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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.

Pagwatch Fri 08-Feb-13 09:42:20

I agree with that Trills (I have been agreeing with you constantly for the last day it two).
I think one of the things that parents are creating in some kids/adults is the idea that it is always someone else's responsibility.

Ds1 has extraordinary tales of parents driving to uni with cash because a student fucked up, phoning parents to get them to sort out problems with courses. One student took bedding home to be washed and looked shock at the suggestion that she use the laundrette on the ground floor
If you have reached 18 without the ability to think 'now how do I sort this out' rather than 'who can I ask' it can take a while to shake. If you walk into relationships where this is reinforced the desire to change, the very idea that it is change worthy may not occur.
It's a sort of inbred helplessness that over protective parenting is perpetuating.

prudencesmom Fri 08-Feb-13 09:43:15

I know two couples where the DH does NOTHING round the house.
One wife is vvv laid back and doesnt seem to mind doing everything herself, but just does the bare minimum of things.
The other wife seems to be a total control freak and seems to relish the sympathy she gets from others i.e. poor xxxx must be so tired doing everything, poor xxxx doing all that housework etc. I think she actually wants a medal for being mum/housewife of the year!

ElephantsAndMiasmas Fri 08-Feb-13 09:45:01

I agree Trills. No-one is born knowing how to wash clothes or cook broccoli and for whatever reason you may never have been taught. But the difference seems to be that when you reach adulthood it becomes embarrassing to be so helpless - except for some men where it seems to be acceptable and even mark of pride. Being a 45 year old bloke who can say "I've never put a wash on in my life" clearly indicates that you are a dick that you've been able to persuade some poor sod to wash your clothes for you all your life.

prudencesmom Fri 08-Feb-13 09:45:52

And the 2 DHs are VERY proud of being known as useless fuckers!!!

Trills Fri 08-Feb-13 09:46:12

Amusingly if I type "how to" into YouTube I get
how to love lil wayne
how to tie a tie
how to make a paper gun that shoots
how to get a six pack in 3 minutes
how to save a life
how to download youtube video
how to make a paper bomb
how to get pregnant with husband
how to get pregnant

PostBellumBugsy Fri 08-Feb-13 09:49:32

I think it is more complicated than "why did you marry a lazy arse". My ex-H was definitely not lazy, he was very tidy, worked hard, exercised hard etc. When it was just the two of us, he was the more tidy one.

However, when the DCs arrived he seemed over-whelmed. He coped really badly. I seem to have unlimited coping capacity and picked up all the slack. Unfortunately, I turned into a drudge & because I only went back to work part-time, I suddenly seemed lumbered with absolutely everything.
Looking back I can see how it happened, but at the time it was all such a struggle I didn't see it.

Obviously, one of the reasons he is now my ex-H of some 10 years is that he was an acopic, lazy arse (plus the affair! grin). He just wasn't worth staying with!!!!

Pagwatch Fri 08-Feb-13 09:52:08

Yes. Families do have cleanersetc.
However,with the few of the families I know it is mothers doing everything.
My sister has two adult girls still living at home, a dh and a full time job. She still takes cups of tea to them in bed, makes every meal, does all the washing etc etc.
she complains. She still does it. Nothing changes. Her default setting is to endlessly complain yet in a 'gosh - just look at how much of myself I give here. I am the Queen of giving'
Her 26 year old DD cannot cook anything nor use the washing machine.

I have a cleaner. And a gardener. I still don't run around taking the dc cups of tea in bed and i expect them to make themselves sonething to eat, tidy their rooms and clean the bathroom once they have used it .
Even with cleaners you have to clean your house unless they come more than twice a week or you are happy for it to be a bit shitty for half the week.

Chunderella Fri 08-Feb-13 09:53:07

Bonsoir that's only quite a small section of society you describe. The vast majority of households don't have cleaners or send ironing out and loads do their own DIY and gardening as hobbies. We probably do less childcare and food preparation inside the home than we used to, but the former isn't really a domestic chore as such.

