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<p>If equality is your expectation than it matters.  Especially if this is the system that existed in your relationship pre-DD.</p>
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<p>I have not found an effective means of communication with my DH about this.  I usually ask him to please do stuff and then get royally pissed when he forgets (or more often, never steps up at all).  What is suprising to me is that I don't think he sees the mess in the same way I do even though he is the neatnik in the family.  Grownup messes make him very agitated, but kid messes he just steps over.  Totally bizarre.  He will get on my case for not wiping out the coffee grinder <span><img alt="eyesroll.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/eyesroll.gif"></span> the same morning that he leaves the livingroom completely trashed with DS's toys (he gets up with DS while I get a couple more hours of sleep...why should I have to pick up the crap?)</p>
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<p>In the case of your DH and the dishes I think perhaps a less darwinian approach may serve you better.  Something like whomever cooks doesn't have to do dishes.  That way there is a task for both partners every night.  Nobody gets a pass.  I have found that every little household task has to be negotiated (sadly) with the assumption that they can be renegotiated in the future.  Maybe you can start with a big list of major household stuff and partition it into yours and his...or some such.  Making it visual helps some people.</p>
 

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<p>Can;t figure out how to move the quote..  Anyhow, I think that's the thing.  Prior to DD, we cohabited but kind of separately?  We were both really messy and no one ever cleaned, and I worked, and he worked, and we didn't really have a lot of expectations of each other, and we definitely didn't share finances.  So it's not like there was ever equality - everything was just separate.</p>
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<p>To go from that to this intensely intertwined life has been pretty tricky.  We both come from traditional families where the mom stayed home and the dad worked and no one was really happy.</p>
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<p>I guess I am just wondering if it is my expectations getting in the way of my happiness.  Because I also notice that if I am able to let go, not complain (he's not really a complainer, but I am), that we both do more for each other and end up happier.</p>
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<p>I'm not sure if we can really do different things equally.  I guess I don't even know what I want.  Okay toddler needs me</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Chamomile Girl</strong> <a href="http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1284149/i-m-mad-about-something-but-it-s-not-unequal-distribution-of-labor-or-is-it#post_16100301"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="../../../img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>If equality is your expectation than it matters.  Especially if this is the system that existed in your relationship pre-DD.</p>
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<p>Unless you're going to line it all out in minute terms about who does want, I don't think you're going to get "equal".  And even then, unless there is a total unity of heart, there would still be times when one or the other (or both) felt it was unfair, whether that feeling was based in reality or not.</p>
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<p>My view of partnership is that it's give and take on both sides, and that we each have strengths and abilities to contribute to our marriage and life in different ways.  At times, it's definitly *not* equal.  At other times it's equal but we're doing such vastly different things that it would be hard to put it down on paper to show *how* it's equal.</p>
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<p>My (inexpert) guess is that you're both reacting to feelings of having to do more than your share, and don't have a feeling of "we're in this together".  I'd go back to the basics about expectations, and helping each other, and feelings about all this (his as well as yours) etc, rather than fight about who did what dishes.</p>
 

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<p>I have been having similar feelings with my DP, and for me, it boils down to "why is everything ultimately MY responsibility?"  That sounds whiny.  I know.  But the dishes thing - f he leaves dishes in the sink indefinitely, who does them?  I'm guessing you.  But if you were to leave dishes in the sink, they would sit until they turned to dust.  Am I right?  In my household, it seems like if it's not my job to actually DO something, it ends up being my job to remind someone else.  I've tried not reminding.  Stuff doesn't get done, ever.  I've let go of lots of things that don't directly affect me, and it's helping.</p>
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<p>This might not mirror your situation, but it seems so familiar.</p>
 

