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

cheekydevil Wed 14-Nov-12 21:15:08

Ok. I feel your pain (in the arse) he obviously has some redeeming behaviour too as you are still with him?

The whoole point about "telling him" is that you have to follow it through. There's no point in "telling him" until you are blue in the face and then caving in. You can either try washing up one plate and then using it yourself, you can live with him as he is or you can leave. Realistically, after 8 years he isn;t going to change unless you MAKE him do so, and frankly, Good Luck with that. (Have some flowers and a glass of wine grin thanks wine)

OpheliaPayneAgain Wed 14-Nov-12 21:16:17

Do yours not his. It's not like he's going to wear your irnnd blouses and skirts )(hmm may be he mingt grin)

Wash your own plate to use.

OovoofWelcome Wed 14-Nov-12 21:16:54

How about going and buying yourself a cheap set of crockery/cutlery. And a new laundry basket, just for you.

So cook for yourself, wash and use your utensils. Wash and iron your own clothes. If his clothes are everywhere, bag them up in a bin bag and shove them in the shed/under the stairs if they're bothering you. And see how he likes it after a while smile

OovoofWelcome Wed 14-Nov-12 21:17:49

X posts Ophelia!

BabylonPI Wed 14-Nov-12 21:20:33

You've got to stand strong if you really mean it.

Do YOUR washing and ironing, wash YOUR pots only, cook YOUR meals, you get the idea?

It may take a week or a month or maybe longer, but sooner or later he will shape up or ship out.

Will ever you cave in and go back on your word, he is playing you like a fiddle.
Say it, mean it and follow it through.

Good luck.

My dp is exactly the same, although if I ask him to do washing up or peel veg he will!

hatesponge Wed 14-Nov-12 21:21:23

I think people who say the 'just tell him' thing have fairly malleable partners who they can have those sort of conversations with. Not everyone responds to being told to do XYZ.

My Exp did fuck all at home. I asked, I begged, cried, shouted, downed tools and it never made any difference. Unlike the OP's DH he had no other redeeming qualities (in fact quite the contrary) which is why he is now my Ex.

Since we split he has gone back to live with his mum where he doesnt have to lift a finger.

I suspect if we were still together he would do nothing, and in the unlikely event he meets a new partner in future, he will be exactly as lazy with her as he was with me.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 14-Nov-12 21:22:30

oh dear sad yes some just love to inform others how they would not put up with it blah blah but i am sure you never thought you would then somehow it happened do not give yourself a hard time we nearly all have put up with things we never thought we would do at some point in our life

what is the reason he is lazy or thinks it is women's work

i guess you have tried just doing what needs to be done for yourself

sometimes people will not change is the relationship good in other ways. you can not make people make lasting changes if they do not want to change is he bothered that it makes you so unhappy

Helennn Wed 14-Nov-12 21:22:51

I get what you are saying OP. My dh spends money on his hobby, even when we don't have it, and spends far too much time on said hobby - family time. I have been told to 'put my foot down' about it as though this hasn't crossed my mind. We have had so many rows about it that it really is patronising.

Unfortunately if push came to shove (ie its the hobby or me) I think said hobby would win, so it actually comes down to - is it worth leaving my marriage over? Sometimes, no amount of putting your foot down (ie trying to get him to do something he does not want to do) will work.

McChristmasPants2012 Wed 14-Nov-12 21:23:48

I wouldn't stand for it, If DH wouldn't do his share of the housework i would be telling him to move out and get his own place.

If he's not listening to you, I'd suggest you speak to him again & say if you are not prepared to pull your weight then pay for it... And get a cleaner.

mrskeithrichards Wed 14-Nov-12 21:28:34

I was in a similar situation. He wasn't totally useless but not up to par. Sometimes I would decide to suck it up, and get on with it, but this turned me into a stomping about huffing martyr.

All this huffing and stomping and puffing would culminate in an argument every few weeks. It would appear 'out of the blue' to him and a bit manic.

So one day we sat and calmly discussed the issue. I know - radical huh? I told him his behaviour was disrespectful. Every time he opted not to do something he was leaving it to me thus treating me like a maid. Apparently he genuinely hadn't seen it like that. I also stopped nagging and adopted a more matron like approach.

