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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My hubbie is a great guy- he's attentive with our son, attentive to me, an all-around decent, fun guy with integrity. I love him dearly. But we have had issues-particularily with him not picking things up and leaving lights on. In the past I have sat down in a rational manner and discussed the issue, I have broken down and cried about it, and I have gotten mad about it. I finally just accepted the fact that it happens, pick up when I see stuff and go around turning off lights. I should also say that he DOES help around the house- mainly doing dishes and laundry. Even that can be frustrating, in that he'll wash dishes but leave the ones in the dining room there, and he doesn't wash off counters or throw away any trash. With laundry, he doesn't do any stain removal (we mark our stained laundry with clothes pins) and forgets to take laundry out of the dryer, or leaves them in the clothes basket after they are off the line, so that they get wrinkled. Then I had foot surgery. I was unable to walk for 6 weeks, and have just started walking with crutches now. My parents came to stay for 2 months to help out. My hubbie loves my parents, and gets along with them more than his parents. As time progressed, my parents would make comments to me about these issues-like not picking up anything, etc. I would just shrug my shoulders and say, "We've talked about it." My parents have since left, and now I'm not sure what to do. Doing housework is difficult and slow work for me, and it's compounded by his messes. In his defense, he does work, and he is the primary caretaker of our 2 year old. I'm also not the neatest gal in the world, though it's something I really work on, especially given that we have discovered a "neat streak" in our son. So, do I talk to my DH again or leave it be?? I should also say that each time I bring it up, he says he'll work on it again, or beats himself up.

Both my DH and I grew up in very "neat" homes with anal retentive moms-his mom more than mine. Neither did a good job of teaching us how to household chores. My mom chilled out about things as I got older, and did start to show me some things, but my DH's husband remains very AR. She often got after him for not doing jobs "correctly," which made my husband, on one hand, rebellious about doing chores, and on the other hand, feeling very inadequate. So I waver on how to react to my hubbie. I am NOT particular, but I do like unstained clothes, a somewhat clean kitchen and a not too cluttered house. We don't pay our light bill, but our church does (we live in a parsonage) and I know things are tight-plus it's just good stewardship.

I should also say I've often "jumped" in to do dishes and laundry, but this often hurts his feelings, as he feels he does a good job, and that it's his "territory."

So ideas?? Do I talk to him about it again-and how? Do I bring up what my parents said, or will this just make it worse??
 

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Honestly, I wouldn't let comments from your parents enter into your marriage. That's pretty dangerous territory. If your parents were guests in your home, they should have bit their tongue on the way your house is run.

I don't think this issue is worth being so unhappy about, either one of you. My mother was the biggest clean freak ever and when she died nobody said one word about what a clean house she kept. This is something I think about all the time.
 

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Why mark your stains with clothes pins instead of just putting stain removal on them immediately? Have a stain-stick (or something similar) handy near each hamper.
 

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Do not bring up what your parents said. Ever. It will only serve to hurt his feelings and make him feel like you guys were gossiping about him.

My experience with my own dh has been similiar. His mom wasn't anal, she doesn't have a lick of anal in her. It's been an uphill battle. Mostly I've just told him that unless he is willing to do the whole job, not to bother. I shouldn't have to go behind him and finish up a job he is perfectly capable of doing. I'm not his mother or the housekeeper. Something like not treating laundry stains is the worst, because more often than not, once it's dried, it's forever.

It sounds like the dishes and laundry are his chores. I've learned that if I don't want to do something myself, I have to give up control of how it's done. My dh folds towels wrong. Rationally I know this doesn't matter, but after living with my mom for 20 years and working retail for 10, YES there is a right way to fold towels. But unless I want to do them myself I realize that my dh doesn't give a frog's fanny in how they get folded. Make sense?

Unless he's leaving actual filth around I would try to ease up. But I've been dealing with my dh and his messes for 12 years soooo
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
PumpkinSeeds said:
Honestly, I wouldn't let comments from your parents enter into your marriage. That's pretty dangerous territory. If your parents were guests in your home, they should have bit their tongue on the way your house is run.

But they weren't exactly guests-- my mom was the one picking up and cleaning. She got tired of picking up for him. Though I think she could have talked to him.

Quote:
It sounds like the dishes and laundry are his chores. I've learned that if I don't want to do something myself, I have to give up control of how it's done.
I agree to a point-I honestly don't give a hoot about a lot of things-differences in how things are folded, how my son is dressed etc--but I think dirty countertops are gross, as are dirty dishes left out. I guess my frustration is when something is gross or is not taking care of the stuff we have (for example-clothes)

Quote:
Why mark your stains with clothes pins instead of just putting stain removal on them immediately? Have a stain-stick (or something similar) handy near each hamper.
I've thought about this, but I thought stain removal stuff had to be put on right before you wash it?? We tend to use natural stuff, but if there is something you can use before hand, I'm all for it.

