- 2 months ago
- Wedding: November 2018
omg, fuck this so much. You need to sit him down and have a serious talk about it. Here are two SUPER VALUABLE resources to show him!!!
If that doesn’t change anything – You should just stop doing everything that you can. Don’t grocery shop except for the things you like, and stash them if you can. Get yourself one takeout meal on the way home from work. Stop doing any of his cleaning, dishes, laundry, etc. Don’t do anything for his car. Obviously keep taking care of your pets.
And think very hard about whether this is someone you will be able to feel in love with forever, while also acting like his mommy. I divorced my first husband after 15 years of struggling with this. I’m remarried now to a wonderful man who is amazing at Adulting, and I no longer have to deal with resentment killing my attraction to my husband. Not to mention, it would have been an absolute disaster if we had kids. The emotional load of kids is super tough, even with someone who shares the burden well.
I shared that comic by Emma on mental load with my husband when we first started living together and it went a long way. He really got the idea of mental labor. Now I feel we are equal partners. I think in the beginning, he was coming from a place of fear of failure/disappointing me, especially when it came to cooking. When we started dating, I was a pescatarian (still am) and he was largely a meat and potatoes guy. He didn’t know how to cook much else. I had to explain to him that knowledge of how to cook tasty things didn’t magically appear in my head one day – I look at food blogs, find things that look appealing, and follow the recipe! He knows what foods I hate so as long as he’s not making those, I really don’t care what we eat on the nights he cooks. We quickly got into a routine where we each cook twice a week and then do takeout and leftovers on Friday/the weekend.
Sometimes I do “delegate” to my husband – by which I mean I ask him to do research or decide on something I don’t want to deal with. I’m pregnant and have totally handled the registry and signing us up for e-learning and that kind of thing, but we have talked about using cloth diapers and I asked him to do the research on what type we should get. We each handle gifts and birthday cards for our respective families, but I do more of the emotional labor to remind him of that stuff, because it comes naturally to me to do so. Things like electronic equipment are his domain.
Lastly, one thing we do that I think goes a long way in maintaining our relationship happiness is to notice, acknowledge, and thank the other for something they’ve done – taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, doing a load of laundry, cleaning the bathroom, etc. Even if it’s a standard chore that really needed to get done, showing that we appreciate that the other person did it makes us both feel more invested in contributing to keeping our home running.
Could you take the upfront step of listing out all the things you have become the default decision-maker about and sit down to discuss splitting them up between you? You’re available to discuss decisions if he wants to talk things through, but ultimately half the list belongs to him. And tell him how it makes you feel that he says “whatever you want” and makes you decide everything. For me, it would make me feel alone in the relationship and like my husband is not my partner, that he’s checked out, and I would get frustrated and resentful and lose attraction to him.
We’ve had this issue as well, so you’re definitely not alone. A few things I just stopped doing, like the laundry, since I have like 3 times as many clothes so if I don’t feel like it, I don’t have to do laundry every week, but he does need to for work. Others we shared better, like the trash, feeding the pets, the yard work, cooking, cleaning tasks, or do together like the groceries. Others I still delegate, depending on how much I/we have going on and whether I think he will do a better job with it than I. But, I do still do most of the higher level household management.