To want kind words and thanks rather than criticism

(55 Posts)
fizzzness Sun 05-May-13 15:25:53

I do pretty much all the housework and childcare in our house and with our 2 kids. Fair enough in some ways, DH works full time and when he's at home he pitches in.

If I do anything " wrong" then he's having a go at me. I.e. stuff I see as petty or a wee mistake. ( load the dish washer in the wrong order, let some food go past sell by date, not washed a plate properly etc.

This drives me mad as he doesn't notice or say thanks on a regular basis for ALL THE OTHER STUFF I DO all the time day in day out in order to keep the house and kids intact. All the stuff that leaves me no time or energy to do anything afuckingtall else. No thanks , just going off his head for the small things that escape me.

Aaagh, fucking hate this. When did I turn into a house wife.

EntWife Sun 05-May-13 15:28:04

i don't have the answer but i locked myself in the bathroom earlier and cried for the very same reason. i await the combined wisdom of mumsnet to reveal the answer.

Sarcasm s your friend.

"Gosh really! I was just so busy thinking of my next task and whether I could strap a broom to my arse while walking" hmm

3littlefrogs Sun 05-May-13 15:30:18

You need to go away for a weekend or a few days, leaving him with the dc and everything else domestic to do. Don't shop, cook or otherwise prepare. When you come back see how well he managed. There may well be the odd small thing he missed or didn't do properly.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 05-May-13 15:30:46

This one can be pretty simple to solve.

Do exactly the same back to him. And if that doesn't work within a few days, slowly stop doing the things you do for him.

It sounds petty, and yes you'll have to catch up with everything (but absolutely make sure he helps get everything back on track) but it'll show him exactly what you do, and make him appreciate it.

Until he appreciates everything you do, you'll get no gratitude.

Foodylicious Sun 05-May-13 15:31:34

ooh, this sounds like a horrid place to be! How is he with you in general? does he do this infront of the kids?
Are you able to bring it up one evening? ask him why these things bother him so much and let him know how bad it makes you feel. Tell him you are meant to be frieds and partners first -neither of you is superiour or 'better' than the other one or has the right to belittle the other one.
How is he with your relationships with family/friends? sound quite controlling.
Hugs x

mrsdinklage Sun 05-May-13 15:31:35

You need to adopt the look hmm
If he doesn't like it your way - there is an answer to that grin

DolomitesDonkey Sun 05-May-13 15:32:14

In my experience, men do not like the way we load the dishwasher - yet it's a rare beast indeed who'll take over this responsibility!

CloudsAndTrees Sun 05-May-13 15:32:37

YANBU to not want criticism, but you might be being a bit needy if you expect thanks.

Do you say thank you to him for going to work when the wages hit the account each month?

Widowwanky Sun 05-May-13 15:33:27

Paddington bear stare along with 'If you intend to lead your life through the medium of pettiness , I shall live my through don't give a shit ' and walk away

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sun 05-May-13 15:33:45

Do what littlefrogs has suggested - minimum of 3 days.

Or else, if you really can't do that, don't say anything, just stop doing anything beyond feeding & bathing the kids (& yourself of course)... let him see what you DO do, and stop seeing what you DON'T do.

Grrrrrrrrrr

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sun 05-May-13 15:35:09

Wanting someone to say 'Thanks' occasionally is not needy. It's bloody rude to take someone for granted 24/7. Being the wage earner does not give you the right to do that. She's at stay at home MUM not a skivvy.

fizzzness Sun 05-May-13 15:37:04

Example- just did all shopping ( and planning and soon cooking, making, decirating) for small child's birthday party on own with baby in tow. On loading it into car boot helium balloon kept flying away, so used some of shopping to weigh it down in boot. When I got home and he helped me unload shopping, the balloon had deflated. Apparently I'm stupid for putting the shopping on top if a balloon, it infuriates him because it's a waste of money and an idiotic thing to do. Personally I think it was a mistake, I didn't expect the balloon to deflate and actually not a big deal in the context of doing all the shopping.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 05-May-13 15:38:38

I would think my husband was being a bit needy if he asked me to say thank you to him when he gets in from work.

