nag too much, marriage on the rock

dodolDecember 1, 2005

Similar to the post from another lady, my DH doesn't do much at home. Not only he doesn't do things traditionlly supposed to be a female's job, he doesn't do much a male suppose to do, either, such as mowing the lawn, trim branches, changing light bulbs etc. He is from a family with maids everyday and the house is like a hotel. You can use multiple towels at the same time and just throw away in the basket while the cabinet is always full of clean towels.

We both work. Frankly, I am not a clean person myself. However, since we had a baby, moved to a new city and live in a much smaller rental townhome, I need to be much more tidy than before.

He doesn't do much domestic work is one thing. What I really cannot tolerate is that I always need to clean after him. He always leaves things at an open state. For example, after he uses ketchup, he would just leave it open on the counter. He doesn't throw away the popsticle wrap or stick after finish it. He would leave his plate with left over in the sink and soak in the water, too.

I have to constantly remind him not to do so. Now, he complains that I nag too much. I am always negative. Nothing is positive out of me. I think it is either him or I would go crazy.

When he comes back home from work, he would play video game, while I have not sit in front of TV for a long time. When the baby cries at night, he would just pad me twice, to tell me to go upstairs.

I feel my marriage is on the rock. I am not happy. He is not happy. I feel very very sorry for my only 5-month-old son.

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rivkadr

Have you tried sitting him down and having a serious talk with him? The problem with saying something right at the moment that he does something that you object to is that it does seem like nagging, and is likely to immediately get his hackles up. Perhaps if you said, "I want to talk to you about the [problem], and how we can resolve it to make us both happy" during a time that you're not annoyed or angry, then maybe you can find some resolution. The important thing, I think, is to find a way to discuss it with him without blaming him -- talk about what is making you unhappy, and what you'd like to see him (and you!) do to fix the situation (and come in hand with a few different solutions that you think might work to solve the problem). From my own experience, I'd stick to one problem per discussion -- you don't want to turn it into a litany list of things that he's doing wrong.

As far as solutions for the cleaning problem -- do you have the money to hire a once a week maid?

What my husband and I do, since we can't afford a maid (and I'm not sure I'd want a stranger in my house anyway), is we have a chore chart on the fridge. Each of us has 1-2 chores to do every night (except Saturdays, when we each have around 4 to do). Neither of us is allowed to sit down and have fun until we do our chores (which range from doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, scooping the kitty box, and tidying various rooms). Between the two of us, we manage to keep our house pretty clean, and it only requires about 15-20 minutes of work per evening for each of us, and because we're both doing it together, there's no feelings that either of us has to do more work than the other. If you're super anal retentive about cleaning and think a room isn't clean unless you're spending 2 hours cleaning it, then that won't work, but for general tidiness/cleanliness, it's worked well for us. And my husband, like many men, isn't going to think "Gee, I have some free time. Maybe I should clean something." -- having a list that says "Do this, on this day" makes it clear what he has to do, with no fuss.

I have no suggestions on the baby thing, I'm afraid. I have no children.

Ultimately, it sounds like your husband has issues with being thoughtful...he wouldn't be the first or the last male with that problem. I'd start by trying to discuss (without anger!) individual problems with him, and see if he's willing to make you happy by changing his habits somewhat (and you may find that he's unhappy about something as well, and that you'll have to change your habits as well, such as keeping any nagging down to a minimum -- marriage is about compromise, IMHO). If that gets you nowhere, it may be time to see a marriage counselor.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 2:57PM
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gurley157fs

Maybe you could simply print out what you wrote here and give it to him to read.

Sometimes when we try to have a face-to-face conversation about an emotional topic we get too emotional and just end up arguing - the real points never get addressed.

I can't say what is best for you - I can only say what I would do.

In addition I would insist that he hire a maid. He has had them before so I would think he has the resources to have them again.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 7:10PM
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pcj42

Isn't it funny that if you have to b*t$h at your husband, you are a nag? I have always told mine that if he would communicate (dirty word) with me and have a conversation about the problem, I wouldn't have to stand there and "nag" him about it. It sounds like your husband doesn't want to face the fact that he is an adult and has responsibility. I know you are tired and having a baby is a huge drain on you physically. I remember. I stayed tired the first 2 years after my daughter was born and I still don't know if I just got used to it, or she got easier. She is 14 now and that comes with a whole new set of problems.

Decide if you can go it alone and then set your husband down and lay it on the line for him. Either he starts helping around the house, because you are NOT his mother, or he needs to go. I wouldn't threaten this unless you are confident this is what you want, because he may just take you up on it. However, if you are goine to be living as if you are a single parent, then you may as well be one. This could be an eye opener for him also.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 8:31AM
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