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The Experiment - advice please

(19 Posts)
SerendipitousHarlot Thu 02-Jul-09 11:17:20

Ok, sorry but bear with me if this is a bit long and rambling.

Dh has been unemployed for almost 2 years now. He took voluntary redunancy 2 years ago, wanting to go into another field entirely - but he tried it and hated it.

Then over the last 2 years he has had 2 knee operations and depression, and is currently on incapacity benefit. I work full time and he is SAHD.

Over the last 6 months, he isn't pulling his weight in the house, imo. Every day I get home and there's stuff that needs doing - there's always a excuse reason - he hasn't felt well, he was too busy, blah blah.

I've said this morning that I want to have A Talk when I get home after the dc are in bed - he has obviousy gone straight on the defensive, said that I'm accusing him of being lazy, and that if it wasn't for him, the house would be a 'shithole' hmm

I don't agree. When I get home, there's no dinner, because he wasn't hungry, so I end up having to cook something for myself. I know from speaking to dd that he leaves some housework for her to do when she gets home from school! I always have to put a wash on, put clothes away, and usually hoover.

My idea, that I want to suggest, is that next week, I don't do any housework for 5 days, so that I can make him understand what needs doing. Is this a good idea? Has anyone done anything like it, and did it work?

Sorry to sound like a husband from 1900 grin

motherlovebone Thu 02-Jul-09 11:31:37

then who will clean on the 6th day?
maybe good to leave lists of exactly what you want to be done each day.

SerendipitousHarlot Thu 02-Jul-09 11:38:06

That's what worries me motherlovebone! Will it just get left for me to do at the end?

I'm a bit wary about the list thing - purely because I don't see why I should have to make a list for an adult - he's been at home for a long time now and should know what needs to be done. At the beginning, the first year, he was really good and it was always all done - but now it seems to have changed and sees the xbox as a far more attrative option wink

iamtrufflepig Thu 02-Jul-09 11:40:22

I used to have this with my dh as he works shifts and was often at home all day whilst I was at work and would sit and do nothing whilst my whole weekend was filled with doing washing and cleaning. We had several really bad arguments about it over the years and he is a lot better now. I stopped doing his washing all together and wrote a list of what should be done. He doesn't always do everything to a good standard, but then he will sometimes do some of the dcs washing along with his and there are certain things that he always does. I would be very upfront if I were you, if he is sitting at home whilst you are at work then he should really be doing absolutely everything, as I did when I was a SAHM. In my experience it can take years of nagging gentle persuasion to get the result you want.

titchy Thu 02-Jul-09 11:44:37

Take XBox plug to work... grin

SerendipitousHarlot Thu 02-Jul-09 11:48:44

LOL titchy grin

Maybe that's what it needs iamtrufflepig - I really don't want an argument, I just want to discuss it as adults.. we'll see smile

piprabbit Thu 02-Jul-09 11:54:56

I think you need to talk about how the housework is managed - agree what the basics are, so he almost has a 'job description' and both your expectations are clear. If it's his job to run the home then he should have the freedom to do that as he sees fit, but he needs to take full responsibility for his new job (and treat it like a proper job) and take as much pride in it as if it was outside work. In return, you need to give him the space to work in a way that suits him - remember you are not his line manager who reviews his work and judges his success. Telling he is bad at his job won't make him feel more motivated. I don't appreciate when my DH tells me how to run our house - maybe your DH feels the same way?

SerendipitousHarlot Thu 02-Jul-09 12:02:59

I know piprabbit - I really do appreciate him, and I do make that quite clear most of the time - if the roles were reversed and he moaned at me for not doing the house properly, I'd be very annoyed. That's why I want to talk rather than argue - I specifically said this morning that I wanted to talk about roles and expectations.

I just don't think I should be expected to come home and have to do a load of housework. It's not like I expect the house spotless or anything.

iamtrufflepig Thu 02-Jul-09 12:07:49

I understand you don't want an argument, neither did I but unfortunately it descended into that situation when, if I didn't actually ask him to do things he would do absolutely nothing. Like yourself, I expected him to be able to look round the house and see what needed to be done, but he never did and used to sit and watch telly all day. Unfortunately after months of this I would end up at the end of my tether and snapping at everything he did. It actually made our relationship nearly fall apart as I was annoyed that he was so selfish that after sitting for days doing nothing he would then also sit at the weekend and watch me do it all.

