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To be annoyed at husband regarding cleaning

(494 Posts)
User40465 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:05:30

My husband works away 4-6 weeks at a time and around a week before he comes home he sends me lists of everything in the house he wants cleaned. He basically wants the house to look like a show house.

Just to point out i am clean but just not as squeaky OCD clean as he is. I work and have 2 children under 5 so think it’s abit unfair for him to expect it when he could help me when he comes home?


Beagled Sun 08-Dec-19 09:07:13

That’s ridiculous. I’d be telling him he needs to pay for a cleaner.

Winterdaysarehere Sun 08-Dec-19 09:08:53

Send him a list of all you want doing when he gets back.
Detailed list...

Ginseng1 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:09:45

Is this for real? If this is true why would need to even ask?

DeathStare Sun 08-Dec-19 09:09:46

Controlling, much?

Queenoftheashes Sun 08-Dec-19 09:09:49


TheHootiestOwl Sun 08-Dec-19 09:10:19

Your DH is a fucking twat.

DieHardISaChristmasFilm Sun 08-Dec-19 09:10:26

Tell him to fuck off.

NotStayingIn Sun 08-Dec-19 09:16:10

Please please tell me you do realise how utterly bizarre and wrong this is? Why on earth did you ever do this? The very first time you should have replied and said very funny. confused Stop this now OP and have some self respect. flowers

KittenVsXmastree Sun 08-Dec-19 09:16:54

If he is away for 4-6 weeks, does that then mean he has a week or 2 at home before he returns?
Surely he can do the cleaning in his down time???

00100001 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:18:27

What would he do if you didn't do the tasks?

Mammylamb Sun 08-Dec-19 09:18:34

With a job and two under 5, I’m surprised you can get any cleaning done.

You dh sounds like a prick.

Ps If you have the money; get a cleaner xx

User40465 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:19:01

Wow responses make it very clear that it’s not normal blush

I have been doing it for around 3 years but I have a lot going on at the moment and feeling really down and he has “reminded” me of a list this morning and it’s just wound me up

User40465 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:20:28

He will be at home for around 3 weeks.

There was once I didn’t do it cause I was poorly and he made me do the jobs with him the day after he got home

TheHootiestOwl Sun 08-Dec-19 09:21:23

Tell him to fuck off.

Hugsgalore Sun 08-Dec-19 09:22:50

He is either a massive control freak or he has serious germ issues. If it's the latter he needs help and if it's the former then get the fuck out of there.

IVEgotthetinselBITCHES Sun 08-Dec-19 09:22:52

Are you his wife or staff?

dementedpixie Sun 08-Dec-19 09:23:05

You're not his maid. Can you give us an idea of the list he gives you? Sounds insane

Morgan12 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:23:08

How did he make you? Surely you could just tell him to do it?

What kind of things are on this list?

TheHootiestOwl Sun 08-Dec-19 09:23:39

Is he this controlling about everything?

He made you clean the next day? He can’t make you. What happens if you say no?

User40465 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:24:36

So worried about this being outing but never mind... here is one page

00100001 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:24:47

He " he made me do the jobs with him the day after he got home"


Let him do it himself next time. Be busy with anything else.

MissMoiselle Sun 08-Dec-19 09:24:50

YANBU. My husband used to do this, albeit using "could you please...?/ don't forget to...? / it'd be helpful if you.." and it used to really rub me the wrong way. Then I did what @Winterdayarehere said. Did it once, he never left a list again! Does your DH have a military background or is he an only child, by chance?

billybagpuss Sun 08-Dec-19 09:25:13

‘Sorry I’m not able to do it, do you want me to arrange a cleaner or will you do it when you get back?’

Scarydinosaurs Sun 08-Dec-19 09:25:23

Surely it isn’t OCD if he is the one ordering you to do it?

Does he tidy himself?

00100001 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:25:28

Just ignore the list and if he asks, just say it's done... ?

DeathStare Sun 08-Dec-19 09:26:56

OMG.... he literally sends you a tick off list for him to check! This is so very very controlling.

Does he work in a job where he barks orders at people and then checks they have been satisfactorily done? If so he needs reminding that at home you are PARTNERS - he is not the boss.

How would he react if you said no?

TheHootiestOwl Sun 08-Dec-19 09:27:15

If my DH sent me a list like that he would be getting divorced so bloody quick. But he wouldn’t, because he’s nice.

Drawers? are you serious??

itswonkylampshade Sun 08-Dec-19 09:27:26

What a miserable arse. I feel for you, OP! This just isn’t normal, never mind loving or respectful.

brighteyeowl17 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:28:02

Just don’t do it! He can do it himself.