We're getting there and I know you'll get people with super efficient partners asking why you're with this man child and blah blah blah...

But dh and I moved in together straight from our respective childhood homes at 21. We'd both had it easy, him more than me though with a mum who still tidied his room. I at least knew how to work a washing machine! He renovated our first two homes in the space of 3 years. In that time I worked part time, he worked full time and rightly or wrongly I took on the majority of the domestic stuff.

LittleTyga Wed 14-Nov-12 21:31:56

Well you are choosing it aren't you? Because there are other choices - your life does not have to be this way if you choose for it not to be.

RandomMess Wed 14-Nov-12 21:34:08

Well you have the option to leave, I guess some people would leave though their partner not pulling their weight in the relationship.

littlemisssarcastic Wed 14-Nov-12 21:46:20

OP, If you don't want to hear your friends opinions on your domestic arrangements, why are you telling them what goes on in your house?

Of course your friends are going to make well meaning suggestions as to how you can motivate your partner to help out more. They see you are being treat with a lack of respect and don't like it I'd imagine.

I have a friend like this, and find it very difficult to listen to her. She will even smile and laugh as she catalogues everything her 'D'P refuses to do, yet if anyone suggests ways of improving the contribution her 'D'P makes in the house, they are met with a confused look and how XYZ couldn't possibly work on her 'D'P, and most of the time, there is absolutely no need for her to even mention him, if she doesn't want other people to know what is going on in her house.

For example, another friend of ours has just returned to work after ML, and friends DH is picking up the DC from CM twice a week. The put upon friend then just HAS TO say "My 'D'P would never pick up the DC from nursery, I have always had to be responsible", all said with a grin on her face.

Why, just why would you mention it?

If you don't tell your friends, then how do they know OP?

Meglet Wed 14-Nov-12 21:49:48

My XP wouldn't do anything either. He would step over his filthy work jeans and was incapable of moving them 6ft to the laundry basket and would put them on dirty on a monday. (although he had even worse qualities).

I am training DS up to be nothing like his father.

midseasonsale Wed 14-Nov-12 21:51:33

get him to pay for a cleaner three hours a week

Momsnatter Wed 14-Nov-12 21:53:56

Would people genuinely leave over this. i mean really - even if you have kids? OP i feel your pain, my DH is like this. He doesn't refuse to help point blank but it takes an awful lot of nagging. I wouldn't dream of leaving him over it though - unless it was part of a much bigger problem.
Also, I think it would be really petty and a pretty hollow victory to get my own way by having my own plate and laundry basket! How depressing (although this attitude is probably why i do 90% of the housework!)

LittleTyga Wed 14-Nov-12 21:55:48

I wouldn't have married him in the first place!

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 21:55:51

Is his arse stuffed with gold ?


LittleTyga Wed 14-Nov-12 21:56:49

And yes I would leave someone who thinks I'm some sort of skivvy put on this earth to clean up after him! Fuck him right off!

FreudiansSlipper Wed 14-Nov-12 22:05:21

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

WaitingForMe Wed 14-Nov-12 22:10:47

It was a contributing factor to me ending things with my ex and I wouldn't put up with it again. He valued his time over mine and himself over me.

It's not about housework, it's about respect.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Wed 14-Nov-12 22:14:50

I would leave over this. Not because of a few dishes or a bit of washing but because it shows a complete lack of respect, and what is a marriage without respect?

But if it's not a deal breaker for you then fair enough, everyone has options even if they don't want to take them

notmyproblem Wed 14-Nov-12 22:23:42

OP if he doesn't listen to you when you ask him to pull his weight around the house, what else doesn't he listen to you about? Are you allowed to have an opinion on other things, or does everything you say go in one of his ears and out the other? Does he have any respect for you at all?

Momsnatter Wed 14-Nov-12 22:24:33

It's not about a lack of respect in our relationship - although I appreciate that it can be in some. My DH just thinks differently to me. Mess doesn't bother him. He'll happily cook a meal, look after the DCs etc. but he wouldn't think to wash the dishes until he needed to use them again. He doesn't expect me to do it, he just doesn't expect it to be done at all until there's no option. I hate disorganisation though.
OP, how is it for you? Do you feel disrespected? Can you sit him down and tell him how you feel? I guess you've tried this though...

