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Did I miss the memo?

81 replies

llamalana · 02/12/2019 23:38

DH and I have been together 16+years, married for 11 with three children and live in an older home which we always intended to do up when we had more money and time. While we wait for that or if we have visitors coming to stay, I paint rooms and try and declutter or add furniture etc to make our home comfortable/ less of an eyesore. DH is not especially practical or handy. Things are starting to fall apart somewhat (2 kitchen drawers broken, bathroom cupboard doors broken, curtain linings in rags etc) and I am patiently waiting for DH to finish some of these projects as he makes a start, buys special tools to support work but rarely completes jobs so we now have half fixed cupboard doors lying against walls, kitchen drawers on work surface in kitchen until I got fed up and moved them to bedroom to get them out of the way etc. Yesterday he said that he doesn't know what is a priority for me so he isn't clear on what to finish. (And is therefore just not finishing anything.) I am a bit startled as I was operating from point of view that we both own house, both can see jobs that need doing and surely we just crack on and do those jobs and if we're both doing that with that mindset, eventually lots of these loose ends will just be completed. I wasn't aware that he was looking to me to prioritise this for him. Am I going nuts? Or could I expect that as a grown man he could decide to complete the jobs that need doing? I genuinely don't want to be the one in charge of directing how our house maintenance plays out, I was after an equal partnership. I feel like I missed the memo that said I should be deciding about and directing this. (BTW, I would be more than happy to outsource whatever needs doing but DH buys tools, makes a start and then....)

OP posts:

MumOf1plusBump · 02/12/2019 23:44

DH is not especially practical or handy. I think that's your answer. He can't tell or can't see what needs to be done and when.

Easy solution, tell him/ make a list with the order you want them done. You may not want to 'direct' him but it sounds like a simple way to avoid a lot of hassle


museumsandgalleries666 · 02/12/2019 23:50

If he's asking for your help to prioritize jobs, give him a list of things that need doing, small manageable lists of say 3 related things. When he's finished the first list give him a second small list. And repeat. His brain isn't wired like yours. if you work as a team, ie you foreman he workman, it'll all get done.

If that doesn't work, get a handyman in and sell the tools on eBay.


TrainspottingWelsh · 02/12/2019 23:56

Why don't you do those types of jobs and dh do whatever tasks your doing?
Dp is shite at tackling jobs unless it's something he's familiar with. So he'll happily spend a weekend doing fencing or painting, but a simple, shorter task he hasn't done or helped with before gets continually put off. But I quite enjoy the challenge of accomplishing something new and I'm definitely the most practical/ best at diy/ repairs of us both so it works out fine.


bionicnemonic · 02/12/2019 23:57

Are you also fixing the doors etc? Perhaps he feels you are more able and are therefore the one to take the role of ‘gaffer’


SilverySurfer · 03/12/2019 00:05

I would trade him in for a fully functioning adult. Failing that tell him to get a second job to pay for a professional to do the work.


Onesnowballshort · 03/12/2019 00:13

I don't think he's asking for your help. He's absolving himself of actual joint responsibility for the jobs and the home.
I have one of these two Op, it grinds my gears.


AlunWynsKnee · 03/12/2019 00:15

DH and I occasionally walk around the house and make a list of what needs doing. We put it into 'now', 'soon' and sometime' as we go. If we can't do it then we figure out who is finding the trades to do it and allocate tasks between us.
There are some things that really annoy him but not me and vice versa.


notangelinajolie · 03/12/2019 00:15

Ha! He sounds like my DH. We have just moved to and old property that has a million and one things that need doing. Give him a list in the order your want the jobs doing. In the meantime I would be saving for a new kitchen.


minipie · 03/12/2019 00:18

Depends if you tend to criticise the order in which he tackles stuff OP ie he starts on the drawer and you say no do the door...

If so it’s kind of fair for him to expect you to want to be in charge of prioritisation (is that a word?) of tasks

If not... then nah he’s just being crap and looking for excuses why he hasn’t finished anything.


BackforGood · 03/12/2019 00:18

What @museumsandgalleries666 said.

Presumably, if your definition of equal partnership means you are the same, then why are you expecting him to be able to fix the cupboard doors etc., when you can't Confused

Why would it be difficult for you to say "this {job} is really annoying me now, do you think you could finish it this weekend now you've got that special tool?"


7Days · 03/12/2019 00:19

Give it a go yourself. YouTube is great.
Ok some stuff will require muscle power that your DH probably has the upper hand in, but some won't. I was surprised that I was able to replace a drawer runner that was wonky.
Also it gave my DH a bit of a boost. If I could do it, he could. (And probably some hangover from his prehistoric dad about men and womens work)


Chocmallows · 03/12/2019 00:22

He's taking the child role, which forces you to parent. Don't, instead be an adult and as others have said discuss together what needs doing and divide the work up.

