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Dh said he wants to leave me because I'm a domestic nazi (sorry long and petty)

(120 Posts)
AlmightyMess Fri 23-Aug-13 10:40:27

Have name changed as lots of personal information here.

Dh fell out last night, then it carried on this morning.

The situation in our house is like this. We have a small shop, Dh works 6 days a week and can do long stretches without a day off. He leaves the house at 8am when he's dropping dc at school/nursery (2-3 times a week, 10 if not) and doesn't get back till almost 8 at night.

I am meant to work in the shop 2 days a week, but during the holidays I have only been in once every three weeks (childcare is too expensive).

Dh has worked incredibly hard to keep the shop going through the recession, I respect him allot for this. It has been very stressful and he has fallen in and out of depression with the weight of it all. He will not go to the doctor as he thinks he can pull himself out of it.

I do the majority of housework and childcare. I get up almost every morning with the kids at 6-6.30. I cook 6 nights a week and do all the kids meals unless I'm working. My house is not a pristine palace, I barely hold it together to get everyone out the door fed and dressed in clean clothes. I know this is how most people are so I don't expect a medal.

What I would like is a little bit of help with the housework. I'm happy to do all the washing and most of the cleaning. Dh does do general tidying and will sweep kitchen floor, hoover occasionally. He will also do DIY stuff when he has time.

I do like to go to bed knowing that the kitchen is clean for the kids getting up in the morning. I don't want it all bleached and perfect, just the dishes done (put away preferably, but not necessary), any beer bottle put away and counters to have no food on them.

I made dinner last night. We sat down together, dh asked me if I'd like to have sex that night and I said yes. I asked him if he'd tidy the kitchen and he said yes, then he called me a domestic nazi. I said that wasn't fair and he said it was a joke. He finished his meal then went next door to watch tv. I was still eating, I thought that was rude and I wondered why he wasn't cleaning up.

I then ran around getting the kids stuff ready for school. At about 10ish I asked dh if he planned on doing the kitchen as it was getting late. He asked if it needed to be done right now and I said as long as it's done before we go to bed as I hate getting up to rotting food on the counters, dishes and beer bottles.

He then went to the bedroom to wait for me. I went in and he asked why I seemed uptight. I said I can't switch off knowing I'm going to get up to that mess in the kitchen. He had a huge strop, went off to do the dishes and then wouldn't talk to me, then went to sleep on the couch.

This morning we fell out and he says I'm neurotic and uptight about everything. He said he pays all the bills and I reminded him that looking after his children is a full time job that he would have to pay someone to do it if I didn't. He said he would do the dishes but didn't want to have to live to my rules. Apparently I want everything done the way I want it, when I want it.

He shouted completely inappropriate things in front of the kids, like how he works 12 hours a day and do I want him to go kill himself. He said he was leaving but has since emailed me work to do today (that I asked for).

I am exhausted, one friend tells me I am neurotic but her dh is the same and doesn't do the housework she asks him to do. She thinks my situation is normal and I should just live with it if I want to keep a happy family.

My other friend, who I haven't told about any of these issue thinks I work too hard as I don't have any leisure time and dh takes the piss.

Sorry this is so long and sounds so petty but I really don't have any time to myself and I should be able to ask my dh to do a small bit of housework without all this anger.

Am I being petty and neurotic? Is this situation normal, do most women feel like a servant to their families?

RaRaZ Fri 23-Aug-13 11:05:59

No, I don't think you're being petty. I would expect to have to do the majority of housework in your situation as you're at home by far and away the most - but it sounds like you do. I would not, however, stand for DP coming in and creating a mess and leaving it for me to clean up. He's an adult ffs - he might have had a long hard day, but he can't expect a servant to deal with everything for him. If he really doesn't want to clean up at night, he could, by the sounds of it, get up at 5am to sort it before you and the kids come down, but I doubt he'd be keen on that idea. Tbh, it doesn't sound like he has much respect for you.

