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In asking for help in writing a letter to my dh re his attitude (may be long)

(188 Posts)
pingu2209 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:13:22

This sounds really pathetic but I would really appreciate some help in writing a letter to my dh re his attitude towards me and housework.

DH is really annoid at me about the state of the house and the amount of washing that has not been put away. However, he does't help me AT ALL in the house, he just moans and moans at what I haven't done. I can't speak to him about it as he is so angry and he goads me as I am talking to him. I want to write him a letter that he can read it again and my side of the story sinks in.

So many of you write excellent responses to posts on here, that I believe you could come with some great scentences and lines that I can use in my letter to DH.

My DH works full time in the City and commutes for 1 hour 20 mins each way. He has a stressful job and earns a good wage. I am a dinner lady working 5 days a week, 9 till 3 in the village we live in. I walk a mile each way every day, have little stress but it is an active job for 5 hours a day (plus my walk).

His salary pays for the mortgage, cars, utilities, food, clothes. My salary (£540/month) pays for the luxuries such as the children's after school and weekend activities, take aways, cinema trips, babysitters etc.

Before and after school I look after our 3 children, aged 5, 7 and 9. The 9 year old has SEN and has major temper tantrums regularly. Mon, Tues and Wed I have a full schedule of after school activities and either a Thurs or Fri we have a play date.

On a Saturday my dh takes DS2 to football for an hour in the morning, whilst I take DS1 and DD to swimming. Swimming is 1 1/2 hours (lesson followed by a swim club), DD doesn't swim so I have to keep her entertained for the 90 mins.

On a Sunday morning both boys play rugby for 2 hours. All of us go as DH feels it is 'family time' where 1 parent watches 1 boy and the other parent watches the other boy - and looks after DD.

After football and rugby I cook a meal for the 5 of us for lunch, do washing of clothes, shopping and tidy the kitchen. DH likes a roast on a Sunday too. I then look after DS2 and DD for the afternoon by taking them to the park, doing arts and crafts with them and doing their homework with them. Once that is done I start all over again on cooking dinner for the 5 of us.

DH is tired all the time and his way of relaxing is to sit in front of the TV. DS1 would easily sit with him and watch TV for hours on end. But DS2 and DD won't do that so whilst he is 'looking after DS1' I am trying to keep DS2 and DD entertained. But that is the 'harder' job. DH WONT not watch TV as he says it is his only time to relax after his extremely hard job.

DH does nothing. No washing, no cleaning, no cooking, no tidying of the kitchen, no shopping, no housework at all. He doesn't even put the bins out. He will eat a meal and leave all his dirty plates on the dining table and walks out of the room to the TV, expecting me to clear everything away.

All of this I do not mind, I would put up with all of it, have done for 16 years! What I can't stand is that DH gets into the greatest of bad moods because the house is messy with the biggest issue of all being that although there are clean clothes, they are not put away in the wardrobes and drawers. They are in a massive pile on the landing. We have to riffle through them each day to find what we need to wear.

I HATE putting the washing away. Every now and then I will sort it into 5 piles and each person has to put their own clothes away. The children hate doing it, but as I do everything else I really don't think it is too much to ask. However, DH COMPLAINS that he has to put his own clothes away too!!!!

I'm not saying I don't have time to rest and relax, I have about 1/2 hour in the mornings and about 90 mins on a Thurs and Fri evening. I spend my R&R drinking coffee and sitting in front of my computer on Facebook or Mumsnet! But I am allowed some time to myself surely.

DH is all pissy because he can't find the boys' rugby gear for tomorrow morning. Yes it is a nightmare going through Ben Nevis of clothes, but he does nothing so I don't think he has the right to complain.

Please help. Am I being unreasonable generally? Would you help with some lines that I can use in my letter?

pingu2209 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:22:49

Oh God, it really is long. Sorry I just wanted to give you all the information.

Believeitornot Sat 09-Feb-13 21:25:52

Not helpful but why not put the washing away? It's becoming a big deal but if it was put away little and often then it wouldn't blow out of proportion.

But as for the letter - I wouldn't know where to begin. Would he respond to a letter?

flattyre Sat 09-Feb-13 21:30:55

Putting the washing away is my worst job so huge sympathies there, but....I'm not sure about writing a letter, can't you try and talk to your husband. And how olds are DCs - do they out their clothes away properly? Is so why not continue the five piles and if DH's are the only ones left on the landing that's his problem.

pingu2209 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:34:01

Believeitornot, Primarily I HATE doing it, and as there is so much else to do it is easy to chose other things to do instead such as cleaning the kitchen, playroom, cooking a meal, hoovering the downstairs etc. That is of course when I am at home, I'm not at home all that much anyway.

