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Pregnant but husband not pulling weight

(31 Posts)
MistressKatherine Thu 11-Dec-14 11:30:23

I'm at my wits end and need to know if I am expecting too much or not.

I'm 13 weeks with a planned baby. My husband and I have been together for eight years. The only blight on that time is his lack of help around the house. We both work full time stressful jobs, and have always had a list of jobs we each do. Unfortunately his are sporadic at best and ignored at worst. Hoovering, dishwasher and rubbish is all he has to do.

We both said we would do more to keep the house tidy and get in good habits now baby is coming. It didn't happen on his part. So a month ago I started the convo again which was ignored. I didn't want him to keep ignoring it so I basically didn't let up for five days. It worked for two weeks and now we are back to zero.

What in gods name do I do? I realise this is small potatoes to a lot of people. But his attitude is crap. He says he does other things (by which he means sorting out the majority of our remortgage) and works long hours so doesn't want to waste his time doing jobs when he could be having fun. I get his point but his complete lack of empathy and ability to get what I am saying is driving a wedge between us at a very special time.

I do more jobs anyway. All I want is for him to do those he agreed. I don't want to sound like an overbearing pregnant lady but I don't want to let this go. It's going to be harder with a baby.

Please please any advice would be amazing!!!

TimefIies Thu 11-Dec-14 11:43:55

It kind of depends on how you view the issue.

If you view it that, in not contributing to the housework, he is disrespecting you and your shared home, you need to tell him it makes you feel this way, and you're concerned about going into parenthood with unequal effort levels.

If you see it as purely a practical problem, can you get a cleaner in once a week? Obviously they won't be able to load the dishwasher after every meal or put the bins out when needed, but they could free up your time from some of the other jobs.

Why do you think he doesn't do the housework? (If you don't know, it's worth having a frank discussion with him.) Did he choose those jobs to be his? Would he prefer to do other tasks, such as laundry and clean the bathroom, and for you to do the tasks he's been allocated? Is he feeling depressed or stressed and these jobs just aren't on his radar? Did he previously contribute around the house earlier in your relationship, or in previous homes he lived in? Does he just not mind mess as much as you? E.g. is he happy to leave all the dishes til there's a full load for the dishwasher, or does he think hoovering needs doing less often often than you think it does?

MistressKatherine Thu 11-Dec-14 12:24:08

Hi Timeflies. It's the first one. I have always been focused on us sharing housework because it's fair and even more now because I want to set our child a good example.

I'm glad your coming up with the ideas I have tried! Makes me think I was on the right lines. He simply doesn't want to do it. I have asked him if he would prefer to do other jobs but he just says he doesn't want to do any. It's not an option.

He started a new job recently with longer hours, which would have made me give him more slack. ONLY the last year I was in a job where I was at work 14 hours a day. I asked him to takeover making tea. It didn't happen and he wouldn't help me with my jobs so as stupid as it sounds I don't really feel like being anymore sympathetic than he was.

It's got to the stage where I am considering stopping making his tea and washing his clothes to show him how annoying it is to rely on someone and be let down.

The thing which has really riled me though is when he comes home and picks at me for not tidying the kitchen properly. When I tell him he can always do it himself he says if I tidied properly all the time then housework would never exist. Eh?!!! Load of crap. And don't get me started on how he tells me off for not ironing. It is the one job I have told him from the beginning I will never do. Instead of ironing his own shirts he berates me for not doing it.

I'm tired of being treated like a slave with one rule for me and another for him.

I'm so sorry for ranting. I just don't know who this man is sometimes, he can be so kind and caring except with this. He knows how much I need him to switch on now and he just sits there and ignores me. And slowly I'm turning into the wicked witch of the west.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 11-Dec-14 12:45:56

Sorry but he is arsehole and will not change. He does not view it as his job to cook and clean and look after himself. By marrying you, he has appointed you to that role.

What job does he do that means he can't make his own meals or iron his own shirt? Landmine clearance? UN peace negotiation? A&E paediatric surgeon? 7 figure salary city trader?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 11-Dec-14 12:53:26

Did he live alone before he lived with you? if so, and tbh even if not! he should be able to do basic bloody housework in addition to his job. My dh would be on a hiding to nothing if he expected me to iron his uniform.

And berating you for not cleaning the kitchen to his standards?

Id be questioning whether I wanted this to be my life for the next 50 years.

HermioneWeasley Thu 11-Dec-14 12:58:04

Not sure why you thought having a baby and bringing more work into the household would make him change from being lazy and selfish.

Here is a clue from the hundreds of similar threads from women on their third or fourth child with similar men - he will not change. You will become exhausted and resentful.

MistressKatherine Thu 11-Dec-14 13:36:23

Thanks everyone. God I do make him sound like a complete nob don't i.

