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to just give up on keeping the house clean and tidy?

(35 Posts)
CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Sat 28-May-11 12:15:52

Because my DH just creates mess constantly and won't do anything to tidy or clean the house?

I have always been quite houseproud and kept on top of housework and washing/ironing. DH has always been very messy and hasn't pulled his weight in the house but it's getting worse and worse. The not doing housework I can just about put up with but it's the constant making mess and dirt that is annoying me.

He dumps things on any surface in the house that hasn't got something on it;windowsills, stairs, chairs, the sofa, worktops, kitchen table, beds, floors, ledges at the top of the bannister. Anywhere except put things away or cleaned up. Shoes are left everywhere, as are wet bath towels, dirty clothes, socks, wrappers, cans, hair when he's clippered his hair etc

We have three children and now that the youngest is a toddler and into everything it is getting harder and harder to keep everything clean and tidy, I have to literally clean all day and then it is all undone during the evening and next morning by DH. He has also recently got a puppy, despite the fact that we already have a dog, and of course the mess and extra hoovering that a puppy means is all left to me.

There are so many household chores that he refuses point blank to do; he won't hoover, iron, cook, put washing away, do food shopping (online or in store), put food shopping away, clean bathrooms or change bedding. He will stand in the wash basket to cram washing down to get the lid on rather than put a wash on. He leaves glasses of water by his side of the bed, at the moment there are 6 there.

I make our house sound awful, which it isn't, as I spend a lot of time on housework but it needs constant effort to keep it decent. Like I said, it's getting harder and harder because of all the shit he leaves lying around. If it was a case of basic housework then it would be fine and I wouldn't have too much of an issue about doing it all. I spent ages yesterday sorting out paper work he'd left on our kitchen table, and cleaning the table. it was totally empty. Now again it has so much stuff piled up on it you can barely see the table, he has put a top over one of the chairs and 2 pairs of shoes under it. He is also the same in the car, leaving rubbish and muck in there all the time.

I know I am being a whinge, but it's really annoying me and I feel like just "giving up" on making the house look nice and just doing the bare minimum. There doesn't seem to be any point. If he did, say, all the cooking, or all the ironing or just something I could accept that he didn't do the other things. Just to add, he works full time and I work part time. I currently do everything in the house. The only thing he ever does is occasionally unload the dishwasher.

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Sat 28-May-11 12:17:19

Just to say too, I feel resentful as I don't get any quality time doing anything for me or with the kids, I feel like a skivvy.

WriterofDreams Sat 28-May-11 12:20:42

You're not being a whinge at all. He is treating the house like a hotel, expecting you to pick up after him all the time. That sort of behaviour is just not on. And as for "refusing point blank" to do housework - that is the worst form of immature behaviour that shows a complete lack of respect for you. Basically you've said "I can't cope, please help" and he's said "No I can't be bothered I just don't care about you."

Does he complain if the house is untidy?

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Sat 28-May-11 12:22:17

No, he doesn't seem to care about mess or dirt at all, as long as he can go on the PC and watch TV....

WriterofDreams Sat 28-May-11 12:24:07

I don't think it's a good idea for you to give up completely on the cleaning as it'll probably stress you out more, especially seeing as he doesn't care about it. You need to have a serious talk to your DH about how it's making you feel and perhaps just set him tasks to do - not big jobs but just telling him to make sure he puts all his stuff away before he goes to bed at night.

How do you two get on generally?

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Sat 28-May-11 12:26:11

We get on okay generally but the house and housework does cause a lot of arguments. He acts like a child when I try to talk to him about housework or even if he's left things lying around. The other day he left 2 drink cans in the living room and I said to pick them up at otherwise DS will get them and he still left them there.

It boils down to him being lazy I think

WriterofDreams Sat 28-May-11 12:32:48

Sounds like it. Lazy and incredibly inconsiderate. Do you think he understands how much it stresses you out?

cottonreels Sat 28-May-11 12:40:44

Agree that he's lacking in respect. Have a conversation about it in the 'we have to talk' sort of a way. Tell him that you understand these habits (of leaving glasses etc around) are hard to break. Tell him that things have to change. Get him to agree to a morning at the weekend of helping you do each room. Do it properly so that it takes a long time. At the end, when he's flagging, remind him that it takes you twice as long as theres only one of you.
Find a big box and any stuff left about during the week goes in the box - paperwork, receipts, car keys, coat etc etc. I wouldnt put empty glasses and the like in as that will just annoy you when there arent any clean ones left. All week he'll be saying "wheres that bill, I can't find my..." And just keep saying "did you leave it somewhere - must be in the box then" Try not to say it sarcastically- you aren't trying to have an arguement, just trying to re-train him!
Ask him what house chores there are in a week. Add to his list the big things he's not thought of. Ask which ones would be manageable for him (put it that way, imho men often like to think they can manage wink). Write down his offerings and what days he will do them. Ask if theres anything more he'd like you to do and try to give him something too.
My DP is a lot like this too, but when he sees I am unhappy with the piles of paper etc he'll start moving on it and will always do a great job of hoovering or cleaning the bathroom. I think he's better at tackling dirt than untidyness so we tend to just play to out strengths. We definately have different tolerances for messiness. It would be interesting to sit your dp in a messy, dirty room and ask him what he thinks theres to be done - maybe that would show you what his strengths are?
Good luck and let us know how you get on.

cottonreels Sat 28-May-11 12:44:06

Also, theres the method of 'clean as you go' and the 'Im going to tidy/clean like a whirlwind for an hour and nothing for the rest of the week' Am thinking you are the former and with a little (lot?) persuasion he might become the second.

