Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Is my DH just thoughtless or what? Sorry long.

(84 Posts)
Moaningminny Mon 23-Sep-13 08:24:25

I know this isn't a terribly important issue compared to other threads here but I need opinions.
A bit of background- DH and I have had what you'd call a stormy marriage. I had doubts beforehand about our compatability and once we had kids things got worse in some ways mainly to do with differing styles of parenting. I stuck it out then once the DCs had left home we separated and I lived a single life for a while- to think about what I wanted for my next 30 odd years and whether DH was part of that.

DH was devastated that I may never have come back but I focused on his good points, came back and we started afresh. For a couple of years things were better and it was a sort of 'honeymoon' phase. He was thoughtful, brought me flowers and generally tried harder all round. But I set certain ground rules-my career had taken off and now that I was no longer looking after the kids too I wanted a more equal partnership with DH doing more around the house and sharing cooking etc.

I work from home for myself, so of course in between doing my work I'll do some cleaning, gardening, washing and so on. This cuts down on the work I can fit in of course and I'm only paid for what I produce. We have a very traditional set up where he comes in and finds a lovely meal on the table.

I am not happy with this and wanted some changes- I'd no longer iron his clothes but would wash them. I wanted him to make at least one dinner a week- weekends maybe- and do some housework- such as hoovering the stairs which I can't due to my back and lifting a heavy hoover.

But- here's the rub- he doesn't do any of this. I'd given him some slack recently as his mother is very ill and he's had to visit her ( long distance) so I'd managed the laundry for him.

He cuts the grass, puts out the rubbish, and that's it. I do everything else. He'll ask if there is any food we want when he goes into town at weekend. He doesn't offer to shop for and cook dinner.

I am getting increasingly angry with him, and the fact he is really untidy
doesn't help. A tiny example is he uses my shampoo which I keep in a cupboard in the bathroom. I always put it back after I've used it because there are too many bottles etc on the bath already and I have to move them when I clean the bath. Every single time- daily- he uses the shampoo he leaves it out. I remind him daily- he says he forgets.

We have ' the chat' about why I wasn't happy before and he promises to change.

If he read this he'd be shocked because he seems to think he is a good DH. They say divorces can happen over who left the top of the toothpaste and this is what I'm describing almost. I just can't see why an intelligent man gets it so wrong.

I know people might say just stop cooking - he's just make himself beans on toast- he wouldn't cook for me. I don't want a cleaner- there is no need with just 2 of us at home. But he's completely opted out- again- of anything at home.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 23-Sep-13 08:41:26

You're not compatible are you? If you can't reach a happy compromise on things that - you're right - are utterly trivial and if your relationship lurches from mini-crisis to mini-crisis with you getting annoyed and him desperately scrabbling to catch up, I just don't know why you'd want to live like that. It's foolish to expect people to change personality. He's who is is. You are who you are. Never - it looks like - the twain shall meet.

Lweji Mon 23-Sep-13 08:50:24

The shampoo bottle is trivial.

That he doesn't Hoover knowing you have a bad back is significant.

Look at what is really important and insist on that. Then watch and decide.

Moaningminny Mon 23-Sep-13 09:06:21

The shampoo bottle is important in a way- because it's 'important' to me as I am the only one who ever cleans the bathroom. Leaving it out makes that job harder because it's yet another item to move. Just like the way he leaves his shoes in the hall under a chair and I have to move them every time I hoover and wipe the wood floor- despite me managing perfectly well to keep my shoes in the wardrobe which I what I've asked him to do a million times- his excuse being' I'll need them later.'

I don't just mutter about this- I roar- I tell him it's getting to really annoy me and maybe even be a deal breaker. I feel I am 'managing' a child who does nothing but go to work and has 1% energy and time for us.

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 09:11:20

He isn't thoughtless, that implies no foresight

He is lazy, entitled and doesn't give a shit as long as his tea is on the table and the housekeeper gets in with her job

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 09:12:24


Moaningminny Mon 23-Sep-13 09:24:21

Playing devil's advocate to try to see the best in him- if I ask him to do something for me he will without a quibble. If he knows I am going on a long car journey he'll check my car over without my mentioning it. If he is going to be late back from work he'll always call from the car etc to give me an ETA ( more likely cos his tea''ll burn!) At home he cuts the lawn, puts out the rubbish, unloads the dishwasher- and that's it. He spends his weekends at the gym- 2 half days including time for a coffee - to 'keep fit' ( which I approve of but at the same time a quick run round where we live would take 30 minutes not 3 hrs).

I cannot bear on the one hand the thought of starting again at our age ( mid 50s) and the financial implications (I earn very little) and the upset- but this is not the life I wanted.

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 09:28:38

It's the life you are going to get though, isn't it ?

claraschu Mon 23-Sep-13 09:30:06

I agree that he should do his share of essential things like shopping, cooking and laundry. I'm not sure about the cleaning, because your level of cleanliness/tidiness would drive me crazy and make me miserable. I would hate feeling like I can't leave my shoes in the hallway, or shampoo next to the bath.

Maybe you need to spend more time having fun together? If you are always quarrelling about household tasks when the children are grown up, I think it is a smokescreen.

trice Mon 23-Sep-13 09:31:42

I am on the other side of this. I am messy, Dh likes things tidy. I drive him mad. I always leave my shoes out and clothes hung on the bannister.

Whenever you have to move his shoes stick them in the porch or somewhere inconvenient so it is easier for him to put them away, and fit a nice neat shampoo dispenser in the shower.

trice Mon 23-Sep-13 09:34:34

Working from home can make you socially isolated. Could you do something during his gym time where you are having fun with other people?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 23-Sep-13 09:37:57

I don't know if you'd be irritated by these things if you were happy overall. I do know if he were a lodger you'd have given him his marching orders by now.

