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To want recognition from DH

(51 Posts)
Dillo10 Fri 22-May-20 15:30:49

DH works full time out of the house (pre lockdown)
I am self employed and have always worked from home and not exactly full time but 4 days a week ish. It varies according to work load.

I do 90% of tidying up, hoovering, cleaning of bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchen. I have a loose schedule that keeps everything the way I want it. Cooking is more equal but I still feel I do the lion's share including tidying up.
Every now and again he decides to "clean" downstairs if we've had a busy weekend or people over. He does some washing (his own) but generally dumps all the cleaning washing on the bed for me to put away. He hoovers if I ask him to. He takes rubbish out, feeds the cat.

My issue is the fact that he regularly comments that he does 50% of the housework and cooking. I have asked if he's serious and he really is. It seems from his perspective we share tasks equally. What he does I would not count as housework, just daily tasks.

Am I going mad? Or does he literally not notice what I do? He has made comments before such as "my bath mat never gets dirty" ... Ummm that's because I wash it once a week (he was unaware of this lol)

I accept it's a fair balance given our work situations but I am getting a bit frustrated at his perception of things. I feel like I work very hard to keep everything clean and tidy.

Am I just being silly here?

Windyatthebeach Fri 22-May-20 15:33:56

How about a week of just doing for yourself? That's 50 %..

vinoelle Fri 22-May-20 15:48:10

YANBU. Have you ever seen that sarcastic YouTube video of the magic self cleaning coffee table? Show that to your husband.

pooopypants Fri 22-May-20 15:52:03

Leave everything of his to him for a week, let him see that the cleaning fairies don't visit like he thinks they do

HopeYouStepOnALego Fri 22-May-20 16:01:15

Start making a list of every single thing you do and a list of what he does. Compare at the end of the week.

Jen4813 Fri 22-May-20 16:05:00

It sounds like he genuinely does think he does 50% of the housework (bless) but has no idea of all the things you do! I think most men are the same, sounds like my DH - he empties the bins (sometimes has to be reminded) does most of the cooking, both do the washing up/hoovering. If its getting to you why don’t you remind him of all things your doing or even show him before and after. My DH was shocked when I showed him the amount of dust that came off the blinds the other day! shock

AskingQuestionsAllTheTime Fri 22-May-20 16:16:10

There was a book years ago, back when most middle-class American women with kids stayed at home and looked after them while their husbands went out to work all day -- I wish I could remember who wrote it! -- in which the author was talking about men who thought the women just sat around doing nothing all day, and she suggested a woman who was fed up with it could leave a square foot or so of each room uncleared and unhoovered, and one pane of each window uncleaned, and so on, to see how long it took for him to notice how clean all the rest was because of the constant work she did in the home.

She also suggested that just before he came home the woman could spray some furniture-polish behind her ears, which might not have been entirely serious.

AriadnesFilament Fri 22-May-20 16:21:16

I’ve said this on here before: you need to start writing a list, stuff you do, stuff he does, with timings. Do it over the course of a week/fortnight/month - whatever is appropriate for your house - then put a total for each of you at the bottom. Your list of tasks will be longer, but, crucially, the amount of time you spend will be longer too. He will find that very hard to argue with, and your ‘invisible’ work will be visible to him.

mudpiemaker Fri 22-May-20 16:29:26

I clearly remember Ds1 in the school holidays asking me what I was doing, and I realised he had never seen me iron grin It was something I did at night just once a week and I was doing it in the daytime.

Now he is 17, and I have made both he and his brother watch me do stuff that they never see, so clean the dishwasher trap once a month and the tumble dryer main filter (the hidden one) they see window cleaning and bathroom limescale removal. They then had to do it themselves, whilst I watched them so they completely understand what I do.

You need to write down everything you do in a week when you do it and everything he does so he can see the inequality. I am lucky that Dh worships the ground I walk on because I do all the housework and drudgery but then I don't work so of course it should be me.

Yeahnahmum Fri 22-May-20 16:33:03

Men see the world through different lenses
But that's mostly because women do all the work for them.
So just stop doing all his shit. And make him see that he is not doing 50%.
Stop vacuum cleaning. Dump the washed laundry that he expects you to fold on his side of the bed etc etc. Show him by not doing anything, how much you actually do. And then make him do more. By doing less yourself. Simples

Orangeblossom78 Fri 22-May-20 16:37:02

I have been getting fed up with this recently and have just started doing less. If asked where something is or what is to eat just saying 'I don't know what do you think / want'

it is making it worse with the children being home as adding to the load. I'm missing school dinners too feels like always feeding people.

BlingLoving Fri 22-May-20 16:42:03

That video made me laugh. So ridiculous.

There's actually research on this list thing. I've seen it referenced in articles. Someone on here referenced one the other day where her list was 240 items or something and his was 20.

I've never been patient enough to do the list, usually it leads to me yelling about x,y,z that I do. And DH, to his credit, almost always realises and doesn't make the same mistake.

