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I can't cope with DH's laziness anymore.(39 Posts)
Brief background: been with DH for 6 years, married for 3. We have one DD who is nearly 2 and I'm 5 months pregnant with our second. We both work full-time but I work double-shifts (as a nurse) of 14 hours so I only work 3 days a week. I do pretty much everything around the house in terms of cooking, cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping. I also do most of the childcare although DD is in nursery 2 days a week, but DH has to have her one weekend day when I'm at work. I'm really struggling with the exhaustion of working full-time, having a toddler, being pregnant and keeping on top of stuff around the house. I've begged DH for more help. He acknowledges he needs to do more, and may briefly improve for a day or two after each discussion then things just go back to how they are. He has currently got back problems (which are awful I know as I've had them myself). He's basically decided to sulk in bed about this since yesterday afternoon when he came home from work sick. Today I've snapped and told him me and DD are going out without him, and am currently trying not to sob in the middle of soft play.
As an aside, after a pretty poor effort on his part for my birthday last year, when he asked what I wanted this year I just said mainly some money towards a new laptop I needed (this was several weeks in advance of my birthday). Despite all the advance notice, my birthday was a week ago and he still hasn't even bothered to get my birthday money out for me. It's not really a question of the money, I'm just hurt that I'm clearly so low down his list of priorities that he couldn't be bothered to pop to a cash point for 2 minutes before my birthday so he could put some money in a card. I always feel I make a decent effort for his birthdays.
To top things off work has been really stressful recently and I've got a terminally ill Dad, which is adding to me feeling burnt out and exhausted.
I just don't know how to get him to help more. I do love him and he is very loving to me and DD, but his laziness at home is killing our relationship.
Not sure why he is sulking in bed. Because he has a bad back?
If it were me I'd read him the Riot Act, on the lines of shape up or ship out. Sorry but doing all this work will make you ill.
I think I would be incandescent at "forgetting" to give me money for my birthday present. He doesn't value you.
What do you get out of this relationship now?
How is he loving towards you if he can and does treat you like this?
What relationship lessons are being imparted to your DD here; that it is ok for Mum to slog her guts out for some lazy man who is seeing you run around without helping much?. You are indeed way down on his list of priorities; I would think that he alone is his main priority.
Stop doing what you can. No housework - or only bare minimum. And when he asks why, or comments, you simply say "I can't manage everything on my own." and keep saying it.
Talk about getting a cleaner - even if you don't - just tell him you can't manage everything on your own.
If you cook. Stop. Buy only read-made food for a few days. And again, when he comments you say..... "I can't manage everything on my own."
I think the problem is not that your division of labour is terrible (which it is) but that your husband doesn't seem to value you really. With 2 very young children and you on mat leave, you can see how this will play out.
My marriage was like this. I was also doing long shifts in a similar job. he also had back problems, they used to flare up when he had angry outbursts. He used to take to his bed and feel very sorry for himself. Me, and the kids were largely invisible to him. The marriage nearly ruined my mental and physical health. I used to get ill a lot.
When I left my life became easier in a million ways. There's nothing as lovely and awful as living like this.
So time to value yourself instead. Please do re think whether it's wise to stay married to someone who just doesn't have your back.
Thank you for your replies. I think it helps just to feel that you don't all think I'm being unreasonable. DD got tired so I took her home for a nap. DH came and spoke to me once she was asleep. We had a 'heated' conversation about everything. I'll try to explain it in an unbiased way. He feels I think that I don't understand how much pain he is in and why he can't do much at the moment, which was frustrating as I said I wasn't just upset about the past two days, it's an issue that's been going on for months. He says he struggles to do much Monday - Friday as he works 9-5 and had an hour and a half commute each way to work (which is true) so not much time to get anything else done in the week, even though I said I wasn't expecting him to come home and spend 2 hours cleaning, I just needed a bit more help with odd jobs which he said he feels he has been trying to do. He said he would start to take-over some jobs around the house to which I said that I didn't really believe him that this would last more than a couple of days, as we've had this argument so many times before. I don't know what the answer is anymore.
If he doesn't keep it up, you will have to go on strike. Don't wash/iron his clothes/cook his meals/do anything for him at all. See if that wakes him up a bit.
If you are both struggling with time to do chores you could look at getting a cleaner if you have budget for it?
What has he done about the back problem?
Dh has a bad back strongly linked to his mental state. He has had gp spots and a spinal rehab course which was great. Things got better when he started daily back specific exercise plus walking, but tbh the real breakthrough was amitriptyline.
Bad backs are very individual but lying in bed is rarely a great idea. Is he taking enough painkillers to keep mobile? Can he walk with your dc (dh could walk for miles but couldn't stand for 10 seconds). Is his commute making things worse? Could he lose weight, cycle to work once a week, DO something to make you feel things won't always be like this?
You both work full-time so he shouldn't be "helping", he should be shouldering half of the housework and child-care. What does he think you are, his effing mother?
Please get this sorted one way or another because once you're at home with your new baby he's going to revert to type and leave everything to you once again. Because he can, because you'll just get on with it if he doesn't. Not being willing to take up any slack because he has a long commute (it really isn't) and a bad back are very handy excuses, not reasons. If he was single are you really going to accept that he'd employ a housekeeper because he's out of the house from 7.30 in the morning to 6.30 in the evening five days a week? No, he bloody-well wouldn't, so don't fall into that role.
