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To not want to do it all

36 replies

LizzyMcGuire · 05/04/2013 15:07

I am so low today.

My house is an absolute pit, my older dc are 9 and 10 and getting them to pick up after themselves is such a battle.

DH has categorically said no to a cleaner, it comes up every few months and he promises to do more, does more for a week and then we're back to normal. We have a shit load of debt at the moment(unavoidable, and for an unexpected but necessary evil) so extra spending would only add to my stress at the moment anyway.

Today is my day off and I usually gut the house on a Friday (I work 7am to 6pm the other four days) but toddler Dc3 is full of cold and clingy and is now asleep on me so all I've managed to do is the bathroom and our bedroom.

Dh does loads in other ways, he does all the evening clubs and does the kids bedtimes and things, but I just can't get him to do any meaningful housework. If he does any he makes such a fucking meal of it. I asked him to clean the bathroom at the weekend after shaving. He wiped the shelf and then got sidetracked. He pointed out that the stairs needed hoovering on Monday. He didn't do anything about it though.

Our bedroom is full of stuff of his that has no home. He just piles shit on top of shit on top of shit. Our loft and garage are both full to the brim of crap, but he won't sort it.

I have pictures that need to go up, there are doors that were hung a year ago and still haven't been painted. I do all the other diy and decorating but these are two jobs I've specifically delegated to him and we're in a weird and petty situation now where he hasn't done it and I don't want to even though I could.

He talks a good talk, and will do Man cleaning every once in a while (you know the sort, hoovering that takes an hour, using a bottle of bleach to do the kitchen) but everything just falls to me.

I don't want a show home, or even a particularly tidy home, I am talking about just a maintenance level of clean. He 'washes up' after dinner most days but all he does is stack the dishwasher and leave a sink full of dirty pots 'to soak'. I have told him, shown him, what a clean kitchen looks like but it doesn't sink in.

I am so sick of doing all the cleaning, all the cooking, all the shopping, all the thinking. He went out last night (for work) wearing tattered jeans. Because I haven't gone out and bought him new jeans or made him buy them.

It's all on me and I feel broken.

Help me, or slap me or something.

OP posts:

LizzyMcGuire · 05/04/2013 15:13

He had five days off over the bank holiday. He did loads of stuff with the kids, built loads of lego, played loads of music.

Did absolutely fuck all cleaning or diy.

OP posts:

LizzyMcGuire · 05/04/2013 15:15

I'm not like some whirlwind of activity, I'm not busying around with a mop while he sits scratching his arse, but I clean as I go.

He went upstairs to play guitar the other day and just moved the clean washing off the bed to sit down. Instead of, you know, putting it away.


OP posts:

harrap · 05/04/2013 15:17

No not unreasonable, I feel your pain. I know lots of people will say just don't accept it but that is easier said than done. Just wanted to say you have my sympathy and you are not alone.


LizzyMcGuire · 05/04/2013 15:20

Thank you x

I think I just need to rant and moan and maybe have a little cry.

He is amazing in a million different ways, this is literally the only negative issue in our marriage. It's making me very sad.

OP posts:

purrpurr · 05/04/2013 15:24

He went upstairs to play guitar the other day and just moved the clean washing off the bed to sit down. Instead of, you know, putting it away.

Probably won't help to say this, but my DH moves anything left on the bed to my side of the bed, then gets in it, and turns the light off. I think if I ever actually allowed myself to focus on how disgustingly selfish, manchildish and disrespectful that is ('I can't be arsed to deal with this crap, YOU do it' ) I would combust.

Really haven't got anything helpful to say except I so hear what you're saying, I can get so angry about this myself, not heard the term 'man cleaning' before but that's so exactly right. He was meant to clean the kitchen prior to a houseful of guests arriving at Christmas, so he got out his drill and rehung the fridge door so it opened the opposite way to everything else. Nothing got cleaned.

And, that thing where they say something needs doing, and then don't do it - what is that? Is that some sort of wanky housewife management technique? 'We need to see cleaner floors, shinier worksurfaces, we need to embrace the Dettol and introduce a holistic ceiling-to-flooring approach to house maintenance...' or some such twattery.



FantasticDay · 05/04/2013 15:26

You sound exhausted, and with a 7 am to 6 pm schedule and small dcs, I'm not surprised. You are both working full-time, so clearly it is not fair if the housework all falls on you. If he doesn't 'get it' with cleaning (and I must admit I am rubbish at it), is there anything he is good at that he could take sole responsibility for, leaving you to clean? How about laundry there must be a fair amount with (3?) dcs. Could he cook and you take over the washing up. His clothes, I'd say, are his business - I wouldn't buy clothes for a grown adult.


mermaid101 · 05/04/2013 15:27

My DH is not as bad as yours sounds, but his cleaning style is to leave everything until it is almost unbearable and then "blitz" it. I feel this is not always a good idea.

