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to expect dh to help around the house more?

(59 Posts)
holytoast Sat 10-Oct-09 14:29:58

right, warning, this is a very long rant!
We have been married for 2 years, and together for 7. I am now pregnant after a year of trying, and whilst to begin with, felt a bit poo, now I am feeling better, have much more energy etc. I have always done all the housework, despite us both working very full time jobs, and both of us earning the same.
The lack of him doing anything has always bothered me, and he knows it. we have sporadic weeks when he will feel guilty and help out - for a while he decideed, when I had a bad back, to start doing the washing - this soon tailed off, and now I do it all. he has only cleaned the toilet once in 7 years. he leaves empty cartons on the side, never shuts doors to any rooms, leaves lights on, leaves clothes all over the floor, never seems to understand the concept of picking things up after himself - he will walk over the pile of crap that I leave on the stairs for the next time anyone is going up - this is all, I am guessing, run of the mill stuff - except that riends of minehave mentioned that he is a really bad case - although knowing how bad he was, they say I should be pleased when he does the washing up - a year ago he wouldn't have known where the hot tap was! I do all the shopping, (he doesn't drive) sort all the bills and household finances, and generally keep us organised. It's a bit much, but I do it all because no-one else will. Its not that he doesn't do it if I ask, just that he doesn't seem to get that any of it needs doing!when I ask, its as if I am having to ask very politely, and thank him afterwards - but I do it everyday with no thanks!
Thing is, I can see that at some point I will need to slow down - I am only 12 weeks now, so fine for a while hopefully, but I have my career, and another small business outside of work, which brings in extra money.I also have a burst disc in my back, and sciatica, which can be agonising, so sometimes its just impossible.
He is irish, and whilst I don't mean to be rude, he sufers from having an irish mother - his dad has never even made himself a cup of tea - he actually doesn't know how to!
He does cook however, a fair amount, (he enjoys it - not the cleaning up or putting lids on things afterwards though) and he does do all of our diy (although I do all the cleaning up, the runs to the tip, the wood yard, etc) - we have been doing up our house every weekend practically for 4 years, so maybe I am being unreasonable to expect him to help out around the house during the week? Thing is, he enjoys knocking down walls, building things etc - he leaves ne the jobs he doesn't - like putting up coving! (none of it is up, as a result!)

I just worry that it will never change, I will always have to be the one running around after the children (him included) cleaning up, making sure everyone is wearing clothes, paying bills, and generally being the responsible one!

then again, maybe he is doing his bit, and I should stop moaning and get on with it.

aaargh!
Right, of to the tip, then to clean the toilet...

PeedOffWithNits Sat 10-Oct-09 14:37:56

he is taking advantage and you need to sort this now because once baby comes he will HAVE to pull his weight. in fact before then, when you are huge and tired out and cannot move about like normal!

he is either very selfish and immature, or totally inconsiderate of anyone elses feelings.

stop running round picking up after him, you are not his slave

Romanarama Sat 10-Oct-09 14:46:24

Oh dear, that sounds very bad, and with a baby you won't be able to. I think you should write a thorough list of all the housework jobs that need doing, and a separate list of things he should be doing anyway (picking up his clothes, putting things in the fridge etc), and go through with him how things are going to be managed. Remember that taking care of a baby is as much work (more work?) as being in the office, so you will be snowed under before you even get to thinking about the housework.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sat 10-Oct-09 14:51:43

Oh God it's only going to get worse and you will start resenting him big time. Sorry, but there is no other oprion than to be terribly blunt. Make a list of all the chores and sit down with him to divide them up. Inform him that you will remind him if he doesn't do it so as to pre-empt nagging accusations. Sorry love, but if you don't get this sorted now, it could well break up your marriage. DH and I have been under an ongoing process of negotiation re housework since DS was born a year ago, we are in a fairly good place now, but he was never as bad as yours sounds.

