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In asking for help in writing a letter to my dh re his attitude (may be long)

(188 Posts)
pingu2209 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:13:22

This sounds really pathetic but I would really appreciate some help in writing a letter to my dh re his attitude towards me and housework.

DH is really annoid at me about the state of the house and the amount of washing that has not been put away. However, he does't help me AT ALL in the house, he just moans and moans at what I haven't done. I can't speak to him about it as he is so angry and he goads me as I am talking to him. I want to write him a letter that he can read it again and my side of the story sinks in.

So many of you write excellent responses to posts on here, that I believe you could come with some great scentences and lines that I can use in my letter to DH.

My DH works full time in the City and commutes for 1 hour 20 mins each way. He has a stressful job and earns a good wage. I am a dinner lady working 5 days a week, 9 till 3 in the village we live in. I walk a mile each way every day, have little stress but it is an active job for 5 hours a day (plus my walk).

His salary pays for the mortgage, cars, utilities, food, clothes. My salary (£540/month) pays for the luxuries such as the children's after school and weekend activities, take aways, cinema trips, babysitters etc.

Before and after school I look after our 3 children, aged 5, 7 and 9. The 9 year old has SEN and has major temper tantrums regularly. Mon, Tues and Wed I have a full schedule of after school activities and either a Thurs or Fri we have a play date.

On a Saturday my dh takes DS2 to football for an hour in the morning, whilst I take DS1 and DD to swimming. Swimming is 1 1/2 hours (lesson followed by a swim club), DD doesn't swim so I have to keep her entertained for the 90 mins.

On a Sunday morning both boys play rugby for 2 hours. All of us go as DH feels it is 'family time' where 1 parent watches 1 boy and the other parent watches the other boy - and looks after DD.

After football and rugby I cook a meal for the 5 of us for lunch, do washing of clothes, shopping and tidy the kitchen. DH likes a roast on a Sunday too. I then look after DS2 and DD for the afternoon by taking them to the park, doing arts and crafts with them and doing their homework with them. Once that is done I start all over again on cooking dinner for the 5 of us.

DH is tired all the time and his way of relaxing is to sit in front of the TV. DS1 would easily sit with him and watch TV for hours on end. But DS2 and DD won't do that so whilst he is 'looking after DS1' I am trying to keep DS2 and DD entertained. But that is the 'harder' job. DH WONT not watch TV as he says it is his only time to relax after his extremely hard job.

DH does nothing. No washing, no cleaning, no cooking, no tidying of the kitchen, no shopping, no housework at all. He doesn't even put the bins out. He will eat a meal and leave all his dirty plates on the dining table and walks out of the room to the TV, expecting me to clear everything away.

All of this I do not mind, I would put up with all of it, have done for 16 years! What I can't stand is that DH gets into the greatest of bad moods because the house is messy with the biggest issue of all being that although there are clean clothes, they are not put away in the wardrobes and drawers. They are in a massive pile on the landing. We have to riffle through them each day to find what we need to wear.

I HATE putting the washing away. Every now and then I will sort it into 5 piles and each person has to put their own clothes away. The children hate doing it, but as I do everything else I really don't think it is too much to ask. However, DH COMPLAINS that he has to put his own clothes away too!!!!

I'm not saying I don't have time to rest and relax, I have about 1/2 hour in the mornings and about 90 mins on a Thurs and Fri evening. I spend my R&R drinking coffee and sitting in front of my computer on Facebook or Mumsnet! But I am allowed some time to myself surely.

DH is all pissy because he can't find the boys' rugby gear for tomorrow morning. Yes it is a nightmare going through Ben Nevis of clothes, but he does nothing so I don't think he has the right to complain.

Please help. Am I being unreasonable generally? Would you help with some lines that I can use in my letter?

peggyblackett Sun 10-Feb-13 07:09:57

Oh and stop ironing. DH can iron his own work shirts, or pay for an ironing service. Ironing is quite frankly a waste of people's lives.

fuzzpig Sun 10-Feb-13 07:24:04

What a monumental arsehat.

I think with your very busy lives it isn't surprising you can't keep up with the housework. I wouldn't be able to manage all that. A cleaner would help.

