My Own Man/Cleaning Problems

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am having some problems sort of like Shari. My husband has never felt that housework was "woman's work" or anything like that. even at almost 20 years he is still surprised if I ask if he wants something while I am getting a drink or anything. Which is really nice.

    But he NEVER sees a need to clean. Stuff on the floor? Step over it. NEVER pick it up.

    I CANNOT do the housework. Cannot stand for long at all. Have tried washing dishes sitting on a stool and my arms are not long enough. I end up with water all over the floor and then I fall and Jess and thank you and husband end up falling. At least the kids will put towels down to soak up the water. husband won't even do that!

    His idea of doing dishes is to do only the ones that fit into the dishwasher. The rest will NEVER get done. thank you's sensory issues make washing dishes a problem. He truly cannot feel if there is grease or gunk stuck on something, so when he washes them they are still nasty. He ends up feeling like a failure and it is not worth that. In a couple of years he will likely be more able to handle it and feel the stuck on stuff. He is making progress, but I don't think he needs to do that chore right now.

    husband also will NOT tell the kids to do any chore. EVER. Not unless I pitch a fit.

    We had a discussion about how awful the kitchen was last week. He asked me to make a lsit of all the steps because he is so overwhelmed. I understand that and get overwhelmed when I try to start also. He said he would do the list if I made it. So I made it. Worked over it 3 times to make it clear, understandable and to give tangible ways to see if the step was done correctly.

    He sat down with Jess and thank you and went over the list - telling them how they could do each step. Jess already cooks most nights. thank you does a lot too. NO WAY should they be responsible for this major muck-out. NO F'ing WAY.

    So I said that to him. He looked ashamed of himself and agreed. On Friday. So far he has spent 20 min or so each day in the kitchen. NOT doing the steps he asekd for or anything else.

    I gave him today to see if he would step up. He knows I am watching. If 90% of the steps are not done by the time he goes to bed he is going Occupational Therapist (OT) have one lousy day tomorrow.

    He spends 80% of his time at home online. NOT filling out job applications. Over the weekend he did work at 3 baseball games, 3-4 hours each. And spent 3 hours volunteering at the Odyssey of the Mind thing. But at home he is on facebook or playing games.

    He has been out of work over a year and only had ONE interview. He has sstopped trying. I know it is hard, but I have found 14 jobs he would be great at in the last 3 weeks. He only applied to ONE of them. Hasn't "gotten around" to the others, some after 3 weeks!

    Tomorrow he sees the doctor for a blood pressure check. I am going to tell him to get his a/d increased and his testosterone checked again because this is nuts.

    If you hear yelling from far away tomorrow, don't be alarmed. It is me kicking his butt into the kitchen to do what he promised.

    It isn't out of line to expect a man to spend a few hours digging out a mess he created, is it? Or to expect a man who is home all day at least 5 days a week to spend 1-2 hours a day picking things up, is it?

    Though I cannot stand/walk much, I still do most of the picking up, all of the clothes shopping except maybe 2 pr of pants that husband took him to get this year (and husband didn't make him try them on so I had to return them and get some that fit.), all of the meal planning, the "pre prep" of getting things chopped, ready to be tossed int he oven, and absolutely every single bit of getting the kids to do chores or anything else.

    So I am not being unrealistic when I tell him I expect a couple of hours a day of picking up and laundry/dishes etc...

    If I am totally off base with that, please let me know. It feels reasonable to me. Esp since the kids do all the putting laundry in the washer/dryer and I do most of the folding/hanging.

    If husband doesn't step up to the plate this week I am going to hide his computer until he gets it done. FIrst I will try more straight talk. Then I will use the "big gun" and take the computer and if I must I will take the desktop that the internet runs though.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Susie... It shouldn't be 2 hours a day. If taken care of? And I know you CANNOT? Much less.

    To muck it out, though, may take a LOT longer - initially.

    I have been known to make husband's head spin, when I ask him to do something and he tells me he didn't have time - then I do it in 10 minutes. And he (usually) has the grace to look sheepish.

    I can't get this through his, or the kids', heads - if you throw it on the floor, you have to pick it up again. Touch it twice, makes twice the work, right?

    Yeah. Sure.
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    You said he has been out of I am assuming my idea wouldn't work....but is there money from anywhere that can be used to hire some one to clean it? Like some money that would normally be used on something for him?

