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AIBU in expecting OH to do more around the house

29 replies

wowfudge · 15/05/2011 13:43

This is my first post and please forgive me if someone has already asked the same thing... and if I ramble on too much.

My OH goes out early in the morning to commute by train to work (about an hour and a quarter before I go to work) and gets back around the same time as me in the evenings. He also runs a small business from home which takes about an hour of his time every evening - that's his estimation BTW. He has a couple of hobbies - in the football season he is out all Saturday pm and on Sunday mornings. His other hobby involves one or two evenings out a week from 7-11.30pm. He is also involved in running a team for hobby No. 2 - sorry not to name this hobby, but I am concerned it will make him easily identifiable if anyone we know is a member here! - and some admin activity for a club he used to chair. I go to college one evening a week and sing in choir another evening. Every 8 weeks or so, we have a concert which will usually be in the evening on a weekend.

I get up before him in the mornings and get his breakfast & lunch together then he grabs his stuff and goes out. I do all the cleaning, all the food shopping and cooking (I quite like shopping and enjoy cooking0, all the laundry (apart from ironing - he pays someone to iron his stuff), 90% of the pet feeding and clearing up after. I empty the bins and put the recycling and rubbish out. He mows the grass and I do all the other gardening. When it comes to ad hoc tasks, I often find I end up doing them because I would have to wait months to get things fixed/a shelf put up, etc or get accused of nagging. When I ask my OH to do things like empty the bins around the house or put used crockery in the dishwasher, 99% of the time he forgets I have asked. The other 1% he rolls his eyes if he doesn't think what I am asking is necessary or puts it off for as long as possible - sometimes on the pretext he is too busy.

We have different attitudes to housework - he says I am a neat freak and the place doesn't need cleaning as often as I want it done - which is only once a week and we have a long-haired dog and a cat! For him, there is no need to have a routine, you just do things when they need doing.......

AIBU asking him to do more around the house? I feel as if I have relatively little time to myself and that it's not fair of him to say he's too busy and I have more time in which to do these things when his time is taken up with his hobbies!

Please advise.... We have so many rows about this and I am really resentful of this, IMO, inequality.

OP posts:

allsquareknickersnofurcoat · 15/05/2011 14:34

My DH is the same, I feel like a single mum of two! We're the ones to blame though for putting up with it.... :)


TotallyUtterlyDesperate · 15/05/2011 15:19

It's simple - you should both have equal amounts of free time for your hobbies. If he has more time for himself than you do, then he is not being respectful of you as a partner and he needs to change. So, document all of this in a diary and work it all out.


Dropdeadfred · 15/05/2011 15:22

do you have children?


coccyx · 15/05/2011 15:24

Can't he get his own breakfast?


JeelyPiece · 15/05/2011 15:28

So all he does is mow the grass?


BooyHoo · 15/05/2011 15:34

there is a solution to this.

you need to only do stuff when he is doing it. so only cook if he is also there cooking with you. only do the shopping if he is coming along with you. in the morning, only bring down your own washing and continue to do so til he realises he needs to do his own (it really doesn't take much effort for him to bring his washing down) similarly, once he is bringing his own washing down, you only hang it out if he is there hanging aswell. ame goes for things like putting up shelves or fixing things. dont do anything until he is right there with you. it may sound ridiculous, and yes, there will be a period where things are not getting done but until he is actually 'living' your life, i.e; doing as much as you are doing exactly equally, he will not realise how much you actually do. this wont be a permanent state of affairs. one of two things will happen. either you will get fed up waiting for him to be available to do things with you (which is your aim, don't lose sight of your aim) and you will go back to normal and nothing will get solved. or he will realise that you were doing more and you will have a proper chat and decide who will do what and a realistic timescale for things to be done in.


AppleyEverAfter · 15/05/2011 15:39

I would tell him you'll either A) cut down your hours at work so you can fit in the housework or B) get a cleaner.

I don't think any amount of nagging will up his work intake. It didn't work for me in a past relationship anyway! He sounds like a busy man.


