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To expect DH to clear up after himself at the weekend?

(47 Posts)
oneplusone Sun 15-Jul-07 20:50:03

I had a massive argument with DH today about the messy 'trail' he leaves wherever he goes.

If he's had a beer he doesn't throw the bottle away (into recycling or dustbin) same with bottle of wine. If he's had a meal he'll just leave his plate on the side of the sink with food scraps still on it, he doesn't bother scraping them into the dustbin. If he's with DS in the kitchen and DS empties out a cupboard of pots and pans DH will just leave them all lying on the floor and leave the room.

I feel like a real slave at the weekend when I'm picking up after not 2 kids but 3 including DH. I'm a SAHM so I do most if not all of the housework during the week and I don't mind that as I see that as part of my 'job'. But at the weekend I do expect DH to do his little bit such as dealing with the above type of thing. His argument is that he gets up early with the kids at the weekend so I can have a lie in which I definately need as I'm usually up at around 5.30am every day during the week.

He also says that because he has a lot of stress during the week having started a new job he can't do any more than he already does at the weekend, ie getting up early, and it's up to me to do everything else.

That's why I got really angry as being at home all day with 2 under 5yo's is pretty stressful and I'm not even expecting him to do anything like cook a meal or anything at the weekend, just to clean up after himself as I already have 2 kids to pick up after and he said he just couldn't do it.

I feel like an unpaid slave and am really p**d off with him. But at the same time I don't know if I'm just tired and tetchy or am I justified?

wheresmysuntan Sun 15-Jul-07 22:02:46

I don't think you are being at all unreasonable. He works full time and so do you so the weekend chores should be shared out. He obviously thinks that getting up early means he doesn't have to do anything else and you quite reasonably disagree. There is a difference between doing 'housework' and not creating unnecessary mess. He could easily put his plate away ffs rather than create work for someone else.Perhaps the two of you should discuss what would be a fair division of labour at weekends but only at a time when you are not tired and feeling tetchy ( if there is such a time). Good luck - I hope you can get him to see sense.

LoonyLyraLovegood Sun 15-Jul-07 22:17:57

Wow, I could have written this exact same OP. My DP is the same, he leaves mess wherever he goes, eg if he empties his pockets its on to any available flat surface rather than into the bin, he leaves cupboards and drawers open for me to close, he leaves his plates/cups/beer cans strewn all over the house for me to round up.
His clothes hang from every available doorknob/are left lying on the floor. Shoes kicked off and left in the middle of the living room floor. I could go on all night.
He also claims to not have time to clean up after himself (how much time does it take to push a drawer closed?).
I don't have any advice on how to deal with this but wanted you to know you're not alone.

Sobernow Sun 15-Jul-07 22:23:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

luckylady74 Sun 15-Jul-07 22:31:04

i think it's about respect for you and your family environment too. i found going away for the weekend on my own helped dh realise what's involved! if your dh is reacting to the stress of his new job by digging in his heels with you explain to him that you know people (me for example) who are sahms and their dh share everything when they are at home - because otherwise one persons job lasts for 24/7 and that's unfair. my dh sorts one main meal at the w/e, hoovered round today, baths the kids whilst i clear up, shares the lie ins, picks their stuff up and empties the tumble drier. he's not perfect and he doesn't do things my way, but he's not an immature arse and therefore he does his share as reasonable human beings should.sorry to be so forceful, but i hate this sort of unfairness.

LoonyLyraLovegood Sun 15-Jul-07 22:31:12

DP let the DSs completely trash their bedroom while I was out. You couldn't see the carpet for books, toys and clothes.
So i went on strike and refused to go into that room till it was cleaned up. it took a week but the three of them finally got it cleaned up at the weekend as it was getting too unpleasant.
Sometimes i want to go on strike with the whole house so DP could see what kind of a pigsty he would be living in if I wasn't picking up after him all the time.

MorocconOil Sun 15-Jul-07 22:37:01

Same here. I really do want to cry sometimes when it all has to be cleared up again and again. It sometimes makes me so mad I throw his coat/jacket/tie onto the floor and trample on it. Very childish but it makes me feel better for a minute.

