(Closed) Husband doesn’t follow through.

posted 3 years ago in Married Life
Post # 2
Member
6921 posts
Busy Beekeeper

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ilovelift :  It sounds like he’s really disregarding you, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt since you want to proceed and since he doesn’t even follow through with his own plans.  I’ll say he’s a master procrastinator.  I don’t know if it’ll work for you, but my husband and I do two things that seem to help us get moving with chores.

1.  Make a list – a very specific list so even stupid little things are on it – the more there, the easier it is to whack off a ton of items and feel successful.  Instead of “clean bathroom” we have – wipe vanity, clean toiet, clean tub, laundry, sweep floor, trash, etc.  Then we have to cross off a certain number each day or we can’t go to bed or have dessert or something.

2. Give each other chores.  We both know we have to do things so husband picks a chore for me and vice versa. As soon as it’s done (there’s no choice about that part) we assign the next chore.  So maybe I’m doing dishes for a half hour but in the meantime I’m giving him ongoing tasks.

And sometimes you just have to nag if it needs to be done NOW and not in a week.  Or say “ok you wanted to wash the log, I’ve gotten the shampoo and bucket, let’s go” and help him with the task (we almost always wash the dog together, it’s so much easier!)

Post # 3
Member
3227 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I know exactly how you feel. My husband and I ended up divorcing so I don’t have much practical advice – I hit a tipping point and couldn’t deal with it any longer and certainly couldn’t imagine adding kids to the mix. (Other issues were at play too obviously.)  Would he read this article if you printed it and gave it to him? It did such a good job of summing up that mental exhaustion at keeping two lives in order all by yourself. Maybe that would spark some thought for him. http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a12063822/emotional-labor-gender-equality/

Post # 4
Member
4810 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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ilovelift :  Have you tried doing chores *with* him?    I ask because my DH doesn’t vacuum on his own, but if I ask him to move the furniture while I vacuum, he does it, and actually seems to enjoy helping.   You might try doing chores as a team, to see how that works.

Post # 6
Member
508 posts
Busy bee

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ilovelift :  Honestly OP, you are in a tough spot. It seems like you have communicated clearly your concerns and how his actions have impacted you. I don’t think you are asking too much, you are asking to be respected and for your feelings to matter. 

The problem is: He isn’t changing. And the other problem is: you can’t make him change, he has to want to change himself.

When you have these conversations, what are his responses? Actions do speak louder than words, but does he acknowlege that what he is doing is hurtful to you?

Respect in a relationship is huge and it is either there or it isn’t. I commend that you want to work on this, but your DH has to want to do work on it too. At this point, it is not appearing as though he wants to do that. I am not saying it is hopeless, but a major intervention may need to happen to spark a change or you will have to decide: do you want to keep putting up with this (and be discontent for a long time) or do you want to move on?

Post # 7
Member
2872 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I had this issue with DH. It has taken years to get to the point where he is better with this. He actually now asks me first before making plans that involve me. He now actually plans vacations for us. It’s not just me scheduling everything. He has gotten better around the house. I had to do a lot of conversations with “I feel ___ when you don’t do what you said you were going to do.” I don’f reallybhave advice for you but I think it is possible to get your husband better with this. DH and I have been together 20 years and it has been a gradual process.

Post # 8
Member
3298 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

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ilovelift :  why are you assuming 100% responsibility for the house chores if you both work?! I  would stop immediately. You’re being taken advantage of… (intentionally or not) Talking has not worked. Thus he needs hard example.  Do your own laundry only and clean up what you need for youself,  take care of yourself food wise.  Let the house get filthy.  When he finally has enough of it, ask him if he would like you to “help” *him* with the house….and then don’t budge on taking it over ever again. Maybe he’ll offer to have a cleaning service or he’ll grow up and do his half….in the meantime, stop being a sucker. This issue will fester and continue to erode your relationship…

Post # 9
Member
10541 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

This is a tough spot to be in, bee. You can’t make him change, especially not overnight. It doesn’t matter how much of an effort you make if he isn’t making an equal effort. You can’t fix the problem by yourself.

What is his response when you express your frustrations?

Post # 10
Member
7557 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I am not sure he deserves it, but I’ll give your husband the benefit of the doubt, cause that’s the only way there’s any hope here.

Maybe he just doesn’t quite get how serious of a problem this is. I know you’ve tried telling him, but maybe it just hasn’t fully clicked yet that his actions are making you feel disregarded, which is making you unhappy in the marriage. You say you’re committed to making this work, and that’s admirable, but the fact that you even have to say it means that the possibility it might not work is something you’ve considered, at least remotely – even if you immediately dismissed the idea. That’s serious.

I don’t know if this is the most mature tactic, but the next time he fails to do something he said he was going to do, I would probably throw a fucking tantrum. I would lose my shit. If you are not someone who frequently loses your shit, this will have an impact. Then, once you’ve calmed down, write him an email or letter where you spell out  your feelings in a more measured, coherent, but still forceful way. 

You’re not asking for a whole lot here bee. You’re asking for basic respect. You want your husband to consult you before inviting people to stay at your house (A BASIC COURTESY in any relationship) and you want him to follow through when he agrees to do a basic chore. The fact that he repeatedly disregards your wishes and is actually dishonest with you about his intentions is messed up and is actively destroying your happiness in the marriage. So tell him that and see how he reacts. Also, counseling (weddingbee cliche #123121).