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 22:27:29

Momsnatter, do you do some things for your DH that you know he likes, but you might not otherwise do ? If so, why couldn't he do the same for you ?

My DH lives with mess blinkers on, I need to spell it out slowly over a number of weeks before it sinks in. He's 12 years older than me and perfectly capable of cleaning up (he's ex military), but seemingly he chooses to ignore it and leave it to me. Highly frustrating.

maddening Wed 14-Nov-12 22:37:48

But if you have been complaining to your friends for 7 years the only advice is to
A put up with it
B make a stand - either verbally or by your actions ( e.g. striking)
C leave the bastard

There is nothing more anyone can say apart from tactics for choice b or c

Momsnatter Wed 14-Nov-12 22:38:06

Any yes, I think so. As he does for me - just not in the housework department.

Pilgit Wed 14-Nov-12 22:38:50

My DH went through a phase of this. I told him that if wanted a mother to go back and live with her and that being treated like his mother was deeply unsexy as I didn't really feel like screwing my son. I then withheld sex or sexual contact. He sorted himself out very quickly. In fairness he wasn't usually like this and was in a bit of a bad place so giving him that kind of jolt worked wonders. This wasn't about trading sex, before any one misinterprets, but about being treated like a partner in life rather than his parent.

Pilgit Wed 14-Nov-12 22:45:49

sorry meant to add, I can understand why you're irritated both with DH and the suggestions.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 22:46:22

moms so what would he say if you said the one area you wanted him to please you in (bearing in mind he loves you and wants to make you happy, like you do for him) was the "housework dept" ?

the way you say "housework dept" says it all, if you think about it

like it's a whole area that is nothing to do with him

that isn't right, and it isn't fair

Momsnatter Wed 14-Nov-12 22:57:06

Any hmm not sure. I think if I made it clear it was really important to me he'd do it for a couple of weeks without me having to say anything and then it would tail off and i'd have to start reminding him again.
I think you're over thinking the wording though.

Cahoots Wed 14-Nov-12 22:58:31

Mmm I think this thread is backfiring on the OP, who is not BU at all.

If there was an easy solution I am sure that the OP would have worked it out already.

thanks and wine for the OP

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 23:05:49

moms I'm not overthinking anything, IMO. I guess it bothers some women more than others that they are expected to do all the shitwork, and have less leisure time than their partner simply because he possesses a cock. That is not meant to be a dig, btw, it's what we are talking about as the bottom line isn't it ?

abbierhodes Wed 14-Nov-12 23:12:03

I certainly would leave someone who treated me with such disrespect. In fact, as a poster above says, I wouldn't have married him in the first place.

It's not about 'not seeing the mess' it's about expecting someone else to pick up after you as though you're their maid.

And Helennn 'if push came to shove I think the hobby would win' How low must your self esteem be to want to be in a relationship like that?

hiddenhome Wed 14-Nov-12 23:17:19

I really do feel your pain because I'm in a similiar position. If I didn't clean up, dh would just ignore it anyway, so it would achieve nothing apart from a dirty place that I'd have to clean up anyway in the end sad

These men just don't understand that things would be a lot better for them if they just mucked in a bit more. Lazy feckers hmm

Momsnatter Wed 14-Nov-12 23:22:54

I'd say he has less leisure time than me. Anyway i'll leave it now as i've hijacked the thread. OP hope you come to an agreement with your OH

"I keep hearing 'I wouldn't stand for that' as if I am chosing it and don't mind"
But you are effectively choosing it by remaining in the relationship ...

closerthanmost Wed 14-Nov-12 23:43:43

I'm the messy one in our relationship, DH is always clearing things up literally as soon as it's finished with, I've always been much more laid back about clutter. I don't expect him to clean up after me, I'm just happy enough for it to be left but as it's him who can't tolerate mess then I don't feel pressured to constantly tidy up all the time. I was happy enough living that way before we lived together and I don't think I should be forced to change my habits just because of DH's preferences really.

