Help! I have created a useless husband(49 Posts)
When the dc were little I started to do everything regarding childcare and housework whilst dh went to work. At the time this seemed pretty fair and came naturally. However, now the dc are 8 and 10 and I still do EVERYTHING. All housework and all childcare. The difference is that now I work too. For 3 years I have worked 4 days a week but nothing has changed for him. I am completely frazzled and feel totally unappreciated . On top of this dh barely shows me any affection except for when he wants sex. Recently I have started to think about being with another man who appreciates me, which would horrify dh. However, I can see I am partly to blame for letting him get away with it for so long. How can I get him to see that he needs to help more and show me more love without sounding like a nagging wife. I need him to stop treating me like a housekeeper with benefits.
You are definitely not to blame
Start by stopping doing his washing and ironing, let him do it himself if he won't help with anything else, then he might start getting the message
You shouldn't have to, the goal posts changed when you moved from a SAHM to a working person, he should have noticed no?
Sorry but I think you are just with a lazy man who thinks it's your job to do all the shit work.
f you want to put negativity on it all you can go "on strike" blame him, nag, and start a whole hoo ha which will probably turn sour.
It's not your fault of course but you understand it has a become a habit, a bad habit that you probably contributed to. And want to find positive ways to change it.
I'd say simple things like, if he's home before you, ask him to run a bath (and check bath is clean first) for you before you get home as you've had a tough day...etc (gives him the hint you will be doing nothing when you get in and he best get the tea on)
Ask "what's for tea"
Clean things while he is around and ask him to "give you a hand" i.e with laundry or something.
Doing the jobs together to start with will probably get him into the habit of what needs doing.
All sounds like hand holding - but if you're looking for an alternative to a nag and an argument, always worth a try! Unless you have discussed it all with him before and he's ignored you... then it's a different story.
DH not showing affection unless he wants sex - not sure what to do about this one! You mean no cuddles, kisses..etc and if you DO get them he pretty much knows you're being asked for sex? xx
Just stop doing it all. e.g. don't iron his shirts, tell him that the person who cooks is not the one that washes up.
How about the children? Now they are 8 and 10yrs are they washing up etc?
Are you me? Skivy central here except that Flyingboy does do a lot of housework for me. I left him in charge of DH and DS2 while I went away recently
Your mindset, where you take responsibility for his laziness, is a definite problem!
I think he genuinely doesn't realise everything I do. There is always clean clothes, food in fridge, meals cooked, clean house. Part of the problem is that I cannot stand it when the house is dirty or I see washing piling up. I have just in the habit of doing it all. Now I can't even remember the last cup of tea he made me.
His mother is a cold unemotional person and I think that is why he struggles with affection, but I am a very affectionate person and I am starting to feel rejected and unattractive.
"Your mindset, where you take responsibility for his laziness, is a definite problem!"
I think you're a little wrong here, she is not acting trodden on or saying something is her fault in terms of "victim blaming" but merely saying that they have clearly got into a bad habit that she has contributed to, and now wants suggestions on how to fix it that aren't as conflicting as telling him he's shit and pestering him...etc
Otherwise on that stance you can't blame him for being lazy, if she is doing everything and letting it be that way.
I'm not defending it, just saying it isn't black and white.
"I think he genuinely doesn't realise everything I do. There is always clean clothes, food in fridge, meals cooked, clean house. Part of the problem is that I cannot stand it when the house is dirty or I see washing piling up. I have just in the habit of doing it all. Now I can't even remember the last cup of tea he made me. "
You sound exactly like how I was. Although 5 years down the line (not as long as you) but he still asks me if I have sugar in a brew when I demand one, and we don't even have sugar in the house haha!
My OH didn't realise any of what I do. And made the comment that "It's always done faster than he notices it" which I thought was a massive cop out, but I started leaving things that weren't dirty (that I could cope with not being done immediately) and were just messy, and "hinted" they needed doing..etc. Anyway... he does do it now, I can come home and washing will have been on and hung, or washing up all put away...etc. Doesn't always mean they are a bad person, just a bit bloody thick ;) lol
As for the affection thing - I think you should talk about that straight with him, especially if it's just not something he does, but is having an emotional effect on you xx
You haven't mentioned how he feels about this.
Have you mentioned it to him?
It's easy to slip into routines and until someone says "look, I'm doing more than my share here, you need to do your share" then he probably isn't aware there's a problem.
What his reaction to that is, will tell you whether he's lazy or just let things drift out of balance.
Thanks Hermit - you give me hope that things can get better. The other day I did 2 loads of washing, made a loaf of bread for lunch, loaded and emptied the dishwasher and helped dd with her homework. He made a comment about people sitting around doing nothing because he was wanting us to go out. It dawned on me then that he really doesn't see what i do
YOu sound like a very nice unselfish person and your dh is taking advantage of that.
My dh does absolutely nothign around the house (and creates a lot of mess) so I understand your frustration, but he works very long hours and I work only a few (expat situation) so I'm not in a position to protest. Plus, given his work load and travel schedule, he is a very involved father and enjoys shopping for food and cooking etc when he is here. He also happily runs lots of errands although I am sure this is to avoid housework
Think Hermitcrabs suggestions are very clever and subtle and much better than mine, but fwiw ....
In your position, if he still doesn't get it, I think I would organise a proper meeting with your dh outside the house. (This should have happen 4 yrs ago but better late than never!) Plan childcare and organise it like you would a work meeting. Write out your objectives and what you want to achieve by the end of it. Also, sort dates for implementation and set another meeting (perhaps two or three months on?) for a review of how it is working. That way he gets the message that you are serious.
