I Am So Fed up with Lazy Husbands, Why Do They Feel Entitled.

Updated on August 07, 2018
P.W. asks from Pensacola, FL
22 answers

Sits on his butt most of the day, watching TV. We are both retired, the same age and when do I get to retire? I do it all ! I feed and water the cat, empty litter box, do all of the house chores, wash chores, cooking chores, collect the mail, pay the bills, do all of the grocery shopping. He seldom bathes, brushes his teeth, changes his underwear, and he wonders why we haven't kissed or had sex in 20+ years. Lately he makes a lunch for himself at 4pm and expects dinner on the table t 4:30pm. I told him that he should make a lunch for himself around 1pm. So that we could both eat dinner at 4:30pm. He is full and now I don't feel like making dinner at all, even for myself. I think that it is rude and inconsiderate of him. Then we argue about it, any advice? and please don't say he may need a visit to a doctor for a checkup, he has always been this rude. So done !

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

You are the one that put up with this and taught him how to treat you all these years. I can't imagine things will change much unless something drastic happens, such as you leaving.

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W.W.

answers from Washington DC on

welcome to mamapedia, P.

Stop doing it. Stop doing it all. Do only for you.
Tell him he can get up and make himself dinner. He can do the things to keep the house running.
If he's not willing to do that? He needs to move into an Assisted Living facility where his responsibilities are fewer.

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

First, not all husbands are lazy. Mine isn't.

This behavior isn't new. By your own admission you haven't had sex or kissed in over 20+ years. Hes been allowed to behave like this without consequences. Now you are trying to change the rules. He is going to act like a brat.

I couldn't live with someone who didn't bath or brush his teeth. Yuck.

What do you do? Well stop doing for him. Just do for you. If he wants to eat lunch at 4:00 let him. If he expects you to cook dinner, say "no". If you can't live like this anymore, leave.

9 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

Sounds like you are both miserable.

If he's not taking care of himself there could be an underlying issue. He should see the Dr. Rude or not.

Do you care about him at all? It doesn't sound like it.

What brought the 2 of you together?

How would you feel if he dropped dead? What would you do?

Maybe one or both of you need a part time job to get out of the house, gain your self respect back and do something.

It's up to you to take care of yourself and create your happiness.

ALL husbands are not like that.

9 moms found this helpful

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

i think the first thing you need to do is talk to a good counselor so that you can get YOU in a good strong place. you can't force your husband to change, but you have to understand that you didn't just get here by accident. you have allowed behaviors for years and years that have now become ossified. you both sound miserable, but neither of you seem willing to change the paradigm. and without that, nothing WILL change.

how long has he been neglecting his personal hygiene? i get that you don't feel it's your responsibility to get the big slug to the doctor, but if there's severe depression (which may reach way back) or a physical condition underlying this, it would help both of you to know, right?

unless you're simply so over him that you don't care. in which case you should leave pronto.

if there's enough left of your relationship that you plan to stay, though, you need to have your boundaries bright and clear. you need to make a list of the chores that you accept and would do regardless of your living situation. do you love the cat? then accept the cat chores as yours. if not, try to rehome him.

have you told your husband you need him to take on part of the chores? or have you been silently and resentfully just doing them for decades now? you can't force him to brush his teeth (and EWWWWWWWWW) but you can say calmly and remorselessly 'i am no longer going to do all the dishes. if you will not contribute, i'll rearrange the kitchen and put your dishes in one cupboard and mine in another. i will only use and wash my own dishes. touch mine at your peril.'

offer to do all the grocery shopping, but assure him that you are only cooking for yourself. if all he wants to fix for himself are hungry man dinners and bowls of cereal, that's his bag. if he wants your cooking, he needs to offer up something he's willing to do to get it.

if he refuses to shower and he stinks, then you should have a part of the home that you can enjoy without his hulking reeking self in it. work on getting him to watch tv in the living room, but he doesn't get to enter the spare bedroom where you have your haven and cleanliness and freshness.

if neither of you are willing to budge, then i guess you trudge on in misery.

but i hope you are fed up enough at this point to change things.

start with some counseling to help you get ready to face it.
khairete
S.

8 moms found this helpful

D.B.

answers from Boston on

Sounds awful. Seems like you are both miserable. Have you just let this get to this point without trying to change it or change your own behaviors? You can't change him - althoughhe does sound profoundly (medically) depressed especially with the total lack of personal hygiene. You say he has seen the doctor - but does that mean you have told the doctor (in person or at least by letter) what your husband is like at home? Maybe he showers and brushes his teeth before his check-up? Even if the doctor doesn't have your husband's permission to talk to you, the doctor can absolutely listen to you. Poor dental hygiene, for example, can not only be unsightly and lead to dental problems, but it can also allow all kinds of infections to start in damaged gums and then travel. So DO let the doctor and the dentist know (without telling you husband), and let them decide whether to ask leading or pointed questions.