Post # 11
Member
7892 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Is he contributing at all to your marriage? What is he doing when he’s neglecting the chores and other stuff? Is he like this with his job too? Why do you think he has good intentions?

I don’t see any sign that he wants to improve things or has even truly acknowledged that there’s a problem. He sounds like a guy doing his own thing, not a man who’s committed to his marriage. I hope things work out for the two of you, but please don’t feel like you’re stuck in this situation. 

Post # 13
Member
7557 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I hope things improve for you bee, but I have to say his reaction isn’t really sitting that well with me. He basically is making lame ass excuses for his failure to do the most basic things in a marriage, and worse, he’s now shifting the blame onto you. 

“He apologized and said he doesn’t mean to ignore me and that he feels like he’s always messing up and that it’s hard to remember everything. …I asked what he needs from me, and he said to control my emotions better and not let them spiral so badly 

What is so damn hard to remember, exactly?

Also nothing chaps my ass more than someone twisting a situation to make themselves the victim. My ex was a champion of this. Here’s an example of the type of argument we’d get into all the damn time when we were dating:

Me: Last night when you flaked out on our plans, it really hurt my feelings and made me feel like I’m not a priority in your life.

Ex: Sorry but I guess I just feel like you’re always mad at me. I can’t do anything right.

Me: No no no! You are great! I just wish you would have texted me or something to let me know you weren’t coming over – that’s all.

Ex: I don’t know, I feel like  no matter what I do it isn’t good enough. I’m a shitty boyfriend, I guess.

Me: You are good enough! You’re the best boyfriend ever! Don’t worry about it – I’m overreacting. I am silly! 

See what he did there? Suddenly we’re no longer talking about the actual problem — my ex being a flake and not prioritizing me — instead I’m apologizing for being mad too often, and now I’m trying to make him feel better. Within two sentences, the conversation went from me telling him that an action of his hurt me, to ME APOLOGIZING FOR MAKING HIM UPSET by daring to bring this up.

Isn’t that fucked up? Please make sure you and your husband aren’t falling into a similar pattern.

Disclaimer: because of my past, this is definitely a “trigger” issue for me (when someone who is engaging in a hurtful behavior refuses to take responsibility and instead twists the situation around to make themselves the victim). Obviously, all I know about your marriage is from the few paragraphs you have written here, so maybe this isnm’t really what’s going on with you guys at all and I am massively projecting. Wouldln’t be the first time!

But if it does sound at all familiar, you need to be really careful. You need to adopt a no bullshit approach. Don’t ever let him shift the blame onto you, and definitely don’t apologize for being emotional about this. Tell him you’ll stop being emotional about him disregarding you when he stops disregarding you. And tell him to stop being a perpetual victim about this. You’re not asking him to donate a kidney – you’re asking him to do a basic chore when he says he’s gonna do it, and not invite house guests over to your home without clearing it with you first! Again, what is so hard to remember? If he has trouble remembering that he promised to do a chore, maybe he could set himself a reminder to do it like every other functioning adult in the world with more than one responsibility to keep track of at a time. 

TLDR: Don’t apologize for being emotional, as though your emotions are wholly unconnected to his bad behavior. Tell him that you see through his bullshit and will not be tolerating it any longer.

Post # 14
Member
2794 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

His response feels a bit gaslight-y to me.  Like 

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tiffanybruiser :  I think he’s shifting blame onto you.  But I may be wrong and for your sake I hope I am.

My husband isn’t great at seeing what needs to be done.  He’s just not, I know that, and I also know that his standards of “clean” are not quite the same as mine! But we’ve worked on this and what we’ve found works for us is that we’ve split the chores up and he knows what he has to do and with what frequency they need to be done.  He loads the dishwasher, because he can get twice as much into it as I can.  I unload it, because he puts things away in the wrong places and it drives me crazy.  He scrubs the shower because he does a good job of it; I clean the vanity and the toilet because then I know they’re clean to my standards.  I vacuum because he doesn’t take the foot off to vacuum the skirting boards but then he will mop.  Would this kind of ‘specific tasks and timeframe’ system work for you? This way he shouldn’t need to remember what has to be done because it’s always the same.

The inviting people without checking with you – he needs to learn to communicate better.  I was a bit guilty of this kind of thing (telling DH our plans instead of discussing with him) when we first moved in together, but he only had to bring it up once with me – I was too used to living on my own and making plans for myself unilaterally but once he mentioned it, I stopped right away.  If your husband doesn’t stop, some marriage counselling may be in order.

Post # 15
Member
10541 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

If my husband said what he needed from me was for me to contol my emotions more when he’s the one being inconsiderate, selfish, and immature he would see a full-blown loss of control of my emotions.

Basically he’s saying what it sounds like he’s said a million times before and never followed through on and then added in – don’t get mad at me for continually messing up in these super basic aspects of our relationship. 

Honestly, bee I think you’ll be back here posting about the same issue over and over again.

I know it’s suggested all the time on the bee and probably disregarded 99% of the time but I would seriously consider getting into couples counseling now.

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