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Low maintenance = zero effort

(45 Posts)
namechanger202 Fri 19-Jun-20 10:52:46

Long time user but name changed for this one as a lot of people know me on here
May turn out to be a load of waffle but just needed somewhere to put down my thoughts.
I'll start off by saying my OH does have positive qualities and I don't want to LTB. We generally have a good relationship. We laugh, we are affectionate and have a good sex life
But....
I've come to realise that over the years I'm the one who does all the relationship admin as it were. At the start he took me on dates, planned nice things for us and it was lovely, I can't even remember when it all stopped but for as long as I can remember now, if I don't organise things for us to do, we do nothing. He's complimented me in the past on my 'low maintenance' and independence but really that's bullshit for 'it's great that I have to make no effort' isn't it?
I constantly get 'what's for dinner tonight?' Or 'what are our plans for the weekend?' Or 'what are we doing tonight' Or if I suggest he arranges something I usually get 'I'll let you choose' hmm Any date nights are always down to me or we'd just do nothing. During lockdown I've tried to make these nice, cooked special meals/ lit candles etc 'dined out' in our own kitchen so to speak but on the couple of occasions I've suggested he arranges something it's just been 'ok what takeaway do you want?' and that's been it.
Recently it was our anniversary and he completely forgot, I handed him his card and gift and he looked all sheepish and then said 'it's only a day isn't it? We don't need a day to show how much we love each other, I tell you I love you every day' - all true I guess but also a great way for him to justify once again putting no effort in. Does that mean all anniversaries are now cancelled? I'm not asking for expensive gifts or anything, him lighting a few candles and sticking a frozen pizza in would at least make me feel like he'd thought about it and tried.
We have talked about it on a few occasions and I've told him I find it draining being the one to choose and plan everything. It always results in a bunch of flowers and him taking me out for a meal (although obviously I know that can't happen at the moment!) but then it's like he's done his bit and it's all back to square one again.
Is it so wrong to want just a little romance? A bit of spontaneity? I know things are difficult at the moment, I'm not bothered about material gifts or expensive dates but even if he just said we were going for a picnic in the park or ANYTHING I'd love it.
I often get up and bring him a cuppa in bed on a weekend, I asked him if he'd make me one last weekend for a change and he did - after he'd sighed and rolled his eyes.
Am I expecting too much? Do other partners do things to make you feel special or is that just in the movies? confused

OP’s posts: |
Crystalspider Fri 19-Jun-20 11:05:02

You're giving too much, let him make some decisions, when he asks what's for dinner tell him whatever he's cooking.
He needs to start helping with plans for the weekend too, tell him to come up with something good. He's become far too dependent and lazy on you. For anniversaries remind him a couple of days before then he has no excuse to forget.

JustC Fri 19-Jun-20 11:05:49

Well, I would say firstly you have to talk to him about this. Try to find middle ground. Hubs and me are equally forgetful about marriage/dating aniversary 😁. If one if us remembers in time, we will try to do smth, but it's really no big deal for us. But he does bring the odd flowers, with or without an ocasion, he does birthday card plus present/deciding to take me shopping for smth (he knows he's not the best at choosing surprise presents), and I would say we equally come up with ideas for the outings. We are neither of us overly romantic, just enough for us I would say.
Tldr, talk to him and try to reach a compromise.

namechanger202 Fri 19-Jun-20 11:20:07

Thanks for the replies. I guess me reminding him still makes me feel like it's all on me.
I've spoken about this with him a few times now. Last time it resulted in him saying how sorry he was at how complacent he'd become and that he'd do something about it. The next day he came home with a bunch of flowers and he'd arranged a meal out for that weekend. That was about 8 months ago, there's been nothing since.
Perhaps I do just need to be a bit more blunt and say things like @Crystalspider suggested. He has this way of making me feel like I'm not worth the effort, like the sigh and eye roll before bringing me a cup of tea in bed. It's such a small thing that I do for him all the time and he's always really thankful for it but then when asked to do the same for me it was like I was being super demanding?
I don't know, it just makes me feel a bit low sometimes.

OP’s posts: |
TwentyViginti Fri 19-Jun-20 11:32:40

Just stop making all the unnecessary effort. No tea in bed etc; it sounds like he isn't arsed about treats and surprises, and you are, so different personality types. You can't force him to have a personality change. You'll have to adapt, make a plan with him of taking turns at arranging treats, maybe once a fornight? No input from you when it's his turn. This will get him into the mindset of actually thinking about things to do, if he's willing to.

category12 Fri 19-Jun-20 11:33:05

He's lazy and complacent.

He knows what you'd like, but he can't be arsed to make the effort to keep it up.

It reminds me of the glass by the dishwasher article - I know it's not about housework in your case, but it's the sentiment of doing things not because you think they're important, but because they're important to your partner, wanting to please them.

Relationship counselling? I think you need to shake him up a bit.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 19-Jun-20 11:34:09

He thinks you are not worth the effort and has previously tried to buy you off with some apology flowers.