I honestly don' know how it happens but I'm finding I have to consciously remember to tell DS to pay attention or to help because DD genuinely does just follow us around while he's happy to sit on a couch while we vacuum around him. Drives me mad - as a die hard feminist I'm convinced we've done something to make him completely oblivious (I'm not buying the nature argument! grin ).

But whatever it is, I genuinely think men land up being brought up differently and to break the cycle for DS I'm having to work really hard.

I had a flatmate once, who I'm still friends with, who cooked, cleaned etc. And was quite fastidious actually. But what drove me mad was that he wouldn't wipe down surfaces after cooking - he'd stand there carefully picking up left over bits of rice or whatever, or use a bit of kitchen paper to wipe up a spill. Took about 15 minutes and things still weren't clean. We had words. grin

Years later, DH and I went over to his for a dinner party and we all had a good laugh as he was wiping down the surfaces before serving dessert and he cheerfully announced, "Bling taught me to do this."

WittyUser Fri 22-May-20 16:45:25

I think each of you keeping a list is a good idea. Do that for two weeks, then switch lists and for the following 2 weeks you each have to tick off all the items on your 'new list' grin

CocoR Fri 22-May-20 16:50:29

I feel kind of the same. I work FT but now WFH since March due to lockdown.

DP works FT out of the house.

To be fair he tells me on a daily basis how grateful he is for what I do and how much he appreciates me. But I've said that working out of the house doesn't mean he now has to do fuck all at home, it's nice that he "appreciates" it, but I'd much rather he fucking did some stuff around the house. It's as if now I'm home he thinks I have time to do everything. I earn double by the way.

It's nice to hear that he's grateful, I guess that's more than some women get. But I've given him a list going forward of what I expect him to do every week.

Honestly, so many men seem to need this kind of list/guidance/prompting. angry

Dillo10 Fri 22-May-20 17:17:36

Thanks everyone... Pleased to hear I'm not mad, or alone!

I think it's possibly because he doesn't "see" me do most of it because he's either at work or in his office while I'm downstairs or pottering around between work calls etc.

I'll try a new approach. Today I folded all his clothes away whereas next time I'll just leave them in a pile on his side of the bed. I'm going to stop cleaning his office and his bathroom (although it's going to drive me CRAZY) and see what he says or does.

Its not that I want him to do more around the house to be honest. It's a fair division of tasks given our work situations.

It just blows my mind that he thinks he does as much as I do! He's never dusted, cleaned a toilet, or mopped a floor in the year that we've lived in our current home at least
It would never ever occur to him to clean skirting boards or crumbs under the toaster for example. I guess these things are just not in his radar. confused

Today I spent 5 hours deep cleaning the whole house as I had no work to do and felt like spring cleaning. He came downstairs just now to a sparkling kitchen and spotless living room and said "We should really clear out the understairs cupboard this weekend" - It's almost funny!

backseatcookers Fri 22-May-20 17:25:27

Do you have kids? If so I can understand you wanting to work so hard at this.

But if not, I could not stay with someone who is naturally so selfish and immature.

He knows full well he's just doing his own washing when he does it. It's not that he doesn't realise, he just doesn't give a shit enough to do the bare minimum and ask if you want anything throwing in the machine.

Do you want to tie yourself for life to someone that lazy and selfish? If you have to teach someone how to be a team mate and equal party then you'll end up always having to do more or always having to ask which they will call nagging them to do stuff.

He will also start calling it "helping" when he is doing something that benefits you equally / just keeps the house nice.

Some of my friends ask their partners - the two examples that spring to mind are ones where both work full time so no difference in time spent at work - to "help" with the washing up or "can you do me a favour and pick the towels up off the floor" or my favourite "he's so lovely to me, he's babysitting tonight" when they are his children. When would a woman say she is "babysitting" her own kids if her partner isn't home?

Men like your partner are displaying misogyny. Don't feel you have to settle for that - there are men who are decent, equal team mates, have a laugh and are just generally nice as well as fun.

Don't waste your life teaching someone to be nice to you.

BlingLoving Fri 22-May-20 17:27:43

Vacuuming/dusting the ceiling
Dusting the doors (we have irritating little raised bits)
Cleaning the radiators in the bathroom
Cleaning the fronts of the cupboards, especially in the kitchen
Cleaning under the draining board in the kitchen
Washing and disinfecting the cloths we use to clean the kitchen/do washing up
Cleaning the bannisters
Dusting/cleaning bedside tables, desks, windowsills etc

This is just a quick, off the top of my head list, of things that DH genuinely didn't realise needed doing. All are now done by him when it's his turn (well, except for the cloths in the kitchen - given the chance he'd simply throw them away daily and in fact prefers disposables until I refused to use them for environmental reasons).

BlingLoving Fri 22-May-20 17:28:09

Sorry - things he didn't realise needed doing that we've discussed in last few weeks....

