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which of us is the control freak?

(27 Posts)
livingonthedge Thu 13-Oct-11 21:13:34

oh has various HW tasks which he does but he does them in a way which makes my life harder (eg folding and stacking clothes from airing cupboard in one big pile so that I have to then resort (and refold) into 5 smaller piles (one per person) to put into all the different cupboards). If I ask him to put them into different piles (explaining why this is easier fo rme) he complains that I am critisising everything he does and that he is only tryng to help. I've now tried doing it myself but he is gettign snappy about this saying that it is not up to me to decide who does each job. The same is happening with various other things. I can't work out what to do - am I a control freak for wanting it done "my way"? Do I just cope with letting him do things his way and put up with the extra work generated? (I know it sounds trivial but he has been away and I've realised how much easier life was just doing it all myself). If you disagree over how something shoudl be done then what normally happens?

AnyPhantomFucker Thu 13-Oct-11 21:15:15

6 of one....

coffeeinbed Thu 13-Oct-11 21:20:48

It never gets done tbh.
We put it off. and off...

LesserOfTwoWeevils Thu 13-Oct-11 22:00:33

Can't putting them in the cupboards be reclassified as part of the folder-and-stacker's job? That way he'd figure out for himself exactly why you were making a fuss about it.
Why does he consider this "helping you"? If he lives in the house then he's responsible for some of the housework.

babyhammock Thu 13-Oct-11 22:23:47

If he can drive a car he can see the merit esp as you have spelt it out to him in stacking them in different piles. Is he thick wink... no.

Through bitter experience, I think men who do crappy jobs when they're supposed to be 'helping' do it either so you won't ask them again or to get a rise.

ScareyFairenuff Thu 13-Oct-11 22:30:23

Why can't everyone fold and stack their own clothes in their own cupboards confused. That's what we do, even the children do their own, it's not a biggie.

mamas12 Thu 13-Oct-11 22:36:11

O oh very trying.
Tell him he needs to finish the job so to speak and after his wonderful amazing folding to put them away too.

livingonthedge Thu 13-Oct-11 22:44:13

the clothes thing is just an easy example - it is everything. Our lives (from my side anyway) seem unstastainable - we rarely manage to eat before 11pm, don't get to bed until 1-2 am. I can't carry on like this as I'm starting to make mistakes at work so I need to get to the stage where I can sit down most evenings at (say) 9.30, eat, relax a bit and get to bed by midnight. I can't rememebr the last time we did that and it seems to be gettign worse not better which is why I'm trying to work out where all the "stuff I have to do" is coming from. I'm realising that oh is generating a fair bit of it. I thought that I could just try to run the house on my own more efficiently and that we could then eat etc earlier but it isn't working. One big issue we have is bed time for the kids (oh is supposed to do it as he likes doing it but he leaves it later and later and so 5 y old is still up at 9pm and tired the next day) so I try to do it but then he says that I'm takingover etc etc. The more I try to sort things, come up with ways to make life easier, the more he bucks against it.

babyhammock Thu 13-Oct-11 22:46:41

I bet asking him to 'put them away too' will entail the OP being accused of being demanding/unreasonble or he'll do it once and everyone will get the wrong things in their cupboards... cue hissy fit if OP has a problem with this something along the lines of never hearing the end of it and OP being an ungrateful hoohaa hmm

LesserOfTwoWeevils Thu 13-Oct-11 22:48:35

You're up till 2 am? shock Is he up till then as well? Or does he finish "helping you" hours before that?
What happens if eg you point out that your 5yo needs to be in bed earlier?

babyhammock Thu 13-Oct-11 22:49:07

Sorry xposted
Livingonthedge I think he's doing it on purpose... do you get that feeling too x

ScareyFairenuff Thu 13-Oct-11 22:54:38

How many children do you have OP? And what sort of hours do you both work. Eating at 11pm and going to bed at 2am! This is crazy (unless you work shifts?). If you and oh cannot agree such a simple matter as bedtime I'm at a bit of a loss at to how you can achieve anything tbh. I can't understand how you live like this, it must be chaotic shock.

