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Please save me from drowing in a swamp of frustration and resentment

(21 Posts)
lordymaglordy Sun 31-Aug-08 12:00:08

I'm pretty sure this is a problem with my attitude, rather than dh's behaviour, but I'm finding myself more and more irritated by his approach to the household and the children.

He's a very devoted father, plays with them, looks after them, does his share in terms of time spent. But he's incapable of doing anything other than looking after them - I went out yesterday and he must have stepped over the pile of dirty laundry in the bathroom at least ten times, but when I got home it was still there - his response was "you didn't ask me to do it". I had to leave full instructions about what to cook for lunch, and when I got home just before tea, he said "what are you giving them for tea?". He got up with ds this morning at 6am, went back to bed when I got up at 9am - toys everywhere (I'm not bothered about that), breakfast things everywhere, surfaces filthy, children not dressed.

It's driving me crazy - he always says "but if you just tell me what to do I'll do it" and he will, but I'm so sick of the telling. It's pretty obvious clothes need washing, children need dressing and feeding, etc etc. I am sick to the back teeth of being the one who organises everything to do with family life - his parents' birthday presents, the nanny, schools. If we go anywhere, it's entirely up to me to make sure we've got what we need for a day out. We both work - he is full time, I work 4 days but also at evenings and weekends to make it up to 5, so it's not like I'm sitting at home. It's spilling over into a more general resentment of him - and I'm fairly sure it's all linked to my sense that this is not a fair way of splitting responsibility.

Any practical suggestions would be very much appreciated. I love him to bits, but this is making me a very very mean person, and I can see it poisoning our relationship if I don't either get a grip or sort him out.

LostinOz Sun 31-Aug-08 12:21:02

Crikey, I dont have any answers here, just make sure you have some time together, get out!!! It is like all of us, hard work no play, don't feel like you are the first or alone, more like the last. Use the childcare, talk about your needs, leave the kids xxxx

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 31-Aug-08 12:24:32

Have you told him that you want him to take some responsibility for the running of the house and stop behaving like an 18 year old Au Pair?

mankymummy Sun 31-Aug-08 12:27:24


Seems petty but some blokes just do not "see" what needs doing.

shoot Sun 31-Aug-08 12:31:12

Mankymummy- I'm totally with you, I know exactly what you mean.

Just leave him lists all the time. It only takes 2 minutes and you shouldn't HAVE to but you oviously need to.

catsmother Sun 31-Aug-08 12:31:24

I think he's winging it here with the age-old cop-out of "tell me what to do and I'll do it". That particular phrase also means "If you don't tell me what to do, I won't do anything".

I know it must feel like you've said stuff a thousand times before but perhaps you need to assign (yeah, yeah, I agree it shouldn't need to be said to a so-called adult) specific things for him to do week in, week out, i.e. his jobs ...... so, according to his theory of "telling", those things at least would definitely get done and you therefore might not mind as much "sweeping" up the rest ??

pagwatch Sun 31-Aug-08 12:31:25

agree with rota or list.

You may just have to accept that he is one of those people who just does not see the bleeding obvious - and gets distracted by what he is doing to the exclusion of being able to see what else needs to be done.

I am not saying - ah bless, it is a man thing - because it isn't. I had a female flat mate just like this.
Do him a list.

I don't think it is helpful to resent him for something he genuinely seems to be unable to help. If he had said 'fuck you do your own washing' that obviously that would be different.
Do him a list. he may even be grateful

HappyWoman Sun 31-Aug-08 13:45:07

I think firstly you need to tell him how you feel - and somehow come to an agreement.

I thnk just giving him lists is not the answer as the responsibility is still yours to make.

Miggsie Sun 31-Aug-08 13:48:57

My dad never noticed anything.
If my mum left him a list he would carefully and consientiously do everything on the list.
Without the list he wandered the house like a lost puppy.

I always write a list of what needs doing to remind myself, so just underline the bits you want him to do.

I have no idea why men can't notice domestic chores need doing.

DH will do the washing when he notices he has no more clean pants, and he will iron when he discovers he has no ironed shirts.
He cooks when he is hungry.

Forward planning? No. I would never put him in charge of buying the toilet paper!

kittycats Sun 31-Aug-08 14:06:13

i have a 16yr old DS who is the same.tell him to do something and he does it,but if i forget to tell him it doesnt get done.This has been worse lately as he started work and needs to wash his uniform and set alarm for different times on different days etc. he also keeps asking ME when he is working and at what times angry

yesterday i got blamed for his uniform not being washed,he told me i should of reminded him!

ToughDaddy Mon 01-Sep-08 09:03:53

must be frustrating. Why don't u beat him at his game i.e. leave him a very very long list so that when u get back all the hard work is done. And if he hasn't finished the list then let him carry on whilst you play with the kids. That will teach him to use his discretion.

Pruners Mon 01-Sep-08 09:10:56

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rubyloopy Mon 01-Sep-08 16:02:59

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bumpybecky Mon 01-Sep-08 16:10:12

would it help if you completley delegated one area to him?

so for example he is now in charge of all clothes laundry - hunting it down, washing it, hanging it out, collecting it in, ironing and putting it away - all his problem.

or all cooking / food shopping / tidying / cleaning?

this assumes he's actually capeable of any of those jobs.....

nametaken Mon 01-Sep-08 18:30:35

The first thing you need to do is to stop buying his parents birthday and xmas presents. Why do you do it. Who did it before he met you?

ToughDaddy Mon 01-Sep-08 20:41:48

Hi Pruners- I didn't completely understand the point about sex and chores. Can you clarify? Occasionally it has been mentioned that there is some kind of trade off in male-female relationships? Interested in your perspective.

ToughDaddy Mon 01-Sep-08 20:42:49

I meant implicit "bargaining" rather than "trade-off"

ParCark Mon 01-Sep-08 20:50:10

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ToughDaddy Mon 01-Sep-08 21:00:12

So do you think that these husbands get more sloppy with time or that their sloppiness is more of a burden pos-children? Otherwise, women should filter the sloppy blokes earlier in relationships?

ParCark Mon 01-Sep-08 22:25:58

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Pruners Tue 02-Sep-08 05:50:16

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