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When I was unemployed, 100% of the housework made sense

I was unemployed for a year and a half, and it was the year we got married, so we began our lives on the concept that my work was "100% of the house work" DH cleaned the cats' box and that was it.  Well, now I'm in nursing school full time AND working about 15 hours a week tutoring algebra in between my classes to make some money and working makes me feel good about myself.  

 

BUT... somehow he still expects me to still do 100% of the housework.  I don't think he intentionally wants it to all fall on me, but his actions speak louder than his words...  He never does anything unless I beg him, and have to continue asking him several days in a row, and it might get done a week later.  

 

Does anyone else have a situation where they were unemployed and it made sense to do more work, but now that you're back to work, DH seems unable to go back to helping out around the house? 

Re: When I was unemployed, 100% of the housework made sense

  • To me, it's only common sense for both partners to do housework and chores and whatever else there is needed to be done around the house.

    I'd sit down with him and explain that the game plan has changed and that he needs to pitch in, no questions asked.

  • Ditto Tarpon.

    Can you guys come up with a chore list that each of you are responsible for something each day?

    Have you talked to him about it aside from begging (which you shouldn't have to do)?  I mean a real, sit down conversation.  I'd also ask him why he thinks you're his maid and mother and that being treated as such doesn't encourage you feeling much like a wife.

    Bottom line is he makes half the mess, so you can both clean up after yourselves.

    Heck, I'm a SAHM right now and my DH still helps with housework, dinner, dishes, whatever needs done and I don't have ask, much less beg.  He's a grown man and can see with his own two eyes the dishes sitting in the sink or that the floor needs vacuumed. He's also smart enough to know that my job is 24/7/365 and he 'only works' 8 hours a day.

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  • Being a SAHM is a full-full time job.  The reason I "wasn't working" is that I was laid off from a posh office job I loved, and my father died a few months later.  My mom has early-onset alzheimer's disease, and so we moved in with her to take care of her, and "keep strangers (prof. caregivers) out of the house" I was a SAH-daughter.  We spent the first 8 months of our MARRIAGE sharing a bedroom wall and me jumping up every other hour, hearing her walking around the house all night.  

     

    How did your husband learn to "see with his own two eyes" the work that needs to be done.  I'll leave the garbage for him to take out when I've done it a couple times in a row, I'll even put garbage on the lid, and he just puts more on, and then is embarrassed when I point out to him what he's doing. 

  • Holy smokes, BgB!!  I'm sorry you had to go through all that, but hopefully things get better.

    Regarding your husband "seeing" what needs to be down isn't always an innate characteristic.  Growing up, MH never had to do household tasks so he doesn't always notice when things need to be done.  He is getting better, there is hope.  However, I have had to teach him to "see" things like when we are almost out of milk to put it on the shopping list or to put clothes in the hamper and not leave them on bathroom or bedroom floor. 

    Nonetheless, follow the advice of Tarpon.  Also, when you talk with YH, don't talk at him, talk with him.  Get him involved so he takes ownership over his duties and doesn't feel like you're the boss and he's just doing what you tell him to.

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  • Not to sterotype, but guys are clueless. DH and I get along much better when I just ask him to do something rather than assume he'll do it and then get angry when he doesn't. Sit down with your husband and let him know that since you've started working again and are going back to school that you're feeling a little overwhelmed with all the housework too. Ask him if there are any chores that he would prefer doing, maybe he doesn't mind washing the dishes. Then make a list of who will do which chores. And maybe you'll want to switch weekly or monthly so you don't always get stuck doing the same things. Let you husband know that you want your marriage to be an equal partnership and that includes the housework.
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  • Ditto what everyone said about sitting down and talking about it.

     I get really overwhelmed when there is so much to do but now DH and I discuss at breakfast what our day is like, what chores can reasonable get done that day and when. Neither of us want to do chores, who does? But when we talk and both of us know the other one is pulling equal weight it feels better and things get done in time.