I can't imagine expecting anyone else to clear up after me in this way. However I hate the arguments if I constantly go on at him, so often I just bite my tongue and say nothing.

No advice here either, but I don't see why any of us should have to put up with it.

oneplusone Mon 16-Jul-07 10:33:45

Thanks for all your posts, kind of makes me feel better to know I'm not alone but also kind of makes me feel worse to think that it will always be this way as it seems there is very little anyone can do about their DH's.

I do feel totally unappreciated and basically like an unpaid slave. I could try leaving DH alone with the kids all weekend but knowing him even if he found it really hard he would never admit to it and I reckon he would somehow manage to get things done by putting the kids in front of the tv all day or let them scream and cry so he can get on with things. He absolutely wouldn't take them out to the park even for half an hour. In my opinion he is absolutely useless with the kids because all he ever does is watch tv with them and he thinks that's spending time together. But that's another argument for another day....

He thinks he's the only one with a stressful job and I'm not denying at all that he is under stress in his job at the moment, but I don't see how that means he can't do the bare minimum of tidying at the weekend.

He also made a comment about how I don't cook a meal from scratch every day which is perfectly true, but considering the amount I do every day, looking after 2 under 5's totally alone with NO help from anyone else whatsoever I don't think the occasional ready meal or two is a crime. I cooked his favourite meal at the weekend and he just left his plate lying on the side of the sink, I didn't even expect him to wash it, just scrape the scraps into the bin and throw his beer bottle away but it seem that was just too much to ask.

I feel so down today, I feel he has no respect for me, and has no idea what a tough year I've had (I won't go into all the details here but besides looking after the two kids I've had major family problems with parents and siblings, health issues - probably stress related, we moved house to a new area so not many friends nearby, etc etc. He seems to think he's the only one with any sort of stress and I should simply be here to support him and that I don't need any sort of thanks or support or encouragement.

I am so fed up and it's Monday and I've got 10 whole weeks of holiday ahead of me on my own with the kids. I honestly feel like running away

Sorry to moan and moan for so long, I really need to tell someone how I feel and at least I know you all understand,

LoonyLyraLovegood Mon 16-Jul-07 10:51:46

Feel free to moan as much as you like. Much better than bottling it up.
I think really the big issue is respect. I feel DP's messiness is disrespectful because it's like he's saying his time is too valuable to do menial taks like scrape his plate into the bin/put his clothes in the dirty laundry basket so he'll leave it for me to do, like I'm some kind of unpaid cleaner. He insists this isn't the case but that's how it feels.
Have you tried sitting DH down for a calm talk about this? I find nagging just doesn't work. me and DP have discussed this at length and things improve for about three days then he goes back to his old ways. You might have more success with your DH though.

oneplusone Mon 16-Jul-07 10:54:54

Also, I forgot to mention one of his arguments why he needs to be able to just do as he pleases at the weekend is because if he doesn't get a chance to unwind and destress at the weekend and is therefore unable to do his job properly he could potentially get the sack whereas if I'm stressed out and don't get any sort of break or help from him at the weekend there's no consequence ie I won't get the sack which is true but I feel completely demotivated, depressed and sad which it seems doesn't count as a serious enough consequence for him.

Jazzicatz Mon 16-Jul-07 11:01:01

Oh sweetheart I really feel for you as I also have a very unhelpful dp and we spend much of the weekend arguing about who is doing what. Could you afford for someone to help with the cleaning? I did that, and now I do not spend all my time doing it and therefore do not feel so resentful when I do clear up at the weekends.

ManxMum Mon 16-Jul-07 11:02:59

I tried the 'surrendered wife' way of training my DH. It's a bit like training a puppy, lots of praise when they do the smallest thing to help and no nagging.

It is working and I am not so stressed out anymore.

The books called 'The surrendered Wife' and it's by Laura Doyle and you can download the training from her website. It's a bit american but definately worth a try.

