Relationships

Issues getting husband to take initiative

We have been married less than 6 months. We had never lived together before we were married, though we were both good friends all through school.  I knew that it was going to be difficult given his upbringing. He is one of 3 boys and has a mother that does EVERYTHING for them. Though their mother really doesn't do a whole lot of cleaning, cooking, etc. herself either. I realize that everyone is raised differently, and has a different way that they live, or want to live. My mom and dad seperated when I was 7 and she worked 3 jobs at times to raise my brother and I. I have a good sense of hard work and am very independent. I have worked since I was 16, he never had a job until after college. I am a very clean and tidy person and he was raised the complete opposite. We both work full time. I work a later shift, so when I get home and 7 in the evening I still have to do dished, fix dinner, and anything else that needs done. When I get home and he's been home for 3 or 4 hours and has done nothing and I trip over XBox cords, I get very irritated. I've tried talking to him about it and it'll help for a week of so then he just reverts back. I've even tried persuading him with sex, except that I feel less attracted to him and have no desire to have sex because I get no help. He doesn't seem to understand why I am upset or why I feel this way. It's just very frustrating, and I hate feeling this way. I know I can't be the only person dealing with these issues. So ANY advice would be appreciated!!

 

Re: Issues getting husband to take initiative

  • This also kills me....

    When we were growing up, we had a list of things to do -- age appropriate things like keep your room reasonably clean, wash the dishes, bring your laundry to the hamper, cut the grass, help with dinner and do yardwork.

    This is where parents are failing: and the wives wonder why the husband won't pitch in...why should he? his mother did it all; why shouldn't his wife?

    You need to sit down with him and tell him that from her on in you and he are equally pitching in for all housework.

    Get a book and make it a TO DO book --- include what needs to be done around the house/yard on a daily weekly and monthly basis. Then at the start of the week, you and he sit down and go over what's coming up for the week. Decide together who will do what and when.

    Try it and see what happens.

    You cannot be pulling the whole load alone.

    On Sunday, I usually make one main meal to last the whole week -- you and he can do this also -- turkey breast, chili, stew, pot roast, lasagna, stuffed shells, a ham, etc will go a long way all week for dinner, with variations.

    Saves a lot of time, too, during the week.
  • TM gave some great suggestions. The only thing I can add is that you need to make him understand that you wanted a husband not an adolescent boy. Tell him that mothering him makes you find him less attractive, and that you need him to be a partner. It's still early, so hopefully you will be able to get him on the right track.
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  • The above posts are all great advice, especially the big Sunday cook.  To this, I add some meals I know he can cook because I showed him how:  pasta, sloppy joe, grilled stuff.  That splits up the meals easily.  Plus, we have the if you cook I'll do the dishes plan.  Takes pressure off.
  • All great advice. When my FI and I moved in together, it took us a little while to figure out a division of labor. He always had chores growing up but there are certain things he just doesn't see (even still....like dishes that should go in the dishwasher). You just need to set up some house rules, divide up some of the everyday chores so you don't feel like you are carrying the burden of everything.

    Example: He does laundry, I cook/do dishes, I clean the bathrooms, he vacuums/dusts. If he's going to be out of town for work, I pick up the slack on his chores, and vice versa.

    Ultimately you need to figure out what will work best for you two. Also, if he doesn't know how to cook, teaching him can be a blast. My FI came from a meat and potatoes upbringing, now I have him making all kinds of crazy dishes, and he has been enjoying it too!

  • Thanks everyone so much for the advice. I sat down with him today and we talked, I think it helped a lot :).
  • image abby0313:

    All great advice. When my FI and I moved in together, it took us a little while to figure out a division of labor. He always had chores growing up but there are certain things he just doesn't see (even still....like dishes that should go in the dishwasher). You just need to set up some house rules, divide up some of the everyday chores so you don't feel like you are carrying the burden of everything.

    Example: He does laundry, I cook/do dishes, I clean the bathrooms, he vacuums/dusts. If he's going to be out of town for work, I pick up the slack on his chores, and vice versa.

    Ultimately you need to figure out what will work best for you two. Also, if he doesn't know how to cook, teaching him can be a blast. My FI came from a meat and potatoes upbringing, now I have him making all kinds of crazy dishes, and he has been enjoying it too!

    This. Chores was our main issue post moving in together after we got engaged. So, after many useless arguments, we sat down and literally wrote every chore out and delegated it. We have not had an argument since! 

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  • If you wanted a man who could take care of himself, you should have married a man who was already taking care of himself. Why would he suddenly change this behavior after being married?

    I never understand why women think that things are going to change when they get married. All the signs were there before.

  • I, too, have been married less then 6 months.  We were both independent singles prior to marrying and it is the second marriage for both of us.  Older and wiser does apply!  Yet, we still had our petty arguments about unmet, unstated expectations.

    What worked was when I stopped being critical and started talking about dividing the chores in terms of our individual strengths, rather than in terms of traditional sex roles.  People generally enjoy doing what they like and feel they are good at, don't they?  We both agreed that we can fashion our marriage to suit ourselves.

     I don't feel embarrassed to say that I am the motivator, the idea person, the planner.  My husband is more laid back, a helper personality, and he enjoys being Tanto to My Long Ranger!  I had to realize that I made the right choice of temperment for my personality and stop trying to make my husband be more like me.....even if, as women in our culture, we are raised to look for a leader-type personality in a man.  We need to ask ourselves, as women, what happens when too leader-type personalities get together?  Conflict, that is what happens. 

    By the way, I had to change after I got married, too!  Less autonomy and privacy, for example.  My adult married son told me that getting married is just trading one set of problems for another.  I thought that was very ADULT of him! 

     

     

     

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