Relationships

Advice on FI Behavior

My fiance and I have been together 2.5 years and are supposed to be getting married in May. Back in June he lost his job, so I'm currently the only one with an income. I make good money, so we're surviving, but I also seem to be the only one who cooks and cleans on a regular basis.When we were both working, we were splitting chores pretty evenly, though he's always had a hard time cleaning up after himself; leaving garbage and dishes in "his area" until I get tired of the mess and pick it up myself. He tells me if I want something done to ask him and he'll do it, but when I ask, it usually ends up not getting done until I do it. The last time, he asked for a list of things to do and very little of it gets done without my doing; he'll do SOME dishes but not all. Or he'll realize that I'm mad and then start cleaning.

Recently, we had a huge discussion about this, after many smaller ones. I told him I refuse to live like trash and don't want a future where I am the provider and house maid. Every time we have discussions like this, things change for a few days and then go back to normal. He knows that I firmly believe that if I'm the sole money maker, then he should be doing housework. I've told him that if he wants me to be the housewife, then he needs to find a job where he can support us both. His response is usually just shutting down and not really having a discussion, aside from telling me he'll do better.

 I don't know if it helps, but he was the family star athlete growing up, so his parents made sure that as long as he was performing amazingly in sports, he wouldn't have to do housework. When we met, his mom was still cleaning his room. I was raised in a home where, no matter what your extra-curriculars were, you still contributed to housework. I know that he was raised a different way and that it factors into how he does things, but I don't think me asking for a few chores to be done is too difficult.

I don't know where to go with this right now. I have a hard time walking away from someone I love, but at the same time I know I'm not really being respected or treated properly. Is there anything I can do that can help improve this? Or is it a lost cause?

Re: Advice on FI Behavior

  • Stop cooking and cleaning.  Let him wallow in his own filth and eat the crumbs that are undoubtedly on the belly of his shirt.
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  • Well honestly, I don't see this changing.  If he was going to get better, he would have done it by now.  So you have to decide if you want to spend the rest of your life like this.

    Also realize that if you have children, he will probably behave the same way. 

     

     

  • Why should he change? You admit that when you ask him to do something he doesn't do it... because he knows you eventually will. You've just taken the place of his mother is all.
    fiizzlee = vag ** fiizzle = peen ** Babies shouldn't be born wit thangs ** **They're called first luddz fo' a reason -- mo' is supposed ta come after. Yo Ass don't git a medal fo' marryin yo' prom date. Unless yo ass is imoan. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch. Then yo ass git a all-expenses paid cruise ta tha Mediterranean n' yo ass git ta hook up Jared Padalecki on tha flight over while bustin yo' jammies. But still no medal.
  • How old is he?

    He's acting like a little boy, not a man.  Men are respsonsible.  Period.  And I would not hesitate to tell him so.  "I didn't sign up to marry a child, I want to marry a man, a responsible adult man."  If you knock his ego a little, you should see better, more permanent results.   

     

  • image zitiqueen:
    Why should he change? You admit that when you ask him to do something he doesn't do it... because he knows you eventually will. You've just taken the place of his mother is all.

    Also a very good point.  I remember a conversation not all that long ago with my MIL.  She does EVERYTHING under the sun for her husband (laundry, making dinner, cleaning the house, etc).  She said "Oh, I just do all that for FIL."  To which I responded "Nope, I'm not playing that game with your son.  He's a big boy and he is capable of contributing."  I don't think she liked that very much :) 

    OP - when you chose to marry someone, you are committing to making that person your life partner, and that includes the day to day responsibilities that ADULTS handle.  We go to work every day, we come home, maintain our house, and manage all the responsibilities that go along with being hard-working adults.  Do you know how often I actually feel like doing that sh!t?  About ZERO percent of the time.  But, that's life cupcake.  (Obviously you know this... this is more directed at your FI.  Can you tell this is a major pet peeve of mine!?) 

  • image stw_77:

    Well honestly, I don't see this changing.  If he was going to get better, he would have done it by now.  So you have to decide if you want to spend the rest of your life like this.

    Also realize that if you have children, he will probably behave the same way. 

     

     

    exactly this. marriage will not make him change. this is who he is and he has shown you that, time and time again. I also agree with ziti's point-you have made it easy for him to continue on like this. until you do something differently, nothing will change. you have to decide whether you are willing to live like this for the rest of your life with him.



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  • The thing that sticks out to me here is that he USED to split the chores with you, at least somewhat.  If he's used to being successful and lost his job, is it possible he's feeling depressed?  That can contribute to being unable/unwilling to do daily things.

    That said, he also just sounds lazy.  So's mine. I found it helpful for us each to keep track of the things we did daily that we didn't want to do but needed to be done.  (Dishes, laundry, cleaning kitchen, etc.) We got through 3 days before DH realized my list was 5 times as long as his and he started helping out more :)

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  • He is what he is right now.

    What you see's what you get.

    If a slob really and truly drives you bezerk and it's not something you can tolerate, rethink him.

    You're arguing now over cleaning and housework; it'll be infinitely worse if you get married.

