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How to encourage DH to help out more around the house.

(43 Posts)
sharond101 Sun 19-Jan-14 21:50:25

I am constantly nagging my DH about what he is not doing. Not helping the mood at home. I feel like I do everything. He recently had back surgery (4months ago) and had gotten used to being unable to do alot to help out. He is a good bit better now though unable to lift or do anything too exerting. He has never been the model house husband. I have always been the one to do all of the chores. We have a dog and a 20month son though and it's all too much for me alone when he wants looking after too. It makes me feel like he doesn't respect me but it's not in his nature to even think about doing something useful or to consider how much I have on my plate. I have asked him to help me but I get lots of excuses. He works full time (only 4 days just now to ease back after operation). I work two days. My parents watch DS so DH has no responsibilities there. I make his dinner and lunch even when I am at work. I do all the washing, ironing, cleaning, shopping, tidying... everything. He looks after the finances. I notice tiny things which makes me mad like me having to walk upstairs 3 times with all the things that need going up and he going up emptyhanded. How do I encourage him to help more constructively?

Joysmum Sun 19-Jan-14 21:58:15

I'd tell him flat, your not happy with the split in domestic responsibilities and want it to be more fair. Then you can talk about what he could do to redress the balance.

Joysmum Sun 19-Jan-14 21:59:46

Sorry, posted to soon..

Then you allow him full responsibility for set tasks and let him get on with it. Don't interfere, don't pick up on any slack he leaves.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 19-Jan-14 22:00:09

How about... NOT making his dinner and lunch, or washing and ironing his stuff? Or is his back currently still not up to doing it himself?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 19-Jan-14 22:00:14

You don't encourage a lazy man into action, you tell him to get off his backside and start pulling his weight. smile Seriously, by using a woman-hating word like 'nagging' you're just buying into the myth that being assertive is a bad thing. Sit him down, tell him his 'why bark when you've got a dog?' attitude stinks, and then between you draw up a list of jobs that need doing and put a name next to each one.

dannychampionoftheworld Sun 19-Jan-14 22:00:43

While you do everything for him, he won't bother. Just stop making his lunch for a start, he's an adult, he can make his own. Don't wash his clothes. Iif he leaves stuff lying around, just put it all in a pile somewhere out of the way.

Mellowandfruitful Sun 19-Jan-14 22:03:18

Agree with the others that you need to a) lay it out straight for him and b) stop doing so much stuff for him. Does he still need much looking after? What is he still not able to do? Is he back at work yet?

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 19-Jan-14 22:03:18

Now you are up and getting going again, which of these chores do you fancy starting with - You pick one on this list and then I'll pick one' [keep going until they are all allocated half and half]. Remember to differentiate between those done daily, weekly and monthly. Put them on a white board and tick them off when you have done yours. At the weekend, ask 'which chores are you doing first dear, lets get them done firs thing Saturday and it leaves is both the weekend to get on with other stuff'.

'Don't go up the stairs empty handed dear'

Logg1e Sun 19-Jan-14 22:04:16

Why on earth are you doing his packed lunch when he's not even contributing to shared chores?? His behaviour is absolutely not on. Sit down and allocate the jobs. Make sure that his jobs are important to him, e.g. doing the laundry loads that will include his work clothes.

Also, when you're both in the house, share stuff out at the time. My and my partner have literally just had the 30 second discussion of who is going to hoover and who is going to follow with the mop as we head upstairs.

YY. Talk to him. Either he doesn't realise that he's leaving it all to you or he's being a total knob.

It can help to totally divide up tasks or areas, so that instead of him not noticing or thinking "Oh never mind, sharon will do it" he knows that the washing up or cleaning of the bathroom or bins or laundry or dog walking (or whatever) falls to him. Then it's up to him to plan when to do it or just do it as and when or work out how long it will take, etc. And yes. Don't interfere, don't offer advice unless he asks a specific question, and don't get on his back about when he's going to do something, just assume that he will. If it gets to a point where it's well overdue, then it might be time for another discussion, but give him more than enough chance first.

Logg1e Sun 19-Jan-14 22:04:50

(He's hoovering btw which is why I have time to be on here as the kettle boils).

Nojustalurker Sun 19-Jan-14 22:09:24

Complete agree with Joysmum. You need to tell in no uncertain terms the current arrangement is not acceptable. You then need to sit down a dicuss all the things that need doing at home and how often. If he is as feckless as my dh he won't have realised. Get him to choose the tasks he thinks are manageable and then let him be completely responsible for them.