Are you obsessive about housework, or do you have a huge house? How about employing a cleaner?

thespeaker Thu 13-Oct-11 22:56:35

It sounds that he is being more unreasonable than you.

If I had to guess I would say that he has never had sole control over the household so he doesn't understand the repercussions of doing a half arsed job. His priority is to get his bit of HW done but he doesn't think about the next stage, which is highly annoying.

clam Thu 13-Oct-11 23:10:33

You've posted about him before, haven't you? I remember the part about getting the kids to bed late.

(Apologies if I'm wrong)

The clothes folding would annoy me too.

livingonthedge Thu 13-Oct-11 23:14:28

am not OCD and house not huge - just loads of stuff (oh will not throw anything away) and kids have lots of "stuff" and are v untidy. oh spoils them and lets tehm get away with being mesy then flips and shouts. I don't like their being shouted at so hard to do much. We do agree about bed time - it is just that he wants to do it but then leaves it until late. I suspect that he does not want to spend time alone with me and so keeps kids up

buzzskeleton Thu 13-Oct-11 23:27:19

He's a hoarder?

FiniteIncantatem Thu 13-Oct-11 23:29:18

If he doesn't do bedtime when he should then you have to say take over from me the kids need to go to bed. Then he can cook/ do housework, or whatever you were doing. If he complains, then you point out that 5 yr old is knackered and needs to go to bed. It is not fair that they are suffering because he doesn't want to spend time with you.
If things are that bad, why are you still together? confused

babyhammock Thu 13-Oct-11 23:42:49

You said in yor other post, you think you love him confused

Why? You don't think he wants to spend any time with you and he actively makes your life harder (FFS doesn't he care you're exhausted!). Whats to love sad
Personally I think that what he's doing is another way of controlling you aside from using his temper. He's keeping you exhausted IMO.

livingonthedge Thu 13-Oct-11 23:53:22

I can't work out how much of it is delibarate and how much of it is his and my being disorganised. He doesn't really hoard as such but he does generate clutter. He also wants life to be too perfect and too full - will pack in too many activities of an evening/weekend and so we never manage to clean up after one before we do the next. We just had a conversation about the car. I can't offer people lifts because it is such a pit. I spent 2 hours on it last week and found a whole wash load of the kids clothes in it. oh had put them in there "just in case" each time he took them out (whilst I was a work) only every time he puts in a new set so they all get grubby (as car gruggy) etc. I suggested that we just had one set of "emergancy clothes" that lived in the car and that we just replaced them if they got used. oh will not agree - says that we (ie I) must put them in each time then take them back out and then put them away then next day repeat process etc etc. This seems mad to me.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Fri 14-Oct-11 00:07:23

I was going to ask why, about the car ritual, but it's not a rational thing to do. As you say, it sounds mad.
But why must you do as he says?
Whether hes doing it deliberately or not, it sounds unbearable.
What did he say when you said you can't give people lifts as a result of the car nonsense?

garlicScaresVampires Fri 14-Oct-11 00:21:22

Whether he's driven by some unconscious weirdness or being deliberately (but sneakily) obstructive, he is causing chaos and making family life unmanageable. You're becoming tetchy and critical because you're trying to stem an ever-rising tide of minor problems, which would make anybody a bit control-freakish. You can't carry on like this, neither can your children!

You would probably both benefit from reading Wifework by Susan Mauhaus, but I bet he won't read it. Your post about the car clothes makes me think he is doing it on purpose: he sees all domestic management as your job and tries to push the point home by "helping" ineptly.