There are other ways to show appreciation.

If you want thanks, then it should work both ways if both people are contributing somehow.

The problem isn't the lack of thanks, it's the presence of criticism. That is wrong and mean.

3littlefrogs Sun 05-May-13 15:39:50

I don't think the op is expecting thanks all the time, just not to be belittled and criticised for the occasional small omission or mistake, whilst everything else she does, day in day out, is unappreciated.

3littlefrogs Sun 05-May-13 15:40:21

X posted.

Maggie111 Sun 05-May-13 15:40:58

Can't you sit down with him, say you feel unappreciated and stressed that the entire running of the house falls on you and that you want thinkgs to be good for you both but when he is critical it hurts.

Tell him he can only be critical if he positively acknowledges 2 other things you have done!

My friend said she only got her husband to be grateful when she wrote out a list in minute detail of everything she did in the house - from picking up the bathroom towels and emptying the upstairs bins to wiping the kettle and wiping the dogs paws etc... He soon got the message that she was feeling harassed!

fizzzness Sun 05-May-13 15:42:12

I do actually thank him and compliment him. I think it's nice to tell people when you love and appreciate them. I have told him this many a time. He thinks I want him to patronise me and yes, that I'm being needy, and that's not attractive. So I say, ok if you can't actively be nice then don't be nasty! Stop telling me off for the small stuff.

Anyway. Rant rant. Gah

Foodylicious Sun 05-May-13 15:43:04

Sounds like he has a very high opinion of himself. maybe ask him why he stays if you are so 'stupid'. There is no way he should have you feeling this way.
At all. Ever.
Do not think you want thanks for the little things, but just not to be put down at any opportunity.
This man is seriously not good for your self esteem or your mental health.
He needs a reality check and to sort himself out.
you really need to let him know it is not ok to talk to you this way.

fizzzness Sun 05-May-13 15:43:51

Yes exactly, can live with the lack of thanks, but can't handle it in the context of criticism.

Viviennemary Sun 05-May-13 15:44:38

He is out of order with the criticism. But I don't know what you expect thanks for. Do you thank him every day for going out to work and earning the money to keep the household going. I think you should both be grateful for each other.

Foodylicious Sun 05-May-13 15:44:42

This stuff aside, do you want to be with him?

Lizzabadger Sun 05-May-13 15:45:53

What widowwanky said

fizzzness Sun 05-May-13 15:46:23

Yes I do. Generally really very happy and he is brilliant in the main. I just needed a rant. This is just an issue that doesn't go away and gets me down!

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Sun 05-May-13 15:47:03

I had the same shouting match discussion with dh this morning. He wanted to go to an excercise class and was asking me were his gym shorts were, i asked him where did you leave them? " In the wash basket" he says'. 'Well theres your answer" i say. "You mean you havent washed them" says he. "No, and i guess neither have you".
It seems as soon as theres a blip i hear about it. But when everythings running smoothly, like it usually does, not a word. And hes not even a prick. Just really thoughtless about this stuff. Im showing him this thread.

MrsDeVere Sun 05-May-13 15:47:59

Is he ever nice to you?

Sorry, I am not one of those LTB types but he doesn't sound very nice from your description.

Being pulled up like a naughty child is not acceptable.

He needs to stop doing it.

I understand why people are telling you to be sarky or stop doing thing etc, it a tempting route,

but really you need to be very clear about what he is doing and that he needs to stop doing it.

As calm as you can be.

'I do not like you criticising me for petty things. I want you to stop doing it. It is upsetting me. I am not a child and I expect you to treat in a way you would want to be treated'

BathTangle Sun 05-May-13 15:49:24

From your OP, on the surface it is just about exactly what Maggie says her friend went through: there is a joke I have seen about this here.

Alternatively this is part of a bigger picture - is this merely a symptom of a lack of respect for you - the dishwasher loading thing sounds very controlling? That said, my husband and I have silent "power struggles" about how the dishwasher is loaded, but it is more of an ongoing joke, and I know that actually, he respects me for my role running our household and appreciates that I do a good job.

