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Help me sort undomesticated DH!

(42 Posts)
householdchorewhore Tue 11-Mar-14 00:38:48

I'll start by saying DH is a wonderful man. I absolutely do not want to LTB but I DO want to sort this out!

He is great in many ways but when it comes to chores and domestic drudgery he is hopeless. We have a cleaner in occasionally but the boring day to day stuff needs doing. He does the bins(always) and the occasional bit of washing up but useless at the rest. I sort the finance stuff, pay all the bills etc. He can't replace the soap, bin the empty loo rolls, buy cleaning stuff, pick bits up that we need, stick bleach down the loo, put empty food wrappers in the bin, wipe the mess up when the saucepan boils over, pick the bloody newspaper up off the door mat... Etc etc. Laundry has always been mainly my job, that's fine. He did the majority of cooking and washing up but he's stopped doing that so much recently.

For background he went from living at home with his parents to halls at uni and then a shared house then we got a place together, whereas I've lived with other people including another DP before. This is his first proper independent home I suppose.

I HATE nagging but it's the only way he will do anything. When I moan he says 'just ask me' but why should I have to write a bloody list?! He can SEE the soap has run out and that I haven't had time to put the bleedin pants in the washing machine. Why doesn't he just do it?!

We've just had an almighty row about it. I was saying I don't want to be the nagging wife and his answer was 'don't bloody nag then!' But then I'll just get more and more peeved off! I shouted and he shouted. In hindsight ridiculous but some very strong words were said! I suggested he stays at the conference he's at tomorrow for more than the one night he needs to be there...

Please tell me how I knock this stuff on the head/resolve it. I KNOW he believes in equality at home between men and women - why isn't he doing it?

Or do I just accept it for the fault that it is and accept that he does lots of good things this just isn't one of them?!

householdchorewhore Tue 11-Mar-14 00:39:16

Well that was bloody long, sorry!

KeatsiePie Tue 11-Mar-14 00:55:08

Write down all the chores. Then assign them all to two columns, one yours, one his.

Then say "here, I have split up the chores equally. We each have some easy ones and some annoying ones. Want to swap anything?" This gives him the chance to say no, I don't want to clean the bathroom, but if you'll take it I'll take laundry. And you can say yes or no too.

This system means you will not be monitoring or noticing his jobs, and he won't be monitoring or noticing yours. So a lot of the "why can't he just move the pants into the dryer" irritations disappear, b/c you have a fair deal that keeps you off each other's backs. You'll just move the pants yourself. And you'll have time to move the pants b/c he's taking care of the dishes.

Then say "okay, your column is your problem. But you have to do the things in your column regularly. So go get your planner and write down what day of the week/month you're going to do each of these things."

Then say "for this to work you have to look at your planner every day, and well before 11 pm, all right?"

Then for a while you'll be reminding him to look at the damn planner so he can do his jobs. It's irritating, but saying "PLANNER" once or twice a day is better than before when you were constantly saying "DH! Pants/soap/stove/bleach/bin!" seventeen times an hour.

Then he'll get used to looking at it by himself and you won't have to say anything. Ahh victory grin

This does work, as long as he's just forgetful, and not actually someone who thinks it should all be your job b/c you're the woman.

happydutchmummy Tue 11-Mar-14 00:56:52

Point out to him that when you met him you thought wow, what a great guy, we'll have lots of fun times together. Not, wow what a great guy, I can't wait to move in with him and become his cleaner, do his laundry, shop for his food, pick up after him and become his domestic slave.

What helped me was to get a massive whiteboard in the kitchen and I write all appointments, etc on there. Under that I have a list of things for my oh to do. It's taken a while to get him to read the list and act on it but at least I feel I'm nagging a white board rather than constantly feeling angry things haven't been done, or having to continuously verbally ask him to do stuff. occasionally when he's been very lovely I write little love notes to him on it...

BOFtastic Tue 11-Mar-14 01:56:45

Get Wifework and make him read it.

householdchorewhore Tue 11-Mar-14 01:58:40

Thanks all!

BOF - I bought that before we got married but haven't read it yet!

Millyblods Tue 11-Mar-14 02:13:55

Do you both work outside the home?

Millyblods Tue 11-Mar-14 02:18:45

Personally I don't think its worth falling out over and fighting over and even worse, suggesting that he stays an extra night away because of it. He has told you to just ask him so instead of fighting about it and "nagging" (your words not mine) just ask him. Try and tell him how much you appreciate the things he does do when he does them and eventually he will do more because you are giving him positive feedback. I love the saying "Don't sweat the small stuff". In the great scheme of things like a happy marriage, its spot on.

petalsandstars Tue 11-Mar-14 03:34:04

He is a grown man - keatsie has a good idea - i just don't buy the poor men, treat him like a toddler praising little bits he eventually does. He has the capacity to understand and pull his weight he just needs to do it

stillfrazzled Tue 11-Mar-14 06:42:28

He used to do more but now doesn't? Sounds like he's choosing not to, not forgetting to, because he knows you'll do it.

This isn't 'small stuff' - it's a huge respect issue for me. If DH felt he was too important to pick his pants up but it was fine for me to do it, that would tell me a lot about how he saw me.

And 'just ask me', as well as being the cop out you identify, implies it's actually your job and he's graciously helping you.