LoveMyGirls Mon 16-Jul-07 11:17:17

The way i see it, if i'm knackered from constantly picking up after everyone then i have no energy for fun things like watching programmes together, going out together, having sex etc so we do things together so we can sit down together.

I'm at home more than him so i try to do what i can but i also work full time from home so when he gets home if i havent finished everything then he helps, i'll say "hun if i do [insert something he doesnt like doing] then will you do [insert something he doesnt mind doing]" then we can both sit down together, instead of him sitting down and me carrying on for ages feeling resentment because he's sat down before i have!

We both get uyp early we both work hard we both want time out to enjoy it with each other therefore we help each other. At weekends we take it in turns for a lie in, if we've got nothing planned the one who gets up first can go back to bed. quite often he will take both girls to his mums while i get on with deep cleaning the house (which sets us up for the week and is fairly easy to keep on top of) he gets quality time with children and his family and if i finish doing everything i need to then i get some peace, it works well.

theressomethingaboutmarie Mon 16-Jul-07 11:17:48

oneplusone - your DH is out of order. Counter his rather silly arguement by advising that your role is 24 hours a day and you're doing it alone. If that was one of the demands of his job, he'd leave the job right?

I'm sorry but I'm going to be a bit harsh... he should bloody well grow up and see that you are in fact, his wife, not his mother, not his slave. If he wants a partnership, he's got to learn to be a partner

LoonyLyraLovegood Mon 16-Jul-07 11:27:07

In my DP's defence, i have to say he does help at weekends (just not at all during the week) and he gets up with the boys every morning so i can stay in bed. And he does taken them out and about on Saturday when I'm at work.
it's not so much that i want him to do more chores, it's just that i don't want him creating extra work for me, unnecessarily. if he didn't leave stuff everywhere, i wouldn't have to pick it up. i go out of my way to create as little mess as possible but he cancels out my efforts with his slobbishness.

LoveMyGirls Mon 16-Jul-07 11:29:47

LLL - Can you go for th "if i wasn't using all my spare energy picking your stuff up i'd have more energy for fun stuff"?

evenhope Mon 16-Jul-07 12:02:15

If it's any consolation I've got a whole hoard of adult-sized people doing this and I'm nearly going demented

DD1 and DS1 are home from uni and in "home" mode (as in do nothing but "chill").

It's stupid things like I got so fed up with there not being enough seats in the living room because of the mess that I spent ages sorting stuff out. Put all the newspapers in the recycling box, chucked all the clothes out into the hallway etc. First DH came in with a newspaper he'd retrieved from the box, and left it on the settee. Then DS1 bought another newspaper and left that. DD1 decided to play on the DS lite and left the games boxes (that I'd put back in the bedroom) on the settee. DS3 took off his socks and Tshirt and left them on the settee. Within 12 hours of my mammoth tidy up the place was in a worse state than before I started.

I clear 8-12 mugs out of the living room every morning.

I turn the TV off standby every morning.

I unplug 3-4 mobile phone chargers left switched on with nothing charging every morning.

They leave their dirty plates next to the dishwasher. Each of them gets out a clean knife to make toast several times a day and just leaves it next to the toaster. DH has tea and toast every morning and leaves his (dinner-sized) plate and mug on the table. Because I move the blasted things every day he swears blind he doesn't do it.

I could go on (but I won't because it's very boring).

Every afternoon I scream like a fishwife at the 5 of them to "pick up after yourselves".

Nobody takes any notice of me because none of them care that it's a mess.

oneplusone Mon 16-Jul-07 12:05:08

thanks theresomethingaboutmarie, I do feel he's out of order. He thinks what he does is more important probably because he gets paid for it.

I do feel it's a respect issue which is why it's getting me down so much, especially his comment that I don't cook from scratch because he thinks I simply can't be bothered. He doesn't seem to notice that the cooking has gone a bit haywire since DS started walking and being clingy and sometimes I just don't have the mental or physical energy to try and cook with DS clinging to my legs the whole time or screaming in the high chair or something similar. And now I have both kids at home all day, it's even harder and I just don't need put downs from him at the start of a 10 week sole charge stint with the 2 DC.

