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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.

GrendelsMum Sat 09-Feb-13 18:34:07

I think that some relationships have a dynamic, more or less conscious, in which one person looks after the other, and that this makes both people in the relationship feel happy. I wouldn't stand for my brother in law's assumed incompetence for example, but it appears to be what suits both him and my sister if he asks her for things and she sorts it out. They're both hugely capable intelligent people, so I can only guess that it works for them, as she did apparently set a limit regarding laundry.

willesden Fri 08-Feb-13 21:33:53

I married for money.

NotHerRealname Fri 08-Feb-13 20:10:29

No I have never understood it either, and posted a very similar message a few months ago.
I have a number of friends who are putting up with the most unbelievable behaviour. For example husbands who complain about the state of the house when they come home from work and not contributing anything to help clean up, spend the whole weekend doing exactly what pleases them, not spending time with the children. As well as spending money willy nilly and running up depts.
I get so cross about it, that I just want to shake these women and say "fgs, you deserve better than this!" Of course I don't though, I just smile and offer a listening ear.
The trouble is, I think this behaviour is seen as normal for some women, and lets not forget the grinding down of one's self esteem that goes along with staying at home with the children and being reliant on a man for one's income.

tallulah Fri 08-Feb-13 18:48:02

I've also been married for almost 30 years. Up until just before DC5 was born we always split everything 50/50, and I could have written your OP. Then DH got promoted, started doing lots of extra -unpaid- hours at work and decided (without mentioning it to me) that he wasn't going to do anything at home shock. Because we had 3 teens at home, whenever I complained he'd insist that "the boys" were supposed to be doing XYZ. It wasn't until the boys moved out that I realised he was doing sweet FA.

We have had several conversations about it, and following the most recent one he is now making an effort. I think he'd got so used to not bothering that it'd become a habit.

I did explain to him that I would never have married someone who'd decided it was my job to do everything. He agreed he was BU.

MammaTJ Fri 08-Feb-13 16:58:22

I do not do my DPs washing, I rarely do my DCs washing. I do my own and the bedding.

DP and me share the housework pretty much equally, as we do the childcare although DP puts them to bed and deals with their morning routines so in truth he does more than me because we both work full time.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 16:49:45

At first I thought it was just massive laziness. But the more I see the more I'm not so sure.

CailinDana Fri 08-Feb-13 16:43:59

That makes things slightly different. If it's a genuine problem for him then it's your decision as to whether you're willing to live with that. If my DH acquired a disability that meant he did less housework it wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me, I would live with it.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 16:36:40

He can say no because he doesn't care about having either of those things. when I met him took his work clothes to a cleaner and just wore stinking dirty clothes often. He is also happy to eat crap every day.

He will occasionally put a load of washing on if he has exhausted every thing. But it all goes in together on a hot wash and is worn screwed up and unironed. Totally mismatching etc.

I genuinely suspect, (i used to be a senco so I know a little) and it has been pointed out by others, that he has asd. Not just about this, but his behaviour over other things too. He finds the world a very difficult place.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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?

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

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.

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 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.

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.

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

*you're not your, sorry

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.

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.

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 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.

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