Author Topic: Doing (or failing at) household chores  (Read 13865 times)

Kitsune

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Doing (or failing at) household chores
« on: June 27, 2016, 01:47:24 PM »
Mustachians who are in couples: how do you handle the consequences of household chores not getting done?

For example: my husband (who I love, despite this particular issue driving me up the bloody wall) has a habit of 'forgetting' tasks that actually have consequences, or saying that he's 'too tired' and going to bed. The problem is that not doing these tasks causes actual issues that someone (ahem: me) needs to find the resources to deal with.

I'm not talking, like, doing dishes, or something with no direct consequences. Actual example: my husband is supposed to be responsible for the laundry. If, in the middle of summer, you leave damp clothing in a pile in the corner of the laundry room for a full week, it will grow mold stains and need to be replaced/relegated to schlepping around the house clothing. Someone then needs to take care of either dying the clothing to hide the stains, or buying new, and finding the money to do that (usually me). Or sometimes I seriously don't feel like doing dishes and packing lunches, and I could just say 'eff it, I'm going to bed, we'll buy lunch', but then I know that we'll be out 25$ for lunch and 25$ is a bit steep for not wanting to spend 10 minutes putting things in pots.

Like... he gets the general concept of 'he is responsible for X and I am responsible for Y', but that seems to get lost at the execution part of it. It sometimes seems like my options are to either be on his case about the things he's supposed to be responsible for (... thus both making him sulky and adding to my already-full plate, which I don't have room for), or to figure out where to get the money to make up for the things that have been ruined by lack of action on his part. And that makes me super resentful, because I'm also the one handling the budget and while we're on the same page long-term he doesn't seem to see that short-term actions impact long-term planning, and so I feel like I'm the only one trying, and it sucks.

Straight talk: would it be reasonable to propose that we actually write down what we're each responsible for, and agree that consequences of failing to do that come out of our personal fun money? (aka: I don't want to pack lunches, so I will pay for both our lunches out of my fun money. Or he lets the clothing mold, so he's responsible for paying for the replacements.)

Basically: I'm looking for a way of living together that doesn't leave me either nagging him to do his stuff, seething that I'm doing all of it, or resentful that I'm financially paying for the consequences of his not getting it together.


mozar

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2016, 01:58:16 PM »
To me this sounds like an emotional labor issue. He's not willing to think through things, especially since you keep picking up the pieces. There are lots of good resources if you google that term. What I would do is step back. Either start doing your own laundry or pick your clothes out of the pile and let his get moldy, and let him deal with the consequences. But you can talk to him about how small things add up financially.

Apocalyptica602

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2016, 02:04:28 PM »
I'll take the other stance here since this sounds like my wife and I.

I think the fun money thing is a great financial incentive. We use it, and while we don't have the same levels of household chores not getting done as you do: It would definitely whip either of our proverbial asses into shape.

One thing that helped us though is trying to eliminate 'keeping score'. It leads to needless bickering: stuff like "I walked the dogs twice today already, its your turn for the next two!" were becoming too common.

Kitsune

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 02:11:53 PM »
To me this sounds like an emotional labor issue. He's not willing to think through things, especially since you keep picking up the pieces. There are lots of good resources if you google that term. What I would do is step back. Either start doing your own laundry or pick your clothes out of the pile and let his get moldy, and let him deal with the consequences. But you can talk to him about how small things add up financially.

That's kind of the issue - it's mostly the kid's laundry that gets moldy (because she's the one most likely to come inside soggy and be promptly stripped down). And I can't very well tell the toddler "well, daddy let your clothing get gross, so no dice" - like, it's not any more fair that she live with the consequences than it is that I do it, I'm the parent (and so is he, but he's not picking up the slack on the emotional labour). I was just thinking that maybe, if he has to figure out how to cover the cost, he might actually feel some of the consequences. No amount of discussion has made a difference...

And yeah, it's easy to 'just not think about it' when there's someone else picking up the pieces. But that someone is TIRED. I just can't really think of another way to get him to realize the consequences that doesn't impact my kid (or has me doing the labour for me and my kid and letting him deal with only his stuff, and if I wanted a disconnected roommate I'd have argued different standards up front...)

Disclaimer: I am exhausted, my kid has been having nightmares and been up half the night for the full weekend, and all she wants is mama. After 10 middle-of-the-night wake-ups LAST NIGHT ALONE, my patience is non-existant. I will NOT be discussing any of this with him until I've had some sleep, because I'm in a state where I'll blow up and cry due to sheer exhaustion. I know my limits.

Kitsune

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2016, 02:13:57 PM »
One thing that helped us though is trying to eliminate 'keeping score'. It leads to needless bickering: stuff like "I walked the dogs twice today already, its your turn for the next two!" were becoming too common.

That's why we moved to the "I am 100% responsible for this, and you are 100% responsible for that" model: turns out that, for us, "not keeping score" evolved into me doing 95% of everything. Which led to an exausted discussion, a few years ago, along the lines of "this is not what I signed up for and we're fixing it or I'm leaving".

Which is possibly context on why I'm a wee bit more sensitive than most would be at needing to pick up the slack on this...

tonysemail

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2016, 02:34:01 PM »
That sounds terrible!  I feel awful when my wife handles the night time wake ups and I ignorantly sleep through it all..

Does your husband enjoy reading non-fiction books?
If so, then I would highly recommend
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17383921-all-joy-and-no-fun

It was very eye opening to me.
The author gives a great explanation of how chores have evolved over time and why modern parents need to share responsibilities equitably.
Here is a different member's review and I experienced similar heart felt discussions.
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mini-money-mustaches/marriage-issues-need-a-listening-ear/msg570616/#msg570616

I hope you get better sleep tonight!

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2016, 02:35:15 PM »
I like the idea of having the costs come out of fun money, because then the consequences of his (in)action fall on him, which seems like the only way he will learn. But he should have to go acquire the replacements too, not just pay for them.

Everyone "forgets" sometimes. Adults realize that forgetting negatively impacts their life, and figure out a way to stop the forgetting - setting an iphone alarm while doing laundry, creating a check list, etc. At this point forgetting isn't negatively impacting his life, because his strategy is to let you deal with the consequences. Which is lame, you aren't his mother.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2016, 02:39:10 PM »
Have you discussed his failure to follow through on his chores more than once? If so, then he's an selfish asshat and you might need to start seriously thinking about why you think he's so awesome if he deliberately foists extra work onto your shoulders to the point where you're exhausted and feeling like you're going to break and he still doesn't care enough about you and the kid to do his basic work around the house.

But if you think he just is a dumbass instead, then I would sit him down and spell out in very simple language how his actions are not just about how he is not pulling his weight, but are unintentionally (I hope not intentionally) hurtful to you and your family because of the extra burdens he's placing on you, the lack of understanding and compassion for your workload, his laziness is causing you extra frustration and pain and anger towards him, and being a poor parent (and role model) to his child. He is showing by his actions (or lack) that he does not love you, his kid, or your family as a whole.

If he can't manage the laundry, you should take it over as your assigned chore, and trade one of your chores with him so he has something he can do without fucking things up if it doesn't get done for a few days. But he's got to start pulling his weight, and needs to understand that continued inaction and avoidance of things he is supposed to be responsible for can only lead to contempt and resentment, which is poison in a relationship. He needs to realize that he's heading down a very dangerous path, because you could start seeing him as a burden instead of a partner. It is possible to fall out of love with someone due to lots of little grievances that chip away at the foundation of your marriage - don't let that happen.



Just saw your last update: Since you've had this discussion before, and you've even told him to fix this or you're leaving... He is being lazy and selfish and hurtful and taking advantage of you and counting on you not being able to get the real momentum leave him. He's being extremely disrespectful to you, and bad parent to his kid. Why on earth are you staying with a jerk like this? I get that you still have feelings for him, but he is using you and treating you with contempt, so the relationship is unbalanced and likely to keep going that way until things are just a huge mess and your own sanity and self esteem are in ruin.

I'd maybe give him one very adamant last chance, and then if there is not a night and day difference, kick his ass to the curb. Without him, I imagine some chores would be much easier anyway. But if you've already given him that ultimatum (which it sounds like you have), then maybe it is time to see a counselor for yourself to start dealing with the idea that you need to dump his ass and get used to that idea. Because it sounds like even if you did sit him down and have this discussion AGAIN, he's just going to pretend for a short time and then go back to being a selfish lazy asshole as soon as he thinks he's placated you enough to start goofing off again.

So sorry you're dealing with this selfish douche canoe.

deborah

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2016, 02:40:56 PM »
Could you have a discussion about reassigning which chores each of you do? It sounds like the laundry needs to be one of your tasks, but what will he do instead? Maybe the lunches?

Another idea is to work out how to eliminate the problem areas. For instance, using the example you gave, suppose you pulled the wet clothes off the child, and he didn't know there were wet clothes getting moldy in the laundry - maybe a whiteboard where each of you jot down urgent priorities for both your chores and the other's chores, so they aren't forgotten in the hullabaloo of life would eliminate that problem.

Zikoris

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2016, 02:53:05 PM »
There are a few things that have always worked well for me.

1. Routines. If forgetting is genuinely an issue, this helps a lot. We also tend to take around a half hour or hour once a week and just both deal with things around the house that aren't daily things.
2. Massive reduction in the amount of chores that need to be done. For us, this means living in a very small space with very little stuff, wearing clothes more than once between washings, and so on.
3. Systems to keep things orderly. For example, we have a box in an easily accessible place for paper that needs to be shredded. We opt out of junk mail entirely. Everything we own has a specific home, so putting things back where they belong is brainless (I even have my kitchen drawers number coded).

Now, if my boyfriend just for some bizarre reason REFUSED to do housework after we agreed something was his job, I think we'd be having a serious talk about the lack in integrity in going back on your word. I would take blatant lack of character as a pretty serious problem that needed to be addressed beyond just doing housework.

Kitsune

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2016, 03:01:00 PM »
Now, if my boyfriend just for some bizarre reason REFUSED to do housework after we agreed something was his job, I think we'd be having a serious talk about the lack in integrity in going back on your word. I would take blatant lack of character as a pretty serious problem that needed to be addressed beyond just doing housework.

That's kind of the thing - he's not doing it on purpose or refusing... he's just forgetting, or not considering the consequences of pushing it off.

And seriously - we had a bit of a crisis moment on that a year ago (I mentioned above, I think), and he has improved SO MUCH since then (or I swear to god, that xbox would have gone up his...). But that also makes the little slips a bit more problematic, 'cause everyone has them but I'm kind of primed to be like "it's dealing with the consequences of this and then also this other thing and then *flashback of hellish exhaustion* OH HELLS NO", as opposed to a more productive way of dealing with small slips while recognizing that they're... y'know. Not a huge deal, in the grand scheme of things, though they do need to be addressed. Honestly, it's 90% a problem of shitty associations and 10% a problem of 'fix this behavior'.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2016, 03:40:05 PM »
Now, if my boyfriend just for some bizarre reason REFUSED to do housework after we agreed something was his job, I think we'd be having a serious talk about the lack in integrity in going back on your word. I would take blatant lack of character as a pretty serious problem that needed to be addressed beyond just doing housework.

That's kind of the thing - he's not doing it on purpose or refusing... he's just forgetting, or not considering the consequences of pushing it off.

