Post # 1
I love my DH to death, and he is a wonderful man. He has many strengths, but being “domestic” is not at the top of the list–if I want him to clean, put away clothes, tidy, vaccum, do dishes, take out the trash, etc., he is (mostly) happy to do it–but I have to ask almost every single time! Why can’t he learn that these things need to be done and just do them on his own? Every single Monday is trash day–so why do *I* need to be the reminder–why can’t he do that on his own? Are other people’s husbands/SOs like this? How do you CHANGE and make them responsible?
Most of this stuff doesn’t bother me *most* of the time, but every now and then I get pretty pissed about it–these are things that come naturally to me and that HAVE to be done. And I don’t want to do them all by myself. And since he can’t remember (or won’t remember) to do them, I have to “remind” him, which often times to me (and possibly to him!) feels like I am nagging. I do NOT want to be a nagging wife, or a mother, or a caretaker–I want to be an equal partner with shared responsibilities. We have talked about this before and he wants to do better and is willing to help, but it always seems to boil down to me telling him what we need to do to keep house–never him doing it on his own accord.
The latest annoyance is a busted battery on a smoke detector in the stairwell of our 3-unit apartment. There were several that were going off for weeks and I kept asking him to take care of it. He kept saying he would. I reminded him for days. We finally got an email from our upstairs neighbors that they had finally done it. It pissed me off because I felt like they were annoyed that we hadn’t–and so I was annoyed that he didn’t do it after my persistent asking. Now, another one is going off. I asked him to change it. I even went to the store to buy the batteries with him tonight. And now he says it is too dark to do it in the stairwell (it is poorly lit) and so he will do it tomorrow. I guess this is just the thing to set me off right now, but I just don’t know what it takes to NOT nag but still get things done. I do the vast majority of the cooking and the cleaning, and I feel like these occasional things (trash out, batteries changed) should not be my responsibliity as well. I know that this is coming at a particularly stressful time–I am finishing up my first year of grad school this month, and I am stressed, I guess. But am I being unreasonable?
Sorry for the long vent, but I needed to type this out somewhere or else I was going to really snap at him. Sigh. Any advice and or commiseration welcoe!
Post # 3
@MrsKitchenQueen: This sounds sillly but Fiance and I did a chore chart a while back and it really helped us get into a house-keeping swing. Maybe something like that would work?
Post # 4
@aliavenue: I like that idea! Did you use a template or make it up yourself? I like the idea of him being accountable to something OTHER than me 🙂 Thanks.
Post # 5
@MrsKitchenQueen: No problem! I made up my own little chart and left a few blanks to write things in for the week that different (read: batteries!)
Post # 6
Sit down- have a talk and decide who is going to do what. If he needs a reminder have him set it up on his phone or calendar on his computer.
Post # 7
How often has he seen you “blow up”? my fiance never does dishes, cleans, etc… but one day he actually cooked (clouds part, a beam of light, and you can hear angels singing). well in the process of making tacos he drank a whole freaking pail of margueritas, managed to dirty EVERY dish in the house, AND literally had to soak crusty stuff off the stove. needless to say i BLEW IT. I yelled, I broke dishes, I numbered off all the things i did around the house while DARING him to name 1 that he does. needless to say, he hasn’t cooked since and he has started doing more around the house. You’re not his mom and he needs to know that. if you don’t want to fight or don’t have it in you, i’m with ali, start a chart.
Post # 8
to be honest, my fiance and i are both terrible at housekeeping. i am thinking of making a chart with daily/weekly items in permament marker and then getting a dry erase marker so we can cross off the chores that are done that week. and if a certain percentage are done, we can get a treat (like going out for ice cream)
Post # 9
@kerensa: that’s a cute idea! we definitely work well with incentives.
i definitely don’t want to start a fight over it–we have gotten into fights over cleaning before, and it just doesn’t do much except make us both upset. i’m hoping to find a way that is nonconfrontational or accusatory to work it out.
Post # 10
sounds like my hubby – i once went almost 6mths with a strobing fluro light in the bathroom because he was too busy and lazy to change it and it took me hitting the roof at 3am in the morning when i went bat shit crazy on his sleeping arse that he finally changed it
i dont think you are being unreasonable, like you i do everything in our home but take out the garbage – thats his only chore. to be honest i now have Mark, a “hire a hubby” handyman (thats his legal business name) for my houseshold repairs – saves grief for both of us
if its something hubby can handle (light bulbs for example), we now laugh and i say “honey you be the man today and do….” and he will – i think he learnt his lesson after the last time i went crazy over a light bulb
Post # 11
@eloping: Haha, hire a hubby–I love it! Someday, when we have disposable income, I really think having a biweekly cleaning lady would cut down on a lot of stress over household chores. Until then, we will have to figure something out…
Here’s crossing my fingers that he will actually change that battery today and I won’t have to nag him again!
Post # 12
DH is not domestic. I don’t like to be but am more often than he is.
We compromised and he pays the housekeeper. Marriage saving investment right there.
Post # 13
Honestly? I put my foot down one day. Told him “I’m not your mom and if I wanted a child I would push one out of my vagina. I’m not about to sit there and nag and remind you about every little thing that needs to be done. I’m not going to be your mom. If you want a mom. you can marry the one you already have. You know this stuff needs to be done, so just do it.” (Or something along those lines). Let’s just say he’s become significantly more proactive over the last several months.
Post # 14
Sounds EXACTLY like my husband! I was convinced that this was “just the way he is” until my mom pointed out that he is extremely successful at work and doesn’t have anyone reminding him all day every day to do stuff. If he can learn that, he can learn when chores need to be done. I think that this is an issue for a lot of women because the mess/chores seem to bother us more than it bothers men. But here is what we’ve done to try to avoid conflict.
1)DH is responsible for SPECIFIC chores- he cleans the bathroom, takes out the trash, feeds the dogs and does the outdoor chores (shoveling snow, mowing lawn, weeding, etc) If they aren’t done, I can call him on it because they are ALWAYS his jobs, not just when I ask him to do them.
2) We decided on a schedule that the above chores “need” to be done. Now, am I down his throat if he’s a day or two late? No. But at least he knows what MY expectations are for when things should be done. *as a note, he’s always at least one day late on his “chores”- I’ve learned to deal with it:)
3) He is “allowed” to call me on my “chores” that I don’t do. THIS IS IMPORTANT! If I can *gently remind* him that his stuff isn’t done, then he can do the same to me. It has helped A LOT (even though it’s only happened once) because then it doesn’t feel like I’m his parent
We went to a couples counselor that told me that men are just wired differently and see different things than women do. BUT, that doesn’t excuse them from ever being responsible for household items. Hold your ground on specific items you want him to do and it will get better:)
Post # 15
@claireos: been there, done that.
I also agree with the chart
Post # 16
dh actually does more chores now than I do, because his work tends to be less stressful and time-consuming than mine, but it took a LOT of conversations, heated and not, to get to where where we are now (we’ve lived together now almost 4 years–I think it took about 2.5 before he started cleaning without me asking/nagging, aside from a few tasks he knows are “his”). it went from nagging because no one wants to do certain chores, to a mutual understanding that part of maintaining our relationship is both of us pulling our weight to keep our home afloat. he def needed to learn what needed to be done and when–we tried to use a chore chart but it didn’t work super well for us (it worked better in college, I think, when there were more people to divvy up the tasks no one likesdd). instead we have a white board with a to-do list on it that helps us both keep track of what needs to be done.