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To rant about DH re dinner responsibilities?

(126 Posts)
Clarabell33 Tue 29-Jul-14 20:36:11

I should mention that I have had a shocker of a day and am in a foul mood so quite possible IABU but I need to vent a bit. Please bear with me.

Most nights, including weekends, I get dinner for DH and I (no kids). I used to cook a lot, especially when I was single, but now I cook 'properly' once a week or less as I'm usually the last home (by quite some time), tired and DH is 'starving' so it's often just whatever I can throw together quickly. He has never had dinner ready (I have, if I'm the first one home) and never offered to make it. If I ever say anything about his turn to cook, he says takeaway. He has never cooked since we moved, which was over 18 months ago. Usually I don't bother and just make our dinner and he eats whatever appears in front of him, but today I am just really fucking pissed off at the 'so you've had a shit day, that sucks... what's for dinner?' attitude. I do all the food shopping (it's a calamity if I so much as ask him to pick up milk - and no, he wouldn't do it without being asked as the level of milk is not on his radar unless he wants tea/cereal and there isn't enough) so he claims he doesn't know what we have in (although I have stopped padlocking the kitchen so he can get in there to find out if he wants) and it's definitely not that he can't cook - he would be the first to tell you how much better a cook he is than I am, although I do think it's slightly unfair to judge me when half the time it's cheese on toast or equivalent just because it's quick and he wants fed now.

Anyway, today I said I didn't know, what is for dinner, and he mumbled something about a takeaway. This has worked in the past but today I nodded and retreated upstairs so as not to scream at him. He came up a little while later to ask what I want to do for dinner as he's hungry. I said I didn't know, but that I am hungry too. He hovered a bit and suggested takeaway again - fine. Which one? Anything is fine by me (yes, I am aware that I was being arsey). He then said he'd have a look in the freezer - and without even leaving the room, announced that he supposed he could make pie (obviously has acquired a psychic connection to the contents of the freezer) but it would take ages from frozen (again with the psychic powers) and he's hungry now. I agreed.

He's now stomped off downstairs and I've heard the front door go once or twice - perhaps he's hiding food in the garage, or foraging in the garden. Or possibly he's managed to locate and unwrap the pie, and locate the oven, hack the controls and make heat happen although not sure why he'd need to go outside for that. It obviously is too much to ask for one night off from being mum even after a seriously shit day (which he knew about earlier as I'd texted him). So AIBU to be this pissed off? AIBU to think this expectation that I am solely responsible for all food-related areas isn't normal, especially as we don't even have kids yet, both have fulltime jobs, and are pretty equal as adults? WIBU to say something now, or should I wait til I'm in a less shit mood (not that that will make any difference to how he reacts)? AIBU to be this arsey about it or should I just stop moaning and mum up and make his sodding dinner?

Whew. Thank you for reading. Ready to be told to stop being such a shite wife and cook his dinner now.

Mintyy Wed 30-Jul-14 21:22:17

Op is talking describing a man who has never cooked since they moved to their current home 18 months ago.

That's pathetic!

WhatTheFork Wed 30-Jul-14 21:21:39

we eat out

WhatTheFork Wed 30-Jul-14 21:20:58

My DH isn't a good cook. He can cobble together a mac n cheese, bacon or sausage sarnie, or heat things up. He does a fab cooked breakfast, the works. My cooking would put Nigella to shame in my head grin ... So I do most of the meals. When it is his turn he gets a takeaway or eat out. Saying that it would take him a long time to get tired of those options.

Agree that you need to discuss it when you're not feeling so angry. What you describe sounds a lot like how we operate in the Fork house, the difference is we are happy with the arrangement. You not being happy with this is the issue. I hope between you you can sort it out. Challenge him to make you something lovely if he's as good as he says he is.

BauerTime Wed 30-Jul-14 21:10:03

I just think in general that deciding on how to split jobs and make it 'fair' is difficult because its so subjective. Couple that with how someone naturally operates, how they were brought up and how bothered they are about mess, dirt and eating well and its near on impossible. Some SAHP's for example happily also take on the role of housekeeper. Some SAHP's see domestic chores etc as a separate thing.

For me there are 4 distinct areas of shared responsibility. They are DS, day to day chores such as cooking and washing up etc, 'weekly' stuff such as cleaning, shopping, laundry, and big, one-off or 'as and when' jobs like repairs, big clear outs etc. DH is great and pulls his weight with the first 2, but has no concept of keeping on top of our finances, shopping and meal planning, cleaning the bathroom. He also showed no signs of mending our kitchen cupboard door which fell off a week ago and was most surprised to come home tonight and find it done. He may have got round to it eventually he tells me, but i know it just never bothered him that it was missing! I'm proactive and he is reactive, he will tackle something when its a problem FOR HIM and not just get on with things. We differ, and so we clash on this. He isn't lazy or trying to piss me off, we just have different goal posts.

walde Wed 30-Jul-14 19:38:46

I can't believe any woman would put up with this. We don't have perfect relationship but in terms of housework I have never given my DH the impression its my job. Why would I? And we talk about it - I hate hoovering so he does that, he hates cleaning toilets so I do that etc. Although the fairness in our house probably arises from my laziness. I'm not going to leap up and do jobs while he's sitting on his bum. That would be weird! And we do talk about rotas and have little systems to get jobs done. (take it in turns to bath kids while the other washes up) And we're really sad about shopping. We love going together - we're that annoying family on a Saturday with the kids in the supermarket.

OnlyLovers Wed 30-Jul-14 18:44:59

I can't get past the advice to get a BBQ because 'the man in your life will love to be in charge' of it.

FFS. How depressing for women and patronising to men. It's like those old adverts that say 'buy your wife the new Hoover/oven/whatever -she'll love you for it!' Except those adverts, thank god, now belong to history.

