I feel like my husband's mom

posted 2 years ago in Married Life
Post # 46
542 posts
Busy bee

dont nag, just don’t be the magic genie that makes it all disappear. Let him do it.

My husband and I have a pretty well balanced division of labor that works well for us. We do our own laundry, take care of our own bathrooms. He maintains his offce, i take care of our bedroom.

He is reponsible for dishes, trash, and the yard.

I do everything else (sweep, mop, polish, dust, wipe down, etc). In other words he has a few very direct tasks he remembers and commits to, and i do more of all the little things that add up, that he wouldn’t have the time or desire to keep up with.

If he gets behind on the dishes… I don’t do them. Let them sit till he figures it out. Same with trash.

I usually make our coffee in the am. If there are no clean mugs except one, guess who is getting that mug? 😀 Me.

Try to find a way to balance the work so that you both are contributing and no one feels resentful. Its never going to be exactly 50/50, but you’ll get a long much better with clear duties.

Post # 47
770 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
tamara21 :  “I’m basically tired of telling him how to be a human being. ” 

LOL! Sorry but that was cute and funny.

Anyway, to answer your question. yes I had similar issue. However since my hubby wasn’t loving, caring type anyway, so things didn’t work out between us.

But take these habits in to SERIOUS consideration. You neither want to become the maid, and worse, nor do you want him to think that, that is who you are in the relationship.

It will only get worse when you throw a kid in the mix. Tell him flat out that you can’t have kids with him if he doesn’t clean up his act (literally) because otherwise it’s unhygenic for the baby. And babies cannot even talk back and tell you what is bothering them if they are in some kind of physical pain. You already can’t stand to put up with this cr*p, so why would you be okay with allowing a baby to go through it? It’s not even the baby’s fault that you married him! (Sorry, that last sentence was a bit harsh, but my own personal problems kinda filtered through there.)


Post # 48
460 posts
Helper bee

Sadly, this issue is a very common in many marriages. 

I think that too many men grow up with their mothers and other female relatives cleaning up after them all the time. This continues for years and the men grow up to expect their wives to become their maids. I’ve read that today’s husbands do more housework and childcare than their predecessors  but women still do the lion’s share of chores. 

I don’t think that your husband will change because he was dirty before you got married and it has continued. He also knows how you feel and his behavior has still not improved. Maybe you need to be harsher with your husband since diplomacy has not been effective. If that doesn’t help, consider a trial separation. Get all of your ducks in a row and then tell your husband that you would like to separate because he disregards your feelings by being a slob. Sometimes serious consequences wake people up. 

Post # 49
1753 posts
Buzzing bee

Your husband needs to pay for a house cleaner to come to do his share if he isn’t willing to do it himself. If that needs to be twice a week so be it. Maybe after having to pay for this cleaner so often he will finally get it and start doing it himself instead of paying for it. List the chores and ask him to pick half. He is responsible for that half. If he wants to hire a cleaner for it, fine. If I were you i would get his credit card information and hire a cleaner to come each time he doensn’t do his share. 

Post # 50
1344 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I stopped doing housework when OH tried that nonsense.  I just did my laundry, cleaned the dishes I used (and told him not to touch them), left the sink as clean as I found it, etc. When the place got too filthy, I left for a couple of weeks.  I am not a maid. Live in filth by yourself.  

It’s remarkable how quickly a man learns how to use the dishwasher when a woman stops running it for him.  

Post # 51
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

Does your DH do other things on the house? Like repairs, lawn care, etc? If he does then that could be considered his share of household tasks. My mom was my dads maid for life although he didn’t drop his clothes on the floor, he put them away in the basket. He would leave dishes on the table and such though.

My DH doesn’t put his clothes away or clean the sink and is sometimes messy but I love him and don’t mind cleaning after him as long as hes respectful about it and not doing it purposely. Like putting dishes in the sink is what I expect, but if he leaves his socks on the couch I don’t care much. As we’ve grown into our marriage those things pretty much subsided and doesn’t really happen. I still have to remind him to take the garbage out or what have you but doesn’t bother me much since he contributes in other areas like repairs, lawn care, raking, fixing the cars. If not I’d maybe communicate to him more seriously that how you’re feeling is starting to affect your marriage and you need him to make a real effort going forward.

Post # 52
5287 posts
Bee Keeper

For dirty clothes on the floor I suggest you throw them out. After all, they were simply discarded. 

I have no patience for people who are slobs. (You know he’s not tired, he’s lazy, pure and simple)

Post # 53
9682 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
sunburn :  

I use a slightly less radical tactic .I just pile them on his side of the bed. He gets  SO miffed, it actually makes  me  laugh, which pisses him off even more. It does work, though needs  redoing every so   often  …..

Post # 54
77 posts
Worker bee

I think there’s a lot of good advice in this column. If I were to take bits and pieces of it and weave it all together, this is how I would do it.

Sit down and have another conversation with your husband. Explain clearly and calmly how his behaviour makes you feel and what effect it has on you. As someone else mentioned, make a list of everything that needs to be done around the house. To increase your understanding of the other’s perspective, you should individually rate each item based on how frequently you believe it should be done and discuss the similarities and differences. Know what your top 5 non-negotiables are, and be prepared to negotiate somewhat on the rest. Then explain that you will no longer be doing 100% of the housework and ask him to pick half the tasks from each time frame. He then he has the option of doing his half himself or paying someone else to do it. If he chooses to do it himself, you will trial it for two weeks. At the end of two weeks you will review the experiment. If there has been a satisfactory improvement, you can continue with this new regime, and make plans to re-evaluate the division of labour at specific times so he knows that this is an ongoing part of a marriage. If at the end of the two weeks he isn’t doing his part, he can either pay for someone to do it, or you will commence marital therapy. 

When implementing the plan, do not do his work for him. If he is responsible for washing dishes and he isn’t following through, separate your own cup, bowl, etc. and put it away so he either has to use the dirty stuff or clean it. This will be hard for you, but you need to find a way to see it through for two weeks. The reason he hasn’t changed his behaviour until now is that he has learnt that if he doesn’t do it then someone else will do it for him. It’s the same principle you use for changing the behaviour of a child or an animal – the likelihood of a behaviour repeating is contingent upon the events that follow it. Equally, when he does a task he is meant to do, offer him genuine praise and appreciation. Whilst in an ideal world you shouldn’t have to praise an adult for doing the bare minimum, if you want to increase the likelihood of him pulling his weight, you need to reinforce it with a positive outcome. When you praise be specific. Rather than: “Thanks for doing that”, say: “Thank you for washing the dishes.” Then follow it up with how it makes you feel: “It makes me feel so calm to see a tidy sink” or “When you help around the house, it reminds me that you care about me.” It may feel unnatural, but if you say it with genuine feeling, it will go a long way to shaping his behaviour. 

With all of that said, you cannot change your husband’s behaviour. You can create a context that will maximise his capacity to change, but only he can do the changing. You need to figure out what you are prepared to live with. You may agree with many of the other posters who have said that it’s not worth straining your marriage over something that you can outsource. Or as many others have said, you may not be able to live with the implications of his unwillingness to change i.e. his disregard for your time and your feelings. Whatever you decide to do, figure out what all of this means to you and what hills, if any, you are prepared to die on. 

All the best. 

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