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Please help me appreciate DH more

(75 Posts)
mossylens Sat 27-May-17 12:58:42

Our marriage is not great but I really want to make it better and hope that we can get through this and build a stronger relationship.

The problem is that I feel like DH doesn't do enough to help at home or with DC and he only ever does 80% of household jobs which drives me nuts. However I recognise I'm a perfectionist so I know I have different standards from him. I have tried so many times asking him to do more but he accuses me of bullying him or of using management techniques on him like I would do with a junior at work. Neither is true in my view but that is how he feels so I've given up asking but now I struggle with resenting his way of doing things or feeling like I have to do everything otherwise the house will be a total mess.

We're in the middle of renovation works and we both have busy and stressful FT jobs and 1 DC aged 3. He wants more kids but until I feel like we have an equal partnership I'm scared of going ahead. Please help me to see things differently

TronaldDump Sat 27-May-17 13:08:49

Do you've him more than each annoyance? Each time he annoys you, can you stop, step back and remind yourself that you love him and a small annoyance isn't relevant? It helps me when I start to wind myself up about stuff. But you've not posted anything positive about him at all, or even that you love him. Do you still love him?

TronaldDump Sat 27-May-17 13:09:57

Do you love him - sorry

DianaT1969 Sat 27-May-17 13:20:36

I know that it can be hard living with a perfectionist when you don't share the motivations or standards of that perfectionist. If he was a single man, living alone, would he do all the household chores currently deemed necessary in your household? And if he didn't, what would happen? Presumably he'd have a messier, less organized home. But the world would keep turning and he'd be happy with it.
If he is feeling 'managed' by you, and that nothing he does is ever right, or good enough, he'll probably retreat and do less.
Maybe this isn't the case with you two, but I thought I'd put it out there.

mossylens Sat 27-May-17 13:21:23

That's good advice and a good question. I do love him but it's buried underneath a lot of resentment and anxiety about the future so it's easy to forget the positives. Having a child has changed me and our relationship in a way I could never have anticipated and I'm still finding it hard now as I get to the end of the day and am exhausted and just want to go to sleep.

I don't have time for anything other than childcare, housework and my job. Also a lot of the things we used to do together and have a shared love of, now we can't because of DC so he does them on his own or with other friends.

mossylens Sat 27-May-17 13:28:48

Diana thanks I am trying to be reasonable but before we got married I would go to visit for the weekend and his flat would be horrible. Dirty dishes everywhere, dirty bathroom etc. To begin with I would clean up and I didn't mind it but after a while I realised I was spending ages cleaning his place and so we agreed he would get a cleaner so it was always clean when I came to visit. Fast forward 5 years and we still have a cleaner so it's not awful but the constant leaving stuff lying around and never tidying away has worn me down. He leaves piles of clothes all over the bedroom floor. He leaves dishes and cups all over the house or worse next to rather than in the dishwasher. He leaves cardboard for recycling next to rather than in the recycling bin. He leaves his toothbrush lying on the side of the sink not in the toothbrush holder. He leaves muddy running shoes all over the doormat not in the shoe rack. I realise this is all trivial stuff but it has become a daily annoyance and I'm sick of tidying up after him or tripping over it all the time.

Tortycat Sat 27-May-17 13:33:28

I think youre right to postpone dc2 at the mo - we have a baby amd a toddler and the house has never been as messy and neither of us seem to have any free time. Im messy myself but if you have high standards this will be very hard!

TronaldDump Sat 27-May-17 13:34:19

I think it's so easy for two good people to get bogged down in logistics with life and kids that you just lose track. I'm more like you - I tend to become more control-freaky and perfectionist and DH tends to disengage because he's part-scared and part-lazy.

I think the best thing for our marriage was when I got pregnant with DS2 because I was sick as a dog and I HAD to step back and DH HAD to step up. It was good for both of us; me because I finally realised that things didn't have to be done 'right' all the time and him because he fucked up a bit but he felt like a more equal and important parent.

I think the member of staff analogy is an interesting one. He complains you speak to him like an office junior, but if you wanted results from a valued member of your team, you wouldn't moan at them, you'd look at what motivates them, you might provide incentives, you'd try to make them feel empowered. Now I'm not saying you ought to be coaxing him into contributing to the household all the time - it's his job to step up, but I do think it's easy to disenfranchise a person in the household without realising it, and some of them are quite happy to sit back and let it happen.

And you certainly need time to yourself or you'll burn out. Go for dinner with him, or leave him in charge and go shopping at the weekend. What's the worst that could happen? He shouldn't be the only one enjoying free time and relaxation! You'll feel less tired with your own mental space.

butterfly990 Sat 27-May-17 13:42:48

you need the magic coffee table. smile

mossylens Sat 27-May-17 13:53:29

grin oh if only! DH sent me that one when it first came out and at the time I laughed but it's become rather ironic now

category12 Sat 27-May-17 16:02:10

Yup, things you can put up with before you have DC, suddenly become intolerable once you have children. And the bloke is kinda perplexed because he doesn't get why you're 'suddenly' at your limit cos barely anything has changed in his life.

