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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?

needasilverlining Sun 19-May-13 11:15:57

I hope it's not bad form to ask how things are going, pingu? This thread has really stuck with me, hope you're having a better time?

Lueji Fri 15-Feb-13 20:57:40

I wouldn't remind him. Just leave the plate.

One of his jobs could be to set the table. That way he wouldn't eat dinner until it was done.

BTW, my dad is 76. He always lifts up everybody's plates and god forbid anyone loads the dishwasher but him. He also empties it, does every day shopping, takes out the bins to the end of the road, does errands, drives grandchildren around and babysits them (not very often, but between 5 grandchildren, and a couple of hospital doctors, probably almost every day).

They have a cleaner who also irons.

It's not the times, it's the man.

MidnightMasquerader Fri 15-Feb-13 20:03:14

That is, it's well and good loving someone, but if you don't actually like them, it's a bit of a death knell...

MidnightMasquerader Fri 15-Feb-13 20:02:26

You're probably going to have your work as cut out for you, simply policing him...

He sounds like hard work. He needs to cop onto himself pretty quickly, if he doesn't want to lose your respect - and that other crucial aspect of any LTR - your genuine like of him...

SanityClause Fri 15-Feb-13 19:59:29

Perhaps you could let him know that he needs to do his share, without being reminded.

As you said, he is doing these things for the family, not for you.

needasilverlining Fri 15-Feb-13 19:58:02

Oh, and you're going to have to be on constant guard against backsliding - as he says, the 50s suited him just fine! I'm keeping em crossed for you.

Arithmeticulous Fri 15-Feb-13 19:56:02

Does he always sit in the same place at the table? I imagine he'd run out of space quite quickly as his plates pile up in his place...

needasilverlining Fri 15-Feb-13 19:55:48

Bloody right - good for you.

Btw I do most of the shitwork here because I work shorter hours, but neither one of us would dream of just sitting down and leaving the other up to their eyes. Dh says when he's at work, he works; when he's at home, he's on duty with house stuff and kids. Your h maybe needs to think of it that way.

pingu2209 Fri 15-Feb-13 19:47:56

He walked away from the table and left the dirty plate. I was in the room and as he got up to leave, I coughed loudly and looked at the table/plate. He picked it up and said "I was going to do it, you just didn't give me enough time". He wasn't going to do it as he was walking out of the room!!!! Old habits die hard I guess.

ThreeTomatoes Fri 15-Feb-13 14:38:26

Um, roses, chocolates, lovely but V cards written in childish writing?! I would go nuts if my DP did that to dd. shock Sorry ,I don't agree with that at all. Is it just me? I remember once getting a mystery V card (ok i was in my 20s but still) and agonising over who the hell it was from, only to find out that my ex who i was with at the time had got someone he knew to write one for him just for the fun of it, he eventually confessed when he saw how i was affected, he thought it would be funny.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 15-Feb-13 12:16:31

Mistlethrush similar to your story.

I do the laundry - I prefer to do it myself as DH tends to tumble dry things that shouldn't be tumble dried. ( This is not him doing a job badly to get out of it, it's a fairly random list of things that shouldn't be in there) I sort the dry laundry out and the only thing I don't do is pair his socks. My mum never pairs Dads either so its a generational mini revolution. DH moans about it and occasionally when I do pair them he goes "Oh you do love me after all" then I shout at him for a bit and don't pair them for the next 6 months.

Pingu your DH can have preferences about how things would be so in his ideal world you wouldn't work and the house would always be tidy because you will be keeping it that way. Doesn't mean they have to be reality. I'd like to be a size 10-12 and be in the top rate tax band just like I was before I met DH, ain't going to happen any time soon.

Just get the cleaner and the ironing service. Make one or two simple straightforward tasks your DHs. Demand basic respect i.e. he tidies away his own dishes.

I love the way that he doesn't want to spend money on a cleaner but happily pays for a mowing service. Happy enough to pay to outsource his chores but not yours. Get a quote for the cleaning and if he baulks at the cost then compare it to the lawn services price.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 15-Feb-13 10:11:29

I hope it's a permanent change, Pingu. Keep an eye on it.

mistlethrush Fri 15-Feb-13 09:48:49

Does your DH realise that you don't actually enjoy housework either? Or indeed that looking after the kids 'actively' isn't 'housework'?

DH once commented on the way to work that, when hanging up washing, I left his shirts for him to do (this is when we had done a wash after ds was in bed that needed to be hung to dry in the bathroom when we went to bed). In fairly strong terms I pointed out that I had hung mine, DSs and some of his washing up by that stage - and putting his shirts on hangers was hardly a large contribution. I also suggested the alternative - which was me hanging my tops up and leaving the rest for him. I have not heard a single thing about hanging washing up since - and we both do it on a regular basis.

DH is currently working from home. He does most of the washing - simply because he is around, whereas I am out. He also cooks quite a bit, often does the dishwasher (probably more than me) and does the washing up.

It needs to be a team effort.

Don't give up the day job!

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

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?.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.


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.

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).

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

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

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!

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.

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.

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