SerendipitousHarlot Thu 02-Jul-09 12:13:46

EXACTLY iamtrufflepig !! That's exactly how I feel - when I'm home at the weekend, I seem to spend the whole time doing stuff while he continues to SIT ON HIS ARSE!! angry

fucksticks Thu 02-Jul-09 12:13:51

what does he do in the evening when you are cooking dinner and then cleaning up and hoovering?

perhaps as a starting point you could say that you understand he's doing things in the day that you dont always see (i clean up a hundred times a day and it usually always look a tip again by the time dh gets in!) BUT that its only fair you both have equal time to relax in the evenings, so while you are cooking he should be hoovering etc.
Then at the end make a real point of spending time together and enjoying it.

Soon enough he'll get motivated to do more during the day so that you can relax together earlier in the evenings, and there'l be no real incentive to leave the cleaning till later as he'll know he wont be able to get away with sitting on his bum while you do it all!

fucksticks Thu 02-Jul-09 12:15:16

Do NOT do stuff while he sits on his arse at the weekend!

Forget trying to get him to do more while you are at work for now and concentrate on getting him to SHARE fairly the tasks that need doing while you are both there.

sayithowitis Thu 02-Jul-09 12:18:10

And yet when a SAHM comes on here complaining that her (working F/T) Dh is not pulling his weight around the house, we all support her and tell her how unreasonable it is for him not to expect to help out around the house after a day at work! hmm

piprabbit Thu 02-Jul-09 12:19:21

Totally agree that you shouldn't have to do his job when you get home. Perhaps, having decided on what that job actually entails and told him it's up to him to do his job, you need to leave him to get on with it - as you originally suggested. You may end up living in chaos for a while - but it should clearly prove just how essential his job is to the family. Also - at the end of a week or fotnight you will be able to look round and point out the things which have not been done (instead of doing them yourself, complaining and then having him look round and say in astonishment 'it all looks fine to me'). Or he may surprise you hmm. Good luck.

piprabbit Thu 02-Jul-09 12:20:25

sorry - fortnight not fotnight...

SerendipitousHarlot Thu 02-Jul-09 12:45:08

"And yet when a SAHM comes on here complaining that her (working F/T) Dh is not pulling his weight around the house, we all support her and tell her how unreasonable it is for him not to expect to help out around the house after a day at work!"

I don't mind helping - I don't expect to come in and sit on the sofa as soon as I walk in the door! Obviously I want to sort the children out and put them to bed as well, as I've not seen them all day. But I don't think it's unreasonable to expect not to have to do washing, ironing and hoovering after a 9 hour day while he's spent his day watching dvds.

mulranno Thu 02-Jul-09 12:45:42

what about make a plan together as a family? say he gets your dc do do bits thats OK but it should be acknowledged. I am shite at housework...find it all over whelming...find it really hard to stick to a routine...but we made a list of all the things that need to be done and brok it down to morning/evening...or weekly then we just divided/negotiated the tasks...husband empties dishwasher in do all the washing ...he puts it away....etc...then we decided what needs doing weekly...clean bathroom , sweep path...then he/you can choose when you want to do it....he should be doing the lions share...but if you approach it this way at least he will be doing more than he is...we also...try and do it at the same time so sat am 9-11 everyone has a job to do...thikn that he might be depressed...might be better tackling this first...try an encourage him to get out of the house...send him on errands etc...that really helps with depression

skihorse Thu 02-Jul-09 14:02:52

My OH is a SAH. He does try with the cleaning but it wouldn't be up to my standards. I dislike writing a list because it makes me feel like a school teacher, however he doesn't mind. He just doesn't "see" the jobs that need doing. E.g., I'd walk in to the bathroom, see the washing basket full an chuck a load on. Unless I say to him "do washing" he doesn't think about it.

Ask him if he'd mind a list.

I think the routine helps a lot here. OH does the kitchen as soon as I'm off to work so that's "most" of the dirt done already and he can relax a little.

MsMelodrama Fri 03-Jul-09 17:16:31

Just wanted to say - when I was a SAHM I had very little self-esteem left, not to mention being bored shitless, and would quite often do nothing all day. It wasn't laziness, it was as if I literally had no energy to do anything. I was fairly depressed. I imagine your DH probably doesn't feel he has a lot going for him right now, having been made redundant and now genuine depression and disability. Don't be too hard on him. He needs your understanding. Of course, if he's always been lazy, that's different.

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