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How to help DH understand? -Vent-

Earlier this week I was late coming home (7:00-ish), I called and asked DH to make dinner since I'd be to tired to do it by the time I got home...*Yes, he waits for me to do it everyday* [it was very simple but he ?made? it non-the-less] due to my stressful work day and being stuck in traffic for 2 hrs ? after dinner I just wanted to crash on the couch! I had no energy. DH asked "Are you going to clear THIS?" since ?I did everything else?.  I guess I should have mentioned that I did ask him to do it because I'm tired and he said that he did it yesterday and he doesn't care if it sits there and rots - he's not touching it. Hence my snarky comment... and responded that if we?re counting the number of time he has been lying down vs. me cooking/cleaning ? I?d win.  He then made a comment along the lines of how I?ve been slacking lately?

 

To make the story short, it ended in me crying and yelling that he doesn?t know how hard it is when I?m trying my best to do what I can. It?s hard! And to have this extra pressure of the ?perfect? wife isn?t real and not helping me out! I wanted to get some advice or suggestions as to how to make him understand that I?m not trying to be lazy, I already feel totally useless. I can?t clean my house in 1 day like I used too or in 2 days and I?m not HUGE yet. What does he think it?ll be like then? [sigh]

 

This happened on Wednesday and we?re still not talking ? ok well were talking but you can hear the anger behind the answers. It?s not resolved. I?m not sure if anyone else has gone through this? DH?s mom did everything for him ? EVERYTHING and so did I, to a point. He?d occasionally help clear the table, help with dinner & laundry and sometimes vacuum and that?s an accomplishment to him. So I feel like I?m letting him down not being able to keep everything ?perfect? like before.

 

I feel inadequate but at the same time I?m angry that I?m felling that way to begin with.

 

Thanks for letting me vent ? I feel so down because of this Crying

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Re: How to help DH understand? -Vent-

  • CBLCBL member

    This was where it started to go wrong: . I was crabby [I admit it] and responded that if we?re counting the number of time he has been lying down vs. me cooking/cleaning ? I?d win.  He made a comment along the lines of how I?m slacking lately?

    Instead of just asking for help, you got definsive and in turn he got his back up.

    I think the urge to be snarky can be overwhelming, but it really accomplishes nothing.  Just say what you want to happen.  So instead of that, just say something like, "I'm really not feeling great and I'm exhausted.  I know it's my turn, but would you please clean up for me?"

    How can you argue with that?  Men aren't all that tuned in sometimes, so just be upfront and ask for the help you need.  If he isn't someone who normally does his share without asking, that's probably not going to change, but you can change how you react and how you ask him to help out so that he is doing more. 

  • I can't relate to your situation because "chores" around here are split evenly. But I can offer some advice. Who is coming up with this definition of "perfect wife"? Do you want to do everything around the house?  You shouldn't do it because he wants you to (if you want to then that is fine).

    Perhaps sitting down and talking about what both of your expectations are will help. I would also add into this conversation both of your expectations when the baby comes. Who will do the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, diaper changes, feedings, getting up in the night.

    If you are not on the same page at all then you will need to come up with a game plan to compromise so you are both happy.

    His comment about you "slacking" is throat punch worth IMO. You aren't his slave.

  • Oh and you also are NOT HIS MOTHER. He needs to understand that (if he doesn't).
  • This is just my $.02 but I think in this case, given the way that you phrased the story, if I were in your shoes, I would be the one to make the friendly gesture and apologize.  It sounds like this was more of a combination of hormones and a bad day than a huge underlying problem which is the plus side.  It's nice that DH thought to make you dinner after a rough day/commute and I don't think it's out of line for him to ask for some help wit the cleanup. 

    Don't get me wrong, I totally understand what it's like to feel exhausted with the pregnancy and I definitely sympathize!  However, DH and I had some conversations after DD was born that ended up with him admitting he felt very used during some points of my pregnancy because I was literally asking him to do everything and at the time, he didn't feel like he could say how he truly felt.  I didn't realize he felt like this and this pregnancy, we've both been a lot more open and realistic with our feelings and expectations which has helped a lot.  For instance, just because I'm pregnant, it's not ok for me to expect DH to pick up my slack.  That's just not fair to him.  In return however, he gives me a little bit more understanding, time, and space to get things done if I'm just having a "off" moment or day or moving a little slow due to pregnancy. 

    I know you know this, but things aren't going to get any easier for you once you have the baby.  In fact, logistically speaking, they get harder! :)  It sounds like you and DH need to sit down and have a bit of a heart to heart about each other's expectations both now and after the baby is born so that you both feel like equal contributors to the daily things and that these situations can be resolved with a little extra patience in the future.  Good luck!

  • I guess I should have mentioned that I did ask him to do it because I'm tired and he said that he did it yesterday and he doesn't care if it sits there and rots - he's not touching it.

    Hence my snarky comment...