And seriously - we had a bit of a crisis moment on that a year ago (I mentioned above, I think), and he has improved SO MUCH since then (or I swear to god, that xbox would have gone up his...). But that also makes the little slips a bit more problematic, 'cause everyone has them but I'm kind of primed to be like "it's dealing with the consequences of this and then also this other thing and then *flashback of hellish exhaustion* OH HELLS NO", as opposed to a more productive way of dealing with small slips while recognizing that they're... y'know. Not a huge deal, in the grand scheme of things, though they do need to be addressed. Honestly, it's 90% a problem of shitty associations and 10% a problem of 'fix this behavior'.

Nope. I don't think it is that he is forgetting unless he is mentally deficient in some way. Unless he has had a head injury or otherwise can't remember how to do assigned chores, then he knows that this is something that has been discussed over and over again, and is a very sore point in your relationship. So either he is the dumbest person on the planet, or he just doesn't care enough to do what he is supposed to be doing. There are other, sneakier ways than refusing outright, and that is what it feels like is happening here. And being P/A is also a very immature way of trying to avoid a situation that they don't want to deal with. You can't get mad at him if he just forgot, right? Cause he was going to still do it... right? But he didn't. Action should matter more than intention. The road to hell and all that...

What it boils down to is if he cares about you and your kid, it would be important enough to remember, or stop fucking around and get up and do it even if he's tired.

He knows you're stressed out. He knows that not doing things like the laundry result in things getting fucked up and adding even more stress. He is likely using "forgetting" or "too tired" as a passive/aggressive way of outright refusing to what he knows he should be doing but doesn't want to do. This is a textbook example of HOW to be passive/aggressive for heavens sake!

I think you need to have one more serious talk, and then read up on passive/aggressive behavior and/or discuss in counseling how this is hurting you and your marriage. Because you are part of the problem if you keep making constant excuses for why he can't do basic adulting 101. So you allow him to treat you like you aren't important, and that you and your family's wants and needs are less important than his and he's just a silly billy that is trying so darn hard, and you love him, except for the fact that he screws you over constantly. You know that sounds sort of like an enabler behavior script too right?

What sort of environment and relationship example is your kid learning from all of this? That mommy is a sad, stressed out bundle of nerves that does 99% of the work around the house and has to go off somewhere to cry because daddy makes a half-assed attempt to do some basic stuff, but not really so you have to do everything and he gets to have more playtime or sleep? Please get some help and see that there is a bigger underlying issue at work here. If he loved you, you wouldn't be dealing with this crap over and over again.


And I'm not just saying this with no idea of what you're going through. I have had a few crisis moments in my marriage because my husband (who I love very much just like what you're saying) basically started acting like we were roommates and stopped pulling his weight in our marriage. It did come down to an ultimatum of "you need to get your shit together or we are looking at divorce" talk. He swears up and down that he wasn't doing it intentionally; that he just got stuck in his own head and forgot that he was supposed to be part of a relationship... so with him, it was more stupid than mean, but still very passive/aggressive since he wasn't considering how his actions/inactions hurt our marriage and me specifically - just wrapped up in his own little world doing his thang. But no matter what the reason for the mess, if he wasn't 100% working his ass off to change with real results, he and I would be separated now. I may love him, but I am no one's doormat any more. You shouldn't be either. You are a valuable person who deserves a partner that has your back and doesn't add more work when you're already stretched paper thin with stress.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 03:44:14 PM by Frankies Girl »

mozar

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2016, 05:17:29 PM »
Quote
I think you need to have one more serious talk

Based on what the OP has said, I would have already taken the kid and moved out.

Lunasol

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2016, 05:27:59 PM »

What it boils down to is if he cares about you and your kid, it would be important enough to remember, or stop fucking around and get up and do it even if he's tired.


I agree with this, your husband is not being considerate at all and needs a wake up call NOW.

I can't imagine what it must be like to be in charge of a household and a kid without any help, and to have to remind him of everything he needs to do, sounds like laziness to me

Frankies Girl

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2016, 05:45:13 PM »
Quote
I think you need to have one more serious talk

Based on what the OP has said, I would have already taken the kid and moved out.

Well, yeah me too, but she's still in denial about how badly he's acting and isn't really ready to take that step. That's why she's backpedaling about how it's not really that bad and trying to make more excuses for how it is how she's really overreacting instead of seeing him for being an uncaring asshole.

It is really sad, but reading through the OP's responses, it sounds like she's a beaten-down spouse (She's been groomed to accept his gaslighting for so long that she is blaming herself instead of seeing his actions/inactions as being more about him being an asshole). Oh he didn't mean to not do the exact stuff that has caused us major issues in the past and we've discussed several times over, but he's a good man when he's not being 'forgetful' or too tired type of stuff.  What else does that sound like?

THAT is what really bugs me about all of this. OP - you are not the problem; your husband is. Why are you now making excuses for his crappy behavior?

I would think with your little one waking up and needing you so much that you are sleep deprived would mean your husband would step up and take on some of YOUR assigned chores in addition to his own, to help ease the burden on you. If he loves you, that's kind of what he should be doing. Instead, he's adding to your burden and making you feel bad because he's a perfectly innocent party - he just forgot.


Kitsune

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2016, 05:55:48 PM »
Ok, look: I have to request a change in the focus of the discussion.

This isn't a "huge ongoing continual issue with no improvement showing a lack of respect" situation. This is a "past issue that blew up and got fixed with active effort to 98% perfection ; pls give advice on the remaining 2%".

Saying that I should leave a husband who regularly does 45-50% of the housework (with room for some improvement, hence the original post) expresses affection, loves me, is a genuinely great and super-involved dad, and is generally a really good man because of a 2% leftover issue that we need to fix? Not so much. If he was resentful, or sulky, or hadn't shaped up so dramatically... then maybe. But as it stands, saying that anything not perfection  deserves a divorce isn't realistic, or helpful.


onlykelsey

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2016, 06:03:55 PM »
Posting mostly to follow. I have a similar problem with my husband (who works 15-35 hours less per week than I do, although he does commute an extra 2 hours a week), and it worries me with a kid on the way.  I sometimes want to shake him.  There is no magical third person who will do what you didn't because you were tired.  Your pregnant wife who came home at 1 AM will have to do it at 1:30!

monstermonster

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2016, 06:10:14 PM »
Creative solution that is not for everyone.