MovingAndScared · 15/05/2011 15:41

We sat down and worked out how long these things took every week - and then arranged it so it was equal -we also knew who was doing what -so it was clear what got dropped, but my OH quite likes DIY etc, he did the washing until we had kids - does the food shop now - and is pretty good if he says he would do something he does it - I do more now as I work less now but thats fine - oh and if someone cooks the other washes up
I would stop sorting his breakfast and lunch out for starters - and how about a cleaner? and maybe odd job person, And it sound like he has 3 time consuming hobbies, and a small business - does it make a fair amount of money, and a full time job - and you sound quite busy as well - so it no that suprising he doesn't have much time to do stuff round the house - but if you are that busy the only way to do is a routine - or do less stuff - assuming you don't have kids but if you are thinking about it get this sorted now otherwise it will be a nightmare - sorry


bibbitybobbityhat · 15/05/2011 15:44

Stop making his lunch for him. Stop getting his breakfast. Wash your own clothes only. Cook a meal maybe 3 or 4 nights of the week, at other times get yourself a bowl of soup or a sandwich or even a takeaway.

I take it you don't have children?


wowfudge · 15/05/2011 15:46

Thanks everyone for your input so far - I offered to sort out his breakfast/lunch as he has to go out earlier than me and I was getting up to make coffee and and feed the cat, which I know has made a rod for my own back. If I were him, I'd just get up a bit earlier!

We don't have children but we have been talking about having them. I am worried that if we do, things will be even worse for me, especially on maternity leave or if I don't go back to work full time because then there's the risk he'll think I should be 'working' all day at home as well as looking after a child! Not to mention what kind of example would we be setting.... and my family background was one where both my parents did their fair share and my Dad does loads of cooking and cleaning - and not just the weekly hoovering.

I have tried addressing the issue and pointing out that just the 5 hrs on a Saturday pm is equivalent to the normal total of the time I spend on my hobbies... I don't really know what to do. I have got into a rut of just doing things myself because it is not worth the aggro and the arguments and I cannot live and relax in messy/dirty surroundings. The thing is, he just doesn't see it - and I mean literally does not see it.

We had a huge row yesterday afternoon and this morning was the first time I can remember that he just went and got himself something to eat - he did have the courtesy to ask me if I'd eaten before he got it.

Because I'm frazzled much of the time, I can be short-tempered so it's a vicious cycle.

OP posts:

Dropdeadfred · 15/05/2011 15:51

you sound like you are mothering him...! how old is he?


PrinceHumperdink · 15/05/2011 15:54

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BooyHoo · 15/05/2011 15:55

i know how frustrating it is to leave things undone waiting for someone to notice but if you want this sorted you will have to grin and bear it for a while. he doesn't notice at the minute because you always do it. if you stopped doing things, i promise you, he will notice. he will walk past that shelf and say "why is that shelf broken" or "why have we no food in" etc etc. he will notice but you have to give him the chance to notice by not doing everything. yes it will be uncomfortable for a while but if you give in and do it he will learn that he just has to outlast you in the waiting game.


troisgarcons · 15/05/2011 16:00

he pays someone to iron his stuff

Really? how juvenile if your stuff isnt included.


TheCrackFox · 15/05/2011 16:04

Stop getting him breakfast and lunch as he is not a child and you are not his mother. Tell him (don't ask) that he will be organising dinner 3 or 4 times a week.

He can also pay for your clothes to be ironed.


darleneoconnor · 15/05/2011 16:08

If it's like this now and you don't even have kids yet...


sleepingsowell · 15/05/2011 16:11

I know what you mean about him not 'seeing' mess - my DH is exactly the same. I think it's a combination of not actually caring about it, and knowing that basically even if you do see it, the longer you do nothing, the more likely your mum/wife is going to come along and sort it out for you.