A huge amount of my time is sorting out the children too. The boys fight and my DS1 has a lot of tantrums that I need to referee. It is very time consuming and draining. It isn't his fault, it is linked to his SEN.

Secondly, because I am not at home much I do at least 1 load of washing a day on the week days and then about 5 a day at weekends. It is a job I do 'inbetween' other jobs, I will pop a load in the washer and unload the dryer and swap the clean wet clothes with the clean dry ones. I then quickly dump the dry clothes on the landing.

There are 5 of us so there is a huge amount of washing, it only has to go 2-3 days and it has become a big job to do. It isn't as easy as keeping on top of it.

HollyBerryBush Sat 09-Feb-13 21:35:02

I cant understand why washing is dumped on the landing either.

Surely its not difficult to put in piles as you iron and shove in a drawer, rather than dump on the landing. I iron, hang it, and each person has to take their stuff and wardrobe it as I do it. I only do mass iron once a week.

Although having said that, I have a movable unclaimed sock pile that moves round the house.

But Im equally perplexed at a dinner lady working 5 hours from 9 til 3, do you get a lunch break grin

stifnstav Sat 09-Feb-13 21:35:52

Are you going to be penpals?! Why write a letter? Why not just speak to him?

Divvy up a list of things that you can each do, including some crap jobs you can do together such as putting the clothes away. DH and I put the clothes away and have a chat about stuff a few times a week, its nice to just have a chitchat and the bonus is the crap job gets done without too much thinking!

pingu2209 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:42:12

My hours are 9.30 - 5 (with half an hour for a break) - so 5 hours a day. However, the primary school drop off is 8.45 and a third of the way to the secondary school I work at. There is no point walking home as by the time I get back home, I would have to leave again to get to work in time, so I drop my children off and then walk on to work. I usually get there at 9.00 so I am on my feet working for 5 1/2 hours a day (but paid for 5!)

The reason for the letter is that over the years when we have had an issue that we can't resolve by talking, we write a letter to each other putting our point forward in a calm way. It has worked, honestly! It is a hard read the first time, but it allows us to reread and think calmly about what the other person's feelings are.

HildaOgden Sat 09-Feb-13 21:45:41

Cut back on some of the unnecessary luxuries and hire a cleaner to blitz the place for 4 hours a week.It will cut out all the crappy stuff.

Life is too busy and too stressful for you both to keep trying to do it all yourself.Choose your battles would be my advice.Cut out the takeaways and get a cleaner.

SamSmalaidh Sat 09-Feb-13 21:53:16

I find it outrageous that he expects you to cook for him and then just gets up and leaves the table! Disgusting behaviour! I'd make it clear that one person cooks, the other person clears up (with the children's help).

As for the washing pile, why not get 5 small named baskets for the landing and put each person's clean clothes in the right basket for them to put away?

So you have about 5.5 hours of free time a week. How much does your DH have?

BluelightsAndSirens Sat 09-Feb-13 21:54:20

We are a family of 5, I work tyke same hours as you, our children are around the same age (although no SEN issues here) and my husband works maximum hours 6 days a week - I also fucking hate putting washing away so this is what I do...

Cut back on their clothing and make sure no one is getting changed every 5 minutes or dumping clean washing on the floor to look like dirty washing.

When they come home from school/clubs they change into pjs and pjs are worn for a couple of times before being washed and they only have 2 pairs each which means they get washed, dried and re-used.

Jeans, school skirts etc are worn till dirty not washed after each wear - school shirts are fresh each day.

We only have 2 sets of bedding each so it's wash one use one per week.

I do a wash load at a time which means wash, dry and put away before I do another one, I have a basket of hangers to hang as they come out of the tumble/air dry.

As far as your DH leaving his plates for you to deal with you need to tel him its not on and that he is setting a bad example to the DC, every one should pitch in.

Does he think his job is more important than yours because he works longer hours?

That's bullshit btw, we all work hard in every role we do, house work is much easier if you both spend an hour or 2 on a Sunday doing it and that goes for sorting washing organising kits and uniforms before they are needed etc.

skullcandy Sat 09-Feb-13 21:55:45

er.. stop dumping the washing on the landing and just put it in everyones rooms for them to put away straight from the ironing/washing/drying whatever you do.

Its a 5 minute job.

Quite frankly, if all you're going to do is just dump it in a heap on the landing, you may as well not bother washing it because you're wasting your time and leaving everyone to look like a ragbag.

GreatUncleEddie Sat 09-Feb-13 21:57:07

If you fold the washing. It is just as easy to put it in five piles as one. But of course everyone can put their own away.

