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Housework - who ibu?

(371 Posts)
nobilityobliges Sun 24-Apr-16 12:44:58

I am 25 and getting married to my boyfriend of five years this summer. He is fantastic, and I love him very much. Pretty much the only problem in our relationship arises out of arguments about housework.

I am a really messy person. On top of this, I am currently working as a trainee solicitor in a big London firm, which means that I often don't get in til 9 or 10pm, sometimes have to work weekends. So I have a limited amount of free time, which I don't want to spend doing housework.

My fiancé, on the other hand, is pretty houseproud, and mess stresses him out. I try to accommodate him, and am a lot tidier than I would otherwise be. I also pay for a cleaner to come weekly. He still does more housework though. However, he has a lot more free time than me - he has been at home finishing his phd for a while, and now he has finished it, he is brushing up his coding skills (a different area from his phd) before beginning a job in that area in a few months time (he already has the job). I think this is a good career move and support him in it. I supported him financially through the last year of his phd, and am still supporting him now (ie I pay rent/council tax/food bills/going out etc). I'm happy to do this, and he is really working hard getting his skills up to speed and is definitely not just lazing around the house while I'm at work.

But my fiancé still just brings up my messiness a lot. For example, there will often be a buildup of my breakfast/dinner stuff in the sink (my bf washes up as he goes). I also often just leave stuff lying round -- eg my make up on the sofa after I apply it in the morning then rush out without putting it away, coffee cups round the living room, clothes in a pile on the chair in our room rather than put away etc etc. Nothing major, but definitely quite a bit of general mess. My fiancé thinks that this stuff is completely unreasonable and that I'm completely selfish for not being tidier.

My view is that (1) it's my flat too, and he has to accept that we'll be meeting in the middle mess-wise, (2) I am working very hard at a job, and it's unreasonable to expect me to also spend ages on housework, when this is something I fundamentally don't give a shit about and (3) I am contributing a lot by paying the rent and bills, so even if he ends up doing more housework than me, it's still a fair split.

The problem is that when I raise the fact that I am paying bills he gets very upset, and tells me that I'm trying to control him financially, and that if it was a man telling a woman this I'd be up in arms etc. I just don't know what's right. I do make an effort, but I'm not going to transform into a really tidy person, and I feel he should cut me some slack. I also acknowledge that he is putting every effort into increasing his future earning potential, but also feel that my current financial contribution shouldn't count for nothing either.

We seem to spend so much of our time arguing about this, and it's bringing me down. Any views or advice would be appreciated! Sorry this is so long....

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 24-Apr-16 12:47:28

Tbh I don't think you should leave your dirty stuff in the sink, coffee cups around the place, and make up on the sofa.

I'm not the tidiest; I think your DP has a point.

NapQueen Sun 24-Apr-16 12:48:15

I think there is a difference between not having time to get stuck in with the housework and being lazy about tidying up after yourself.

The compromise needs to be found somewhere and I think you are the one who needs to make the biggest changes.

To not return your mug to the kitchen when youve finished, not put your make up away when youre finished is sheer laziness. If you have time to put make up on in the morning ir time ti make and drink a brew then putting that stuff away should be bult into it.

Stop being selfish. You are being lazy not at least cleari g your own mess away.

BanningTheWordNaice Sun 24-Apr-16 12:49:21

Do you have an airbnb housemate? I think I might live with you...

TeenAndTween Sun 24-Apr-16 12:50:46

You both need to compromise more.

- You take out dirty cups as you leave the room and put them by the sink (quick job). At least before you leave the house in the morning, and then in the evening before bed
- He washes up as he has more time (longer job)
- You have a place in the room where you do your make up for your make up, e.g. a tub on a shelf - but you don't leave it on the sofa
- clothes on chair are OK, clothes on floor are not

ShanghaiDiva Sun 24-Apr-16 12:52:23

I don't think you should bring the issue of money into this argument, it's really about time. I do most of the work at home as I only work part time and dh works full time - this seems fair to both of us as a unit. It has nothing to do with gender and nothing to do with who earns more money. However, I would not be happy with this arrangement if dh acted like a complete slob - leaving wet towels on the floor etc. In your position, the make up left on the sofa would irritate me and I want you to clear it away, but wouldn't expect you to do very much in terms of housework. I think the issue is one of respect for the roles that each person has.

SheSparkles Sun 24-Apr-16 12:52:24

Sorry but I think YABU. Yes there has to be compromise, but stop leaving things at your arse! My kids are the world's worst for doing that and it drives me up the wall -and I'm not "naturally tidy" either

2016ismyyear Sun 24-Apr-16 12:54:26

You sound like you think he should be appreciative abd clean up after you?

Get a dishwasher and put your dirty plates etc in it.
Put your make up back where it belongs. Put clothes away.
Honestly you sound a nightmare.