My friends pay one another to do basic chores and function on an auction system - i.e. they quickly bid on simple tasks like "put the kids to bed" and they actually pay one another to do it. It forces them both to realize what needs to be done and how much they value doing it/not doing it.


Frankies Girl

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2016, 06:22:48 PM »
Ok, look: I have to request a change in the focus of the discussion.

This isn't a "huge ongoing continual issue with no improvement showing a lack of respect" situation. This is a "past issue that blew up and got fixed with active effort to 98% perfection ; pls give advice on the remaining 2%".

Saying that I should leave a husband who regularly does 45-50% of the housework (with room for some improvement, hence the original post) expresses affection, loves me, is a genuinely great and super-involved dad, and is generally a really good man because of a 2% leftover issue that we need to fix? Not so much. If he was resentful, or sulky, or hadn't shaped up so dramatically... then maybe. But as it stands, saying that anything not perfection  deserves a divorce isn't realistic, or helpful.

Last thing I'll say on the subject:

I honestly can't even fathom posting a rant about someone that only has an issue that registers on your stress scale around "past issue that blew up and got fixed with active effort to 98% perfection ; pls give advice on the remaining 2%."  2% of an issue is not even a level that would register as a bother to me if he was doing "98% of perfection." So again, sounds like you're backpedaling because the idea of him being an intentional asshole is something you're not wanting to recognize or deal with.

What you just posted is not matching up with what you originally posted about. You originally said he's had ongoing issues, he's had a continuing pattern of avoiding or neglecting his assigned chores (the fact that you even had to assign chores and yet he still neglects them is sad) you were expected to pick up the slack resulting in you doing (this is a direct quote) 95% of work around your house and you were very stressed and sad and frustrated. And you also referred to him as sulky and pouting when you've reminded him of what he's supposed to be doing. And that you are stretched thin and feel like blowing up and crying and yet he's still not stepping up. And that he's been this way for years. I even went back and re-read all of your posts, and I found all of that in there. So you may have posted when you were in exhausted and angry mode, and now you're having a little time and perspective and feel like you exaggerated or something?

If none of what you posted originally is actually true, then I'm very happy for you. He's a wonderful, amazing husband and father most of the time and you just needed to rant and vent a little. Got it. :)

I would not in a million years suggest divorce if that's all it was. But from what you wrote, it wasn't a simple need to vent because your hubby was occasionally doing something boneheaded like we all do occasionally - it was a long term neglect and avoidance of being a full partner in your relationship and causing you pain and resentment. And honestly I suggested counseling and figuring out what you want out of your relationship - if divorce was on the table for you, that would have been something to figure out IN counseling.

But if he's supportive and loving and helps out most of the time but maybe this week for the first time in a year he forgot the laundry piled up in the corner and it got moldy and that just pushed your buttons this week? Totally get the need to vent and of course it would be silly to consider separating over something like that. But only you know what he's really like and what he's done to you and for you and your family over the years.

So good luck, hope you get some sleep, and your little one's nightmares calm down. 


KBecks

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2016, 06:28:36 PM »
I'm pretty sure I have ADHD and I struggle with chores.   I like the suggestion of trading chores with him if he's struggling with laundry.  Could you help by making a check of the laundry area, or just ask him to go and check the laundry area as a regular part of the routine?

Maybe he could use a reminder on his phone or something to help him be more successful?

In terms of punishment or consequences, you're not his mom, and so don't think of it in those terms.  You are partners.  Something is not working and you need to work together to fix it.

Your relationship is more important than a few clothes, so try to get over the damage and work towards a future that works better.

Hope that helps.

KBecks

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2016, 06:31:38 PM »
I think a chore chart or any type of organization method that works for you is great.  You might have to try a few things to see what fits. Trading might work.  If he is good at certain chores, make sure he gets to be in charge of those.  Play to each of your strengths. 

How about bonuses and incentives for getting things done well, praise and affection and appreciation, etc.  instead of negative consequences?


Kitsune

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2016, 06:35:25 PM »

Maybe he could use a reminder on his phone or something to help him be more successful?


... I know he has that for garbage and recycling. I have no idea why it didn't occur to either of us to expand that to laundry and other things. YES.

MoneyCat

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2016, 06:39:14 PM »
I simply gave up on trying to get my significant other to do any chores around the house. It simply isn't happening. I have to do them all or the house will turn into a literal garbage pile.

The moment I realized that this was just how things were going to be was when I went back to school for an additional professional certificate. I told my spouse that I wasn't going to be able to do as much housework because I was working full-time and doing full-time credit-hours for graduate school too. My spouse said everything would get done. It did not. Instead, dirty dishes overflowed from the sink, dirty clothes were piled all over the floor in every room, the cats started urinating and defecating on the carpet because the litter box didn't get emptied, mold grew all over everything in the bathroom, the refrigerator looked like an alien science experiment, and there was a layer of dust and dirt half an inch thick on every surface in the house. I ended up having to pay a cleaning service to clean the entire house.

Moral of the story: Some people are filthy and there's nothing you can do about it.

onlykelsey

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2016, 06:46:31 PM »
I simply gave up on trying to get my significant other to do any chores around the house. It simply isn't happening. I have to do them all or the house will turn into a literal garbage pile.