WhereYouLeftIt Sat 10-Oct-09 15:04:09

YANBU. Now is the time to get this sorted out, before hormones and sleep deprivation lead you to taking a knife to him. He is doing FAR less than is reasonable.

The suggestions to sit down with a list of all the jobs that are part of running your own household are a good starting point. Make sure the list is thorough, it's easy to forget some that you do almost by reflex.

But you also need to go beyond that. You need to talk about whether you are equal partners or whether he is a small child and you are his mother. His background has made it harder, he has not been instructed in taking care of himself. You might have to give him a crash course. But before you can do that, he has to buy in to the idea that it is his adult responsibility to pull his weight.

pooexplosions Sun 11-Oct-09 00:48:56

Theres 2 of you in it, he does nothing because you let him do nothing. Sit him down, tell him you hae let this go on too long, but things are going to change. Write a list of all the jobs around the house and give him his half, and tell him that you will not be doing them for him.
Tell him if he can't look after himself and pull his weight, he can go back to his mother and let her mind him, because you are going to have your own baby to mind and won't look after two.

Not to be mean, but its sort of your on fault as much as his. And its up to you to put the foot down now.

Quattrocento Sun 11-Oct-09 00:56:15

I agree with Pooexplosions. He behaves like this because you let him. Fine for you to do all the housework and childcare if he is doing all the earning and that's the way you've agreed to split the burden. Not fine if you have to do half the earning and all the domestic stuff. He is being an arse. And I hate to say this, but if you don't nip it in the bud now, it will only get worse. It's actually very easy to look after two adults.

zazen Sun 11-Oct-09 01:08:24

well I hope he's a good shag!

It's true about the Irish Mammy's boy though, and that's why I didn't marry one - and I live in Ireland. I just couldn't stand the laziness, and sense of entitlement of most of them TBH.

You need to write a list of things that need to be done around the house and have him, and you tick them off when he and you have done them. For eg, you do shopping, he scrubs bathroom. And after you have your babe, he does it all, until you are completely able to do your bit.

You need to train him if you want to live with him. Otherwise you will take a knife to him. And that would make a bigger mess - as Lady Macbeth can tell. Just think of it as training a dog, and if he doesn't like it he can sleep in the dog house!

I think you are doing far far too much, and you also need to be realistic about your life now - it's not just you now, it's you and your babe who need to live in an ordered and clean home, and be looked after a bit.

You are growing a baby and have a bad back - which (I hope) doesn't get worse as time goes on in your pregnancy: you have responsibilities beyond keeping a clean home (while he sits on his lazy behind).

It's time for him to grow up. And getting a driving license would help a lot. Who's going to drive you into hospital after all?
And what's with the unfinished DIY he doesn't like doing? Has he no gumption?

Alternatively, hire a cleaner - and INSIST he tidies before s/he comes, so that the house can actually be cleaned. Oh, and he can pay for it too.

Best of luck to you, those Irish Mammies have a lot to answer for. Hope he is house trained soon. And if he isn't, send him back to his poor old mother - she'll have the tea on for him no doubt.

SolidGhoulBrass Sun 11-Oct-09 01:30:15

Seconding what everyone else has said about you needing to deal with this now. If he won't shape up, better to know it so you can in fact chuck him out rather than be lumbered with an adult who expects to be serviced when you have a newborn to look after. One of the reasons so many relationships fracture after the first baby arrives is that the selfishness of the man (if you are in a relationship with a selfish sexist man) has been less noticeable beforehand, ie it's been easy enough to bumble along obeying and indulging him when you had the time to do so.
Make sure he understands that you are not his servant and that you will not put up with this indefinitely.

diddl Sun 11-Oct-09 07:56:03

I´m a SAHM, and expect my husband & children to put their rubbish in the bin,their dirty clothes in the washbox.

I don´t expect to be taken advantage of just because I don´t go out to work.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sun 11-Oct-09 08:33:50

Yep, confront him with this now, because a quick look through the Relationships section will tell you this is a major source of marital stress once DCs come along.

