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View Full Version : Desperate woman in need of advice about MEN!!!


knitgal
11-04-2007, 12:09 PM
Okay, so I'm mostly just venting, but I also need some advice. My boyfriend and I moved in together in August. We're both going to school in the city that we moved to. I quit my job and was home all of August and then started school in September. He worked all of August and is in school now too.
When we moved, he was busy with work and I was home all the time, so I did the unpacking and the cleaning and cooking etc. I thought that when school started we would divide things up a little more....but so far no such luck.
I only have school 3 days a week, he has school 4 days a week, but somehow I get stuck doing absolutely everything. I cook dinner almost every night (he sometimes cooks 1 night), I do all the laundry, I clean the entire house and I pay all the bills. He does the dishes after I make dinner, but he complains about it and often doesn't do them until later or the next day. When I do the dishes, I do them right away. I have given up worrying about when he does them, but sometimes I just do them myself, like this weekend and then the food is stuck on them!
Every weekend he goes back to his hometown to see his friends and watch football on Sundays. I was pretty upset at first about him going away every weekend, but I'm pretty used to it now. I actually enjoy the time because I get to knit and check out yarn and patterns online without interruptions. This also allows me to get a lot of assignments done.
I guess I'm just fed up with doing absolutely everything. I don't feel unappreciated, because he always thanks me and notices I've cleaned up, but I'm tired of being the only one doing anything. We talked about it once already and I hate to nag him. I also don't want to seem like his mother. So...how do I get him to help me without being a nag?
We have a great relationship otherwise, we're very close and happy, but I feel like this issue is weighing on me so heavily that it could ruin things. I have tried putting him "in charge" of doing something, but it doesn't seem to work....Someone help???

Knitting_Guy
11-04-2007, 12:18 PM
Guys, myself included, are a pretty thoughtless lot. We can't help it, that's just how we're wired.

IMHO the best thing to do would be to sit down with a list of household chores and divide them up. Decide who will be responsible for what chores, put it on paper, and post it on the fridge or some other place.

Tell him exactly how you feel in factual, straight to the point terms without emotional drama (guys really do hate that) and have him agree to his responsibilities. If he really hates doing dishes, you agree to take that chore and have him agree to something else. Negotiate until you are both satisfied and can live with the deal.

One word of warning, most of us guys really suck at doing laundry.

cdjack
11-04-2007, 12:31 PM
Welcome to co-habitation!
I have been married a little over seven years and my husband doesn't sound all that different than your boyfriend. OK, so he doesn't leave every weekend... but that sounds kind of nice :teehee: .
My only advice to you is that the two of you should sit down and write out or talk out what each of you thinks that person should be in charge of. Wow, that was a poorly written sentence... Anyway, talk to him and tell him how you feel. Maybe he could do his laundry and help with paying bills?
One more thing that I have learned: guys don't see the same way we do. You might look around your living room and see clutter, a dusty TV screen, and misplaced throw pillows. And my dh either isn't bothered my all that or he doesn't pay attention to details.
And he isn't going to change and I have accepted that. Hope some of this helps...

Jan in CA
11-04-2007, 01:09 PM
I don't think men are intentionally thoughtless, it's just that what is important to one isn't to the other. Also men are often not taught how to do "women's work" by their own mothers which adds to the problems.

IMO you need to sit down and talk to him and the sooner the better. It's good to do this early in a relationship so you both know where you stand on certain issues. Before you do this though sit yourself down and think about what needs to be done and what you would like help with then you have something to work with. ;)

Krystal
11-04-2007, 02:09 PM
I am here to break the stereotype!

I am the slob. DH is the one who tidies up. When he moved in 2 years ago he just started doing everything... catlitter, garbage, dishes.. I cooked
and sat back and never thought about it, (we also did laundry together tho, since we have to go out to the laundromat.) until he said something.

He wasn't so happy as I was, and I explained I have been living alone for 3 years and had enjoyed my slobby disgusting ways, whereas he has always lived with his parents and was quite used to doing dishes and keeping clean... We decided to split things up a bit.