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<p>The dishes are a family issue -- "our dishes" not "my dishes". That is what would bother me.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Chamomile Girl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284149/i-m-mad-about-something-but-it-s-not-unequal-distribution-of-labor-or-is-it#post_16100301"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
  Grownup messes make him very agitated, but kid messes he just steps over.  Totally bizarre. <br><p>...  Maybe you can start with a big list of major household stuff and partition it into yours and his...or some such.  Making it visual helps some people.</p>
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I have to admit that toys out don't really bother me the way kitchen stuff does. I agree it's a little strange, but I wanted to say your husband is not alone. :) I see toys as kind of part of the landscape - yes I want them tidied up eventually but they don't hurt anything. Where old coffee grinds would. But I wouldn't necessarily make a fuss over it.</p>
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<p>I agree that partitioning the chores is one approach.</p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>cyclamen</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284149/i-m-mad-about-something-but-it-s-not-unequal-distribution-of-labor-or-is-it#post_16100411"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>Can;t figure out how to move the quote..  Anyhow, I think that's the thing.  Prior to DD, we cohabited but kind of separately?  We were both really messy and no one ever cleaned, and I worked, and he worked, and we didn't really have a lot of expectations of each other, and we definitely didn't share finances.  So it's not like there was ever equality - everything was just separate.</p>
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<p>To go from that to this intensely intertwined life has been pretty tricky.  We both come from traditional families where the mom stayed home and the dad worked and no one was really happy.</p>
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<p>I guess I am just wondering if it is my expectations getting in the way of my happiness.  Because I also notice that if I am able to let go, not complain (he's not really a complainer, but I am), that we both do more for each other and end up happier.</p>
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<p>I'm not sure if we can really do different things equally.  I guess I don't even know what I want.  Okay toddler needs me</p>
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<p>That is a really hard transition. I think if neither of you developed the habit of cleaning, or of cleaning up areas/zones rather than "after me" or "after each other" then it makes sense that there's a struggle going on now. The dishes thing would have driven me bonkers, but it does sound like he was following the letter of the agreement.</p>
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<p>We have struggled a lot with chores in my marriage. We fought and nearly separated over them, and then at that point I decided the marriage was worth just doing the chores so for a few years (pre-child) I worked on getting efficient and de-cluttered and all that so that I could do them in the least upsetting/annoying way FOR ME and more-or-less leave my DH alone about it.</p>
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<p>Once we brought home a child though, things had to change and the last few months I've actually been on bedrest enough that I haven't been allowed to do any so my DH has really had to step up - and has. What I've learned is that things change and the important thing is to try to work it out.</p>
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<p>As my son became old enough to participate a bit what has worked best is daily routines like after dinner we wash the dishes together and chat. When it's time to do the floors one 'team' goes through tidying and dusting and the other 'team' does the vaccuuming.  On garbage day everyone helps empty wastebaskets. That kind of thing. This is still kind of new for us but it has made a big difference for the family.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>cappuccinosmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284149/i-m-mad-about-something-but-it-s-not-unequal-distribution-of-labor-or-is-it#post_16100493"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Unless you're going to line it all out in minute terms about who does want, I don't think you're going to get "equal".  And even then, unless there is a total unity of heart, there would still be times when one or the other (or both) felt it was unfair, whether that feeling was based in reality or not.</p>
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<p>My view of partnership is that it's give and take on both sides, and that we each have strengths and abilities to contribute to our marriage and life in different ways.  At times, it's definitly *not* equal.  At other times it's equal but we're doing such vastly different things that it would be hard to put it down on paper to show *how* it's equal.</p>
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<p>My (inexpert) guess is that you're both reacting to feelings of having to do more than your share, and don't have a feeling of "we're in this together".  I'd go back to the basics about expectations, and helping each other, and feelings about all this (his as well as yours) etc, rather than fight about who did what dishes.</p>
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<p><br><span><img alt="thumb.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif"></span></p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>GuildJenn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284149/i-m-mad-about-something-but-it-s-not-unequal-distribution-of-labor-or-is-it#post_16101807"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a>
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<p>As my son became old enough to participate a bit what has worked best is daily routines like after dinner we wash the dishes together and chat. When it's time to do the floors one 'team' goes through tidying and dusting and the other 'team' does the vaccuuming.  On garbage day everyone helps empty wastebaskets. That kind of thing. This is still kind of new for us but it has made a big difference for the family.</p>
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<p><br><span><img alt="notes.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/notes.gif" style="width:24px;height:23px;"></span> these are great ideas - DH and I had learned to work together as a team pretty well by now (we started from a totally separate place but with repeated discussions of why him doing only his laundry was upsetting to me, and why doing all the dishes instead of his own was actually more efficient, and how we both needed to take care of each other to make our marriage stronger we came together) but I'm always on the look out for the ideas on involving DS in this after he's old enough. I'll stash these away for the future.<br><br><br>
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<p>I think the learning curve is pretty steep when it comes to learning to live as a family.  It is hard.  Dh and I still get irritated with each other, but it is almost always about attitude rather than distribution.  He works hard.  I work hard.  It has taken a lot of years to be able to clearly understand that we both need a break and we aren't going to get one just yet, and the other person's view point is probably valid.  I used to get mean and really angry when it came to division of labor and who did the dishes, etc.  </p>
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<p>I try to look at things based on a great big continuum.  We have to make this work long-term.  It is still hard because he doesn't always comment on how hard I work.  I also know he doesn't think that a clean house is as important as I do.  But he knows how hard it is to have a toddler home all the time. </p>
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<p>When I was in the op's position, I was always hurt that he didn't appreciate me or how hard I was working.  Or at least that was how I saw it.  Now that we can talk about it without yelling, I know that he did appreciate all I was doing.  It is hard to express that, though, when life is so damn hard and stressful. </p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>cyclamen</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284149/i-m-mad-about-something-but-it-s-not-unequal-distribution-of-labor-or-is-it#post_16103889"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><p><strong>June'smom</strong>, you nailed it right here.  I feel underappreciated... and I think he does too.  We are both working harder than we ever have, and we can take pride in that... but we're still adjusting to be being grown-ups... being a parent is hard work.  It's good work, but it's constant, isn't it?</p>
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<p>DP and I talked last night and he explained that the only reason he pointed out having done the dishes was because he wanted me to know that he heard me and was trying to follow through on his end of things.  He was not to make me feel worse or feel like he thought that there were "my dishes" and "his dishes."</p>
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<p> I like that he is making an effort to show you that he heard what you said but I honestly do not understand the mindset that it is ok for a family member to not wash up 5 dishes because they didn't specifically use that bowl or that fork. I really think I would need to have that conversation as a fairly high priority.  Unless you have agreed on that kind of division of labour as a specific solution of course.</p>
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<p>As far as you both feeling unappreciated, DH and I thank each other several times a day for doing things around the house. Things that are "our job" or whatever, doesn't matter, we don;t just reserve it for when someone goes "beyond the call of duty" so to speak. For example, we have the general guideline that the person who cooks doesn't have to wash up. Even so if, for example,  I cook and DH washes up I will say thank you for doing the dishes and he will say thank you for making a nice dinner. We try and do this for most things - DH vacuums the house, I say "thank you for vacuuming, Honey", I do a couple of loads of washing, he says the same to me. I know it makes me feel really good about doing mundane household tasks when he notices and values what I do and I think the same goes for him.</p>
 