    And shutting down is childish. This guy needs to grow up and learn how to communicate better -- to me, the shutting down and pulling the silent routine is the biggest of your problems.

    He could turn into Felix Unger overnight but the shutting down will remain.

    (and how you were raised is how we were raised: you had a list of things to do and you did them -- and one of them was Keep your room relatively neat and Clean up after yourself. Parents doing it all for kids is where the real problem begins. These kids will live ont heir own in pigstys or get married and expect the spouse to do it all for them.)
  • image zitiqueen:
    Why should he change? You admit that when you ask him to do something he doesn't do it... because he knows you eventually will. You've just taken the place of his mother is all.

    Yup. When DH and I were dating, his mom said "You don't know what you're getting yourself into! He can't do anything for himself!" I didn't say anything, but as soon as we moved in together I knew she was right. He didn't clean, do laundry, and he didn't know how to cook anything. I mean, he could cook eggs, and thats it! His parents did everything for him and his brother their entire lives.. So for a couple months I did ALL of the cleaning, ALL of the laundry, ALL of the cooking, and I was exhausted. So I simply sat him down and told him "I am not your momma. You need to learn to cook, clean, and do laundry." He pitched a fit at first, but he go over real quick when he realized I wasn't budging on it. Sure, I may have gone about it the wrong way (I would only do my own laundry, and I would only cook things I knew he wouldn't eat/didn't like) BUT he got the point. Now he does all of our laundry and helps cook a couple nights a week.

    Put your foot down. Sooner or later he will get sick of living in filth.

  • image Kimbus22:

    The thing that sticks out to me here is that he USED to split the chores with you, at least somewhat.  If he's used to being successful and lost his job, is it possible he's feeling depressed?  That can contribute to being unable/unwilling to do daily things.

    This. I know when I am unemployed its actually harder for me to be motivated about cleaning etc...even though I am home all day. Its better for me to get at least a part time job that I hate just to get me out of the house, otherwise I mope and am completely unproductive at home.

    Also how was he brought up? Because if he never/rarely had to do chores growing up...its natural for him to fall back on doing nothing or very little when there is someone else who will give in at do it.

    My H is pretty oblivious to what needs to be done at home, I get mad at him for not doing his part when he thinks he is because he put his dish in the kitchen...or did half of the dishes...So now I make sure to be very clear about what i need help with, or let him know "hey I'll clean the bathrooms today IF you clean up the kitchen and put away the clean dishes"...it helps him to realize that I am not just sitting on my butt asking him to do stuff, but that I AM doing stuff too.

  • image Kimbus22:

    The thing that sticks out to me here is that he USED to split the chores with you, at least somewhat.  If he's used to being successful and lost his job, is it possible he's feeling depressed?  That can contribute to being unable/unwilling to do daily things.

    if he's still out of a job he's most likely depressed to some degree and frustrated. When I'm depressed I do diddly squat. I know things need to be done I just can't do it.

    If he is depressed and you love him you should be there to help him. I know being the strong one in the relationship isn't easy but a depressed person needs strong people to help them. This job loss may not be the only hard time as a couple either. Pre marital counseling would be beneficial for you two. Then you will find out if marrying this man is worth it. 

    Also he isn't going to change. He's used to being taken care of and things being taken care of for him as long as he does a good job at sports, school, work. You fell in love with this person.  

     

  • Since you say FI held up his share while he was employed, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt here. Could he be depressed? I agree that the cleaning should be 50/50, and that he definitely isn't pulling up his share, but is there any chance that he's being a lazy git because he's depressed?

    Also, how many hours a day is he spending looking for a job? When my DH was unemployed, we still split the chores 50/50 because he spent the majority of his day out looking for a new job. I never expected him to shoulder 100% of the household duties when I was the sole earner.

    However, this might just be who he is. If you've already tried talking to him and you don't see him changing....well then you have a decision to make. Is this a battle you want to fight FOREVER? Do you want this type of attitude when it comes to parenting? If not, then it sounds like you might need to rethink marrying him. I agree with PP - you've really not given him any reason to actually change, because in the end you cave and clean up yourself.

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  • I have been unemployed for about 7 months now and we do ok because hubby makes good money.  So I am basically in his shoes.

    I have good days and bad days.  Some days I feel so down in the dumps that I don't do a damn thing.  I allow myself those days.  However, I always make sure that by the time the weekend rolls around the entire house is clean.  I cook almost every night.  Some weeks I may do a bit of clean up each day, other weeks I will do it all on Friday while hubby is at work.

     Perhaps if you addressed this with him in a, "I know it must be tough being home all day instead of being out working.  I know this isn't an easy situation for you to deal with." lead in it might help.  Maybe the two of you can sit down and make a list of things that need to be done around the house.  Ask him if he thinks having a schedule would help.  If he likes the idea of a schedule then make one out with him.  Maybe you can offer to take the task he hates most???  Hubby knows I hate unloading the dishwasher for example.  So he did it before he left for work yesterday.  It was super sweet and I appreciate that even though I'm unemployed he still helps out.