Although it wouldn't help your H's shitty attitude.

SilentMammoth Sun 10-Feb-13 07:27:41

Total side note op, but have recently minimised everyone s wardrobe (family of seven) & putting away sooo much easier!

ledkr Sun 10-Feb-13 07:38:53

I had another though if you are still there.
It is your job and duty to raise children who can form healthy relationships in the 21st century. Because not many families live like yours the next generation will think the same. Therefore your children will find it difficult to have balanced relationships as they just won't find girlfriends or wives who will wait on them. When I see my sons with their partners and one with his child I am glad their example was a balanced one.
I am also safe in the knowledge that dds will never be a mans servant.
I really hope you do something op.
Your husband really isn't typical of most men today.

ThereGoesTheYear Sun 10-Feb-13 07:39:21

I'm shocked at all the posters telling you how to be a 'better housewife' and ignoring the fact that your husband treats you like an indentured servant.

You should each have the same amount of free time each week (him sitting watching tv whilst ignoring a child is free time).
You should have the same amount of cash to spend on yourselves.
Even if the 2 things above are in place, the disrespect has to stop: he has to stop walking away from the table as if he were in a restaurant; and he has to stop handing you a shirt in the evening to iron.
How about you go to rugby and he stays at home to sort out the washing if it bothers him that much?
And for the purposes of calculation, since there is no break between school run and work, that's your working day. And getting the children up and dressed and fed isn't a hobby either, is it?

JakeBullet Sun 10-Feb-13 07:55:21

I agree he sounds like an utterly lazy arse despite the fact that he works hard during the week. You are his wife and he is treating you like a servant, my exH was like this (and note I said EX). Life was stressful for a year after we left and I would NEVER go back to him. Life with me and our DC is soooo much better without him.

How is your OH otherwise with you? You are not a skivvy, a waitress, a laundry service or a cleaner. You also work for the luxuries, personally Id be stashing some of that cash so I had a running away fund.

In the meantime get the children helping with things like tidying their rooms, making their beds and putting their clothes away. Hire a cleaner.....tell him this is non-negotiable and he either pays up or shuts up about the house....or even better rolls up his sleeves like a grown up and get cleaning.

flow4 Sun 10-Feb-13 08:15:26

Good grief pingu, how stressful. Threads like this make me glad I'm a single parent, to be honest.

I'm another one who thinks you need to do less and your husband needs to do more. I also think a change of perspective on a few key things might help. How about...

- Instead of thinking of your salary as paying for 'luxuries', think of it as paying for the mortgage and a cleaner. Your DH can pay for all the other bits that everyone tends to think aren't really needed anyway, so aren't valued.

- Instead of thinking that you work 5 hours per day, think of the fact that you work from the moment he leaves the house in the morning until the moment he gets back - say 7:30am-6:30pm, with 30 mins off at 9am and another 30 mins off at about noon. You therefore work the same hours as him, and you both need to share the 'evening shift'.

- Instead of thinking of his commuting as part of his working day, think of it as time he gets to himself. I commute about an hour a day, and I know I relish the head-space, and the freedom to listen to the radio, wind down and think before I get home and start cooking for the kids.

- Instead of thinking about what he doesn't do, think about what he does do. Is it enough for you, in the wider scheme of things? Does he have other strengths and redeeming features that you haven't mentioned here, which you like so much that mean it's worth putting up with him being a lazy arse?

As far as I can see, the whole point of being in a relationship when you have children is to share the work and have an ally with whom you can 'face life' more easily and happily. If your husband is taking more than he gives, then you might as well be a single parent... I can guarantee life will be easier than what you describe here - because at the very least, you will not have someone moaning at you for the way you are doing things.

Euphemia Sun 10-Feb-13 08:32:20

^ what flow4 said.

Grown up partners get on with what needs to be done. They don't just do what they feel like.

MidnightMasquerader Sun 10-Feb-13 08:51:39

Your mistake, Pingu, was to post this in AIBU, the last bastion of the Stepford Wives. I cannot believe the people giving you advice on how to do even more housework... hmm hmm

Your libido must be on the floor, right??

