Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Feeing responsible for everything

(21 Posts)
mermaid101 Thu 16-May-13 19:33:06

My DH is a lovely man. He is good natured and understanding and many other great things.

But I'm feeling like there is a bit of a problem which is getting me down. I feel as if I am "the adult" in the relationship and have to take responsibility for the "management" of our family.

I work full time, he is self employed and works 2 days a week. On those days our DD goes to nursery. He looks after her the other 3 days and we share responsibility at the weekend.

However, I feel like everything apart from the most basic housework falls to me and it is starting to make me feel tired and resentful. I feel like I have to think ahead all the time and he just sort of bumbles along. For example, over the last few months I have organised and booked our summer holiday, researched and bought a new car, sorted out a boiler issue and booked an annual service, sorted out someone to come and do some much needed work on our house and rearranged some bank account stuff.

On top of this, I bulk cook every other weekend and when I come in from work at about five I have to start dinner/bath/bed almost immediately. If I haven't taken anything out of the freezer for our dinner the night before, DH will suggest a take away or ready meal. If I decline these, I end up having to produce some sort of dinner with whatever odds and ends I can find.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this and what did you do about it? Am I just being lazy?

Lavenderhoney Thu 16-May-13 19:39:06

No, not lazy! Delegate him some jobs. Let him do it and don't interfere. Then delegate some more.

Get a planner for who is doing dinner what night and if he wants a takeaway so be it, but he has to organise it. If money is short then no, he can cook, but let him do it.

If he doesn't, make yourself a sandwich and go to bed. Get up, and say, it's your turn again. Maybe a sticker chart? Sorry, don't mind me, I'm in a terrible mood! sad

Bonsoir Thu 16-May-13 19:42:43

It does sound as if there is a terrible imbalance of workload - it sounds as if you are shouldering all strategy and 80% of the execution too! You need to tackle this.

mermaid101 Thu 16-May-13 19:51:49

Thanks for these! Lavender, I appreciate your "to the point" advice! I have tried the delegation. But things just don't happen. As a result, I have to do the pressing things and other stuff just gets left. Our lives would be so much nicer if he could just get stuff done. And then I feel annoyed because I have had to think through what is a priority, act on that, and then ask him to do what is left, which I know probably won't get done. It's the mental effort I think is grinding me down.

Bonsoir, thanks for the reassurance. I have tried making lists/writing things down but it hasn't really worked. We have had a few conversations about this, but although he says he will start getting stuff done, it just never seems to happen.

furbaby Thu 16-May-13 20:09:03

Know just where your coming from , love dh so much but for gods sake why is everything down to me . He is great around the house but anything he does he does it for me and expects thanks . Nothing and I mean bloody nothing would be planned for or organised if I did, nt do it . If I nag ask him to do anything he does it but in his own sweet bloody time . I am not the only adult we both are Grrrr .
I understand how it is but not sure how to change the male mind

Lavenderhoney Thu 16-May-13 20:21:25

Yes, bonsoir says it a lot bettersmile
Talk to him again, but before you do, think what you want him to do and what you can let go of/ bear to leave with him to not do it. Try to pick things that affect him directly.

If you are used to doing it, quickly and efficiently and he doesn't mind it might actually suit you. I assume you make all the decisions? Will you mind if he does things his way and its not how you like it done?

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Thu 16-May-13 20:23:01

Nothing with being male. This could easily be a female student in an all female house share. Actually, it does sound like one of my housemates way back then. It is just a role.

OP - what happened who you talk about it with him?

kitsilano Thu 16-May-13 20:31:33

As long as you keep managing everything so efficiently there is no incentive at all for him to change. It's all working so well from his point of view - even if he doesn't consciously think this.

You need to have a proper conversation with him, allocate specific responsibilities and then step back - no matter what happens in the short term.

mermaid101 Thu 16-May-13 20:43:38

I do really make all the decisions. He admits he doesn't like doing this, but to be honest, I don't always want to either. I sometimes wish he was much more decisive. I wouldn't mind if he did things his own way - as long as SOMETHING happened and the decision wasn't "I'll get round to it"

FrequentFlyer, when I speak to him about it, he readily acknowledges that there is an imbalance, assures me he will start taking responsibility and will outline what he will do/how he will do it. However something ALWAYS comes up which will prevent this happening.

The most recent example has been that the food in the freezer is running low. This includes meals I have made up for our almost 2year old DD. (I have given up trying to have us all eat the same thing every night for the reasons in my previous post). He said he would look at an Anabel Karmel book someone gave me, or failing that, he would make up things I have done before. This was at the weekend. As yet, nothing has happened: he has been feeling ill, lost track of time and started doing something in the garden, which although is good, is unnecessary, and not as important as feeding our child! When I came in tonight, he appeared baffled as to what she could have for her dinner. I ended up making her an omelet. I had one as well. He doesn't like eggs so simply hasn't bothered having anything to eat. He'll probably have about three bars of chocolate later on!

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 20:46:28

Has he always been like this .

Fluer Thu 16-May-13 20:49:26

What if you just left some things and eventually he would probably sort it. Maybe you have controlled everything and he has just become used to been looked after.

mermaid101 Thu 16-May-13 20:56:31

Yes, he has always been like this. It wasn't so noticeable before we had a child. Things could be let to slide to make a point and "smaller" issues such as cooking could be done more independently.