As for you, why are you doing all of these things? I would have stopped doing this man's laundry and putting his meals on the table a long time ago. I would scale it back to paying the bills and taking care of the cat, and only buying food YOU like and prepping for yourself. If you don't want to eat dinner at 4:30 p.m., don't. I wouldn't pick up his mess, wash his clothes, or anything else. If it's in the way, put it in a trash bag or cardboard box, and if he asks, tell him to look in the "Lost & Found" because you have no idea where his stuff is.

You need activities that you enjoy, people you enjoy. You might need a divorce. You certainly could benefit from some support so ask your doctor, your pastor, or a friend to refer you to a counselor who can help you figure out what you need and want, why you enable your husband, and whether there's anything in this relationship worth saving. It sounds almost like there's some co-dependency here, where you are miserable but staying involved for some reason. You both have a lot of years left (well, at least YOU do), and it's silly to be miserable.

If there's nothing to save, then work with the counselor on ways to extricate yourself from this situation and how to see yourself as a single retired person. Look into senior communities for active adults, and work on extricating your finances from his so you know where you stand. A lawyer can help you do this.

7 moms found this helpful

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I don't know why you keep catering to him. I'd do the chores that are important to me, and have dinner at a reasonable time. If he doesn't like it, tough. Live your life, see friends, go to the gym, the movies, take a class, travel, whatever it is you enjoy. If he stinks that bad move into the spare bedroom, or kick him to the couch. You're choosing to live this way, so un choose it.

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M.C.

answers from Chicago on

I wouldn't be able to stand that or live that way. If you say the doctor is not an option and it's been going on 20 years, then either you continue to put up with it or leave. It's not going to change with you being there, doing everything, and him refusing to get help or change his ways. Why not get a little pet friendly apartment for yourself? You will still be doing chores, but only for you and not with this unkempt and useless man around. I know around here there are plenty of retirement villages that come in all sizes and price ranges. Perhaps you can find one like that for yourself. I don't really know what else to suggest since you said he's been like this for so long and you are so done. If it were me, I would be excited to be out on my own after all this time.

5 moms found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

You sound very unhappy.
Stop cooking for him.
When you want to eat - go out to an early bird special.
Let him forage for himself.
If you are tired of owning a cat then find him a new home.
Leave him and don't look back.
You will still be looking after yourself - but you won't be baby sitting a useless lump anymore.

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M.L.

answers from Cleveland on

Just wondering what would happen if you made a nice lunch for him at 2 pm. Make that be your main meal of the day.

He doesn't sound like a very happy person. I feel bad that he has no purpose or joy in his life.

I wonder if he would enjoy just riding along nice you get groceries just for a change of scenery. I wouldn't expect help but just the company might be nice.

What brought you together in the first place??

Updated

Just wondering what would happen if you made a nice lunch for him at 2 pm. Make that be your main meal of the day.

He doesn't sound like a very happy person. I feel bad that he has no purpose or joy in his life.

I wonder if he would enjoy just riding along nice you get groceries just for a change of scenery. I wouldn't expect help but just the company might be nice.

What brought you together in the first place??

Updated

Just wondering what would happen if you made a nice lunch for him at 2 pm. Make that be your main meal of the day.

He doesn't sound like a very happy person. I feel bad that he has no purpose or joy in his life.

I wonder if he would enjoy just riding along nice you get groceries just for a change of scenery. I wouldn't expect help but just the company might be nice.

What brought you together in the first place??

3 moms found this helpful

E.J.

answers from Chicago on

You don’t have a friendship and you don’t have a relationship.

You are a caretaker of someone who is neglecting themselves physically, emotionally and probably spiritually.
This doesn’t sound very fulfilling. In fact it sounds down right miserable.

It’s time to put yourself first and get your needs met so that you feel validated and worthy of more for yourself.

This may be done with or without your husband.

Make a list of goals for yourself. If you have no dependent children ( and your husband is medically cleared) start to take steps to reach them.

Get your finances in order and other matters and start living for you.
No one else has to give you permission to do this but yourself.

You don’t state your age, but your husbands hygiene issues may be a symptom of an undiagnosed mental health issue. You can always call his physician with this info and see what is suggested.

Change the way you think, change the way you act, and start on a new path TODAY.

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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

My MIL could have written something very similar. When she and my FIL had been married for 40 years, she began complaining that she did everything and that he didn't appreciate anything she did. She said he had always been like that. My thought, why didn't you say something 40 years ago? Why put up with it for 40 years and then suddenly decide that you don't like it?

If this is how it's always been, I don't know that you can expect things to change overnight.

You say you've argued about it. Have you talked about it? Have you said, "Hey, babe, would you mind helping me with the laundry?" or, "Could you fold these clothes while I do the dishes? Then we can watch that movie together."

He doesn't see a need to change because this is the way it's always been. So you might need to ask yourself, why didn't you tell him 20 years ago that he needs to brush his teeth and change his underwear?