You could call the work projects and pick one to focus on per fortnight/month. Share the responsibility to get things done. Review at the end of each week, set goals for following week.


DippyAvocado · 03/12/2019 00:26

If he's not very practical, is there a particular reason why he should do these jobs rather than you? If neither of you are particuarly good at DIY you may have to pay someone to come and do it.


DippyAvocado · 03/12/2019 00:30

Sorry, just saw the bit about how he doesn't want to outsource. Do you think he doesn't want to admit defeat? In which case you may have to just say it needs doing by x date or we'll have to get someone in. My DP is quite practical and does general DIY but can't do plumbing. He managed to fit our whole bathroom but then couldn't plumb in the toilet and kept saying that he would find out how to do it. Two months without an upstairs toilet and I eventually just called a plumber myself. It may be frustrating, but sometimes it's easier to just take charge. I'm sure I frustrate him equally over different things.


PyongyangKipperbang · 03/12/2019 00:36

I have a similar problem but with housework.

I can see what needs to be done but I struggle to work out what needs doing first. It seems that whatever I start ends up needing something else doing first/as well as and I get overwhelmed. I end up with half a dozen half done jobs instead of three finished ones.

My sister helps by writing me lists! She prioritizes what I need to do and in what order. I dont find this patronizing, I just need telling. At work I can prioritize very easily, but not at home! So maybe ask him if it would help if you did a job sheet for you both to follow. One job done, ticked off, move on to the next one. For people with brains like that, clear instructions really do help!


Alexapourmeadrink · 03/12/2019 00:39

We’re not all out of the same mould. Some people “get it” and some don’t. I do 90% of DIY in our house but DH has his work cut out with the garden, cars, etc and he’s a dan hand at other crap jobs I hate. I can’t tell a weed from a geranium and car polishing bores me rigid so I’m grateful to have someone who does those things. DH is grateful that I’m keen to keep the house maintained.


YouSawThePlans · 03/12/2019 00:40

He doesn't need a list. He's trying to make you responsible for his inability to finish a job. That's not your responsibility.

It's not rocket science. He has half finished jobs, he just needs to finish them.

fwiw I don't think you should allow him to veto getting in outside help if he can't finish tasks and now can't prioritise Hmm


saraclara · 03/12/2019 00:45

Are these 'man jobs' for some reason? Why don't you do them together?
My late husband was no more handy with DIY than I am. So we muddled through with tasks as a team.


Hoolahlah66 · 03/12/2019 00:48

Why do men automatically do the DIY? This isn’t the 1950’s, do it yourself. If you don’t know how, learn. After all you said DH isn’t handy!


YouSawThePlans · 03/12/2019 00:53

OP has already said she does the painting, getting furniture, decluttering, etc. Is she supposed to do everything?


FinnsLeftSpoon · 03/12/2019 01:05

Why are people jumping on the OP when she says her DP

makes a start, buys special tools to support work but rarely completes jobs

He is the one taking on these jobs because he wants to.

Then he makes it the OP's fault that he hasn't finished them because she hasn't told him what to do.

OP, I would just tell him you don't care which one he does (assuming you don't) but if there's no progress by you will be hiring someone to do them.


Creepster · 03/12/2019 01:19

I don't buy it, OP. He is biting off more than he can or wants to do and the quits when it gets tough.
Pretending he is doing it for you is a way to hod you responsible for what he does or doe not do.
Have a serious talk with him about what he expects from himself and then either do the repairs yourself or hire someone.


Creepster · 03/12/2019 01:20

Apologies for the cat typing.


expat101 · 03/12/2019 01:27

Is there a back story? My neighbour's Husband does this, but that is because she wants to move back to where she comes from, and he doesn't, and it's all planned around ''when the house is finished''... they have been together for about 12 years.


llamalana · 03/12/2019 03:13

minipie No, I am definitely not criticizing as happy for him to complete in any order and not nagging as I figure with most grown ups, you start a job, you finish it.
Thanks Creepster . The "Pretending to do it for you" strikes a chord as he's also mentioned he knows one of my love languages is 'acts of service' so he reckons he's trying to fulfill that.
Hoolahlah66 he's definitely not doing all the DIY, I do all the house painting inside and out, mow lawns and deal with cars MOT's, lions share of housework, and on and on. I will be up a ladder in spare time painting the eaves where rotten wood has been replaced next good weather we have as he's not good with ladders. What I am struggling with is all the half finished jobs and expensive tools involved. And then the teflon shoulders and feigned confusion about priorities because I am supposed to tell him what to do.
Thanks also FinnsLeftSpoon, you get me! Yay. And Chocmallows/

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