I do more....No, I do more...and so it goes...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Anyone else have an H or W who always thinks they do more, contribute more, care more, etc?

    It seems everytime there is a small household task to be done and I don't feel like doing it or can't do it, H gets defensive when I ask him for help.

    His first response is [alsmost] ALWAYS: "What do you think I did all day? Do you think I get to sit at a desk and answer phones and send emails all day?" (which is his way of belittling what I do - which incidentally is not sitting at a desk all day and answering phones & most of my emails are work related!).

    His second response is [almost] ALWAYS: "Why can't easy child/difficult child do that?"

    I'm tired and I feel I have no time for me - I don't even have time to find out what I'd like to do in my 'spare time', which is a joke. I don't know how this happened...whether it was a control thing on my part where everything had to be 'just so' or done 'my way' or if it's just a matter of typical role playing on both our parts.

    I work in an office all day. I get up usually about 6:30AM, clean the kitchen up after H has destroyed it, take the pups out quick before I leave, and get to work around 8:30. I am an office manager for 3 offices, as well as the HR person. I am also next in line for contact after the President of the company. There are days when my work is slow for sure, but most days I'm busy troubleshooting for something or answering questions about company policy, cleaning up messes and creating protocols - or working as an IT expert for others in the company (which I am no expert, believe me!). Usually at lunchtime I have either errands to run or I go home to take out the dogs or these days, pick up or drop off difficult child for an appointment or work since her car is out of commission. Then it's back to work till about 4:30-5PM, sometimes later. When I get home, I run around tidying up and getting the house in order before making dinner - before that I'm figuring out what to make based on what we have. I used to be very organized about this and planned things out weekly, but I am still having difficulty with this since easy child moved back home and with juggling our dwindling finances in relation to what I can buy for groceries. After dinner, someone usually helps clean up the kitchen, but it's mostly ME again wiping down counters, setting the dishwasher, etc. By the time dinner is over and the kitchen is cleaned up, it's nearly 7:30-8PM and it's time to take the dogs out for their evening stroll. I do that too. Afterwards, I organize my stuff for the following morning, maybe have a chit chat with H or the girls or go on line for a few minutes and by about 9:30-10PM I can hop into the shower, put on my jammies and it's time for bed. I am so starved for alone time, I sometimes read until I pass out. RARELY do I ever not have this schedule. And if something happens or another crisis hits I am completely sidetracked and things get left undone which creates double the workload for the following day.

    What is H doing while I am running around after work? He showers immediately after work and then goes and either checks his emails or flips on tv till dinner is ready. He sits down for dinner and most often after I sit down to eat, he will ask for something to drink. Some nights I just look at him like he's crazy and so he gets up and get us both something to drink. If I don't make dinner and tell him he has to make dinner, he will order out. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I am not financially able to do the same. Our money is separate, so if I'm not cooking and he's not willing to get takeout, he just won't eat and then will complain about how I didn't make dinner. Urgh.

    H's day begins at 5:30 AM - he gets up and makes the coffee and takes the dogs for a walk. He makes himself toast and reads the paper, makes his lunch and then leaves around 6:45 AM. This explains the messy kitchen I wake up to every morning - the man can't figure out that he should wipe a counter clean after using it and covering it with burnt english muffins crumbs I guess. He goes to work - he is a building contractor/carpenter and most days it's very physically challenging and hard labor. I understand this so I don't usually ask him to put in any physically challenging work in the evenings, but he could help with dinner at the very least. When he gets home around 6PM (he often works over an hour away), he comes in, greets me and the dogs, has a snack and takes his shower. Then he relaxes until dinner is ready, eats, leaves the kitchen (sometimes he will help put his dish in the sink - woopee!) and goes to watch tv or read until he falls asleep at around 9:-9:30PM. He finally ambles into bed around 11PM after snoozing on the couch all evening. Of course, this explains why the couch is always a smushed mess too.

    I am so sick and tired of hearing about how he does so much. His ONLY household chore is to take out the garbage which is only twice a week. I do all the other cleaning on Saturdays and mid-week. If I can swing it, I come home a little early from work mid-week and buzz through the house with the vacuum and get it done before he gets home. I like a clean house - doesn't need to be spotless, but at least neatened up daily. I sweep the kitchen floor every night. He will maybe clean the tub once a month. Granted he is building us the addition upstairs, which I think is part of the reason why I haven't griped so much about doing all the other chores, but he's never really done any of the other chores - so what's up with me?? If I have to travel for work, I will ask him to please just vacuum the house and clean the bathroom before I come back - or even have the girls do it - and he won't. He doesn't refuse, he gives me his standard response: "What do you think I do all day?? What do you do, think about cleaning all the tiem??" The man should live in a sand floored hut, he'd be thrilled.