You are not going to be his mother as well, and will very quickly feel like never having sex with him again if he doesn't pull his weight (slightly dramatic but true ...)

cikecaka Sun 11-Oct-09 08:40:21

I am married to an IRISH man, who is a far better housekeeper than me, works 6 days a week but still helps around the house, is fantastic with our children (we have 4), he is taking the 4 to the cinema today after he cooks lunch today to give me a break because I have been sole carer for them this week as he is working 14hr days. I have always expected him to, I never thought that things would be any different. I have always said, he was there at the conception, the birth and he will be there for the rearing!!!

ninja Sun 11-Oct-09 08:45:17

Mine's Irish too and is like this, but doesn't cook or do the DIY - if you don't do something serious now he won't change

choosyfloosy Sun 11-Oct-09 08:56:19

I would also say, don't forget to write down the time chores take per week when doing your list - taking out the bins is all very well, and it's not a nice job, but it's what, 4 minutes? scrubbing the bathroom even sketchily is 15 minutes and it will need doing more often with a child around. Likewise, washing expands to a vast time-eating alien machine once you have a baby, so double the time for that chore, esp if you use cloth nappies.

choosyfloosy Sun 11-Oct-09 08:59:00

But conversely, you can use that discussion together to apply intelligence to the housekeeping - maybe there are shortcuts or efficiency savings that he and you can come up with together. It would also be useful for you both to work out which chores make you both feel miserable if they're not done (e.g. twice-daily floor sweeping required? or does the pleasant crunching underfoot just feel like a quick exfoliation?) and which ones neither of you care about particularly (e.g. ironing?)

PoisonToadstool Sun 11-Oct-09 09:12:08

You've put up with this let him be this lazy for seven years and plan to crack it in six months?

I'd issue an ultimatum, but I think you need to look at why, for so long, you have accepted this.

Fibilou Sun 11-Oct-09 09:32:39

Poison Toadstool, it's not as simple as "you've put up with it". If only it was. My husband is almost exactly the same as the OPs - to the extent that he creates a right fuss when I remind him to change the cat litter (which I have to do every sodding time as he can't think for himself) even though I am pregnant and not supposed to do it.
I have tried everything, believe me. Rows, lists, asking nicely, crying, walking out, trying to get his mother to speak to him, not doing things myself. The plain fact is that he is so bloody stubborn that if he doesn't want to do something he won't and there is nothing anyone will do to change his mind. He would rather I left him that be forced to clean the bathroom if he didn't want to. Part of the problem is that his mother waits on her children and husband hand and foot - I get really annoyed when we go round there because he will expect her to get up and make him a cup of tea when he is perfectly capable of getting up himself. But then I think she made a rod for her own back adn let her do it.
However I generally let him get away with it as he works a lot more hours than I do and when he does do something he makes such a song and dance about it that i just get annoyed.
i just wanted to point out that it is not just a simple case of "if you didn't let him get away with it you wouldn't have this problem"

madusa Sun 11-Oct-09 09:41:16

fibilou... i second that

The tears and upset that my husbands laziness has caused isn't worth going into.

He does almost nothing.

He pays the mortgage. That's it

I pay for everything else and do everything around the house despite the fact that i work more hours than him.

We have young children to consider and i can't make my husband do anything. The only alternative to what we have, is splitting up and tearing my DCs lives apart. I'm not willing to do that and so my husband gets away with being the lazy, selfish man that he is.

ThingOneofYourNightmares Sun 11-Oct-09 10:08:19

It's really not acceptable for him to be that lazy. I agree you need to talk about sharing the work. There's not that much to do to look after two adults and he does at least need to look after himself.

Maybe you could break it into manageable tasks that he knows are "his job", and also things you know he will be able to do and not do so badly you scream. You will have to give him a chance to learn, however. You can't expect him to know straight away how to do everything when he's got away scot-free for years.