Offred Sat 27-May-17 16:12:21

You are in this guy's wife's position.

You need a cards on the table chat that, never mind having another child, he needs to pick up after himself and you need to have equal leisure time. He cannot treat you as a home help and expect you to feel like a wife.

Oliversmumsarmy Sat 27-May-17 16:21:05

I have lived with a perfectionist nothing I did was ever good enough. If I did do something it would be done again because it wasn't done to this persons standards.

It got to the point where I lied and told them I had used then cleaned something that I knew they had cleaned perfectly only a few hours before. Sure enough they went mental that I had left this item filthy and I was lazy and they would have to clean it thoroughly again.

Eventually you give up doing anything because nothing you do is ever right.

All the things you list happen every day in this house x 3. I don't get the problem. You just deal with it.

Maybe my upbringing make me a lot laid back about mess as I have seen where it can lead to if you start cleaning and getting upset that other people don't share your views

corythatwas Sat 27-May-17 17:00:12

It is not quite clear from your posts how bad he is: at first you say he does 80% of a job, which doesn't actually sound all that bad, but in a later post you show him leaving a trail of dirties wherever he goes- sounds like rather less than 80%.

mossylens Sat 27-May-17 17:00:26

Offred the man in that article gets it. But had to go through divorce to realise? That's terrible. How can I get DH to realise without resorting to that?

BTG3385 Sat 27-May-17 17:00:32

People don't generally change their ways so if he was messy before you married, I'm not sure why you thought he would change!

mossylens Sat 27-May-17 17:19:13

cory some examples: will ask if I want a cup of tea, go to fill the kettle, boil the water and then go off to do something else and forget about it.

If I ask him to tidy up after dinner he will put dirty plates in the dishwasher but leave all the pans by the side of the sink or "soaking" i.e. Dirty but full of water in the sink.

I think he is trying to help but he never actually finishes anything so everything is nearly done, but not actually done. So I end up doing it myself as I get told I'm nagging or bullying if I remind him about it. I also get told I am condescending to him.

mossylens Sat 27-May-17 17:21:47

BTG I didn't expect him to change when we got married but after we had a child I did expect him to at least tidy up after himself.

JapaneseTea Sat 27-May-17 17:31:46

This sounds shit * Also a lot of the things we used to do together and have a shared love of, now we can't because of DC so he does them on his own or with other friends.*

How does that work? That's not fair!

House work - can you just decide to leave it for a month to see what happens? You can't change him but you can change you. So stop doing the extra stuff. Yes you'll live Ina shit hole for a bit but hopefully it will change the dynamic.

Also I know with DH that I do have higher standards so if I want to wipe the hob each night that is my choice, and won't expect him to.

Plus the children will follow his example so don't have dc2 until this is sorted.

JapaneseTea Sat 27-May-17 17:35:38

Buy large laundry baskets and dump his stuff in there.

Buy Tin baking trays that can be binned after use.

Eat at work and stop cooking for him.

Stop doing his laundry (if you are).

Go part time and have an afternoon off a week. Only tell him if he asks.

JapaneseTea Sat 27-May-17 17:36:16

TBH he sounds like a nob that is gaslightjng you!

Offred Sat 27-May-17 17:56:39

It's a hard one.

To be quite honest if he doesn't listen to you and understand that treating you like this is destroying your marriage then it is likely he is just one of the many men who feels entitled to treat women like skivvies and you should leave.

However, the massive socialisation of boys and girls to fit into these roles may mean that actually he is a good man that has never had to consider how bad this behaviour is.

Only way to differentiate between irredeemable misogynist and hapless product of a sexist society is to talk to him and see how he responds. If he works to change it you will feel better. If he gets defensive and turns it around on you you will know he is a cock.

Cakescakescakes Sat 27-May-17 18:00:15

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 27-May-17 18:16:09

I'm the 'your DH' in our house. Things that help with DH and me:

Assigned chores. The laundry is mine. Buck stops with me.

Don't redo stuff. When I pack the dishwasher and DH repacks it to his fucking weird specs I don't want to do it again.

Work out what is actually important. I'll leave my toothbrush where I like because it doesn't actually matter. Keep moving it if it makes you happy but I will never care.

Thank each other. DH and I thank each other when someone does more than normal. I think it works better than a mean-spirited house where any perceived lack is noted.

smu06set Sat 27-May-17 18:32:43

Oh mossy you have put into words exactly how i have been feeling with my DH! Probably compounded that I have been off work for 2 weeks with depression and I'm going back next week. No useful suggestions, just solidarity.

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