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To wonder whether DP is doing a bad job on purpose?

(24 Posts)
bored1602 Fri 26-Jun-15 12:50:40

...with everything!

He'll pile wet washing onto the clothes horse and it's all on top of each other so it starts to smell. He won't change the dirty water while he's washing up so everything ends up smellier and greasier than it started, and he'll leave in to air dry so it smells stale after a while. He'll soak the entire kitchen floor when he's mopping so the dirt just swishes around. And apparently I'm ungrateful when I try to help!!

We're in our mid-twenties but I refuse to believe he hasn't mastered one household job yet! I'm starting to wonder if it's on purpose so I don't bother asking for the help next time. If he won't let me help him, and I end up redoing all his jobs anyway, I'm at a loss at what to do angry

PoppyField Fri 26-Jun-15 12:56:18

It is a well-known phenomenon (esp on here!) called 'strategic incompetence.'

It is a very effective technique which will eventually result in you doing everything from the get-go, so that you don't even have to 're-do' his jobs.

Otherwise known as a total lack of respect. Don't even try to reform this guy. He won't change, or if he does it is because you become 'chore police' in your own home. Which you don't want.

You're in your mid-twenties - time enough to find someone who respects his partner as an equal and that can function in a domestic setting.

steppemum Fri 26-Jun-15 12:57:13

call him out on it.

He is presumable perfectly able to do jobs he has an interest in which require attention to detail (eg shaving) so can learn to do another. Ask him why a perfectly intelligent person is unable to learn a basic skill.

A job done badly is worse than a job not done, he is creating work for you.

How about make a list of jobs. Between you choose which ones you will do. eg I am responsible for cleaning kitchen, he is responsible for cleaning bathroom. With the job have some kind of expectation, eg bathroom cleaned once a week, which includes emptying bin, clean and dry floor, window sill (or whatever)
Then back off and let it be his job. See how it goes.

He needs to get away form the idea that he is not 'helping' you with jobs. If he uses the kitchen or the loo, then he is 50% responsible for cleaning it.

steppemum Fri 26-Jun-15 12:59:57

I disagree, he may change, this may be a reflection of his upbringing. If you call him out on it and he is shocked and realises he is not up to scratch, then he will change.

BUT is he doesn't get it, it is going to be a long battle. And you will probably loose.

WorraLiberty Fri 26-Jun-15 13:03:46

While you're re-doing everything for him, there are no consequences for his actions.

Hang your own clothes properly and leave his to smell

Rinse the cup/plate that you are going to use and leave him to eat/drink from a dirty, greasy one etc.

flora717 Fri 26-Jun-15 13:04:25

Point and laugh at his incompetence. OK, not the most harmonious approach but I improved my friend's skills that way.
It was gently done. But mean of me (a bit).

DoreenLethal Fri 26-Jun-15 13:04:44

And apparently I'm ungrateful when I try to help!!

Aw bless him. Why would you be grateful for him doing his share of the chores?

Don't help him! He needs to redo it if he can't do it properly.

Flissity83 Fri 26-Jun-15 13:05:01

My younger brother (mid twenties) is useless at housework. I am worried he will move in with a girl and it will cause problems. He doesn't do it on purpose he's just never really learnt. If I were you instead of telling him he's getting it wrong, try and show him how to do it right. If he's still being a plank then either get rid or be prepared to be doing all the housework.

bored1602 Fri 26-Jun-15 13:06:06

Thank you! He's always so hurt when I call him up on his rubbish jobs I was beginning to wonder if I was the problem!

I've considered choosing a morning when we can do all the jobs together and he can see what it is he's doing wrong. That way I don't feel like I'm nagging constantly but he finally figures it all out.

He moved straight from his mum's into our flat together so I understand how skills like this have slipped through the cracks but honestly I shouldn't be teaching a grown man to wash up. (rolls eyes)

MerryMarigold Fri 26-Jun-15 13:08:30

I expect mummy did it all and he hasn't had much practise. Ime, you find out what they are good at and get them to do that. Maybe he could choose a whizzy new mop. Tell him the problem is that the for its too wet, can he did a no which does a beret job? Then he can stick to it. My Dh is great at washing up so he does it alL (family of 5). I think it's great he's helping out, and just because this aren't the way you'd do them, let him learn. Everyone needs training, if he hasn't already had it from his parents and his been getting away with the minimum since he left home. Tbh, you sound a bit of PITA, if you can't handle washing up drip drying and think it goes stale. I think you'll be hard pushed to find anyone, even other women who met your standards. You need to chill out a bit on the cleaning perfection of you want this, or indeed any other relationship, to work out.