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V.S.

answers from Reading on

You chose him. I don't ask why he is the way he is; I ask why you chose to marry him, knowing this is how he is. That's on you.

3 moms found this helpful

A.W.

answers from Kalamazoo on

oh helllllll no! You've allowed this to go on WAY too long. We teach people how to treat us and you've taught him that this behavior is ok but allowing it to continue. He does sound like he might be depressed. Marriage is a partnership and should be enjoyable. I agree with others, you should've addressed this at least 20 years ago. "he has always been this rude". I'm not even sure what your question is. Him changing is HIGHLY unlikely. You deal with it or leave.......

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R.K.

answers from Appleton on

I agree with the other who said it's time to leave. You deserve a better life. You are not a servant. Find some activities you enjoy and do them.

It's time to tell him you are not putting up with his behavior any longer. Either he changes or you will divorce him.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

I don't do this for my husband. Stop blaming him.

As Dr. Phill says 'What's the payoff here?'. Don't play the victim. Acknowledge your part in this. I like Diane's advice. This has become somewhat of a codependency issue.

I also love Elayne's advice. Do something for yourself. Create a healthy life for you, focus on you, not your husband. Be positive.

If he needs help - he'll end up asking for it. Then get him help. You're not responsible.

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

retire from cooking his meals, washing his clothes, cleaning the house beyond keeping the board of health at bay.

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J.K.

answers from Chicago on

Dear P., I completely understand what you were going through. Although this is not my situation, it is very similar to what I have witnessed with my parents. I am sure that you read many of the responses below and feel that they don’t really relate to you. If your husband worked for many years outside of the home, much of his personality and identity was wrapped up in his job. Now that he is retired, he is somewhat at a loss. He doesn’t know what he supposed to do every day and he lacks the structure that his employment provided. Just as he would never oversleep and go to work without showering and dressing, he needs to understand that his “new job” in retirement also has certain requirements. You should tell him that you love him and you have been looking forward to spending this phase of life together but that he is not doing what he needs to do in order to be your companion. You should plan some outings for the two of you and tell him that his company is expected on these outings. Explain to him that he needs to wake up at a reasonable time, shower and get dressed for the day, and be prepared to be good company. In addition, you should tell him that while he was active in the workforce providing for the two of you, you were active at home providing all of the behind the scenes support necessary to make that happen. Now that he’s retired, you plan to retire as well. This does not mean that you will completely abandon your prior job, but that you intend to scale back to allow for more time to pursue enjoyable activities as a couple and independently. It seems as though he probably needs very clear direction, at least at first. So I would pick a couple days a week where you either play golf or take up a bridge game or do some volunteer work at your church and tell him that on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you will be out at lunchtime and expect that when you come home the two of you will go out to dinner that night. In addition, explained to him that when you are out and he is at home, you expect him to take care of himself while he is at home - ie make your own lunch and put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Also, ask him what he had been looking forward to doing in retirement and help him find a way to incorporate that into your new daily plan. good luck!!!

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C.G.

answers from Cleveland on

I've got questions. Do you both a job outside the house? If so, it seems the brunt of household duties should not be on you. Does he ever pick up after himself?. He could do little things like return his snack plate to the kitchen, or even help you wipe things off. You may need to explain to him what you have been doing as a homemaker, and how long it takes. My husband needed some winding down after work. I'd say hi to him, and go into some other room and work, leaving him with his thoughts of the day. Although, I was glad to see him, it became obvious that he needed to hash some things out in head (had a nasty boss) So, if he wanted to talk about it, I was there to listen, but I think he had to reason things out and unwind because his boss was an extreme nit-picker. Now that we are retired, he's taken up cooking, which I was tired of. I taught him how not to make a big mess, and everything seems to be hunky dory.

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M.S.

answers from Boston on

It is time to have an honest talk with your husband. Sit him down and tell him how you feel; stating that you love him but in order for you to be happy some changes need to be made. I would start with hygiene; but you know what is most important to you. Don't expect miracles overnight: slow progress is better than none. You have to communicate to him how unhappy you are. After all, this is your life, too and you should not spend the rest of it feeling like this. He might not realize how you feel because he is so used to this routine. Men sometimes take things for granted; or just figure if you don't say anything then everything is okay. After you have an honest talk start asking for help with little things and be patient. If this does not work, you might have to remind him of your talk and ask him if he wants you to be happy....I pray you find a solution!

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P.M.

answers from Dallas on

Look for the book 'Boundaries in Marriage' by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I have a hubby that was never taught and with some medical/mental issues in the last 20 years he is not as bad, but could get there situation. I have begun reading the book. It is about changing my behavior and setting my boundaries. I am only on the first chapter and I am making progress already and I have seen change in him. I will pray you can figure out what the best option for you is...stay or go.

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D.S.

answers from Jonesboro on

You and me both sister! Only difference is I work and he doesn't and we have 5 kids. I have to work and do all the housework, laundry, bills.....you name it. I am also FED UP! Getting mad at him doesn't work just makes him lazier.

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