Post # 1
Oh newlywed bliss. Honestly, marriage has not been as tough as I thought (and was warned) it would be. We rarely argue and get along pretty great. HOWEVER…
Why do I suddenly feel like I’m his mother?? My husband seems oblivious to cleaning up. I need to ask him to do things constantly and he will do it that one time and not again until I tell him again. I’m not even that much of a clean freak but it would be nice if he would put the dishes in the dishwasher instead of just leaving them in the sink. He will cook for himself and then leave all the pots and pans “to soak” aka, for me to clean up the next day. We work different hours (I’m gone during the day and he goes to school in the morning and works evenings). Even though he never says it, he comes off as if his days are much more difficult than mine and he lays on the couch or sleeps when he is home. Meanwhile, I am taking care of our pets and cleaning up. When I clean he will offer to “help” as though it is my job and he is just a child helping with chores. I’m not sure he even sees the mess– he will ask me why I’m scrubbing the stove when it looks clean to him. Ugh! Right now since he is going to school and only working part time, I pay for the majority of rent and bills. So I can feel myself getting resentful that I’m working hard and still clean up his messes.
Before you start attacking him though… I love him very much. He tries but he is just oblivious and is obviously fine living in a messier environment than I am. We have tried chore charts before but he just “forgets” and I end up doing it because I can’t stand the mess. I don’t want to nag him but I don’t know what to say. This morning I told him that it isn’t too hard to put dishes in the dishwasher (tried to say it jokingly) and he told me that I was being rude. I partially blame his parents because his dad is the breadwinner and does not lift a finger at home. His mom completely spoils my husband and I am pretty sure he never did housework until he lived on his own. His mom also believes in traditional roles and I am sure would be aghast to find out that 1) I am the current breadwinner 2) I ask my husband to put away his own dishes.
Anyone else dealing with lazy men in their lives? Please tell me some stories so I don’t feel alone in my struggles 🙂
Post # 2
You need to tell him that. Tell him you aren’t his maid, and he isn’t a little boy and that he needs to clean up after himself because manboys are NOT attractive. And don’t worry about being a nag or walking around on eggshells. Just be upfront and honest about how his laziness makes you feel.
ETA: My SO didn’t know how to clean when we first got together because he had a maid growing up, and I had to teach him. Ever since then, he has done his own chores and doesn’t ever expect me to clean up after him. My point is even if your husband did not have to do chores growing up, it isn’t hard to learn how or remember to do them.
Post # 3
jeg14: Sometimes my husband does that too. But I usually get on him about it. I know I sound like I’m nagging but I always say we’re a partnership, that doesn’t mean you get to lag on it and let me do all of the work, especially when I actually make more money and work more so I have less time to clean, but still manage to clean more than he did. Now I would say it’s more even.
Post # 4
Yes, I totally get it. I think you have to talk to him, but also find out what chores/errands he prefers. My friends’ hubby will never ever unload the dishwasher but the man loves to vacuum. Fiance will only do stuff around the house if I explicitly ask, but he seems to like to go grocery shopping, deal with the recycling, and deal with our crazy landlord – all of which I hate. He also likes gardening and is in charge of our herb garden. In my mind it comes out close to equal.
Post # 5
I have a husband that came already trained. His Stepmother was a Royal B (still is) and told him when he was 16, she already raised her two kids, and if he didn’t follow her rules at home, then he was on his own. Darling Husband still lived under her roof but he had to learn how to do laundry and cook for himself.
He was also previously married so that helps too.
We have been together for a long time and have a pretty good system. He told me that he lives in the house too and makes just as much of a mess so why shouldn’t he help out. He takes care of the trash (taking it to the big bin outside and makes sure it and recycling are by the curb on trash days), he cuts the lawn and puts the bags by the curb for trash, he helps out with weeding, if I cook he always does the dishes and cleans up afterwards (if he cooks, then I do the same for him), I dust and vacuum and do laundry. Darling Husband does help with other things if he sees that I have had a rough day with the boys or just because.
We entered into the relationship as a partnership and that is the way we look at caring for our home, our kids, and each other.
Post # 6
My Fiance is very similar to your husband in not noticing when the house is messy. He will do stuff, but only if I ask him and he is happy to “help”. But, like you, I wish he would notice things need done on his own. For example, we’ve lived together for over two years and trash goes out every Thursday night. I think he’s remembered to put the trash out on his own maybe twice. I usually just come home and see it’s not out and put it on the curb myself. My absolute favorite is when he puts trash ON THE COUNTER when the trash can is literally a foot away! He also always yells at me when I’m scooping the cat litter because he claims he wants to do it but never does. He’ll say “stop! I’ll do that!” and I’m like “then why don’t you do it?” I still love him dearly though. I wish I could be so easy going.
I just wish every now and again my Fiance would surprise me with a clean kitchen when I get home from work. I want the house to look nice for him when he comes home. When I come home I get anxious when the house is a mess, especially the kitchen; because that is the first room I enter when I get home. When the kitchen is clean I feel relaxed entering the space. Who wants to be hit with the feeling that this and that needs done the second they get home from work.
Post # 7
GulfCoastBride: Haha, Fi is very good at vacuuming.
Post # 8
I do all the cleaning in our house, but that’s largely because I’m home during the day and he isn’t. He goes into work at noon and comes home at midnight. Not exactly a lot of time for cleaning. I will ask him to do things on occasion but for the most part I just pick up after I come home. If it bothers you and is causing you resentment then talk to him about it. Chore charts are ridiculous and childish, I’m not surprised they didn’t work for you. He’s your partner, not your child.
Post # 9
jeg14: Oh, honey. My husband is like a carbon copy of yours. He’s the sweetest, most handsome, down to earth, LOVING guy but boy is he a slob! I’m not exactly a saint when it comes to cleaning up either but I feel my man is oblivious to dirty dishes, laundry, empty water bottles (he leaves them all over the house), etc. I don’t nag him and when I encourage him to help me when I’m cleaning up he never hesitates. So that’s a plus!
We haven’t been married for very long (as you can see) and we’ve only been living together for about 4-5 months so I’m pretty passive. We’re both still adjusting to the newly combined household. I do get a bit frustrated though because he does what your Darling Husband does in that when he SEES me cleaning he doesn’t offer a helping hand unless I ask.
Things have been kind of crazy disorganized since we moved into a new home and we’re far from situated. I’m also 6 months pregnant so I don’t have a whole lot of energy to keep up with everything around the house. My husband did something unexpected the other day, though. He bought a chalk board to hang up in the kitchen so we can better keep up with our chores.
Maybe you could try something like that? You could both have set tasks to ensure that things don’t get overlooked. Maybe make little “rules” for yourselves to reinforce – like with the dishes. You two can agree that if you cook for yourselves then you should clean up your own mess. It’s definitely something you two are going to have to work together to keep up with and patience is key!
Post # 10
Yep! My DHs standards are not the same as mine so he doesn’t see the need to clean as often. I think it’s common among men. He picked me up from the airport one time when i was gone for the weekend and said “I cleaned!” Very proud of himself. We get home and I noticed nothing had been vaccumed, dusted etc. I said “I thought you cleaned” he said “oh well I put stuff away” yea..not the same. They just don’t get it sometimes!
Post # 11
I almost could have written this post. Except I am the one in school full time and I also work part time. I do all of the grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and laundry unless I SPECIFICALLY ask him to do something. I run around all weekend trying to get homework done and to keep our house together and what does my husband do? Sit on the couch. Watching TV. Playing video games. Unless I ask him to do something. After working 40-50 hours a week.
I get so frustrated about it because I feel the same way- I shouldn’t have to ask him to do anything. He is a grown man and should see a mess and clean it up. There are dishes in the sink? Unload the dishwasher and cleab out the sink! But nooooo, he has to specifically be told to do it. Unfortunately for the both of us his parents did everything for him while growing up and did him a complete disservice. I mean they picked up his room until he was 25 instead of making him do it. So ridiculous.
But I love him anyways. I have come to the realization that instead of getting in fights with him over it I just need to tell him what to do. I feel like his mom and it just.. Makes him seem very unmanly.. But what are you going to do?
In your husbands defense if he is working part time and in school full time and you are only working a 40-50 hour work week then he IS exhausted and you do have more time then him. I barely have any time to do anything for myself because im so busy working, going to school, and keeping our house together. It’s exhausting even without the whole keeping the house together thing lol.
Post # 12
This is such a common complaint. Guys can be oblivious for whatever reason. My husband does a lot and I am grateful for that, but most women I know cannot say that. You have to make a big deal over anything they do, too.
Post # 13
ali0118: Could your Darling Husband have a chat with mine please ;D
Post # 14
Avoid nagging. As you said, you’re not his mother.
Talk to him about this. Give him the list of chores but ask him to decide which ones you should both do so that he takes responsibility for choosing as well as doing.
Try to do stuff together. One vacuums while the other lifts the furniture. One dusts while the other lifts the ornaments.
Sometimes we find one task onerous and another quite enjoyable so swap tasks occasionally to find out likes and dislikes.
Insist on dividing housework 50:50 ( or if you’re working longer hours he should do more of the housework).This doesn’t have to be prescriptive but I might expect it to be true over the course of a year.
Don’t criticise how things are done. Never re-do a task he’s done.
Avoid traditional roles.
Plan romantic things together for the time saved. Sex, glasses of wine, outings to the cinema, etc.
Kisses mid-housework can be some of the sweetest kisses of all.
If nothing works then simply don’t do any housework.
Post # 15
My Fiance is very similar to your hubby and many of the SOs described by PPs. Incredibly sweet man, always willing to help out, just completely oblivious to what needs done unless explicitly told and reminded. He didn’t have many cleaning-related chores when he lived at home (mostly outdoor/yard/car stuff) and lived with complete slobs through college, so cleaning was something he had to learn when we moved in together 2 years ago and is still an ongoing process.
Everyone is different but my Fiance responds best to me clearly asking him to do something (rather than making a joke/sarcastic comment). Yeah, sometimes I hate that I feel like his mom for giving him chores to do and it drives me crazy that he doesn’t “see” the messes/chores needing done on his own but I’ve learned to pick my battles. Reminding doesn’t have to be nagging either, it’s all in how your phrase it. “Honey, please make sure you unload the dishwasher when you’re finished with X” is going to go over fairly smoothly even if you have to say it a few times.
Something that you didn’t mention doing in your post that I recommend is expressing your appreciation for the tasks he completes. Positive reinforcement is very effective from a psychological standpoint, and it’s something my Fiance has explicitly told me makes him feel good. Even though you might feel (like I do!) that mundane cleaning tasks are expected and don’t require a reward, acknowledging the effort your husband puts into cleaning/chores will make him more willing to do so. He may be more motivated knowing that his effort into cleaning makes you happy.