In a rather circular way, this is just to ask whether it is a problem of lack of appreciation, or a wider picture that needs to be addressed.

fizzzness Sun 05-May-13 15:50:17

Honestly I've asked him so many times now.

He's genuinely not a prick either. He's wonderful in the main.but this really upsets me.

"No thanks , just going off his head for the small things that escape me."
" Apparently I'm stupid for putting the shopping on top if a balloon, it infuriates him because it's a waste of money and an idiotic thing to do."

'Going off his head'. 'Infuriates'. 'Stupid'. 'Idiotic'.
Really? That sounds not just rude, but massively over-reacting. Just how lightly are you having to tread on those eggshells, OP?

Khaleese Sun 05-May-13 15:50:52

My DH is the same i say...

Yes dear
Maybe you should do that job then, your better at it than me.
Oh right, yes, i see.

Dumping it all on him every once in a while helps a lot.

KingRollo Sun 05-May-13 15:53:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fizzzness Sun 05-May-13 15:53:34

Those are my words. He did say " infuriates" and "stupid" . The other words are mine.

fizzzness Sun 05-May-13 15:54:29

I did say " fuck off" . Quite a lot actually

Anyone who called me stupid would regret doing so. It is completely uncalled-for. He is adult isn't he? It's such a primary playground thing to do.

I would go with the suggestion that ANY job he criticises automatically becomes his. To do forevermore (or at least until he issues a grovelling apology for being such a dick). He can load the dishwasher, shop for the birthday party etc. I would suggest you tell him this clearly, and stick with it for at least a week. If he wants something done his way, then it's best that it's done by him.

maddening Sun 05-May-13 16:00:32

When was his last payrise? Has he furthered his qualifications and work experience? Has he maximised his salary?

He sounds like he has personality /behavioural issues - ott reaction and criticism for jobs not done well IN HIS OPINION is odd and not acceptable in an equal partnership and it is telling that he turns it round to you wanting to be patronised and being needy.

Were his parents overly critical growing up or of each other? Is he slightly obsessive about details etc?

CSIJanner Sun 05-May-13 16:00:37

Mr CSI is exactly the same and also can't let things that happened yesterday go with the LO's either which pisses me off. I went off on him earlier and told him to buck up. He's currently keeping himself busy cleaning the fish tanks which is one chore I refuse to do. It's the constant criticism of things which he could also do if he pulled his finger out, but with the running commentary of criticism, I can only never that it's all my fault. Which I set him right on. Wife, not his mother.

On a good note and if you can be bothered, card shops are usually good about refilling balloons if they've gone down the same day that they've been done.

hm32 Sun 05-May-13 17:33:36

I have told DH to do things himself if he doesn't like how I do it. As a result, he now does the cooking and the food shop. Bliss! He keeps quiet about criticizing anything else now lol.

Gossipmonster Sun 05-May-13 17:38:52

Very useful thread - OH does this when he is home from the Navy.

1. I have managed to bring up 3 kids and run a home with a full time job on my own for many years before I met him without encountering major domestic disaster.

2. I don't want things "his" way when he's not even here.

3. He isn't working when he is home - I am yet I still cook every day.

4. It's my fucking house!!!

BobblyGussets Sun 05-May-13 17:58:32

I'm with MrsDeVere, he sounds aggressive. Not nice. Tell him to behave himself and treat you with respect.

fritteringtwit Sun 05-May-13 18:03:54

When they were first married, my mum used to make my dad a salad lunchbox everyday for him to take to work. He mentioned one day that she didnt usually dry the lettuce property after washing it.

The result:

Dad making his own lunch for the next 20 years.

fritteringtwit Sun 05-May-13 18:05:51

And my DH has just complained that I havent ironed the duvet cover before putting it back on the bed. I told him if he's that bothered he knows where the iron is but he just looked at me like Im a headcase.

fuzzpig Sun 05-May-13 18:07:19

He sounds really nasty and critical.

Mumsyblouse Sun 05-May-13 18:12:22

My husband did this a few times when I first started being a SAHM when looking after my first dd. I challenged him about it and he said he was trying to be helpful, pointing out better ways to do things (e.g. stack dishwasher, cook food). I said that this was now my job, so if he was ok with that, I'd be popping into his work on Monday with the baby and sitting next to him pointing out all the ways in which he could improve doing his paid work.