The moment I realized that this was just how things were going to be was when I went back to school for an additional professional certificate. I told my spouse that I wasn't going to be able to do as much housework because I was working full-time and doing full-time credit-hours for graduate school too. My spouse said everything would get done. It did not. Instead, dirty dishes overflowed from the sink, dirty clothes were piled all over the floor in every room, the cats started urinating and defecating on the carpet because the litter box didn't get emptied, mold grew all over everything in the bathroom, the refrigerator looked like an alien science experiment, and there was a layer of dust and dirt half an inch thick on every surface in the house. I ended up having to pay a cleaning service to clean the entire house.

Moral of the story: Some people are filthy and there's nothing you can do about it.

What in the everloving.... what did your SO do before he/she was with you?!

MoneyCat

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2016, 06:50:28 PM »
I simply gave up on trying to get my significant other to do any chores around the house. It simply isn't happening. I have to do them all or the house will turn into a literal garbage pile.

The moment I realized that this was just how things were going to be was when I went back to school for an additional professional certificate. I told my spouse that I wasn't going to be able to do as much housework because I was working full-time and doing full-time credit-hours for graduate school too. My spouse said everything would get done. It did not. Instead, dirty dishes overflowed from the sink, dirty clothes were piled all over the floor in every room, the cats started urinating and defecating on the carpet because the litter box didn't get emptied, mold grew all over everything in the bathroom, the refrigerator looked like an alien science experiment, and there was a layer of dust and dirt half an inch thick on every surface in the house. I ended up having to pay a cleaning service to clean the entire house.

Moral of the story: Some people are filthy and there's nothing you can do about it.

What in the everloving.... what did your SO do before he/she was with you?!
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Zikoris

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2016, 06:54:49 PM »
I simply gave up on trying to get my significant other to do any chores around the house. It simply isn't happening. I have to do them all or the house will turn into a literal garbage pile.

The moment I realized that this was just how things were going to be was when I went back to school for an additional professional certificate. I told my spouse that I wasn't going to be able to do as much housework because I was working full-time and doing full-time credit-hours for graduate school too. My spouse said everything would get done. It did not. Instead, dirty dishes overflowed from the sink, dirty clothes were piled all over the floor in every room, the cats started urinating and defecating on the carpet because the litter box didn't get emptied, mold grew all over everything in the bathroom, the refrigerator looked like an alien science experiment, and there was a layer of dust and dirt half an inch thick on every surface in the house. I ended up having to pay a cleaning service to clean the entire house.

Moral of the story: Some people are filthy and there's nothing you can do about it.

This isn't just directed to you, but the other people in your situation as well - what's the appeal in being with someone who is disgustingly filthy, and also has no issue with blatantly lying to you? How could you ever respect and trust such a person enough to even be friends, let alone life partners? How on earth is that not a relationship dealbreaker?

onlykelsey

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2016, 06:57:43 PM »
I simply gave up on trying to get my significant other to do any chores around the house. It simply isn't happening. I have to do them all or the house will turn into a literal garbage pile.

The moment I realized that this was just how things were going to be was when I went back to school for an additional professional certificate. I told my spouse that I wasn't going to be able to do as much housework because I was working full-time and doing full-time credit-hours for graduate school too. My spouse said everything would get done. It did not. Instead, dirty dishes overflowed from the sink, dirty clothes were piled all over the floor in every room, the cats started urinating and defecating on the carpet because the litter box didn't get emptied, mold grew all over everything in the bathroom, the refrigerator looked like an alien science experiment, and there was a layer of dust and dirt half an inch thick on every surface in the house. I ended up having to pay a cleaning service to clean the entire house.

Moral of the story: Some people are filthy and there's nothing you can do about it.

This isn't just directed to you, but the other people in your situation as well - what's the appeal in being with someone who is disgustingly filthy, and also has no issue with blatantly lying to you? How could you ever respect and trust such a person enough to even be friends, let alone life partners? How on earth is that not a relationship dealbreaker?

For me, it's the "lying" part that gets me.  My husband is definitely not filthy, although we have different standards for housekeeping, but when he says "I will do X and Y before you get home" and then doesn't (assuming there's no unexpected event or accident or something), I lose trust in him. 

MoneyCat

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2016, 08:27:08 PM »
I simply gave up on trying to get my significant other to do any chores around the house. It simply isn't happening. I have to do them all or the house will turn into a literal garbage pile.

The moment I realized that this was just how things were going to be was when I went back to school for an additional professional certificate. I told my spouse that I wasn't going to be able to do as much housework because I was working full-time and doing full-time credit-hours for graduate school too. My spouse said everything would get done. It did not. Instead, dirty dishes overflowed from the sink, dirty clothes were piled all over the floor in every room, the cats started urinating and defecating on the carpet because the litter box didn't get emptied, mold grew all over everything in the bathroom, the refrigerator looked like an alien science experiment, and there was a layer of dust and dirt half an inch thick on every surface in the house. I ended up having to pay a cleaning service to clean the entire house.

Moral of the story: Some people are filthy and there's nothing you can do about it.

This isn't just directed to you, but the other people in your situation as well - what's the appeal in being with someone who is disgustingly filthy, and also has no issue with blatantly lying to you? How could you ever respect and trust such a person enough to even be friends, let alone life partners? How on earth is that not a relationship dealbreaker?

For me, it's the "lying" part that gets me.  My husband is definitely not filthy, although we have different standards for housekeeping, but when he says "I will do X and Y before you get home" and then doesn't (assuming there's no unexpected event or accident or something), I lose trust in him.

My spouse has other very good qualities which is why they get to stick around. Most married people I know live in relationships where they are nagged or belittled or cheated on or unloved in various ways, so I count myself lucky that the only problem I really have to deal with is messiness. Seems a small problem in the grand scheme of things.


