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To say "ENOUGH!"

(131 Posts)
pigmcpigface Mon 16-Apr-18 11:19:24

Ladies, I think I might be on the verge of having a mini-rebellion.

For years, DH has signed us both up to a number of social events involving his friends and family. Despite the fact that these people don't give a flying fuck about me and would drop me like a stone if DH and I split, it has always been that the work of these events falls largely on my shoulders- the cleaning, the washing, the shopping, the organising and preparation of food and events - you name it.

The people involved, especially his family, just expect that all this will be done as a matter of course, because, well, I am the wife. We were recently at a family event, and BIL's partner and I had done literally 90% of the work. "We married well!" BIL said to DH. And the penny suddely dropped about the way that these expectations worked.

DH works more hours and earns more money than I do. He has a much better career. I am not doing as well, but I do have a job, and I'm trying to build a career outside of it also. I have ambitions that I desperately want to achieve. Each time he signs us up to something, it eats into the time and energy I have to do this. So as not to drip-feed, I also feel like there is an element of something a bit abusive about the expectation that I will do these things, because his parents behave pretty badly to me.

AIBU to say "Enough is enough!" I will continue to try to balance his hours/wage with mine by doing more than a 50% share of the housework, but if he wants to do these extra events, then it's up to him to take on 100% of the work associated therewith? He can also look after his own family cards and presents. I'm not going to remind him, nag him, or do that work for him any more. I realise this will make me persona non grata in his family, but I'm pretty much treated that way already, and at least with this decision I get my time back.

I've been partly inspired by this article:

caringlabor.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/silvia-federici-wages-against-housework/

which has given me a sudden rush of blood to the head.

AIBU to do this? Are there things I haven't considered?

Haggisfish Mon 16-Apr-18 11:20:36

Yanbu at all! I suspect it won’t be easy, though.

pigmcpigface Mon 16-Apr-18 11:26:59

Haggis - Yes, I think it will be difficult.

I'm going to start by absenting myself. DH has arranged a get-together at a cottage with some old friends this weekend, and I'm just not going to go. I'm therefore not being drawn into conversations about who cooks, who buys food, who gets alcohol etc.

DH has already represented this to his friends as me being resentful generally about the time, money and effort going into events and the 'lack of recognition' I get. Those are NOT what I'm cross about!! sad

Juells Mon 16-Apr-18 11:30:12

YANBU. Let him know now, before another event is organised, that he'll be doing the work himself. And stick to your guns - arrange a day away if you see the event looming and he hasn't done anything to prepare.

Wallywobbles Mon 16-Apr-18 11:30:38

Go for it frankly. And good luck.

DairyisClosed Mon 16-Apr-18 11:31:10

Blimey that is a pathetic excuse for a poem. Good on you though. His family. His friends. His events. His problem. I'm willing to bet that he will stop enjoying these events so much and have then less often now that he is the one doing the work.

HollowTalk Mon 16-Apr-18 11:32:22

He doesn't sound that nice, tbh. Do you have children together?

FrenchJunebug Mon 16-Apr-18 11:32:46

of course YANBU! Stand your ground.

KarmaStar Mon 16-Apr-18 11:34:21

Down tools,tell him why,what you want to achieve and then concentrate on doing just that.Good luck OP I hope you achieve all you aspire to.🌻

Slyvestersmouth Mon 16-Apr-18 11:37:00

"it has always been that the work of these events falls largely on my shoulders- the cleaning, the washing, the shopping, the organising and preparation of food and events - you name it."

Yes stop this. If he wants to do events, help out by all means, but no way should you take on the majority of the labour. How has it come about that you have always taken on the lion's share? Do you offer/does he ask/do you just do it?

Shoxfordian Mon 16-Apr-18 11:37:48

Its going to be very difficult to re-establish your boundaries after all this time doing everything.

Have you spoken to him about it?

Juells Mon 16-Apr-18 11:41:36

If he wants to do events, help out by all means,

'Helping out' will be back to 'doing all the donkey work' in no time. She needs to draw a line in the sand, then piss on it. grin

pigmcpigface Mon 16-Apr-18 11:42:26

Slyvester - Interesting question. I don't know how this came about. Why don't I know? Did it happen unconsciously? Or have I just forgotten the history of it? Was it always something assumed at so deep a level that I didn't even notice the assumption, or was I so busy falling over myself to be "nice", to be "helpful" that I didn't really see what was happening?

What I can say is that as his career has grown, it's got much worse. He has made some decisions about the path he wanted to go down that have left me behind professionally (he abandoned a project we were supposed to do together for the sake of advancement) and personally (I'm also picking up the domestic labour).

frankchickens Mon 16-Apr-18 11:42:58

Ladies?

KatnissK Mon 16-Apr-18 11:50:50

Yanbu. I grew up watching the women in my family run around after the men and shoulder the majority of childcare even when they worked more hours / earned more money. I made the decision not to live my life like that. DH and I do 50/50 housework (in fact he may do a bit more tbh) and we have a cleaner, jointly paid for. I am on mat leave now but have made it clear I am going back FT and when I do he will be stepping up to help me night wean DS. I do not run around after him and his family - one of my first Xmas presents from ILs was a calendar with all their birthdays, anniversaries and events filled in. I very pointedly handed it to DH and said something like "oh you must have mis-labelled this one". It hasn't happened again. I don't expect DH to run around organising stuff for my family so there is no way I'm doing it for his.
I think you are absolutely right to make a stand. I often read posts on here in absolute horror at the amount of work women shoulder for their spouses. It sounds like no way to live. It will be hard work for you to make the change but you will feel so much better for it!