Hermione - we didn't decide to have a baby in the vain hope he would do more jobs. It is something we both very much wanted. I was naive in thinking he would understand doing more was necessary but then again he did know this from the beginning and said it to me. It frustrates me that he is so understanding at everything else and shite at this.

We met at uni where his mum would clean his room out at the end of term. I should have seen the flashing light then. But both his parents do house work so he was set a good example.

Sod it. I'm going to stop whinging to you poor people and just go all out war. Thanks for your help.

TimefIies Thu 11-Dec-14 14:03:32

Sounds like you need to tell him this is serious - people get divorced over things like this, and you don't want it to get out of hand. He is not behaving reasonably, and most partners would not put up with this. Not many people "want" to do housework, but they do it because they want their home to be a pleasant place.

Does he have any control over his hours? Sounds like he's blaming his hours for his inability to cook tea or do any housework. If he has a day off or two in a week, can he do all his ironing & so on that day? If he has a long commute, can he stay away a couple of nights and do longer hours those days, so he has more time on the days he's at home? Can he change his contract to have less hours?

It's fine for one partner to do more housework than the other, if both are happy with that arrangement. But it sounds like you're doing almost everything, and neither of you are happy with the arrangement. How do you think he would respond if you suggested relationship counselling? It might be the kick up the aahs he needs.

Jodie1982 Thu 11-Dec-14 14:12:20

Your going to need his help even more so once you have an aching huge bump and possibly in too much pain to bend over to scrub bathroom, push the vacuum or load the washing machine etc, I'm having to depend on my DP so much more now, it's bloody annoying as he's shite at Hoovering! Hope he changes for you Hun. Good luck x

ovaltine Thu 11-Dec-14 14:19:36

Stop doing his washing and get yourself a chippy on the way home. He'll soon get the hint

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 11-Dec-14 14:29:33

Sod it. I'm going to stop whinging to you poor people and just go all out war.

I hope you mean this. flowers

Karasea Thu 11-Dec-14 14:37:16

You have a bigger problem than housework. He has no respect for your time and is critical and controlling. His attitude is a mysoginistic FFS woman just do all the domestic shit properly (because you are only worth this and I am worth more) so I can enjoy my time properly.

I would insist on couples counselling and unpick this with him because couples divorce over this when it is apparent the compete lack of respect one has for the other.

Makes me think of an old friend who started having lots of sex having not had much for a while. She explained if was because her husband had started doing the washing up each night and it changed her whole mindset!

And you haven't even started on mess and tedious jobs yet, wait til the child or children are here. All sorts of shit to deal with then.

NickyEds Thu 11-Dec-14 14:38:05

If you don't want to clean your own home (as it seems he doesn't), you can either;
1. Live in filth -With the nit picking about your cleaning this probably isn't the case.
2. Pay someone to do it for you.
3. Marry someone and assume they'll be mug enough to do it.
It's unfortunate that he works long hours and is tired etc when he comes home, but you know what?? Tough shit. Stuff needs doing and his list of jobs is pitiful. The baby will make this problem worse not better. Get a cleaner and bill him. Sort yourself out, do your washing etc and just leave his.
I know this is really maddening/upsetting and as a pp said it's a big deal if it's part of a bigger picture. I like the idea of bringing couples counselling into it. Might just make him realise how important it is to you.

Donkeysleighbellsringing Thu 11-Dec-14 15:21:44

I hope he bucks his ideas up but I worry it's too late to undo what he's got away with for so long. Not pitching is bad enough, he has a nerve to then moan about stuff not being done to his satisfaction.

When someone who supposedly loves us just will not cooperate on something like this, it makes one wonder what he is thinking. Can't be bothered? She'll cave in if I leave it? My time is more valuable than hers?

At this rate he is going to be 'fun' dad, only hands-on when that suits him too I expect.

Theorientcalf Thu 11-Dec-14 16:20:20

I worry that when this baby arrives you will still be doing everything plus all the baby care. With a newborn there's little time for housework or cooking, so he's going to have to buck his ideas up as you are going to be busy with a baby. Do not be rushing around trying to clean.

Has he emerged from the 1950s? You aren't his maid and skivvy. So he doesn't want to do housework? Does anyone? I'm betting you don't want to do it either but someone has to do it, that's just life. I would definitely stop cooking for him and stop washing his clothes, any rubbish he leaves around dump it on his side of the bed, any clothes in black bags. You are not his mother and he needs to stop treating you as such.

Having a baby will really test you, you need to sort this out now else you will end up resenting him. What a bloody useless man child he is. It's totally disrespectful. Do not let him be the Disney Dad and just do the fun stuff.

dreamingbohemian Thu 11-Dec-14 16:33:53

I actually strongly suggest you get relationship counselling before the baby comes. His attitude that he doesn't want to do any housework so he's just not going to is.... breathtaking. You need someone to knock some sense into him.

