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AIBU? DH does all the housework

(284 Posts)
willowtreeonfire Sun 13-Nov-16 11:31:38

My DH and I have been living together for over a year. He is the kindest man I have known (why I married him) and the housework has started to become a source of contention so I want to sort this out before it becomes a big issue in our marriage!

I am the main breadwinner. I earn a lot more than DH and own our house. He does contribute towards bills, mortgage etc (we came up with an agreement that we both felt was fair), but I do pay more. When we go for meals out etc, I normally pay. I am happy with this as, when he does have spare money, he will take me out.

To get this money, Iwork long hours. I'm in work between 6/7 and get home, every day at half 6. I then have to spend at least 2 hours working at home, each night. I do this because a) the work needs to be done otherwise my performance at work would slip and b) I am continually trying to progress in my career so we can be more comfortable and afford to start a family.

By contrast, DH works from 8 - 4, is always home by 5, and doesn't have to do any work at home. He isn't really interested in progressing in his career, which is fine because he always says if we have children he will stay at home with them smile

However, he does the majority of the housework. If I'm honest, he does pretty much everything. He cooks dinner every day and I am very, very messy! I'm not proud of it, but tidying always takes backburner to any work I have to do (and I always have work to do!). If I were to clean or cook dinner in the evenings, it would mean I would have to work until midnight to get everything done (as it is, I go to bed at 10/11 and often still haven't finished). I normally only have one day off at the weekend (if that) and if I do the last thing I want to do is clean...

He always seemed to fine with this, and has said before it is fair because I am working to earn money for us, so he doesn't mind doing the washing etc. However, recently I can tell he is getting resentful. I know this because he keeps bringing it up when we are with his mum ( never on our own!) and then she joins in saying I should help out more with the housework...

Oh (and so as not to dripfeed), I also have quite bad health anxiety, so, for example, once I tried to clean the bathroom, but then thought I had inhaled some of the cleaning stuff which would obviously destroy my lungs, and I then had a panic attack... I know, I know, it is ridiculous and I am working on that!

So, my AIBU is do you think I should help out more with the housework even if it means sacrificing the one, precious day each week I have where I don't have to do any work? DH, by contrast, does all the housework atm, and still has lots of time to play his xbox...

JellyBelli Sun 13-Nov-16 11:34:25

YANBU. Its fair that the person who is at home more does more of the housework, and its not like you are refusing to do it.
But wouldnt it be better to pay for a cleaner so you can both enjoy some down time together?

Trifleorbust Sun 13-Nov-16 11:38:10

I think it's unreasonable for you to prioritise progressing in your career over work that should be shared. Yes, a partner who does less paid work should do more housework, but not everything. He works 8-4 - that's a day of work. You are choosing to do extra office work at home, over and above what you actually need to do. I am not surprised he is resentful.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 13-Nov-16 11:40:07

If he is doing all of the housework then its unfair.

Soubriquet Sun 13-Nov-16 11:40:42

You should help.

Even if it's one or two jobs that don't take long

We don't let men who work all the hours under the sun to get away with it on here. Would be very hypocritical to tell you not to worry either.

ArgyMargy Sun 13-Nov-16 11:41:37

I have never understood these marriages where people have their own money. IMO if you are married you are a partnership and everything is yours and his. You don't mention children but it would be a good idea to discuss how these financial arrangements might change if you decide to have them.

nicenewdusters Sun 13-Nov-16 11:42:12

I think in view of your current work situations it seems fair, in light of the fact that he seems/seemed content with the set up.

I do think however it's disrespectful of you to just declare yourself messy, and I assume therefore he kind of clears up around you. He's not your parent, and this dynamic can be very damaging. I don't believe in messy and non-messy people. I think there are people who tidy up after themselves and those who don't want to. It's not an in built quality or special power.

As for only bringing the matter up with his mum around. Maybe she's uncomfortable with it. Due to the generation gap, traditional roles etc, she may have been giving him a hard time about doing the Wife work. Perhaps he's just trying to appease her. Alternatively, he has changed his mind about the situation but doesn't feel he can bring the matter up with you on his own ?

statetrooperstacey Sun 13-Nov-16 11:43:47

That sounds fair enough, your set up at the moment seems ok. However he is obviously feeling a bit put upon. I would certainly try and be tidier tho, that is very annoying if he does all the housework and then u 'make work' for him.
It can lead to mutterings a and resentment if u go round the house shedding hair straighteners, coffee cups, paperwork, chargers,. . .because it's quicker for u to leave it to him? Be honest, is this u?!
You sound like u r in to a good thing, don't mess it up!

stitchglitched Sun 13-Nov-16 11:45:17

You say you are very messy. The least you can do is sort that out if you aren't doing any housework. But actually I think you need to do your share. Yes he will do more as he works less hours but that doesn't mean he should be the house skivvy.

