotation of our Pantry… and I always have an idea of what we have on hand, and what we are out of.  Sure it takes an extra 15 minutes or so to put away a weeks worth of groceries… but the PROS far outweigh the CONS

Laundry.  Another pita.  He has a horrible habit of just throwing everything into one load… try as I might explain to him that that doesn’t work well… or can ruin clothes he doesn’t seem to get it.  After 7+ Years I’ve finally convinced hiim NOT TO TOUCH MY STUFF (or anything that is household based).  If he wants to wash anything of his own fine.  He does admit that I do a better job than he does… and says he likes the way his clothes look now more than when he was single (no kidding)

But, he still just doesn’t totally understand WHY one can’t throw everything in at once, and be done once and for all (he definitely doesn’t understand the concept that as a household we are continually creating dirty laundry… be it clothes, sheets, bedding etc).

He does like to help, so sometimes I’ll sort out a pile of clothes and give him the specific instructions… but that is more time intensive in some ways than doing it myself.  Alas, another trade off I make because I love him, and am patient with him.

The other thing he does that drives me crazy with laundry, is he’ll mix his clean and dirty stuff together (ick).  Be that tossing his pile of clean laundry on the “dirty” bed linens… or hanging his “used” clothes back in the closet to wear another day.  I’ve learned to cope.  I don’t let him touch any of my clean clothes (no thanks dear… I’ll put em away thank you)… and we ended up going to 2 closets.  One for my stuff and one for his.  Now I don’t have to think about the jeans he wore outside gardening… and slightly mud covered mixing with / pushed up beside my freshly laundered black dress pants.

* In the end I think men are wired differently in this regard from the time they are little boys… they are much more roll in the dirt orientated than we are (food falls on the floor / ground… the 10 second rule).  So ya can’t always change them… altho one can try.  But as someone over 50, and been around the block a few times… I’ll tell ya that trying to change a man can pretty much be a useless endeavour.  Most guys don’t change… you get what you get… so you better like it for the most part.  (Like Dr Phil my rule of thumb on this is he 80% what I want out of life ??? AMAZING MAN… good to me?  And the other 20% well I just have to get used to / work around.  As there are NO 100% people out there when it comes to a perfect match)

In the end, sometimes you just have to grin & bear it.  And accept that for them they are trying as best they know how.  Some help is better than no help… so I try not to belittle their efforts or correct them.  And Mr TTR tries I know not to make snide comments about my being a germaphobe (which honestly I’m not)… a girlie girl… or the crazy lady he married.

As an Oldtimer, and an Encore (20+ years the first time), I can tell you being married / loving each other is easy.  It is the living together part that is hard (ask anyone who’s ever had a college room-mate… same concept… except this time round it is for life !!)

Hope this helps,

PS… If there is one lesson I’ve learned in life… it is that you cannot control other people… you can only control yourself, and how you act / react to things.  You can help them out, give them tools etc.  BUT it doesn’t mean that they’ll follow thru.  So be prepared for the fact that what you find to be an IMPORTANT ISSUE isn’t necessarily gonna be one for them.  In which case the only thing you can do is be patient, understanding, loving and able to shrug it off, and come to grips that is it MORE your issue than theirs.  And if matters that much to you… then do it yourself (without resentment).  And if it doesn’t matter that much, then be grateful for what they do bring to the relationship… and figure out how to “work around” the other bits.

Lol, without driving each other starkers !!


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