Your fair share is doing yours and your child's laundry and meals so just bloody stop doing anything that's his. Any comments or complaints from him and it's "you seriously cannot expect me to do everything. I'm not your bloody servant!"
Yes, quite - you have the same amount of hours available for housework, it's just that yours are grouped together whereas his are spread out across the week. It is utterly unreasonable that you are doing the majority of the work at home. You say he 'has' to have her on a Saturday - is that how you describe your days with her?
Stop making any effort for his birthday, btw.
His back pain could actually be worse than you imagine.
I had horrific episodes years back, when was bedridden for a week and could not do any housework for at least a month. Could not even think about going to work.
Depending on what his back issues are, he can get help from chyropractor or physio.
I feel there's a lot of stigma attached to backpain issue ,as if it's overestimated and used as lame excuse for doing nothing. I have been accused of being lazy by my family in the past, I even thought myself that I'm lazy because all I wanted is to lie down due to pain. Only after getting chyropractic treatment all this stopped and I can live my life to good standard and be active .
I would love a cleaner but our finances are stretched anyway, so I can't see that being a realistic option right now.
His back is an ongoing issue. He had a slipped disc about 2 years ago and needed surgery (I do understand that this is bloody painful having done the same injury when I was 22). He had surgery on his back when DD was 3 months old and was off work for 8 weeks. Things were pretty bad during this time as he spent a lot of time in bed (again) whilst I was trying to cope with DD who had colic and was probably the worst bloody sleeper in the world (I was often only getting an hour or two's sleep a night) and I didn't cope very well, and looking back I think I had PND but didn't really acknowledge this at the time. He has generally been better with his back recently but has had a bit of a relapse recently and been on strong pain-killers. He has been referred to physio but has been referred to them before and frankly it was pointless as he didn't do the exercises they gave him to do, and I fear the same thing is going to happen again this time around. I think he needs to be doing more gentle exercise generally but has a very sedentary lifestyle. I feel like history is repeating itself and that I'm going to struggling to cope with our second baby on my own a lot too, but with the extra stress of having a toddler to cope with as well. I should be excited about our new baby but honestly I'm just scared about how I'm going to cope. I found the newborn stage so hard with DD.
Feel great sympathy for you, you need some TLC right now and he's doing the opposite. No wise words I'm afraid, just that YANBU. Was in similar situation when I had my first two kids close together. Could consider suggesting you need to reduce your working hours as it's all too much ( that'll get him worried if he's happy with the money your earning!!); don't bother cleaning on the days you work, leave as much of house in a state as you can bear; eat ready meals; only do
Laundry for you and DC. Those are some things I tried at various points over the years, with variable amounts of success..... Xxx
I totally understand being exhausted by the time he gets in from work. Me and dh both work full time and tend to do the basics during the week and then a joint blitz on a weekend. Sometimes one of us puts more time in than the other but there's no resentment about it.
Give your DH a list of jobs that he needs to do on a weekly basis and see how he goes. Life is away to get much harder when no 2 arrives!
You should point out to your dh that you are currently functioning as if you were a single parent and that if he was gone you wouldn't even notice in terms of how much you do in the home!
A man can only get away with what you let him. So true........
I'm sorry but the 9-5 with a 3 hour total commute is tough but you can still do housework! I know I do it! (In fact I work 2.5 hours more per week).
I promise you if he worked 3 long days as a nurse and you worked 9-5 with a commute he would say: I can't do the housework, I'm knackered because it throws out my body clock. I'm so exhausted because I have to be on my feet all night. Your desk job is sedentary, mine is physical, you don't understand how hard it is. It's so tough cramming my working day into 3 days - DC will have to go to nursery so I can catch up on my sleep. I can't sleep during the day because it's too light/outside noise etc.
I worked longer hours than him as a single parent I still cooked dinner (at 7pm each night), washed my clothes, did bedtime etc - it's an excuse.
If he was that bothered about his back pain he would do the physio exercises or join a Pilates class. It's a convenient excuse to return to bed.
Aw Kitkat, hello from Dec antenatal thread. No advice from here but huge love and hugs Xxx
Obviously I don't know OPS DH and his situation but as usual someone will say back pain is an excuse and nothing else.
Few years back I couldn't do much at all, now I do all house work and all gardening (mawn lawns,manually weeding and plant flowers /water them).Neighbours comment on how energetic I am ,few years backbefore getting private chyropractic treatment I had a neglected overgrown garden and I'm sure neighbours thought I'm a lazy good for nothing. .
Please get rid of the 'helping' tittle
He lives there he's expects clean clothes food etc
Go on strike - sit down - let him run ragged and iron his own stuff for a week -
To summarise - He is prepared to let his exhausted pregnant wife, struggle to do all the housework/childcare/night wakings/clean his clothes/make his dinner and work 3 long days (14 x 3 = 42 antisocial hours plus travel vs 8 x 5 = 40 plus travel in daytime hours). Wow!
Princess - I can understand that back pain might preclude him from certain heavy duty or lifting tasks but surely not everything - and definitely not being able to get money out to give to his wife for her birthday!!
A cleaner doesn't cost much. Ask around at work, a lot of nurses have them these days as you just can't manage otherwise. I guarantee someone will have one, or know someone on another ward who does.
If it's £20 every 2 weeks it's well worth it.
And still no birthday money?
He's so selfish I'm sitting here fuming about your situation.
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