(Closed) How do you get your SO/FI/DH to WANT to help around the house? (Bit of a rant)

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
46670 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Don`t make a chart- he will feel like you are treating him like a child.

Sit down and discuss what chores have to be done around the house and decide the chores for which  you would  like to take responsibility. Talk it out and agree what each chore actually means e.g laundry means wash, dry fold and put away or place on the bed.

If he doesnt do his chores, dont come to his rescue. If you have to do your own laundry, fine and dandy, but don`t do his. With no consequences there will be no change.

Post # 4
4046 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

First, I think you just need to be on the same page regarding what needs to be done. Some people just don’t see leaving laundry in the dryer as an issue (or filing the mail daily, or doing dishes daily, or making the bed). Not everyone grows up with the same idea of housekeeping. 

So I don’t think its fair to just expect him to read your mind and have the exact same expectations. I think you need to discuss with him and come to some consensus about how often and who can do the tasks, and how much it would make you feel better about your house/life/relationship.

Post # 6
43 posts
  • Wedding: August 2013

In my experience living with my ex, my Fiance and my brother, you generally have to ask men to help. I ask Fiance to help out all the time but then again, when I do ask, he will gladly do it without any comments or problems. It’s just that my version of clean and his version of clean are on two opposite sides of the spectrum so he will think the kitchen looks just fine whereas I think it’s a holy mess. 

Post # 8
3783 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

When you find out please let me know 😉 

My Fiance is the same— will help when asked but rarely takes the initiative to see what needs to be done and do it. And then he expects praise (i.e. “Look I vacuumed the carpet, how does it look!?”). Hahaha!

He has gotten a LOT better though. I’ve asked him which things he enjoys most, like vacuuming, and made those “his” jobs. When it comes to cleaning we usualky clean at the same time so it makes it easier.

Straightening up though is definitely tougher. I usually just “remind” him about what needs to be put away. I find that “Hey babe, could you please do X before you go to bed?” works pretty well. And then praise him after (i.e. “Thanks so much for putting that away. It looks much better.”) With junk mail I will gather it up, hand it to him, and ask him to go through it and file it/throw it away.


Post # 9
1992 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I have no advice for you on this.  it seems that I’m dealing with the same thing.  My SO hardly ever takes the intiative to clean up unless I ask.  I will say that when I’m sick, he makes extra efforts around the house, but thats about it. 

Post # 10
1623 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Another one in the same boat here! Darling Husband is pretty good about the dishes (he knows it’s a big pet peeve of mine to have dishes sitting the sink especially if the dishwasher is empty), and then picking up around the living room.  But as far as vacuuming, dusting, following through with laundry, going through mail, etc., I have to ask and he’ll gladly help.  I’ve just come to terms with it; in the end he’s willing to do his share, he just needs a little guidance on what would make me feel like the house is clean. 🙂 Yes, somewhat annoying but I’d say it’d be a much bigger problem if your Fiance was unwilling to help at all as I’ve heard from other poor bees on here.

Post # 11
815 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Wow, that sounds exactly like my fiance.  We’ve lived together for 8 years and he’s only gotten slightly better.  I guess I’m not really the one to give you advice on it,but I want you to know that you are not alone in this battle!!  I also work full time, and have a lot of outside projects I do.  My fiance sleeps in every day and works about 4-5 hours a day on his own time.  I’m envious of that!!  But because he doesn’t really know what it’s like to have a full time job, he just doesn’t seem to get it.  He will help out if I ask, but I do get really tired of asking.  I’ve also told him that it hurts my feelings sometimes and that does seem to help.  But a few weeks later he’s back to the usual.

One thing I have figured out is that he has a few things he likes to do, like he does the dishes & walks the dogs, but he does the exact same thing with laundry yours does and he’s actually ruined so many of my clothes that I’ve banned him from laundry.  I have just had to give him the tasks he likes and deal with the fact that they may not get taken care of as often as I’d like.  Thank God he’s great in so many other ways!!

Post # 12
5892 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

The reason he doesnt do X is because he doesnt notice that X needs to be done. It’s not like he is walking around thinking every minute, Wow the floor is dirty It really needs to be vacuumed, but I’ll just put it on the back burner and ignore it. Don’t think that he thinks like you or sees things the say way as you. How do I know, I’m your Darling Husband. I grew up with a very neat Mom, but I am my Father’s daughter (with a touch of ADD). I just don’t see it–it’s called situational blindness. After we go on trips I will step over my unpacked suitcase for weeks. It just doesn’t bother me (DH usually unpacks now). 

That being said, everyone has to pull their weight around the house. But to expect him to ‘want to clean’ or to see the mess the same way just isnt going to happen. When you talk with him, list everything that needs to be done and how often you’d like it to get done (and negotiate how often if necessary). Then talk about what each of you can expect (meaning dishes are done before you go to bed or can they sit in the sink for a few days) of each other and when you can remind him. 

Then you might have to do some things he just wont do. For instance, Darling Husband is in charge of the mail. He always will be. When we lived in a condo, I would just forget about it (it was across the complex). Now it’s next to our front door, but I just hate dealing with mail. So that is DH’s job. 

Post # 14
46670 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Stargaze31:  Dont hold your breath until henoticesthat something needs doing. Its not happen. But if you do keep rescuing, he will never take the initiative.

In my first marriage, literally the day we got home from our honeymoon, my ex started dropping his clothes at the foot of the bed.  He lived in the house before we were married and never did that. It was like he expected me to adopt the little housewiferole from the get go. I fooled him. I didnt pick a single thing up. The pile was higher than the bed before he asked me why I wasnt doing the laundry. I answeredI am doing the laundry. There hasnt been any of your clothes in the laundry hamper. Never again did he drop clothes on the floor.

Luckily I don`t have that problem with my Darling Husband. he does whatever needs doing with no prompting from me.


Post # 15
1621 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I can only speak from my own experience, but I think it’s most often an issue of different expectations of cleanliness rather than a blatant “it’s not my job” attitude (which I wouldn’t tolerate).

Yes, it’s sometimes a bit annoying to me to have to “ask” for help, since really household stuff should be 50/50 (in general, if both parties are working equal amounts roughly), but I’ve come to realize that I have to ask because he just doesn’t see it the same way I do.  I’ve taken to thinking about asking as “I have higher expectations, and he may not anticipate that but he’s happy to help if I mention it” as opposed to thinking “I shouldn’t HAVE to ask, this is 2013!!!! GRRRR”.  

But if it got really bad, or if I asked and got static, then it would be war and I’d do my own dishes and laundry and he’d figure it out when all his drawers were empty haha…..I’m only half kidding, though.

Post # 17
51 posts
Worker bee

I’ve been married for 30+ yrs but came to the site for advice on anything new.  Even though I don’t like gender roles, I have refused to mow lawns, wash cars, weed gardens or shovel snow.   The work is still very uneven but since he isn’t going to change, I might as well take advantage of what he will do. I also make sure there are plenty of projects going on for him to do that will improve the house.

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