    I told my husband flat out that I am not giving up my summer weekends to clean the house because I am the only one that cleans it. I will hire some one to come in every other week to do it and if he doesn't want that, then he better help clean so I am done quicker. :) No fair that every one else gets to do what ever they want while I am cleaning...
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We will be getting some tax money back if he EVER gets the documents for me to file. He insisted that he would keep them together and that he would do the taxes this year. So now we can find ONE of the papers, he lost the others because he refuses to put anything away anywhere unless I have an absolute cow about it. Now he has to go and get copies from the places.

    In the past I have spent a couple hundred of the tax $$ to have someoen come in, at least since my body gave out from all the stress of doing all the difficult child stuff alone (he refused to do much with Wiz because he just couldn 't cope and they did nothing but smash their heads together like fools). This year I refuse because the last time he had trashed the house less than a week after I paid a lady over $250 to clean it out. A good part of that was to clean out the spare room, get all the boxes neatly stacked and some shelves put in (shelves I bought used because we couldn't afford new ones). Even that room was totally pitted out in lesst han a week and he is the ONLY one who even enters it ever!

    So now he has to do it. He told me he did "a couple of steps" today and would do more tomorrow. I told him no, he will have to start at the beginning each time if he doesn't buckle down and do it all in one chunk of time. It would take me about 2 hrs if I was at full speed the way I used to be. But it would likely land me in a serious world of hurt and if I managed to fall I would likley break a hip or leg or knee.

    I hate having to give him chores and ride him about them like I am his mommy. He HAS a mommy. And a step mom and a mother in law. But I sitll have to give him chores like a mommy.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Mucking out takes a very long time, most especially in a kitchen I loathe a kitchen that has gone to pot.......because getting it back up to snuff again can take days, easy. Any other room in the house I can pretty much get back up to decent within a few hours or at longest a day. Not the kitchen. blech

    husband has sat here on his fanny for more than a year......almost 2 now doing nothing but playing his computer. He puts in token job apps for unemployment because he draws his social security. Now that unemployment benefits are almost up........he's scrambling to find a job. Cuz he came to me not long ago to tell me about the unemployment (which I already knew) and I said gee, you'd better find work fast huh? I've been through this with him too many times. He gave me this look........and I shot at him before he could stick his foot into his mouth that I can't study for the state board and land a job in less than a month! Just NOW rl has settled down to where I can actually open a book and study.....omg!

    Has he helped me during all that time? Well my house wouldn't be in the condition it is in if he had.

    Now.....since he knows he's on thin ice with the job deal.......he's in cleaning mode and has been working on the family room since katie's junk is gone in spurts. The mice are helping to motivate him.

    The only way I can get husband to move is to nag him to death.......or let my temper flare, which he's afraid of cuz I'm pure hades to live with if I am truly mad. I hate to do the latter.....but I will if necessary. I'm not cleaning this whole house by myself.......I didn't even make 99 percent of the mess. ugh

    You're not expecting too much. But it might help, especially with the kitchen, if you supervise him a bit and maybe offer hints as to how to do things in such a way as to make it quicker and easier.

    If I ever get to the point where I can no longer clean........I'd better be able to afford to hire a housekeeper. :sigh:
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    After all these years, my husband is very well trained. He's awesome! So I asked him for an idea to motivate your man.

    His suggestion? Get naked. Then tell your H you'd find him REALLY attractive if he had...say....a mop in his hand...and the kitchen was gleaming...
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Step, that is a good idea for most men but it has never worked well with my husband. One of the very few things he ever specifically said he NEVER wanted in our marriage was for sex to be a bargaining chip. I like the idea and there have been many many times that I thought that it might be a great motivating tool, but there are very few things he has ever verbalized that you could think of as rules for our marriage. For the most part he is happy to do most anything I ask that doesn't involve cleaning. As he did ask for that early on, and I agreed, I just cannot use it that way. Esp when the times we have been in therapy it has come up that having that aspect of our relationship be pretty much independent of issues like chores has meant a whole lot and sent the message that I truly love him unconditionally.

    I know many of the female friends we know have talked about using sex as a carrot to get their husband's to do what they want. husband sees that as taking the entire relationshipt to a commercial level where expressing love for each other is used to buy certain behavior or get a spouse to be willing to spend money on something.

    I do my best to not yell and scream and to fight fair when I am upset. husband almost never says anything when I am angry, so I have learned that nothing gets solved by yelling at him.
    Except that I end up with a headache and being even more furious.

