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Lazy DHs. Why did you marry them?

(108 Posts)
magimedi Thu 07-Feb-13 17:04:56

I see many women on MN moaning about the fact that their husbands won't help round the house, can't cook, can't work a washing machine, don't help with childcare etc etc.

Did you not think about this before you married them? I've been married for nearly 30 years and right from the start my DH has cooked, cleaned & helped with childcare.

I honestly would not, and could not, have married a man who could not do these basic tasks. I would have no respect for them.

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 07-Feb-13 19:12:00

I wouldn't have either. This is why we lived together for 10 years before getting married. I wanted to check he wasn't secretly lazy.

rainrainandmorerain Thu 07-Feb-13 19:25:38

btw - I have always worked, and earned more than my male partner. This has made arguments about how we divvy up housework and household tasks simple (logically - emotionally they have often been hideous). I don't mean i work more btw but i do earn more.

If I worked less or earned less than him, it would be very hard I think to negotiate who does what. In theory, he is willing. He even understands feminist argument about how women get landed with the majority of household work, and he sees the injustice.

however.... in his BONES, deep down, he never expected to be doing as much as he does. And he can point to umpteen other couples where rhe husband is frankly shocking in how little he does... and even though he knows it isn't reasonable, really, he wants a lot of praise and applause for what he does. As if he is helping me out, not just doing his share.

It also makes him VERY quick to point out any slackness or failure to do my share - and to use that as a reason not to do his. I worry that if i earn less than him, and in principle would be willing to take on more household/childcare to compensate.... we would not be able to reach a fair agreement about what that would be. I think he would be quick to use any superior earning power to dump more than a fair share of the other stuff on me, and i don't know how we would sort that out.

Zappo Thu 07-Feb-13 19:32:44

Not everyone is desperate to be married- might still end up with a lazy OH though

forehead Thu 07-Feb-13 20:24:54

Most men believe that a woman should do the majority of the housework (even if the woman works longer hours )
Most men are inherently sexist.

littlemisssarcastic Thu 07-Feb-13 21:56:45

I agree that a considerable proportion of society still believes that it's womens work.
I have heard so many excuses as to why a man wont cant do housework or childcare, and it almost always sounds like the women who is excusing the man who does FA are trying to convince themselves.

It's his mothers fault, she did everything for him and now he refuses.
He doesn't know how to clean/cook.
He has no patience with the DC.
He works all day and is the breadwinner so shouldn't be expected to lift a finger when he gets home from work.
It's too much bother because he takes too long.

My mother still defends her arse xh by saying he did garden/DIY and she did everything else, and that's ok apparently. I have a friend who has a P who does nothing, not a thing, doesn't even make her a cup of tea and she is up from 6am until 10pm every night bloody cleaning. He demands a tidy house but wont lift a finger to help at all, and now she has lost her sex drive completely, so makes herself do it because her P is not happy at her lack of libido.

When I had DD, and was really struggling in first few weeks, xp would come in from work, cook, clean and make me a cup of tea while he rolled his sleeves up and every time it is mentioned how much xp did in the house after DD was born (luckily not mentioned often) my mother always looks at me like she's a headteacher, pushes her glasses to the end of her nose and says in a really condescending way "And what were you doing while he was doing all of the cooking and cleaning?? Hmmmm?? Hmmm???" It boils my piss every time. I always answer the same..."I was looking after the baby."
My friend always says she thinks xp made the wrong decision to cook/clean, he wasn't helping me apparently, and should have left me to do it all. hmm

I do believe there are many many men and women out there who believe a 'good' woman doesn't need help or a break from the cooking/cleaning or childcare. I have never understood why any woman is proud to say she does 100% of the housework when her DH is perfectly capable of contributing, but I hear the pride in women's voices when they say 'I do it all on my own!'


Kiwiinkits Thu 07-Feb-13 22:13:36

I agree with handstandcoat and it's nice to have a different perspective on the economics of shitwork. Basically, the theory goes if you don't want to do it, find a way to get someone else to do it. In order to get someone else to do it, one needs to demonstrate that one's labour has higher value in some other area. The theory would suggest its important to have your own career established before you get married. Then the discussion about shitwork is far more straightforward.
But rainrainandmorerain has pointed out a difficult truth. Even when all of the right conditions are there (higher pay, similar hours) the division of shitwork is not equal in households. This is because of some deeply held social conditioning that means men, like rain's DH, believe deep in their bones that the tasks of day to day life are beneath them.

