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He promised he'd change, the baby is now here, but he hasn't. How can I make him understand how I feel?

(383 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Jul-14 13:24:52

Me and DH got married just over a year ago and have a 3 month old baby.

We lived together for 3 years before getting married and he has always been a bit lazy. The housework was typically left to me as apparently he didn't see mess. Admittedly I do like a tidy house and maybe our ideas were different as to what constituted 'messy' so I tended to just get on with things. We had some HUGE arguments about housework and how he'd never do anything unless I nagged him but things never really changed. He'd tell me to stop doing the house work and just relax, but if I didn't do it then it didn't get done.

When I was pregnant I told him that I was absolutely dreading the baby arriving because I couldn't imagine looking after a baby but still being expected to do everything around the house. He promised me that things would be different and he would help out more but nothing has changed.

The house is a tip and he doesn't care. I'm pretty tired most days and when DS is asleep I'm running around tidying up and cleaning. When DH comes home he sits on the sofa, I hand DS over and then I have to start doing more housework. I just don't get a break. I'm sitting on the sofa now looking at the tip that is the living room and thinking about how messy all the other bedrooms are, and the kitchen and the bathrooms etc and I could cry. He would never think to do anything.

I feel used and that I'm just being taken for granted. I feel like screaming at him but it just seems so pointless.

We haven't had sex since the baby was born and I have absolutely no desire to do so. DH has started bringing this issue up and the reality is that I don't want to have sex with him because I feel angry with him. I want to feel like we are a partnership and that the house and the baby is a joint responsibility but I feel like everything is on my shoulders and I'm expected to do everything. Why would I want to have sex with someone who makes me feel this way?

I just don't know what to do or say to make him see or understand how I feel.

HecatePropylaea Wed 09-Jul-14 13:31:44

It's not that you haven't found the right words, it's not that you were speaking Spanish, you communicated your feelings and he received that information! If you have told him how you feel in a language that he speaks and he has understood enough to promise you he would change then he understands how you feel. He doesn't care how you feel. There's a difference.

If he did not understand, then you could try to explain it. If he doesn't care then you have fewer options.

On a practical note, can you (as a couple) afford a cleaner? you sound exhausted and overwhelmed and it sounds like you really need some practical help.

Iflyaway Wed 09-Jul-14 13:32:58

He,s not going to magically change, sorry.

I,d start thinking about an exit plan if it were me.

(split up with "d"h when ds was 6 months old).

So sorry you, re going through this.

warysara Wed 09-Jul-14 13:38:56

Exit plan in only two posts. Awesome.

You could try and sit him down, take him around the house and show him the mess and tell him you need help. Whether that is outside help (cleaner) or preferably him doing it.

He may be lazy, may genuinely not notice the mess. But he has to be made to notice the effect it is having on you and that things cannot continue.

AnyFucker Wed 09-Jul-14 13:45:41

He is not going to change, is he ?

Accept this and live with it. The resentment, the tiredness, the lack of respect from him.

Or, decide you are doing it all anyway, so what does he actually bring to the table ? This is meant to be a partnership isn't it ?

Sara you are turning into one of those irritating posters who hates Mumsnet and it's female-positive stance. If you don't like it you could always find a more male appeasing forum that suits you better.

I remember your other thread(s) OP. It was predicted what would happen and you knew it too, I am afraid.

PetulaGordino Wed 09-Jul-14 13:47:18

op i've seen your threads before. he vetoed a cleaner didn't he? (and it doesn't solve the laziness problem either)

i doubt you would be on here again at the end of your tether if you hadn't tried the "sitting down and talking" option 100000000000 times already

i would be suggesting that he find somewhere else to stay for a while (possibly on a temporary basis), because not having him there sounds easier on you than having him there

PetulaGordino Wed 09-Jul-14 13:48:07

actually, i would be suggesting he stay somewhere else and getting a cleaner

anothervisittothepark Wed 09-Jul-14 13:49:17

Is it possible that you have very different ideas of how clean a house needs to be? I am a naturally messy sort of person. I really try to keep the house tidy but it doesnt come naturally to me. My dh just seems to get a better job done than i do. I dont know how he does it!
I know people who stay up cleaning til midnight cos they really like the house to be perfect. Whereas others are happy enough to live in a happy mess.
I am just saying this cos perhaps you need to come to a comprimise. Tell dh how upset you are and which aspects of housework are most important to you and assign him some jobs to do. I guess i am just wonderi g if he isnt being lazy or horrible. But it just doesnt come naturally to him- as it doesnt me! I cant imagine leaving your dh is a necessary solution.

anothervisittothepark Wed 09-Jul-14 13:50:30

Sorry cross posts with gordino. Sounds like you know the op better than i do.

