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

Pandemoniaa Thu 15-Nov-12 16:22:48

Where I'd disagree, Dontmind is with the assumption that too many women like the slightly helpless man act. I agree that some women may find it slightly endearing before they realise what this actually entails on a daily basis. But in many cases, it does creep up on you and often, the worst of it is revealed after you have dcs when you really need to share things most.

When ex-h and I were first together, we prided ourselves (in what I now realise was an utterly precious manner) on being creative and social animals who had far more interesting things to do than worry about dull old housework. Clearly, I was deluding myself. I also think I should have been very much quicker to be very much less tolerant of his laziness. But hey, that's the somewhat bitter wisdom of hindsight.

Laquitar Thu 15-Nov-12 16:24:03

Autumn when i was single i used to inspect any new boyfriend's toillet blush

roundtable Thu 15-Nov-12 16:26:17

I did say it was probably a crap choice, unfortunately.

Personally, I think I am responsible for my life's happiness therefore I have to be proactive in how I go about that. I'm not saying it's perfect, it's far from being a Disney film, but previous boyfriends I've rejected fairly quickly because they weren't what I was looking for.

I agree you should be able to have both, but nothing will change if people will put up with that sort of behaviour. My brother was raised by my mum to cook, clean etc but he is still to find the right person. So the men do exist! grin

I shall be making sure my boys can cook/clean etc before they leave home. I would be embarrased if they were lazy, mosogynistic layabouts.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 15-Nov-12 16:26:52

"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 "

You're not a dick but if you keep on tolerating his idleness, nothing will change. Choice are a) leave, b) stay and carry on doing everything or c) find some way of putting a rocket up his arse. If you've exhausted b) and c) without success all you're left with is a).... relationships have broken down over less.

AutumnMadness Thu 15-Nov-12 16:27:17

When my DH lived alone, he lived in a small almost empty flat that he cleaned up every time I came because he was trying to attract me. When we moved in together, we lived in a very small house that was easy to manage. We were not responsible for anyone but ourselves. Yes, there were housework problems, but they were nothing like they became post-mortgate and post-child. I really saw my DH as being "reasonably ok" with sharing housework then. Of course, it may have been my delusion as opposed to circumstances or DH's cunning camouflage.

Here is another realistic scenario: Two young professionals get married. Then she goes on maternity leave and therefore takes up most of the housework and childcare while he works hard to bring the mammoth to the cave. The maternity leave ends and she goes back to work. The housework question arises, and he says "JUST tell me what to do and I'll do it!". Bingo.

Of course, all of this can be managed better. But one has to know in advance. And this "one" who has to know and manage it is somehow invariably the woman. It's all women's work in the end.

AutumnMadness Thu 15-Nov-12 16:29:27

Laquitar if I ever have a daughter, I will drum this into her from the time she hits puberty! Luuuuuve is all well, but check that toilet!

B1ueberryMuff1n Thu 15-Nov-12 16:32:55

AutumnMadness, you speak sense.

I left my x in the end because he didn't want to respect me or help me or compromise or make a single sacrifice. It wasn't because I was a doormat or too inarticulate to express myself, or because I couldn't reason with him. It was because of him. I did all the housework and all the childcare for a few years and then I left. Was that really what he wanted? no, it wasn't. But it's his loss. I'm glad I left. He still feels sorry for himself.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 15-Nov-12 16:34:06

I like Hecate's suggestions

AutumnMadness Thu 15-Nov-12 16:34:53

Pandemoniaa, of course many of us find slightly helpless men attractive. We are supposed to be NURTURING and CARING, aren't we? And if you love, I mean REALLY LOVE someone, why would you not want to wash some socks for the love of your life? What would Cinderella (who is so so good) do?

Laquitar Thu 15-Nov-12 16:35:59

grin Autumn, i so agree!

AmberSocks Thu 15-Nov-12 16:37:40

men like that dont ever really change.Either deal with it and focus on his more redeeming qualities or leave.

Plus,maybe he just doesnt care if the house is a mess?Me and dh both say "if it bothers you,then YOU do it" i dont think its fair to expect someone to live to your standards.If he was really messy and unhelpful but then moaned at the place being messy then thats not fair,but maybe he just doesnt see it the way you do.

Pandemoniaa Thu 15-Nov-12 16:37:41

I like to think that Cinderella would Get Someone In to do her Prince's sock washing!

roundtable Thu 15-Nov-12 16:39:52

Autumn on the maternity issue, I don't do the majority of the housework and I made that clear pre children.

My role is to bring up the children for that time not be a housemaid. I do tidy up the toys etc, I'm at home all day so that's fair enough and I cook as again, I'm home first. Everything else is up for debate, except ironing. I don't do ironing unless I am given wine feeling kind. grin

Perhaps I am lucky, but men like my dh do exist and I am grateful for that.

AutumnMadness Thu 15-Nov-12 16:40:24

Yes, that is probably what Cinderella would do. It's a pity though that fairy tales rarely tell us what happens after the marriage.

B1ueberryMuff1n Thu 15-Nov-12 16:40:41

Snap with your 'timeline' there Autumm. When i met my x he had a small flat which he kept nicely.