Kiwiinkits Thu 07-Feb-13 22:17:01

By the way, my DH was NEVER lazy on the home front in the first couple of years of marriage and after DD1 arrived he was always really good. I have noticed that over the past year or two with the arrival of DD2 and another spell on maternity leave things have gone down hill. Basically, my going from full time to part time work, and being at home more has meant that he has begun taking the piss with housework. He is basically back down to doing nothing around the home. I guess I am guilty of enabling him. Time for a chat, methinks.

Kiwiinkits Thu 07-Feb-13 22:19:33

Examples of lazy arse DH behaviour:
* changing DD2s nappy and leaving dirty nappy on the floor
* feeding the kids breakfast but not clearing up their bowls or wiping their highchairs
* yes, leaving toilet rolls on the floor
* leaving cups on the coffee table, wrappers on the floor
* leaving dirty clothes on the floor

aggggaagggggh I so don't want to have to nag him about this stuff! I really don't want to be THAT wife.

foreverondiet Thu 07-Feb-13 22:24:09

I think also important to set expectations at start - but yes my SIL in this position - I guess she didn't realise how selfish he was before they had kids, and that her judgement was clouded by being in love....

Ariel21 Thu 07-Feb-13 22:24:35

My husband is not lazy, but he is shit at housework. He works extremely hard (and long hours) at a manual as well as mentally challenging job, and earns the majority of the household income (I'm still building my career). He will help if asked, but I'd rather he got some rest so he doesn't burn himself out and be no use to anyone.

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 07-Feb-13 23:07:11

I like to think we're breaking the pattern. My sons will see that their father does as much as I do (probably more, if I'm being honest). So they won't think it's unusual for a man to do cooking / cleaning / housework.

It's a generational thing I think, at gatherings of husband's family it's still very much "women in the kitchen, men keeping the sofa warm".

loofet Fri 08-Feb-13 07:56:16

I think they are being martyrs personally.

My mother used to do the same thing. 'Oh noone ever helps me. I do EVERYTHING in this house!' Do you want some help?.. 'Well I'm doing it now so there's no point! You just carry on watching TV, its ok Mum will do everything as usual!' or sometimes i'd start washing up and she'd come and take over because I 'wasn't doing it right' hmm I recall once cleaning the house before she got home from work in the hope she would come home and be pleased but she complained that i'd forgotten to empty the bin hmm

I think some men feel a bit like I did, that they can't win. Or they might just get told not to bother when they try because its not done in the 'correct' way. I think some of these women like to feel needed tbh so insist on running around after everyone so they feel they have a purpose.

Then again some people are just lazy feckers.

angeltulips Fri 08-Feb-13 08:24:55

I think my favourite excuse is "he's just not very good at housework". Even more so when it is (as so often the case) combined with the He Works All Hours in a Very Important Job excuse.

Amazing how all these otherwise-competent men are bad at housework, eh?! Here's a thought: he's not bad at housework. He's just never bothered to learn how to do it. Don't let him get away with it.

Bonsoir Fri 08-Feb-13 08:27:32

My DSSs have been brought up by their mother to be lazy slobs. We tell them constantly that they will be unattractive on the marriage market if they don't mend their ways...

MrsMangoBiscuit Fri 08-Feb-13 08:48:35

DH didn't seem to be lazy at first. When we first moved in together we were both a bit lazy, and then would blitz things together. Laundry was done by whoever was lowest on clean clothes, and although I did nearly all the cooking (which I enjoy) he does all the driving (I don't drive) and anything involving electrical gadgets and wires! We both worked FT and it seemed fairly even and respectful.

Then when DD was born, the amount of work went up drastically. With all things housework I stepped up and did more, DH didn't, but we did share the childcare. When I went back to work the unequal split became more and more apparent, we would argue, DH would pull his finger out and all would get better for 2 weeks, until it slipped back. DD is now 3 and we finally seem to be on a more even keel again.

