My feed

to access all these features


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.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
ChaToilLeam · 22/05/2022 08:07

No excuses for lazy selfish men. He’s an entitled arsehole, OP, and he thinks you’re his servant.

AnyFucker · 22/05/2022 08:10

I see the Handmaidens are creeping onto this thread. Always hovering ready to tell women they aren’t good enough for their menfolk.

ImplementingTheDennisSystem · 22/05/2022 08:10

@Petros9 You'll see from my post above that DH and I have worked out a solution to avoid divorce.
But do you honestly think that being treated like a doormat, being run ragged and feeling like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders - for YEARS - is not a reason for divorce? I disagree.
Maybe it used to work when the man earned the money and the woman ran the home. But now most of us work full time, if your DH doesnt pull his weight, you essentially get saddled with two full time jobs.

NeedAHoliday2021 · 22/05/2022 08:16

I found we had to split the actual jobs. I didn’t need dh “helping” while I project managed our life. He’s responsible for all washing (I do shove the machine in occasionally if I get in before him to “help” but he’s responsible for ensuring uniforms are clean etc) and I’m responsible for food - ensuring we have it in and meals are planned. He will cook occasionally but overall I usually cook. Asking him to do more won’t necessarily get him to do what you feel needs doing. I do banking and dh does the filling in of school forms is another clear divide we have.

Lalliella · 22/05/2022 08:17

He has no respect for you. He thinks that just because he has a penis you’re his household slave. Fuck that. An ultimatum to end the marriage, and go through with it.

It’s depressing how many threads there are like this on Mumsnet, and how many men are lazy selfish entitled shits.

NeedAHoliday2021 · 22/05/2022 08:20


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

or… never be with someone who needs nagging to behave like an equal grown up in the home. It really is the most off putting thing ever!

IRunbecauseILikeCake · 22/05/2022 08:22

If you come in and he's sat there chilling and the house is a mess, to me what says is to him, his leisure time is so much more important than yours. Because its OK for to come in and do the housework while he does his own thing.
I've been with my DH ten years, married nearly 6, and if this was his carry on I'd have been gone years ago.

notanothertakeaway · 22/05/2022 08:24

I don't think ultimatums work eg "do X or I will leave". If he does X, he will resent and feel you boxed him into a corner

Better to take control of your own destiny eg "I don't want to live like this any more. I'm thinking of ending the relationship and moving on". If he wants to keep you, he'll choose to up his game. And if he doesn't up his game, then you have your answer

Don't start drawing up rotas, asking for 'help', dictating chores. If he wants to find a solution to persuade you to stay, then it's a joint responsibility to find that solution, not your responsibility to allocate chores and monitor performance like a sergeant major

mathanxiety · 22/05/2022 08:27

@Petros9 - do you honestly not see the difference between egregious disrespect for another person's time and energy leading a spouse to consider divorce, and someone saying they don't like a cat and throwing in the towel?

Taking advantage of someone else has no place in a marriage.

Branleuse · 22/05/2022 08:33

hes not doing it because he doesnt give a fuck that you do everything.
Assuming as you say that youre only needing basic standards, not even showhome stuff, then really youre kidding yourself if you think therapy is going to make him have a lightbulb moment.
This is about him refusing to take on his share. If you dont do it, it wont get done because he doesnt give a fuck and he insults you and calls you names.

I think you need to give up asking him, or begging him or issuing threats that you wont carry through.
I think decide whether you still want to be his skivvy in 5 - 10 years. Hes shown you what he will and wont do. You have to decide whether youll pick up his shit forever. pick up his slack, and what would happen if you couldnt do it.

user1471538283 · 22/05/2022 08:41

He is not doing it because your time is not as valuable to him as his. I couldnt see my SO run ragged doing everything whilst I did nothing.

If you weren't there he would have to do it.

FourChimneys · 22/05/2022 08:43

My mother, who would be 99 if she was alive, always said "Never marry a man until you have seen him do the ironing, clean the toilet and scrub the kitchen floor."

Penguinsaregreat · 22/05/2022 08:47

Op can you afford a cleaner out of your joint money?
Either this or leave.
Could you live alone just you and your child?
It is absolutely fine to leave over any reason.
Would you be happier living separately in your own home?

EmeraldShamrock1 · 22/05/2022 08:56

I'd ask him to step into your shoes for 2 days.

Go away if necessary.

It can't continue it is very disrespectful, my DP would help a lot though I expect he would try to get away with it if I allowed him.