PeterSpanswick Sat 28-May-11 12:53:34

I hear you! Two dogs, a toddler, a messy DH, six months pregnant and working full time and I spend very spare minute picking up things I've already tidied away twice today! I'm considering a holiday - alone!! Aaarrggghhhhh!

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Sat 28-May-11 12:54:05

I've tried tacks like that in the past, cottonreels and sadly they just don't seem to work with him sad. If I ask him to do something that is on his list of things he won't do he just says "you know I won't do hoovering" etc.

PeterSpanswick Sat 28-May-11 12:55:03

I love the box idea btw!

swanriver Sat 28-May-11 12:56:35

My husband is very untidy, leaves shoes everywhere, never sorts out his post, never sweeps the floor, hoovers, irons, cooks only occasionally, never tidies thing unless there are guests coming round (then he does, rather efficiently - a lot of surface tidying) Never does any DIY and minimum help in garden

BUT he does a few things that redeem him - he unloads the dishwasher without fail every morning
He gives children breakfast
He puts children to bed
He will make up a bed for a child if it's not done by bedtime
He plays with children, and takes them out
He will buy some shopping
He will cook a basic meal if required

I think once you can work out some sort of contract where they do some things, you can get on a better footing. And then they do a bit more (hopefully) I know that DH won't wash up or cook, so I have entirely delegated the putting the children to bed, so it makes me feel less put upon.
Still, it is frustrating, I think you need to have a proper talk, and give him some chores that are his and his alone, rather than feelign constnatly irritated and "nagging" (his perception, not yours - and I'm not saying you are nagging, just that he will hear it as such)

clam Sat 28-May-11 13:04:29

Well, of course, living in such a mess, and with someone who cares so little about your feelings, won't make you feel much like sex will it?
grin

<<prepares for a flaming..

MissMarjoribanks Sat 28-May-11 13:18:18

'You know I won't do hoovering' shock

Why the fuck not? Why should you have to do it all?

My DH is messy. He just drops things where he's standing. He stuffs the washing basket full (when he bothers to pick his clothes up at all) and asks me when I'm going to put a wash on. But he redeems himself by pulling his weight around the house in other ways. He hoovers. He does all the DIY and all the gardening. He does most of the cooking, so much so when I do it I get all flustered as I have forgotten how. He picks DS' toys up in the evenings and does his fair share of childcare. He irons. He empties the bins.

Your DH needs to get his finger out. He's a lazy sod.

Youcantaffordme Sat 28-May-11 13:27:27

Poison him. grin

Ripeberry Sat 28-May-11 13:28:49

The only way to guarantee a clean house is to clean it JUST before going away on holidays and it will stay pristeen and you won't have to do it when you get back....hooorah....except for the mountain of washing...boo!

suburbophobe Sat 28-May-11 13:31:33

You have an overgrown child, I think he needs the shock treatment!

You could go on strike, just don't wash his clothes, too tired for sex, etc.

FabbyChic Sat 28-May-11 13:32:13

If he could just not make a mess that would be something! Tell him that whilst you don't mind cleaning you do mind cleaning up after him where he is so messy, tell him that if it continues you will refuse to cook for him or wash his clothes.

He sounds incredibly lazy.

cottonreels Sat 28-May-11 13:32:16

Ask him why he wont do the hoovering and unpick his excuses

valiumredhead Sat 28-May-11 13:39:23

I second the box idea - we have Ikea wicker baskets and one of them is 'dad's' - everything just gets scooped up and put in there if left out, only way I can keep tidy!

BertieBotts Sat 28-May-11 13:48:20

The bigger problem isn't the fact he's not tidying - it's the fact he has no respect for you! I'm an extremely messy/lazy person but if I lived with someone and they said "Look, this is bothering me" I'd make an effort, even if I found it hard to keep up. (Although I wouldn't get to that point in the first place, I'd feel bad watching them do it all and not even doing the tiniest thing to help) He's not even bothering, he's basically saying that he doesn't care what you think about it, as long as he's happy.

Lack of respect can really be a dealbreaker in a relationship. I'm not saying "Leave, immediately!" of course, but it's worth looking at other areas of your relationship - does this lack of respect in this area spread to anything else as well?

redexpat Sat 28-May-11 14:02:13

I second the box idea because I can tell you it works!

I have a DH who isn't as bad, but it took him 2 months to realise that I'd started putting all of his papers in his box which he didn't know he had! He just goes straight there now when he can't find something.

Madlizzy Sat 28-May-11 14:08:44

Fuck me, he's a lazy, inconsiderate, disrespectful shit! I don't normally diss other people's partners but this so wrong. He's basically saying "You are my skivvy and you do all the work and look after me as I am lord of the manor and you are my lowly maidservant." I'd not do a single thing for him until he bucks up his ideas. A marriage or relationship is a partnership, with equal responsibilities. As long as you allow him to behave like this, he will.

Bonsoir Sat 28-May-11 14:25:17

OP - your DH is a seriously lazy, inconsiderate slob. It is just not on for him to expect you to clear up after him like this and you should go to Relate (or another counsellor) to address it as he is stonewalling you about it.

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