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AIBU?

I've been asking DH to share the burden of housework for ten years now, AIBU to issue an ultimatum?

320 replies

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 21/05/2022 21:14

Just that really. Have tried every single way of asking. I've shouted and screamed in frustration, I've burst into tears, I've quietly and calmly asked, I've made reasoned arguments as to why it should be an equal division of labour (at different times!) Every time he agrees to do more. And then does even less. If I raise it now he acts like I'm being a nag, or hysterical over something unimportant. Am now at the end of my tether. AIBU to give him an ultimatum?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

1019 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
5%
You are NOT being unreasonable
95%
LannieDuck · 21/05/2022 23:16

WiggyClawsThe2nd · 21/05/2022 21:25

It doesn't get done. Unless I want to live in a pigsty I have to do it myself. He's not completely useless, he does the cooking and shopping every other week, makes lunch for toddler (abandons the washing up) and takes DS to nursery. But seems to be allergic to any kind of cleaning. And I'm not asking for much, just a basic standard of hygiene!

If he does the cooking and shopping every other week, could they not become his chores all the time? And if he's the only one cooking, he'll get annoyed at no clean utensils way before you do, so leave the washing up for him as well.

Him doing the cooking/shopping/washing up seems like a reasonable set of chores when you do everything else (I would also get a cleaner in to relieve some of that burden if you can afford it).

Threetulips · 21/05/2022 23:18

Personally I’d just stop doing anything for him. No cooking cleaning admin - he can shop and cook his own meals. I’d give him his own cupboard for cups and plates - one of each. If they aren’t clean he can’t use them.

But I’m stubborn.

violetbunny · 21/05/2022 23:22

There is a reason he doesn't do it.
He either sees it as your job - or he doesn't think it needs doing but doesn't care enough about your relationship to do anything about it even though he knows it's important to you.

Either of those reasons would be a dealbreaker, especially after 10 years. He is not going to change.

WakeMeUpWhenTheyHaveGone · 21/05/2022 23:48

A few days ago, DP suggested inviting people (I’m assuming his friends.
I didn’t even bother to ask as I wanted no part in it) over for a BBQ this weekend. I told him that I’m not feeling it this weekend as I’m tired and it would be my first weekend in a while not having to think about and get on top of work, including needing the next couple of weekends to finalise holiday shopping/prep for us (family of 5). Told him fine go ahead if he’s shopping, unpacking shopping, food prepping, cooking and cleaning up (including BBQ and the downstairs WC) afterwards. I told him this may be my opportunity to book that relaxing night in that hotel down the road if he thinks I’m going to end up cooking and cleaning up afterwards. I told him that the house needs to be cleaner than when I left it before the BBQ and that he’d better contact a cleaning company to clean up before I come back home on Monday morning.
Surprise, surprise; he quickly decided not to invite his friends round for a Sunday football and a BBQ, but not before trying to rope other people into doing the food prep/manning the BBQ.
Apparently, accordingly to him I don’t like people 🤣

Set your boundaries and stick to them.

thenewduchessoflapland · 22/05/2022 00:03

I wouldn't bother paying for relationship counselling to get this man to start cleaning;it's an ingrained habit;he'll probably make an effort for a few weeks following the counselling then gradually stop.

I'd simply tell him his choice is to start pulling his weight or start finding the money to cover a cleaner to help.

DontTripPoppy · 22/05/2022 00:22

Every left dish, every unhoovered floor, every shit mark in the toilet, every unemptied bin is him saying 'fuck that, Wiggy will do it

spot on

Every single task not done is a massive ‘FUCK YOU Wiggy‘

He is buying his leisure with your labour. THATS how much he cares about you. Depressing.

FlowerArranger · 22/05/2022 00:48

Lovewilltearyouapart · 21/05/2022 22:46

Mummabubs. What good points does he have? He literally didn’t clean his own sick for 2 weeks? Have i read this right?