Finances weren't nearly so tight, so there was "wiggle" room there too.

I had more time and energy, so I don't think I minded so much.

He was, however, very good in the latter stages of my pregnancy, when I was quiet unwell and we were moving house.

It;s just the relentless feeling of having to be so mentally alert all the time - both at home and at work. If he was working full time, he wouldn't have to do all the "home admin" and thinking ahead. It just feels quite time consuming and it weighs me down. I'd just like him to take responsibility for things - without being asked. Because when I ask, it somehow makes it my responsibility. Does that make any sense?

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 16-May-13 21:10:10

How the help are you bring lazy? He is the lazy one here, by a long way.

Or course it makes sense that if you have to ask, it makes it your responsibility. How on earth can you trust and respect him as an equal partner when he seems to be acting as though you are his mother?

This is not a general man thing, although you will find plenty of tales of other men who expect their wives/gfs, not only to hand everything to them on a plate, but also to cut it up, spoonfeed then and wipe their arse afterwards. And he will not change, because he most likely literally believes he is incapable of thinking about this stuff and that is what you (women in general) exist for. I bet he's one of these benevolent sexists, too, all holding doors open and bleating about how women are the heart of the home and essential to the world. Honestly it is nothing you have done, especially as you say he was always like this.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 16-May-13 21:11:19

Read Wifework. It's enlightening.

mermaid101 Thu 16-May-13 21:20:34

Yoni - I have heard about this book. One of my friends was talking about it the other week. I think I'll get it.

Thanks for understanding. It's a difficult thing to articulate because it's not really specifically to do with the actual division of work/time/labour - although that is a significant part of the issue, particularly as I work full time. It's the FEELING of being where the buck stops. Every time.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 16-May-13 21:23:59

Ok, sorry - he doesn't believe he is incapable (at least that would be easy to disprove) - it is simply that he doesn't see it as his responsibility to do the thinking. In his world, the woman runs the home and he merely helps out, like an employee. If your boss at work asked you to take a shared responsibility for the decisions etc, (without any kind of promotion!) you'd think it was strange. They're the boss, and maybe you can emulate them in times of dire need, but most of the time you don't need to do that thinking or make those decisions, and you probably don't want to either (you have enough to think about at home!) It just isn't your responsibility. That's how your husband sees your and his roles at home, not an equal partnership.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 16-May-13 21:30:40

It's lonely. It makes you feel like the only adult and that is lonely. The whole burden being on you is bloody hard! sad the sad thing is he probably feels like he is supporting you by doing the practical stuff, the minimal housework and the childcare - but what you really need is to feel that you're in it together and that you're tackling life and everything as a team. Otherwise it just becomes a drudge and you end up feeling resentful of him while he swans along oblivious to everything.

mermaid101 Thu 16-May-13 21:35:51

Yoni! That is it. Perfectly put. Thank you. You know your stuff!

It really does feel like a bit of a burden sometimes. You have described how I perceive his position to a tee swanning "along oblivious to everything". I'd love to be doing a bit of swanning I can tell you!

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 16-May-13 23:19:38

It is a common thing unfortunately. And then usually the pattern goes that you stop respecting him as an adult because he becomes just another asset (employee/teenage child) to manage, the relationship goes downhill, you go off sex too (who finds teenage boys sexy, apart from other teenagers??) And he's totally clueless as to where it's gone wrong! After all, he's been doing his bit for all these years, just like he was supposed to (!)

Tackle it now before it gets out of hand. Don't project manage him and tell him you want him to take more responsibility, because without him getting out of this mindset that "the wife" = "the boss" at home, you won't get anywhere. Instead start a conversation using the actual boss/employee example. Then remind him of why you married each other. You bought the house together, you chose it together, you made your future plans together, your dc together, you both work, you manage to split childcare pretty well by the sounds of things (although not a great example if you always end up doing tea/bath/bed or if you micromanage e.g. making sure the laundry is up to date, planning all her stuff, dealing with nursery, doctors etc) - anyway basically try and find examples of stuff that you really have gone into together and remind him of that and how supported you felt when you went into things like that, and see if the penny drops regarding the house stuff and general organisation. If not then say, basically, I'm Dick of being the boss and I don't think anybody needs to be in charge, let's just make sure we're actually a partnership and acting like it over this. And then it's really up to him... You can't make him change his perspective but hopefully talking to him might enable him to see it for himself. If not, well, just be aware that you probably will end up massively resentful and burned out after a few years, because it's exhausting having to micromanage an adult who's supposed to be there to make life easier and help carry your load, as you do for him!

BeCool Thu 16-May-13 23:37:27

A large part of the distintergratiin of my relationship with exP reads like the above. He would not engage in any decisions except for occasionally suggesting we buy a new (bigger flasher more expensive unneeded vanity) car for example.
I did 95%. All attempts to share, delegate etc failed. I ended up stressed and resentful and burdened with all this responsibility and no adult partner to talk things through with. And I think he ended up hating me for it - though he loved all I managed to organise and provide for out family on our budget (by planning, saving, organising etc), at the same time he hated me for it.

So very depressing - I'm still trying to deal with the aftermath - it's devastating.

Sorry no helpful advice OP. for me it all failed.

BeCool Thu 16-May-13 23:38:19

And it seems from the above, I'm still shouldering all the responsibility.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: