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Can't work out if it's me expecting too much of DH or could he do more?

(35 Posts)
cookiemonster100 Tue 30-Dec-14 23:14:14

Hi all,

I can't work out if I am expecting too much of DH or if he could be more of a team player in our marriage. It's hard for me to explain so I am going to try with examples.

1) He is totally crap at cleaning & tidying but a brilliant cook. Way way better than me. He cooks most night. However as I do most of the early wake up with the kids, washing, ironing, cleaning the house, organising stuff (holiday, social events, inviting his family to stay) present buying, childcare drop off & pick ups, food shopping, etc etc my pay back, is he also tidies up after dinner. My agenda was I may do a lot of the running around however by the time the kids have gone to bed, I can settle down to a nice meal & chill for the evening. But it doesn't work like that. I spend most if the evening going "are you doing the kitchen" with a reply of "yeah in a minute, just letting my dinner settle yadayadayada". So it's nearly bed time he frantically rushes round clearing up leaving 1/2 the stuff in the sink to soak for me to clean up in the morning. No surfaces wiped. No floor swept. I refuse to cave in & do it as this comes under his "jobs". So tonight's a brilliant example, it's bin night. He does bins. However as per, I spend the evening going "it's bin night" & usual DH response "in a min" which results in him getting out of bed now to go and put the bins out. FFS why couldn't he do it earlier?! I know I could do it, but I do ALOT for us so for him to own a few basic chores & get on with it doesn't seem that hard, but why is it? it's so tiring having the same dull conversations with him. Can't he see it's so un fun to be going on at him? I would much rather have a normal conversation.

2) I am going through crappy stuff with my parents. Both divorced & are quite sick. DB not around to help so spend a lot of time running around looking after them. DH never asks how I am with it or supports me? He never offers to see where he can help. He never asks how I am? But the really annoying thing about this, he is absolutely brilliant in a crisis. My gran moved into a care home last year, & last min we were let down by a man & a van. All of a sudden DH has organised a van, got some help & moved her in. He even assembled her furniture & helped her unpack. I was literally crying I was so taken back how he was such a support to her. She always tells people about his him & how he looked after that day. Or the time I got stranded missing the last train home from town & he drive out in the middle of the night & picked me up (despite it being my own fault for enjoying myself too much & not watching the time).

3) Finally it's this one that gets me the most, our LO. Whenever I walk into a room & it's both of them, DH is playing candy crush whilst LO on the floor playing. Sometimes LO is trying to get his attention but he is so engrossed in his game. He never sits on the floor & plays with him or reads to him. He used to have him 1 day a week to cover one of my work days & he did nothing with him in that time. No walks, or toddler groups or soft play. I feel LO just spent most of the day playing by himself of watching TV (DH was in the room but hiding behind the iPad). I have now started him at nursery partly because I felt LO needed more than being plonked down for a large part of the day with little interaction. However they have a brilliant relationship, DH does nappies, cooks great food & sometimes comes home with a new outfit or small toy for him. LO adores him & lights up when he sees him.

is it me having too high expectations? Could hubby do more? I think bin gate tipped me over tonight as I just wanted to relax & go to sleep & not think about the stuff that needed doing!

Sorry this is mega long, thanks for reading. I know the above is totally immaterial to what some of you ladies are going through right now flowers

Crunchybadger Tue 30-Dec-14 23:52:49

I think (3) is the key: he's not engaged with his own kid (as far as you can tell), to the point that you felt you had to pay someone else to do it. Pretty lame to stick the tv on and submerse in ipad one day a week with the kid he's supposedly got a great relationship with.

How did that conversation go when you broached it re nursery? Did you tell him why?

The other domestic stuff: meh. Sounds like you do a lot and he gets to pretend to help with a couple of things, often last minutey and halfhearted. Same with your family - not asking how you are but can do it at crunch time.

I'm afriad to say he doesn't sound very engaged with you and he isn't pulling his weight but letting you effectively take responsibility for it all.

What happens when you discuss it?

Ideally you would both be flexible and step in with whatever needs doing but I'm not sure that can work at the moment. Can you agreee what each expects the other to do and just leave him to it? I understand that its annoying when he doesn't do his stuff but I bet he's annoyed to be reminded - when you've divided up the chores then just expect him to do them - after all I imagine he doesn't remind you to do all the other stuff you're doing but trusts that you'll do it.

Resentment seems to kill relationships: you need to talk and agree what you expect from each other. Good luck!

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 31-Dec-14 08:03:57

What happens when you don't tell him to do it and just leave it?

cookiemonster100 Wed 31-Dec-14 08:09:27

I think my third point above is what causing a lot of resentment which is attributing to my first point. Re nursery we always said that was going to be the longer term aim however I told him he has speeded up the process. I think he was relieved tbh. He admitted that he doesn't feel confident taking him to toddler groups or soft play cafés. The annoying thing is we moved recently & I have really had to force myself to go to try & meet new people. He never once asks how was it. Or even come along with us. I think it's pretty lame he can't walk him up to the park or something.