RudeElf Sun 24-Apr-16 12:55:47

it's unreasonable to expect me to also spend ages on housework,

Washing your own cups/breakfast dishes, putting your laundry away and lifting your make up off the sofa is not "ages on housework". Its pretty much akin to wiping your own ass. Stop being so lazy. He isnt asking you to clean the skirting boards before work, he is asking that you put away what you have used. Ie: leave the room as you find it. Its not a big ask at all, its being an adult and not waiting for mummy to come and tidy up after you.

smokeybandit Sun 24-Apr-16 12:57:15

I also think dp has a point. Yes you're supporting him now but it's swings and roundabouts. At some point he may be supporting you. If you think you don't have time to put your make up away why don't you do it in the bathroom so it's left the and not on the sofa? The clothes thing is bloody annoying and I do it myself, it's lazy. If you don't have time to tidy by just putting your cup/plates/make up away and giving dp at least one tidy room like the living room, change what you're doing. Get up earlier, spend a few mins putting something away while getting ready for a night out etc.

nobilityobliges Sun 24-Apr-16 12:57:18

Thanks for the replies so far. Yes I agree that it is about respect for the other person, and I think that that probably does impact his feelings. Fair point that clearing makeup off the sofa and moving coffee mugs does take minimal effort. I guess the point is that he doesn't acknowledge that he does have more time than me, and gets upset if I suggest that I am working harder. It just rankles when I have had several nights of five hours sleep and he has his usual eight and then brings up the fact that the housework is not a 50/50 split (as he thinks it should be). But it's certainly true that like most messy people there is a strand of laziness in my nature. It's probably right too that I should separate tidying up my stuff from housework (though with washing up/putting away washing there is an overlap).

Afreshstartplease Sun 24-Apr-16 12:58:32

I'm messy

I get it

However my dp is also messy, messier than me and it's annoying

I might leave a cup on the side for an hour or so, he would leave it there forever.

So I see both sides

However I'd hate to see how he would cope with kids in the house

ChicRock Sun 24-Apr-16 12:58:36

YABU. It's bare minimum to expect you to rinse your breakfast dishes and stop leaving make up lying around on the sofa. That's just sheer laziness. If you honestly don't have one spare minute in the morning to gather up your make up together and return it to wherever it belongs (because surely it won't take any longer than that?) then you need to get up earlier.

alliemay Sun 24-Apr-16 12:58:57

YABU. Once you get into the routine of it tidying as you go along really doesn't take that long.

nobilityobliges Sun 24-Apr-16 13:01:33

Also - I should say that I don't expect him (or mummy!) to tidy up after me. I do do the washing up/my laundry/etc -- just often I do it in a big lot every few days. and in my defence in laziness -- I leave the apartment at half seven in the morning and as I say often don't get in till 9 or 10 (occasionally earlier, occasionally significantly later). so it's not that I have a ton of time I am using to just sit around in.

Also - we don't have any other roommates. airbnb or otherwise, so there's another nightmare gf out there....

JustMarriedBecca Sun 24-Apr-16 13:01:52

I'm a solicitor in the City. Life will get worse. Do yourself a favour and spend another £10 a week on a cleaner for an extra hour. Top tip I give all new lawyers on their first day. See also 'supermarket delivery'

StrawberryInSpace Sun 24-Apr-16 13:02:40

I'm a messy/lazy person too when it comes to housework and like you I have a partner who is very much the opposite. We've been together 9 yrs and this has never been fully resolved, I make as much effort as I can to keep the house tidy/clean but I loathe it. To me, he sounds unreasonable. Why does the compromise have to be so much more in his favour, ie you have to learn to be much tidier rather than he has to put up with a bit more mess.

rollonthesummer Sun 24-Apr-16 13:06:56

Not putting stuff in the dishwasher and not putting make-up away is really lazy. Man up!

nobilityobliges Sun 24-Apr-16 13:07:38

No dishwasher! if only.

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Apr-16 13:09:01

If you don't have much time for housework, that's all the more reason to tidy up your crap when you've finished with it.

I think sometimes it can be more about attitude than actual time. Your attitude is probably, "I'm going to work so I can't tidy my make-up away". When in actual fact it takes minutes.

Try a small change in attitude as well as routine, and you should see an improvement.

Don't bring money/earnings up because I'm afraid that does make you sound like an entitled dick.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 24-Apr-16 13:14:02

You sound pretty lazy if you can't even be bothered to put your make up back in your room once it's been applied. To him it probably look as thought you expect him to tidy up after you because he's got nothing else to do whilst you go out and earn the money.

There's a difference between him doing housework and you expecting him to tidy up after you.

Therealyellowwiggle Sun 24-Apr-16 13:14:05

If you were both out of the house all day, the make up could wait. But your dp is at home, so is he expected to look at your bits and pieces on the sofa all day long? Or are you really assuming if it bothers him enough he will tidy up for you.
Why not discuss a few concrete changes each of you could make and stick to them. Don't get married until you've found common ground, and certainly don't have children as they make housework arguments so much worse.

Therealyellowwiggle Sun 24-Apr-16 13:15:02

I leave my make up in the sitting room incidentally as I don't want to wake dh up in the morning, but I just out it all in a large make up bag which goes on a shelf.

coconutpie Sun 24-Apr-16 13:16:23

YABU, lazy, selfish and disrespectful! By leaving your crap lying around, expecting your DP to pick it all up after you basically is telling him that you have no respect for him. You may as well just say to him "you're my servant, you pick up after me" everytime you leave your crap everywhere. He's at home more than you, it must drive him ballistic to not be able to sit on the sofa without having to move your makeup out of the way or see cups of coffee all around the place, or clothes dumped on the floor.

Working long hours is no excuse for it. It would take less than 10 seconds to pack all your makeup away or put your cup in the sink and wash it, or put your clothes in a laundry basket. Grow up. You're an adult, not a child. And you paying more towards bills does not mean that your DP should pick up after you.

AugustaFinkNottle Sun 24-Apr-16 13:17:02

I think there's a difference between general housework and housework that is specific to you. It's fair enough that he could be expected to do things like washing the sheets and general hoovering because he has more time than you. However, I think putting your things away and clearing and washing up your crocks should be down to you,. It''s not as if putting your make-up back in the bedroom takes longer than a few seconds, and washing up only takes a few minutes.

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