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to feel I'm failing and being undermined...

(61 Posts)
zozzle Tue 02-Aug-11 10:30:35

My DH is a do-er and always on the go. I work part-time (16hrs) and quite often at the end of the day he'll tell me what I could have done differently and more efficiently to have acheived more at home in the day. Most days he'll tell me how "disappointed" he is that x, y or z hasn't been done. To be fair to him he says this is because he wants to carve out more time for us both in the evenings. He does his bit around the house and is always looking for the most efficient way to do things.

I do my best and never sit down for long during the day (if at all). I have a child at school and one about to start in Sept. I am efficient at work but on my days off I don't want to be an efficiency-machine. I just want to enjoy my pre-schooler and keep the house ticking over. I admit I'm not overly domesticated but I do my bit - washing done everyday, hoovering most days, dinner on the table for when he gets in etc.

He does look after the kids for the odd day and does a great job, fitting in loads of chores and playing with them etc. The consequence of his perpetual comments is that I feel that whatever I do I am never doing enough in the house, and that he could do a much better job than me and that I am failing in this area. He tells me that I'm doing a good job with the kids but that he struggles with me not being "housey" enough. I guess I feel undermined - as if he's questioning my decision-making ability.

I suppose there is also years of anti-feminist conditioning for me to get over too - both our parents had v. trad relationships - his mum keeps a show-home and gets up at 6am to do the chores! So our model (from both sides) is of a nuturing, houseproud woman. I'm nuturing but not naturally housey (although I do my bit) and it causes endless arguments.

He's getting better - most days he used to tell me 4 things I'd done wrongly or inefficently before he'd even stepped through the door after work! Now he realises the value of timing a bit more - so now I get told before bed when we are both a bit less fraught! The last thing I need after a long day working and looking after the kids is a list of things I could have done better! I always just fly off the handle and get angry.

Is anyone else in the same boat? How do you deal with it?

biddysmama Tue 02-Aug-11 10:34:51

erm no... my husband is pleased if he gets home, the children seem happy and we havent burnt the house down, any jobs that have been done is a bonus grin

InFlames Tue 02-Aug-11 10:35:58

He sounds like a bit of an arse TBH.... My DH wouldn't dare tell me I'd 'disappointed' him by not doing chores same way I wouldn't dream of saying that to him. Not surprised you're feeling undermined and devalued - he must be hammering your confidence every single day!!

caffevalium Tue 02-Aug-11 10:37:49

Does he have any endearing points OP?

RitaMorgan Tue 02-Aug-11 10:38:32

I'm a terrible housewife, I do the bare minimum really - I have better things to do than dusting. DP is much more naturally tidy than me and does get irritated when he trips over my clothes/shoes all over the bedroom floor. But if he came home and told me he was disappointed I hadn't done more in the day shock I would go nuts!

MerylStrop Tue 02-Aug-11 10:41:33

Is he for real?
Does he know how his comments make you feel? Let alone the assumption that the chores are your responsibility?
If he has suggestions about how the housework could be done better, tell him to feel free to do those things, himself.

HampstersDontSwim Tue 02-Aug-11 10:41:49

He is not your boss and dose not have the right to strut in and aprase you.

A friend once told me than no one has ever layed on their death bed wishing that they had vacumed more!

Enjoy your little one smile

MerylStrop Tue 02-Aug-11 10:42:09

You could always get a cleaner.

squeakytoy Tue 02-Aug-11 10:45:47

He's getting better - most days he used to tell me 4 things I'd done wrongly or inefficently before he'd even stepped through the door after work! Now he realises the value of timing a bit more - so now I get told before bed

You do realise he is a tosser? grin

My response to him would be "if it upsets your so much, you fucking do it"

GypsyMoth Tue 02-Aug-11 10:45:48

Christ on a bike!! It's not 1950!

How long have you been together? I actually felt sick reading that!

scurryfunge Tue 02-Aug-11 10:49:59

kill him

tallwivglasses Tue 02-Aug-11 10:56:25

'before bed' ???

That must be a turn-on for you hmm

fireblademum Tue 02-Aug-11 11:01:49

Years ago when I was on ML, dh used to come home and ask what I'd done that day, just taking an interest in a chatty way. I felt slightly like I was being questioned and judged but let it slide.

later he went on extended sick leave and I went back at work . I came home and asked the same thing. On the third day he burst into tears.