Sit down with him and work out what needs done in the house and the logistics of it (if the first person home cooks or if you take turns etc). Oh, and fixing the car etc is not 'worth more' than feeding you both every day. hmm Divest him of that notion immediately.

I like the idea of takeaway days being 'nul' days.

specialmagiclady Wed 30-Jul-14 18:34:30

Oh and I would second the "softly softly won't work" stuff. Just talk about it. This is why men traditionally think women are so mysterious - we won't just tell them what we want.

specialmagiclady Wed 30-Jul-14 18:32:34

My sons and I (aged 9 and 7) are talking a lot about being parasitic or symbiotic. When they help I tell them what a brilliant "dentist bird" they are. If they aren't I ask them if they are happy to be a head louse. I am determined not to raise useless men like my DB

This is especially hard because DS1 has autism and I am basically lazy. But I am determined.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 30-Jul-14 18:23:14

Why do you put up with it Eggs? It's just something I don't understand.

xalyssx Wed 30-Jul-14 18:22:36

In my house, DP and I have arranged that I will cook every night, and he will wash up. However, he had the day off yesterday, and he cooked dinner as I was feeling a bit ill and wanted a bath. It was only 2 pizzas and a bowl of salad, but it meant that I felt a lot better.

fuzzpig Wed 30-Jul-14 18:21:46

Don't just let him get takeaways etc for however long it takes. What if he just stubbornly carries on regardless, you'll end up mega unhealthy and skint too.

Have a decent conversation and reach an agreement. What about 1 takeaway a week and 1 cheese on toast a week for example. The rest being proper meals.

Eggsaregoodforyou Wed 30-Jul-14 18:14:40

Well if you have any sense you will re-define the boundaries with regards to this, now while you have chance!!

I have been with DP for ten years and he has never, yes absolutely never prepared a meal for me. Not even after I just given birth or when I have been ill. If I don't cook we go hungry.

It wasn't so bad when it was just us but now we have two kids and ai also work three days a week it is a serious issue.

CharlotteCollins Wed 30-Jul-14 18:08:25

She probably should (question why she's in an unequal relationship) if she tries talking to him and he's apathetic and makes no real effort to change things.

But it'd be worth talking first. Not writing a rota for him, but opening a conversation for them to make changes together.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 30-Jul-14 18:07:49

And I agree with you.

But there's also no point in stropping around in the hope he'll get the hint either, it won't work.

The worse thing you can do OP is have kids in the hope he'll 'change'. It doesn't happen. Trust me, the last thing you want to do with a newborn is cook dinner, especially for a selfish man.

LumpySpacedPrincess Wed 30-Jul-14 18:01:58

Personally I was thinking she may need to question why she is in such an unequal relationship.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 30-Jul-14 17:59:36

So she should just display some passive aggressive behaviour in the hope he gets fed up of take aways instead?

Or, here's a thought. Talk to each other!

LumpySpacedPrincess Wed 30-Jul-14 17:56:15

But why does she have to sit him down and gently explain that in a relationship the man doesn't get to do much less work than the woman? Fixing a car isn't worth more than cooking every single day?

If you have to explain the simple concept of fairness and equality then there is almost certainly a problem with the person who has to have this explained to them.

blueVW Wed 30-Jul-14 17:46:03

Passive aggressive behaviour, is what you're displaying,sorry.

As others say, sit down and talk to him.

Draw up a meal plan each week and divide up who cooks what - this saves money too.

Have a takeaway once a week and/or include ready meals, but don't carry on like you are.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 30-Jul-14 17:32:09

Why not just talk to him instead of getting him to magically realise?

What's wrong with communicating? If you have kids you'll have to.

ChasedByBees Wed 30-Jul-14 16:20:48

Yes, talk to him OP.

LumpySpacedPrincess Wed 30-Jul-14 15:44:17

I can't get over how what he does is worth more than what you do. You do realise that that means he is actually better than you, right?

Just tell him that if he wants to continue in the relationship then he needs to half of the work.

3littlefrogs Wed 30-Jul-14 15:43:15

I agree with diddl.
Don't turn it into a feud.
Just sit down and sort it out. Talk to each other.

Thumbwitch Wed 30-Jul-14 15:41:09

Clarabell - I think you need to be a bit more "active communication" rather than "passive inaction" about this situation - tell him that you're not at all impressed with his 1950s attitude, you are not his mother, nor his housekeeper and certainly not his cook! Explain that it is just as much his responsibility as yours to keep the fridge stocked and cook it and that you will no longer pander to his ridiculous slackness, as the camel's back is now broken and there is no going back.

I don't think you need to go the "takeaway every night" route to get this sorted - just a frank and open exchange of views (mostly yours!) on why this Is Not Right. smile

diddl Wed 30-Jul-14 15:32:48

Why not just sit down & tell him that you've had enough & it can't go on.

From now oon you will cook on x nights & him on y?

Decide what you will cook, get the food in & go from there.

Clarabell33 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:10:09

Hey, thanks for all comments.

Much as I was ranting and possibly being nasty due to shit day and being very hangry last night, he definitely is capable and managed fine on his own for years before he met me. So yes, he has changed his behaviour since I met him, and I have to take the blame for letting him get away with it for so long, and now just need to gently assist him to change back! There are a lot of good ideas here, thank you all for support smile

I don't think he is fully aware how much I feel that he's taking the piss with the whole food side of things as I usually just get on with it. I am determined not to from now on, even if that means a month of takeaways or cheese on toast before it sinks in. Hopefully it will, and quickly, because a month of crap food will not look good on either of us and it's not like we can afford it either! So wish me luck and I will report back. Probably 2 stone heavier from the takeaways wink

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