MyDarlingClementine Fri 08-Feb-13 09:54:28

In My DH case he is absoluty not lazy however he has had to learn alot from living with me simply because there is no room for anyone to do anything in his mothers house. She is the only person who is allowed to do anything in it.

DH used to do larger chores for her such as mo the lawn, but this was always met with alot of cristism and accusations of him doing it wrong...for instance, a tiny bit of grass spillage on her gravel drive whilst taking cuttings to the compost, would result in alot of whinging and moaning.

Its taken along time to a) getting him used to using initiave when things need doing and b) for it being OK for him to do things and do them wrong, as its his home and house!

Its been a learning curve for me as all the men in my house my DF and my two DB were all self sufficient.

TheSurgeonsMate Fri 08-Feb-13 09:58:18

prudencesmom I don't believe you are actually prudence's mom. I am clearly one of those women you know. And I don't know anyone with a child called prudence...

MyDarlingClementine Fri 08-Feb-13 10:01:08


"he other wife seems to be a total control freak and seems to relish the sympathy she gets from others i.e. poor xxxx must be so tired doing everything, poor xxxx doing all that housework etc. I think she actually wants a medal for being mum/housewife of the year! "

This is my DH DM.

Its a mixture of being a total control freak and also a way of getting some attention. Moaning that people dont do anything and yet - I saw it first hand when my DH tried to cook me a breakfast there, she stood over, " Dont do that, you will get fat splashes on my granite work top, Dont use that plastic spoon, it will scratch the pan, not that much oil, not this, not that..."

The poor thing couldn't do right for doing supposedly wrong.

I sat there sreaming in side - " FUCK off, leave him to it!!!!!!!!!!!!"

By standing over him critising, it was drawing attention to herself - and also put her into " Best Breakfast cooking Queen" position.

MrsMangoBiscuit Fri 08-Feb-13 10:01:27

Reading more of this thread I've realised that DD will need to see more of DH pulling his weight as she gets older. Most of the stuff he does, he does when she's in bed, whereas DD will help me with the laundry, or changing the beds, or tidying up her toys. She also knows that dirty plates and cups go into the kitchen when your finished, and if you spill anything, you tell me or DH and help clean it up. But, the majority of stuff that she actually sees is done by me, not DH. That should change as she gets older and stays up later, but still, food for thought.

MrsMangoBiscuit Fri 08-Feb-13 10:02:31

*you're not your, sorry

HecateWhoopass Fri 08-Feb-13 10:08:55

loofet. Are you my sister? grin

My mum has always been the same. Complaining long and loud (and very angrily) about how she has to do everything. Yet if you do something - she does it again hmm because she says she prefers to do it herself [boggle].

If you ask her what she would like you to do, she says nothing. Yet she complains that people don't do anything.

If you say well, if you want something doing, why not just ask, she gets angry and says she shouldn't HAVE to ask. Someone should know and asking means it's meaningless and she just wants people to do things without her having to ask.

However, if you just do something, she gets angry because she says it makes more work and people don't do it 'right' (sorry, but it isn't difficult to wipe a surface or run a hoover over a floor. It is not actually that others are doing it wrong!)

I was very happy to leave and set up my own home grin She just wanted to be a martyr about it. Making housework into this really big deal and hard task that nobody but her was capable of doing, but the lack of doing it was some indication of a lack of respect for her.

You seriously could not win. No matter what you did.

So we all gave up and just let her do everything and ignored her rantings about it.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 08-Feb-13 10:15:31

elephant I can't blame his father as he walked out on them when DH
was 2.

I have taught my son how to cook, clean and help round the house and I never said DH does nothing, I said he is lazy round the house. I just have to nag him to do it. Funny thing is, he is better at housework than me.

So our children see both of us pull our weight and they help too.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Fri 08-Feb-13 10:20:30

Sorry Girl I didn't mean that just to be directed at you! Just your comment is quite frequently heard in this debate. But also I do think his dad walking out is the ultimate expression of "doing nothing".