    For me, I tend to feel guilty if he does too much.  He works 40 hours/week.  I don't work.  IMO it is MY JOB to keep the house clean, cook, and make sure laundry gets done.  He shouldn't have to worry about that.  When I go back to working we will go back to the 50/50 we were at prior to me losing my job.

  • Thanks for the input everyone. Yes, I know this is the man I fell in love with. I've just recently been looking toward the future and realizing that I don't want to be a mother to him AND children... when we have them. 

    We had a talk yesterday and I do believe some has to do with not having a job. He made it very clear that recently he's just unmotivated and unhappy with that part of his life. He does spend a good amount of time job searching, which also includes a decent amount of time commuting usually 45 min to an hour each way. He's also had a lot of interviews that seemingly go well but in the end he doesn't get the job. The last one, the guy worked him up a lot, telling him how well he thought they'd work together and all that but in the end, hired someone else. I know that hurts the ego a bit. 

    I like the idea of the list and potentially a schedule. He has a list of household chores, but maybe a schedule would make it seem less daunting. I do dishes most days in exchange for him doing laundry. He also told me he likes to clean with me, as a team, instead of individually.

  • It sounds like he's depressed. Most guys base their whole identity on being the 'provider', and his role is suddenly gone. He feels useless because he's not doing the job he should be, and he sees housework as menial tasks- not as important as what he 'should' be doing and can't. 

     

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  • image awolkenhauer:

    Thanks for the input everyone. Yes, I know this is the man I fell in love with. I've just recently been looking toward the future and realizing that I don't want to be a mother to him AND children... when we have them. 

    We had a talk yesterday and I do believe some has to do with not having a job. He made it very clear that recently he's just unmotivated and unhappy with that part of his life. He does spend a good amount of time job searching, which also includes a decent amount of time commuting usually 45 min to an hour each way. He's also had a lot of interviews that seemingly go well but in the end he doesn't get the job. The last one, the guy worked him up a lot, telling him how well he thought they'd work together and all that but in the end, hired someone else. I know that hurts the ego a bit. 

    I like the idea of the list and potentially a schedule. He has a list of household chores, but maybe a schedule would make it seem less daunting. I do dishes most days in exchange for him doing laundry. He also told me he likes to clean with me, as a team, instead of individually.

    I'm glad that you talked.  And while I understand the "cleaning as a team" he also has to get that when you are working 40 hours/week and he's not things shouldn't be 50/50.  It's unfair to you.

    My thought on it (as a stay at home wife/unemployed person) is that I would rather get it done during the week so that my husband can come home, relax in a clean house, and we can spend our weekend TOGETHER doing something fun instead of having to spend an entire morning cleaning. 

    Maybe you could compromise with him.  If he can at least keep up on the laundry, the dusting, and the vacuuming during the week you will continue to do the dishes.  Perhaps he can be in charge of dinner and grocery shopping or other "chores" that aren't cleaning related since he seems to dislike that most.  If the two of you set aside an hour each weekend where you clean together you should be able to get the rest done (bathrooms, mopping, deep cleaning....etc) pretty quickly..

     

    Just my thoughts ;-)

  • That's great that you've found something to work! I was almost married once before to a pretty awesome guy that was having a difficult time finding work. He had this attitude, however, that his depression from unemployment should get him my sympathies instead of irritation when he didn't help out around the house. He would look for jobs, see nothing that paid gloriously (for someone that didn't have more than high school and some military experience the jobs he passed up were awesome), and then play video games all day.

     We ended up taking out loans, credit cards, etc to pay for the things we were already contracted in to while I was the only breadwinner (and didn't make near enough). And then he'd ask me for $40 for the bar with his friends.All this and he STILL wouldn't do any chores. Was even offended at the thought. It eventually killed our relationship and we broke it off because he was clueless and I was numb. I filed bankruptcy a year later (at 21).

    Your FI sounds like a great guy that just needs the encouragement to push past the droll that comes with unemployment. You'll get through it. Trial and error :)

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  • Not cleaning and letting him wallow in his own filth. . .well I've tried that before and found that some people dont KNOW that its filthy or dont care.  All that will happen is that you will become so frustrated and it wont get cleaned until you clean it.  You cant make anyone change.  You may just have to realize that its one of those things you will have to do. . . that is if  this relationship is that important to you.  Or perhaps you may decide that you just cant live with a person who doesnt help with the housework.  Pleading with someone over and over to change a habit will only make both your lives miserable.  
  • I read where one subscriber suggested "Not cleaning and letting him wallow in his own filth". . .well I've tried that before and found that some people dont KNOW that its filthy or dont care.  All that will happen is that you will become so frustrated and it wont get cleaned until you clean it.  You cant make anyone change.  You may just have to realize that its one of those things you will have to do. . . that is if  this relationship is that important to you.  Or perhaps you may decide that you just cant live with a person who doesnt help with the housework.  Pleading with someone over and over to change a habit will only make both your lives miserable.  
  • I apologize for the duplicate posts.  I tried to delete it however a pop up message said it was too late to delete.
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