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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?

Jux Thu 14-Feb-13 00:26:12

Oh well done, pingu! Stick to it.

I firmly believe that adults are equally responsible for their environment, so he is as responsible for the state of the house et al, as you are. So glad you're not ironing his shirts (may I suggest that if he is not helpful, then you stop washing his clothes too, just do the kids' stuff). He needs to set an example to his children, just as much as you do.

(My pet hate is people who won't clear their own dishes; dh is guilty of this, but is gradually getting the idea that no-one here is his waitress.)

wordyBird Thu 14-Feb-13 00:53:02

Wow pingu. Good for you!

Hissy Thu 14-Feb-13 07:38:54

'trying' to do more is a crock of shit. A decent man, one that understands he is HALF of a parenting/household team KNOWS he has to pitch in, regardless. He'd apologise profusely and just get on with it.

IME, men that say they'll 'try' mean that they probably won't try very hard (if at all) but trot out the BS excuse 'I only said I'd try' when challenged.

He has no fucking intention of doing his share. None whatsoever.

All this shit stuff he's dodging, in his view, IS your job.

He sees this inaction to be his birthright, his human rights, and to deny him of this will go against his very grain.

What kind of monster did his mother live with? Why on earth did she make her son THIS much of a total COCK?

I'd hang my head in eternal shame if he were my son.

You have to see though, that if your DC grow up in this, they'll think no differently. You have to put a stop to it, as much for their sake as yours!

You did brilliantly btw, the conversation you led was perfect. You are so strong, don't give up!

Hissy Thu 14-Feb-13 07:46:22

Oh, and when you come home, feed the kids, sort them out etc, but then SIT down and do nothing.

Don't clear the table, don't iron his stuff, don't do ANYTHING that you really don't have to do. It's STILL not 'fair' on you, as 50% of the childcare needs to be him too, but you can't involve them in a standoff.

Perhaps tell him that when if you split, he'll have to care for himself, until he finds some other poor dogsbody... But tell him that women prepared to put up with that shit are few and far between, so he'll be looking for quite some time.

Meanwhile, you'll have less to do if he's gone, he'll have the DC for visists, and have to do everything for them, while you sit on your arse at home and eat chips, if you want to. Moving on, almost ANY bloke out there knows you have to pull your weight, so when you find your next H, he'll do a MUCH better job of being a partner..


fuzzpig Thu 14-Feb-13 07:48:00

So he blamed you being assertive on PMT?! What is he, a poster boy for the Misogyny Society?! Arse angry

needasilverlining Thu 14-Feb-13 08:06:14

Brilliant stuff, pingu - now fgs don't give in! Mn is cheering you on!

pingu2209 Thu 14-Feb-13 08:19:23

I really don't have a problem with doing more than 50% - I am around in the house longer than him and he can't do the childcare stuff Mon-Fri as he is at work.

I forgot to say to you all that part of the conversation I said that his priority was that I kept the clean washing pile down and put away. But my priority was to keep the children fed, homework done, at school and all their clubs and keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean and do the hoovering downstairs so it looked semi presentable.

I also said that 'cooking' wasn't just the physical act of being in the kitchen for the 30-40 mins whilst preparing and cooking it. It was also the planning of what we were going to eat, food that fitted into the activities of the day/evening, ensuring that the ingrediants needed were defrosted/in the fridge. That 'shopping' meant thinking in advance of all those things too, as I didn't just throw anything into the trolley.

He said that he needed boundries to be firm and not fuzzy. He said he needed actual jobs to do rather than 'I need you to help out more'. I said that from now on, he could put the washing away and do the bins and on a weekend afternoon he needed to spend 1 of the afternoons doing something with the children such as arts and crafts - not just watching TV with DS1.

I reminded him that 6 months ago he said that he thought it was utterly dreadful that the boys went to school with unironed trousers and sometimes muddy shoes. I said that at the time I agreed with him but we agreed that he would iron their trousers and polish their shoes as I couldn't fit any more into my day. He did, for all of 2 weeks and then dropped doing it.

When I reminded him of that, he said he knew that he hadn't been doing it, but hoped that him doing for a while would show me how much better the children looked and that would have been enough for me to take up the job! I queried him on how he actually thought that came across and he admitted that he was being unfair.

I said his priority and genuine thought is that all he has to do it get himself ready, but it was my job to do everything in the house and for the children. I said, when he does anything (which is very rarely), he says "i've done X for you". It isn't for me - it is for us.

His valentine card today reads:

"I do appreciate you every day, and will do all I can to make you happy even if it means changing my ways to become more of a 21st century man and not one who lives in the 1950s. Thanks for being there for me - I am grateful."

I do hope he means it.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 14-Feb-13 08:21:08

You go girl!!

I agree he is not taking you seriously but I am sure you will ensure that he realises you mean every word you have said smile

He would rather I gave up my (very badly paid) job and I kept a tidy house

Please please do not consider giving up your job as with the way things are (i.e him being tight with money and viewing you as no better than a skivvy) - you need your independence. Employers sadly view women who have been out of the job market as unemployable. You have far more to offer than being his unpaid slave - the bloody cheek of him!! grrr!!!

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Thu 14-Feb-13 08:51:37

Pingu you rock. grin

Longtalljosie Thu 14-Feb-13 09:03:38

Ok good start. But whatever you do now - don't start ironing his shirts again. This is one task that he has to do if you don't.

And since you hate sorting laundry, and he hates seeing it out, that can be his job too. Do not move on this. Every time he brings this up, say "we agreed that was your job".

The rest will probably have to be achieved by repeated nagging I'm afraid. I find the "you do this and I'll do that" method works well - ie "You take out the bins and I'll change DD". Or "ok - the dishwasher had to be emptied and the bins taken out. Which one do you fancy?"