On the other thread that you pointed out sjkmaurice, there was talk about men who do things half-ass so they can get away with not doing it again. I don't think that is the case for my hubbie. He's a very sincere guy, but his issues with household chores stem, I think, from a combination of not being shown how, having issues with his mom, and just not seeing it as a priority. Neither one of us are very visual people, so it is easy for stuff to get missed, like dishes or junk on the floor. I've tried to make it somewhat of a priority now. I've lived my life as a "messie," and I'm tired of it. Period. I don't want a Better Homes and Gardens house, or a museum, just a decent house. Plus, it's not OUR house, but a parsonage, and so how we treat it reflects upon how we respect the resources of the congregation. (some of the things he's done-or not done- has caused damage to the parsonage, which needed to get fixed.

I think we need to figure this out. I don't want to treat him like his mother does, but I'm tired of this. He's a sensitive, modern, "liberated" guy who has no qualms with being a partner in household duties and parenting, but he has little sense of material goods, of being careful, and thinking logically about what a chore entails. I too was once like this, but again, I have worked, not to make material goods a priority, but to take care of what we have, so that we don't have to spend unneccessarily, and so that we are taking care of our environment.

I guess I should be grateful of who he is. My first husband was very particular and careful, but he had very little relationship skills. To make a long story short, I looked at him one day and realized he would not be a good dad for my (future) children, and that my life with him was very lonely. Now I'm with a guy who cares about the same things I do, and who has the same interests, and who is an AWESOME dad.

I'm sorry this is so long. Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. I'm blessed. I think I'm just stressed since I''m not recovered from surgery yet. I don't know. Maybe that's just an excuse.
 

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I'd live with it if I were you, this doesn't seem worth getting upset about.

My DH does the dishes and the laundry, two huge jobs when you consider that we don't have a dishwasher or a washer/dryer.

When he does wash the dishes, he almost never wipes down the counters and the stovetop or shines the sink. But, he washes about two sinks of dishes a day, every day without complaint.

Since *I* want the counter clean and the sink shined, I take the extra 4 minutes to scrub the counters, stovetop and shine the sink. Done.


He doesn't notice these things and I made a choice not to make a deal out of it. It's really not worth it. There are a million things that I do and don't do that I'm sure drive him CRAZY, but he only mentions a couple of them, those pet peeves that we just can't live with, you know?

I'm usually doing the pick-up/put-away and CLEAN the surface (dusting) involved method of cleaning, while he carries the day to day jobs of laundry, dishes, etc. It seems fair to me, it balances out.

In the end, considering outside commitments by both, does the housework balance out?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PumpkinSeeds
Honestly, I wouldn't let comments from your parents enter into your marriage. That's pretty dangerous territory. If your parents were guests in your home, they should have bit their tongue on the way your house is run.
I agree.
:

Quote:

Originally Posted by PumpkinSeeds
I don't think this issue is worth being so unhappy about, either one of you. My mother was the biggest clean freak ever and when she died nobody said one word about what a clean house she kept. This is something I think about all the time.
I agree with this too. I'm the clean freak in my house. I can't stand it when my DH leaves paper plates laying around on kitchen counters when he could easily trash it himself, or he leaves dishes by the sink to wash with food still in them instead of throwing the food in the trash. It goes on in to other rooms in the house as well.

You know... over the last few years I've learned to just live with it. I figure we only have one life to live. If he wants to get water all over the sink in the bathroom and leave his snot tissues laying around the house (ickkkk) then sobeit. He loves me for all my imperfections too. I have two children, one of which is a preschooler, and a perfectly clean house just is not gonna happen no matter how many times I vacuum per week or pick up after the kids. So I've learned to just bite my tongue (even though it's hard) and just go with the flow of living and try to be happy even in a messy house at times.

My husband actually realizes that some of the stuff he does irritates me and he tries, lord help him. But he just can't seem to clean up after himself. I have no idea who did it for him before I came along as he lived alone, but he can no longer do it for himself.
And I'm not going to live my life bickering with him over silly petty stuff such as that. We deal with too much serious bull crap everyday with our business and family that I don't need it.
 

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One thing that has worked well for us, when we can manage to do it, is to set the timer for 15 minutes and work TOGETHER every night to 'clean' the house. So, I tackle the things that are driving me most nuts, dh tackles those that drive him most nuts.

It's helpful on two fronts:
-It gets some cleaning and picking up done
-It shows ME that he is noticing things
-It shows me that some things that I overlook bug him.

My dh is ver much like yours - he has primary care of our 2 kids and never picks anything up. Nor does he organize anything. Last night it was driving me to tears (literally).

But on good days, he's also taught me that some chores, can indeed be delayed. My parents used to have horrible fights when coming home from vacation because they insisted on unloading the car, putting everything away and getting the laundry done before they sat down. Imagine coming home from vacation with 5 hungry kids trying to get everyone to do all of this..... My husband taught me that those suitcases will still be there tomorrow (and the day after, and the day after...
) - but at least our kids' memories of vacations won't be crazy screaming parents!
 
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