For a couple of weeks he was coming in tired sitting watching TV while I ran around until 9pm.

I told him it wasn't in my nature to sit on my arse while someone do all the work, it was disrespectful.

I'm probably a headache to him, but I don’t care my Dsis's and friends husbands are useless I'm not having that.

Put your foot down.

IncompleteSenten · 22/05/2022 08:58

Only issue an ultimatum if you will follow through.
Not an ultimatum followed by one last chance or I'm gone followed by this really is your final chance...

Vijia · 22/05/2022 09:08

Stop cooking, cleaning and servicing this selfish thoughtless man who has conveniently forgotten that kindness and thoughtfulness and give and take are the seeds for a happy and long term and successful relationship.

At least he has shown you his true colours, do you want the next 40 years to be the same?

Email him a list of daily, weekly, monthly tasks and ask him to initial half as from now on he is responsible.

If he refuses do not ever go down the route of nagging, he will tune you out.

Email him or leave him copies of expectations and responsibilities of a kind and loving husband and dad and say it's not all one way.

Do you have access to the joint account?. If you don't it sounds as if you are the cleaner, housekeeper, cook and house maid and volunteer sex provider ( at least prostitutes get paid) rather than partner or wife and it's all about you servicing his needs.

It won't get better. You need to follow through an ultimatum or he won't take you seriously.

If you are trapped or feel you are, get outside help.

Your mental health will suffer if you stay and emotionally and financially abusive men will use this to threaten you and undermine you if you are not very careful.

You do not want your DC growing up with such a terrible male role model as they will be influenced by how daddy treats mummy.

You know what you need to do so gather your strength and resolve to down tools before you get out.

SlowBoiledFrog · 22/05/2022 09:12

Yes thats me, slow boiled. Realised this on a similar thread some months ago.

pastypirate · 22/05/2022 09:28

That huff post article is very useful.

I always reasoned: “If you just tell me what you want me to do, I’ll gladly do it.”

Exp used to say this all the time. I stuck 3 years of the not pulling his weight. I couldn't stick 10.

pastypirate · 22/05/2022 09:29

FourChimneys · 22/05/2022 08:43

My mother, who would be 99 if she was alive, always said "Never marry a man until you have seen him do the ironing, clean the toilet and scrub the kitchen floor."

That is very sound advice

Cailin66 · 22/05/2022 09:33

WarOnSlugs · 22/05/2022 03:18

Wow. That is some horrifically sexist bullshit. 🤮

I thought the same. It was sneaky too, plus passive aggressive. Made his wife and all women out to be impossible to please over a trivial glass. She was right to leave him, which had zero to do with the glass but all to do with what a piece of work he was.

KettrickenSmiled · 22/05/2022 09:34

Sure, you can give him a "ultimatum".

But what's the point? Given his 10-year form, you already know what will happen.
He will agree to improve, then immediately let you down again.

So why not simply cut out the pointless ultimatum step, & tell him you've had enough, & his laziness has cost him his marriage?

KettrickenSmiled · 22/05/2022 09:40

If only money was no object.
Will try and convince him to try counselling, just maybe he doesn't realise how much of a dice he's being.

Counselling is as much of a red herring as issuing an ultimatum.

What are you imagining any counsellor could "tell him" (hint - it doesn't work like that anyway) that he would pay more attention to than the words of his own wife?

He can sit in an expensive counselling session saying the words "yes I will take on 50% of the housework" just as easily as he has done for 10 years in your home.

Why pay for the privilege of hearing more empty bullshit?

KettrickenSmiled · 22/05/2022 09:43

How is everything else in the marriage? Is this the "only" issue? I personally couldn't break up my family over something that could be made much easier by hiring a cleaner.

How does hiring a cleaner solve the issue of this man's contempt for his wife, or his expectation that she is there to do his half of the house drudgery for him?

andtheycalledthewindmoriah · 22/05/2022 09:45

ShirleyPhallus · 21/05/2022 21:22

What happens if you just ignore his chores? Ie he’s meant to do the washing up - what happens if you never, ever do it and just leave it building up?

You'll have no clean crockery, pots, or cutlery and won't be able to feed your child. The house will stink.

Depending on how long it goes on for, it could cost you days or weeks to fix all the while your stress levels go through the roof and you reach breaking point.

andtheycalledthewindmoriah · 22/05/2022 09:46

Do you work full-time?

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.