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To want my boyfriend to wash his own socks?

(110 Posts)
myhatsonfire Fri 06-Feb-15 11:23:38


I feel mean about this but also justified in my thoughts. My boyfriend asked me to wash his socks for him this morning. He ran out of clean socks a few days ago and was off work yesterday and the day before, so has had plenty of time to do it. I even texted him to remind him to do it. I am at home today but I'm working.

I wouldn't mind, but this always happens. He runs out of socks/pants/tops because he doesn't take the initiative to check that he has enough of them clean. Then he gets in a strop and makes me feel bad even though it's not my fault. It's generally me who does the housework, unless he's really bored or I moan at him. As a result, our house is generally a mess during the week because I don't have as much time to clean during the week and do most of it at the weekend.

A bit of background: we've been together 5 years and lived together for most of that time. I went to uni during the first few years, now in a fairly well paid, full time job. I'm hoping to go part time next year to do a masters.

He is in his mid twenties and works part time in a customer service job. He's had opportunities to go to uni/get promoted but hasn't taken them up or put effort in. I do most of the housework even though I work more. I do sympathize, because I don't like my job either and it's hard to get a permanent, well paid job at the moment. I'm not sure if he won't try because he's scared of failing.

I get the feeling he doesn't think it's fair that I earn more than him, but I made the effort to get a degree, search for jobs etc. and he hasn't (not that I think he should go to uni if he doesn't want to, or have any snobbery about working in CS - but I hate when people complain about things they can change).

I don't want him to do all the housework, just an equal amount without having ask him all the time. I don't want to run around after him all the time making sure he has clean pants, I'm not his mum!

Am I being unreasonable in thinking this? Should I wash his socks to keep the peace?

Sorry for the essay!

DejaVuAllOverAgain Fri 06-Feb-15 11:28:23

YANBU you're his partner not his mum or his skivvy.

Grumpyoldblonde Fri 06-Feb-15 11:28:36

well, if you are doing a load of washing today you could just bung his socks in, but I certainly wouldn't do a wash just for him if he has had the time, he is an adult after all.
Wash his socks to keep the peace? No! you are not his mother.

Nolim Fri 06-Feb-15 11:28:56

Let him wear dirty socks. Seriously wtf.

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Fri 06-Feb-15 11:30:11

Absolutely not.

It's one thing for someone to have a load and shove whatever is in the basket, it's another to be told to do his washing!

He does not need to think it's your job to wash his clothes.

I would be refusing. Not because I have a massive objection to chucking a load of washing into a machine, but because of the message he was giving that it was somehow my job to service him.

You need to put him straight on that one sooner rather than later.

You are not a household appliance.

It is not your job to take care of all things domestic simply because you are a woman.

DejaVuAllOverAgain Fri 06-Feb-15 11:30:47

Oh and don't do it to keep the peace either. Sit him down and ask him why he thinks it's acceptable to treat you so disrespectfully. This isn't just about socks it's about more than that including why he doesn't pull his weight around the house. Why he seems to think you're his unpaid skivvy who is there to cook and clean for him.

tumbletumble Fri 06-Feb-15 11:33:03

YANBU at all. You already do more than your share. Stand firm on this!

InfinitySeven Fri 06-Feb-15 11:33:25

This isn't about washing socks. It's about his general attitude, and yours. You need to talk about that - to clear the air and work out a plan so that you can both be happy.

Washing wise, DP does most of ours. We both work full-time, but I'm home more than just seems to work out that he does it, though. I do other stuff. It's no big deal, at the end of the day, and I'll do it if I need too. I'd have no problem texting DP today and asking him to wash X top or clean me some socks, and I know he wouldn't mind.

His lack of ambition appears to be a big problem, coupled with his dislike of you achieving more than him. Is it important to you to be with someone who has aims and targets, and pushes themselves? Would you be happy if he decided that he was going to work in a minimum wage job forever, because he isn't motivated towards a career? More to the point, could you afford that, if you want to go back to uni, and especially if you're planning children in the future?

In my case, DP went to uni and I didn't. I supported him though, both by helping him learn things and financially. He's now finished a grad scheme and is in a job that he's trained for, and while he doesn't love it, he's working towards where he wants to be. I didn't go to uni, but have built up specialist skills and earn more than him. We value both of our careers.

BaronessBomburst Fri 06-Feb-15 11:33:42

He's not going to change.
He won't be any different if you have children.
He sounds lazy tbh in all areas if his life.
Either decide that it doesn't bother you and resign yourself to a life of housework and childcare, or LTB.

Yup, LTB over washing socks. This is MN, it was always going to happen.

Fullpleatherjacket Fri 06-Feb-15 11:34:16

I wouldn't be putting on a special wash for another adult's socks but I'm shocked at his getting in a strop because you haven't done the skivvying he thinks you should.

Has he always been like this?

Tokelau Fri 06-Feb-15 11:35:19

It is not your job to take care of all things domestic simply because you are a woman.

This, exactly.

Sadly, some men still think this (and some women weirdly). DH thought along those lines when we were first married, it was the way he was brought up. I soon taught him otherwise.

As for the fact that he's not happy about you earning more than him, that worries me. Does he really think he's worth more than you in the workplace, when you have better qualifications?