Chore list each, however you choose to do it. If he doesn't need reminding about all the tasks at work he could manage this just fine IF HE WANTED TO.

hercules1 Tue 11-Mar-14 06:57:24

How is he doing at work? Has he forgotten basic skills there too?

BertieBotts Tue 11-Mar-14 07:03:12

Has he ever lived alone or did he move straight in with you from his parents' house? If he has lived alone then you can capitalise on that and get him to think about this house as though it is just him which is responsible for stuff and then be pleased if you get stuff done for him.

If not it might be more ingrained, which means that he probably literally isn't seeing it because on some level he doesn't really think it is his job/responsibility. IME the only way to change that is for him to take responsibility for a certain task or area, then he knows that if he doesn't do it, it doesn't get done. But it also means he has to work out how often it's acceptable to do it, when he can fit it in, etc, without being directed or leaving all of the thinking and planning to you.

BertieBotts Tue 11-Mar-14 07:04:52

I find it seriously depressing to treat a grown man that you're supposed to respect as an equal as a toddler. It would get me down TBH (certainly used to with my ex).

antimatter Tue 11-Mar-14 07:10:09

... starting with unability to pick the newspaper up off the door mat - shouts LAZY

householdchorewhore Tue 11-Mar-14 07:27:26

In answer to the questions, yes we both work away from home and he's not loving his job at the moment hercules, but I don't know about forgetting his skills.

I think he is very lazy, but then so am I, but I do actually just do things.

TurnipCake Tue 11-Mar-14 07:40:25

He can't replace the soap, bin the empty loo rolls, buy cleaning stuff, pick bits up that we need, stick bleach down the loo, put empty food wrappers in the bin, wipe the mess up when the saucepan boils over, pick the bloody newspaper up off the door mat...

He can, he just can't be bothered.

Does his boss have to nicely and gently present him with a list and remind him to do tasks for his job or is he only totally inept at home?

"Just tell me" still works on the assumption that housework is your responsibility and do you really want to treat him like a toddler having to scan the house the whole damn time and then be the Cool Wife who 'just reminds' him without nagging.

I tried the 'just tell me' thing with my ex. "Just tell me" soon turned into, "I'm aware of it, I'll do it after I've finished watching TV/had a shower/played on the computer"

whereisshe Tue 11-Mar-14 07:41:29

You might have this problem because you're the one who has defined the acceptable standards for the house and set up the house running systems. If you have, he's just naturally falling into a follower mode since he didn't make the rules.

I found that to get DH to care I had to completely step back and let him do it (incl all household cleaning, it was an arrangement based on some other factors in our lives at the time).

It took a few years but he's much more an equal participant now. It helps that I'm not very tidy myself so no one is superior in the house management stakes here.

antimatter Tue 11-Mar-14 08:29:25

my ex was the same as TurnipCake's

I even was telling him exact same words, he chose then not to do what I asked him to do. It always is based on decision of doing or not doing it. Not that he is some animal in need of training.

LadyAlysVorpatril Tue 11-Mar-14 08:34:01

Why not turn it round and say he's in charge and you won't do anything unless specifically asked ... and he's not allowed to nag... see what happens.

LineRunner Tue 11-Mar-14 08:50:00

I honestly couldn't be arsed with a partner like this. I had one on the past and it was like dealing with a young teenager. The fun bits were fun but oh dear God, normal life and routine were just a constant source of stress.

I think you need to try the lists of jobs. One each. Separate lists, but an overall team effort.

If that doesn't work, the other option is that you stop cleaning up after him, doing his washing etc, but you need nerves of steel for that. And it does tend to highlight the potential incompatibility of the two people involved.

Good luck, OP, this must be pretty grim.

FairPhyllis Tue 11-Mar-14 10:26:37

I KNOW he believes in equality at home between men and women - why isn't he doing it?

He just doesn't want to. "I believe in equality of men and women" is something that many men like to think they believe in, but don't actually practice, because deep down they think they are fundamentally more important than women.

AnyFucker Tue 11-Mar-14 10:31:56

he doesn't believe in equality at all. He knows you are doing his share of the domestic shitwork and he doesn't care.

he's not such a wonderful man.

householdchorewhore Tue 11-Mar-14 10:43:39

He does and he is. He also has faults.

Thank you for the helpful suggestions.

LovesPeace Tue 11-Mar-14 11:40:44

My honest answer - get rid.
My ex behaved like this. We both worked FT, and I had animals to look after outside the house. I did everything.
At first I asked him. He always agreed but did nothing.
Then I'd nag, hating myself (and he hated my nagging too, but not enough to do anything).
Then we'd row, he'd get upset, cry, then say he did half the housework (he really did nothing), then sulk.
Finally, I stopped mentioning it, and became resentful, exhausted and depressed.
Meanwhile he'd whine about lack of sex. Who'd want to sleep with someone who treated them as a domestic drudge, besides, even sex was all about his needs being met?
Eventually after more than a decade of this shit, I caught him cheating, and left.
I love my house, my free time, and my life now. :D.

Millyblods Tue 11-Mar-14 11:45:04

"Get Rid".... seriously? No where has she indicated that she would want that. Bit drastic ! She is trying to find a way to make her relationship better not worse. I don't think she wants to end up alone.

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