Lex234 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:28:21

Reply with a hyperlink to a cleaning service, and if he doesn't like it he has the option of doing it himself. He will probably come back with an arsey reply because you have danced to his tune for 3 years, but stand firm and DO NOT help him do these tasks on his return, if he feels so strongly about it he will do it himself.

dementedpixie Sun 08-Dec-19 09:28:43

If that's just 1 page, how many others are there?

Ilovethekitties Sun 08-Dec-19 09:28:55


CosmoK Sun 08-Dec-19 09:28:55

This is not normal. It's controlling and disrespectful.
He's sees you as his housekeeper

Cornettoninja Sun 08-Dec-19 09:30:19

You hold the fort with two preschool dc and a full time job and he thinks he can dish out lists like Mary Poppins on crack?


He can either do it himself or hire a cleaner if he doesn’t like your standards.

70sWitch Sun 08-Dec-19 09:31:59

He MADE you do it? Oh no. That's just all kinds of wrong. Are you afraid of him? Don't have to answer here but answer honestly to yourself.
He has NO RIGHT to boss you like this or MAKE you do a damn thing.

Frenchw1fe Sun 08-Dec-19 09:32:07

Send him a tick list back of recognizing controlling characteristics, how to live equally with your partner and ask him to ensure he's fulfilled all the criteria of being a pleasant human being before he returns home.

ineedaholidaynow Sun 08-Dec-19 09:32:24

What does he do on his 3 weeks when he is home?

That is awful.

I would ignore it, and if he tried to make me do it the next day, I would go out for the day and leave him with the children too.

DonPablo Sun 08-Dec-19 09:33:04

Dude, come on. He's treating you like shit. Like an unpaid slave. And I bet he's nasty with it.

Do you like being married to him? I bet it's heavenly when he's away!

thedevilinablackdress Sun 08-Dec-19 09:33:43

If you've been going along with this for years, you probably need to start with something like replying (gritted teeth) "no need for instructions sweetheart, I know how to clean the house. I'm not staff"

Loopytiles Sun 08-Dec-19 09:35:55

Wow, so he’s facilitated by you to be a parent and work as though he has no DC, does no parenting or domestic work at all for weeks on end, you do it and work out of the home, and he thinks he can instruct you like a member of staff he considers isn’t meeting his standards.

Get some counselling, alone, to work out why you’ve put up with this kind of shit.

timeisnotaline Sun 08-Dec-19 09:36:00

New plan. Pack a bag, when he walks in the door hand him the list, say your turn & I’ve added all the things you need to do for the children, and go away for a couple of nights.
I can’t believe you think that’s normal. A normal marriage would explode if the husband did that even once.

Verily1 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:36:29

This is abuse.

Please call women’s aid and speak to someone about what emotional abuse/ coercive control is.

You need the freedom program.

Thehop Sun 08-Dec-19 09:36:36

Your dh is a controlling, rude, overbearing wank badger who doesn’t love or value you much.

I would honestly leave. I couldn’t live with someone this shit.

If he’s otherwise wonderful then you cold try sending a link to a cleaning service or writing him a list of the million jobs you do a day all ticked off, and tell him to fuck off with this power trip.

Loopytiles Sun 08-Dec-19 09:37:16

In the meantime something like “if you want the house to be cleaner, clean it yourself when you get back” would suffice.

Clutterbugsmum Sun 08-Dec-19 09:37:21

I'd E mail him back telling him that this is yours and your dc home and is not a show house and if he doesn't like then I would suggest he stays elsewhere.

You need to have a conversation with him about his unrealistic ideas of what a family home looks like. And going forward you will be continuing as normal as you do when he is not there. But he is more then welcome to spend his free time cooking and cleaning rather then actually parenting and catching up and bonding with his children and if this doesn't suit him then he needs to look for an alternative place to stay while not working. And he can have visitation with his children.

Cordial11 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:37:36

Omg what an idiot!

Aroundtheworldin80moves Sun 08-Dec-19 09:39:26

- pour crumbs all over surfaces
- find out of date milk bottle and add yoghurt
- splatter sauce all over hob
- drop an egg on kitchen floor
- fingerprints all over TV

- flour on taps

- empty Hoover bag on carpet

Marmalady75 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:39:27

Well, first of all I’d tell him I’m unable to hover anywhere never mind on the landing wink, then I’d tell him to get a grip or a solicitor.

jaseyraex Sun 08-Dec-19 09:40:10

Bloody hell OP, that's awful. Why doesn't he do it himself? There's not a chance in hell I'd be cleaning anything if my husband TOLD me to. That's ludicrous.