Get him to walk a mile in you shoes.

fireblademum Tue 02-Aug-11 11:04:42

I meant to add, if his ideas are so good, he should be bloody well doing it.
Not nice.

bananasplitz Tue 02-Aug-11 11:07:45

he sounds like hard work

leave the bastard

thursday Tue 02-Aug-11 11:11:47

meep.

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Tue 02-Aug-11 11:15:10

Why does he feel that he needs to tell you these things? I would ask him what he feels it accomplishes. Does it make him feel better to tell you? How does he think it makes you feel? Does it have any positive outcome?

Ephiny Tue 02-Aug-11 11:17:51

That sounds very annoying indeed. Presumably he knew from the start that you weren't the most 'housewifely' type? And really as long as the house isn't a health hazard and the children are happy and well cared for (which I'm sure they are!), he should let you get on with it your own way. Sounds like you're doing fine to me.

It's a really odd way to talk and relate to you as well. Like others have said, he's not your boss (or your teacher or your parent), you're supposed to be equal partners. Maybe the occasional 'helpful' suggestion would be OK, but he's going way too far with the criticism and micro-managing.

Is there any possibility of swapping roles for a while? i.e. you go full-time at work and he stays home more, sounds like it might suit him better than you! Though he might find it not so much fun if it was his everyday job rather than an occasional thing...

Birdsgottafly Tue 02-Aug-11 11:21:43

I don't live with my boyfriend but have had to tell him straight that what i do is up to me, as long as things are ticking over, because he doesn't get that i enjoy just hanging out with my youngest (usually flopped on the couch) and not doing anything in particular rather than cut the grass, put the camping gear away, brush the dog etc (i know the list off by heart) when i am home from work.

I think that some people, not just men don't get that you don't have to be doing 'things' all of the time, sometimes strickly speaking we are, watching each other on the Wii Fit or Just Dance, for example, which is sheer entertainment.

universalis Tue 02-Aug-11 11:23:52

I'm totally in the same boat feel very tired and having whispered big pig to him the other day have now been sent to coventry because I didnt apologise. The peace and quiet have given me time to realise exactly how much of a big pig he has been. 5 kids, 14 years married never once has he even given me a lie in he must have changed about 6 nappies he has never cooked a meal, and is very ready with the insults about my laziness! That said he works hard and provides a wonderful home and lifestyle and most of the time we have a laugh together he adores our children and they think the world of him. For years i've been in denial about how much he controls me I was young when we married and he is 13 yrs older. Most of the time we're fine because we both have a great time with the kids and as long as I ignore what a boorish sexist controlling pig he is towards me we do have fun can I keep this up forever?

yoshiLunk Tue 02-Aug-11 11:28:53

You have my sympathy OP, he sounds even worse than my DH grin

DH writes jobs for me to do on the kitchen blackboard, I make a big deal of ticking them off and putting the time taken against each one. I even offered to print off my time sheet, he declined. (I didn't actually have one you understand)

He tries to 'remind' me what to do as he's going out the door in the morning I just nod, all the while closing the door on his face grin

We both know he's an arse about it - he just can't help it.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Aug-11 11:30:37

universalis... I couldn't live like that. sad You say that you have a 'wonderful home and lifestyle'... your home sounds like a barracks where your sergeant major comes home from work and 'beasts' you. Do you really think your lifestyle is wonderful too? You have no lifestyle, your husband does - he tells you how it will be. I feel very sad for you, one day you're going to snap. sad

Ditto to the OP. I'm mentally comparing your husbands now and wondering if they wouldn't be happier together. I think you ladies would be happier, that's for sure.

You don't deserve this treatment, either of you, and it's doing untold damage to your children too, they see how to behave from you and your husband, their role models. sad

AliGrylls Tue 02-Aug-11 11:30:43

My DH is a bit like yours. He is really efficient and until recently used to tell me how I should manage the house better (with particular reference to the kitchen being messy at the end of the day) and how it should be tidier. Things changed when he had both the children for a whole day on his own - he actually realised how hard it is to be efficient all the time. The other thing I found helped was actually pointing out to him whilst he was doing it that he was doing it. I actually don't think he realised he was managing me so much.

LunaticFringe Tue 02-Aug-11 11:31:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AliGrylls Tue 02-Aug-11 11:35:11

I love the comment about noone ever laying on their deathbed wishing they had done more vacuuming.

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