Post # 1
Hey ladies – just looking for a little advice from those of you who’ve been living together/married for a while. Sometimes (a lot of the time) I feel like I’ve become more of a mom to my husband than a partner, at least as far as housework goes. For example – I spend most of every Sunday planning our meals for the week, grocery shopping, doing dishes, cleaning the floors, doing laundry, dealing with all the mail etc etc while my husband sits on his butt and relaxes and plays video games. If I ask him/tell him to do something he will do it, but I don’t feel like I should have to tell him – I mean, we’re both adults and we’ve both lived on our own before (his apartment was spick and span then). Why does he ignore the things that need to be done (especially when I’m running around the apartment working hard while he just sits there)? I’ve talked to him before about helping out and I know he notices when there are messes. How can I get him to help out without me having to nag him? I almost feel like we’re going to have to set up a chore chart! Ideas?
Post # 3
Why does he ignore the things that need to be done (especially when I’m running around the apartment working hard while he just sits there)?
Because he can.
He has you now to do all the things he used to have to do for himself.
I wouldn’t advise a chore chart, but I would advise a serious discussion about how the two of you plan to share the duties of the home. List all the things that need to be done and let him volunteer for the chores for which he will take responsibility.
Assuming that you both work full time, it is unfair for you to shoulder the burden of the domestic duities.
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
What we do is divide out the household chores, and then we each just try to do our chores relatively frequently. He does most of the cooking and also cleans the kitchen. I do all our laundry and putting away clothes, as well as most of the picking up of clutter. We both do the deeper cleaning every few weeks or a month, although I probably do more since I notice it more.
I agree with PP, I wouldn’t suggest a chore chart (which feels very 10-year-old child), but rather to split up the duties. Then let him do them on his own terms – I wait a couple days before I start reminding him that the dishes haven’t been done, etc.
Post # 5
@lisaelanna: I think you need to just ask him for help. Men think differently than women. They aren’t mind readers. If you need help, just ask. I don’t think it counts as nagging if you only have to ask him once and he does it.
Post # 6
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Another vote for dividing the chore responsibilities. Mr. LK is responsible for lawn mowing, I am responsible for laundry. Mr. LK is responsible for hand washing whatever cannot go in the dishwasher, I am responsible for bill paying. Yada yada yada.
We also have a way of being in our house that if you see someone doing a chore, you either offer to help them or you get up and do a different chore yourself. So if I see Mr. Lk doing the dishes, I’ll usually walk over and start drying for him. But sometimes I leave him to it while I work on laundry or something. It’s helping us teach DS, by example, that everything in a household is about team work. Every one does their share and it all works out in the end.
And our other thing is to accept the job that has been done. There is no criticizing that I didn’t fold Mr. LK’s laundry the way he would fold it on his own, or that he didn’t straighten up the garage the way I would have done it. As long as the task is done and meets the overall goal, we’re satisfied.
Oh, and I feel no guilt about asking for help. Why should I? If I need assistance, I am a big girl and it is my responsibility to ask for it. I certainly cannot expect someone else to be on the same brain wave length that I am.
Post # 7
He does it because you let him. No, you shouldn’t have to ask for help, but it looks like you do. If he was raised by a mom who did everything for him like my DH was, they just don’t really even “get it”. Like, they don’t realize that someone (you!) does the work – they kind of almost just expect it to be done for them. I definitely do the majority of the housework, but my DH knows better than to sit on his butt when I’m cleaning (unless I tell him he can!) Every night after dinner, we usually watch a little tv or something before doing dishes. The second he hears me get up and turn the sink on, you better believe he is up in the kitchen with me. Even though he doesn’t really help do anything with the dishes except dry one or two every now and then, he does know he needs to stand in the kitchen with me and “keep me company”. That is way more important to me than him actually helping to be honest. It’s nice to know that he is acknowledging what I’m doing and helping me in his own way.
Positive reinforcement goes a long way, too! Every time he does something little in the house, make sure you thank him and tell him how happy it made you! I started doing ithis and on Saturday I came home from running some errands to my DH initiating a serious spring cleaning session. I’ve also found that turning on some music and having a few beers while cleaning helps make it more fun for both of you and it definitely helps get DH motivated for longer than 45 minutes!