Grass cutting season is nearly over so that narrows his 'contribution' down. I wonder how he thinks you fill the weekend hours when he's at the gym, doing the chores presumably and picking up after him. The flower buying phase presumably fizzled out along with his consternation at you upping and going. Better than bouquets would be a concerted effort.

I think this old dog doesn't want to learn tricks - he's out of your sight 6 days out of 7 and has a cosy B&B. Cushty.

Moaningminny Mon 23-Sep-13 09:39:58

If when you leave your shoes around trice and claraschu it meant an extra bit of time/work for your DP ( picking them up, moving them around) who was cleaning up around them, do you not think that is a sign you don't care about how it impacts on them? If all the bath stuff is in a container anyway but then they leave a bottle on the other corner so you have to move it when you clean the bath, is that a sign of no respect?
I have loads to do when he's at the gym- that's not the point. What it means is that he leaves himself no time to contribute to chores.

mcmooncup Mon 23-Sep-13 09:43:31

If you don't want to cook and clean for him. Don't.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 23-Sep-13 09:44:00

This isn't about housework... it rarely is. This is about two people with different ideas who, for whatever reason, feel they locked together with no alternative and therefore 'making the best of a bad job' and failing miserably. Leaving a bottle on the corner of the bath???? Can you hear how petty this is?

mistlethrush Mon 23-Sep-13 09:47:39

Write a list of the chores and how much time they make. Get him to sit down with you and split them up in a fair way. Doing some of this at a weekend would help him be fitter so he wouldn't have to go to the gym.

DH and I both work full time. He does most of the cooking - although as we're eating such different things at the moment, I sometimes cook something just for me and have some of what he has cooked. I am responsible for the garden - but he does lots round the house. He rarely buys flowers - but I don't particularly want flowers, he's showing me that he's part of the partnership by actively playing his role in it.

arsenaltilidie Mon 23-Sep-13 09:48:17

Corgi and AnyF on the case, DH has no chance!!

If you can afford a cleaner, then I dont see why not because it's clearly affecting your marriage.

Lets look at the shampoo, you say they are too many bottles (I assume you dont use all of them everyday and PROBABLY most of them are yours) yet you insist on putting away the shampoo bottle he uses everyday.

You don't mutter you 'roar' hmm
His answer for leaving shoes in the hall way is not an 'excuse', its his reason he is perfectly entitled to.

There is obviously a lack of respect from you and you need to decide if you want this or not, because chances are he will not change.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 23-Sep-13 09:48:58

That's why I said I wonder what HE thinks you do. He obviously isn't fussed about shoes or shampoo or groceries or fixing meals. It's like living with a teenage son.

arsenaltilidie Mon 23-Sep-13 09:51:51

" which I approve of but at the same time a quick run round where we live would take 30 minutes not 3 hrs"

You sound a bit controlling TBH

Bowlersarm Mon 23-Sep-13 09:51:54

I just don't think it sounds like you like him very much, let alone love him.
You don't seem to have any fun together.

I'm lucky if my DH empties the dishwasher at all. And putting a shampoo bottle back in a cupboard wouldn't cross his mind.

I still love him to bits, he adores me, and we are enjoying a lovely adventure through life together incorporating all it's ups and downs.

To me, what you want him to do is trivial. But if it matters that much to you and you don't think he'll start doing things in the way you request them, I think he's going to make you miserable in the long term, and you need to find someone ultimately that makes you happy.

I think your question to yourself should be "if DH did everything I request of him, would I then be truly happy with him". I get the feeling your answer would be no.

catameringue Mon 23-Sep-13 09:56:54

I can see why his behaviour annoys you op, but I don't think the annoyance lies 100% with him. It seems like 20% is you winding yourself up.

You say he doesn't acknowledge or do the things important to you. Is being a bit messy something that's important to him?

My view for relationships to work is bending the rules on both sides. I agree he is not 'bending' towards the way you would like things to be, but maybe this is making you notice the small things more.

Also, you put your finger on it in the last post. You now believe that his actions are done knowing that they will offend you. My dh pisses me off every so, but I know he has not done this knowingly and deliberately, and this takes the heat out. I hope he thinks the same of me.
That's what I/we have to assume, as we love/ trust each other. If I thought his actions were hateful and deliberate then I'd quickly become bitter and resentful.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 23-Sep-13 09:58:36

I get the same feeling Bowlersarm. This isn't about housework. You'd find him irritating OP if he did nothing but breathe in and out. I know a couple just like you and their home is the most miserable place on earth. What a waste of two perfectly good lives

claraschu Mon 23-Sep-13 09:58:44

I just feel like I can't breathe and relax when a house is that tidy. I don't think it looks good either usually; I like to see a bit of evidence of life- a few books lying around, an unfinished project somewhere, and yes, maybe some shoes that someone left out for later.

Of course I would care and want my husband to be comfortable too if he were a neat-freak, but I don't think being comfortable with super-tidy is any more worthy than being comfortable with somewhat messy.

Moaningminny Mon 23-Sep-13 10:02:25

We have some fun within the limitations of a health problem I have which left me housebound for some years. It's improved but there are limits on what I can do. It's not a mobility issue but it impacts on travelling and doing things other people take for granted.
I do love him but find him impossible to live with in many ways and increasingly resentful of the way he behaves.

Moaningminny Mon 23-Sep-13 10:04:36

Oh and I think some of you have got the wrong idea about how tidy the house is- there are plenty of books, papers, odds and ends lying around. Please don't start assuming stuff that isn't what I said.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now