for thinking that keeping the house clean and tidy is a necessity and not a choice!(75 Posts)
I do 95% of the housework, i work 16 hours a week in a supermarket and have been doubling my hours over the last 2 weeks with overtime for extra cash for christmas. Over the last 2 weeks i've worked 11 days with only one day off. I have 2 dcs at home aged 9 and 5, i also have 3 adult dcs who through mental health illness need my support. My dp works 40 hours a week as a gardener and very rarely helps out with the housework. this causes tension between us and i feel that he could help more. More than once while having an arguement about this he has told me that its my choice to do the housework! Well if i did'nt do it we'd live in a tip cos he would'nt do it.
So aibu and should i just get on with it like the good little housewife?
Yabu for letting it go.on this long before tackling it.
don't know what you mean by tackling it. This is an ongoing problem between us and causes many arguements. What do you think i should do? I can't force him.
stop doing it and let him see just how much of a necessity it really is. just do the basics for yourself and the dcs like washing your and their clothes and feeding just you and the dcs, doing your own dishes. let the bins overflow let the dust bunnies multiply. leave his washing to fester. and any of his stuff he leaves lying around the house in your/the dc's way dump it on his side of the bed. he'll soon learn.
and if he asks you what the hell's going on. tell him you are simply choosing not to do housework.
What I mean is that you want him to do.more than he does - he has presumably Not Done stuff for many years so therefore yabu for letting it go.on this long.
Inmy experience leaving it does not work.the whole point is they don't see the need to do it that's why they don't. You need to talk to him & let him know what effect this is having on you. If he doesn't acknowledge it then unfortunately he doesn't care.
surely he would see the need to empty a bin that was spilling over or do his washing when he ran out of clean clothes? clean a dish when there were none in the cupboard?
Well. Make a different choice.
As others have said.
ok, if it's my choice, I'm changing my mind. I choose to no longer do your cooking. Your washing. Your ironing. Or anything that is picking up after you. That is my choice.
Let's see how he feels when you cook for you and the children but not for him. When you do your washing etc but not his. When the dishes stay in the sink and you wash only what you need for the meal you are having. And they are right back in the sink until you need them for your next meal.
If you do nothing, then nothing will change.
He might see the need when there's no dinner for him, no clean clothes for him etc, notnagging.
He might see the need then.
goldplated - its not a case of letting him not do it, as i said i can't physically force him to do housework. He has a quick temper and flares up if i "nag" him.
I've really thought about just leaving his washing andnot cooking for him but i don't think i can live in the mess that would entail if he started cooking for himself. Before we moved in together he lived on his own and his flat was an absolute disgrace, i should have known then what it was going to be like.
notnagging, unfortunately i think he does'nt care!
There are degrees of "clean & tidy". You may do stuff he genuinely doesn't consider necessary so he would never do. Equally he may be a slob and not do even what would meet his own minimum standards!
As you only work 16hrs (in general) and he works 40, it does seem reasonable that you should do more of it than he does, though. Perhaps he might be better employed on child-related matters so you could do less there & take the strain.
My ex s flat looked like steptoe and sons house but i was young and naive and thought it was quirky with traffic bollards as lamps and scooter parts in the front room. After many years of nagging to stop leaving stuff everywhere i realised he will never change. Some people are tidy some ar untidy its whether you can live with it is the answer?
yes. yes you should.
it always amazes me when people marry/move in with slobs and get all pissed off when the person continues to be a slob. if you know that's what he is like and it's a problem for you, dont move in with them!
i'm lazy as hell. i do dishes and washing and i run the hoover round most days but i'm no domestic goddess and i would be really pissed off if i moved in with someone who got fed up with me continuing to be the way i am. i'm not going to suddenly start being mrsmop. it just isn't going to happen.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing Dude. DH's slobbiness didn't bother me in the first flush of love/ roses around the door/ he's the most wonderful man in the world time of our relationship. It drives me fucking nuts now. He would gladly live off take aways we can't afford so as never to have to cook or wash up and would wear the same pair of disgusting pants until they rotted off him. The only way to make it bearable is to be the "good little housewife". So you have my sympathies OP.
