23 answers

How to Motivate the Husband

My husband is a great man and a wonderful father, but I cannot motivate him to help out around the house at all! I have a half built deck (the other half is in the garage) a swamp cooler in the window (and its going to get down to 40 degrees!?) and a lawn that desperately needs to be mowed and he just won't do it! I'm so frustrated. I recently went back to work full time and he said he would help "pick up the slack" but there's been no help. Its like pulling teeth. I just don't even know what to say any more without making him pout and me the bad guy. Argh!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all the feedback! Turns out he is so overwhelmed at work that he is exhausted when he gets home, but he felt like he couldn't tell me because it wasn't a "manly" thing to do. "Men are supposed to be able to handle it." We had a long talk about it and both promised to work harder at keeping the house moving for the whole family. I told him that I really value his work and his help and that I knew we could make this work.

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I read a book once that seemed to address some of that. It is called "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. I'm sorry I don't remember specifics. I'm not married so don't have any personal advice but maybe that will help with some tips.

DITTO, Susan W, that is what I do, most the time I finish it on my own, BUT he seems to feel guilty if he see's me struggle, so he'll get out there and do it!

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You know, my husband gets motivated when I take it upon myself to learn about what he is doing and then start doing it myself...or call someone who can! Most recently, we have a picnic bench in our backyard. He had not weatherproofed it in over a year so it wasn't even in any condition to sit on (splinters...ouch!). I decided to figure out his sander and I started sanding it when he was gone on a trip. I didn't have time to finish it, but when he got back, he was so suprised! Next thing I know, he had sanded the thing, weatherproofed it and then even did our entire deck and the play equipment! Another time was our toilet...yes, our toddler flushed the top of a can down the thing! I didn't know what would solve it (and he had not taken any steps to solve it and I was sick of it) so I looked up toilets on the internet to learn about them. I went to Home Depot and started taking steps to fix our toilet. In the end, he stepped in place of where I'd left off and ended up replacing the toilet. Hooray! I could go on and on with examples like this around the house...yes, even when it comes to things made of wood...I found out that if I have the measurements, Home Depot will often cut them for me...and when it comes to my husband, I've never ended up having to finish any of these jobs if he's around! Oh...and one great thing that's come of it...I cannot believe the stuff I'm capable of...I came from a home where I had no idea people even painted their own houses instead of always hiring someone...I have actually gained a huge amount of confidence in myself and in my abilities from all this stuff...it's pretty addictive! Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

Does your husband work full time too? If so, maybe he is just as frustrated with himself and drained from work. You know, life is so much more pleasant when the mom is home taking care of the kids, cleaning, cooking and all that it takes to be a mom and wife. Everyone has their reasons of why they think they need to be working full time, but really, it takes away from the family. You put all of your energy into your work, and have little left to create a warm home environment, you have little left to enjoy loving the guy you picked. I love surprising my husband every couple of weeks or so by mowing the lawn so he doesn't have to when he gets home from work. The smile on his face makes it so worth all the sweat, plus it's great exercise. I know you're not going to quit your job because one mom to another says you should, but have you thought about mowing the lawn to help out? It sounds like he has a lot on his plate too. You sound a bit like my own mother. She and my dad both work full time (kids all grown) and she still complains that the lawn isn't mowed when she wants, or the patio isn't finished when she wants, he hasn't done anything in the time frame she wants. By the way, my dad does the laundry sometimes too. All it would take is for her to do something kind like mowing to make him happy. Marriage is about what you can do today to make the other happy and want to stay in the marriage. I always say, if you are the one that really wants it done, do it yourself. I'm just suggesting you do one of the things on the long list to help out (mowing is easy) and maybe your guy will want to help out too. Men don't get very motivated by their women nagging that something isn't done. I'm just saying.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know if this would work but, buy the book "Sex begins in the kitchen" by Dr Kevin Leman, and leave it out somewhere. Make it look like you had just been reading it and left it somewhere (where he is sure to see it) to get up and do something else. The title is SURE to get his attention, and of course he won't be able to resist picking it up and reading the inside to find out what the title means. Then just maybe he will feel more motivated to help out a bit more???? Just an idea :)

You can't motivate someone else to do things. You are not his boss, so don't nag. Sorry he is driving you crazy. Find a happy place in your mind so you don't want to slap him silly every day.

Quit your job. I used to work FT too. Men that don't help now will not help later. Been married 12 years, husband has never helped me clean. There is nothing you can do but give yourself less things to do.

Take care!

Cut corners elsewhere and simply hire the work done.

Long term, it is not worth the battle.

In the future for big projects write down a finish date and then save to have it completed if it is left undone.

I know that this can be frustrating.

DITTO, Susan W, that is what I do, most the time I finish it on my own, BUT he seems to feel guilty if he see's me struggle, so he'll get out there and do it!

Men are not motivated by nagging, so just give that up.

I'm sorry that you are frustrated, but what I have found is that I just can't get my husband to do the things that I think he should do. When I finally accepted this, I felt much better. I started researching how to do things and I'd say I'm probably just as handy as he is now.

I still would prefer that he did more around the house, but I refuse to let it upset me anymore. I will just continue to do what is necessary because I love my family and my home and myself. I deserve to have a clean home. I deserve to not have unfinished projects all over the place. I'm going to do it for ME and not nag him because I don't like how I feel when I do.

I'm hoping that someday he'll learn by my example, but who knows if he will. In the meantime I just remind myself of all that he does do for me. He may not do much around the house, but he goes to work at a stressful job every day. He is a fantastic father and spends time with our daughter. He never complains when I need alone time and dump the kids on him and go off on my own. I make sure he knows I appreciate what he does do. That way I get a tiny bit more of it.

You can only change yourself. So change your expectations of him, and then you won't be disappointed. Take care of things yourself and you will feel empowered and proud of yourself when you see what you can accomplish without help! Your marriage is too precious for you to undermine it with bad feelings.

One other thought (sorry this is so long): when he gets home from work or after dinner give him alternatives. Say something like "Would you like to clean up the kitchen and get the kids ready for bed, or would you like to mow the lawn?" Let him choose, then you do the other.

Good luck!

so do it yourself..not realy. hire help and then give your hubby the bill.

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