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To think DH wants to be treated like a child & is not trying to be helpful

(68 Posts)
Armywifelife Tue 07-Jun-16 14:28:52

This is an argument that is now recurring every month or so and has just happened once again and I'm so sure I'm right.
So I say to dh, watch ds (18 Mo) I need to do housework. To which he replies I will do it, just tell me what needs doing. This response makes me so angry (8 months pregnant right now so that doesn't help) because it's like he can't use his initiative to see for himself. House is far from immaculate right now, dishes to be done, whole kitchen pretty much needs cleaning, bin to take out, dusting, bathrooms need wiping etc etc so it really doesn't take a genius.
If I don't tell him he claims he doesn't know what needs doing which I think is a load of crap. It's his house just as much as mine, it's almost hard to believe he is in a very skilled job that requires a large amount of initiative. He has this time said I am being awful because he's trying to be nice and I'm just having a go at him. Its wound me up more than usual today because I told him everything needs doing but then he says well give me jobs to do and I'll do them angry is it so hard to just do the fucking washing up off your own back?
He had a very early finish from work and had a 2 hour nap so I really don't think I'm being unreasonable!
But I'm prepared to be told I am and that its my crazy baby brain.
Just to add hes a great dad to ds, does maximum amount he can and never needs me to tell him what to do!

feathermucker Tue 07-Jun-16 14:30:52


Hormones wink

plantsitter Tue 07-Jun-16 14:31:40


Sit down together and write a list of questions like 'is there washing up on the side?' etc that you can pin on the wall and each of you can look at.

Obviously you shouldn't have to do this. but there you go.

gamerchick Tue 07-Jun-16 14:31:44

I'd list every single chore with added skirting boards and give it to him. Just to see what happens.

PurpleDaisies Tue 07-Jun-16 14:34:31

he says well give me jobs to do and I'll do them angry is it so hard to just do the fucking washing up off your own back?

My dh was a bit like this. He was just genuinely incapable of seeing dirt/jobs that needed doing rather than maliciously lazy. We found having a tick sheet of things that needed doing helped. I made peace with having to ask him to do things rather than him always spotting they need doing because he actually does then without complaining and does a good job.

Getting a cleaner also helped a lot!

ChicRock Tue 07-Jun-16 14:38:02

DH pulled this 'tell me what needs doing" shit very early on when we first moved in together.

No a grown man shouldn't need telling, however (and I agree you shouldn't need to do this but it worked) I made a spreadsheet of daily jobs, weekly jobs, monthly jobs and told him to start using his fucking eyes.

So that, along with a few "have I got clean pants"... "I don't know, have you put any in the washing machine lately"... "Have we got any binbags"... "I don't know, have you bought any lately"... incidents means that he's pretty good now.

Gatehouse77 Tue 07-Jun-16 14:38:47

My DH was like this so I wrote a list for each room, which products to use and frequency of needing to be done.
It wasn't contentious and, voilà, no more arguments!

And as annoying as it may seem, if you're anything like I was in the latter stages of pregnancy, DH was asking so as not to do the 'wrong' thing and incur the wrath of my unreasonableness.

Armywifelife Tue 07-Jun-16 14:40:22

I've been trying to get my hands on a cleaner for a while but they are like gold dust where we are!

I will reluctantly make a list, maybe a sticker chart would help too?

PurpleDaisies Tue 07-Jun-16 14:41:08

I think the sticker chart is a step too far...

plantsitter Tue 07-Jun-16 14:49:18

I think a sticker chart's a great idea wink

PlanBwastaken Tue 07-Jun-16 14:58:16

The sticker chart is genious! And it made bring the point home like a list on its own wouldn't...

Armywifelife Tue 07-Jun-16 15:03:15

He's currently upstairs as he didn't want to continue the argument and is hiding from his crazy nagging pregnant wife so when he reappears I will suggest the list (sticker chart might upset him more).

In the meantime I figured maybe a couple more days of dishes/ general mess (ds is amazing at that) might also make him see it so I will leave it grin

Armywifelife Tue 07-Jun-16 15:04:33

Accidental underlining!