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deborah

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2016, 08:50:30 PM »
There's a difference between lying and forgetting. We all forget things from time to time, and if you are a person who gets totally immersed in what you are doing, there will be things that you forget fairly regularly. If your partner is that sort of a person, you make allowances. After all, the total immersion can be when he is busy making you a greenhouse, rather than selfish total immersion. And some people are a lot more forgetful than others. If that is the sort of person you love, you just need to accept that they are that way, and find ways (like telephone reminders) of ensuring that you are both happy in your relationship.

There are things my partner has promised to do 15 years ago, that still haven't been done. He has been saying that he'll probably do them "this year" ever since we both retired seven years ago, but, at the end of the year, they have yet to be done. I am sure he isn't lying. He intends to do them. They just haven't been done yet. We are both extremely happy together, and it really doesn't matter to me.

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2016, 09:22:51 PM »

Maybe he could use a reminder on his phone or something to help him be more successful?


... I know he has that for garbage and recycling. I have no idea why it didn't occur to either of us to expand that to laundry and other things. YES.

Expanding on this:

My wife and I have a weekly "family meeting" in which we sync on how things are going, tasks that need to be done, etc.  Our division of labor is something we try to bring up regularly (we both work somewhat more than full time and have a child).  Our goal isn't to keep score, but more to suss out whether both of us feels like we're in balance and getting what we need.  We also go over the calendar to coordinate travel, child & daycare responsibilities, etc.

Part of the outcome of the family meeting is a set of TODOs for each for the coming week, which we both incorporate into our own calendaring mechanisms as we see fit.  For me, that's a Google Calendar / Inbox reminder, because I'm one of those dorks who checks his email every 20 minutes.  For her it goes into her magical system of calendar-and-inbox-things-that-is-black-magic-from-my-perspective-but-works.

(An example family meeting suggestion doc:  http://www.parenting-ed.org/handouts/family%20meetings.pdf )


galliver

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2016, 10:07:14 PM »
Disclaimer: I am exhausted, my kid has been having nightmares and been up half the night for the full weekend, and all she wants is mama. After 10 middle-of-the-night wake-ups LAST NIGHT ALONE, my patience is non-existant. I will NOT be discussing any of this with him until I've had some sleep, because I'm in a state where I'll blow up and cry due to sheer exhaustion. I know my limits.

Ok, this might not be the *best* suggestion but you should realize it's an option: do it. Melt down. Cry. Vent. That's the emotional fallout of his actions and maybe dealing with it will shake him out of his forgetfulness. Why should you insulate him from the anger and frustration you are feeling at his actions? That's another type of emotional labor you're taking on.

If that doesn't sound like a productive method, maybe send him this to read. Bf found it after our last, erm, discussion about division of household labor: https://mustbethistalltoride.com/2016/01/14/she-divorced-me-because-i-left-dishes-by-the-sink/

FWIW, I still probably do more. I cook more consistently and with more fore-thought (he does cook sometimes), I do dishes and clean the kitchen, I wash the floors, I initiate laundry (he helps significantly in the actual process). He vacuums and takes out the trash voluntarily and regularly. But...he also takes the car for service, drives more on longer trips, deals with putting things into our storage locker over our carport and taking them out. And he's miles better at offering emotional support without judgement or advice than I am. I'm learning; so, I hope, is he.

Oh, and finally...it's helped a lot to realize I could ask for help. Yes, I'm still taking on the burden of noticing, but I'll notice anyway; it's how I was raised. But if I'm busy in the kitchen, it doesn't seem too unfair to let him know folding laundry is on my to-do list and he seems free. In your case, if he really is forgetting, and you really are noticing: "Love, Tiny Human's clothes are in a wet pile in the laundry room, they're going to mold and get ruined if you don't deal with them now. Thaaanks!" He might not even know it was going to mold, unless it's happened before; my friend's roomie (a girl!) left a pot of soup out in the kitchen for DAYS and was surprised by how much of a biohazard it became.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2016, 10:11:31 PM »
I love the advice in this thread: "If badgering your SO isn't helping, take the kid and leave."   I'd get sulky and resentful too if my SOs were constantly riding me and about to break down in tears because they had to buy lunch for work one day, or because I forgot to do chores that they weren't willing to do either.

Seriously Kitsune, your husband sounds like a fantastic person, and a great life partner. If you let outside stressors seriously affect your relationships with an otherwise wonderful human, you will probably regret it. If you're exhausted and stressed from working and having a kid, he probably is too. Gently remind him that he didn't do the dishes, or that he ruined the toddlers clothes that they'll outgrow in a few months anyway; it will take some time, but he'll come around. $25 for clothes or lunch is really small beans to having a workable relationship with the father of your child. Set up a reminder/chart, get him to initial it so that he understands his responsibilities, get a drying rack so wet clothes don't sit on the floor in a pile and run the pots through the dishwasher once in awhile. It'll be ok, and you'll still have a wonderful husband and a happy child, and that is just as important as having extra money.

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2016, 10:26:55 PM »
Reading this with interest as we have a baby on the way and my husband and I have been discussing chore division. I had a similar problem when he would promise to do stuff and then not do it. I finally realized that he was doing things on his "to-do" list, just not prioritizing it the same as I was. So now I try to talk with him weekly about my goals and what I would like his help on that week. It's been working much better  but I know once a kid shows up there are going to be a million new problems to deal with.

YYCMomma

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2016, 08:25:47 AM »
Could your husband have ADHD?

Zikoris

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2016, 09:01:10 AM »
My spouse has other very good qualities which is why they get to stick around. Most married people I know live in relationships where they are nagged or belittled or cheated on or unloved in various ways, so I count myself lucky that the only problem I really have to deal with is messiness. Seems a small problem in the grand scheme of things.

Well, messiness plus your partner outright lying and disrespecting you. Honestly, I would take way more issue with the lying than anything. That would mean my partner was seriously lacking in integrity, and that I could not rely on them in times of need - pretty damning to a relationship, imo.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 09:03:25 AM by Zikoris »

rockstache

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2016, 09:02:46 AM »

Most married people I know live in relationships where they are nagged or belittled or cheated on or unloved in various ways, so I count myself lucky that the only problem I really have to deal with is messiness. Seems a small problem in the grand scheme of things.