He didn't mind doing cat litter.. (SERIOUSLY! An Angel from Heaven right here in my house!) And he did it much more often then I ever did. lol. So I was now in charge of feeding the cats. I was the only one who did the cooking, so we couldn't split dishes up based on who cooked. So we arranged it so I did Dishes Monday-Wednesday and Every Non Pay Day Thursday. And he did the dishes Friday-Sunday and Every PayDay Thursday.

I also started doing laundry alone, because I enjoy it and he HATES IT... So when I am done work at 2 on Monday I take the bus and go, and on the day I do laundry, he takes my load of dishes since I HAATE dishes...

Your guy is probably just as thoughtless as I am, it took me 2 convos to start picking up my slack... But things are more even.... Not completely coz he is a natural neat freak and I am not... But he allows for that.

iza
11-04-2007, 02:30 PM
You absolutely have to settle this sooner than later. It's hard, but it's one of those things that sound minor at first that end up poisoning your relationship.

I had these issues with my ex-boyfriend and I've become very firm on those things. With me, that's how it is: we divide everything in half, bills and chores, and if you don't like it, or if you don't do it, here's the door. Period. NEXT! :teehee: The reason I am that firm, is that I profoundly dislike the whole "control-freak-bossy girlfriend/wife" thing, I do not want to become that (I also believe that poisons a relationship). I also do not want to humiliate the person I love by treating him like a 5 year old. So to me, the only thing I found is to make things very clear in the beginning. :shrug: Luckily, I never had to say that to my current boyfriend, who's mature enough to participate in chores without being asked. There ARE guys out there who do get it.

Now if you want to be more diplomatic than me :teehee: yes, definitely talk to him, but avoid the bossy or infantilizing traps. Stay calm, make a list of chores and of bills to be paid, help him notice when it's time to clean the house. It might take patience, but if he's smart and sincerely loves you, he'll get it.

hummingbird
11-04-2007, 04:22 PM
Sit down and talk to him about this right away. I think splitting up chores is a great way to go, but find a solution that works for the two of you.

This was a major problem in my last relationship. My ex wanted me to do most of the chores, including dishes, which I hate, and he didn't notice when I did the laundry.

Good luck to you!

knitgal
11-04-2007, 05:03 PM
Thanks everyone! Yes, I think we do need to have a talk. He's coming home soon and I already told him we needed to talk about dividing up chores. He agreed. I think one problem is also that I am a neat freak. I have actually had problems with every roommate I have ever had. I always end up cleaning everything and I always feel so mad! I think it's hard, even when you like things to be clean, you can still feel like you shouldn't be doing everything. I actually enjoy cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, but he can do the vacuuming and he's pretty good at laundry, so we'll see how it gets divided up. I'll update soon!

auburnchick
11-04-2007, 06:05 PM
One thing you may want to work on is not caring as much about the house. Yeah, yeah, easier said than done, right? I speak from experience. I stayed home for a number of years and have worked part-time for about five years now. I used to keep the house fairly clean, and I didn't mind.

Last year, I went back to school, on top of working 30 hours a week. I finally got mad about feeling like I had to do everything, and I just quit. I am too focused on my classes to care too much about what things look like. I'll do my bathroom sink, and I'll take care of my laundry, but my children have learned to do their own. They've also learned to cook and clean up. But, if it doesn't get done, oh well.

Trust me, I've come a long way. I can be a bit of a control-freak, so it hasn't been easy. But the way I look at it, if they don't care, neither do I. Besides that, there are way more fun things to do besides the housework. I'm sure I'll rediscover those things when I'm done with school. ;)

stitchwitch
11-04-2007, 06:30 PM
Lots of good advice. I second the idea of an actual list, men like to visualize things. My husband has selective amnesia about house cleaning, he simply does not remember it. If he has an actual schedule he's fine. After 15 years of marriage I've come to do some serious compromising and realization that guys just do not think like we do, everything has to be black or white and cut and dried for them to understand. No "I'd like you to take on more chores", to them that means if they wash the dishes once a week they're taking on more. Make a list, go over it with him and put it on the fridge, it will help alot.