Do you like being married to him? Is he otherwise a good husband?

He can't make you do things, even cleaning. I'm assuming your house isn't filthy top to bottom and you generally keep on top of cleaning and tidying anyway. Does he help when he's at home? What would happen if you float out refused to do the cleaning for him coming home, or refused to do it once he got home and seen it hadn't been done?

JaniceBattersby Sun 08-Dec-19 09:41:16

Right so you do all the cleaning and childcare and all the other wifework while he fucks off for a few weeks at a time then he wants you to spend the days before he gets back making sure everything is up to his standards?

HAHAHAHAHA. Tell him to fuck right off.

steakandmantoo Sun 08-Dec-19 09:41:41

My husband did this for a few months, however I come from a childhood where my dad cleaned, my mother didn't, when they got divorced, my mother turned the house into a pigstye and didn't teach me how to clean, and it showed when me and my husband started living together. I just couldn't clean/know how to do anything. He would teach me to clean and leave list like the note you just posted.

I'm now a domestic goddess  and don't need reminding or telling I love to clean.

Is there any chance that he's subtly reminding you because otherwise the house wouldn't be clean?

Or ignore me, and if the house is reasonably clean when he comes back, then he's a massive control freak. But thought I'd give you another perspective.

steakandmantoo Sun 08-Dec-19 09:42:33

What I mean is, have you asked him, why he feels the need to remind you or demand you?

Daisy7654 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:43:13

I think you should leave him asap and possibly contact the police. In my opinion this is abuse.

ferrier Sun 08-Dec-19 09:43:26

Blimey OP. That must be the first time in all my years on MN that I've let out a yelp of disbelief when I opened your attachment shockshockshock

Minky35 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:43:45

I’d text back, I can’t do this I’m too busy. See you soon!
Why does he get to instruct you to do this?

Josephinebettany Sun 08-Dec-19 09:44:23

Sorry that YABU was me. I clicked it without thinking cos I meant yabu for ever participating in this!
You will need to speak very seriously about this. Prepare in advance what you are going to say. He needs to understand how very wrong (and weird) this is.

Rezie Sun 08-Dec-19 09:46:22

WtF? Your husband is a controlling team what happens if it's not done? Can you just text him saying that you assume that is a to do list for him when he get a back. I'm really worried about you and how it can escalate.

User40465 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:46:28

He doesn’t have military background but he is an only child.

He is tidy, when he is at home he cleans a lot, not because I don’t but he just likes it to be a certain way.

If I said no he would probably just sulk and not speak to me for a few days

We would maybe have enough money for a cleaner but we did have one a couple of years ago to come in and help a little bit but I don’t like someone else cleaning my house for some reason, id rather just do it myself sad

Angie6868 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:46:37

I honestly hope this is a joke. If it's true, you need to make him realise it's not acceptable. You're not a child.
Seriously, what would happen if you didn't do it and just said that you didn't have time and that he shouldn't be telling you what to do anyway?

Fortheloveofscience Sun 08-Dec-19 09:47:33

I normally read all the OP’s posts before voting in case of a massive drip feed but there was literally nothing you could say after your first post that would make this ok.

What would happen if you just said no to doing it, and refused to help him the day after he got back?

Sistercharlie Sun 08-Dec-19 09:48:31

I couldn't believe my eyes reading this shock angry

If you are in any doubt at all op, no this is definitely not normal. sad

If the man has any redeeming features at all - which I doubt - agree with pp's strategy. Pack a bag for yourself ready for his return. Hand him a list of child related chores as he walks in the door and leave him to it for at least a fortnight. Use the time away to consider whether you want to be still married to this entitled arsewipe of a man.

And just in case you don't know, a decent and kind man would be coming home and getting stuck in with all household and childcare tasks and giving you a few days off of his own volition.

Angie6868 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:48:33

I have just read your update. I wouldn't do it and just let him sulk. It will be uncomfortable for a few days, but he needs to realise that he just can't treat you like this.

User40465 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:48:41

No the house is reasonably clean so no reason for him remind me incase the house would be a tip, the house is never unclean.. maybe abit messy but we have 2 young kids

He says he just likes knowing it’s clean so he has nothing to do when he comes home

dementedpixie Sun 08-Dec-19 09:50:08

Do you not do most of the things on the list anyway? Just tick them all off whether you did them or not

dementedpixie Sun 08-Dec-19 09:51:30

Surely bits need doing in the weeks he is home anyway. Is he going to inspect the filters to see if they are clean enough?