I don't want to call anyone out on their priorities and you probably meant this tongue-in-cheek, but... certainly no one is perfect. I myself am married to someone who forgets everything unless it is put into his phone calendar. However, I disagree that comparison to other relationships and coming up favorably means that someone is in a good one. Just because my husband doesn't nag, belittle, cheat, or act unlovingly like some other guys do, does not give him the ok to make me do all the work. I'm not in a relationship with those A-holes and I don't count myself lucky that I receive those basic tenets of respect. My husband is an adult, therefore he is responsible to hold up his end of the work, whatever we agree that may be.

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2016, 09:16:33 AM »
This isn't just directed to you, but the other people in your situation as well - what's the appeal in being with someone who is disgustingly filthy, and also has no issue with blatantly lying to you? How could you ever respect and trust such a person enough to even be friends, let alone life partners? How on earth is that not a relationship dealbreaker?

A lot of people just settle and try to justify shortcomings. I won't date someone who doesn't cook or keep their place tidy. If they can't do normal every day activities what's it going to be like living with them? I'll end up doing all the chores just like this thread points out. Why would I want to be in that type of "partnership"?

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2016, 09:47:20 AM »
Mostly I want to say hugs to you, I get your story and have a similar one.  As I can't change my husband's actions and priorities I have come to accept that he doesn't pull  his share around the house.  And that's that.  I've been married a long time and have more peace now that I've come to terms with that.  This approach is not for everyone obviously, but I will say you can still have love in your marriage without equally shared chores. 

A few things that might be helpful to consider..... I swear the early years of parenting are a such a killer.  I swear it will not always be this hard.  As hard as that is to see right now.  It might be a good idea to stay with one child as having two increases the workload beyond measure.  Don't be afraid to hire help, it is cheaper than divorce although not mustachian.  Downsizing can help- less to take care of.  Don't be afraid to take a "chore vacation" once in a while, even though yes there will be consequences. 

I also like some of the ideas from others about fun money consequences.... I just know that approach would not work in my situation.  But worth a try if he's up for trying.

Good luck, tough stuff for sure. 

monstermonster

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2016, 09:55:42 AM »
I'm definitely on the boat with "if you can afford household help (without debt) and it would significantly reduce the burden on you, go for it". As long as you can give it back up once the kid is able to help some/at school, and you're aware it's a luxury, it might be worth it.

Remember - a house cleaner is cheaper than a therapist.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2016, 10:07:32 AM »
God, the "you should break up with your S/O based on this one post" police is out in full force. You guys are the worst.

OP: My fiance and I moved into our home last November and have had all sorts of these disagreements. I think two things have really helped:

(1) Have clear responsibilities, but don't be afraid to help the other out. My fiance is supposed to do all the kitchen stuff, but let's be real, more than half the dirty dishes are mine. So I try to put the dishes away and wipe down the kitchen quite frequently. She appreciates that and reciprocates in helping me with my designated chores.

I guess I just think it's silly to divide things and be completely unwilling to step in if something isn't getting done. If my fiance doesn't have time to do laundry for whatever reason, I at least get it started. I think having too hardcore of a barrier has high a probability of leading to nagging, which leads to resentment, which leads to defensiveness, which leads to not getting things done. Focus on a more team-oriented approach.

(2) The biggest thing for me is building habits. I never used to make the bed, but now I take a shower, put a towel on, and make the bed every morning. We are going on probably 4-5 months of me making the bed every morning.

I also always iron all my shirts on Sunday. And take the garbage out on Wednesday night. And make sure the dishwasher is emptied Saturday morning. And go grocery shopping and organize the fridge/freezer Saturday morning. And cut the grass every Wednesday and Sunday.

This has simplified things a lot for me. I'm basically on auto-pilot, and so is my fiance, so things automatically get done.

MoneyCat

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2016, 10:10:28 AM »

Most married people I know live in relationships where they are nagged or belittled or cheated on or unloved in various ways, so I count myself lucky that the only problem I really have to deal with is messiness. Seems a small problem in the grand scheme of things.


I don't want to call anyone out on their priorities and you probably meant this tongue-in-cheek, but... certainly no one is perfect. I myself am married to someone who forgets everything unless it is put into his phone calendar. However, I disagree that comparison to other relationships and coming up favorably means that someone is in a good one. Just because my husband doesn't nag, belittle, cheat, or act unlovingly like some other guys do, does not give him the ok to make me do all the work. I'm not in a relationship with those A-holes and I don't count myself lucky that I receive those basic tenets of respect. My husband is an adult, therefore he is responsible to hold up his end of the work, whatever we agree that may be.
I just think we need to acknowledge that people all have their flaws and stop expecting partners to be perfect all the time. Eternal expectations of perfection are what lead so many people these days to lives of loneliness and despair.

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rockstache

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #41 on: June 28, 2016, 10:41:30 AM »
I don't really know anyone with eternal expectations of perfection or lives of loneliness and despair (aside from depression requiring medication and treatment), so I guess I'll take your word for it. Expecting someone to pull their weight in the home is not that dramatic. It's just being a grown up.

tonysemail

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2016, 10:52:26 AM »
Context is key.  In other threads, OP mentioned she is pregnant with her second child, less than a month in.

Talking about divorce is simply reading way too much into a big rant/vent...

dkaid

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #43 on: June 28, 2016, 11:01:12 AM »
Context is key.  In other threads, OP mentioned she is pregnant with her second child, less than a month in.

Talking about divorce is simply reading way too much into a big rant/vent...