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<p>Housework has been the biggest issue in our 16 year marriage...and the biggest issue, is, you guessed it - dishes!</p>
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<p>I have an expectation that he does or arranges to do (i/e get the kids to help) any dishes after supper.  I cook willingly every night.  I expect him to do the dishes and <em>he has agreed.</em></p>
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<p>That being said - about 3 nights a week he does not do the dishes, and about 5 mights a week he does not do all the dishes.  He leaves the pots.<img alt="irked.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/irked.gif"></p>
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<p>All of this does impact me because he goes traipsing off to work in the morning and I am left with no dishes to cook with or eat off of.</p>
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<p>I think there a lot of things at play in why this goes on in my household including how we deal with conflict - I get angry he has not done his part, he is passive aggressive  (who repeatedly agrees to do the dishes but doesn't?) .  Add to this the fact that supper dishes occur at the end of the day when everyone is really too tired to deal with them...  Talking has not helped in our situation - perhaps the behaviours are too ingrained.</p>
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<p>What has helped is:</p>
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<p>a) declutterring.  I actually boxed up half our dishes.  They cannot grow into an unmanageable pile if half of them are not there.</p>
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<p>b)  refusing to cook till the necessary dishes are done - pots to cook with, plates to eat with.</p>
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<p>c) we use paper plates and cups every once in a while.  Yeah, it is bad for the environment.  I help the environment  in other ways - these are  great labour savers.</p>
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<p>Changing the environment has helped more than talking.  YMMV of course.</p>
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<p>ITA with the learning curve comment - my dh and I had these types of disgreements ages before kiddo came along - and we've come to the conclusion that we each are giving our best and we each try to do what needs to be done when we see it - working full time, going to grad school AND being a parent takes alot out of me - I also cook just about everynight and if I don't I come up with the meal plan in my absence (most of the time) - But he cleans up after dinner every night and we do laundry as needed ( mostly it seems he does it, I fold it)</p>
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<p>It just has come down to both of us respecting and acknowledging the other is doing the best they can - there's no score keeping...</p>
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<p>A huge shift for me came when dh pointed out years ago that beyond all the household chores that I was looking at, he also took on car repairs/maintenance bills taxes and insurance and yada yada yada - when I took a look at those things on top of what I was doing I realized he was probably doing WAY more than I was (and I know at this point he is)</p>
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<p>I also know that the more I appreciate/ acknowledge all that he does, the more he is willing to do....</p>
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<p>I'm also rather lucky that he has just a touch of OCD in him that makes him HAVE to stay on top of things - wish I had a little of it myself :)</p>
 
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