Dude, daily hoovering is not lazy!
i said in my first post that i do 95% of the housework, obviously i do the majority of the childcare aswell. He never comes home from work and has to do housework or cook a meal and most of the time i wash up after tea, help the kids with their homework, get them organised for bed, sort out there bags and lunchboxes for the next day and get them to bed. He would'nt know where to start! I work 2 evenings a week from 5.30 till 11pm and a sunday 11 til half 5. On a Sunday i finish work, do a shopping, go home and cook tea and wash up, bath the kids and sort out school stuff for the monday. I'm usually on the go for 9 hours on a sunday with only a break to eat my tea.
surely when he's not working at the weekend he should help out a lot more than he does. So pissed off!
i have a golden retriever who can coat the floor with one shake. believe me, once a day hoovering is inefficient!
i agree pixiestix. i didn't mean to be harsh, i really didn't. it just does amaze me. i get the whole, 'first flush' thing but dont people get to a point before moving in, where they think "do i want to live with this full time?"
btw, i would also gladly live on takeaway to avoid cleaning dishes but i have these pesky children that i have to feed properly. apparently
ok. So. What are your choices?
a) continue to ask him to do his fair share. Accept that this does not happen and he kicks off about it.
b) continue to do all the housework and stop saying anything about it. Accept that this is how your life will remain.
c) do only your stuff and accept that this means he makes a mess
d) do nothing at all but the bare minimum for the children and accept this means your house is revolting
e) tell him that if he won't change, you aren't staying
Have I missed off any options?
Really, it's down to you to choose.
I am going through the same thing & I am fed up with being accused of moaning. I don't wash dh's clothes, do the ironing and sometimes don't make his food. He does things when he feels like it. I took people's advice & refused to do it. In those instances the place just looks like a tip.
"He has a quick temper and flares up if i "nag" him."
To put it another way.... if you dare challenge him on something, he gets aggressive so that you back down and he gets his own way. You realise that's classic bullying, 'emotionally abusive' behaviour?
Dude- you don't have a clue! read my last post, i'm not expecting him to do much just help a little more. Its about respect and caring, which i feel i get neither. Us being together has made his life easier, whether we were together or not he'd have to work.
Dude you talk sense. I moved in with DH on the night of our first date , we got married five months later <applies Dickhead sign to forehead>
kaylas you sound like my mum. she did pretty much all housework and child related stuff even though there were times my dad worked fewer hours than her. i remember her being constantly stressed about getting it all done, nagging my dad and us to help, losing her patience with it not being done and having blazing rows with my dad. i dont know the ins and outs of their relationship or whether she ever went on strike or had a serious conversation with him but she's still doing it all now even though my dsis is a fully grown adult. my mum is now in a position where she lives with 2 other adults who work full time (like her) and she is washing, cooking and cleaning for them. i dont understand it. she hasn't made life easy for herself and i know she resents doing it all. the thing is, she doesn't have to. i used to have sympathy for her but i dont anymore. i get sick of hearing her whinge about it when she isn't willing to do anything to change it.
what do you mean i dont have a clue?
i should leave but have nowhere to go.
OP you could ask for a divorce and rent somewhere else. lots of people do this all the time. you only think you have nowhere to go because you probably haven't looked into your options.
is the house mortgaged or rented?
dude- i mean you don't understand my relationship everything is not always black and white. i can't live in tip and i don't want huge arguements that upset the kids, i don't particularly want to leave as have nowhere to go. i feel like i'm stuck in limbo.
we're not married, he owns the house and i earn very little money. The kids would be devastated if we split up. I've been married and divorced before and really wanted to make this relationship work.
for a relationship to work, both parties have to put in the effort. you cant be the only one working hard at it if he's just going to continue disrespecting you.
you do have choices. hec listed them for you.
if you cant live in a tip and the person creating the tip gets angry when you ask him to help then you really do need to leave. you cant expect anything to change unless one or both of you change.
I know exactly what you mean. DH sees weekends as "time off!" Where the fuck is my time off? He does have to certain things because I am disabled and can't, so he does 2 bathrooms and vacuums once a week, and mops the kitchen floor. The kids do a lot.
He was home yesterday, he did some work in the morning, and played games in his laptop in the afternoon. He has whinged this morning because I asked him to take DS1 to meet his driving instructor so I could do the ironing. According to him "I potter all day!"
I've have tried leaving his washing and ironing, but it mounts up so I end up doing it. I tried not tidying his desk, or dusting his side if the room, but couldn't stand the mess. If I stopped cooking, he'd buy take always and we can't afford that! I just get in with it because I can't be arsed with the arguing. He is not a slob, by any means. Most people would think he was quite tidy, TBH, he is just not up to my standards!
also, if you earn very little money and only do 16 hours you would be entitled to financial help in the form of benefits and tax credits.
Kayla, I would be more worried about your relationship than the housework to be honest. I don't think it's a good sign that he's so angry when you ask him to help.
I've had this problem (housework) with my DH, who lived with his parents before moving in with me (yep, definitely should have seen what was coming!). He would do nothing to help unless 'nagged', or as we prefer to call it, 'asked'. Then he would do it, but I would have to ask every single time, about every single thing and it drove me mad. After a few years of, essentially, mis-communication on both our parts, we sat down and had a big chat about it. I told him that it felt like he didn't care about me when he knew how much it meant to me to have him help with the housework, and he told me that he hadn't realised how much it meant to me (underlining the fact that some men do need to have things spelt out to them), and that to be honest he just didn't see the mess. Lots more besides, but the upshot is that we compromised, I accepted that he just wasn't that bothered about the house being a mess and so I couldn't really expect him to keep it to the same standards as me, while he accepted that the state of the house was upsetting me and so he offered to take on the washing full time (and with no tumble dryer, it is pretty full time), which frees me up to take care of the stuff he doesn't see.
It's working really well, as he's also been offering to help more when he gets in from work. He'll just ask whether I need any help with tea or if there's anything else I need done - normally I'll be so happy he asked, I'll just ask him to make us both a cuppa, or remind him that the washing needs hanging out - well, old habits die hard!
Sorry if that sounds a bit smug (have just read it back), but I'm just trying to point out that if you communicate properly and do genuinely love each other, then a compromise should be possible.
You can't communicate properly with an aggressive bully who exploits the fact that you feel financially vulnerable, are too anxious to walk out of the door and will generally keep quiet rather than risk an argument.... He's got you all ways up.
Womens Aid on Emotional Abuse
My dh grew up with his mum doing everything for him - he did nothing around the house at all.
Fast forward to moving in with me - he does 95% of all the cooking, the vast majority of the food shopping, and around half of the clearing up. He's
made himself crap at ironing, so I send out his shirts to be done but do the rest, and I tend to do the housework/gardening/DIY. I work 4 days to his 5 - but he "works from home" quite a lot, which to me doesn't seem that onerous, to be honest.
OP, I'm afraid you might have left this too long to fix. But agree that your biggest problem is fear of his quick temper.
My OH's nan did everything apart from wipe his arse for him until he moved in with me. It really is quite a difficult situation to be in when you genuinely love someone, but can't stand living with them because they expect to be MOTHERED.
It's a long hard battle that rarely gets won.
Upside is, seven years on, he's started to lift the toilet seat and has stopped leaving crisp packets wedged in the sofa cushions. Working on the rest.
Pay for a cleaner and feed him lentil stew seven times a week.
I think it is a choice to an extent. People have very different standards according to what is acceptably clean and tidy, I am pretty relaxed about housework but I have lived with people who tirelessly nag at me for not doing things to their standards. But I don't see the point in using my energy and time when it is them who want things arranged in a certain way. Women really seem to martyr themselves holding everything up to a 1950s standard all the time.
DH knew I was like this when we got married, so it works for us. He likes things to be tidier but doesn't enjoy cleaning at all, but he doesn't nag me to do it, it seemed more sensible to get a cleaner than have it causing friction in our relationship all the time.
Give him jobs to do (or the option to pay a cleaner to do them). Write them on a whiteboard. Cross them off when they're done (sounds sad but works for us...having a visible list makes my DH much more likely to do things).
I felt my DH didn't do his fair share when we moved in together. Over the years it has got much more equal but it took a lot of work. I am always amazed how many of my friends say 'oh but OH doesn't know how to work the washing machine' etc. My DH had a SAHM who did literally everything round the house (and still does). I suppose when that is your role model it takes time to make a different type of relationship.
Hang in there. If any of your DC are male it will really help their future partners for them to see that men should/can/do do some of these jobs! And don't expect things to be done to your standards or exactly as you would do them, as long as they're done.
I don't think men generally have the same standards for housework as women do. Most single mens homes are not that tidy. I think some women get anal retentive about cleanliness and tidiness. I bit of dirt and clutter never hurt anyone.
I'd write out all the jobs that must be done in the house. Washing, cooking, ironing, hoovering and so on. And say look I'm working long hours and I can't do everything. Which ones are you going to do. Like say he can hoover the whole house once or twice a week. Or cook the evening meal once or twice a week. I think having something in place where he is responsible for certain things is better than just nagging. Not saying it will work but it's worth a try. good luck.
I took to not doing any food shopping at all. I used to take myself and both DDs off to eat at a cafe. I also left his clothes in one big dirty heap by his side of the bed and washed my own and the DDs.
He soon cottoned on.
His Mother did ALL the work and worked full time too...even now, she watches her DH make a sandwich and then goes in with a cloth to clear up the crumbs. Like he's incapable.
You have another option...Take 2 full days a week off work, one for YOU, that is your day to do nothing for anyone else. Just things for yourself. (Well, ok cook for everyone, but only easy things, and clear up afterwards, but get your DCs to help as much as possible.) 2nd day off - clean house, pre cook your family ready meals, catch up with laundry and general chores and tidy up.
why on earth should OP reduce her earnings even further just to do stuff in the house because her partner CBA to do it?
If it is what she wants to do, and it is her priority, then she might like to do it, a lot of people do. It is just another option/suggestion! Some people do downsize/downshift to do the things they want to do.
have you read the OP? does it sound like cleaning the house is something she wants to do more of? never mind taking a paycut to do it?
things like washing dishes, clothes, cooking and basic cleanliness in the home (emptying bins, wiping counters, cleaning bathroom surfaces) are essential for every person to do. these aren't a question standards, these are essential for people to live a healthy life in a healthy environment. thic couple also have children so childcare, cooking for them, bathing them, dressing them and keeping a clean supply of clothes for them are also essential.
i look at it this way. anything that the OP's DH would have to do in the house if OP wasn't there for any length of time (a week in hospital or something which meant he was caring for the dcs alone) he should be taking responsibility for half of. he is an adult who created children and should be responsible for them. the other adult who created them is already doing more than half of the work involved in keeping them healthy. she is also (quite rightly) keeping herself healthy, BUT for some reason she is also somehow fully responsible for the health and cleanliness of another fully grown adult who is totally capable of doing everything that is required for a healthy life by himself. making half of the family meals, washing half the family clothes, doing half of the bin emptying, bathroom cleaning and surface cleaning would be the expected minimum. would you accept doing all of someone else's washing, cooking and cleaning if they were your flatmate just because you were female? why is because she is in a relationship with him that she should be happy to do all this?
Well I do 95% of the house - work full-time but far less than DH.
Never usually a problem and I do have some paid help but the last month or so, DH has not stopped moaning about untidiness and disorganisation. I am getting increasingly pissed off because I cannot physically do any more, there are four people living in this house and very little of the mess is mine.
I think he is angling for me to reduce my working hours. I am mightily pissed off with him at present.
he could reduce his hours married?
his employer wont allow it?
in that case he needs to make sure when he is at home he's making less mess, that way there'll be less for him to get irritated with.
Your partner does not have much to reccommend him OP. Is there anything good about him? Is he "nice" as long as he gets his own way?
There is nothing wrong with not having a partner and living without on eyou know. He just sounds like extra work and quite scary to me. I couldn't be arsed with him.
this thread has actually prompted me to reinstate a few basic houserules that i've been slacking on for a while. i have 2 boys and i would hate for them to ever think the didn't have to be responsible for mess, dirt, dishes etc that they created. starting tomorrow, they're both back to making their own beds, bringing their own washing down, chores and sharing the meal prep.