Post # 8
@lisaelanna: To put it bluntly, because he’s lazy and he knows you’ll do the work regardless.
I would stop doing some household chores and taking on more than you can handle. Tell him he’s doing it, or it’s not getting done.
You’ve already tried talking to him and that didn’t work — so I would get tough and let your actions speak for you.
Post # 9
On Saturday he needs to be working as long as you do. You should make a list of everything that needs to get done and just devise and conquer. Cross off an item and pick a new one when you/he are done with a certain task. Nobody sits down until the other is done.
Post # 10
He’s not a mind reader. For all he knows, you are handling it and all is well with the world. Tell him you are feeling overwhelmed with the household and would like his help with things. Our pattern has ebbed and flowed over the years. What really helped was not keeping score or trying to make sure things were even. Pretty much, if something needs to be done, we’ll both do it…. or if something is getting out of hand, we talk about it. There have been times where I feel like I’m doing 99.9% of everything… and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the case. But, often, I don’t pay attention to the things he does that I don’t have to think about.
I think overtime, as he gets used to doing more, you won’t have to ask as much. There’s a fine line between “honey, can you do the laundry this week” to “honey, you are doing the laundry all wrong”. Also – praise and gratitude go a long way!
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
You find a BF that helps out without being asked and encourage it by saying thank you and doing other nice things and chores for him. I must get lucky because every guy I have dated has had no issue chipping in with the housework.
All joking aside, did he help out before you got married? The best way to handle this is to have a family/household meeting and let him know how and why you feel overwhelmed and tell him how he can help. Unfortunately, men are still being raised with traditional gender roles so many still expect their wives to come home after working all day to cook dinner, clean the house, do the laundry, etc… The best way to change this is to make sure your son knows he is expected to help out and teach him how to take care of a household too.
Post # 12
We don’t do a chart or anything but we have gotten in the habit of planning our day over coffee. Like “oh Ill go grocery shopping while you mow the lawn and then we can work on x together”. We also take 30-45 min breaks at the same time. So he’ll like play a video game for a bit while I drink a beer and read.
Post # 13
Agreed. I have this same problem with my fiance. I just ask him for help or give him a list of stuff to do and we do chores together. He just needed a little direction, I guess.
Also, as far as meals, we recently started a new thing where we alternate weeks. So every other Sunday, he has to plan our meals for the week, go grocery shopping and prepare dinner that week. It is great!!
Post # 14
I think I lucked out in this department. My Fiance just does things without promt 99% of the time. He handles the laundry most of the time (he’s a triathlete so his workout stuff piles up quickly), dishes, garbage, and vacuums since I have allergies. Other than that I ask him if I need help with something. He never complains. Sometimes you have to be direct about what you need help with. Seems to work out pretty good for us.
Post # 15
Things should be done on a daily basis and it seems like you are trying to get everything done in one day. Some people see the weekends to do some kind of resting, I mean, sometimes that’s the time to get some work done around the house, but other times, working all week long, some people just want to relax on the weekends and do their own thing. Maybe do different things a few nights a week so you aren’t doing them all day on a dedicated day on the weekend? Seems like too much to me. I like to enjoy my weekends, I know my Fiance does too. We help out by keeping the house clean and organized all week long, so we don’t have as much to do on the weekends.
Post # 16
Some men (a lot) need lists and specific tasks. You are going to make yourself miserable if you keep waiting for him to notice things.
I realized this when I realized my definition of a “full trashcan” was very different from DH’s. My definition = bin is 3/4 full, time to empty it. DH’s definition = trash is spilling out of bin onto floor. We simply see things differently.
DH and I make a list of all of the things we want to accomplish over the weekend. Some of them are chores, some are errands, but we make a list TOGETHER and then each mark off things from the list as we complete them.
On occassion DH will have an “i dont want to clean” melt down and I tell him that is perfectly fine. I can easily hire someone to come do it because I am not going to carry that burden on my own. We’ll just need to cut back on going out budget and food budget to afford it. He often just needs to whine a little and then he gets back to it.
If you continue to behave like his mother, he will let you, If I had someone to clean and cook for me, i wouldn’t be in any rush to change my ways.