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to be fecking sick of people telling me 'just tell him to...'

(122 Posts)
Leonas Wed 14-Nov-12 21:12:25

My DP does sweet FA in the house and takes very little responsibility for anything at all. Friends keep telling me 'Just tell him you are not doing it anymore', 'Just telling him to do it himself' etc etc. Do they not realise that after 7 years I HAVE TOLD HIM THIS!
It has no effect. I tried not doing housework but cave and do dishes when I am forced to eat my cereal out of a cup/ have so much ironing needing done the cupboard I stuff it in wont close anymore etc.
I keep hearing 'I wouldn't stand for that' as if I am chosing it and don't mind - just pisses me off that people seem to think I want to be made to feel like a dick for 'letting' him not do any housework sad

HecatePropylaea Thu 15-Nov-12 06:37:15

Well, in the nicest possible way - you are making a choice. You are choosing between a range of shitty options. It would be great if choices were horrible thing v great thing. But often they're horrible thing number 1 v horrible thing number 2 grin. such is life. you just have to choose which horrible thing you're going to go for grin

One of your choices is to pack a bag and leave. Give him a massive shock and hope that he realises just how strongly you feel about it. This is not the same as leaving the relationship. He just has to think it is. You may call it 'games', I call it a clear demonstration of strength of feeling grin

Another choice is to stay on strike. Cook for yourself, wash up only what you need, when you need it. Do nothing else. Accept that this means you live in a pigsty.

Yet another choice is to hire a cleaner to come in every day. (this may only be a choice if you have the money!)

One more choice is to throw away anything left on the floor. so clothes etc. In the bin.

Another choice is to not to his ironing and just leave it in a heap.

Buy cards and gifts for your relatives but not for his. Make sure they know that he really couldn't be arsed. (a variation on this would be to buy them something and sign it from you alone.)

Don't be his calendar. If he expects you to remind him when things are happening - don't.

don't be his clock. If he won't get up - leave him to sleep.

Whatever you do though, it has to hurt him and not you. So not doing any ironing - you're going to cave in. Just don't do HIS and if you can ignore the pile of his clothes in the corner of the room, you can keep that up for the rest of your life.

Not doing any dishes - if you don't do any, then as you've discovered, you soon have nothing to eat from. If when you want to eat (the single meal that you are cooking for you, because of course, you aren't cooking for him any more!) you wash the single plate, knife and fork you need and the pots you need to cook with, and leave everything else - again - hits him but you get to eat.

you say he won't take any responsibility for anything. Why is this? Is it because all things household are, he feels, your job? Is it because he is childish? Is it because he lacks confidence? Is it because he's a lazy arse who thinks you're there to service him.

Knowing WHY he behaves the way he does is the key to change.

One thing is as sure as hell though - if you carry on with your life the way it is now, you will grow to loathe him. He needs to understand this.

differentnameforthis Thu 15-Nov-12 08:33:57

Stop ironing. It's pointless.

Stop washing his clothes, cooking him meals etc. If he can't help in the house, there would be no way I'd be doing anything that would benefit him.

megandraper Thu 15-Nov-12 08:47:31

Thing is - I don't suppose OP wants to live in an absolutely disgusting student-type hovel, which is what her house will be if she only washes up the plate she is about to use, etc. I couldn't live like that! How long is she going to have to do that for? And will it really change his behaviour?

Sorry, OP. I think this would be a dealbreaker for me, and I would rather live alone than with someone who treated me like a skivvy. I'm not sure if you have DCs or not?

valiumredhead Thu 15-Nov-12 08:48:58

Yes I WOULD leave someone who was so lazy they couldn't help round the house because I would see it as them not loving me enough to help.

I'd find it really hard to love someone who behaved like this.

So OP, it's no good moaning then doing it anyway - you need to follow through.

DontmindifIdo Thu 15-Nov-12 08:57:23

thing is, when other people say "just tell him to" they assume your relationship is one where he realises if he doesn't do it, you would leave him. Or that if he doesnt do it, you won't. Or if you tell him to do it, and he doesn't, you'll make his life hell.

Your relationship sounds like you'll not throw him out, will just do it yourself after a while, won't actually stand your ground.

Look at it another way, why should your DP do this stuff? You get stroppy for a bit, but as long as he holds his nerves, normal service resumes after a bit and life carries on as before. There are no consequences for his behaviour and you will run round after him. He's got a servant he doesn't have to pay, why bother doing anything? It's not like anything will actually happen.