PetulaGordino Wed 09-Jul-14 13:54:35

the op has said that he supposedly doesn't "see" mess, so presumably does have a higher tolerance for it. but i think she has already put an enormous amount of energy into trying to find a compromise, and even just getting him to do anything, so the time has come to actually work out a permanent solution that doesn't involve her working herself physically and emotionally into the ground while he does nothing

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 09-Jul-14 13:55:30

"We lived together for 3 years before getting married and he has always been a bit lazy. "

The problem is that you went in for 'try before you buy' and you bought it anyway, knowing it was damaged goods. hmm People rarely change so hoping he would have a Damascene conversion or come good on a promise to shape up around the place was wildly optimistic and a big mistake.

Working on the assumption that he has no intention of changing voluntarily you either have to get on his case and make his life unpleasant until he caves or find some work-arounds like hiring domestic staff or ... worst case scenario... give it up as a bad job

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Wed 09-Jul-14 13:57:43

Welllll.... I'm not going to tell you that the poor menz don't see the mess...

...but I can't see how your house can be that messy?
Is it just the two of you + baby in the house?

I'm an SAHM with 2 kids at school (no-one tell scottishmummy FGS!) and including all cooking and laundry I probably do about 2hrs housework a day. Maybe 3 if we're expecting visitors. I wouldn't recommend you eat your dinner off the toilet, but it's not stick-to-the-floor bad either.

What happened about the cleaner?

warysara Wed 09-Jul-14 14:01:52

@Anyf I do not like the 'leave' attitude when someone is clearly asking for help. That is just a stupid, unhelpful initial response.

Having said that, I have no idea of the previous history that others appear to so perhaps the advice of showing him etc.. is not valid as it has all been said before.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 09-Jul-14 14:03:22

BTW... .as ever this isn't about the cleaning. It's about two people with a serious incompatibility failing to operate as a cohesive team with the result that one feels exploited, disregarded and resentful.

OxfordBags Wed 09-Jul-14 14:15:44

Suggesting a cleaner doesn't actually help the OP, because the real
problem is her OH's attitude. Men don't need to be told that housework needs doing, or that it's not fair to let their partner do it all, and so on. Well, not ones worth being with, anyway. They are adults; the possession of a penis, or working away from home for several hours a day, does not mean that they are somehow miraculously blinded to mess or things that need doing. Telling a partner that things need doing and it should be done is just taking responsibility for the behaviour of another adult, and no-one should be expected to do that, for any reason.

This has nothing to do with not seeing mess, or being naturally untidy, etc. I like plenty of other adults, female or male, am naturally untidy and hate housework, and I still do it because I respect my partner, I would be ashamed to sit around and let someone else do it for me, knowing that if I won't do anything then they will be forced to do it. Men like this are lazy and sexist - they see housework as beneath them (but not beneath you, as a woman), they know you have to pick up the slack, they are perfectly fine treating you like a servant, etc. And now you have a son who will grow up learning that you are a dogsbody. The refusal to consider a cleaner shows that he quite specifically wants to keep you as essentially a servant, and that it's nothing to do with not seeing or knowing what needs to be done. He wants you to be doing it all.

I saw another thread from you, and you knew then that he's a knob. Why on earth would he change, when he has you exactly where he wants you? Changing offers zero attraction and motivation to him, because it means him having to do stuff he doesn't want to, and which he sees as beneath him, and having to treat you like an equal and a real person, etc. Changing is actually to his detriment, so why would he? And he has a track record of 0% success rate with changing so far.

The most important questions here,OP, are ones about YOU: what are you getting from chasing this hopeless fantasy of being able to change him and make him respect you? What dysfunction from your childhood are you acting out here? Would you not prefer to be with a man that already loves and respects you, doesn't think you're his personal servant and nanny, and who doesn't need changing (or who genuinely would, if needs be)? Now you know he won't change, how much are you prepared to be damaged, and see your child be damaged, by being stuck in such a crappy family dynamic?

Also, YY to everything AF said.

