Partner only notices how much I do when I stop doing it

(300 Posts)
WorkingStepMum90 Tue 20-Apr-21 15:26:52

Hi All,

I've just had a blazing row with my SO around (surprise surprise!) housework. We went out for a walk and I made a comment about how I feel proud that I'm finally getting myself back into a routine. Like many others, I found the second lock-down extremely difficult. I had taken on my first management level role, signed up to an 18 month apprenticeship and had to juggle this with looking after my two step children. I also lost my Nan very recently who was a huge part of my life. It was just a lot and admittedly, my once regimented cleaning routine took a bit of a backseat.

When I mentioned how I thought this was going well, his response was "Yes, it's amazing how if you don't stay on top of the housework everything else seems to fall apart too." (meaning cooking, working out, shopping etc.) I'm not sure if I'm being overly sensitive here, but I was expecting something a little more supportive so my feelings were quite hurt. Firstly because I wouldn't have said things have 'fell apart' as such, I just had to make housework less of a priority with everything else we have going on. Secondly, it's as if these two months of taking a step back somehow discredits the fact that in the 5 years we have been together I have always worked my socks off to have an immaculate home, a fresh meal on the table every night as well as having a career of my own.

Admittedly, I did get my back up a bit and said that if it's fallen apart since I've taken a step back then maybe this shows that I'm not the problem, as if everyone else was pulling their weight there wouldn't be this stark difference. I immediately regretted biting because he then proceeded to make the conversation about how he cleans the bathroom every week. Firstly, he doesn't- but we won't go into that haha. But even if he did, that is barely the tip of the iceberg in a 5 bedroom house that two kids live in. However, the thing that really annoyed me about this was that he tried to turn the conversation around so that he was the victim and it was me that never thanked him for helping with the chores.

Am I being completely unreasonable here in thinking that he is not 'helping' me with the chores so doesn't deserve praise for it anymore than I do? This is his house too and we all live here so why should I have to praise him every time he changes a bin liner or wipes a surface over? I don't want to go as far in saying he is sexist, because I don't necessarily believe he is like this because I'm female. I just think he's grown very accustomed to me doing everything and interprets my recent behaviour as laziness.

How can I explain to my SO that I'm not a robot that runs at 100% every day. I am a human being who has had an extremely challenging couple of months and he needs to either accept that the housework is not a priority at the moment, step up and do it himself or hire a cleaner.

I know this is such a cliche argument and realise what a crap feminist I am, but I honestly have no idea how I can resolve this without apologising for something that I don't think I should be apologising for.

OP’s posts: |
AnneLovesGilbert Tue 20-Apr-21 15:32:05

He is sexist. He’s also lazy, inconsiderate and selfish.

Why are you looking after his kids? Why isn’t he? Are they with you full time?

You’ve spread yourself too thin, you’ve experienced a recent and painful bereavement and he’s bitching about the fucking housework.

Before you start coming up with ideas on how to make someone who’s supposed to love and cherish you realise you’re not a robot, consider what value he brings to your life and whether it’s worth it to be treated like a skivvy.

Blanca87 Tue 20-Apr-21 15:37:15

Why are you looking after his kids? Just stop being his housekeeper and nanny and let him crack on with adulting/parenting. The absolute cheeky fucker.

Queenoftheashes Tue 20-Apr-21 15:41:17

Write a list at the end of each day of what you’ve both done.
I tried to play the victim yesterday but DP had done several things around the house and I could only come up with “made dinner”

YoniAndGuy Tue 20-Apr-21 15:44:28

Everyone is going to say the same thing.

WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HIS PARENTING FOR HIM?!

Stop looking after his kids.

Fucking hate men like this.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 20-Apr-21 15:44:35

Of course he's sexist. You're looking after his children. Meal on the table and an immaculate home? He's got you well trained and you can't see it.

You both work, the children are his, he should do more than half. And he wants to do less and be thanked constantly. HE'S SEXIST. And so are you just by the way, internalised misogyny is a thing.

Who owns the home BTW?

JensonsAcolyte Tue 20-Apr-21 15:45:28

Why is the housework your job?

I’m the same, first managerial role and apprenticeship and it’s full on, even though I’m furloughed I still have a ton of training and liaising to do. When I’m back at work it will be a 48hr week as standard.

Dh works full time plus (around 45hrs) and does not quite half (I do more because I’m more efficient, not because he’s a slacker).

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MrsTerryPratchett Tue 20-Apr-21 15:45:39

And I just bet you facilitate him having the children more so he can give less CS to his ex.

wesowereonabreak Tue 20-Apr-21 15:47:03

Unless you both have your own home, "partners" should not be helping, they should be doing 50% of what needs doing!

CuriousaboutSamphire Tue 20-Apr-21 15:47:42

You look after his kids?

I suspect most posters will zero in on that!

Don't you dare bloody apologise! You've started, so now finish it! Tell him what you have said here.

You have experienced a bereavement, started a new role and an apprenticeship and he wants to reduce it all down to housework and him not being appreciated for 'helping'?

Big talk required - or this will be your life forever!

SpudleyLass Tue 20-Apr-21 15:47:59

He sounds perfectly happy to allow you to run yourself into the ground, both with your work commitments and with the childcare/housework. The latter two often being considered ''women's work'' - I'd say very much that he is a sexist.

Any partner worth their weight would be sharing housework come rain or shine. And doing the bathroom alone is not enough.