How can you POSSIBLY fancy someone who treats you like a skivvy, like a maid, like a servant??

Fucking hell, threads like this depress me. sad

<squeezes lovely, helpful DH>

flow4 Sun 10-Feb-13 09:03:22

Dear husband,

I am unhappy, exhausted and stressed. We have very different perspectives on a lot of things, and I would really like us to understand each other's perspective better. I don't seem to be able to explain to you face-to-face what is bothering me, so I am writing this letter. I hope it helps you understand.

Some of this may come as a shock to you, because I have been plodding along without complaining (much) for sixteen years. I'm sorry I haven't spoken to you about all this sooner. But really, I have only just realised how much it is bothering me.

I am doing much more work than you in this family. I don't think you will agree, because you think of me as working just 5 hours a day. But in fact, I am working - either in my job or with the kids - from the moment you leave the house in the morning until the moment you get back. The same hours as you, in other words.

Because of this, I strongly feel we need to share the evening and weekend 'shifts'. I am just as tired as you by 6:30pm, so I really do understand your urge to sit down in front of the TV and do nothing for a bit. Can we please discuss how we could both get some time to relax in the evening?

I hope I don't need to explain all the details of what I do, day in and day out, but I will if you need me to. I would like to believe you realised how much work is involved in looking after three children and a house, but I do sometimes worry that you might have forgotten.

We need to share the work that still needs doing when you are at home. At the moment I am doing all of it, and it is not fair. Things need to change. For instance, if I cook, you need to clear up. Sometimes you need to cook. And you need to take responsibility for doing your own ironing. I feel incredibly insulted and taken-for-granted when you walk away from the dinner table without helping to clear up even your own plate, let alone the children's. It makes me feel like a waitress or a servant, rather than your wife.

I would like you to think about what household jobs you would need to do if you lived alone: shopping, laundry, a bit of cleaning, at least some cooking... To be honest, I think you should be doing at least that much work around the house now - and probably more, since we have three children.

I have been asking myself whether life would be easier or more difficult without you. At the moment, the sad answer is that it would be easier. I would be tidying up after just three people, not four. I would be able to get the kids to help more, which at the moment I cannot do, because they can't see why they should do anything, when their daddy does not.

And most importantly, at the moment I feel like my life would be easier if I lived without you because at least I would not have someone moaning at me. It is incredibly stressful and sad, to cook and clean and wash and iron and care for you, and still have you moan about what I am doing.

So... I need you to do some very practical things: I need you to share the evening and weekend work with me, and I need to you stop moaning at me.

I have lots of ideas for dealing with specific tasks and problems. We can get a cleaner, for instance, if you don't want to do much more housework. You can use a laundry service, if you don't want to wash and iron your shirts. We can have a rota, so everyone - including the children - know what jobs they have to do, and when. I'm sure you will have other ideas too.

I really hope we can resolve this. I love you, and we have spent sixteen years together. When I married you, I hoped we would share our lives happily, and we'd be 'allies' together, each of us giving as much as we take. I don't think our relationship is like that any more, and I want it to be back like that - equal and balanced and supportive and loving. Do you?


ledkr Sun 10-Feb-13 09:09:00

Ok. Dh has to work tonight till 12. I have a day off.
I was up with poorly dd so he got up with dd2 who woke at 6.39
I woke at 7.30 and told him to go back to bed as he is working late.
As he went up he said thanks and leave the kitchen ill clear up.
I will make sure I do it so he can relax knowing he's got work at four.
Just an example if how normal people consider each other. Dh is a pushover and if I wanted to I could have stayed in bed until lunchtime get up ignored messy kitchen and watched tv. He's too nice to say anything and loves his kids so would see to them.
The fact is I wouldn't do this because I love him and care that he might feel tired and not have any time to himself. Simple really.

ledkr Sun 10-Feb-13 09:15:06

Nice one flow. I'd add "if you don't think the jobs I do and looking after the children are hard work then why do you avoid them when tired?"

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 10-Feb-13 09:20:04

Fucking hell.

Well he sounds like a charmer hmm

Dear DH,

In reference to previous conversation, it was established that you dislike housework and like to watch tv to relax.