GirlOutNumbered Fri 08-Feb-13 14:01:08

I think his Dad walking out was probably what made his Mother start doing everything for 'her boys' in the first place. My DSS mum is the same. She picks up after him to the point where he just throws stuff down and loses it straight away. He is now 10 and has this idea that he can just throw something on the floor downstairs and when he wants it, he can just ask and expect his mum to know where it is.

When he comes here he moans here about doing the dishes, tidying rooms, hoovering etc, but deep down I think he likes it. I think he is proud that he can do all these things for himself.

foslady Fri 08-Feb-13 15:21:54

My self esteem was on the floor and I thought that was all I was worth

Worse thing was it happened twice before I started to value myself

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 15:34:30

I think the thing about learning to do things is you have to care enough about them to actually take in the information (like me and driving, or space, or maths I just don't give a shit so my eyes glaze over). So dh can be shown how to cook and clean but none of it ever sticks. Because the truth is he just doesn't give a shit. He does not care one way or the other whether it's done or not. If I don't cook dinner, that's fine he'll get fish and chips, if the house is dirty, that's fine too. So how can you make someone care enough to learn?

CailinDana Fri 08-Feb-13 15:52:40

My parents were shite, but one thing they actually did get right was that when my sisters and I turned 10 we started to get more and more responsibility, so that by the time we were about 14 we were all equally contributing to the household. My mother (in spite of her weirdness about laundry, mentioned earlier) was never 100% in charge of the house, it was the responsibility of all of us. I think it made us better behaved as teenagers because we felt on an equal footing - we weren't pushed around or nagged, we were just expected to get on with it. If we wanted to leave our rooms in a filthy tip, that was our choice, nothing was ever said about it. If the house was being decorated, we had an equal say in how it was done. It really suited me to live like that - I think if I'd been in a situation where my mother did my washing and tidied my room it would have really annoyed me. I think parents do their teens a real disservice by not giving them a sense of responsibility for the house. I've seen it said time and time again on MN that mums do washing/packed lunches/tidying for their teens because "I'm their mum and it's my job to look after them." I disagree - it's your job to look after a helpless baby but beyond that it's your job to teach your child to live independently, not to mollycoddle them.

CailinDana Fri 08-Feb-13 15:56:08

MrsKoala- the fact he doesn't care means that he doesn't really care how you feel. There's nothing you can do to change that really. I don't care a jot about my husband's hobby but over the years I have made myself learn something about it, I've attended events, I've bought him stuff for it, because I care about him, and it's important to him. Equally my DH would live in a rat infested shithole if left to his own devices but he pulls his weight with housework because he cares about the fact that a dirty house bothers me. He doesn't expect me to take up his hobby, and I don't expect him to turn in to Martha Stewart, we just expect each other to make an effort. By doing nothing your DH is basically saying "I know it bothers you but I don't care about that."

Bearbehind Fri 08-Feb-13 15:59:41

I don't think it is a bad thing that some women are happy to do the housework while their partners do DIY and gardening (as someone up thread was surprised to find her younger sister expected she would do).

It's how it works in our house because it works for us. That's not to say either of us never do the other things, it just that we each do what we are best at.

I think people should expect to do their fair share and if that means they do the 'traditional' jobs then so what? Why make life harder by doing the things you are shit at, just to prove a point.

Totally different matter with people who do nothing though. Trouble is, people change, so someone who seemed a catch at the beginning may stop trying after a while. Not sure many people would set out to live with a lazy git.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 16:06:30

But why is my yes stronger than his no? If he feels just as strongly as me about NOT wanting to do it, surely, in the same way I should care enough about him to not make him do something he not only doesn't want to do, finds frustrating to the point of tears and does not see the point of at all.

And sadly dh has hobbies that I cannot understand even the basic things about such is the immenseness of their boringdom.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 16:11:12

However, I will bring our dc up to do chores and earn pocket money. I was never allowed to do anything at home in case I did it wrong. But I moved out at 16 and taught (very easy, buy a recipe book) myself because it mattered to me.

CailinDana Fri 08-Feb-13 16:12:59

Because housework isn't optional. A certain standard is optional, yes, but the basics are absolutely essential if you're going to have clean clothes and fresh food to eat. He can't say no, because no means "you do it."

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