Pilgit Sun 19-Jan-14 22:10:29

Stop describing it as helping you. That implies it is your job and he would be doing you a favour. Discuss it as you would a business arrangement. Others will give more practical advice but the way we describe things says a lot about how we think and encourage others to think. Don't imply you think the house work is your responsibility to organise. It's a family issue.

Logg1e Sun 19-Jan-14 22:11:50

And it's not "helping you". It's "his fair share of being part of this household".

Fairenuff Sun 19-Jan-14 22:13:54

Stop doing things for him that he can do himself. Stop having your parents watch your ds so that your dh can get an idea of what it's like looking after him all day.

AnythingNotEverything Sun 19-Jan-14 22:17:09

I came on to say what pilgit and logg1e said - he isn't helping, there are set tasks that have to be done to keep the whole household moving, and everyone has to contribute.

It's fine to have particular jobs (I do washing, DH does bins for example), but you don't need "help". He needs to get off his lazy arse and do his fair share.

Logg1e Mon 20-Jan-14 08:32:00

Sorry, lots of cross-posts from me last night.

OP how do you feel this morning, having read everyone's thoughts? I'm wondering if it's a bit of a shock?

sharond101 Mon 20-Jan-14 12:41:54

I didn't work through ill health for four years and did everything. this has gotten us into bad habits. Now though I work two days (long ones) and have a toddler and dog to contend with as well as the house so things need to change. I like to be the home maker and always have had high standards so it's always been difficult to hand things over to him to do (very much lower standards!) but since we met 15 years ago he hasn't even made me a slice of toast let alone a meal or ironed my clothes. His back has (and still does with some things) prohibit him doing some tasks like pushing the bins out or hoovering but I know there must be other things he an do. He cannot look after DS all day as he cannot lift him out of cot for his nap. He doesn't even manage to feed him very well. I have brought it up before but nothing has changed. Dreading the talk, always ends bad.

Logg1e Mon 20-Jan-14 13:23:50

You need to differentiate between things he physically can't do and things he can do, but will do differently to you. With the latter group you just need to accept that it won't be done the way you'd do them. If you don't accept this, you'll be doing them yourself for ever and also miss the opportunity to learn a better way of doing them.

OP, Dreading the talk, always ends bad

Really? In what way does talking to your partner end badly? Reading statements like this make me feel so sad. You should look forward to talking to your partner.

sharond101 Mon 20-Jan-14 13:36:26

I just expect he will think I am nagging. we talk alot and I do look forward to it, not when it's about things like this though.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Mon 20-Jan-14 13:41:18

Sounds to me like you have two children, not just one. How on earth would he manage if you weren't around, if he were on his own?

sharond101 Mon 20-Jan-14 13:50:41

That's what it feels like. I just when to feed the dog and the tub of food is empty. We (or more correct is I) fill it from a stock in the garage. As I was working yesterday DH would have fed the dog (on occasion has forgotten to do even this!) and hasn't filled the tub back up. He has just phoned for a chat and asked what I was doing, "Cleaning" was my reply. I asked if we could have a chat about dividing up the chores a little more evenly as it was all too much for me alone. He said ok, sounded a bit hesitant though then said "I can't hoover you know that." I told him I did. He said "So what do you think I should do?" I replied, "Maybe something you would like to do then there will be more chance of it getting done. We should talk about it later." he agreed.

MissScatterbrain Mon 20-Jan-14 13:51:34

Actions speak louder than words...if your chats are having no effect, then stop doing all his chores (cooking, shopping, washing, ironing, lunchboxes etc).

Make sure you both have equal amounts of child free leisure time.

Logg1e Mon 20-Jan-14 15:24:59

List the chores (together) and note how often it needs doing. Resist it becoming all about it being you telling him what to do. You are two adults, not parent and child. If he won't join in, ask him what he thinks is fair or at a push tell him he's in charge of the laundry and you'll wait for him to ask you for help.

Also, stop doing things that aren't chores. This includes his packed lunch.

Fairenuff Mon 20-Jan-14 20:11:10

Make a list between you of everything that needs to be done and how often.

Then put a tick next to all the chores he could physically do and those that he can't.

So he can cook, wash dishes, wipe surfaces, clean windows maybe, definitely make the packed lunches, walk the dog, pay bills, etc.

He can't push the hoover or lift an iron yet but you could decide between you when he is likely to be able to do more.

If he resists ask him how he will manage living on his own and doing all his own housework, shopping, cooking, childcare, etc. Because if he carries on like this, that's what will happen!

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