Economics won't allow it. He earns 10 x my salary and I don't need to work but like to.
He has a quick temper and flares up if i "nag" him.
That's the way he controls you.
No wonder you so-call "nag" him if he can't be bothered to do FA in the house.
Does he see you as his maid?!
if he wants you to reduce your hours, i would contemplate and offer of the equivalent of his salary for the number of hours he would like you to reduce yours by.
so if he says, "take friday's off" and a friday earns him £100 (random number), i would accept £100 to drop friday from my work hours.
take friday's what off?
fridays off* of course.
Life doesn't work like that though. And he would be happy to give me the money.
why would it not work like that?
and if he's happy to pay that, why doesn't he pay a cleaner to deal with the tidying he finds irritating? it shouldn't be down to you to pick up his slack, if you aren't happy to do it. he can employ a cleaner, meet her, show her what he wants done, leave the notes for her to do this or that, and pay her. you shouldn't need to be involved in it at all if you are doing your fair share.
He does. Try to think out of the box. It's a big house and in this world things are done perfectly ususally with wives acting as props to professional men.
think out of the box? erm, how on earth was i to know he paid a cleaner if you didn't say it in the first place?
you said he's been moaning about untidiness, his problem is that he hasn't employed his cleaner for enough hours. in your shoes i would say "yes it is a bit untidy isn't it?" and then i'd take another sip of my wine. it isn't your problem if you are doing your fair share (and 95% is far more than your fair share)
"in this world things are done perfectly ususally with wives acting as props to professional men."
that's great if the wives are happy to act as props. are you?
Why do so many women do this to themselves? Why is a clean and tidy house SO important? Sure I'd love it but I also like to play with the dc, read a book, watch tv and read mumsnet! Am sitting on couch now, dcs in bed, there's a pile of crap on coffee table, more on couch and other chair, hoover hasn't been out since Fri and so what? Dh did hoovering, I cleaned the bathrooms and got a shop in. We both did some cooking. Kitchen is cleanish. Feck the rest frankly.can't rememmber when we last washed the floors. If I could get a cleaner I would. I blitz if I'm expecting visitors.
That said your dp sounds like an extreme case. Certainly worth trying the chat. Maybe asking what tasks he could take on? Make it clear it is upsetting you that he doesn't take you seriously on this. If I met with total resistence I would certainly stop doing things for him. Surely you could quit cooking his dinner and laundry without it impacting particularly on the rest of you?
Tidying a house takes about 2 hours max. You work 16 hours a week, he works a load more. Do 2 extra hours and you are still ahead in the hours race.
I think that depends on the house. I can spend that every single day. And that's without cleaning.
Bags, shoes, bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, picking up towels, wiping up crunched cat food, throws, cushions, putting away laundry etc., etc.
I'm another who is concerned about the fact that his temper 'flares up' when you 'nag' him.
No. He gets angry so you will back off and not mention it again. Call a spade a spade.
I consider that indicative of an unhealthy relationship.
As for those of you with can-do suggestions as to how the OP can better manage her time so she can fit in all the housework....please feel free to flush your heads while you are cleaning the toilet. Unbelievable.
if you are starting with a basically tidy house where everything has a home and everybody puts things back then it can be tidied very quickly everyday with very little effort. BUT if you have children like mine who pull things out from nooks and crannies you didn't know existed and leave a trail of destruction the it can be like starting to clear a bombsite everyday before you can even think about normal maintenance cleaning. i could also spend hours a day cleaning and tidying and still have more to do the next day.
Married why are you letting your teenagers get away with all of this? As for your DH, tell him do it himself if he doesn't like it, or pay the cleaner to come in other days as well - he earns enough to get the level of cleaning he requires.
OP - your DP sounds horrible Frankly, I'd rather live on my own & earn my own money/get benefits if necessary than live with that controlling bully.
Oh & I agree with Pictish As for those of you with can-do suggestions as to how the OP can better manage her time so she can fit in all the housework....please feel free to flush your heads while you are cleaning the toilet. Unbelievable
i agree with all of chipping's posts.
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