I think you did indeed read this right, sadly.
Personally I'd have scooped it up and served it to him for dinner...

AcrossthePond55 · 22/05/2022 00:54

You might sponge the spots off a leopard, but he remains a leopard just the same. That's the reason why ultimatums rarely work in instances of 'serious' problems. And I do consider his lack of sharing the burden to be serious.

But even if the person starts doing whatever the ultimatum is about that change rarely lasts. Or if they do stick with it, they resent it and create another 'situation'. Such as "You want me to pick my pants up off the bathroom floor? Fine, I'll just do that. But maybe I'll start leaving my dirty cup in the sink". It's a 'oneupmanship merry go round'.

JuneOsborne · 22/05/2022 00:56

Yes, we can all say,leave him, he won't change, you'll be better off without him, but it misses the mark, doesn't it?.

Because there's be no need for all of this, any,.of this, if he'd just wash up, clean the bathroom, put some clothes away and seem to know what's going on. Not difficult, is it?

So for me, the question is why is he risking it all?
Is it because he doesn't respect you?
Doesn't believe you'd leave?
Because he just dgaf about living to a decent standard?
Because he doesn't understand that it's part of being an adult?
Because he doesn't care that you have to do all the boring shot all the time, and that is gets you down, because it's shit, and relentless, but he's just pleased he doesn't have to do it?.

If you asked him this, actually said to him, I'm at the end of my tether and I'm going to leave over this issue. You can't change my mind, but I want to know why you'd throw it all away over this? What would he say? What would his reason be? (Not the platitudes, oh, I'll get better, I promise, so long as you don't mention it again).

Earlydancing · 22/05/2022 01:25

If he did his share of cleaning, would you be happy in your marriage. Or would you be happier but still not that bothered if it were over.

A cleaner sounds cheaper than both counselling or divorcing.

LicoricePizza · 22/05/2022 01:31

Lovewilltearyouapart · 21/05/2022 21:42

As for cash i had to get a daily cleaner because my oh had such high standards for cleaning that he was NEVER happy with anything i did. Was crippling.

He more than pulled his weight as well as be the higher earner. Still it was awful to live with.

it was cheaper than a divorce

Wow daily? Thats insane! But glad you found a solution.

cutebutscary · 22/05/2022 01:32

He's treating you with total contempt . Your role in his opinion is to be his skivvy. This will destroy you if you don't do something and I don't think marriage counselling for someone who already thinks so little about your feelings is worth your time or stress . You would feel like a weight has been lifted without him as you are not only dealing with being his skivvy, but then it's also the stress, upset and hurt it is causing you . Good luck, I hope you find the strength to leave him Flowers

LicoricePizza · 22/05/2022 01:35

Does he share any of the other loads - admin, decision making, emotional, planning etc?

NewandNotImproved · 22/05/2022 01:37

Why serve some worthless bloke? Do you not want to enjoy your life?
There’s no excuse to have ever been a domestic appliance to some man who doesn’t like you. Live in your own property and the man can live in his own shite elsewhere, and fund his kid. Not worth a second thought, really.

IamtheDevilsAvocado · 22/05/2022 01:46

DontTripPoppy · 22/05/2022 00:22

Every left dish, every unhoovered floor, every shit mark in the toilet, every unemptied bin is him saying 'fuck that, Wiggy will do it

spot on

Every single task not done is a massive ‘FUCK YOU Wiggy‘

He is buying his leisure with your labour. THATS how much he cares about you. Depressing.

My partner was a bit like this.. Less extreme.... But bloody annoying /disrespectful.

I put this down to his lovely mum (she genuinely is lovely) who was in an emotionallu abusive marriage with 3 sons... The only way she could survive was by being the servant.

It took me threatening it leave after 5 years of this shit... I too worked longer hours and greater commute. It wasn't a threat, I would have gone.