I think my heartfelt advice to you is sort this NOW and be as assertive as you need to. He might not care as much about the house, he might not 'see' Hmm the mess - fine; but HE HAS CHOSEN TO HAVE A HOUSE, TO SET UP HOME AND TO LIVE WITH YOU - no one made him, if he wanted to live exactly as HE wants then he should stay single or not live with you.

I had to have this out with my DH numerous times and it took me saying to him very strongly - you have chosen this, you didn't have to choose a house and to settle with me, you CHOSE it therefore there are responsibilities

Its about give and take too of course; DH has a horribly messy 'craft' table in the corner of our kitchen but I ignore that because it's fair he has some space and I don't try to control the mess.

But the rest of the house, we do together.

Also if you are thinking of having kids ensure that he truly understands and values what you do at home, by having sole charge of the baby as much as possible. If we always 'protect' the men by never giving them sole charge, we can't expect them to understand - and we make it too easy for them to think to themselves that we're at home basically with our feet up drinking coffee while they work.

He needs to do enough of the childcare to understand that work is a rest!

Also, you're at home to look after and bring up your child NOT convert to full time house slave.

Of course I did extra while I was home full time - but what worked for us what that as soon as DH walked in the door, we were then EQUAL partners in doing all that needed doing together. If I cooked, he washed up, if I'm putting DS to bed, he's putting washing on/tidying etc and so on

Sorry for the long post. Touched a nerve with me as you can see!!!


rainbowinthesky · 15/05/2011 16:16

Did you all marry children??


exoticfruits · 15/05/2011 16:25

Did you all marry children??

They probably all married men whose mothers did it all for them! If you start a thread on here about letting 3 yr olds set the table etc you very quickly get women saying 'how cruel-they are only DCs'! They are never too young to start.


ledkr · 15/05/2011 16:28

haha the very act of making a mans breakfast or lunch for him immediately tells him he is the most deserving of the 2 of you and is somehow less able to do mundane tasks. It is sad that so many men have this idea that their partners are somehow more responsible for household tasks than they are. My ds3 was raised in a very equal household and i have always worked and made the children do chores. He is now living with gf and acts like a right chauvanist about housework,luckily she has me as a mil to tell her to put him in his place. Grin


messymammy · 15/05/2011 16:32

You make his breakfast and lunch?!?!Hmm
I'm the first to admit I do far too much for dp,but come on!


AppleyEverAfter · 15/05/2011 16:40

What's wrong with making your partner's breakfast? If you're having it together you might as well. Must admit, I draw the line at a packed lunch. Unless I was doing the same for myself. In our house, I cook and DH washes up/cleans kitchen. Well, I say "cleans"...


HubbaHubbaBubba · 15/05/2011 16:47

It's not a fair 'sharing' of the workload, but I think you already know that. My DH doesn't 'see' mess either (genuinely not thinking things are messy, when I think they're awful!). We've been back and forth with how I need to lower my expectations, and he needs to raise his recognition of mess. We have come to a compromise of sorts.

I have relaxed a bit, and he is getting better at doing his bit (although I don't think he 'sees' the mess still, but knows through all my nagging and therefore now through force of habit what to do.

We have settled into routines, so he'll do the recycling, I do the bins. We made a pact that one of us would do the laundry (which I hate ) and the other do the washing up, but his way of doing the laundry got on my nerves so much we swapped!! :o

Now I just ask him to do stuff when I'm in a tidy-up mode and we kind of blitz the place. I still feel I do more of the housework, but he does more of the cooking.

Your DH needs to understand how much you do, and you def need to do a bit less.


HubbaHubbaBubba · 15/05/2011 16:51

Haha appleyeverafter - my DH is supposed to 'clean' the kitchen too Hmm. I do it again the next morning, by actually lifting Shock the kettle and cleaning around it, putting stuff on the draining board away etc etc


AppleyEverAfter · 15/05/2011 17:18

Hubba it's annoying isn't it? DH just can't see crumbs. But he does do lots of laundry, feeds pets and does the bins so I'll forgive him. I think he may be shocked when our baby comes and the laundry increases threefold though!

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