So I think if it is something that bothers you rather than him, imo the responsibility does fall on you since he's not really asking you to do the housework.

Pandemoniaa Wed 14-Nov-12 23:48:27

Would people genuinely leave over this. i mean really - even if you have kids?

Eventually, yes, some people would leave. My ex-h was similar and I honestly believe that he thought that I'd simply put up with his disinterest in helping around the house or with the dcs. That and his need to fit us around pub opening times. I tried any number of tactics from reason to strike action but nothing had any impact because, tbh, I think he'd happily have lived in a pig sty provided it had ready access to real ale.

I also think he was labouring under the misapprehension that he had other, irresistible qualities but in fact, his disinterest in taking any responsibility at home completely undermined such positive aspects as there had originally been in our relationship. I left when the dcs were 6 and 5 and II don't regret it for one moment.

I don't know whether your DP has any redeeming qualities, OP but I would say that after 7 years, you are unlikely to change his attitude.

SomersetONeil Thu 15-Nov-12 00:16:38

Well, according to a load of people on the Asda Christmas advert thread, you should constantly be on the receiving end of a warm, satisfied glow from doing everything and not expecting anyone else in the house to lift a finger to help. hmm

You're not, though, are you?

In fact, you're resentful as hell. Ask him how he expects you to have one iota of attraction for him, when he regards you as nothing more than a skivvy. Tell him that every single day this happens, your resentment builds up and up, and you love him and fancy him a little bit less.

Someone asked if I would leave over this. YES, ABSOLUTELY.

Firstly, because it would mean my DH had absolutely no respect for me and saw me only as his domestic help. How could I love and respect a man with no respect for me?

And secondly, because staying would it teach my daughters that is is normal and acceptable for a man to treat a woman this way, and normal and acceptable for a woman to accept it as her lot. And it isn't.

In fact, you're resentful as hell. Ask him how he expects you to have one iota of attraction for him, when he regards you as nothing more than a skivvy. Tell him that every single day this happens, your resentment builds up and up, and you love him and fancy him a little bit less.


I would also leave over this. Not the housework but the lack of respect, lack of teamwork, bad message to my DD, grinding down of my 'self'. It's not the dishes.

sashh Thu 15-Nov-12 05:32:55


Get a cleaner.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 15-Nov-12 06:05:56

I feel for you OP and echo Momsnetfer. It's not easy to leave a relationship either or necessarily to afford a cleaner.
You'll have told him 1000 times and sat down and discussed it, if he's anything like mine, he'll agree with me, be quite amazed that he is slovenly and say he'll do more - but nothing changes. If like me, you hate nagging, you just get on with it for a quiet life. It's not right at all, but when you've tried everything... Good luck OP, you're not going to get anymore joy from this thread than you do in RL, as people see it's not right and try and help by offering advice, ( I feel better reading your thread knowing I'm not the only one in this situation), tea, sympathy and cake for you.

RawShark Thu 15-Nov-12 06:23:38

OP - sounds like it's not just housework TBH, its the little responsibility for anything that concerns me.

But I hate it when people say "I wouldn't stand for that" because they don't know everything about a relationship .

SO I shall just offer you a brew

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

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!

ihavenofuckingclue Thu 15-Nov-12 19:26:28

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?

To a point yes. But people soon get fed up of listening to same thing all the time, friends or not especially when you don't actually do anything to resolve it.
They know you are not really going to do anything about it so the advice will be 'leave him' which they know you won't or don't actually think you should or 'tell him'. Which, tbh, is possible their way of trying to end the conversation.

What is it you want them to say.

OP : My DP does sweet FA in the house and takes very little responsibility for anything at all.
OP's friends : Sympathy. How about x?
OP : My DP does sweet FA in the house and takes very little responsibility for anything at all.
OP's friends :Sympathy. How about y?
OP : My DP does sweet FA in the house and takes very little responsibility for anything at all.
OP's friends :Sympathy. How about z?

7 years later ...

OP : My DP does sweet FA in the house and takes very little responsibility for anything at all.
OP's friends : Just tell him you are not doing it anymore


Chandon Thu 15-Nov-12 19:39:45

Op, some practical advice:

Do not have a Big Conversation about how he should help more. You end up with an argument, and doing the dishes alone, again, only now you are also angry.