Tell him you feel totally and utterly unappreciated in every way. That you are unhappy and that things have to change. Be unapologetic and unequivocal. This situation is not your fault. He needs to receive this message loud and clear.
There's no need to nag. Having written down all the tasks you do (everything!) over the previous fortnight or month, just present him with a list and then agree a 60/40 split or whatever you would be happy with.
Incude your dc in the chore list too (you don't want them to grow up like him!)
Be strong over the implementation period. Do not bail him out ever! (It would help, as previously suggested, if some of the tasks he does impact mostly on him if left undone ie his work shirts, his food etc.) Just stick to your tasks resolutely and ignore the rest. If things are left undone, refer him to the list. Make him feel accountable.
NO need to reveal this at the outset, but I think you need to decide on a consequence at the end of two or three months, if he doesn't comply. (Plan time away to think about things, book yourself a holiday, a trial period living on your own. It depends on how strongly you feel about all of this and how far you are prepared to go to achieve equality in the chore dept.)
Once the housework is sorted, you then have a clear space in which to work on the rest of your relationship.
Sorry for huge post (I the flu, so high temp must be making me ramble) All of the above is of course much easier to write down than to implement! Rlis not that easy! I have a sister who has had the same issues throughout her married life and only now, upon retirement, is she starting to address some of them. She wishes she had done so much earlier ... .
He doesn't realise because he's never actually shown any interest in what is involved in running a home, he expects you to do it!
Sorry but the only way you will resolve this is to sit down and mark out exactly what chores will be his from now on, if he can't accept or understand that then you are onto a losing battle.
uptheroad - I'm 7 months pregnant, last night I came home, had a bath, made his tea (which he did specifically ask If I would do.. a pasta thing he likes, so fair doos), Then put the washing on, to which he said "oh shit" as I walked past haha, then I ironed, but then he took the washing out of the machine while I was ironing and hung it up, then did the washing up (we don't have a dishwasher) But between it all he was staring at the TV, oblivious anything needed doing until he saw me huffing and puffing about. lol
Today I could come home and tea be on the table, washing away, and house perfect... it's like a lucky bag, never know what I'm going to get.. exciting ay!? (He works part time and I'm out from 7am til gone 6pm) I'm laid back about it all though.... I'm happy so fair enough.
I say that now.. wait until the little un arrives! haha
Does he say thank you? (I mean for the housework, not the sex!)
Also have you had the 'big chat'. Where you talk about how (not if, how) the chores are going to be split more equitably? How did it go? If you haven't done it, try it. Go in with a fairly open mind - does he want to take on half the cooking, half the laundry etc, or an entire section? Its all better than the current split. Also he's more likely to stick to jobs he's chosen than if you just present him with a list. .
I was all ready to say that you just need to have a conversation about it, and probably be a bit proactive about telling him exactly what needs doing, because likely you're right, he doesn't really even know. You would likely have to bite your tongue about standards a bit while things got settled, but surely that'd be worth it in the long run.
But then I noticed the thing about cups of tea, and there's the affection thing. I don't consider a cup of tea 'housework'. I consider it a reciprocal arrangement of mutual benefit and find it a bit weird that he expects you to make ALL the tea. A little thing, maybe, but how does it work? Does he ask you for cups of tea if he wants one?
It makes me unsure that it IS a thing where he's just used to the status quo, to be honest. How do you think he would react if you explained kindly and clearly about needing him to do more? What happens if you request a cup of tea?
I apologise for being stuck on this tea business, by the way.
I would suggest you make a list of the things he does, like mowing the lawn, taking bins out (if he does anything at all).
And then make a list of the things you do. Include everything, right down to helping DC with homework, renewing car insurance, running the DC to clubs, getting PE kit ready, checking DC's clothes still fit and switching clothes between seasons, shopping, cooking, laundry.... everything you do around the house that requires physical and/or mental effort on your part.
The sit him down, and start the conversation along these lines...
"DH, when I was a SAHM, it worked for both of us that I took on the bulk of domestic chores. But I've been back at work for 3 years now, the chores still all seem to be my responsibility, and I'm physically and mentally exhausted. I need you to take over some of the responsibility from me, and to share the burden with me. Here is the list of things we need to stay on top of, please could you have a serious look over it and start to do some of these tasks. Please don't say 'just tell me what to do and I'll do it'; I need to hand over mental responsibility too, as juggling the "to do" list in my head is pretty much as exhausting as anything else. Which tasks would you like to take over to start with?"
And see how he responds.
Does he say thank you? (I mean for the housework, not the sex!) That made me laugh!
How was he before children?
I think it's easier to settle into a comfortable position of doing very little. You certainly didn't create how he is at the moment, he should have realised that he needed to do more at home since you went back to work.
However, at this time, I would have a proper conversation with him about the housework first.
Then, at a later stage about how you feel that you may be drifting and taking each other for granted. And devise together a plan for appreciating each other more.
Then see how he reacts to it and what happens.
Someone typed about partner wanting family to go out while they rush around doing everything. You shouldn't have to do this, its wifework, but I say, before we go out, baby needs a snack, washing needs hanging out, and we need to take a picnic. Do you want to make sandwiches and ill do the washing? Would that not work on some of these thick skinned men?
I would just go out for the day and leave them all to it-better still have a weekend away.
I think all this 'ask him to give you a hand' is wrong. If there are two adults in the house they are jointly responsible. It's simple he takes that responsibility either by doing the work or paying for a cleaner for his share.
I also think that if you jump onto it the second anything is out of place its as much your fault.
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