    And I do have the girls help me. difficult child will do any chore I ask her to do. It may take her all day, but she will do it. And easy child has been helping also - she will make dinner once a week and she helps in the kitchen. She's not so great about following her puppy around and picking up after her (she loves to shred tissues!). She will also do just about any chore I ask her to do.

    I don't have a problem with their level of help.

    What I have a problem with is H - I feel that he believes his job is so much more important than mine and that he doesn't need to do anything at all when he gets home. His job ends at 5, mine goes on and on till I finally drop into bed. And he doesn't understand why I'm so freakin tired all the time. Just being outside of the house makes it difficult for me to juggle both jobs!

    Whew. Thanks for the vent. Anyone else ever have this type of 'I do more, no I do more' business at thier house?
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Jo, first of all, sending a soothing cup of herbal tea, a cool compress for your forehead and a team of cleaning ladies to get your house sorted.

    Now...on to the issue with H.
    Your jobs are very different. His work is very physical etc. and he probably has the perception that an "office job" is cushy because you don't have to tote barges or lift bales. He doesn't recognize the amount of thinking, running around, problem solving etc. that goes into a typical day at the office.

    Also, a lot of the house chores you do are invisible to him. You clean up his breakfast mess after he leaves the house. You tidy up other messes before he comes home. You prepare dinner etc. while he's sitting in the other room watching TV. So he never really sees the hard work you're putting in. It's not visible.

    If he leaves a mess in the kitchen, and then it's cleaned up, he can gloss it over in his mind as "I didn't leave the kitchen all that messy. It's always clean when I come home from work."

    If he perceives your job as "easy" and his as "hard", then that lets him feel aggrieved when you ask him to pitch in around the house.

    One thought...you mention that you each keep your money separate. If you make him responsible for certain chores, can he afford to pay for them to be done? E.g. a housekeeper to come in once every 2 weeks? I know that the economy is in a mess and money is tight everywhere, but I'm just brainstorming a bit...

    Sorry you're having to put up with this.

  3. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Oh so familiar. husband and I have gotten into it so many times. He thinks he works more because he works M - F. I work three or four days a week 12 hour shifts.

    He works 7 - 3:30....I work MIDNIGHT to NOON. Do you know how hard it is to work nights???? Especially when you are older. Do you know how hard it is to sleep during the day? But who sleeps. I go to school for all the meetings, I do the dr. appts., clean, wash, (painting rooms in the house), shop, take care of bills, car repairs, drop off, pick up...etc. Lucky to get a few hours sleep not to mention food. Then on my days off I work a second job 3 - 4 hours a day. Lunch hours at school. This prevents me from doing anything that may take a few hours.

    Many times I say things I shouldn't. Like..must be nice to get up go to work and come home.
    Told him he was lazy. I feel bad for that one. He has a bulging disk and now he makes a point to fiddle around with silly things that really don't mean anything. Just so he looks busy.
    I lay out difficult child's homework, tell him to check it. READ it. Give him what needs to be studied. If I didn't, that would not happen.

    Things are falling apart in the house, been 15 years and nothing has ever been done. So now I am doing this. some things I just am not capable of fixing.

    Maybe we should go on vacation and leave husband's home!
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member


    Ok first of all you totally need to find some you time. Your day is so packed, by the time you got to cleaning up dishes I was tired. lol.

    I totally agree with Trinity though he doesn't "see" what you do because to him it is invisible. He leaves mess you clean it up that sort of thing.

    For me I don't have that issue right now yet I did. Now past 5 mos i'm not working so i just do everything because i feel i should its the least i can do. Yet he still manages to cook one of the nights he's off, he also does the dishes one night a week without my prompting. He is a rarity when it comes to that stuff though. Yet he will still proceed to sit on the computer at night while I get kids snacks, and pajamas on, and that kinda sets me off a bit especially since their his kids too and he only gets to see them two nights a week ..........ok sorry off topic. lol

    anyway if i were you id stop cleaning up certain things of his, like the kitchen in the a.m. now for me it would drive me insane not to clean it and to truly leave it till night to prove a point yet maybe you can. Have you tried expressing to him how you feel the chores are not shared in the least?