I know I need to sit down and talk to him calmly and explain how I feel but I feel too upset to do even that much. Trouble is because of my family issues (parents) he (and the kids) are the only real family I've got and so a put down from him really really hurts as I've got no-one else to pick me up IYNWIM.

I feel so down, haven't felt like this in a long time.

MadamePlatypus Mon 16-Jul-07 12:15:52

I think his problem is that he doesn't know how to be tidy. It takes about 10 seconds to put a plate in the dishwasher and it takes no longer to throw a bottle in the recycling rather than leave it out. However, from your posts, he seems to think that these are extra jobs on a par with mowing the lawn. On the other hand, clearing an entire kitchen of rubbish can take about half an hour.

My DH is not too bad, but my Dad is awful at this kind of thing, mainly because he was honestly never taught how to do it. Could you argue that increased mess means less time for nice meals? Alternatively, go on strike.

oneplusone Mon 16-Jul-07 12:37:31

I don't think he doesn't know how to be tidy, it's just that he sees the weekend as a chance for him to relax and unwind and that means I have to do everything as otherwise he won't be recharged for work on Monday.

I think he is just not cut out for family life, I have friends who's DH's also have stressful jobs but they find playing with the kids a form of stress relief but my DH doesn't see it that way. Ideally he'd rather be left alone the whole weekend without being bothered by the kids or me unless it's to bring him his meals on a plate (and then clear up afterwards).

I think he's learned this sort of attitude from his mum who of course is from a different generation where women did do everything around the house without any help/input from their DH's.

Trouble is he know what a tough year I've had and if he still thinks the reason I haven't done something is because I can't be bothered it makes me feel really sad and like it's all a bit hopeless.

LoveMyGirls Mon 16-Jul-07 12:45:59

What do you get out of being with him? He must do some good stuff?

If he is crap with you, kids and all you do is pick up after him what is the point?

(not saying leave him leave him just saying think about why you're bothering?)

oneplusone Mon 16-Jul-07 12:52:48

That's exactly what I've been thinking, sometimes I really do feel I'd be better off without him and I don't know what he's doing with me seeing as he thinks I'm so lazy.

I think I'll ask him tonight why exactly he is still with me as he clearly seems to have no respect for me. I suspect it's because he has an unpaid slave in me and he knows no-one else would do it.

I'm going to tell him to change his ways or think about leaving as I'm doing as much as I can and I can't do any more and if he wasn't around there'd be less to do for me.

MadamePlatypus Mon 16-Jul-07 13:01:00

Go on strike - leave him to look after the children for a day. If he is too tired to put a bottle in a bin which requires zero effort, but thinks that you don't cook an entire meal because you can't be bothered, he needs a wake up call.

legalalien Mon 16-Jul-07 13:22:27

What drives me mad, is that I tidy up before I go to bed, DH gets home after me, and when I go downstairs in the morning it looks as though a tornado sweeps through.

DH not tidying up after himself on the weekend is a real bugbear for me. Reading the posts above, it occurs to me that tidying up after yourself is a habit, rather than a deliberate behaviour, and my DH (and yours) just haven't got into the habit (in DH's case as he was at strict boarding school, then home where his DM picked up after him in all the holidays, then in a long term relationship where his exDW did the picking up - and now with me (and I have to confess to having a very short lead time to tidying up mess). The only way to get him "habituated" is to get him to do things a few times. I'm going to try for a task by task approach. I'm starting with the shoes in the middle of the hall issue - and have enlisted DS (aged 2.5)'s assistance. Whenever he sees them he announces, in a loud voice "what are these shoes doing here? And then helpfully picks them up and offers them to his Dad. It's working a treat.

DS also very keen on recycling at the moment (impressed with the recycling truck) - so hopefully some of that will rub off.

(one day DS's other half will have a lot to thank me for )

legalalien Mon 16-Jul-07 13:23:12

owp - "looks like a tornado HAS swept through". I am not much like a tornado at 7am.

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