OxfordBags Wed 09-Jul-14 14:22:23

I retract my last comment, cos, YEAH, AnyFucker, with your long track record of helping more posters in awful relationships than just about any other MNer, you don't know shit on this subject. WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE MENZ?!?!?!?!

BeCool Wed 09-Jul-14 14:27:02

You could try and sit him down... - like a dog warysara? OP has done this already & he has promised to change - he hasn't.
....take him around the house and show him the mess... there is nothing wrong with his eyes - he can see the mess. OP has done this already & he has promised to change - he hasn't.
....and tell him you need help. help!?! FFS! Help!?! She doesn't need help she needs his to take responsibility for himself and clean the fuck up. She need HIM to contribute to his family's environment, not to simply lay back on the sofa and watch his stressed partner clean up around him and for him.

warysara where do you live? In the 1950's??

OP I am so not surprised you don't want to sleep with him. Surely he can understand that your vagina is too busy cleaning and keeping house to even begin to want sex with him?

Good luck OP - but I do doubt that he will change, though you will have lots of stress in the future wondering why he won't. Clue - he thinks it is YOUR job. just remember - it's him not you.

My DP was like this. His thing, was his "grand plans" outside the home which he was preoccupied with. He really didn't see the mess and didn't get how tiring having a baby was. And when he was home he was like a tornado who had swept threw rearranging the house that always forgot to put the nappy in the actual bin.

The thing is that when you are at home you staring at the mess all day but you are rather occupied with a baby who has more immediate needs.

A couple of things happened.

I said I wanted to leave. As at least I would get a break from child care once a week and have a cleaner home.

He promised to be better.

He was a stay at home dad for a couple of months.

We got a cleaner.

We are now on baby number 2 and he "gets it"

So I suggest leaving the baby with him for a couple of hours on his own until he "gets it". But if you want to calmly explain to him why it's probably beneficial for you to split, that might help him "get it" too but I rather suggest the first action in the first instance and then talk "cleaner".

BeCool Wed 09-Jul-14 14:29:38

I feel used and that I'm just being taken for granted.
OP the good news is your intuition is working just fine, because I'm afraid you ARE being used and taken for granted.

Spottybra Wed 09-Jul-14 14:30:01

Ask him to do a specific job. My DH doesn't do much unless I ask although he's a minimalist freak. He prefers to sit and watch tv. He said once he doesn't understand what I mean by housework but if I said 'the dishes need doing', 'do you want to tidy the bedroom or the kitchen surfaces' he understands what I want from him.

It always helps to pile the ironing up on 'his' part of the settee too. That helps him to notice it needs doing.

Jan45 Wed 09-Jul-14 14:31:00

OP, I bet you he is lazy in life. i.e., everything is too much effort?

I can tell you now he won't change, you won't change either so it's stale mate until you actually change your life yourself.

You might actually find that you two are just too different and want and expect different things out of life, that is never a good sign for a long lasting relationship.

Apart from anything else, it all sounds very unfair on you.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Wed 09-Jul-14 14:31:01

Whoa, hang on, have just looked back at your last thread, and it all seemed lovely and you were getting a cleaner and your DH came home from work to help you. What happened?!

Sadly it's quite often only when the baby arrives that a woman-hater shows his true colours. He thinks that now you have his baby, you are trapped and therefore he only has to wait a bit longer, throw in a few mouth-noises about how he will 'try' to do a bit of domestic work, maybe turn up with a bunch or two of cheap flowers from the supermarket, and sooner or later you will give in and accept that you are his servant.

Fairly soon, with a knob of this variety, he will start telling you that he might be more inclined to do a bit of domestic work if you would just stop complaining and open your legs more regularly. The fact is that one of the most common reasons for women going right off their partners sexually is when the man behaves as though the woman is his servant who is obliged to service him sexually as well as domestically.

AngelinaLaide Wed 09-Jul-14 14:36:55

Oh OP I remember your other threads and I had a feeling this would be your thread just by reading the title.

What happened to the cleaner? Did he veto it? What were his reasons?

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Jul-14 14:39:44

I'm just sitting here crying. The baby won't stop crying. I'm shattered. I'm eating now for the first time since 8am. I can't say anything to my DH because his mom died last week.

I've just gone round the houses picking up all his shit and his clothes and thrown it all in the bottom of his wardrobe. I can't cope with looking at it anymore.

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