KnittingNat
11-04-2007, 06:34 PM
I agree with everyone about talking it over, sooner than later. I hope it will work out for you. Women are just used to the fact that they "should" do the chores, because that's the way it is. Me and DH had a talk about it and agreed that doing chores or other things around the house just according to what each sex is traditionally "trained" for is not acceptable. So, we split the chores, depending on the mood and general feeling of each other and i always try to learn more "guy" stuff, like painting the walls or hanging pictures, so we can do things together and he won't feel that because he's a guy, he's sent to put furniture together. What i must say, though, is that men really don't notice many things that women do, so I just go and point out to him that something needs to be done. I'd rather do that than waiting for him to notice and get frustrated and angry. He also asked me to. We also take into consideration out working hours. When I was in university and worked part time job, i would come home to warm dinner. Now I work normal hours and he works 12 hour shifts, that change every week, so I don't expect him to cook. Every couple is very personal and it's hard to give advice. All I can do is say what worked for me.
Sorry if it was too long...

Jan in CA
11-04-2007, 07:30 PM
I think one problem is also that I am a neat freak. I have actually had problems with every roommate I have ever had.

Well, I can tell you then that one thing you WILL have to learn is to let him do it his way even if it's not up to your standards. If you don't they he'll end up figuring why bother since he can't make you happy even when he does do it. . It may take him some time to learn, too. :hug:

Knitting_Guy
11-04-2007, 09:40 PM
Well, I can tell you then that one thing you WILL have to learn is to let him do it his way even if it's not up to your standards. If you don't they he'll end up figuring why bother since he can't make you happy even when he does do it. . It may take him some time to learn, too. :hug:

Yup.

msoebel
11-05-2007, 10:22 AM
Well, I can tell you then that one thing you WILL have to learn is to let him do it his way even if it's not up to your standards. If you don't they he'll end up figuring why bother since he can't make you happy even when he does do it. . It may take him some time to learn, too. :hug:

Sorry...but if you want it done your way, on your schedule, you will have to do it yourself. You will probably resent it, and it will make you a little bitter, but that's the way it will have to be. You are both adults, and this is the part where they always talk about compromise.

When you make the list, decide which jobs HAVE to be done your way, or you will freak out. Take those jobs yourself. Evenly distribute the rest of the jobs.

Misty

knitgal
11-05-2007, 01:32 PM
Thanks again everyone...at least I know I'm not alone. I do need to learn to let him do it his own way. I've been making my list and like msoebel said, I'm dividing up what I would freak out at if it wasn't done properly and what's okay for him to do! We're going to have a talk soon. But, but, but...things are improving. When I was cleaning yesterday I had put garbage bags that were full near the door to go out. I hadn't put them out yet when he got home and he didn't even come in for a kiss before he had grabbed them all up and taken them out! THEN this morning when I was talking on the phone I heard the water running in the kitchen. I go and look and he had done the dishes....It was like a miracle!
Thanks again everyone!

MellieThePooh
11-07-2007, 05:57 PM
Sorry to come to the thread late, but...

May I suggest that when he does do something you like (such as taking out the trash without being asked, as you mentioned) you make a small fuss about it . Positive reinforcement works wonders, on dogs, small children, and SOs. Just don't tell him what you're doing ;)

iza
11-07-2007, 06:49 PM
:teehee: Very true Mellie! A warm thank you and a hug never hurts. :thumbsup:

And yes knitgal, you will definitely have to learn to let some things go. That was actually a bit difficult for me at the beginning, but I learned fast. :roflhard: My boyfriend doesn't do everything "my way", but I'm ok with it now. One trick we used is that instead of having a rigid list, we change it once in a while. It works for us: it's less boring, and in the end, every task ends up being done "my way" after a while. :teehee:

KnitClickChick
11-07-2007, 08:27 PM
Well, I guess I am an oddball. I have lived with my boyfriend for about 11 years now..... and seldom does he do any chores. I do all the laundry, cooking, dishes and cleaning. And take out the garbage 99% of the time. Every once in a while, he will take the garbage out to the curb after I have it all together. Sometimes I will ask for help, if I am not feeling well, but I don't mind doing everything. I know he works very hard all day. He does landscaping and outdoor work, so I know he is tired. He also works 7 days a week! Sometimes he tries to help when I haven't asked him to, but I just tell him to go away. I work too, but still try to have dinner for him when he comes home, so he can just sit back and relax. I take his boots off, bring his food and drink in to him. Rub his feet and back/shoulders...... I very much enjoy taking care of him in that way, and actually wish that I could stay at home full time so I could do more domestic things. I guess I am quite old fashioned in my thinking of the roles men and women should play. Sorry, ladies!