Mysteriously, he stopped after that because he knew I really would do it!

Thisvehicleisreversing Sun 05-May-13 18:15:09

DH had a go at me this morning because there weren't any clean boxers in the drawer.

I had a pile of washing that needed putting away and had planned on doing it yesterday. But at 10am yesterday I started digging, weeding, strimming and pruning our very overgrown front garden. I didn't finish till 5pm. DH came out to help briefly for about 20mins.

I never intented to be at it all day but I didn't want to leave it unfinished. By then I only had an hour until I started work at 6pm so didn't exactly have time to faff about with the washing.

I didn't get back in the house and have a proper sit down till 11pm by which time DH was in bed.

I made sure I shouted back louder that "I wasn't his bloody slave and if he wants his bloody pants he knows where he can find them!!"

I do believe he has realised he was in the wrong for going off at me as he has been really nice to me since. grin

VivaLeBeaver Sun 05-May-13 18:21:56

My DH used to moan about my cooking so I stopped cooking for him.

That was about 3 years ago and I haven't cooked a single meal for him since. I cook for me and dd and he can sort himself out.

CoalDustWoman Sun 05-May-13 18:37:41

Reminds me of the Billy Connolly retort to a heckler : Do I come to your work and tell you how to sweep up?

Who the fuck does he think he is?

I'm going away for a week later this year with 3 of my friends whose partners are the same,because of this very reason. I think it would take more like a year, but we'll see.

If your husband had no family, how much stuff would he do for himself, in the basic living sense?

Whathaveiforgottentoday Sun 05-May-13 18:39:10

My dh does this but gets told to fuck off and ' do it your bloody self'. He does it less and less and now thinks twice before criticising. He used to criticise my ironing but he stopped after he ran out of shirts and had to apologise and promise never to criticise my ironing ever again. That was about 5 yrs ago and I have to say he's been good to his word.

BobblyGussets Sun 05-May-13 18:55:27

That's a sad way to live, Viva. Hasn't he grovelled and redeemed himself?

YummyCalpol Sun 05-May-13 18:56:39

My DH does it all the time too. He says I need to learn to take constructive criticism. If I was to tell him to fuck off he probably wouldn't speak to me for weeks...

VivaLeBeaver Sun 05-May-13 19:24:05

Bobbly, no he hasn't. I think he prefers his own cooking. To be honest it works quite well as he doesn't get in till late and doesn't meat, pasta, rice, cheese, eggs either. Whereas I eat meat and pasta most meals!

RubyGates Sun 05-May-13 20:49:35

OH used to this... I say "well if you don't like how it's been done, then please feel free to do it yourself, I'll leave it for you to do next time!"

Amazing how quickly it stopped.

nenevomito Sun 05-May-13 21:11:30

What Ruby says.

Constant criticism is just so wearing and unfair. You don't go into his work and point out where he's doing it wrong, so he should respect you back.

Either let him get on with it himself or say what Ruby suggests above.

fizzzness Sun 05-May-13 22:28:10

Humph. I hate it. It's so fucking cliched. What the hell am I doing in this stereotype?

CoalDustWoman Sun 05-May-13 23:39:40

fizzzness, can you suggest to him that he takes charge of washing up and food control? i.e. he stacks the dishwasher and keeps an eye on food stocks, letting you know what needs eating up first (or even cooks the food before the use-by date) or taking responsibility for freezing stuff before it goes off? What would he say to that?

It's not even the doing, is it? It's the thinking that goes along with it.

C999875 Mon 06-May-13 20:08:16

I can sympathise of course I can and he is unfair to criticsise you. You can only do your best and we are all entitled to our rants and down days. they're more than allowed! We all want to be appriciated and a little thank you on both sides never goes a miss.
However I am a single mum and I have to go out to work be a mum and look after the house and no one sees me as hero. I just have to get on with it. Which don't get me wrong I don't mind as I adore motherhood and work but like I said we all want a little well done and thanks now and again. xxx

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