Loopytiles Sun 08-Dec-19 09:52:25

Sulking and silent treatment is emotional abuse.

Loopytiles Sun 08-Dec-19 09:52:58

What does he do to ensure that YOU have nothing to do?

Seriously, seek help for yourself.

NormaLouiseBates Sun 08-Dec-19 09:53:14

What the actual fuck am I reading here?

OP, please, PLEASE read the replies you're getting here and tell this man to fuck off, that you are his wife, his equal, his partner FFS, not the fucking housekeeper.

Oh and who the fucking FUCK are the 2% who have said the OP is being unreasonable?

I don't think I've ever used so many 'fucks' in one post but I am just stunned at this.

Ash39 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:54:20

Op what's your husband like the rest of the time? Does he help with the kids when he's home? Does he give you a break or encourage you to have time to yourself? Does he cook?
Does he take over the housework when he's home? Are you afraid of his reactions? Has he got OCD in any way?
It's difficult to say if he's been totally unreasonable ( although he probably is) without knowing a little more background.

Justaboy Sun 08-Dec-19 09:55:06

Well feck me!, where ever did you find this prize one?, at some sort of Robot convention as I reckon he thinks you are one !!

CallmeAngelina Sun 08-Dec-19 09:55:15

He says he just likes knowing it’s clean so he has nothing to do when he comes home
Oh, isn't that nice for him!

Where does he live when he's away? In a hotel with room service?
You are home alone, holding the fort and running the house being a single parent for 4-6 weeks at a time whilst he only has to think about himself and he has the GALL to send you a list like that? angry
Sounds to me as if he's just adding a whole massive layer on to your already stressful existence. Would it not be better if he didn't come home at all?

Quartz2208 Sun 08-Dec-19 09:55:54

He has no understanding does he of your life when he is away if he thinks that you have the time to do this to save him from having nothing to do when he gets home

I would make it very clear that your life when he is away does not give you the time or space to do this and you keep the house clean to your standards

If this bothers him he needs to deal with it. And if he is going to sulk about it that may become something you need to deal with

GabriellaMontez Sun 08-Dec-19 09:56:36

Who the fuck does he think he is? Let him sulk. Totally ignore him.
What does he do when he's at home for 2 weeks?

SweetPetrichor Sun 08-Dec-19 09:56:53

To play devil's advocate here...he works away for considerable lengths of time, is it so hard to have the place nice and welcoming how he likes it when he comes home? The list isn't difficult tasks, it's just basically having the place clean and pleasant.

OoohTheStatsDontLie Sun 08-Dec-19 09:57:05

He likes knowing its clean so he has nothing to do when he comes home? So you need to run yourself ragged on top of looking after two kids 24 7 so that he can have a complete break? Wow.

Cornettoninja Sun 08-Dec-19 09:57:48

He says he just likes knowing it’s clean so he has nothing to do when he comes home

WTF! Wouldn’t we fucking all!?!

Honestly he’s taking the piss out of you.

Provided there’s nothing else of concern to you (and he sounds the type to be intimidating in some way in which case my advice would be far more cautious for your safety) stop pandering to him immediately. Your kids see this (no matter how much you think it’s hidden) and will grow up thinking it’s normal and healthy.

dementedpixie Sun 08-Dec-19 09:58:25

But if OP keeps it clean already, why would she need a list? Cleaning machine filters makes no difference to how the house looks but is on the list

TeachesOfPeaches Sun 08-Dec-19 09:58:36

I feel really sad for you OP

Scarydinosaurs Sun 08-Dec-19 09:58:57

I’d take the sulking.

UnaCorda Sun 08-Dec-19 10:00:21

Does he think you're his employee?? That list is ridiculous (plus ask him to show you how to "hover" on the landing).

Tortoiser Sun 08-Dec-19 10:00:31

So other than write you a list of cleaning requirements, what does this gem of a man actually do to practically help when he’s back?

Iamnotagoddess Sun 08-Dec-19 10:00:37

He sulks if you don’t do it?

OP I think you are in a really abusive relationship sad

TheHootiestOwl Sun 08-Dec-19 10:01:21

Oh he’s a sulker!

Whatelsecouldibecalled Sun 08-Dec-19 10:01:41

Fuck me that’s unbelievable. My husband works away (military) and would never dream of doing that. And If he ever did I would tell him exactly where to shove his list. You’re his WIFE not a slave!