You're going to have to get tough with him, OP. It definitely won't change otherwise.

username12345T Tue 20-Apr-21 15:49:40

I assume that since you took on a new management role, apprenticeship and are caring for his children as well as grieving your grandmother - your loving husband and life partner stepped up and supported you. If not, then we have another misogynist arsehole on the MN useless twat gallery wall.

osbertthesyrianhamster Tue 20-Apr-21 15:53:12

Yes, you are being extremely unreasonable here. For staying with a sexist, lazy, condescending manchild excuse for a person who doesn't parent his own kids. What a twat.

I had taken on my first management level role, signed up to an 18 month apprenticeship and had to juggle this with looking after my two step children.

WTAF?!

I have always worked my socks off to have an immaculate home, a fresh meal on the table every night as well as having a career of my own.

Why? Where on Earth did you get the idea that this is your job, at all?

Am I being completely unreasonable here in thinking that he is not 'helping' me with the chores so doesn't deserve praise for it anymore than I do? This is his house too and we all live here so why should I have to praise him every time he changes a bin liner or wipes a surface over? I don't want to go as far in saying he is sexist,

Wake up! This man is 10p a punnet, a sexist, using, lazy selfish person who found a skivvy to look after his kids and do everything else.

He's using you. He's a selfish sexist person.

Returnoftheowl Tue 20-Apr-21 15:55:14

If he lives in the house then he's not "helping you" with the housework... He lives there! He needs to do his share!

username12345T Tue 20-Apr-21 15:55:23

This man is 10p a punnet

Love this expression and it fits so well. If you throw this one back in OP, there are a million and one lazy, sexist twats out there willing to take his place. The bed won't even get cold.

FOJN Tue 20-Apr-21 15:57:11

Why are you looking after his children?

Yes he is a sexist and no cleaning the bathroom is not "helping you" with housework it's being a competent adult and does not deserve extra thanks.

An immaculate house and meal on the table is a 1950's housewife stereotype, why would you run yourself ragged trying to achieve that.

I'd tell him to step up rather than offering criticism from the ease and comfort of his armchair. I have zero patience with lazy twats.

WorkingStepMum90 Tue 20-Apr-21 16:05:22

@AnneLovesGilbert thank you for your message and confirming I'm not being unreasonable, although you are right- I

I feel you may have opened a can of worms there haha. We have shared custody of his children with his ex. If I had to describe the dynamic, he looks after them in terms of doing most of the entertainment style stuff like x-box, movies and football at the park. But I deal with all of the things like cooking their meals, changing their beds, tidying their bedrooms etc. I do all the Christmas/Birthday shopping and parties as well as anything ad hoc like Halloween or World Book Day Costumes. Don't get me wrong, I do find this fun but it's also quite stressful to manage along on top of everything else. I have tried to get him involved and ask him to take some of the responsibility, but this usually means either a last minute rush or the kids being let down as they were this easter when all of the eggs sold out. I felt so guilty I ended up paying through the nose and ordering them eggs next day delivery online.

I am more than happy to chip in with caring for the kids and supporting them financially, because I love them. But I do feel taken for granted by him and his ex.

The weird thing is, I always got the impression that my obsession with housework bothered him and that he actually wanted me to sit down and chill out. But then I actually did it and he's constantly dropping hints for me to clean again saying things like 'the house is unloved'.

OP’s posts: |
InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Tue 20-Apr-21 16:08:15

'The house is unloved'
And surely you replied 'Well you better start fucking well loving it then!!'

I hate these threads! Why do women put UP with this shit from men?! angry

WorkingStepMum90 Tue 20-Apr-21 16:11:01

@MrsTerryPratchett we both own the home.

I take your point on internalised misogyny- I just didn't know if it was fair to say he is like this because I am a woman when actually it's because I didn't stand my ground and allowed this to happen.

OP’s posts: |
osbertthesyrianhamster Tue 20-Apr-21 16:11:02

He's a Disney Dad who sees you are the Maid of All Work. Are you married to him? Dear god, this has to be one of the worst forms of Stockholm Syndrome I've read about on here. Your partner has convinced you that your role is Stepford-not-even Wife.

He and his ex have stitched you up like a kipper.

maslinpan Tue 20-Apr-21 16:11:11

I agree, this can of worms you have opened is catering sized and you can't close it now. 'The house is unloved' is such a clever passive aggressive way of expressing his criticism. Time for him to start showing it some love, then...

CuriousaboutSamphire Tue 20-Apr-21 16:14:00

'the house is unloved'. I would have had to throw that one back "As am I, it seems"

osbertthesyrianhamster Tue 20-Apr-21 16:14:20

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream

'The house is unloved'
And surely you replied 'Well you better start fucking well loving it then!!'

I hate these threads! Why do women put UP with this shit from men?! angry

I wonder that as well. How does one get to the point where any behaviour like this is acceptable? I mean, 'fresh meal on the table every night'. My mother didn't even do that and she had no job outside the home since 1967. My teenage daughter wouldn't even put up this (wouldn't even go on a date with a guy who has kids at all). I really hope this is made up because 'haahaa' this is about as funny as a mound of termites.

osbertthesyrianhamster Tue 20-Apr-21 16:15:30

I'd move out. I'd rather live in a bedsit than like this.

Therealjudgejudy Tue 20-Apr-21 16:15:31

Why oh why are you putting up with being treated like the maid?

The amount of threads like this lately makes me despair

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