AppleAndBlackberry Fri 06-Feb-15 11:37:38

I think you need to let him know that he is responsible for his own washing on a permanent basis and you will only be doing yours in future. I made the same mistake when I was first married, we both worked full time but I did a lot more in the house and there was a lot of resentment. These days I don't do all the washing, we either share it or I just do my and the childrens stuff if I don't have time to do it all. Other chores like cleaning the kitchen and cooking are more fairly shared too although I work p-t so I do do more on weekdays.

TheHermitCrab Fri 06-Feb-15 11:37:45


We have lived together for 5 years and although not the same I have been asking him to buy new underpants.. he's had the same since before we moved in and his mum bought them!!

years I've been asking him...

I'm going to start throwing them away when he puts them in the wash until he runs out haha

InfinitySeven Fri 06-Feb-15 11:38:44

Erm...I missed the bit about stropping.

I wouldn't put up with that, although it'll be hard to make changes now after 5 years. It'll only get harder, though, so don't cave.

BathtimeFunkster Fri 06-Feb-15 11:40:49

Wow, he must barely ever get to wear socks.

I bet you are ripping all his clothes off the moment you get home.

Nothing on earth is sexier than a man who expects you to wash his smelly socks because he can't be arsed to do it himself.

You lucky devil.

Don't let this one slip through your fingers - imagine: a lifetime of getting to be this prince's skivvy while he sits around moaning about his shit life. Bliss!

DeliciousMonster Fri 06-Feb-15 11:43:15

Does he know that you need a sink or a washing machine, rather than a vagina - to wash these socks of his?

Surely to goodness, whoever is at home when a machine load of washing is needed, puts it on?

theendoftheendoftheend Fri 06-Feb-15 11:45:37

Being expected to wash someone elses smelly socks is a deal breaker for me. But thats just me and I have ishoos

TheHermitCrab Fri 06-Feb-15 11:47:32

DeliciousMonster you gave me an image of the labels instead of the washing instructions just saying "vagina required to wash" lol

BarbarianMum Fri 06-Feb-15 11:48:01

Sounds like you have quite a few issues to sort through. The big one though seems to be around how he perceives your role in the relationship - he doesn't seem to like you being the main wage earner and he does want you to take on responsibility for more than your share of household jobs.

How do you see things playing out over the next few years? Is the discrepencies b/w your pay likely to increase? Would you like children with this man? If so, who would look after them, who would keep working, who would do the housework? You may think I'm asking you to extrapolate a lot from an arguement about socks but you seem in danger of moving into a long-term relationship with someone who expects you to do the lion's share of everything but also resents you for it.

myhatsonfire Fri 06-Feb-15 11:51:24

Thank you so much for your replies! I'm glad you don't all think I'm being horrible.

Honestly, I didn't mind doing the bulk of the housework when I was a student because I worked less, but now it's the other way round (and has been for nearly 2 years actually) I think he needs to take a bit of responsibility. And of course I don't mind washing his stuff if I'm putting in a load, I generally wash our stuff together most of the time.

I don't think he dislikes me achieving things, he's proud, but I think he wishes that he had done the same. Sometimes it seems like he wants the good stuff without putting the effort in. I worry that if we have kids it will be me looking after them all the time, even though I would want to keep my career. It puts me off having them to be honest, as I worry that I'll become a miserable, bitter person.

I honestly don't mind if he wants to work in a low paid job forever, my mum works in CS and my dad earns a lot and they're fine with it so it's kind of the other way round with us two. And I should say that he does pay half of the bills an for food shopping. But I know that he isn't happy there and isn't doing anything to get out, that's what irks me.

I do love him and we are happy together most of the time but this really annoys me - my free time is as valuable as his, I don't want to wash/clean things either but I do because I have to! He makes me feel like I'm making a big deal out of it but as a few of you have said, it's not the socks, it's what it says about how he views our relationship.

Sorry for the rant again - lots of pent up anger that I can't really share with anyone.

Jackiebrambles Fri 06-Feb-15 11:52:05

Sounds like this is about way more than socks to be honest.

But please god do NOT wash them for him. What a lazy git, wash your own effing socks!

If you live together I think its reasonable for you to wash collectively (and also hang out to dry etc), but this task can be shared like all the other domestic stuff.

myhatsonfire Fri 06-Feb-15 11:55:19

BarbarianMum - I have always wanted children but the thought of being the main caregiver AND working my way up in a career puts me off. I think both parents should be equal caregivers. His mum is a childminder and lives literally round the corner so we're lucky in that respect. We've always joked that he could take my maternity leave but I'm not sure if he actually would or how I'd feel about going back to work quickly after having a baby.

I'm not sure what his plans are for the future but I would like to eventually earn a fair bit of money in order to live comfortable, buy a house and everything.

DeliciousMonster Fri 06-Feb-15 11:56:00

Perhaps it is time to reassess your life. Do you really want to be having this sort of argument time and again? Do you really want to be with someone with so little ambition and no pride? If you have kids, do you really think he will be up to the job of being a dad and partner [when he can't even wash his own socks, after being at home for two days?].

myhatsonfire Fri 06-Feb-15 12:00:32

Also - really sorry to add more! - it's not like he asks horribly. He says "Can you wash these please?" and I reply something like "You were off, why haven't you washed them/can't you do them when you get in?" and he acts all sad, "I forgot/pleeeease" etc. which makes me feel like a bitch for being annoyed about it.

BathtimeFunkster Fri 06-Feb-15 12:02:28

You could have a much nicer life with a better man.

You've outgrown him.

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