ChicRock Tue 07-Jun-16 15:05:14

Please do the sticker chart grin

Goingtobeawesome Tue 07-Jun-16 15:06:58

He thinks doing housework in his own house is trying to be nice? hmm

bubbathebuilder Tue 07-Jun-16 15:08:47

Don't leave it - he won't see the mess build up. Had the same problem with my OH. She had unfortunately lived in a very specific sort of house - where her mother was in charge of chores so would tell her exactly what needed doing and when. She would then argue with her mum. Then they would both do a weird passive aggressive thing. Eventually she would do the jobs asked of her but in a flouncy sulky way. Then repeat every day.

Problem is, she grew in to an adult that NEEDED that particular fight to happen over, and over, and over again. Unfortunately, it was now my job to be the nasty person making her do things.

Start talking. If you can't work it out yourselves, perhaps get some couples therapy to re-align how you discuss this stuff. Get couples therapy anyway. It's great.

Also - sticker chart - laughed so hard I actually snorted out loud in the office.

carryam Tue 07-Jun-16 15:11:36

YANBU. No adult should need telling what to do in terms of basic house cleaning. And sticker charts are for children, not grown adults.

VagueIdeas Tue 07-Jun-16 15:13:10

I posted this on a similar thread earlier today. It's really great for men who insist they need to be told what needs doing around the house.

junebirthdaygirl Tue 07-Jun-16 15:14:22

I pinned a list behind kitchen cupboard door. Not just for dh but older teens. No excuses then. Its a pain but getting stuff done when 8 months pregnant is the priority and the list will be handy when you're Inn hospital and busy with a newborn. Dh never looks at list now. But it means he has no excuses.

LittleLionMansMummy Tue 07-Jun-16 15:17:51

Dh was a bit like this - not so much with housework (he's pretty good with that, except hooverong) but with what needs doing/ planning/ arranging for ds. I just got to the point where I had to let him get on with it and tell him he's just as capable as I am at taking care of ds, even if his standards aren't quite as high. He now complains I don't trust him when I give him 'to do for ds' lists if I'm not around, but will then forget something crucial (such as applying suncream yesterday, or failing to drop off ds's after school snack when he drops him at the cm. On those occasions he just gets 'the look' from me. These days I mostly just have to lay down my general expectations of assistance and take a step back to allow him to do it, even if it's not to my exact standards.

Popskipiekin Tue 07-Jun-16 15:19:15

We have this argument all the time. Last time I said house was in a complete tip, DH went round taking photos of all the rooms. When I asked why, he said it was to remind himself what a complete tip looked like. (He's lovely aside from this. Think he just had a PA meltdown.) I do find it easier just to tell him what to do. I have your internal battle all the time, OP: "surely I shouldn't have to tell him, it's his house too, he can see it's messy". But - if he's happy to be told then just put your feet up and instruct smile

SolidGoldBrass Tue 07-Jun-16 15:25:58

A lot of the time 'tell me what needs doing' translates as 'I don't give a shit, it's women's work, so I will just keep on stalling until the woman gives up and does it herself. Because it's women's work.'

BeautyQueenFromMars Tue 07-Jun-16 15:26:06

Some people (more often men, but definitely not all men, and sometimes women) just don't see what housework needs doing. They won't notice the crumbs on the side, or the sticky patch on the floor in the corner, or the toothpaste covered sink in the bathroom. It just doesn't register. Not everyone knows instinctively what needs doing, not everyone has been taught how to do housework, and not everyone has the same standards.

mypropertea Tue 07-Jun-16 15:29:09

Do a tick list- jobs for the day. It may take a few min and be totally stupid as he should see them for himself but watching him try to motor through the list would defo please me. this could be a start.

LittleLionMansMummy Tue 07-Jun-16 15:30:51

I think women are sometimes guilty of mothering men too, perhaps because we believe we do stuff better? I'm not saying 'women's work' I'm saying perhaps our standards are generally higher, men know we think that and use it to their advantage by acting all helpless. Dh isn't remotely helpless, he was in the RAF for 10 years so knows how to use an iron. Yet still he needs reminding to pick up the sodding hoover once in a while.

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