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 26-Jun-15 13:09:58

" And apparently I'm ungrateful when I try to help!! "

you see this is the crux of the matter, he thinks that actually all these things are really YOUR job and you should be 'grateful' if he does anything at all.

Doing washing up like that is minging anyway - hot running water only!

Be very wary of having children with someone who already has these ideas.

sparklewater Fri 26-Jun-15 13:11:34

Will he take that well? I probably wouldn't if it was me - pointing out things as you go along is easier. As someone else said - rehang your own clothes etc. If he asks you why, explain and say you didn't want to be 'that' nagging person.

MerryMarigold Fri 26-Jun-15 13:11:48

Sorry, blinking phone. Can he did a mop that does a better job and that he prefers?

X posted
So he's just moved out of mummy's! I expect it to you a while to matter things. As I said, don't expect him to get it all immediately. Start with 1or 2 jobs and let him own them.

MerryMarigold Fri 26-Jun-15 13:13:51

Oh, and make sure you yeah your boys from early. My 6yo son can clean the sink and toilet.

MerryMarigold Fri 26-Jun-15 13:14:32


Miggsie Fri 26-Jun-15 13:16:54

Sadly, it sounds like you are experiencing what is termed "economies of gratitude".
This is the situation when a man considers all his domestic work to be a "gift" to you, the lucky woman, and you should be grateful that he has even done this amazing thing for you, because, yes, as the woman, it is YOUR job and so he may help, but any contribution must be noted and praised.

Your domestic contribution is taken for granted and will only be criticized for not coming up to scratch.

You may be able to alter your relationship so that he does pull his weight, doesn't punish you for even asking and really does his share, or you'll be stuck with a grown up child who ends up resenting you.
If you have children with him the issue will magnify by about 100 times and he will stay late at work specifically to avoid any household or child related tasks.

This pattern has been extensively studied by psychologists over the last 30 years. Hochschild's book "the second shift" is a good one to see the "economy of gratitude" at work.

Moreisnnogedag Fri 26-Jun-15 13:18:25

I think Sunny has it spot on. Why should you be grateful? I presume you both work and both generate dirt so why has it become your responsibility?

DoreenLethal Fri 26-Jun-15 13:18:31

As I said, don't expect him to get it all immediately. Start with 1or 2 jobs and let him own them

Ha ha - he isn't her apprentice! He is a grown man.

it's on purpose so I don't bother asking for the help next time

Again - you don't ask for help [it isn't your job to do all the household stuff] - you negotiate with him the chores you are both responsible for.

MerryMarigold Fri 26-Jun-15 13:28:32

He is her apprentice. He wasn't brought up doing these things.

MerryMarigold Fri 26-Jun-15 13:31:55

It always shocks me how intolerant people can be of their partner's weaknesses. I'm not perfect. I'm not particularly humble when it's pointed out either.

But hey, yes, despite growing up with a Mum who did it all, he should be an instant expert in housework (to pretty high standards) as well as having the mindset that it's 50% his responsibility. Wo!

DoreenLethal Fri 26-Jun-15 13:54:46

He is her apprentice. He wasn't brought up doing these things.

No he isn't!

as well as having the mindset that it's 50% his responsibility.

It IS 50% his responsibility.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Fri 26-Jun-15 14:13:10

I'd start with taking responsibility for your own laundry and leaving him to do his own - if he really doesn't mind his clothes smelling it's his lookout but he shouldn't benefit from you having to redo his shit work.

Maybe he'll learn when people at work start questioning his competence if he can't come in wearing freshly laundered clothes.

DorisLessingsCat Fri 26-Jun-15 14:15:35

The issue is not that he's doing a shit job - if he's ignorant it's not particularly his fault. The issue is that he can't take advice on how to do it better without going on the attack.

How long have you been living together and how are the other aspects of your communication / relationship?

MerryMarigold Fri 26-Jun-15 14:19:26

Well, he's either her apprentice, or she accepts the way he does things.

Can't have it both ways.

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