Funny enough I have realised I also HATE housework, and prefer relaxing on the computer.

In order to ensure that we remain equal parents with equal rest time your new jobs that must ve done every day/week are x,y,z.

Do them or I will leave you.

Love pingu.

notnagging Sun 10-Feb-13 09:21:57

Silent mammoth. I did the same! I also minimised the cutlery, plates, cups & chucked out loads of junks. somedays we have a massive tidy up. I call it a flash mob clean ( there are 7 of us). Then the kids have to do a room each on a rota. It's not perfect but were getting there. Dh is my biggest problem with tidying up. Some men have been ruined by their mothers & he genuinely does not see mess. I am determined not to repeat that with my 5 boys.

flow4 Sun 10-Feb-13 09:22:47

IME, blokes don't 'get' rhetorical questions ledkr! hmm They seem to respond better to direct statements and questions, so I think it would work better to rephrase that as "I know you understand that it can be hard work looking after kids, because you don't want to do it when you're tired. So please can we agree how I can get a break from it when I'm tired, too?"

(Actually, perhaps it's not just blokes... I think I might respond better to that too! grin )

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 10-Feb-13 09:26:00

Perfect, flow, absolutely perfect!

Ledkr, he won't see her as being as tired as him so will think he's justified in having a rest.

RandomMess Sun 10-Feb-13 09:26:09

That is good flow.

Pingu as a short term solution folding crates are good for sorting clothes into and part of the bed time routine is for each person to but their own clothes away.

Good luck with making progress on the real issues.

TheLightPassenger Sun 10-Feb-13 09:26:59

flow, that letter is fab. Good luck OP.

NynaevesSister Sun 10-Feb-13 09:28:35

Of course a cleaner can put the clothes away! We had a similar issue and simple fact was OH just could not do his share and I needed him to do his share. So he pays for a cleaner who comes in once a week for two hours. You tell the cleaner what you want done. Get one who does ironing. Get her to put clothes in piles as she goes. First thing everyone does when they come in is pick up their pile and put in drawers.

Honestly even if all she does is the kitchen and hoovering it takes so much stress off. And then you can focus on the real issues which like yours were the passive parenting he did.

Hissy Sun 10-Feb-13 09:30:53

I've asked for this to be moved to relationships, as AIBU is not going to give the support and advice you really need. I often despair of the AIBU Spechul Blend of posters tbh.

This is not a housework issue. (get a cleaner) this is a dreadful lazy, entitled H issue.

He has no repect for you, no love, admiration, value. He sees that you have no right to down time, and will moan at being asked to merely put away his own clothes.

My abusive ex had similar issues when I asked him NOT to stuff the towels over the rail in a bunch, but to feed them flat so they could dry properly and not go musty. Oh the outrage he had!

Your's is not a marriage, it's a slavery contract. Writing a letter is a total waste of time, he'll never agree to take on work in the relationship that he feels is beneath him.

you're worn down, the relationship is seriously unbalanced, your children are also seeing that they too have bugger all to do to help you. You have to change this dynamic ASAP.

Get the cleaner, H can pay for it, seeing as he's doing Fuck all to help, and your DC put their own clothes away. As does H.

flow4 Sun 10-Feb-13 09:31:41

God knows why I'm single. I'm straightforward, direct, don't play games, can ask for what I want, don't get my knickers in a twist and am not at all terrifying to men ! grin

CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 10-Feb-13 09:32:33

Hi - we're about to move this thread over to Relationships, just popping in to let you know in case you're wondering where it went....

Bobyan Sun 10-Feb-13 09:32:59



Hissy Sun 10-Feb-13 09:33:05

I'd also suggest that you go for some counselling to talk all this stuff out. You need to gain some strength in this family.

Atm it's in everyone elses best interests that you don't get that strength, but tough tits to that, enough is enough!

Hissy Sun 10-Feb-13 09:39:32

I love TeWiSavesTheDay's letter, that's actually more reasonable.

No amount of appealing to his nice side will work. It looks like he has'nt even got one.

Strong, line in the sand, do this or else is the only language this poor excuse for a man will hear.

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