Point out, very surely, that it's not a matter of helping YOU as your home, children, car, laundry, etc are shared benefits and responsibilities. Never tell him what to do or where things are, just vaguely say "I don't know" and "Where you left it". This is a bit tiring when you're used to getting stuff done, but it has been known to pay off in the end. At the worst stretch, it won't kill the DC to get themselves a sandwich and go to bed unwashed for a week or so ... When they start begging for some proper parenting, tell them to ask daddy!

Go on strike, sporadically offering to "help" him ... and do just that. Renounce all initiatives, do no shopping, laundry, cooking, driving, etc (you may have to do this when DC are off school!) Even better, go away for a week with a friend and leave him to it.

I haven't seen your other threads but, reading between the lines of your replies on here, you may have to dump him. If nothing else, that might reveal his true priorities.

Oh, and get yourself fed and tucked in on time! Somebody's got to stay sane, and it's going to have to be you ...

Doitnicelyplease Fri 14-Oct-11 02:35:40

He sounds a bit manic 'too perfect and too full' sounds like classic manic behaviour, does he ever crash and get depressed or does he always think everything is fine?

garlicScaresVampires Fri 14-Oct-11 03:32:45

That's a good point, Doit. He's not exactly winning on the 'perfect' front, though, is he?! Have you noticed his overdrive revving up over time, OP? How much sleep does he need these days?

Bipolar cycles can be very long. I knew somebody who had a 24-year mania shock but they can easily last 5 years. (That bloke's crisis was horrendous, he nearly killed hundreds of people.)

ScareyFairenuff Fri 14-Oct-11 08:32:38

Your oh has unreasonable expectations. If you work until you're exhausted just to try and achieve them, you are reinforcing his idea that it is possible to 'have it all'.

I would suggest that you concentrate on looking after yourself and your dcs. If you want your ds in bed by 7 then you need to feed him by 5.30, it can be something simple like pasta, run his bath at 6.00 and read him a story in bed at 6.45, a little cuddle and a chat, then lights out at 7. If your oh gets cross, ignore it, be calm and say I'm just getting him off to bed on time. Whatever your oh says, (you're interfering, don't ask me to do it then, etc.) ignore it or repeat I'm just getting him off to bed on time.

On a daily basis do the minimum housework, concentrate on feeding and looking after yourself and dcs. Get a slow cooker that you can chuck things in the night before and turn on in the morning, then dinner will be ready when you get in. Make lunchboxes the night before too. (My children made their own from age 7). Get them to help by picking up their stuff and putting it away. If oh complains say, I'm just teaching them how to care for their things (repeat as necessary).

Catch up on housework at the weekend and if oh arranges to go and do things, he'll have to go without you. Tell him I'd love to dear, but got to get the washing/hoovering/tidying/shopping done first. Smile and repeat as necessary.

Don't ask him to do anything, it's not worth the aggro. But don't do things for him that he can do himself. He can wash, iron, put away his own clothes, tidy his stuff, clean out his car, pay his own bills, etc. If he leaves a lot of stuff lying around, get a big box and put all of his things in it and keep it somewhere out of sight (bedroom or garage).

There are loads of others things I could suggest to make life easier on a daily basis but the real problem is how you and your oh communicate. You say one thing, he doesn't answer it but instead makes a defensive comment, you get drawn into a discussion about a side issue. You - the car's a mess it's full of dirty clothes. Him - well you're not supposed to leave them in there. You - when have I got time to be taking clothes in and out of the car. And so begins a pointless nonproductive argument. confused

You can't control his actions but you can stop pandering to them. If he doesn't like it he can either change or leave.

NettleTea Fri 14-Oct-11 09:51:31

That car business is madness, your idea about one spare set kept in the car is right. Just do it.
The 5 year old in bed at 9 is crazy and risks seriously affecting his health and education. You both agree he needs to be in bed at 7, just do it.
You dont need to be clearing HIS clutter til 2 am, you need to eat early and get to bed at a reasonable time so that you can think and function normally. Why dont you eat with the DC for a few days and get an early night. Let him chose to eat alone at 11 if he wants to. chances are he wont want to do that too much.

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