What about him being responsible for washing up/loading dishwasher, and putting it all away? You'll probably have to mop up around the sink when he's finished - don't expect miracles. Cleaning a bathroom is quite easy too. Is he so bad he doesn't rinse the sink after shaving, or leaves poo stuck in the loo?

And when you go back to work after the baby - get a cleaner.

mummyhill Sun 11-Oct-09 10:11:14

Division of labor has caused arguments a plenty in many households. My mil did everything for dh until he left home at 25. I ended up picking up where she left off or i would live in a tip.

We now have 3 dc's. He still does very little round the house apart from diy. He does however work full time and pay all the bills except groceries. I work 13 hrs a week do the child care and the housework.

Sounds terrible to most of you I bet but he is great with the kids. Does his share of getting up in the night, changing nappies etc. He will also take the kids out on his own to give me some space.

This works for us but I wouldn't expect it to work for everyone!

I am however training my kids to be self sufficient the older 2 have to put rubbish in bin, washing in laundry hamper and pick up after themselves or mum shouts! |Seven yr old is moaning cause she has to do more than 4 yr old but am slowly getting through to her that he will have to take on extra chores as he gets older too and that when dd2 is older she will have to learn to do chores as well but at 2 weeks old she can't be doing anything other than eating, sleeping and filling nappies!

holytoast Sun 11-Oct-09 10:58:19

thanks for all the advice - totally can see myself now in lots of those situations, which is scary! I suppose I let him get away with it or so long partly because I am a control freak - and he just doesn't do things properly! the comment about having to wipe up after he has done the washing up - so true!
I am a teacher, so all day, all I do is give in=structions - and to all boys, so I guess I am just so used to doing the mummy act all day! he really isn't a sexist pig - he actually thinks his dad is a pig for sitting around all day and doing nothing for himself, and really doesn't want to turn out like him - he has said so many times when I have tackled him about this that he admires me for everything I do, and that he feels guilty - if he did nothing at all around the house then trust me, I don't think we would be married - its just that for example, yesterday, he was putting up a new ceiling in our soon to be nursery, will be doing the whole room in fact for the next three months or so - something I cant do - so I feel he is pulling his weight in some way - its just the constant battle with the untidyness and expecting the elves to come and pick up ater him that does my head in!I am just scared of becoming this nagging 'er indoors expecting him to do more during the week, when he does do a lot at the weekends..

just fills me with a sense of complete despair when I think about what will happen when baby comes, and when I go back to work!
Did anyones hubby magically change their ways once the bump got bigger, or when the baby came?
or am I just going to have to bite the bullet and start the nagging?

Jamieandhismagictorch Sun 11-Oct-09 11:05:57

Tell him that seeing his cleaning the toilet gives you the horn grin

mummyhill Sun 11-Oct-09 11:08:24

DH does more to help if he is off work. For instance he has just had 2 weeks paternity leave for the arrival of dd2. He has done all the school runs, fetched and carried for me and made me and visitors cups of tea.

Whilst i was pregnant this time round i had spd and hyperemesis so he did a lot of fetching and carrying.

However I know things will slide back to normal when he goes back to work tomorrow as I am physically fit now. It doesn't actually bother me. I knew what I was letting myself in for! We have been together since I was 16 and I tried to change him at the beginning when we moved in together in our early 20's. Now I am in my mid 30's have got used to our routine and am actually happy. I have my own home, a husband who many would see as lazy but he looks after me in his own way, I have 3 lovely children. We have been through a lot in the last 18 years and are looking forward to many more years of muddling through together.

hercules1 Sun 11-Oct-09 11:12:40

It sounds like a lot of you are married to children. I'd hate to be in that situation- picking up where his mother left of shock. Is that really what your life is? WHere is the partnership/adult relationship?

hercules1 Sun 11-Oct-09 11:14:13

Nor could I feel that the way to live my life was to make lists/nag/give instructions etc to my equal partner.
Their parents aren't to blame nor are you. An adult is responsible for their own laziness.

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