DO ask him tonight" could you gve me a hand with the dishes?" if he says no ask him why.

Keep asking him to help here and there " could you take out the rubbish for me?" and " are you free to give me a hand sorting the laundry?". " could you change the hoover bag whilst I go and find the duster?" etc.

And don' t iron his stuff please, just leave it.

I have found this to be most effective, and thsi way heling out becomes a habbit.

Chandon Thu 15-Nov-12 19:40:38

This way helping out becomes a habit

AnyFucker Thu 15-Nov-12 19:51:43

It becomes a habit like my dog is trained to always wee in the same spot to prevent my lawn being ruined.

When you have to train your husband like a dog or tame him like a toddler, it ceases to be a meaningful and equal relationship.

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 15-Nov-12 20:26:16

Amen to that AF.
Would I leave a man who acted like another child, and refused to take any responsibility for our home?
In a heartbeat.
Even if there were children.
Emphatically yes. I don't want my son seeing that only women do housework/are responsible.
My friends dp, who is South American, is a whizz in the house-great cook, does cleaning, takes equal responsibility. She said to him "your mum trained you well" to which he replied "not my mum-my Dad."
If children do not see men doing these things, they simply think that men don't.
I wouldnt be able to continue to fancy a man who treated me like his mum.

Laquitar Thu 15-Nov-12 20:39:43

Sorry, but i wouldn't say for me.

I would say 'Right, what we have to do before bathtime?we better start' or 'dishes or ironing?'.

If that desn't work i would be frank and say what i expect and that men who 'don't see dirt' don't turn me on.

Alarm bell #1
He doesn't technically refuse, he just doesn't really mind if the place is a tip.

Alarm bell #2
His parents had pretty 'traditional' roles.

Alarm bell #3
We don't have kids

If this is already a problem before you have children together, may I suggest that you make absolutely sure you have some serious contraception in place until he gets his act together.

littlemisssarcastic Thu 15-Nov-12 21:00:29

Agree with WhereYouLeftIt.

I agree with OP that friends are there to talk to about the good and the bad, but when the problems are exactly the same for 7 years and you've not actually made any progress in sorting them out at all in 7 years, people, whether they are your friends or not, get tired of hearing about it.

There are solutions, you just don't want to implement them, which is fine, but perhaps you should stop complaining about it then, because that's all your friends can probably see you ARE doing....complaining...about a problem which you are not prepared to do anything about. hmm

DontmindifIdo Thu 15-Nov-12 21:27:36

If you don't have DCs now, then you need to deal with this ASAP before you make that decision. I would sit him down and say it's disrespectful to you to just leave the house a tip and expect you to do it all, he can either make an effort, or you will leave him.

And mean it, if this is annoying you now, it's going to make you want to stab him in 10 years time.

If his parents have a 'traditional set up' I'm interested, has he ever lived alone? Or has he gone from his mum running around after him to you doing it?

As I said, people don't change unless they have a reason too, he has no reason to change his behaviour. Why would he? Only thing that will make him change if he doesn't care about mess and considers it "your job" to do the housework and he'll "help you out" sometimes (see, then he's doing you a favour, not just keeping his home clean), is if he realises it's a deal breaker in a relationship. Only you can decide if you can have the 'traditional' role for the rest of your life or not. If you were happy with it, you wouldn't have started this thread or complained to your friends.

LittleTyga Thu 15-Nov-12 21:45:10

housework question arises, and he says "JUST tell me what to do and I'll do it!". Bingo.

I don't agree with this - Why is up to the woman to tell the man what do? Two adults living together in a home that needs a family to be fed, cleaned, bathed and clothed - and he has to be told what needs doing? really? If the woman knows what to do why doesn't he?

helpyourself Thu 15-Nov-12 21:51:12

You choose to tell your friends that his behaviour pisses you off and you also choose not to follow through on ways to encourage him to change.
Come here and vent if you need to, but it's unfair to burden your friends if you're not prepared to try and change his behaviour.

maddening Thu 15-Nov-12 23:21:14

When was your last talk? How long does he change for? Do you talk about why he is like this and whether he really understands that it upsets you? Can he sort out a system that would work for him?