LouiseTrees Fri 22-May-20 17:33:20

You should take before and after pictures of everything you do and make a list.

Bluntness100 Fri 22-May-20 17:42:27

I don’t think this is deliberate I think it’s more not realising

My husband Is a bit the same. Take rhe dishwasher for example. I will say it’s your turn to empty the dishwasher, and he will do it. I then will empty it likely the next three times, but when he’s not there, and without comment, I then will say to him, it’s your turn to empty the dishwasher and he looks at me and says “ no it’s not, I did it last time”.

Because in his head he did. He didn’t know it was on since then, and didn’t realise it was emptied three times since then.

So many unspoken little jobs, last night I put the bin out, took it back in this morning, emptied the dishwasher, washed the sheets, hung them up to dry, all little jobs that take no time at all that I just do as I go about my day and I do without comment.

I think he just doesn’t notice, I can genuinely buy something new for the house and it can be right in front of him and he simply doesn’t spot it. So many times I say can you see what’s different, what I’ve bought, and he literally stands there confused trying to work it out.

Whereas if something new was in the house, I’d spot it immediately. If he does a job I’d mentally clock it, and know it was done, but he just goes about completely oblivious.

So I can see how your husband thinks he does half, because he doesn’t notice what else you do or what needs done.

Nottherealslimshady Fri 22-May-20 17:43:51

Oh wow! "My bath mat never gets dirty" shock
I would tell him that you're hurt that he thinks he does 50% of all things house related so for the next two weeks you will be doing exactly as much as him. Since he does 50% there should be no change.

Dillo10 Fri 22-May-20 17:46:15


No kids... Currently trying for a baby though

Thing is, I wouldn't describe him as lazy, he does all the gardening, puts lots of effort into cooking three course meals for me. We have discussed parenthood and how men looking after their babies are not "babysitting" - he knows how angry that makes me and does agree. I am very happy with him and think he's a great partner in so many ways...

It's literally the fact that our perceptions are so far off... It baffles me

It would be comparable to me saying we share the gardening work 50% (I water the flowers one in a blue moon while he does a ton of manual work, cutting grass, weeding, planting, building things)

It's the difference in what we both think about the situation that's annoying

EmeraldShamrock Fri 22-May-20 17:48:16

Yanbu they live in lala land. DP will say he cleaned ALL the upstairs , I tell him he tidied the upstairs. Vacuuming dusting and putting clothes away are from missing from his mental task. Though I'm envious he is super fast at tidying giving me the place to deep clean

MitziK Fri 22-May-20 17:48:39

Mine decided today after I'd asked him to do it because I can't three and a half weeks ago that he was going to clean the front bay window.

I cleared the many pot plants off the surfaces.

I took the pot plants outside and gave them a good watering.

I took the DVDs and CDs out of the TV unit.

I took the ornamental shite stuff he likes so much off the glass shelves that I bloody hate.

I disconnected the speakers.

I disconnected the TV, stereo, assorted TV boxes and the games console.

I pulled the blinds.

He took things and put them along the other wall and fetched the vacuum cleaner and steam cleaner, plus kitchen roll.

I helped move the glass TV unit.

I helped lift the TV and put it down safely.

I moved the coffee table and armchair out of the way.

I found the vacuum cleaner tools he lost because he never puts them back into the inbuilt holders.

I got him the steps so he could reach the top of the windows.

He vacuumed (ish) and used the steam cleaner.

I asked if he was going to do the undersides of the glass shelves as well as the tops.

He had three twenty minute rests during the process and needed reminding that the top panes were as dirty as the lower ones.

He's now back upstairs, recovering from his ordeal.

I've just put the pot plants back and reconnected the TV, boxes, stereo and speakers, as he couldn't get them to work. That happens when you plug the speaker cable randomly into a video input socket instead of following the printed diagram on the back of the TV.

He also has a load of CDs and DVDs to put in the loft because they just aren't used anymore. We haven't had a DVD player since 2012 and neither of us have a laptop that can play them.

Yes, he's done the harder physical stuff because it's beyond me. But I don't think he'd quite realised that the simple job he did (vacuum and clean the windows) actually meant a fuckton of other stuff to make it possible. If I'd left it all to him, he'd most likely have knocked the TV over, spilled water over the live extension lead, forgotten the top windows, not cleaned both sides of the glass shelves and most likely given it up as a bad job after the two side windows.

He just doesn't see all the steps involved in doing something properly.

Still going to make sure he does them, though. Won't ever learn if I do it all for him.

Devlesko Fri 22-May-20 17:50:44

Make a list of everything that needs to be done weekly, include everything.
Then either divide the list into two, or allocate a time for each job and split jobs ito time spent working.
He does sound like he pulls his weight though, I thought you were going to say he did nothing.
Who sorts admin, gardens, cleans windows, driveway/ cleaning paths, cleaning guttering and household maintenance?

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