19 answers

My Husband Won't Clean

Please someone help me to understand the male mind. I have been with my husband for 10 years, and I have lived with him for 7 years. Since we have been together he has probably done dishes no more then 10 times, and the laundry maybe 3 times. I have mentioned to him several 100s of times that I need help cleaning, he will help for a week and thats it. For the last month everyday I have been getting more and more angry about this. I need advice on what I should do. I am a very unhappy wife lately. When I ask him about cleaning his claim is that he is tired. I understand this because he works midnights 3 times a week and then is home with our 2 young kids. But I am tired also, I work 40 hours a week and I am in grad school. I know I am rambling, but I am really FED UP. Don't get me wrong my husband it an absolutely great husband and father, but this is 1 major flaw that I hate.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your advice. Well what I did is " I WENT ON STRIKE" Not completely, but just enough to get my point across. Every Sunday, I make it a point to wash clothes. After he said he didn't want to help with laundry, I decided not to wash his clothes. I made a nice pile in the basement and left it there for him. On Monday, I said if you need uniforms you may want to wash. Of course he didn't, but when Wednesday came he had no clean uniforms. He wore mix-match uniform. Finally he came to me and said " WE need to talk" He took all the blame of not cleaning "YEAH". He said that all he can do is try. I told him that is all I want. Do 25% and I will do the other other 75%, but I don't want to feel that all the chores are mine. The next 2 weeks will be a test. Will he keep his word. Once again thanks for the advice, it's nice to know I am not the onlt slave wife around, and that others do feel my pain.

Featured Answers

Everyone must be going through this right now. I just had this exact conversation with my neighbor two days ago. Good luck!!!

Samantha has the right way of doing things. Honestly, my hubby helps out a lot. But, there are times when he gets lazy. I dont get mad, I just mention the bathroom needs cleaned, can he do that please, and he usually jumps right up. They honestly dont know sometimes...and he wont know what is bothering you unless you tell him.

More Answers

Dear D.,

sounds like you are both very busy and doing the housework is not always a priority for him but it is for you. My suggestion is this. Have a heart to heart, let him know that this is something you need to work out together. Make a list of things that need to be done. If he can't live with that then hire a cleaning company. It's not worth having an unhappy mom and wife over something you can let go of and have your free time be valuable time to spend with the kids or your family. The resentment won't get better until you let go of it and it can be easily solved by hiring someone else to do it. If you can't afford it then he should understand and make a more concerted effort

Samantha has the right way of doing things. Honestly, my hubby helps out a lot. But, there are times when he gets lazy. I dont get mad, I just mention the bathroom needs cleaned, can he do that please, and he usually jumps right up. They honestly dont know sometimes...and he wont know what is bothering you unless you tell him.

D.,

Hire someone or ask a friend(s), family for help. The male mind can not conceive of child birth or cleaning.

R.

I believe close to 100% of all women have been in your same position. We have all had the slow, burning anger that builds up over this issue. I generally agree with Renee - the male mind "cannot conceive of housework or childcare" - this is because most men in our age range were not raised to think of cleaning as a "male" activity or challenged to think independently/take initiative with these particular chores/tasks, etc. Nor are many of them particularly great at multitasking like women need to be to get through the day. Sometimes I swear my husband is blind when it comes to noticing things that need to be done at home. I don't have particularly high standards when it comes to an orderly house, but for goodness sake, I do enjoy a clean bathroom counter in the morning (this is only fair!) after he is done shaving and getting water and stuff all over it - you would think he was the only one who used that bathroom. I would also like a clear path out of our bedroom so I don't trip and fall over his mountain of dirty clothes (this is not too much to ask). To me this is an issue of respect and also thinking about how actions affect "the other guy".

Thus, you should sit down with your husband and very plainly state that his time is NOT more valuable than yours, but that he acts that way by failing to do his share around the house, that you feel like he does not respect your time (or you) and that it has to change and then explain how it is going to change (so you need a plan). Try and let him know how he would feel if he stood in your shoes. Maybe this sounds a little bit militant, but I am tired of men making excuses for themselves and am also frustrated with women who make excuses for men who sit around and wait for things to be done - this perpetuates the cycle. This isn't the 50s - we work hard, they work hard - both parties have to work together at home where you both live, eat and make messes. This is pretty simple. Things may get out of balance from time to time, but on the whole, the departmental chores should be split up according to ability and interest (although you will probably end up fighting over whose turn it is to clean the toilet). I had this very fun conversation with my husband about two years ago - things have been better since then, not perfect, but better. Good luck to you - I think we will all be interested to see what happens!

Hi DM,
Well, I'll try to help where I can.
I'm a man, but I can't speak for all men, but I can speak for this one.
The most attractive thing you can do is, not tell him to do it any more, and do it yourself, and I'm going to give you a plan to help you do just that, successfully, I might add.
The reason I'm asking you not to tell him that any more is, God created men to do different rolls than woman, and both are beautiful rolls, and they both together, make the family run smoothly. He wasn't created to clean houses, or do laundry. He was created to work outside and work inside with building things, and as I said, to cook.
So, if he won't clean, ask if he would cook. There are most men out there, who love to cook, such as this one, indeed!
Now, back to the housework plan. First, what we're gonna do is, we're going to have a list housework tasks, but don't do these all in the same day, because that is what is probably getting you frustrated.
So, take out a piece of paper, or, just type these on your computer. It could read like this:
1. do laundry
2. clean bathroom sink
3. clean kitchen sink
4. vaccuum kitchen floor
etc. get as specific as you can with the names of the tasks. Now, the thing to do is, do 1 task a day, or, if you have more than 7 tasks on that list, then, 2 tasks per day, no more than that though, ok?
I'm not a miracle worker here, I'm just a man who cares about your marriage.
I hope something I said helps. By the way, how old are your children?
I'll be praying for your specific situation that God will give you wisdom on how to solve it. He's there and he can help, too.
H.

My husband is the same way, so I hired someone...They start next week! Email me and I can give you the information (They are an all green company)...
~mb

Hi! Well, I understand your pain. My husband and I have also been together 10 years, married for 5, and I have the same problem. It all comes down to repetition. Men, I've found, are very much like children. It's ongoing with the constant reminding for them, just like we have to do with our children. If worst comes to worse.....write him a reminder. I feel that if both parents are working, they should both share in the household responsibilites.
I hope that things get better for you....I truly do understand your frustration!

Everyone must be going through this right now. I just had this exact conversation with my neighbor two days ago. Good luck!!!

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