The last few years he's done the majority of the 'wife work' as my health has been so rubbish.

Occasionally he moans re not having time /how boring he finds cleaning... No shit...

He then reflects... But still you did it single handedly for years and I was very healthy...

Bingo... Really extreme cursumstance to make him see the light.

Booklover3 · 22/05/2022 01:56

You’ve got to mean the ultimatum if you go there.

JustAnotherMillennial · 22/05/2022 02:17

I have found myself in a position OP, like you its only since I have had children that I have noticed DH how little work he did around the house (except cooking and dishes) but he got his act together after I finished maternity leave with DD1. He grew up with a cleaner and a SAHM so never did any chores himself, I had to teach him and give him some tips to save himself some time and improve his 'standards'.

Personally, it didnt really bother me pre kids because it didnt take my long to whip round with the hoover, put on the washing and clean the bathroom. I guess I dug a rod for my own back there. But with kids there is more washing and mess.

GerronBuzanDoThaWomwok · 22/05/2022 02:28

You need to give yourself the ultimatum... tonight is the last time I will go to bed feeling that I should mother my husband. I will wake tomorrow to a life free from obligation to this wanker.
Cook for yourself. Ditto re. your laundry. Pick the jobs you would still do for yourself if you were single, and then leave him to sort out the rest.
He can either sort his stuff out or outsource it -never discuss it with him, never make suggestions, let him suffer the consequences of his decade of self-love.
And stick to it....think of it as dog-training 🐶

Samarie123 · 22/05/2022 03:01

Never nag! It’s the most off putting thing ever

WarOnSlugs · 22/05/2022 03:06

It's not silly at all, OP. I would have ended it long ago for that. Why would you put up with this? That's the question, for me. Do you want to do this until you die?

WarOnSlugs · 22/05/2022 03:09

But yes, you need to be prepared for him to reject your ultimatum and you carry to through, otherwise he will lose any remaining respect for you and not ever take anything you say seriously again. So, would you carry it through? Do you mean it? In your situation I would, but if you do not then do not do it.

WarOnSlugs · 22/05/2022 03:18

Wow. That is some horrifically sexist bullshit. 🤮

WarOnSlugs · 22/05/2022 03:21

And this is important: Telling a man something that doesn’t make sense to him once, or a million times, doesn’t make him “know” something.

Yeah, because their brains and ears work in a totally different way from how all other people on Earth - women - use their brains and ears. Ok.

mathanxiety · 22/05/2022 03:22

It's not a silly thing to leave over.

It's profound disrespect on his part.
He's telling you that his time and energy and headspace are more important than yours., and that he expects you to basically serve him.

LunaAndHerMoonDragons · 22/05/2022 03:51

JuneOsborne · 22/05/2022 00:56

Yes, we can all say,leave him, he won't change, you'll be better off without him, but it misses the mark, doesn't it?.

Because there's be no need for all of this, any,.of this, if he'd just wash up, clean the bathroom, put some clothes away and seem to know what's going on. Not difficult, is it?

So for me, the question is why is he risking it all?
Is it because he doesn't respect you?
Doesn't believe you'd leave?
Because he just dgaf about living to a decent standard?
Because he doesn't understand that it's part of being an adult?
Because he doesn't care that you have to do all the boring shot all the time, and that is gets you down, because it's shit, and relentless, but he's just pleased he doesn't have to do it?.

If you asked him this, actually said to him, I'm at the end of my tether and I'm going to leave over this issue. You can't change my mind, but I want to know why you'd throw it all away over this? What would he say? What would his reason be? (Not the platitudes, oh, I'll get better, I promise, so long as you don't mention it again).

STBXH eventually admitted that he had no intention of doing more, despite earlier lies to the contrary, as he doesn't believe he should have to do any of those things. Pure entitlement. Anything he does round the house, or packing for holidays, or getting stuff ready for the DCs parties, it's all him helping me because it's all my responsibility.

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