Oh geesh, I didn't realize OP was pregnant.  Scratch the suggestion to stop at one child....! But I will reiterate that getting help might make a big difference.  At one point I had a housecleaner who also folded my laundry.  Yes it was a extravagance.  Yes it played a role in keeping my marriage together. 

One more thing that helped me tremendously.  I have a friend IRL who is in a similar situation to mine..... We are "newer" friends so it took some time to discover this.  But having her to vomit up all my negative feelings has been incredibly helpful.  Lots of people, including family and other close friends just couldn't relate in way that allowed me to open up honestly.  This friend gets it and expressing my honest feelings with her out loud helps me process and understand them better. 

Kitsune

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #44 on: June 28, 2016, 12:06:00 PM »
Context is key.  In other threads, OP mentioned she is pregnant with her second child, less than a month in.

Talking about divorce is simply reading way too much into a big rant/vent...

Oh geesh, I didn't realize OP was pregnant.  Scratch the suggestion to stop at one child....! But I will reiterate that getting help might make a big difference.  At one point I had a housecleaner who also folded my laundry.  Yes it was a extravagance.  Yes it played a role in keeping my marriage together. 

One more thing that helped me tremendously.  I have a friend IRL who is in a similar situation to mine..... We are "newer" friends so it took some time to discover this.  But having her to vomit up all my negative feelings has been incredibly helpful.  Lots of people, including family and other close friends just couldn't relate in way that allowed me to open up honestly.  This friend gets it and expressing my honest feelings with her out loud helps me process and understand them better.

Hah! Yeah, a bit late on that advice...

Genuinely, I think the issue is that we let it get too far a year and a half ago (which is when I was basically pulling the full load), and I'm still kind of resentful about that period in our lives... and so now any hint of backsliding, ESPECIALLY when I'm tired (and therefore less rational - and yay first trimester exhaustion on top of the toddler nightmares...) becomes a kind of gut-reaction OMG NOT THIS AGAIN... when, really? It's a bit of a mess and a few loads of laundry, and god knows he actually IS pulling his weight these days.

So, like... the issue is about 10% the occasional backsliding, and 90% me still resenting the previous patterns and having a gut-reaction back-jerk to slipping into them again. Which, y'know. Is what'll happen when it takes a while to fix a situation in a relationship. Ain't great, but there you have it. Once I put it that way, though, I'm wondering if maybe a session or two of counseling would help deal with the resentment, which might be way more productive than dealing with the occasional housework slip, becuase none of us is ever going to manage to do everything on time with no negative consequences...

TrMama

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #45 on: June 28, 2016, 12:14:37 PM »
Wow. Chore wars indeed, and not just between the OP and her DH.

I can't believe all the advice calling for OP to leave her DH over . . . laundry. Really? None of you have ever forgotten something? You are all completely perfect people who are a joy to live with? None of your partners have had to adjust their expectations of you in any way at all? My mind is blown.

Luckily, my partner is a more easygoing sort of person. In fact, that's what initially attracted me. I'm an uptight, type A worrier who was raised by a woman nicknamed "Martha" because our home was always magazine ready (though she cheated and had a weekly housekeeper too). So, I like things to be clean too. When I met my now DH he lived in squalor, but it was relaxed squalor and I could finally relax with him. He's got tons of wonderful qualities and the fact that he sucks at doing family laundry is something I'm willing to overlook. He's kind enough to overlook some of my less endearing qualities too.

OP - Why not buy your DH a laundry basket of his very own? Tell him all his dirty clothes go in there. When he wants them to become clean clothes, the washer is down the hall. You can take over all the other laundry. This is the system my DH and I have. It's been working fine for nearly 12 years. Now go pour yourself a lemonade and put your feet up.

Lunasol

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #46 on: June 28, 2016, 12:58:35 PM »
I don't think you get the point ^

I don't advice on seeking a divorce either, but it's pretty clear to me that her DH is not begin considerate enough, and that's where being a grown up really comes into the picture. To me a grown up wouldn't forget these things, can't he see how tired you are? your DH needs to do more and to WANT to do more for you and the family.

Having her do everything herself and forgetting things and being pouty is especially inconsiderate in any situation, let alone forgetting that while she's carrying a baby in her belly and taking care of their older kid.

I'm really hoping he has AHDH and isn't just being a big baby.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #47 on: June 28, 2016, 02:12:05 PM »
I don't think you get the point ^

I don't advice on seeking a divorce either, but it's pretty clear to me that her DH is not begin considerate enough, and that's where being a grown up really comes into the picture. To me a grown up wouldn't forget these things, can't he see how tired you are? your DH needs to do more and to WANT to do more for you and the family.

Having her do everything herself and forgetting things and being pouty is especially inconsiderate in any situation, let alone forgetting that while she's carrying a baby in her belly and taking care of their older kid.

I'm really hoping he has AHDH and isn't just being a big baby.

Does the "pro-divorce/your husband sucks" crowd realize how rude they sound?

Sibley

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #48 on: June 28, 2016, 02:51:45 PM »
OP, I recommend that you go to a friends, family, or hotel for a night. Without husband and toddler. Get a full night's sleep, sleep in, wake up slowly. That will probably help. He can manage for a night, and if not, maybe it'll be a wake up call for him. No one's going to die because you got a full night's sleep.

GardenBaker

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Re: Doing (or failing at) household chores
« Reply #49 on: June 28, 2016, 03:01:40 PM »
My husband doesn't enjoy doing household chores either and would rather NOT do them. So, I work full time and have a side hustle business; he works full time as well and enjoys relaxing when he gets home. I get home and work on my side hustle. I do not have time to clean house, do laundry, cook, etc. As a compromise, he pays for a maid to come every 2 weeks out of his spending money. I do all of the laundry, spot clean the house in between maid visits and split the cooking with him. Maybe hiring some part time help wouldn't be bad at least until you can get some more sleep and your little one gets a bit older to help with some of the tasks at home.