  • No, but DH and I have both observed how easy it is to not realize how hard the other person is working around the house.  Part of it is that we don't all want the same things done (I mean, most of us like to eat and wear clean clothes, but I don't care at all whether the bed is ever made and I think DH would like to install a dirt floor in the kitchen), and part of it is that it's just easy to take things for granted when they are always done for you.  For a long time we handled chores by always working on them at the same time, though not necessarily working on the same thing.  For a while, every Saturday we would set a timer for an hour and the deal was that we both had to work on chores until it went off.  After a while we had to stop doing that because we couldn't fill the hour anymore (that was pretty awesome).  Working together makes it hard for either person to look the other way and convince themselves that there isn't that much work to do and they've done their part.  It also gives a chance to see what the other person considers a chore.  What we discovered is that we each do a lot more than half of the chores that we each personally consider important... and often benefit a lot from the important chores the other person does that we ignore.  For example, I think DH and I were married a year before I realized that the garbage can didn't magically empty itself (and we lived on the top floor of a 4 story building with no elevator or garbage shoot and half the year there was also a parking lot full of snow to cross to get to the dumpster).

    DH and I were visiting some newlywed friends of ours a few months ago and their apartment was a total disaster.  (It looked kind of like my mentally ill uncle's apartment back when we make the mistake of letting him live on his own.)  We talked to each of them about it in private and they each said the same thing: "I do my part and it's such a mess because he/she wont clean up after him/herself.  I'm leaving it for him/her to deal with."  I think they honestly both think it's the truth.  They even disagreed about who makes dinner "most of the time."  

    Anyway, that was kind of long winded.  My point is that I think fair division of household chores often comes down to communication more than anything else.  Provided that you aren't married to a jerk.  

  • image TarponMonoxide:

    To me, it's only common sense for both partners to do housework and chores and whatever else there is needed to be done around the house.

    I'd sit down with him and explain that the game plan has changed and that he needs to pitch in, no questions asked.

    This - and also adding that it could be as simple as him not liking certain chores.  DH doesn't like doing dishes, but I do.  So I do dishes.  I hate taking out the garbage and recycling, so he does it.

    If you lay out expectations, it's reasonable for you (and your DH) to know what to expect from one another.  I just got back from a week long business trip (mine are usually 1-2 days) and was pleasantly surprised to see the dishes done, the bed made, and the bathroom clean when I came home.  Mostly because I told him I wanted to keep the home in good shape when I got back because I hate coming home to "a mess."  And he did a good job of doing so.

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  • image waterfall213:
    Not to sterotype, but guys are clueless. DH and I get along much better when I just ask him to do something rather than assume he'll do it and then get angry when he doesn't.

    Your H is an irresponsible manchild who needs to be told to do things.  My H isn't.  So please don't lump all men into this "clueless" category you've set up to make yourself feel better about marrying someone you need to mother.  

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  • Have you talked to your dh about this?  As in "when we first married, I wasn't working so I did all of the housework.  That's not the case now, and you really have to step up, b/c we are both busy, but I seem to be the only person in this house acting like an adult who cleans up after themselves."

    There are a number of things you can try....having a rule that if YOU are cleaning (or cooking dinner), HE has to be cleaning, too.   You can set up a chore chart and have him pick his cores (and write his name next to him so he really takes ownership).  You can say "hey, that smelly bag of garbage isn't going to walk itself outside...so why don't you take it out."

  • image imoan:
    image waterfall213:
    Not to sterotype, but guys are clueless. DH and I get along much better when I just ask him to do something rather than assume he'll do it and then get angry when he doesn't.

    Your H is an irresponsible manchild who needs to be told to do things.  My H isn't.  So please don't lump all men into this "clueless" category you've set up to make yourself feel better about marrying someone you need to mother.  

    I agree with Imoan.  My husband got home from a week long business trip to Italy this afternoon and after a short nap, he cleaned the kitchen.  He also sent me off to get a haircut and hung out with our daughter so I could do so.  Because we're 50/50 partners and that's what we do.

    To the OP, you really need to sit down with your husband and discuss the division of labor.  You shouldn't have EVER been doing 100% of the housework since you were caring for your ill mother.  That's ridiculous.

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  • It might feel childish, but the idea of a chore list may do some good.  Chances are that when you were doing all of the housework, he didn't really realize what all went into keeping the house up -- if you're doing it right, it looks so easy!

    At any rate, you two should have a sitdown and discuss the fact that you're doing too much now to keep up with the housework the way you used to -- and decide between the two of you what constitutes "keeping up the house."  (I know MY idea of clean is much different than my man's!)  Then you can decide who's going to be responsible for what.  I know it's unromantic, but having a clear division of labor can keep you from feeling put-upon, and make it so that he doesn't have to hear you constantly asking him to do things around the house.

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