What do you get out of this relationship now?. Is he really better than being on your own?.

Why would you not want to leave someone who has basically left all of the life admin and mental load to you?. Is this treatment of you, and it is very poor treatment, all you think you deserve from a relationship?. Where is his respect towards you?. There is not any being shown.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 19-Jun-20 11:35:17

I also thought of that article category12 was referring to when it was mentioned in their post:-

www.huffpost.com/entry/she-divorced-me-i-left-dishes-by-the-sink_b_9055288

namechanger202 Fri 19-Jun-20 11:43:14

Thank you @TwentyViginti
Thing is, when I do organise fun stuff for us to do - he is ALWAYS super appreciative/ thankful/ offers me money towards whatever it is etc - it isn't about money for me though I'd just like him to reciprocate the effort.
Perhaps you're right though, maybe a set date day/ night once a month or fortnight is the way to go and take turns at planning. I fear his turn would be takeaway and a night in front of the tv every time though! 

@category12 do you think that would help? I'd not considered it bad enough to need counselling but perhaps it would give him the kick up the backside

@AttilaTheMeerkat in all honesty I don't know anymore. I don't feel disrespected as such but maybe I am and just can't see it.

OP’s posts: |
Hotwaterbottlelove Fri 19-Jun-20 11:46:48

It's really hard to tell from a short description if it's laziness or just different outlook/values. I'd recommend you both do the Love Languages quiz to see what what's you value showing affection. It sounds naff but is actually so useful.

I think it is fine for couples to play to their own strengths and values but only if the overall effect is that both people feel that they aren't being taken for a ride. At there things he would say always fall to him?

namechanger202 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:11:31

I've just read the article and it resonates with me so much.
Sometimes I feel like I'm being OTT with stuff but it gets to me that he isn't willing to make the effort unless I tell him to.
He's also very bad at leaving stuff around the house (e.g. he takes his dirty socks off and leaves them in the living room/ kitchen ALL THE TIME) I ask him to not do it or to put them in the wash basket but because he doesn't see it as a big deal I'm made to feel like I'm being irrational when I get mad at him about it. He's always saying "they're just socks" or "I'll move them eventually" but they can be lying around for weeks if I don't say something or move them myself. I do feel like his mother rather than a partner sometimes 
@Hotwaterbottlelove you asked if there are things that fall to him... I don't know how I've only just realised this but the answer is no confused
I deal with all house stuff, finances, sorting anyone's birthday/ Xmas gifts. All plans with each other or with mutual friends are done by me. Holidays, weekends away - all me.
If I ask him to take the bins out - he'll do it no complaints but if I don't ask he just piles them until they're overflowing.
He washes up after tea but that's about the only thing he does without being told - although that only started after I had a meltdown one night as he used to just sit at the table and wait for me to clear up every night even though I'd cooked.
I also stopped doing his washing a few months ago as again he just piled the laundry basket sky high but never thought to put it on. I got so fed up of asking I just quietly started doing my own washing until one day he couldn't understand why he'd run out of clothes. I think he thought it was some little woman protest that I'd get over but I haven't restarted doing it so now he does put a wash on for himself every couple of weeks
Doesn't sound great when it's all written out does it? blushblushblush

OP’s posts: |
JustC Fri 19-Jun-20 12:15:56

I'd honestly be more ticked off by the sigh/ eye rolling when he does what is supposed to be a nice gesture for your loved one. Fair enough if you're not the most romantic and I have to remind you, but making me feel like a burden for small gesture would show how little you feel for me. I honestly put more value into the day to day little things we do for eachother, than in the big romantic things. Like making coffee/tea for eachother, me filling his nails, him scratching my back for a long time, me cooking smth for him that I dont really like, him buying me cigs although he's mot crazy about me smoking etc. The little things, done because you love that person, withoug feeling put out by it.

category12 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:16:30

do you think that would help? I'd not considered it bad enough to need counselling but perhaps it would give him the kick up the backside

Well, you've had the same conversation and same results repeatedly. So you need to do something different.

He does need a kick up the bum - you're feeling low about this and it's such a simple fix if he would just give a little more. It's one of the things that will erode the marriage and your feelings for him. (And in time maybe some chap will come along and pay you a bit of attention, and make you feel good, and all bets will be off).

category12 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:23:08

Cross posted, OK, he needs to be giving quite a lot more grin.

namechanger202 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:29:43

@JustC that's another thing actually, he always used to rub my feet for ages without being asked but I've noticed recently if I do ask him to do it he sort of 'jokingly' huffs and does it for a minute or two then stops.

Maybe the relationship is worse than I initially realised and we do need some counselling.

We do talk a lot, our relationship is generally very calm and open and we have a laugh together, it's not that I don't feel I can talk to him - more that it falls on deaf ears now and I'm bored of repeating myself when nothing ever changes

OP’s posts: |
Hotwaterbottlelove Fri 19-Jun-20 12:31:05

Oh, no that doesn't sound great. I'm afraid I just wouldn't stay with someone who ever thought that me expecting equality in running an adult household was a 'little woman protest'. I just couldn't find them attractive. Baby men give me the ick.

category12 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:32:47

Tbh I think counselling is best for this sort of thing, because ime it does bugger all for the "serious" stuff.