    I TRIED TO ADD THE FULL STORY THIS TIME - EDIT

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  • image CBL:

    This was where it started to go wrong: . I was crabby [I admit it] and responded that if we?re counting the number of time he has been lying down vs. me cooking/cleaning ? I?d win.  He made a comment along the lines of how I?m slacking lately?

    Instead of just asking for help, you got definsive and in turn he got his back up.

    This. Even if he did say to let the dishes rot, I would have done just that.

    I sometimes have to remember that there isn't someone out there keeping score. If it doesn't get done - so what? It will still be there tomorrow and you can clean it then.

    I also agree with what Jenn was saying about really discussing what your expectations are when it comes to house chores. DH was waited on when he lived at home, and wasn't a very clean bachelor either. When we moved in together we discussed how things would get done and that just because I had an extra "x" chromosome would not make me the primary housekeeper.

    Other than that, I don't know that there is much you can do to "make" him understand. Just make sure you use "I" messages when explaining how you feel, and try not to let the snarkiness creep in there.

  • Also, if it ends up becoming a big issue between the 2 of you. Why not hire a cleaning person to come in every 2-3 weeks. We did this during a particularly stressful time in our lives and it totally saved our sanity and, I'm sure, prevented many petty arguements.
  • CBLCBL member

    D and I have a really simple practice.  One cooks and one cleans up after dinner.  Simple and effective.  Maybe you guys should try that. 

    It doesn't always work that way.  We often both end up cleaning so we can go for a walk or he'll do it even though he cooked if I'm not feeling well.  But for the most part, it keeps one of us from feeling like it's one person's responsibility. 

    ETA: If I come across as unsypathetic, that's not my intent.  He sounds like he's being a bit of a jerk and needs to realize that maybe you were able to take on everything by yourself before, but there are going to be some days where you're just too tired or not feeling up to it.  Maybe try talking to him about this at a time when you're both in a good mood, not fighting and not distracted.

  • image CBL:

    D and I have a really simple practice.  One cooks and one cleans up after dinner.  Simple and effective.  Maybe you guys should try that. 

    It doesn't always work that way.  We often both end up cleaning so we can go for a walk or he'll do it even though he cooked if I'm not feeling well.  But for the most part, it keeps one of us from feeling like it's one person's responsibility. 

    This is EXACTLY what DH and I do. It works beautifully.

    I also agree with CanadianBio - if he says "I'd rather let them rot," then let them sit.

    He's got to stop "keeping score." Some days are harder than others. He needs to get that sometimes you're not going to be able to do something and he can step in and contribute, just like he would expect you to if he wasn't doing well. That's marriage, right? It's not 50/50 all the time - if your partner falls, you help pick them up, you don't stand there and say "oh, it's not my turn to help"

  • I totally agree Nat. When Joey was sick I had to pick up a lot of slack. It was horrible for him because he hated watching me do things that he normally would do. But that is what marriage is all about right?
  • I agree that it shouldn't be about keeping score and who does what. It's hard when you feel like you're doing the same thing all the time, maybe you should try splitting the chores evenly and see what happens there.

    DH and I have similar problems like this once and a while, especially since we moved into the house. DH has a lot of things he wants to get done outside and around the house, which I totally understand. He's excited about finally owning a home and wants to get it the way he wants it. But at the same time for him this translates into me doing everything inside the house all the time!! And it's really hard!! We have a puppy, he's just 6 months old so he's still very much a puppy which makes it hard to get things done when I'm in the house with him by myself because he's always getting into things or wants to be played with. So then when DH comes home or comes in and says "why didn't get this done" and I say about the dog being in the way or me just being tired, he sometimes gets upset and says he doesn't understand why he can work all day and come home and keep working and I can't. Well I've tried to explain to him that things are a big different right now since I am pregnant and it's harder, but that I'm doing the best I can. And I admit I can be a slacker sometimes and I just don't want to bother doing it. 

    But I find if we try and talk it out it helps. Maybe you should be the first one to break the ice even though you don't really want to. Sit down and talk things out and try and get some kind of schedule or arrangement worked out with regards to what needs to be done so it doesn't seem like a competition all the time. And then that way when the baby does come along and you're even busier, it won't be so overwhelming. I know it's hard too when DH has had everything done for him, mine was a bit like that too and it doesn't make it easier. But we're getting better. Like everything it's a work in progress!! 

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  • A talk now would probably be more effective.  Sure it could have been handled better but I understand how hard it can be to keep your head when you're feeling exhausted and probably under appreciated.  Like someone else said, use "I" statements, "When this happens it make me feel...." and a reminder that being partners means sometimes one of you will have to do more then normal on some days/weeks to help the other one out.  And that asking him to cook and clean one night or cook two nights in a row or whatever doesn't mean you didn't appreciate the other thing he did, just that you really need some extra help.

    He may have felt unappreciated too. 

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