Jan45 Fri 23-Aug-13 11:53:45

Really annoys me how men play the victim cos they have to go to bloody work, you didn't have the kids on your own, I'm sure it was a joint venture so it's an equal partnership. Your friends are wrong, you should never put up with anything if you are not happy about the situation. He's taking the piss and not respecting you at all - you work just as hard, he said he would do it, he never, then attacks you for bringing it up, he's in the wrong, not you, don't become a doormat for him, he's no better than you, you are meat to be equals.

ThatsNontents Fri 23-Aug-13 12:00:41

Can you work more in the shop and he spend more time at home?

A more equal split of home and work.

HaPPy8 Fri 23-Aug-13 12:01:40

Im sorry but im with your husband here. It sounds like he works very long hours. You have children at school and nursery. A few dishes on the side are not the end of the world but if they bothered you that much you could have done it.

MortifiedAdams Fri 23-Aug-13 12:04:29

Well, swap. Your shop, your house, your children.

Three weeks of you each living by the others ways should make you both appreciate what each of you do.

NoComet Fri 23-Aug-13 12:08:36

Since my kitchen looks like bombs hit it, and I'm MNing I'm include to feel housework is tea rly worth having a massive row about.

I think you do need to swap house and DCs for shop with your DH more often, you need a change of scene.

You may have to accept he'll do childcare, but no housework and the DCs will love the attention.

katehastried Fri 23-Aug-13 12:08:51

I am sympathetic to your DH really.

how old are the children and how many?

NoComet Fri 23-Aug-13 12:09:37

Not really

Why didn't you clear the dishes together? One washing while the other dries (and wipes the surfaces etc.) - it's a chance to chat about what's been happening during the day and many hands do make light work.

Fairenuff Fri 23-Aug-13 12:24:46

You asked if he would clean up the kitchen before he went to bed and he said yes.

Then he didn't do it.

This is the problem really. If he didn't want to do it, he should have said no. Then you could have asked him why he didn't want to clear up after himself.

That would have been an interesting conversation.

I think this incident has opened up an opportunity for a proper discussion, without shouting, arguing or blaming, about what each of your expectations are and how you can compromise.

After all, you are going to have to work together to sort this out aren't you. Wait until he is calm then agree a time when you can book some childcare and thrash this out.

Don't ignore it, it's important for both of you.

LazyMonkeyButler Fri 23-Aug-13 12:33:59

It sounds like you are both very busy people, both working very hard. I know it's incredibly unhelpful but I can see both sides.

I totally understand why your DH chose to relax at 10pm after a 12 hour working day, than do the dishes which - TBH - could have waited.

I also understand that you already do the majority of housework & childcare and would rather not get up to a messy kitchen.

I suppose the answer would have been to help him tidy the kitchen - it probably would have taken 10 minutes between the two of you.

Offred Fri 23-Aug-13 13:19:26

I think some of the posts here betray this common attitude that the only work that counts is paid work. In reality when he came home, you having got up and started work two hours before him, you were still working and he sat down and watched tv and moaned about making one small contribution to your shared home responsibilities.

I don't think you should swap roles but I do think you should share the work more equally. You should split the shop and the childcare/housework evenly between you so that one is not doing all of one job and none of the other - this is bound to cause conflict even without what I think is a shitty attitude from him - "I work and pay for you"

Offred Fri 23-Aug-13 13:21:23

and I think it is bullshit to "expect" that if he does childcare he won't do housework. He should do both like you do when he is on that job and no it isn't being a domestic nazi to expect he put his beer bottle in the bin (why doesn't he do this anyway?) or wash up and clean the surfaces when you have cooked for everyone.

Smerlin Fri 23-Aug-13 13:25:52

Sorry but I am with your DH here. I don't think you should clear up his beer bottles for him but I do think that it is unfair to expect him to come home and do housework late at night when he is working so many hours, esp if you are at home in the day without DC there.

Obviously doing housework is a very boring and thankless task so maybe it would be better if you took over some of the days in the shop and he stayed at home to balance out your tasks more.

LadyMilfordHaven Fri 23-Aug-13 13:26:40

you know? You both sound really tired.