JustC Fri 19-Jun-20 12:35:37

Hm, on further reading it seems he doesn't pull his weight domestically either. I mean you dont sound fed up, but quite on the verge. If you say you guys can talk openly, than you need to tell him to shape up, or expect you to care/do less as well. And mean it. It's all up to how you feel about the marriage as a whole, I guess. But to me it sounds like you are not appreciated enough. Hugs

namechanger202 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:46:00

Thanks all.

It's so hard to start these conversations with him without him making me feel like 'oh here she goes she's at it again' if that makes sense? But then on the flip side he's also seemed genuinely gutted when I've told him I'm not happy in the past.
I will speak with him tonight, perhaps asking him to read that article would be a good start in making him realise that it may be the beginning of the end if he doesn't start acting more like a partner than a child.
This post has really just opened my eyes as to how one sided our relationship has become. I want to be able to trust and rely on him to share the mental load of life rather than feeling that everything falls to me

OP’s posts: |
Sn0tnose Fri 19-Jun-20 12:56:26

He's complimented me in the past on my 'low maintenance' That is absolutely not a compliment. He’s telling you that he’s glad that you’re so accommodating and that you let him get away with treating you without any care or thought or consideration and don’t try to make him feel guilty about it.

I constantly get 'what's for dinner tonight?' Reply ‘I don’t know, what do you want to cook?’

Or 'what are our plans for the weekend?' ‘I don’t know. I’ll let you surprise me’ or ‘Well you didn’t arrange anything so I’ve made plans of my own’.

Or 'what are we doing tonight' ‘I don’t know, where are you taking me?’

Or if I suggest he arranges something I usually get 'I'll let you choose' ‘No thanks. You know what I like. You can organise it’

Recently it was our anniversary and he completely forgot, I handed him his card and gift and he looked all sheepish and then said 'it's only a day isn't it? We don't need a day to show how much we love each other ‘No DH, it’s not just a day to me. But please, enlighten me. How do you show you love me?’

I often get up and bring him a cuppa in bed on a weekend, I asked him if he'd make me one last weekend for a change and he did - after he'd sighed and rolled his eyes. If you make him one more cup of tea in bed before he changes his ways then I want your address so that I can come to your house and confiscate your kettle!

I do feel like his mother rather than a partner sometimes  That’s because he’s treating you like his mother. It’s his house too and he’s responsible for 50% of keeping it clean and tidy. Personally, I’d give him 24 hours notice that I was not prepared to live like this anymore. If socks get left on the floor, they go in the bin. If he wants sex, tell him that you are so sick of being treated like his mother that you are starting to see him as someone that needs to be taken care of. Nobody wants to have sex with a man child.

There’s lots of stuff written about love languages, but how exactly is he showing his love for you? How does he show you that he values you as a person? That you’re worth spending time & effort on, like you do for him? He started off by taking you out and planning nice things for you, so he knows that it’s a nice thing to do. What made him think that it was ok to stop making the effort?

category12 Fri 19-Jun-20 13:11:13

Shutting you down by making you feel like "a nag" is a manipulative tactic, really. It's reversing victim and offender. How dare the household appliance have feelings and opinions about things?

namechanger202 Fri 19-Jun-20 13:16:08

@Sn0tnose thanks for your reply. I know I realise it's not a compliment now. I have always been very independent and hate the idea of being 'high maintenance' I.e. if I wanted a piece of expensive jewellery (both that I wear it 😂) or something I'll work and save for it, I'd never look to a man for anything like that so I used think it was a compliment BUT I realise now that he has taken that to mean he just doesn't have to bother with anything because I'll sort it.
I've mentioned before that I need him to show me but his reply is usually "I text you it every day" which he does yes. Every morning when he gets to work, he texts to say he loves me. So then again I'm feeling unreasonable for wanting more - why?! confused

You're right, the man child thing is very unattractive. Nothing is sexier to me than a man who takes charge and gets stuff done, unfortunately those instances are few and far between now and I think it's wearing me down. I take charge of everything.

Please don't take my kettle 😂

OP’s posts: |
namechanger202 Fri 19-Jun-20 13:17:01

*not that I wear it, not 'both'

OP’s posts: |
category12 Fri 19-Jun-20 13:19:53

Cos he probably doesn't even have to type the 8 letters it takes, I bet his phone remembers it grin.

Love isn't just saying it, it's actions.

Sidge Fri 19-Jun-20 13:29:40

Read the lyrics and listen to “More Than Words” by Extreme.

It’s time for actions, not words. Words are easy.

I’d be thinking long and hard about whether I wanted to stay in this relationship (and I’m not one to jump in with LTB). It will eat away at you and you will become resentful and angry.

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