(Closed) How to train your husband (to help around the house)

posted 5 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
5371 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016

Commenting to follow!

My FI’s mom passed away when he was 13 and after that his dad made my Fiance and his two brothers do most of the chores and cooking. Once he moved out for school when he was 18, he kind of decided to take a break from chores. I find myself doing almost everything and am lucky if he does one chore a week 🙁  He agrees that he needs to do more, he just can’t find the motivation. I definitely could use some of these tips aha.

Post # 4
9887 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I would say, “Honey, I know you work very long hours and I only work part-time.  And I appreciate all that you do for me and for us.  But now that I’m pregnant I get tired more easily and sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the housework.  Will you please help more?”

Post # 6
1339 posts
Bumble bee

@bella128:  Is he a doctor? Do you make a fair amount of money to hire a housekeeper once a week? That seems easier to me than training him?

Post # 7
221 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

My Fiance grew up in a household where his father helped out with chores around the house and he is exactly the same and is probably better than me.

But when I need help from him outside of his usual routine (ie. wedding planning at the moment) he has asked that I make him a list. When it’s not something he is familiar with he doesn’t immediately think of all the tasks that need to be done.

It could be the same with your husband, he sounds like a busy guy and doesn’t know what constitutes “helping around the house”. 

Talk to him and see if a list of things that need to get done around the house in a week would help, he may not understand your expectations.

Post # 8
727 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@bella128:  I wish I knew the answer to this as I have the same problem, except we both work full time and I find I do the majority of the housework (to be fair he does most of the outside stuff).

I also don’t want to nag, but it’s frustrating to just leave stuff there to be done and see it not get done.  I don’t want to be his mother or his maid.  I’ve tried asking, and he also says he’s helping.  Then I also get emotional and he says I’m being ridiculous and overreacting.

Post # 9
903 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

If he’s willing to help, what I would try first is creating a list/schedule and putting it somewhere he’ll see it every day.  Things like empty the garbage on Thursdays, check to see if the dishwasher needs to be run & emptied on Tuesdays and Fridays, etc.  Or you could do what Fiance and I do, which is that we set a timer for 20 minutes at a certain time every day and each of us just looks for things to do, like vacuuming or cleaning the cat litter or putting away all the crap on the kitchen counter.  Eventually, he’ll get used to what he needs to do when, and it’ll be more of a habit instead of you constantly having to remind him.

Otherwise, like somebody above suggested, hire a housekeeper!  My parents and I had one when I was growing up because we lived on a farm and there were simply not enough hours in the day.  She only came every other week, but she was amazingly thorough and her deep-cleaning allowed us to get by with “maintenance” chores on a daily basis.

Post # 10
1811 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@something_orange:  + 1

ive found that my husband is really willing to help out, he just doesn’t realize what needs to be done and when. Now I’ll ask him to do something or make a short list and then I wait. It might take 2 hours for him to get to it, or two weeks, but I make sure as he soon as he does it I thank him very sincerely.  When he sees that it makes me happy and makes my life easier he tends to look for more he can do to help.

Post # 11
7649 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@bella128:  Haha, sweetie, when you find out let me know!

All joking aside, my Darling Husband does the same thing. He will do dishes, but won’t sanitize the counters.

I’ve actually resorted to making a checklist. So for instance, doing dishes includes:

-Wiping down the stove

-Sanitize counters

-Rinse out rag and ring it out (have to be specific with every step)

-Clean out left sink with Clorox wipes


He can then go through the list and see what all needs to be done instead of half-assing the job.

As for getting them to want to help the only thing I can suggest is saying, “Honey I really need some help around the house, and I think it would be a good idea to start doing the chores together.” Make it fun if you can. Chores suck, but doing them together they get done faster and you guys can communicate.

Post # 12
1623 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Here are some things that worked for me:

1. teach your man to actually be able to do chores without  half-assing/quitting part way through: On weekends we’re home, it’s a known fact that this is the time when “all-house cleaning” is done.  So, I make a list of what I want accomplished, and then ask him what he wants to help do.  Normally he chooses sweeping/washing all the floors (bathrooms and kitchen), vacuuming entire house and laundry (which turns into joint effort).  He knows he needs to finish it before the end of the weekend or I’ll nag and be upset. 😉   Then, it’s also easier to keep the house clean during the week.  If he leaves stuff around, I’ll nicely remind him that we just did the cleaning so it drives me nuts that things are already messy again.  It may take a little bit to create new habit of automatically putting things away but it worked eventually for us. 

2. getting them to want to help: Probably not going to happen.  At least the “wanting” part.  Most guys (and girls) don’t WANT to clean, they just do it because it’s part of life.  So, I’d first accept that, and then maybe talk about how you can divide stuff up.  If you make dinner, set the table, will Darling Husband maybe load the dishwasher after?   Also, how far along PG are you?  I’m 34 weeks and now that I’m really showing and getting uncomfortable (and Darling Husband can see it), he’s stepped up even more to help.  Last night I made a ton of birthday treats and he came over and started doing all the dishes/wiped down the counters as I finished without me saying a word.  I think once the pregnancy becomes a bit more of a reality for your Darling Husband, he’ll help a bit more too.

3. creating habits: I think it’s just a matter of asking/doing the same stuff over and over.  Having certain days known for cleaning.  Having certain “jobs” you each normally do.  Not that you have to stick to it, but at least it helps with expectations.  Darling Husband said to me so many times when we first lived together that he couldn’t read my mind so I need to tell him what I want him to do instead of just being annoyed if something wasn’t done.  So I did, and it really helped.  It’s not that he doesn’t want to help, he just doesn’t know what to help with to make me happy.  Probably the same for your Darling Husband. 

Hope that helps! 🙂


Post # 13
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I could have written your post! I have the same problem with my husband. It irritates the crao out of me when doesn’t clean up after himself, and does thinkgs like leave his cereal bowl out on the table, or clothes on the floor in the bathroom because he “fogets” to take care of them. I hate nagging, but I always seem to be doing it.

I would agree with @something_orange: . I have made my husband “honey-do” lists before and he is always really good about getting things done on the list, but you really can’t write down things like “If the dryer is full of clean clothes, please fold and put away” or “if the trash is full, take it out”. I don’t know – I feel your pain. MEN!

Post # 14
9887 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@bella128:  Try to also see things from his point of view.  He works long hours, you say, in a hospital.  That has to be very stressful for him, I would imagine.

What works with most people is being kind, loving and respectful.  Understanding their point of view as well as your own.  Working as a team and not trying to manipulate or change the other person.  Praise him for what he does, thank him for his efforts and ask politely if you need help.  It may not bother him as much as it does you for the house to not be as spotless.  And there’s nothing wrong with either way, neat or messy, it’s a matter of personal preference. 

Be straightforward and ask if you need help but also understand that his stress, his tiredness, and his needs matter just as much as yours do. 

Post # 15
561 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’d make a list. Having things written out should help with perceptions.

Post # 16
924 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I think most men just don’t “see” what needs to be done the way women do. My ex-husband and I could walk into the same room and where I saw 3 pairs of dirty socks and shoes on the floor and dust on the shelves, he saw a pretty neat floor space and a tv. I agree with PP who said, make him a specific list. And realize that it might take him longer to start/finish the list than it would take you. Also, do not go back and “redo” what he just did, drives them crazy. Sometimes, “done” is good enough even if it isn’t the way you would’ve done it. 

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