You need him to invest and commit to change rather than this yoyo of him constantly reverting back to old ways until it turns in to a row which is not healthy for your relationship.

Pandemoniaa Thu 15-Nov-12 23:39:58

My former MIL had a "traditional set-up". This didn't mean she was treated like an unpaid slave or waited hand and foot on a lazy man who couldn't be bothered to take on any responsibility for tasks around the house. I'm not saying that this sort of traditional role would have suited me but I am saying that it wasn't used as an excuse for her husband to opt out - as I rather suspect the expression is nowadays.

SomersetONeil Thu 15-Nov-12 23:40:41

So what do you want your friends to say when you complain for the 100th time, Leonas?

Pandemoniaa Thu 15-Nov-12 23:43:22

I think that even the most sympathetic friends will eventually wonder just how long they need to listen to the same tales of discontent especially when nothing actually changes.

Leonas Tue 20-Nov-12 18:59:56

I would add that I don't constantly moan to my friends about his lack of housework - it comes up in conversation when we are talking about who does what at home/ what their partners do etc. In fact, I rarely moan about it to anyone as it is a pointless exercise and, as so many of you have pointed out, not an especially interesting topic of conversation!
The assumption here is that I follow them around whinging about my man when it is far from the case - just because they know he doesn't do anything doesn't mean I talk about it all the time.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Tue 20-Nov-12 21:13:45

Does it not just kill any respect and affection though, to see him sitting on his arse like Lord Muck while you scrub his shit off the toilet?

It would me. That's what I think people say Leave The Bastard. Yeah it sounds drastic but it would come to that for me because this kind of adolescent laziness would just kill any sexual desire I had for someone. It would be Game Over. I couldn't respect someone who acted like this for years on end. They would just seem like such a giant loser.

It's like being rude to waiters. I'm sure you're going to say oh he's not a loser, he has loads of friends and great professional success blah blah blah. But he is a loser, just like someone who is Mr Big Shot but perpetually rude to waiters. And you are a mug for putting up with it for SEVEN YEARS when there are absolutely tons of men out there with all his good qualities AND capable of picking up a Hoover. Why don't you want better for yourself? If you think you do a lot of shitwork now, just wait til you have kids.

Leonas Thu 29-Nov-12 21:46:50

I am actually quite offended by some of the comments on this and, before anyone jumps down my throat, I feel they often missed the point of my original post.
I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions for staying with my partner and have reasons that I do not wish to divulge as to why I do stay with him. Of course I realise that him not doing any housework is crap, but there are more important things going on in our lives to deal with than that. It doesn't make me a mug, anymore than leaving someone for not washing the dishes makes any of the other posters unreasonable cows. Everyone has different priorities.
I was not complaining about his lack of house-training, nor was I asking for advice on how to transform him to an acceptable standard. I was merely pointing out that I can't be arsed listening to other people telling me I am a fool for staying with him etc etc which is exactly what most people have done again.
Learned my lesson with this one though!

nkf Thu 29-Nov-12 21:51:16

I think if you can't be arsed to listen to people giving their opinions, then you need to either:
a) stop telling them or
b) say please just let me let off steam but I would rather not have advice.

But if you present a problem, many people will try to help you fix it.

maddening Fri 30-Nov-12 09:18:46

Your op said you were sick of people's advice which indicates you are asking your friends for advice /moaning to them.
You stated that that advice is invariably don't put up with it and that pisses you off too.

But all that everyone has pointed out is that there is no other advice to offer - so if you don't want to hear it don't mention it as there is only a limited amount of responses to your issue.

So possibly look at accepting your dh as he is if it isn't a deal breaker for you and talk to your friends about positive things as you have established that your dh's lack of housework is not a problem for you and the limited responses to your complaining about dh are a problem.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Fri 30-Nov-12 09:23:18

I was merely pointing out that I can't be arsed listening to other people telling me I am a fool for staying with him

Then my suggestion would be stop moaning about it. Friends or not they are probably bored of hearing it, if you are bored of hearing the advice.

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