A strategy I have found to work - sometimes - is to ask him to do something(s) while I am cleaning as I go. For example. "DH, could you put that washing away while I am doing the dishes" or whatever it is. I think if you are doing housework at the time, it is harder for the other person to refuse.

Sometimes, he just says he'll do it later, so like I say, doesn't always work, but it might be worth a go. Sounds hard going for you.


CockyFox · 05/04/2013 15:35

My DH is like this, crap and demanding over house work - particularly washing. He moans about it all the time but does nothing. He is fantastic in other ways.
Housework really isn't the be all and end all for me and I'll quite happily live in a shithole as long as the kitchen and bathroom are clean the litter tray isn't full and the children have room to play. He would like a show home, it will never happen whilst I do the house work so I just ignore the moaning and cryptic hints to do stuff and just get on with my life.
Neither of us will ever change and housework isn't worth destroying a relationship over.
YANBU to be fed up though.


badbride · 05/04/2013 15:36

You poor thing OP. You have my sympathy.

One reason lots of couples fall out over cleaning is one (often the bloke) simply doesn't see the need to clean something at a particular time point.

One thing that might help is sitting down with him and agreeing a list (which you then stick on the fridge door or similar) of tasks that need to be done each week, by whom and by when. If he routinely fails to complete his tasks (the odd slip is forgivable), return the favour by not completing yours. But make sure one of those tasks is one that matters to him, such as having his dinner made. He should soon get the message.

I suspect the main issue is the amount of clutter your DH has lying around. Again, I would simply point to one pile of said clutter and tell him if it's not sorted by the end of the weekend, it's going in the bin. Then make good on your threat, before pointing to the next pile. You would not be U to do this IMO: his clutter is making your life and that of your children intolerable: you are within your rights to take action.

I took this approach with a housemate's pile of scuzzy washing once, worked a treat Grin


fedupofnamechanging · 05/04/2013 15:36

Right. For a start I think that in your position I would quietly start binning all the crap that has taken over the house. Do it discreetly and you'll have gotten rid of shed loads of stuff before he even notices, so start with the loft and garage. (If you are skint and some of it is worth selling then don't feel bad about going right ahead).

Given that he does shed loads of other stuff, then I would accept doing the cleaning. I would not buy clothes for him or tell him to do it himself, so he can avoid going out looking like a scruff - he is a grown up and if he wants to look like a scruff rather than do something for himself, then so be it.

I would also paint the doors. It's pissing you off far more than it is him and you want it done. Don't kick off about it, but when he next wants you to do something which is important to him, don't bother to do it!

I hate game playing and the tit for tat behaviour that I am urging you to do here, but what he is saying is that he doesn't care enough about your comfort to put himself out a bit and will only do what it suits him to do, so I think you have to make your point in this way.

You could also stop doing his laundry. He needs to appreciate that there isn't a laundry fairy.


CockyFox · 05/04/2013 15:37

Oh and I always buy his clothes because I pick them up at the supermarket (all we can afford rather than not caring how we look)when I am there anyway but he does ask me to get them.


OldBagWantsNewBag · 05/04/2013 15:38

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsMacFarlane · 05/04/2013 15:41

I've noticed similar traits with my DH. He goes upstairs and sees the washing piles on the bed, just moves them and sits and plays the guitar for hours. Also, his cleaning is at both ends of the spectrum, either really shoddy and one cheek short of half arsed or so thorough (hoovering every single nook and cranny, bleaching the skirting boards) that it takes hours to do one thing. Like you, I just want a house that I can keep ticking over and looking half decent. We need some extra money and I persuaded him to start cataloguing his extensive record collection with a view to selling it. He started off all enthusiastic and we had boxes and boxes of vinyl on the dining room table but it predictably ground to a halt. Aaarrgh! I feel your pain.


redandyellowbits · 05/04/2013 15:44

OP, I used to bin DHs crap when he was out at work. I'd load the DCs into the car, stick all of his crap in the boot and go bin it at my friends house.

If it's paperwork, I would take a photo of the letter on my phone, so we retained whatever 'useful' information it contained and then binned piles and piles of letters, mostly still in their pointless envelopes.


Startail · 05/04/2013 15:44

YABU to be fed up. I get fed up too sometimes, but DH and DDs don't notice mess and I'm far too lazy to do all of it.

Immaculate houses need one person who cares so much they are prepared to do it all and nag the rest of the house into being afraid to breath.

My grandfather spent his life in his big garage/workshop lest he put anything down in the wrong place in the house.


Startail · 05/04/2013 15:46

My DDad built model aeroplanes and dismantled motor bike engines at his BFs. His mum had three sons and took in student lodgers. She had a much more reasonable attitude to mess.


sittinginthesun · 05/04/2013 15:57

My dh was like this. He did the Man cleaning thing periodically, and make a brilliant job of it, but its not much good if he was only cleaning the kitchen once every 6 months.

