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Stopped being angry with MIL and started being angry with DH

(42 Posts)
TropicalHorse Tue 04-Nov-14 13:51:27

My DH is shit at doing his share of the housework. There's no escaping or excusing it. I unwillingly, furiously, do way more washing, dishes, cooking, cleaning, home admin, DIY. He has all the "typical" excuses we have read 1000 on MN. He doesn't think to do it. He doesn't 'see' messes. He was raised by a neat-freak who spoiled her boys and they never lifted a finger around the house. (She told me this quite proudly once. The myriad of possible sarcastic replies that rose to my lips were stifled with difficulty into a jokey "Lucky me!")
We have argued, sought professional counselling, made lists, kept score, he's read (or claims to have read) Wifework, I've nagged and not-nagged but his behaviour just never changes. Or it changes for 2 days, then reverts.
Recently, I've started placing the blame with my rational, adult DH who has not lived with his mother for 20-odd years.
I'm about to tell him this is breakup-worthy shit. I'm fed up with it.
We can't afford a cleaner and really, the amount if effort required from him is minimal.
We have a 16mo DD who was recently hospitalised, I stayed overnight too. Got home the next afternoon to an absolute pig stye, when I suggested he could have done some washing or pushed the Hoover around he looked astonished at the suggestion. He'd been watching films and eating the contents of the fridge, by the evidence.
I'm not going to mitigate this rant by claiming he's a lovely, loving husband because I'm too angry. His behaviour is not the behaviour of a respectful, equal partner and I am over it.
Anyone else??

QuintsBombWithAWiew Tue 04-Nov-14 13:52:57

You go girl!

hellsbellsmelons Tue 04-Nov-14 13:55:29

I just wanna say...

I just couldn't imagine living with a man pig like this!
It's completely disrespectful, as you rightly say.

GoatsDoRoam Tue 04-Nov-14 13:58:39

You've got clarity and you've got determination. Great stuff.

Meerka Tue 04-Nov-14 13:59:20


"shape up or ship out"

why are SO MANY men taking it for granted they don't have to do a f***ing thing in their house??

georgedawes Tue 04-Nov-14 14:03:59

Good on you

prettywhiteguitar Tue 04-Nov-14 14:04:28

Get rid of him, my dp would never disrespect our relationship by going to counselling having numerous arguments etc and then still carry on doing it !

I have lived with men like that in the past though, it's truely depressing

Ragwort Tue 04-Nov-14 14:07:39

Do all these men really change over night or do some women 'enjoy' keeping house when they first start living together and try to take control of the cleaning/cooking etc and then (quite rightly) get fed up when it is all taken for granted.

I know this sounds old fashioned but I do think (some) people rush into living together without discussing all the boring details like housework and money and in laws.

I really hope, as a mother to a boy, that I am bringing up my DS to understand that keeping house, cleaning, cooking. shopping etc are everyone's responsibilities

Somethingtodo Tue 04-Nov-14 14:08:48

I have a husband like this -- and have endured his nonsense for 30 years - currently I am on a dirty protest and doing nothing -- but this just backfires on me and my kids - as the house is a hole and the kids are distressed.

It has also turned me into a bitter resentful martyred nag - as I respond with increasing rage and exasperation -- I dont want my children to think this is what I am like or what a relationship should be like.

I need to find some systems/lists etc online that I can stick up in the kitchen so that I can call him on it easily -- will also rope the kids in so that it is a family effort.....any ideas?

annieOct14 Tue 04-Nov-14 14:11:12


I know this is so very frustrating but needs a step back to assess. Firstly this is typical of men for one reason or another. (Have you seen The Break Up with Jennifer Aniston? And unless you deem this as serious as a means of splitting from your husband (and this does bring to mind the film Bridget Jones Edge of Reason - where BJ is in the Thai jail and is asked what her reason was for splitting from her boyfriend) anyhow staying with the point - then think of practical ways of going forward. as an example make a list of jobs and assign them to him. Place it on a notice board. Then speak to him seriously keeping calm how the situation is affecting you. Provide a solution and then ask for his opinion. What is his solution? And does he realise there is a serious issue between the two of you? Sadly you can't afford a cleaner and that would solve a lot of problems but why should you have to do the bulk of the chores? But then again do you really want to end things with your Mr Darcy?

PfftTheMagicDraco Tue 04-Nov-14 14:21:01

annie Really? I can't do anything but laugh. It's not typical of ALL men and WTAF is all this Mr Darcy shit?

GoatsDoRoam Tue 04-Nov-14 14:23:48

Hi Annie. I'm not convinced that Jennifer Aniston films, Bridget Jones films, or BBC period dramas are the best relationship manuals.

annieOct14 Tue 04-Nov-14 14:24:38

Sorry to offend you. I was being humorous. If I could do it all over again I would carry out a 'job' interview and draw up a contract. I have issues of my own.