Ibloodylovewomen Sun 08-Dec-19 10:02:03

This has to be a joke.

So many posts on here this morning from women with complete dicks as "partners". He needs to get a grip. This isn't even about the cleaning, it's about the complete lack of respect that he is showing towards you.

BiblioX Sun 08-Dec-19 10:02:40

I hope you find the strength to rediscover your self-respect. This is so wrong. A partner is meant to enhance your life, do you feel cherished? Respected? Your input into caring and keeping safe HIS children valued? Either he can do it himself or pay somebody, if you do not want to you do not have to!

MarianaMoatedGrange Sun 08-Dec-19 10:04:27

Ah, he's confused, poor lamb. He actually thinks you're his staff, not his equal partner. Bless.

enjoyingscience Sun 08-Dec-19 10:04:31

Dear god. What an absolute twat your husband is.

frazzledasarock Sun 08-Dec-19 10:05:35

He likes knowing it’s clean so he doesn’t have to do it himself?

Seriously OP?

Do you and your dc like having him home? Is it nicer when he’s away?

I’d go see a solicitor first thing and plan my exit.

You’re not his own personal slave.

HugoSpritz Sun 08-Dec-19 10:07:41

Send him the list back and say this is the list of things I would like you to do when yoj get home. No rush sometime over the course of your first week back will be fine.

lurkingattheback Sun 08-Dec-19 10:08:05

This is not a relationship. You're his house keeper. Unpaid.

GunpowderGelatine Sun 08-Dec-19 10:08:06

My husband works away 4-6 weeks at a time and around a week before he comes home he sends me lists of everything in the house he wants cleaned

I would honestly do the following:
- print off the list
- write "haha fuck off" in red sharpie on big letters over it
- post it to his hotel with a microfibre cloth, which he can use to clean the house himself when he's back

Straycatstrut Sun 08-Dec-19 10:10:12

Is this a joke OP?!!

If mine had been working away that long I'd do this anyway and give him a lovely welcome (if he was a decent partner) but if he demanded it I would not!! so flipping rude.

Yetanotherwinter Sun 08-Dec-19 10:10:15

@MissMoiselle being an only child doesn’t necessarily make you a controlling twat.
OP is this the tip of an iceberg. This is extremely controlling behaviour and not at all normal. How is he in other ways. You must be on absolute pins when he comes home. Does he go round and check your progress. I would send him. The following list:
Show appreciation for caring for our children whilst I’m away.
Buy some nice flowers for wife to show her I’ve missed her.
Ask wife to send me list of shopping she needs as soon as I get home.
Take wife out for meal to show how much I love her.
Stop being a controlling twat.
Think myself lucky she’s not divorcing me for being a controlling twat.

Serin Sun 08-Dec-19 10:10:35

I'm picturing an army sergeant used to bossing others around.
He is trying to control you OP.
Dont let him.

Ringdonna Sun 08-Dec-19 10:11:02

Come on.,, this can't be real.

MrsPelligrinoPetrichor Sun 08-Dec-19 10:11:29

To play devil's advocate here...he works away for considerable lengths of time, is it so hard to have the place nice and welcoming how he likes it when he comes home? The list isn't difficult tasks, it's just basically having the place clean and pleasant

I can't believe how much you have missed the point!

Baboomtsk Sun 08-Dec-19 10:12:29

It's nice to have things looking nice if possible when someone returns home but this is ridiculous.

My father used to work away for weeks at a time but when he came home, after relaxing for a couple of days he'd get to work on whatever needed to be done (as well as things that probably didn't need to be done). Anything from gardening to DIY to polishing the silverware to doing a deep clean. Not saying your DH has to do all of that but what he's asking for is ridiculous. Tell him to do it himself, you've got enough on your plate.

DrivingMsCrazy Sun 08-Dec-19 10:12:52

@SweetPetrichor you can be a domestic slave surrendered wifey if you want but don't try to make out this demanding list with tick boxes is in ANY way normal behaviour, because it most certainly is NOT.
If and it's an IF, OP chose to give the house a good clean before he got back, of her own volition, yes fine. But he is TELLING her and will be emotionally horrible if she doesn't comply to his demands. THAT'S what everyone is finding so ridiculous and controlling. It shows absolutely no understanding, respect or care for what she already does, work and raise 2 young kids, while he's away. He's a nob, a potentially abusive and certainly controlling one at that.

OP yaNNNNNNbu to tell him where to get off. I really hope this thread has opened your eyes to his behaviour. It's SO not normal!!

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