Get a dishwasher/cleaner. Life is too short to argue over stuff like this. It's impossible to tell from your posts who works the hardest, it sounds as though you both do.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 23-Aug-13 13:35:37

Smerlin - doing the clearing up after dinner isn't housework, it is just something that needs to be done.

OP - if he doesn't drop the kids at school what time does he get up?

This is one of those situations where you need to look at who gets the most leisure time, and then adjust accordingly.

Out of interest, on the days that you also work in the shop does he still expect you to do all the domestic stuff?

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 23-Aug-13 13:46:14

Unless there is something you havent mentioned, i dont see how being home all day whilst the children are at school means you are exhausted. There should be no reason why the housework should take all day every day and your DH works very long hours and i can see why he is upset that you then expect him to come home and start cleaning the house.

Swap if you think he has it easier, you handle the shop and let him stay home.

I never understand the "i look after your children", surely as a parent thats what you do anyway regardless of working or not?

kitsmummy Fri 23-Aug-13 13:46:17

He works 12 hour days and tidies, sweeps, some hoovering and DIY, and cooks once a week. Your kids are at school/nursery, I'm with your DH on this one

Offred Fri 23-Aug-13 13:53:52

How are you all missing that the kids are not in school because it is holidays at the moment and that's why the op is not currently helping with the shop, as she normally does, because they don't want to pay for childcare during those holidays. I don't get why he gets to come home and sit down and watch her still doing stuff just because he happens to have been working in their shared shop as opposed to caring for their shared children or looking after their shared home?

AlmightyMess Fri 23-Aug-13 13:59:28

Sorry I should've explained the childcare situation. I am NOT at home all day without the children. DD is 7 and in school, DS is 3 and goes to private nursery 2 days a week during term time. On one of these days I work in the shop, dh has a day off. The other day I am in the workshop. I would do more days in the shop, but since it's quite specialised, there is only so much I can do. It was his shop before we married and I've become a part of it since we had kids. My work is something he can't do, I would like more days in the workshop, but childcare is too expensive and we have no family near to ask for help (not that they should, but I know my Mum would if she wasn't 200 miles away).

On his days off, he does DIY stuff, looks after kids and often ends up running around doing stuff for work.

I would love to get a dishwasher but it's not going to happen, kitchen is tiny and a funny shape. Plus we have no spare cash, I know we could get a cheap second hand one, but we'd need to pay someone to fit it. The tabletop ones would take up the tiny counter space we have.

So many mixed opinions above, this is why I'm torn. I know he works really hard and I am happy to do most of the house stuff. I just think he could do the dishes if I've cooked. I cook a meal for the kids earlier and have all that done, kids in bed by the time he gets home. Then I cook again. I tried cooking one meal but heating up food later just isn't as nice as sitting down together. Plus we like hot, spicy foods that the kids are growing into, but not yet.

AlmightyMess Fri 23-Aug-13 14:02:31

Sorry went off on a food tangent there.

We are in Scotland, schools are back now.

I'm not sure it's helpful to compare yourself with other people. Not many people work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, and the stress from trying to keep a business afloat must be immense.

It sounds like your problem isn't that he doesn't do any housework, because he does do some, but that he doesn't do this particular bit of housework that means a lot to you. It's one thing to put food waste in the garbage, that's pretty obvious, but for example all dishes put away and counters gleaming -- it's nice but not absolutely necessary. Though I do like the suggestion to do it together and get it done sooner.

If your kids are normally in school and he does do some housework then I think you're being a bit hard on him. You're not just asking him to do a small bit of housework, you're asking him to do something very specific in the way that you want it.

ChippingInHopHopHop Fri 23-Aug-13 14:11:08

It sounds to me like you are both working hard, both working long hours and are exhausted - and with no money to show for it, it's HARD.

Would he be better off getting a job and giving up on the shop?

I don't think either of you are really being unreasonable - you just each see it differently.

How about compromising that you will do the kitchen/get kids stuff ready/anything else that needs doing, together before you sit down after dinner?

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