Vitalstatistix Tue 04-Nov-14 14:25:13

seriously? You're giving advice based on films and book characters? If we're doing that, I suggest she follows the example of the troll in the three billy goats and eats the bastard.

If you read her post, she's talked to him. And talked and talked and talked. And talked. And talked.

You suggest that she gives him lists of stuff to do and talks calmly to him? A) he's not a child and B) she's already said she has been talking to him about this for a decade.

Vitalstatistix Tue 04-Nov-14 14:27:53

x post - now THAT'S a reasonable suggestion - for someone entering into a relationship. To talk about it, agree and be firm on what is and is not acceptable. That's bloody good advice and everyone entering into a relationship should follow it and have some very serious conversations!

But for a problem that's god knows how many years old with no resolution? Sorry, that's a patio job.

GoatsDoRoam Tue 04-Nov-14 14:28:59

aaah, gotcha, Annie. I did wonder.
(do you need a thread of your own for these issues?)

Vitalstatistix Tue 04-Nov-14 14:29:19

B) amendment - god knows how many years.

I need a coffee.

I also am not sure the troll actually successfully ate the goats, thinking about it.

annieOct14 Tue 04-Nov-14 14:33:35

I'm thinking when it gets to the point you would rather be alone than with someone making your life a misery then that's the time to take the exit and run.

cailindana Tue 04-Nov-14 14:40:45

I had similar issues with DH. I told him I'd had enough and I was sick of constantly putting energy into our relationship while he kept all his energy for himself. I said I was on the verge of leaving, and I meant it.

It kicked him up the arse. He's like a different person. Now, I am still dubious and find it hard to trust him as this is such a sudden change - I am still afraid he will revert back to how he was. But, I am hopeful as he has really examined his thought processes and his attitude and is genuinely ashamed of his behaviour.

Part of what sparked the change was getting him to engage with feminism. This is a tough ask for most men, but he has properly engaged with it and understands why he was so useless for so long, as well as why his behaviour was unacceptable.

The whole "I don't see mess" is just bullshit and you know it. DH admits that the classic "tell me what to do and I'll do it" was a passive aggressive way to make me shut up.

I have no advice beyond stating that you have had enough and are about to leave and mean it. It worked for me.

WillkommenBienvenue Tue 04-Nov-14 14:44:59

I think these men genuinely view it as a weakness to do wifework. It is insulting and disrespectful, mine is just the same and has been like this for 25 years. Even when I was in hospital giving birth to his second child, my Mum said dirty dishes were left lying about and he hadn't lifted a finger.

OP I don't know what you can do but I can warn you that it will never change.

One thing you could do is test him on other issues, ask him to do something manly, like wash the car once a week, see if he does it. Then you will know whether it's gender abuse or just plain old disrespect.

Just made up gender abuse term, not sure if it's a valid term but sexism doesn't quite do the job.

annieOct14 Tue 04-Nov-14 14:51:14

I agree with you Bienvenue. I have one such DH. I have accepted the situation. We have a gardener and cleaner.

Joysmum Tue 04-Nov-14 14:55:50

Mine changed. He genuinely never saw a problem as I prefer a clearer and tidier house to him. He's got better as he's seen how much it bothers me. I work from home so see it more and do it before he sees the issue.

Luckily, unlike many posting on this thread, I married a good man. Different things are important to him and he's just as exasperated with me that I don't see the problems he's fixated on!

MissScatterbrain Tue 04-Nov-14 14:56:33

Why are you doing his cooking, ironing, laundry, shopping etc then?

I would be very tempted to put all of his man crap and rubbish in a bin bag and sling it outside. But seriously he does not take you seriously because there are no real consequences for him. You do not have to carry on living with a lazy entitled selfish man.

WillkommenBienvenue Tue 04-Nov-14 15:04:23

If they ever stand by the dishwasher and ask you if the dishes in it are clean you know you've got problems. They do their best to draw you into their helplessness. The look on his face when I say 'I don't know' is fun to observe.

mkmjimmy Tue 04-Nov-14 15:05:20

Had a row this morning about this topic - but the other way round. He likes things very tidy and can't cope with clutter. I think the place is way more tidy than it would be if it was me on my own and i see the clutter as my stuff.

I feel like I'm constantly tidying and hiding away my stuff to keep it up to his unreasonable standards and he feels that he is constantly doing the same as I'm 'so messy' apparently.

Mostly we get on OK and this isn't too much of a problem - but if we are going to row this is what we row about. Us both feeling we're being asked to change our personalities in order to live together. When we are in a happy fond place with each other then we realise its compromise.

So I have some sympathy with your husband...but not a lot as he has to bl**dy compromise if you are going to live together.

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