B1ueberryMuff1n Thu 15-Nov-12 09:00:07

I had this before I left my x. I think that people mean well, their own partner is a reasonable person and presented with reason, will try to behave more fairly.

My x was not a reasonable person. His priority wasn't to be reasonable, or to be fair. it was to get me to do as much stuff and to nag him as little and to ask for as litte as possible and he 'managed' that situation by sulking and shouting at me that he worked hard all day blah blah blah blah blah. He'd plenty of energy left for criticising though.

I agree that it's about RESPECT. If he's not a reasonable man, you can't reason him in to having more respect for you. You may deserve it but you're not getting it.

Whocansay Thu 15-Nov-12 10:49:55

OP, what does he say when you tackle him? Does he make false promises or simply refuse to do it? Does he realise how upset it makes you?

I can't TELL my husband anything. If I ask him to do something, we have a discussion. And he will usually agree with me unless he has a good reason and we both agree. But if I TOLD him to do something, he'd be annoyed and would be less helpful than he otherwise would be. Everyone deserves respect. I can't tell from your post whether you are confrontational and aggressive or entirely reasonable.

Of course, he could just be a lazy bastard. But after 7 years he's very unlikely to change unless you force the issue.

ihavenofuckingclue Thu 15-Nov-12 10:59:32

Maybe people are board of listening to stories of how fed up you are.
Sorry I know its harsh, but I get really fee up of people who moan about the same issue over and over.

These people may not want to tell you to leave the bastard.

It would be a deal breaker if dh was quite happy to sit back and do fuck all while did everything for him.

EuroShagmore Thu 15-Nov-12 11:02:26

I don't think we have all the info we need to tell if YABU. For example, if he works 80 hr works, you don't work and have no children or children in school I think it would be a reasonable arrangement between you that you do all of the housework. If you both work full time and you are also taking care of everything at home then he is being completely unreasonable.

givemeaclue Thu 15-Nov-12 12:05:14

But why would you move in/marry someone incapable of washing up?

HecatePropylaea Thu 15-Nov-12 12:19:48

That's a good point, Euro.

I for one simply assumed that there must be an inequality or the OP wouldn't feel resentful.

secretskillrelationships Thu 15-Nov-12 12:44:08

I had this with my now ex and it was ultimately a deal breaker. I tried lots of different approaches but nothing worked. My biggest bugbear was the sense that I was responsible for everything (house, children, finances etc). We did try a cleaner but of course it was down to me to sort, organise and ensure house was actually tidy enough for her to clean!

Now he's moved in with GF who doesn't cook so he's doing all the cooking and most of the shopping too. Had he done this much when he lived with me, we might still actually be together. On the other hand, my newish BF emptied my kitchen bin at the weekend (big deal for me, have clear ideas on what guests should or should not do blush) just because it needed doing and I was busy! Trivial thing but speaks volumes to me that he actually noticed it needed doing, offered (so not overstepping the mark) and did it while sending me up for feeling uncomfortable about it grin.

As PP suggested, there is no reasoning with someone who is choosing to be unreasonable. Still can't believe it took me to my mid 40s to truly get that actions speak louder than words.

crazyhatlady Thu 15-Nov-12 15:31:58

Always amazes me that there's so many women happy to play mummy to their partners.
Op you're friends are giving you advice, I assume you have a moan to them about it, if you don't want their advice stop telling them about your situation. By the sounds of it my 4 year old does more around the house than your dp, yes I'm training him well, some woman will thank me in 20yrs time!

As others have said it's not about housework, it's about respect. Does'nt sound like he gives a damn about your needs quite frankly.

AutumnMadness Thu 15-Nov-12 15:40:27

regular appearance of such threads indicates that you are really not alone.

I closely relate to what you say. I think people who advise to "just tell him":
a) are very lucky/delusional in their relationships and never had to deal with these issues, so are not in a position to say anything sensible, and/or
b) subconsciously blaming the woman for housework inequity problems as housework is of course a woman's job even though men are supposed to share it equally, iykwim.

I also would be delighted to find out how people who say "I would have never married such a man!" vet their spouses prior to nuptials. Naturally, most of us, if propositioned by a man who announces that "Marry me, but housework is a woman's job" would naturally say "er? bugger off." The trouble is that:
- People often start relationships in the purple haze of love that can make it remarkably easy to overlook imperfections in one's love object. The purple haze also makes women mind the housework less as they see it as an expression of love. It can even motivate men to do more as they want to impress a potential partner. The pity is that when the haze recedes with time, men lose the motivation and women start seeing housework for what it is.
- People often start relationships in circumstances where housework is less of an issue and become a bigger issue with time. Such as: They start living together as childless students who share a tiny rented flat and eat junk. Fast forward 10-15 years and they find themselves with a mortgaged three-story terrace that needs work, two children who need to get 5-a-day, a dog, disabled elderly parents, full-time jobs, and a garden full of slugs. And who usually volunteers to "be responsible" for it all? No prizes for guessing.