    You have got to find you time though it's imperative. Even if you leave dishes one night in kitchen walk away and run a warm bath with a book for yourself. See if he gets up loads washer, walks dog's, etc. I think you would be happy if he did it only two nights a week so you could catch a break, yes??
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Jennifer, I love your ideas about leaving the mess and it has actually happened at times, even if just for lack of my time. There have been mornings when I've been so rushed I leave without tidying up like normal and then work late and come home to H standing in the kitchen ranting at difficult child/easy child about why couldn't they clean up, etc. I mean, he will be totally pis.sed to come home to a dirty mess *(as do I)*. And like you and everyone else said...it's my fault because he's used to coming into a home that is in order, usually with dinner on the stove. But if he comes home and the sink is full of dirty breakfast dishes, the dishwasher hasn't been unloaded, shredded tissues all over, maybe even a little puppy pee on the living room floor (easy child's responsibility!), etc., well, then he sees it all upside down (as do I and I hate that!). But he obviously has not made the connection about when it's not like that...it means someone else got it together. Who does he think does it all?

    When I return from traveling (for business) he will chew my ear off for about 2 hours on how much he hates when I'm gone because then he "has to do everything" from the dogs to dinner to running around, picking up, answering the phone! Yes, I said Answering the Phone. That, apparently, is a big chore for him. (I am scratching my head here in wonder...I thought it was his impression that answering a phone all day was the easy job I do all day? Hmmmm).

    Instead of just doing what needs to be done, he likes to assign every little task to either me or one of the girls. I have told him that just because we have vaginas, it doesn't mean we are the household servants. People with penises can clean dishes and vacuum too, or so I've heard. Sorry, my frustration makes me sarcastic sometimes.

    Glad to hear it's not just me.
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member

    LOl oh wow you are on a roll today!!! I was getting ready to go do the job search again screen on computer was open and up and I bounced back in to see what you said.

    You are very funny. Yes for some odd reason fact that we do have vagina's seem to comes with more than we can "should" handle lol both physically and mentally. :)

    So, can you cut a deal with him on two nights a week he does his part and you go lock yourself up in a room somewhere??? I also have my kids help clean up the dinner mess or at least clean off the table. I did when i was working alot more, now i've cut them down to setting table for dinner.

    Your very funny
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I have also been known to put garbage bags on my older daughter's bed when it's her turn to take out the garbage and she doens't do it. Yet instead she begins piling garbage up so high in the kitchen it topples over. So, Im a bit of a pyscho with stuff and getting my point across on the "non verbal" realm so to speak lol
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I place the bathroom cleaning bucket in the center of the tub when it's time to be cleaned...as in "hint, hint" - that is the only time H will clean it...maybe....................or, he will tell one of the girls that the tub needs to be cleaned. Can you believe that guy?? I think I'm enjoying picking on H a little bit too much today. Watch, tonight he will come home and be Mr. Wonderful and then I will feel like a heel.

    ps: Remember on the Flintstones when Fred was feeling like a heel and his torso would turn into a giant heel?
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    That should emasculate him enough to make him move out -
    Once he's gone? No more fighting, no more picking up after him, no more HE does more - because he wouldn't BE there to do MORE.

    OMG I can't handle anyone that doesn't clean up their own mess in the kitchen. I certainly can't /never could do JENGA trash.

    I'm very lucky with DF - he helps at what he can due to his disability and we actually try to do things before the other one does to make the other happy. Maybe telling him that you are not happy would help?

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this - having a partner that doesn't help is not a burden - it's more.


    Then if that doesn't work? Go to plan A......lol.
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    No worries, trinity - I wasn't offended. I've said the same thing about myself before. I have stopped doing everything on occasion - gone on strike, if you will, and nothing changes...Oh, H's shorts get into a knot for a day or so, but that's it.

    Incidentally, while I'm bashing him, I want to add this other little thing he does that drives me nut. If he runs out of clothes, he will go through ALL the clothes in the laundry closet waiting to be washed and pull out ONLY HIS CLOTHES...march downstairs and do only his clothes, leaving the rest upstairs for me to get to on my laundry day, which is Saturday. I have ranted at him before about this...I don't just pull out MY clothes. I do his and mine and all the towels and sheets, etc. The girls do their own laundry, except for last week when easy child was sick and then the accident. He has even told me and the girls that they should fold not only their own clothes, but ours also. He's nuts. It scares me a little bit because I think he may be turning into his father. Bwaaahaaaahaaaa
  12. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member


    With my ex-H I used to go on strike. I found that if I went on total strike it wouldn't even make a dent. He would just click along happily in the mess and clutter while I was going mental over it.

    When I tried deliberately singling out only his messes for ignoring, that seemed to have more of an impact. When you have nice fresh clean folded clothes, and all of his are in a pile in the corner unwashed...it sends a message. I'm not sure if that approach would help or hinder the situation (my ex and I ARE ex's, after all), but it would certainly make your point clear.