Problems only really arose when I was on maternity leave, and there was nothing to put anything and he was judgemental about my 'standards'. He did nothing but liked things tidy and wanted me to do more while he rested after a long hard week at work. Then, throw a second child into the mix, and unravell unravell........... but to begin with I suppose a lot of women would have seen his tidiness as a selling point. so even if you are with a tidy man with high standards , problems can still arise. It's down to the man's personality. Not whether he's messy or tidy per se. The questions are does he care that you've worked hard all week too!? does he even acknowledge that!?

Pandemoniaa Thu 15-Nov-12 16:46:50

There is another side to the coin...

After ex-h (who is the father of my dcs) and I split up I made a truly disastrous error of judgement and remarried pretty much on the rebound. One of my h's (he was never "dear) attractive qualities was his capability around the house and willingness to share the work.

In reality, I'd married someone who had buggerall else interest in anything and was positively anal about housework. The house was spotlessly clean but entirely soulless since he was territorial about chairs (anyone sitting on "his" would be treated to a Mighty Whinging) and did not welcome visitors. At Any Time.

Strangely, this was all a very much more dismal state of affairs - admittedly it was one extreme to another though.

AutumnMadness Thu 15-Nov-12 16:48:54

roundtable, I also make it clear that I am not a housemaid. All the time. In clear, unambiguous direct-communication sort of way. Does it work? Yes and no. I think I am making progress, but time will show. You are probably lucky/v.clever/both, anyway - good for you! And I really do believe that there are men out there who actually take up ownership of housework.

so even if you are with a tidy man with high standards , problems can still arise, I could not agree more. Such problems often arise because men realise that they acquired a thing called "a wife" and therefore can get some well-deserved rest.

ihavenofuckingclue Thu 15-Nov-12 16:49:54

I also would be delighted to find out how people who say "I would have never married such a man!" vet their spouses prior

Because I married a man not a child.

roundtable Thu 15-Nov-12 17:00:49

Fair enough Autumn, I wasn't insinuating that you were a housemaid, I was just replying to your scenario. I thought it was a hypothetical one. Sorry if you thought I was being rude. I hope your situation improves one way or the other, it certainly sounds frustrating.

YY to the obsessively houseproud. I know a woman who works part time and their house looks like a showroom as he is obssessively neat and tidy and so expects her to fufill this role now she's at home more. Their set up would be hell for me.

Actually, maybe the reason me and dh don't really lock horns about housework is that I'm far too slutty about it. Hmmm. grin

DilysPrice Thu 15-Nov-12 17:53:05

I'm unconvinced that a washing-up strike would work - I remember from my student days that you can happily manage by washing up once a fortnight without actually dying, so if your DH is of that tendency then you could end up living in a hovel indefinitely. And you could force him to wash up his own plates by this method but not to clean the kitchen surfaces. Pots and pans would end up in a permanent festering heap unless you had your own set in a pack locked cupboard shock. Has anyone ever seen The War of the Roses?

DilysPrice Thu 15-Nov-12 17:54:35

Pack locked = padlocked, obvs.

DontmindifIdo Thu 15-Nov-12 18:31:06

Washing up strikes etc won't work because it becomes a battle of wills, which he knows if he waits long enough you'll crack. (Although washing and ironing his clothes is something you can just stop doing on the grounds it only effects him, whereas washing up, cleaning etc effects everyone in the house).

What's more, it's childish. Saying "if you don't start pulling your weight, our marriage is over." might work, that is assuming he actually loves you, and only if he realises you mean it. I would mean it if DH expected me to be his servant. I would throw him out.

At the moment, the OP's DH has no reason to change, so won't.

Leonas Thu 15-Nov-12 19:03:43

Wow! I can see what people mean by saying it is disrespectful for him not to do any housework but I really don't think I would leave a relationship for him not doing housework. It does really piss me off but I don't see it as a reflection on how he feels about me. He does obviously have good points or I wouldn't be with him!
And the reason I tell my friends about it is that they are my friends and I talk to them about the good and the bad - is that not what friends are for? I would be pretty depressed if I couldn't talk to my friend!They tell me shit things their partners do but unless it was something really awful I wouldn't tell them to leave.
Momsnatter - I agree with you entirely!

see? you're not prepared to deliver an ultimatum where it hurts so the situation will continue.

Leonas Thu 15-Nov-12 19:17:57

To answer a few questions:
He totally agrees that he is out of order for not helping and it does usually improve for a while if we speak about it.
He doesn't technically refuse, he just doesn't really mind if the place is a tip.
His parents had pretty 'traditional' roles and although his mum wouldn't take any crap from his dad or him, she does run about after him when he is home.He doesn't think it is my role or women's work, he just doesn't do it.

He does have a medical condition which makes his memory really bad and he does find organisation quite difficult, especilly if he is tired so I do tend to take charge of important dates/ bill paying etc - doesn't excuse the housework thing though.
We don't have kids but we do have a kitten which he dotes on and looks after exceptionally well!

I would actually be quite sad if my friends felt the way some people do that if I am not going to leave him, don't moan about him - harsh!

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