Echobelly Mon 16-Apr-18 11:51:24

Yeah, I think you've done more than enough and you deserve the time for your own projects. DH doesn't expect me to remember all his family stuff, though I notice MIL kind of expects me to. One thing that's helped me a lot in the last year or so is to stop feeling guilty or annoyed at myself for forgetting something or not keeping on top of something because, guess what, I am doing so much bloody stuff it's pretty amazing I am on top of so much it. And if anyone complains at me for an error, I've started telling them that.

Borderterrierpuppy Mon 16-Apr-18 11:54:04

Yanbu at all, stick to your guns.

GabriellaMontez Mon 16-Apr-18 11:56:07

Yanbu.

If his family aren't nice, why go at all?

Other events make sure he knows what is expected of him. Or divide the tasks in a way you feel is fair. To you.

Slyvestersmouth Mon 16-Apr-18 12:08:19

pigmcpigface well it's good that you've noticed now and sounds like you partly have your bil to thank for that with his marrying well comment!

I grew up watching my my mum run around after my dad, and then when he left she was the same with my brother (and still runs around after him now despite him being 28 years old - he lives at home). I know when I started my first ltr I did make more effort with housework stuff and did way more than my fair share. I think part of it was wanting to impress him, the other part of it was thinking that it was my role. The scales fell from my eyes when I was about 26 thank goodness. If my dp arranged a social event, the work for it would fall on him. I would help out but he would never expect me to if you see what I mean. He would know that it was his responsibility and anything I did would be a favour to him. It sounds kind of petty putting it like that, but in reality it doesn't play out as pettily as it sounds!

I think because up until now you obviously have been doing a lot, your husband will expect more of the same, so you will need to make it clear to him that this will be changing. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to this. I'm sorry he has not been supportive of you in some ways, hopefully if you have a chat with him now about everything he will see that he has been unfair. But if he doesn't see that op? If he still expects you to pick up the slack while he progresses...? You might have a lot to think about.

BitOutOfPractice Mon 16-Apr-18 12:08:55

Do it OP and I will cheer you along all the way.

I expect he has little or no idea of the work involved in this kind of stuff (not because he's dim, because he doesn't care) so imagines you're just a moaning minnie over nothing.

Can you have a word with BiL's partner too, see if you can get her n board?

Spaghettijumper Mon 16-Apr-18 12:13:56

YANBU at all. I think it's very very easy to fall into this trap - the subtle expectations are always there and the effect they have is really strong. It is always the woman who is judged or at least feels she is judged if social events aren't absolutely perfect - the man isn't seen as being in any way responsible. Plus in your case your shit of a husband is quite happy to throw you under the bus and make everyone think you're pissy about the whole thing - what a nasty bastard he is!

I've had to very strongly resist this with my in-laws. I dislike them intensely anyway but I was drawn into the rigmarole of tidying and cooking when they visited. Things reached a crunch point with me and DH a few years ago - not just about this but about housework, childcare etc - and I decided at that point that his family are in no way my problem at all. If they visit it's up to him to do everything required (just as I do when my family visits). I don't go to visit them any more as I can't be bothered being around people I dislike. It is such a weight off my shoulders.

As for the stepping your neck to further his own career thing - I think that's far worse tbh and when DH tried to do that to me I was set on divorcing him (until he stopped being a monumental arsehole, that is). That is incredibly underhanded, advantage-taking behaviour, something you'd expect from someone who really didn't like you very much, not a partner. I'd seriously consider how to deal with that, because otherwise it's going to get worse and in ten years you'll wake up with 'welcome' on your forehead and footprints on your face.

Morphene Mon 16-Apr-18 12:16:17

I bet you fell into this kind of thing the same way I tend to...because a little bit of preparing parties is actually fun.

Its when you didn't choose to do it, and your aren't getting thanked that it stops being cool....

Skinnyboneylittlepony Mon 16-Apr-18 12:16:18

Read this unityandstruggle.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Lundy_Why-does-he-do-that.pdf (it’s a book)

There is a mentality that ‘this person belongs to me and is there to do as I bid’. It sounds like yours may think like this which is why he is annoyed with you when you think differently.

juneau Mon 16-Apr-18 12:17:43

YANBU at all. From what you've said you'll definitely get a lot of resentment from him when he realises that his little slave has downed tools permanently, but I'm willing to bet he'll stop offering to host to many of these wretched parties when he realises how much time and effort they take. Stick to your guns. Don't go to anything outside your home and arrange to be out if he offers to host. You owe his rotten family nothing. And I would seriously question the dynamics of your relationship too - your 'D'H sounds like an entitled arse - but hopefully this is the start of rebalancing things in your favour.

littlecabbage Mon 16-Apr-18 12:18:54

Good for you OP, this situation MUST change.

Your DH won't like it, of course he won't. And there is a small risk that long term, he decides he is not willing to stay with the "new you".

But hopefully, he will gradually learn to see your point of view, and treat you more as an equal than a PA. And ultimately, your relationship could be better that way. And if not, well, at least you won't spend the rest of your life resenting him. Good for you.

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