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Running around after an absent-minded husband

(16 Posts)
spondulix Sun 21-Oct-12 21:58:39

DH is usually a great husband and father BUT he is so absent minded. He is conscientious to a fault in his work but in the last week, for example, I've had to remind him to: give money back to a friend that he owes; return an item to another friend of his and call X person about Y.

Yesterday I was busy all day so I asked him to do the grocery shop. I usually do this myself. He neglected to turn the list over(!) so didn't see it was two-sided. He also forgot half the items on the list that he saw anyway!

I was annoyed this morning because many of the items were essential (nappies, milk, an extra duvet for a guest who is coming to stay in a couple of days etc). So I have had to go and do an extra shop (with cross toddler in tow). He was annoyed that I was annoyed and said that I was 'pecking' him. I was so angry. If I didn't 'peck' him he wouldn't remember anything. He also mentioned that I didn't thank him for doing the shopping. This was probably said in the heat of the moment because he's not a petty person at all, but I was just so cross because I usually do the shopping and the washing etc and don't expect thanks - it's just something you do as part of a couple.

I'm very tempted to stop with the 'pecking' hmm and let anything that's not directly my responsibility to slide.

Can anyone else relate? I know it's not the greatest of problems in the scheme of things and won't end my marriage or anything but it's just sooo infuriating to be the personal/social secretary.

Just had a thought - is he absent minded because he knows I will pick up the slack?!

spondulix Sun 21-Oct-12 22:01:18

BTW - before anyone suggests online shopping to make my life easier we've recently moved somewhere that doesn't offer this service. How I miss it! I can't even click on any 'isn't ASDA/TESCO online shit' threads without tearing up.

Floralnomad Sun 21-Oct-12 22:04:32

If he can remember things at work he's just taking the piss . Stop picking up the slack and treating him like one of the children and let him get on with it .

legoballoon Sun 21-Oct-12 22:07:29

Surely one of the supermarkets covers your postcode area? Or are you on the Outer Hebrides.

Re. your DH, I think they will slide into treating you like a PA if you let them - not just blokes, anyone. Maybe reallocate some of the household tasks so he does things more regularly and then doesn't fall out of practice.

I hate the terms 'henpecking' and 'nagging', almost exclusively used by men to belittle the helpful reminders offered by their partners. Kick him in the specials if he uses that term again.

And try writing a PTO on the bottom of any shopping lists smile

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 21-Oct-12 22:08:13

Stop doing it.

Unless it is something that directly affects you or your children then leave him to fuck up.

Heavensmells Sun 21-Oct-12 22:08:20

I can relate. When I stop the pecking though and things start to slide a am a simmering cauldron if resentment!

joanofarchitrave Sun 21-Oct-12 22:08:37

Maybe I can be a useful poster, as I am the absent-minded one in our relationship. I'm afraid I think there is an element of truth in the 'absent minded because someone picks up the slack' theory, but tbh I was a ditz long before dh was around so it's not deliberate IYSWIM.

I would stop getting involved in stuff between him and other people - if a person has lent him money, let them chase for it. Focus efforts on the things that actually matter to you as a family/couple.

If he asks to be thanked for basic stuff again, just laugh and say 'Oh sorry, I assumed you were joking'. Having said that, I do thank dh for stuff he does for us as a couple, and he thanks me. It's nice. It's good to be nicest to the person you're supposed to love.

spondulix Sun 21-Oct-12 22:08:39

Yes I think I'm going to take that approach. I think part of the problem is that his work is very much there right in front of him and it's easy to see what needs to be doing. Whereas odd errands etc aren't so immediate.

I think I'm going to stop doing his washing, too.

tallwivglasses Sun 21-Oct-12 22:09:49

And remind him to thank you every time you do the shopping. Jesus!

spondulix Sun 21-Oct-12 22:11:28

Heaven - I am worried about that happening! = simmering cauldron of resentment.

joan - "It's good to be nicest to the person you're supposed to love." that made my eyes go a bit damp. We do thank each other for most things I guess but picking up socks/sweeping the floor - not so much.

LemonDrizzled Sun 21-Oct-12 22:47:08

Hi spondulix I was married to a boffin like yours for 26 years before I cracked and ran away. I think it is the thin end of the wedge to start picking up the slack for them. Having someone else do all the worrying, remembering and list writing would be lovely wouldn't it? I enabled my Ex to progress in his career to a very high level while I did all the shit stuff at home. I grew bitter and resentful eventually.
I would suggest you read Wifework to see how the dynamic works.

If I had my time again I would sit him down and spell out that he is an adult and responsible for himself. I would say I want an equal partner not another gifted child. Then I would stand back and let him take the consequences of his behaviour. I don't know if that would have made a difference as my Ex was/is an entitled selfish pig! But it might help if your DH is a reasonable person
Good luck!

spondulix Sun 21-Oct-12 22:53:06

Oh dear, that doesn't sound good, Lemon. However, mine's not really a 'boffin', just someone who has the inability to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.

I will read Wifework though - definitely. Thanks for the suggestion.

"Having someone else do all the worrying, remembering and list writing would be lovely wouldn't it?"

Yes it would.

LemonDrizzled Sun 21-Oct-12 22:59:25

I used to feel like a hard drive for data storage. ExH always looked to me for names, addresses, birthdays and so on like I was a walking RAM accessory

tallwivglasses Sun 21-Oct-12 23:16:09

Ha! To paraphrase SGB, that's what so many of us are: a RAM accessory with a vagina attachment shock

LadyLapsang Sun 21-Oct-12 23:17:48

The easiest way to get someone like this to learn at work or at home is just don't pick up the slack - oh dear we're out of nappies, they were on the list (you need to go back to the shop and get them).

spondulix Sun 21-Oct-12 23:38:36

"a RAM accessory with a vagina attachment"

That is so depressing. Ten years ago I would've said this wasn't me but it's scary how this is resonating right now.

Yes from now everything is going to change. I have been thinking and I'm the one who organises every single holiday, all the day-to-day stuff ('remember you pick dd up at this time' for example). Even though we have a wall calendar (filled in by me, naturally). I am just going to sit bacak and let the chips fall where they may, even if it means we never go anywhere and people stop inviting us places because DH forgot to return an RSVP or didn't pay them back for whatever.

legoballoon sorry, didn't see your post before. I always laughed at PTOs - who the hell is too thick to realise that if a page is full of writing the writer MIGHT have carried onto the next page? <hollow laugh>. And we live in a country where there is no online shopping, unfortunately! Backwards or what?!

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