After a couple of years of rows etc, I just gave up. I put my foot down and insisted on a cleaner once a week, and just stopped asking him to help at all. Did all the cleaning, housework, cooking etc.

And then, strangely, he started chipping in, doing bits and pieces, without me saying anything. I would just say "kitchen looks good", or "looking lovely in here".

Now, I still do the bulk of it, all the washing, ironing etc, but he does a lot more at weekends.

I think backing off, stopping it being an issue just took the stress off it all.

Mind you, in your case, I would tell him that I was going to have a sort out and take stuff to the tip/charity shop, unless he sorted out the stuff he wants to keep.


LizzyMcGuire · 05/04/2013 16:27

I cleaned out his magazine rack the other week. It had unwrapped magazines of his dating back to 2009. He'd basically filled it three years agao and then stopped using it. Didn't occur to him to sort through and empty it. The same with his bedside cabinet. Piled high with old bills. We do not need a mortgage statement from 2006 for a flat we don't own anymore. Why is it on your bedside table????

I certainly don't want an immaculate house. Just a tidy ish one.

OP posts:

BackforGood · 05/04/2013 16:38

I think you need to be a bit less hard on yourself and him. You are working very long hours 4 days a week, and, as you say, he's doing lots with the dc as well as working. Ultimately those days spent building lego are far more worthwhile than a day clearing out the garage. You'd be amazed how quickly these years fly by. I do feel your pain - my house is never "done" , and I'd love to have someone come along and de-clutter me - but at the end of the day, I value the time spent doing things with / for my dc (around work hours and things you have to do like cooking the tea and shopping for it!) and think that if a bit of fluff on the stairs carpet or dust on a shelf bothers anyone that much, then they are welcome to pick up a duster / vacuum and do it themselves. I'm going to have years to keep the house looking lovely once the dc have left home.


Bringmewineandcake · 05/04/2013 16:47

Man cleaning made me laugh out loud - I thought it was just my DH!!
I have a poorly DC too and am doing the bare minimum because I'm either cuddling / feeding or cleaning and creaming infected areas...nice.
I don't have the solution - I've started saying the f word a lot more, because I'm tired of having the same conversation so rather than shouting / pleading for ages I say something with the f word in it and promptly get left alone.
Have a Wine and we'll all commiserate together


twirliedobbit · 05/04/2013 17:20

I I've mn for these threads where you realise you aren't alone an actually everyones house (or at least some people) is exactly the same as yours. I have 3dc work full time and am 6 month pg and I do all the running around cleaning cooking tidying washing and the one that grates me most... All the thinking! If we have an event or wedding etc. he asks the night before whose babysitting the kids, the day of an exam he asks what time ds1 has to be there and how dd2 will get to her club at the same time and my biggest bug bear, what shall we do today? He never suggests anything sometimes I want someone to just tell me where to go or what we should do. Sorry no advice really, just that you aren't alone!


starfishmummy · 05/04/2013 17:28

I wish I knew the answer too!!
Dhaka will spend the weekends cooking - which is great- but the things I need him to do (because I can't )just go to pot.


Tailtwister · 05/04/2013 17:35

Remarkably like my DH OP! He was particularly bad about doing clothes washing and would literally step over a basket of wet clothes in the kitchen before hanging it up. I just stopped washing his clothes all together. I just did mine and the DC's and he had the gall to tell me he didn't know how to use a washing machine! Seriously, this is a man who can write computer code (whatever that is!) and he can't work out how to use a washing machine. Anyway, I said he had better read the instructions then or he'd have no clothes left. Seemed to work in the short term.


WildeRumpus · 05/04/2013 18:46

ah my DH is like this and I am winding myself up for a chat about it. he is ok for a while then stops clearing up after himself/tidying when he has been playing with or feeding DS/doing any cleaning. Grrr. 'man cleaning' is hilarious - if I ask him to vacuum he will tut and sigh and spend HOURS doing EVERYTHING instead of ten mins just making it, you know, normal. Confused Grin

I wonder why your DH has the veto on a cleaner though. I only have one DS and don't work atm (on maternity leave, pg with DC2) so don't need a cleaner, just a moan. BUT if and when I have three dcs and a job, I absolutely will have a cleaner. They don't cost the earth for two hours once a week but if we stay married and happier because of it I will do it - even though he says we will never have a cleaner. I will ignore him though - why in your house is your DH's 'no' stronger than your 'yes'?!

You could even not tell him you got one and have them on the sly Shock


LizzyMcGuire · 05/04/2013 19:03

Oh GOD at computer code.

Are we all married to the same musician slash programmer?

OP posts:
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