AnnieLobeseder Thu 14-Feb-13 09:22:04

Go Pingu!!! I'm glad your DH is listening. It won't be easy for him to change, but I think he finally understands where you're coming from. Don't back down, you are, as you said, on a roll. Stay strong!!!

ThreeTomatoes Thu 14-Feb-13 09:29:03

Wow Pingu your second to last post is one of the most satisfying I have ever read on MN!!! Look at you go!!

I have a feeling it'll be a long hard slog before he does actually keep to his word - but i suppose there is a glimmer of hope in that he did admit to the way he thinks and a (sort of) acknowledgment that it is unfair. He knows he doesn't have a leg to stand on. The bloody cheek of him though!!

Good luck!!

ledkr Thu 14-Feb-13 09:30:09

Well done pingu. You are hopefully on your way to a far more enjoyable existence. I'm surprised you lasted so long.
Another reason for this is that if you were ever ill or he found himself alone he needs to be able to effectively parent his children
Don't let him patronise you now though he's not "helping" you he's taking responsibility for his own damn life fgs.
Oh yes and remind him that pmt is a defence for murder. .

expatinscotland Thu 14-Feb-13 09:55:47

And now that you've said no more ironing shirts or putting washing away, don't fucking do it!

It's his job. He doesn't do it, it doesn't get done.

Jux Thu 14-Feb-13 10:54:20

Same with the bins.

I don't think it's too much to ask that he cooks once a week, perhaps Sunday evening when you've already done a roast for lunch.

FWIW, we have a roast every Sunday. DH does the veg. He is very, very proud of his roast spuds.

ithasgonetotheopera Thu 14-Feb-13 11:27:34

Go Pingu!! cheering from sidelines

Read through the whole thread and it was so satisfying to read your last two posts! It sounds like he's taken it in, I'm sure its not the end of it cos bad habits can be hard to break, you'll probably have to keep on nudging, but brill you've took the first steps and he's acknowledged it!

ithasgonetotheopera Thu 14-Feb-13 11:28:13

His valentines is sweet really (as long as he backs it up with actions)!

undercoverhousewife Thu 14-Feb-13 11:44:17

Well done Pingu! You gave yourself better advice than many posters did! I can't believe many people told you to just put the washing away! Once you had done that, your DH would no doubt have found one of the other 19 jobs you hadn't done (81 now done) and moaned about that instead. It will never do your relationship any good if you are his servant/ housekeeper/ mother. That's not romantic for either partner. If he is happy for you to give up work then presumably he is happy without your salary. Can you not therefore instead get him to pay for a cleaner for 5 hours a week (or whatever). Yes, a cleaner won't put your clothes away but she will save you time on other stuff (eg bathrooms cleaned, house hoovered, shirts ironed) so you might then have time to train the DC to do it themselves ;-) nobody should be putting another adults' dishes in the dishwasher after a meal (unless that other adult is engaged in, say, mopping the kitchen floor at the time).

theoriginalandbestrookie Thu 14-Feb-13 17:33:59

Sounds like a little progress. TBH I would still be looking for an ironing service and a cleaner.

With my crystal ball I can see into the future. For a couple of weeks he will put out the bins and iron a shirt or two, then he will stop.

You will need to engage in constant reminders on a war of attrition. Easier to stop it now whilst he is in engaged mode on the subject and get in the help you so obviously need. We have a cleaner 2 hrs a week which costs £25 so £100 per month and it makes a massive difference. Cleaner also does ironing at home so once a fortnight she takes away DH's shirts to be ironed. It makes our life (well mine mostly) massively easier.

For certain jobs then you just need to stop doing them. Bins is an easy one and should be quickly done by him. If he forgets to do them, don't remind him and don't do them yourself, just leave them hopefully he will remember next time.

Hissy Thu 14-Feb-13 19:27:13

Hope your valentine to him, pingu, was to give him notice that if he's NOT a 21C man by this time next year, he'll be an Every Other Weekend man.


pingu2209 Fri 15-Feb-13 08:29:59

To show DH is not ALL bad. Yesterday DS1 was given a surprise card and chocolate rose from a friend (who is a girl) - he is 9. DS2 and DD were happy for him and excited, but also dissappointed. I told DH over the phone whilst he was at work.

He came home with 2 roses - 1 pink for DD and 1 red for DS2 plus a heart shaped box of chocs for all 3 DC to share. It made their day.

He isn't all bad. It didn't cross my mind to do anything.

He also bought and wrote (in as childish writing as possible to fool them) 3 cards and popped them through the letter box to each of our children, so they all got a card when they woke on Valentine's morning.

LindyHemming Fri 15-Feb-13 08:35:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lueji Fri 15-Feb-13 08:51:15

Of course he isn't all bad.

My ex was also capable of lovely messages at valentines, full on flowers and chocolates. Shame about the day to day, and his temper.

Don't let yourself be fooled and keep up the good work.
Or not... As in not ironing his clothes.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 15-Feb-13 09:05:10

I think he will do more (or enough to keep you happier) for a couple of weeks then down tools again. I do not think that such a change of attitude is at all permanent, old habits and attitudes die hard.

He's still setting a crap example to your children as well.

Did he clear the plates away after dinner last night or did he leave his for you to clear away again?.

frustratedworkingmum Fri 15-Feb-13 09:19:17

oh, i so wanted to be saying, brilliant, he has shown himself to be decent after all. But that message from his card left me cold - it was a dig and not a very veiled one.

He would rather you gave up your job and keep a tidy house?


I have changed my tune from my previous posts yes

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