    Hope H pulls it together before you totally lose your rag. You need a well-deserved break!

  13. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    My ex used to be the same way. He worked in a steel foundry, I worked in an office so I didn't know what work was...I had a cushy job, blah, blah, blah. He couldn't have lasted in my job for 30 minutes. He left a mess, I cleaned it up - sometimes staying up til 3am to get it cleaned to get up at 4am to get ready for work...he could completely destroy a house in an hour. He always claimed it wasn't his mess...it was the kids (who were 5 and 18 months). He even claimed that after the divorce...until I told him that I divorced him, kept the kids and lost the mess. He went fishing every single day. I had NO free time. He cooked. That's all he did. I did every single other thing in the house. Well, except his laundry. I quit doing his laundry when he couldn't get it in the hamper. I did mine and the kids. He did his own...but only because he had no other choice if he wanted clean clothes.

    Sorry. No advice. That behavior shows no respect for you and I would take serious issue with it.
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I would go crazy! I'm lucky in that husband helps out a ton. Sending gentle hugs your way and I hope your husband gets a clue soon!
  15. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    I had one, and he always thought he did more, sad thing was I did mostly everything!
  16. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Ladies, it's important to remember that HE isn't "helping you".............. he's supposed to be doing his fair share!

    I don't have any advice either, other than to completely go on strike. I'm happy that my husband is enlightened and a little Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
  17. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest


    Jo - I was thinking about the kitchen issue. I mean, you have to have a starting point. I don't know what you'll think of this, but this is what I would do.

    I'd take a picture of his mess in the morning. Lay it on the counter with a note saying, "H, this is your mess that I didn't clean up this morning. This is not the girls. Just FYI." Or something along those lines - you may be able to word it better...I'm not very nice. Just so he can see that it's HIS mess and not the girls.

    Just a thought.
  18. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I was just thinking that very thing! LOL Besides the mess in the kitchen, I would quit doing ANYTHING for him. He wants clean clothes....he can wash them. And when he pulls out only his....do the same thing.

    Another thought....and this will take a little time but might be worth it. Journal your entire day for a few days or a week. (Of course you would have to do this BEFORE you go on strike). 6:30 - got up. 6:40 - cleaned up crumbs and coffee ring on kitchen counter, put coffee mug in dishwasher, put newspaper in trash. 6:50 - showered, etc. Put every single thing you do on that list. Give it to him and then quit doing "his" stuff at home. Kind of like the joke I heard once. A man comes home from work to find toys strewn across his front yard and the kids running around half dressed, screaming like banshees. Confused, he walks into the house. The living room is destroyed...toys everywhere, cushions off the couch, clothes scattered and remnants of food all over. Growing a bit concerned, he goes into the kitchen. Breakfast dishes are still out, cereal and milk are spilled, other food is everywhere, the trash is overflowing and scattered by the dog and it's just a general disaster. Really concerned now, he goes to the master bedroom where he finds his wife in bed reading. "Honey", he says, "What's wrong? Are you ok?" The wife looks up and calmly replies, "Yes dear, everything is fine. But....you know when you ask what I do all day while you're at work? Today I didn't do it."

    As for your husband asking why HE has to do things........um....because you're an ADULT and you live here too!
  19. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Mstang, you said a mouthful (to quote Spanky and our Gang).

    Jo, I don't know if you have the time or energy to follow Mstang's suggestion, but it certainly would make clear for husband all the things you do. AND if you stop doing them and he has to pick up the slack, then he will realize not just WHAT you do but HOW MUCH you do. How much time it takes, how much hard work it is, EVERYTHING.
  20. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Well now ladies, thank you for all of your replies and advice. I really love the line:

    Ladies, it's important to remember that HE isn't "helping you".............. he's supposed to be doing his fair share!

    I have decided to go on a full on strike after H's birthday next Friday. I also realize that much as the girls will help when I ask, they aren't exactly self starters and I am cleaning up puppy pee every day when I come home along with all the puppy toys she drags all over the place. I also had to tear up my living room rug because of her bad habits and all of that goes back to easy child not training HER dog, right?

    And, even worse, every day I come home and find two shot glasses filled with salt water for difficult child to disinfect her nips. Ugh - that is just so gross to me. I flipped on her yesterday. Her boyfriend was over too!! And H was due home any moment - I will bet he'd just be thrilled to hear about what the salt water was for!

    So, when I go on strike it's going to be for all of them. Not sure of my exact plan, but I will come up with one.

    Thanks again~
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008