DH isn't very good at housework, which is tough shit. It's still his job to do some of it, and he's getting better with practice. He does work a lot of hours including a fair commute. I work part-time, do some scheduled activities with DD etc, but on my "day off" I'm still looking after DD, so it's not as if I have 8 free hours in which to get all the work done. If DD and I weren't there, DH would either have to pay a cleaner or do it himself, so he knows he has to muck in.

If he's been slacking off, I will call him on it once, jokingly, and these days that's all it takes. I feel loved and respected, and he doesn't have a shrieking banshee for a wife. grin

So to sum up my essay blush, they're not always lazy to start with. As others have said, a change in circumstances often reveals how lazy someone is. Doesn't mean it has to stay that way, or that you have to put up with it though.

Trills Fri 08-Feb-13 08:55:53

Nobody, unless they have special needs, is intrinsically bad at housework.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 08-Feb-13 09:01:36

Agree with those who say that things change over time, particularly MrsMango.

It really annoys me how it's somehow meant to be a womans fault for marrying a lazy man - yet again putting the blame on the innocent party, rather than where it should sit fairly and squarely.

We're in a relationship where I work p/t and we have one DS, so more of the housework falls on me. We have a cleaner though which makes it a bit easier. It all fell apart when we didn't have a cleaner as we drew up a list and DH said he would take responsibility for certain jobs and just didn't do them or interpreted cleaning kitchen floor as wiping a corner if DS spilt something. Then accused me of nagging him about cleaning all the time. Oh and then after we cut the cleaner for economy reasons announced he wanted to spend a ridiculous amount on a new car 18 months after he had bought the old one.

Cleaner came back fairly sharpish. grin

GirlOutNumbered Fri 08-Feb-13 09:07:18

My husband is lazy....... but he works really hard and I completely blame his mother who did EVERYTHING For him.

However, this is a mild niggle when I balance it with his amazing personality, sense of humour, he's a great father, sexy and we have great times.

I just love him, even though he is lazy. Just like he loves me even though I am stubborn and thoughtless!

unclefluffy Fri 08-Feb-13 09:16:16

I agree with those saying that maternity leave is a killer. DH is great provided I am not on (or have not just returned from) maternity leave. Last time, it took me having a total meltdown about a meal I didn't have time to cook before he realised that I was working fulltime, doing all the nursery runs, all the cooking and all the laundry too. In general, however, I would say that he was well trained by his mum and can spot a mess and deal with it. Although he does have a really, really annoying blind spot for the bathroom.

Pagwatch Fri 08-Feb-13 09:31:22

One of the things I see on here that I genuinely don't understand is when woman describe being a complete skivvy and has children and does not recognise that the relationship being modelled for them is so awful.

That is nothing to do with a couples primary roles but is about attitude. Passing that attitude on to children is part of why we still have young men turning up at university not knowing how to clean a bath or cook pasta.
Increasingly young women don't either though. The women who are doing everything for their entire families baffles me.

Pagwatch Fri 08-Feb-13 09:32:58

And don't get me started on 'men are just no good at remembering/buying for birthdays/Christmas/anniversaries.

Fuck that shit.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Fri 08-Feb-13 09:33:19

"I completely blame his mother"

1) what about blaming his dad for doing nothing and modelling that as a possible lifestyle choice for men?

2) how are you breaking this pattern so that your future daughter or son in law doesn't say the same as you?

Nearly all the fairest men I know in these terms are from neglectful or traumatic backgrounds where they took care of themselves/siblings because no adult was going sad Surely happy families can raise sons who realise that housework is a boring essential and will just do it.

Trills Fri 08-Feb-13 09:35:44

Once you are an adult you can't blame your parents for not teaching you something - you can choose to find out how to do it yourself.

My mum didn't teach me how to X....

You clearly have the internet. Look it up on YouTube.

Morloth Fri 08-Feb-13 09:40:08

I can only assume some women rather enjoy the martyr role.

Bonsoir Fri 08-Feb-13 09:41:33

Increasingly young women don't either though. The women who are doing everything for their entire families baffles me.

I don't think that mothers are increasingly doing everything for their entire families. There has been a massive increase in the outsourcing of domestic chores in the past couple of decades. Increasingly, neither parent is modelling much in the way of domestic skills. Hence children not copying or being taught.

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