Pandemoniaa Thu 15-Nov-12 15:47:07

Very well said, AutumnMoon. Because you rarely make a long-term commitment to anyone who is a lazy bastard with questionable attitudes about taking a fair share of household responsibilities. It is only as the relationship develops (and the arrival of children is a big factor) that their true colours emerge. When ex-dh and I lived in a shared student house, we all mucked in. But equally, we were all a lot less bothered about things being mucky.

justmyview Thu 15-Nov-12 15:59:14

Buy more pants and socks so that he runs out of clean clothes before you do. He'll do washing eventually

roundtable Thu 15-Nov-12 16:02:15

But people I know, moaned about their partner's uselessness pre children, had children with them anyway and are still moaning about them.

Fair enough if there is a change over time but when people, such as my SIL have been complaining about how lazy/useless etc their partner is for the last 10 years on a daily basis to whoever will listen it does become tiresome.

Luck can play an element but personally, I do think a lot of people do have a choice, crap choices possibly but the choice is there whether or not to stay with someone who treats you badly. IMO being consistently lazy is treating someone badly.

Pandemoniaa Thu 15-Nov-12 16:02:56

He might, justmyview but in the meantime, why should anyone have to live in a tip, surrounded by unwashed pants and socks just to try and get an already unwelcome and unheard message through to a lazy sod?

justmyview Thu 15-Nov-12 16:07:38

I agree Pandemoniaa it sounds like returning to the worst type of student flat. I'm just trying to think how OP could manage NOT to always be the first to cave in

Laquitar Thu 15-Nov-12 16:07:49

mess - i personally can't stand it but i understand that some people don't mind.

Dishes/laudry/roilet cleaning - this one i honestly dont get it. Would those people REALLY not have done it if they lived alone? If thats true then it would put me off them. Do they wash their teeth and their penis? confused. Do they wait untill their teeth fall?

I wouldn't divorce for housework per se but luck of hygiene would put me off sex which then would make to leave.

"I also would be delighted to find out how people who say "I would have never married such a man!" vet their spouses prior to nuptials"
I looked at how he lived in his own house. He cooked, it was clean and tidy. If, in the early days, I'd seen he lived in a pigsty and had the local takeaway on speed-dial, I'd have backed away before I'd been on a handful of dates with him. I would not have assumed that living with me would have miraculously changed him.

if I'd seen

AutumnMadness Thu 15-Nov-12 16:11:55

Pandemoniaa, thanks! I also love your rendition of my name here. Seriously considering changing it.

roundtable, yes, you are right, lots of women moan about their partners and then have children with them anyway. I certainly moan and plan to have more children with my husband (disclaimer: I don't moan to anyone and all the time as yes, I realise that it is tiresome). But I don't agree with you on the subject of choice availability. I think most women who are in relationships with men do most of the housework. So if one wants a men, e.g. to have children with, one may find the labour pool of house-trained husbands a bit small. And anyway, why should the woman do all the running-around, messing with divorce and switching husbands? Sounds like more work for women to me. It's shit either way and often it is very difficult to assess which stinks less.

So I say - women should have their cake and eat it. We should be able to stay married AND share the housework equally.

DontmindifIdo Thu 15-Nov-12 16:15:40

AutumnMoon - well, most people these days do live together before getting married and having DCs, and you do get a pretty good idea of general laziness/attitudes to cleanliness from that - IME having DCs tends to highlight these issues, not create them - few men who did 50% of the housework before having DCs and were generally tidy and respectful of their DP suddenly stop.

I think the issue is that too many woman like the slightly helpless men act when the start dating blokes in their 20s. It's astounding to me that so many woman do actually happily marry and have DCs with men like this and then bitch about it later.

When people find they have a 'good deal' in a relationship they have no incentive to change, I would have left DH if he'd not done a fair share round the house when we first started living together. I'd have thrown him out if he treated me like a skivvy once DS came along, and if you take responsibility for everything, why are you surprised that the other side of your partnership would want to change the situation without you forcing it?

DontmindifIdo Thu 15-Nov-12 16:17:12

oh, I'm doing it now too! sorry, AutumnMadness

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