LadyFuchsiaGroan Sun 13-Nov-16 11:45:22

I am a SAHM and my DP works full time, I obviously do the bulk of the cleaning and cooking etc and I don't mind this as he works long hours however what gets me resentful is having to pick up behind up. He makes a sandwich and leaves buttery knife on worktop or leaves his clothes on floor in throwing distance of laundry basket. I take this as a lack of respect so rather than you spending more time on housework or spending your one day off work cleaning could you try and tidy up behind yourself if you see what I mean?

OnionKnight Sun 13-Nov-16 11:47:36

I'm torn on this, I have Cerebral Palsy but I still tidy up where I can, obviously there are some things that I can't physically do like dusting the top of cupboards etc.

I think if you are leaving mess around the house because it's easier for him to tidy etc then you need to make more of an effort.

corythatwas Sun 13-Nov-16 11:49:02

A good MN rule of thumb should be that you both have an equal amount of time off. Does he get that at the weekend?

Another thing to consider is that most people consider housework really boring, whereas a job you do as a career may be a lot more interesting. The person who is stuck doing the boring work all the time may end up resentful.

Third thing to consider is that one partner's career is seriously impinging on the whole family, that is something you need... not necessarily to change, but to discuss.

Fourth thing- it is possible to clean a bathroom using nothing worse than Fairy liquid. Or even lemon juice and water. Elbow grease does a nice job. Besides, if you felt convinced that inhaling the cleaning stuff would damage lungs, how could you let your dh do it?

Laineymc7 Sun 13-Nov-16 11:49:44

I you have a good salary pay for a cleaner once a week. Problem solved. They are approx £10 per hour. Most cleaners can do a house in 2 hours so £20 a week.

ElspethFlashman Sun 13-Nov-16 11:50:51

So you do...... nothing in the house?

Nothing at all?

Except be messy?

Yeah.... nobody's gonna be impressed by that no matter how much you earn.

Surely there's one job you can do?

KellyElly Sun 13-Nov-16 11:52:05

If he's doing it all, then yes you are unreasonable. He still works a full day, it's not like he's at home all the time.

BubbleGumBubble Sun 13-Nov-16 11:53:51

I think you should tidy up after yourself and cook at least once in the week.

He is not your maid/hired help he is your partner so all the "i earn more than him and pay more than him" stuff just downgrades him from husban to staff.

MatildaTheCat Sun 13-Nov-16 11:55:31

It's not as if your dh works part time and he does absolutely everything whilst you make a mess? You clearly love your work so it's not as if you are slaving down the pit to scrape by.

So YABU and should a) clear up after yourself and b) get a cleaner for some of the tasks.

YouTheCat Sun 13-Nov-16 11:55:38

Get a cleaner.

lizb30 Sun 13-Nov-16 11:57:56

I don't see what house work vs salary has to do with anything? It's two seperate things. He may be home before you during the day but he still works too. You both should take responsibility of house work. You both live there. I know I would not be happy with this arrangement. Also I don't get the whole split money thing. Surly if you're a couple any money earned is family money not individual. What happened to being a team in a relationship? I think yabvu.

LetsAllEatCakes Sun 13-Nov-16 12:00:25

I think you are being very unreasonable to be messy while he's the one doing the cleaning. I appreciate how hard it is when you are messy but perhaps he wouldn't be so resentful if you were clean and tidy?

What about downtime at weekends? Is it equal for you both?

If he's cooking then it would be fair for you to wash up afterwards or at least offer.

AfroPuffs Sun 13-Nov-16 12:02:09

Surely if you're working long days and then having to do another 2hrs minimum extra work at home, there is something wrong. Can you not delegate any of this stuff? I get there are times when additional work has to be done ( I'm a single parent in a senior role), but if it's every night I think you should look to regain some balance.

Regardless of your hours you should help at home, even if you just do one thing that's something! It's clearly becoming an issue so discuss what your dh needs help with and split some of the chores. I understand you're working hard and it's the last thing you want to do, but your dh is also working a full day so unfair to expect him to do it all in my opinion.

LetsAllEatCakes Sun 13-Nov-16 12:03:01

If you plan to have dc too, then you need to be prepared to help out more. You could have a baby that sleeps loads and leaves a lot of time where he can clean or cook. Of you could have a baby who barely sleeps, has reflux and takes up all of his time- meaning you need to step up.

Bailey101 Sun 13-Nov-16 12:03:45

It's one thing for the person who's home more to do more of the housework, but it's quite another for them to tidy up after someone else. If he's spending the hour before you get home doing the hoovering or cleaning the bathroom, that's ok but he shouldn't have to pick up after you.

It takes a few seconds to pick up your clothes or put a mug in the dishwasher.

lastqueenofscotland Sun 13-Nov-16 12:04:24

Yabvu he works a full day too just earns less. You are a slob and expect him to pick up after you.

If the genders were reversed here the man would get a panning

timeforabrewnow Sun 13-Nov-16 12:04:29

YABU - and it shouldn't matter how much money you earn.

You need to chip in with some cleaning whether you feel like it or not. Otherwise your DH will grow more resentful.

And what's with the 'I'm messy' as if you just can't help it?

<grumps off as have just had to clean kitchen up and bedroom AGAIN and can cofirm that cleaning is mostly boring but sometimes satisfying>

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