I agree resentment does kill relationships but I can't work out if I am being unreasonable & expecting too much or if my hubby is just taking a back seat as he knows I will do it. Since the arrival of our LO, & other emotional stuff going on I don't really have the emotional capacity to deal with DH.

fanjobiscuits Wed 31-Dec-14 08:10:24

It sounds like you have different personalities and approaches to life. He is last minute and you like to plan/ be more proactive.

susannahmoodie Wed 31-Dec-14 08:13:08

What is your situation re work? And his?

cookiemonster100 Wed 31-Dec-14 08:14:09

funky I do that sometimes. For eg if he can't be arsed to walk the few steps to put his dirty clothes in the linen basket, I leave it on a heap on the floor. I won't wash it. That normally works for a few weeks then it repeats. However the kitchen, IMO, needs doing otherwise I will end up doing it in the morning as the house stinks of last night dinner. Re bins, it's fortnightly collection for us, & post Xmas it's over flowing. If we missed this I would spend the next week chasing him to take the rubbish to the tip.

cookiemonster100 Wed 31-Dec-14 08:22:07

Susannah I work PT him FT. I also volunteer in something 1 day a fortnight in a field I am trying to get into.

Tryharder Wed 31-Dec-14 08:24:08

I think you are a bit controlling and micromanaging.

If he has to get out of bed to take the bins out, that's his look out.

If the pots aren't done, I would leave them for him the next night.

If he's not looking after his own child in the way you see fit, you are undermining him but putting your child into nursery. You say your DS loves his Dad. I don't think one day a week of slightly slack parenting is going to harm your DS when that day is being spent with his Dad. I dont think DCs suffer from having to play on their own once in a while especially as his time is probably accounted for in full on your watch.

WellAsCanBe Wed 31-Dec-14 08:25:03

This kind of stuff destroys relationships. My XH was similar - after putting up with it for 13 years I ended the relationship. By that time I had no affection or desire or even remote liking for him, just anger and resentment.

I tried and tried to explain what i want of him but he was always too busy working or staring at a screen or it would be 'wait a minute' or 'later'.

I spent a valuable chunk of my life waiting for him, and rather than sharing joy with my DC, I was filled with anger and resentmentof him.

I don't think he ever understood why our relationship ended or why he no longer got to live with his children. I'm not even sure that he cared that much.

WellAsCanBe Wed 31-Dec-14 08:32:32

I should add that my DC love their DF and continue to see him occasionally. He's just the same and it dosn't seem to matter that much to them that he's sometimes useless. Our split was very difficult for the DC and I don't recommend it, but it saved my sanity.

Looking back, I didn't accept that there were different ways to do things and that my way was not necessarily the only way....but he was driving me mad and nothing ever changed.

I sympathise and hope you and your DP can work on a compromise.

cookiemonster100 Wed 31-Dec-14 08:34:48

try I agree re the bins, that is his look out to get out of bed to do it. But it's the moaning & waking me up in the process. Re pots, yes I can leave them but then when I need to cook the kids tea, I need to clean then. So the easiest thing would be to clean it up the night before, which I don't want to as I would like him to own some chores in our house.
If I come across controlling & micro managing, I don't mean to. But seriously, if a grown man can hold a decent professional job, why can't he take some ownership in our home. I am not his carer, I am his wife.

I also think spending the day playing candy crush while your LO watches cartoons is not parenting.

cookiemonster100 Wed 31-Dec-14 08:40:15

well splitting is what I am trying to avoid. I don't think I can handle it & I do love him. But I do resent him. If I be honest I have resented him since the newborn days. Not getting up in the night to feed (I was bf), complaining how tired he was etc etc, telling all & sundry about the nappy change he did at 6 in the morning so I could have a rest. Literally there were days I was quietly seething with him.
Hence I def need to address this as it's just been building up.

ArtVandelay Wed 31-Dec-14 08:45:53

I really don't know the answer to this. I am in a similar position. My current strategy is to say something once, invite to do together and if he says later he does it by himself. I am also taking hours of 'me time' where I do something I want' to even the balance of him needing periods of 'me time'. I'm also surprised at how 'useless' and feeble a senior manager in a big firm can be. I love my DH and he is a nice man but sometimes I get tired of being the boss of everything at home. However, no one is perfect - least of all me!

Strictly1 Wed 31-Dec-14 08:46:59

From his point of view I can imagine you are simply moaning all of the time. It does seem that you want things doing your way and if they're not, you're not happy. If he has been working all day I can understand him wanting to do things in his own time at home rather than being constantly reminded. Marriage is about compromise on both sides. I hope you work it out or it will become a poison in what could be a strong relationship.

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 31-Dec-14 08:47:32

yes I can leave them but then when I need to cook the kids tea, I need to clean then.