The reason I say this is because even if you can get him to improve a bit now, when you go on ML I would 100% guarantee that he will expect you to do 100% around the house. If you want to avoid that you need not just more effort from him, but a wholesale attitude change. I'm not going to lie, I think you're actually pretty screwed, but what can you do.

This is NOT a small thing and you will end up divorcing if he doesn't pull his weight once DC are here.

juneavrile Thu 11-Dec-14 16:41:50

Get a cleaner, it shouldn't be a stretch on 2 salaries and you will want one after the baby arrives. And if he wants clothes ironed, he must do it himself or get someone local to take it in.

If you give a little bit, you'll be stuffed for life. He'll only think of more shit for you to do.

dayspringjubilee Fri 12-Dec-14 00:14:35

We have quite a flexible approach in my household - back when we were trying to do a strict division of labor I would get resentful if anything was left undone, but now we have fallen into a routine where I do most of the routine work and husband does the bigger jobs when he has time. I absolutely think your husband should show you consideration, but I don't think it's necessary to stake the marriage on it, especially in the middle of a pregnancy. You did mention he has a lot of good points - what are they? If they add up to him bring a good guy who respects you, it's worth finding a compromise. I like the idea of discussing with him getting a cleaner a couple hours a week - get an idea of prices and tell him that ALL the work is too much for you with the strain of pregnancy. If has not happy to do housework, ask him to consider paying for it. Personally I think going on strike with his laundry, meals, etc, would just lead to a major battle, and you don't need that stress while you're growing your baby. smile

TwoLittleTerrors Fri 12-Dec-14 02:13:34

Get a cleaner. There is no way he would change. He hasn't changed in 8 years.

GettingJiggyWithIt Fri 12-Dec-14 03:28:13

Not a minor issue.
If you can afford it get a cleaner established NOW.
If you can't afford it then kick him into touch NOW.
Dishwasher loaded at the latest before he goes to bed....set away in the morning before going to work.
Hoovering is a piece of piss anyway....he can do while listening to music.
Rubbish out EVERY day....Will only get worse with nappies.
Honestly? These chores are miniscule.
If he doesn't like that draw up a rota with every damn thing fifty fifty, must be done by midnight or he does double next day.
It WILL be tough with a new born. He has no idea what is going to hit him.He has to grow up now and step up.

theonewiththenoisychild Fri 12-Dec-14 05:54:14

he sounds like a lazy a** with no respect at all. my oh helps out and he has a disability with one of his legs being very very painful at times. The attitude you have to put up with wouldnt wash with me. ive been in part brought up by my dad who was a single father and can do everything a mother can apart from give birth and breastfeed grin this i dont want to do it so im not going to attitude is lazy selfish and petulant. he needs to grow the hell up and FAST!!! and the nit picking would drive me crazy. im 24 weeks pregnant some days i dont hoover because it looks ok and im exausted. My oh would be a very brave and stupid man to nit pick at me for not doing it

WingsClipped Fri 12-Dec-14 07:26:48

"doesn't want to waste his time doing jobs when he could be having fun" wow. If only we could all just spend our lives having fun eh? hmm I'm sorry but unless he is absolutely loaded and has several maids running after him, he doesn't have an option of just having fun. He is a grown man, with a wife and soon a kid. He needs to grow up

WingsClipped Fri 12-Dec-14 07:28:05

And I'm sorry but not pulling his weight and then complaining that you aren't doing your bits properly! I don't know how you put up with it.

brererabbit Fri 12-Dec-14 09:13:13

Sympathy here op thanks . I had a man like this and the more pregnant I got and things I couldn't do, the more nasty and abusive he became . I decided to ltb just a few weeks after giving birth.
Best decision ever.
I'm not saying do that. . at all..
Just that it's not ok to be treated like that. being taken for granted a bit is one thing but looking after someone and having them pick on you is unfair.
Let him know you won't spend the rest of your life this way. sorry I don't have better advice biscuit

Jackiebrambles Fri 12-Dec-14 09:26:05

Urgh, sorry OP he does sound like an arse.

My first thought is definitely get a cleaner. We got one just before our first baby arrived and it was the best thing we ever did. I love her so much. It costs us £40 per week (4 bed house) and it’s the best money we spend, no spending weekend time hovering or cleaning the bathroom. It’s all just done!

Of course we do still have to clean the kitchen as we go and do washing but as its so much less work its much better.

I don’t think a cleaner is going to solve all your problems though. The fact that he berates you for not ironing his shirts or cleaning the kitchen properly absolutely galls me when you both work full time. Who the actual fuck does he think he is??

My husband sends his shirts out to a shirt service that washes and irons them.

I hope your all out war has begun, we are behind you!!!

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