(Closed) How to split the housework when you both work!?

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
45993 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

MeandMyLouboutins:  Do your work hours, class hours and housework hours equal or exceed his work hours plus commuting time?

Post # 4
1432 posts
Bumble bee

 My DH and I both work full time, but because I work 3 nights a week as a nurse and he works the regular 5 day work week I end up doing a lot more because I have more days off.  The rule for us is whoever cooks the other does the dishes. We each do our own laundry and we both will pick up around the house but the “deep cleaning” bathrooms, floors ect ends up falling on me. 

I would be frustrated if I were you also.  Maybe, if he keeps refusing to pitch in have him pay for a housekeeper to do his 1/2 the work??

Post # 5
1382 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

MeandMyLouboutins:  This arrangement doesn’t sound fair to me. I also don’t like that he doesn’t want to even do a schedule as it’s ‘too much like Mom’s’ – well…..if you can’t remember to help on your own volition, then a schedule is what you get! If I were in this situation, I would assign him a chore, tell him how often, and wait for it to bother him (pick something that doesn’t bother you). Otherwise, only do your share – ie, your dishes, your laundry, etc. It’s his home too, and his mess, he should contribute. 

FWIW, FI and I are both full time students, and I have 2 part time jobs. We both work about the same per week – anywhere between 50-70 hours. FI is good at keeping up on dishes, and I do the laundry. He has learned that if he does not put his laundry in the hamper, his does not get done. He also helps with dusting, bathroom cleanup, etc, especially in places where my short arms can’t get to. FI and I cook together or we take turns. It’s really not that difficult to keep up with chores if you stay on top of it. I understand that your FI wants to relax….but so do you. It’s not fair to say he gets to relax, but you get to do all the work. 

Post # 7
3125 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

MeandMyLouboutins:  Our house stuff is unbalanced too, but its gotten better recently. Basically like 

mrs.stormylove:  my DH works 3 days a week ( 12s). So on days he works 12 hours I don’t expect him to do anything. So when he has his 3 day weekends, I ask him to do a big task, or take care of dinner. I found that I literally just have to ask hm to do it. Sit you DH down and maybe just say ” hey i need  you to get x y z done this week” if he doesnt, I would then bring up a housekeeper.

I think the major problem with you two is that unlike me and my DH, my DH acknowledges I do more and also thinks its unfair, so if I ask him to do something he will do it. Did you DH live on his own before moving in with you? I think that makes a difference.  I think a lot of guys who never live on their own think a magic fairy comes in and does all the houseowrk or something, especially if they have moms who do evverything

Maybe sit down with a counselor and work out the house stuff- create a schedule you can both live with. Sometimes having a third party can help open up his eyes to how unfair the situation is and help mediate a good outcome that is fair to both of you. I would have lost it at the ‘lives with his mom’ comment. 

if he refuses these options maybe just go on strike- don’t cook for him, just take care of yourself and see what happens? I did that with laundry one day when I go really tired of doing laundry- guess what, we both do our own now an its awesome haha. 



Post # 8
3769 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We also do the “whoever doesn’t cook cleans up” And it works nicely. Or, more often, we cook together. Even if I’m “leading” the meal I will ask DH to chop the onions or do some of the simpler tasks. When we are cleaning we do it at the same time. Try saying, “okay we are going to spend 30 minutes cleaning. You sweep the floors and dust the furniture while I clean the bathroom.” We also put our clothes away at the same time. It’s much better and there is less resentment when we are both working at the same time.

Post # 9
1412 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I would hire cleaners. You both work a lot and clearly neither of you enjoys cleaning the house. Well worth it to eliminate strife!

Post # 10
45993 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

MeandMyLouboutins:  So your 3 classes and housework take 16-18 hours per week?

I don’t want to get hung up on the math, but sometimes it helps to see the situation from their point of view.

Post # 11
1232 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I don’t think you’re asking too much to ask him to do ONE chore per week without you having to nag.

Here’s what I have done in your situation. It worked for me and my brothers and later with my husband as well, with varying levels of success (brothers=cared less what I think of them, thus did less for me but still more than nagging ever got them to do, husband=cares a lot what I think of him, thus caught on fast and now does pretty much everything I ask him to do).

Right now, you are doing essentially all of the chores in the house, and probably spending a lot of time/frustration/mental energy trying to nag your Fi into doing some work. Even with all your nagging, you say your FI still isn’t cooking, and does the dishes maybe once per week. Can we both agree that time you spend nagging is wasted, and that by nagging you are actually expending more time and effort than what it would take for you to just do that one chore your nagging induces him to do? Would it really be so terrible if you just did that one extra chore, and in return got the clean house and nag-less life you want?

Assuming you can get in this mindset (it takes some work), try this: stop nagging entirely and just ask him for help, ONCE only. If he helps, great. If he doesn’t, do it yourself. For example, you guys just finished dinner and you are hoping he’ll help with cleanup. Say, “That meatloaf was good, wasn’t it? I’m really tired. Would you mind doing the dishes tonight instead of me?” If he’s like every man I’ve ever known, he’ll say “Sure, no prob” and the dishes will still be in the sink the following morning. But give him a couple hours to follow through, just in case he surprises you. If he DOES do the dishes, thank him and say specifically, “It is so nice being able to rely on you for help in the house.” If he hasn’t done the dishes by the time you’re getting ready for bed or dessert or whatever, just go do them, but don’t say anything. If he notices later and plays the whole, “But I was GOING to do them!” game, just calmly say, “OK. But when I asked you for help, I was hoping you would do it relatively soon, not hours later. I wanted the dishes clean, so I just did it myself. But I wish I could rely on you for help sometimes.” Then (this is so important) drop it. No nagging, no guilt-tripping, no fighting. Oh, and if he hears you starting to clean and comes running over to take over from you, LET HIM. Just walk away and be like, “Thanks.”

The point is to try to break out of the nagging/defensive cycle that leaves both people feeling like the wronged party. This calmer, less-aggressive, nag-free approach has gotten me more help from the men in my life than any amount of nagging ever has. I think most men do truly care what their loved ones think of them, and they WANT to be seen as a kind, thoughtful guy who helps his woman. When you nag, though, the man doesn’t think at all of what YOU think of him, because his brain is too busy getting defensive against your nagging accusations (“You never help out! I do everything around here!” etc.)

The truth is, I’m not sure how feminist of an approach this is. I definitely think it would be a lot better if men just weren’t raised to be so entitled about having their housework done for them. Then again, some people are just naturally sloppy and care less about having a clean house, and need reminders to keep up with a cleaner partner’s comfort level.

I think this approach might not work if your fiance truly feels entitled to having his little woman take care of him as if he were a baby. For your sake, I hope this isn’t true. 

Post # 13
105 posts
Blushing bee

This is hard stuff mostly because different people have very different feelings about what a clean house should look like and how household chores should be done. E.g. my husband doesn’t care about dirty floors at all, but they drive me crazy. I like to stuff all dirty dishes in sink while cooking and then take care of them, but my husband thinks it’s disgusting. Etc. etc. Our solution: 1)Cleaning service once a week taking care of all surfaces and bathroom/toilet; 2)Aforementioned “whoever doesn’t cook cleans up”, also swapping similar tasks from one to another, like, if I put away laundry last time he’s going to do it next. 

The topic ‘How to split the housework when you both work!?’ is closed to new replies.

Get our weekly roundup of the best of Weddingbee.
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.

Find Amazing Vendors