I thought he did all the cooking?

dashoflime Wed 31-Dec-14 08:47:43

I am watching this thread with interest as my DH is similar. Most recent thing- I have been pissed off with always getting up first to do the mornings and have extracted an agreement that DH would wake up with DS Monday, Tuesday and Saturday.
Yesterday (tuesday) DH got up with DS and kept him company in his room, (in slightly slack way though- I could hear from my room).
But- when I got up, announced he was going back to bed for a nap!
I was gobsmaked that he would think the deal only involved being physically present up until the point I got up! I had in mind that I would clean the kitchen, while he saw to DS! Apparently I didn't make things clear enough. I was beyond furious and DH apparently had not a clue why.
I also can't tell if I'm asking too much or if he's taking the piss. Its enough to make me feel I'm going mad.
I don't want to spend my marriage arguing over this trivial household shit- but he is so resistant to pulling his weight that we end up doing just that! I really hope someone here has a solution for us, OP!

ArtVandelay Wed 31-Dec-14 08:48:26

Oh, and yes to the seething!

cookiemonster100 Wed 31-Dec-14 09:11:27

funky I do LO tea as he eats earlier & has intolerances which means he can't always eat what we do. Plus we are generally in for lunch where as DH is at work.
Yes yes dash, if DH does the rare getting up with LO, once I am up he is back to bed till lunchtime. Next day off together I am going to pull that trick & see how he likes it!
Strictly I am very aware that I sound a moany old goat to him, I am bored of it. Bored bored bored of it.
Art Like your tactic about offering to help & I agree it is about compromise. I am just feeling really under pressure with looking after my sick parents & very little help. Maybe I hoped he would take the burden of me elsewhere. I don't get much me time after this.

cookiemonster100 Wed 31-Dec-14 09:13:04

lime I agree I don't want to spend my marriage arguing over house stuff. Life is way more fun than this!

frankbough Wed 31-Dec-14 10:05:16

I agree with Tryharder, in fact it was tiring reading the OP, I'm always perplexed by the need for some kind of rota at home, a lot of this household stuff takes minutes anyway yet people become uptight about it, bins, dinner, washing up, who's turn it is to make a cup of t, fgs it all sound petty..
Me and my wife have completely different ways of doing chores, I do 90% anyway being at home the most, and even when I was working I still did more because my expectations and levels of cleanliness are higher, berating and nagging someone isn't going to change the other person..

I'm also perplexed as to why the children have to be constantly mithered and entertained as a SAHD, yes we do go to the park and I go walking, but neither of us has felt the need to attend a playgroup or some other manufactured child centered approach, I'd say 75% of the time I just let them play freely and guide them briefly, and yes they do empty the cupboards and the fridge and bang pans, turn the sofa upside down and make a mess, but they also learn and develop at their own pace...

I think if your going to spend your marriage trying to change a person into a clone of yourself your going to be sorely disappointed, exasperated and in the end divorced..

dashoflime Wed 31-Dec-14 10:23:43

"Yes yes dash, if DH does the rare getting up with LO, once I am up he is back to bed till lunchtime."

Agghh- its not just mine then!! What the fuck is that about?! Maddening. At least i am pretty sure he will not be doing that again after the bollocking I gave him.

frankbough I agree and disagree. I am pretty relaxed about parenting. I think it is fine for kids to entertain themselves. DS is entertaining himself right now while I Mumsnet. Its a balance though.
When I do childcare I tend to aim for some kind of "outing" a day. Even if its just to the supermarket or a little run around a play park. Playgroup is also good- for burning off energy, learnign to socialise etc.
I agree with the poster up thread who said one day a week of slack parenting is not going to harm a child.
However- I suspect OP feels put on the spot to take up the slack and "make up" for her DH's slackness. I certainly feel like that at times. Ultimately I want DS to have nice childhood experiances and I will make an effort to see that, that happens.

Same with housework- its not the end of the world to be a bit lazy and messy (as long as the house isn't a health hazard) but its also god to have pleasent surroundings. If one partner isn't pulling their weight then the other person feels obliged to pick up the slack and thats where resentments start building up.

frank If you are the one doing more than your share and you don't mind it then good for you and I admire your laid back attitude. persoanlly i would love to be as laid back as that. But- the reality is, I do get resentful and feel taken for granted and its no good just ignoring those feelings. I need some good stratergies for raising it in a respectful and constructive way so that we don't end up ruining our relationship over this stuff- when we get on so well otherwise.

dashoflime Wed 31-Dec-14 10:24:46

excuse typos. Angry posting angry

Holdthepage Wed 31-Dec-14 10:30:20

Just stop bailing him out. If he doesn't take the bins out then they stay full for another week. If he doesn't clear up then the next night when he comes to cook dinner there will be a lack of clean dishes & space. He will soon get the message without you having to nag him.

You need to hold your nerve on this & put up with the short term mess for the long term gain.

cookiemonster100 Wed 31-Dec-14 10:51:12

dash thank you, that's exactly how I feel. Spot on!

frank yes it is petty about who does what around the house. That's the point. I don't want it to be. I don't want to be the moaning old crow. You sound quite pro active & happy to do it. I too am pro active around the house, but I am not happy with it. I work, juggle childcare & look after elderly parents. I need more support at home. Is that too much to ask?

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