Roseformeplease England Sat 09-Feb-13 22:01:39

Buy a box, or bag, per person. As it comes out of the dryer or is dry / ironed, put it in their bag or box. They then empty them into their rooms. I get my children to do this and I do mine and my husband's. But the doing absolutely nothing is appalling. Give him a list of jobs he must do:

Bins
Clear and lay table
Wash up etc

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Feb-13 22:02:10

Dear husband,

Grow the fuck up, I a, not your mother nor am I your maid

Love wife.

That should do it.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Feb-13 22:02:36

Am not a,

Arion Sat 09-Feb-13 22:04:52

Pingu, I think you should ask this to be moved to relationships.

People - she works, her lazy arse of a husband does NOTHING at home (apart from creating mess) and you are concentrating on the clean clothes pile and why she hasnt put it away.

Pingu, apologies if the comment about your husband offends but he does sound lazy and you sound overworked and in need of a rest. Even if you were a full time SAHM he should be doing more than he does, and as you work as well, there should definitely be a fairer split of household work.

Arion Sat 09-Feb-13 22:06:17

Ok, cross posted with some more helpful posters!

Wants4 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:11:45

There may be 5 of you, but you have a cleaner coming in once a week, and you are out most of the time, how dirty can the house be?
I have 4 dc so therefore alot of washing. But I keep my washing basket empty most of the time, that might mean putting on a wash at 9pm, but needs must.
I have eliminated ironing by careful folding and use of drier. Clothes then put in hot press, which is emptied once a day when I put all yesterdays washing away. Takes ten mins tops if you do it daily.
However, NO-ONE in this house would leave their dirty delph on the table for me to clear - right down to the two year old. Those old enough load the dishwasher, the younger ones leave their plates on the side. You have allowed your dh to disrespect you for too long. Don't bother with a letter, write a timetable for chores for EVERYONE- as simple as emptying dishwasher or putting out bins. And sit down together to discuss it. Also cut down on some after school activities or start sharing lifts with other parents. I also work part-time, can never understand why some people put themselves under so much pressure to be everywhere. This is your life too - but you don't seem to have any hobbies just for you? (Apart from MN of course).

CadleCrap Sat 09-Feb-13 22:17:38

Sorry OP, you're not really getting what you asked for - instead everyone is telling you to sort out your laundry pile. I understand the letter thing works for you.

If it is any consolation, my DH is a SAHD and does all the washing, but he doesn't put it away. It is obviously a univerally hated job.

What not start with what you wrote in your OP. He might not have realised the hours you work. He also has needs to understand active childminding and passive (ie watching TV).

pingu2209 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:19:16

Wants4 - I don't have a cleaner coming once a week. I don't have a cleaner at all. I'm not sure why you said that? The reason the house gets messy is because from 6.30am till 8.30am and from 5.30pm till 7.30pm 3 children are in the house - it may not be all day, but my children can wreck a room in 5 mins, think what they can do in 4 hours.

Personally I think my issue is that I do everything. If my DH did more around the house, it would then leave me free to do the washing pile.

I would still hate doing the washing, but at the moment I can genuinely pick any of a whole range of jobs to do rather than put the washing away.

pingu2209 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:20:58

I like the phrase active childminding and passive - that is good. He really thinks that sitting on the sofa watching TV with DS1 is enough. The children could be beating the cr@p out of each other infront of him, and he can zone them out.

HildaOgden Sat 09-Feb-13 22:21:49

Hire a cleaner.Seriously.It's the solution that would make both of your lives easier.

Working,commuting,kids.....life is too short to argue about housework.Especially when there are 2 salaries coming in and no childcare fees.

whois Sat 09-Feb-13 22:22:47

I think your problem is more than the washing. Seeing as you both work, albeit you're not out for as long as him, he really should be doing some work at home too. At the very least picking up after himself and taking his dirty plates to the dishwasher.

Do you enjoy going to the rugby? Sounds like shit 'family' time to me. If he took all the DCs to rugby you would have a few child free hours and could blitz they're washing piles.

If you are looming for a way to improve the washing process rather than improve your husband, how about everyone has dirty and a clean basket. When there is enough for a wash take a basket, wash & dry and dump into the clean basket. Then it won't get mixed up. Also maybe supervise the getting changed times a bit more, make sure clothes actually ARE dirty that go in the dirty pile. A pre pubescent child shouldn't need a new shirt every day for school, and skirts/ trousers should last a week at least.

Can the family afford to buy in some help? Seems you could do with some and a bit of a rest.

pingu2209 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:23:14

But cleaners don't sort the washing and put it away though. I would end up having to 'tidy' in order for the cleaner to clean - tidy means putting clothes away. The job nobody wants to do.

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