P.S. As he does landscaping.... I get bunches and bunches and bunches of flowers, he pays for the internet, dinner when we go out, cute notes left around the house when he will be out of town, an awesome digital camera, paid for my cat's $1,000 + vet bill when she was sick, pays for vacations, compliments me daily....... I think it all evens out! :-)

MellieThePooh
11-07-2007, 08:28 PM
(Psst-I'm the same way! It's how I say I lurve you. But it works best when it's reciprocated!)

feministmama
11-07-2007, 11:17 PM
Guys, myself included, are a pretty thoughtless lot. We can't help it, that's just how we're wired.



I believe we have choices. Some of those choice are influenced by our cultrue that says women do houseowrk and men do not but becasue we have choices we don;t have to follow those scripts. I agree with everyone else about making lists and doing things the way that work for both of you. Do not fall for a line like this. We may have been raised to believe some things about men and women but we can choose to change (or not). Just like with telephone numbers. A few years ago, we didn't have to dial a 3 digit area code to make a call. Now we have to. People thought they would never get used to it but you know what,we did. Human beings can adapt to change. THe important thing is weather or not we choose to do it and do it in a positive way.

Just my .02 Good luck

AnnaT
11-09-2007, 07:36 AM
Guys, myself included, are a pretty thoughtless lot. We can't help it, that's just how we're wired.

IMHO the best thing to do would be to sit down with a list of household chores and divide them up. Decide who will be responsible for what chores, put it on paper, and post it on the fridge or some other place.

Tell him exactly how you feel in factual, straight to the point terms without emotional drama (guys really do hate that) and have him agree to his responsibilities. If he really hates doing dishes, you agree to take that chore and have him agree to something else. Negotiate until you are both satisfied and can live with the deal.

One word of warning, most of us guys really suck at doing laundry.


This is great advice. I just want to add to this, that it's better to arrange to do chores you like. It's easier if you do things you like or don't mind doing. It's also a big thing, to me, that he notices and thanks you. Some men think that these things get done magically and don't think about the hours someone spent doing them.

I don't have any specific advice to give you, but I'll tell you how my husband and I do things. I don't ask my husband to do anything at home. He does help sometimes, though, when he's not too tired. I do most of the home stuff, but I don't work outside the home. He works a LOT, stays up late working many nights, and pays for everything! :mrgreen: So we've pretty much divided it up that way--he concentrates on his very demanding business and I take care of the home and the yard. The home is my responsibility and the money and work are his, and I personally think I have the better deal. :blush:

It will take time to work things out. When we first got married we were both in school and he did a lot more.

Songbirdy
11-09-2007, 12:38 PM
Our relationship is a bit twisted this way... my husband came from a family where his mother did everything because his father was a workaholic. While he vowed to never, ever repeat his father's addiction...

My husband will also openly admit that he throws a 'temper tantrum' if certain things aren't done for him. Among them... a home cooked dinner not from the box each night and laundry in his closet.


Now... my husband is a workaholic...

And in the past my impassioned pleas to have him help have been met in the vein of "she's just having a hysterical moment. If I just hug her that will take care of this issue!"

After all, he saw his Momma do it all... badly, and he is dutifully impressed that I do my stuff better... but! URGH!


Finally, this past June I clued on to something... (after 10 years, you can say I am a slow learner! and stubborn)


He won't do anything... unless its the things that cause him to have a temper tantrum.

So when I am at my wits end and so exhausted... I don't cook for him and I don't do the laundry.

He has his fit... and then goes and does the chores. Not to my standards but... he has food and clothes...

Thankfully the children are old enough to call him on his behaviour (although he thinks I put them up to it)... and I get some respite!



BTW... fyi... life and people change... buy you can't change anyone other than yourself. So if the situation bothers you... yes, talk about it with the person... but you can't script their change or response to your conversation and if you want to make the relationship work... the only person in the relationship you can control is yourself. So I guess... put up with it, or change yourself! ;)