    He has agreed that he needs to dig in to the kitchen tomorrow. Let's hope he follows through.

    He tried to tell me today that the reason he doesn't wash most of the dishes is because he cannot find a dishcloth or towel. He did not like it when I said, "Gee, do you think that could be because you never rinse them out and hang them up to dry, but instead leave them in a wad in the sink buried by stuff you don't want to wash, and then they stink and grow mold and must be thrown away? And because we do not have the funds to go and buy new cloths for you to was up and leave in wads to grow mold so they have to be thrown away too?

    I was NOT gentle or nice when I asked this, more sarcastic and snarky.

    I then told him that this is why I have spent the past WEEK cutting up cotton shirts and pants and hemming the edges BY HAND so that we would have some cloths to wash dishes with and dry them off with. Because I have. I realized that I could not find a single dishtowel or rag and that they had ALL had to be pitched. husband normally puts a lot more value on things that I have sewed, so I have been cutting up outgrown clothes or stained clothes and so far have hemmed 14 of them. Different sizes but all big enough to dry something or be used as a washcloth. He SAYS he will rinse them out and hang them up, that he didn't know he was supposed to before now. That earned "the look" that lets him know I know he is full of it but am not going to verbally challenge him right now about it.

    I must admit that he does a LOT more than my dad. Dad retired and has done almost nothing around the house since that happened 4 yrs ago. For at least 2 of those years he watched tv and read and played on the computer all day. And spoke in that almost constant stream of conscious rambling way that aspies can have. THAT drives my mother literally batty.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I'm not sure what to tell you. DF is disabled, and before that? He worked, I worked and the interesting thing was before we shared a home? Someone had to do his dishes, someone had to clean his home, someone had to do his laundry....and then I went to his house and one did his dishes, no one cleaned his home, and I'm thinking whomever he was going out with did his laundry. IT.WAS...WOW. I still remember the story of him telling me how he got rid of the door to door religious phamplet people the day he slung open the door to his mobile home, kicked the beer cans out onto the porch and was in his underpants and said they said "We'd like to introduce you to Jesus." and DF said "Jesus was here last night - he had a great time.." and slammed the door. Actually it was a biker named Jesus - but he wasn't lying. O can see it ever so clearly - late 20's...pig sty. Not much has changed.

    Thing is - when we moved to this house? We talked about 'space' his/mine - ours. The garaged converted to a den is the man cave. I don't go in it, I don't clean it, I don't designate it, decorate it, dictate it. It even has a statue of 2 bullfrogs stuffed playing billiards, and it's covered in a wretched layer of dust. I have swept to keep the dirt from migrating into the house - but it's his space. Even his man friends are comfy there. Sometimes I think its a veritable fart-arena, scratch-fest, nasty he man place. However; it does have it's advantages. It's his. I don't have to and will not - clean. When it gets that bad? He cleans it. I've helped a couple times - but the rest of the house past that door? Is mine. AND - the deal was? If I never say "OH THIS NEEDS...." He pitches in with the kitchen, cooking, dishes, and dumps the trash and helps out in the yard. Occasionally he'll also pitch in and wash towels and fold them too. I don't ask. He also is now in charge of his own laundry. Since Dude was 15 - everyone does their own. Actually Dude has known since he was 10 - but soap powder and difficult child is toxic.

    The notion that once I came home from work - I'd cook, clean and laundry, plus do the yard? yeah well - I got to that "Oh no I don't need your help cut off my nose to spite my face thing for a while and then I though - UHG this is stupid - so I said to him - You know - You're in pain - you're not're going to BE in pain whether you sit there - or do SoMETHING - so why don't you cook, and clean up - 3 nights and I'll do it 4. Come to find out - he likes to cook. Then it got to be where he did it all the time and now if he cooks? I'll clean - or sometimes he just does it. I don't think either of us ever feel like we're taking advantage - When we do - we sit and talk. I'd never want him to feel like I was making him out to do it all - and him me. I have a partner, that's in pain - and it's frustrating, but we deal best we can, and let the rest go -

    As far as what's in between? I think your kids are old enough now to pitch in considerably, and if I couldn't motivate them? I'd find a way to delgate, with or without husband's help. If he's not on line looking for jobs? I think the mouse would suddenly stop working until the house was back in order.....Know what I mean??
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    OMG that has so been my life for the past 2 yrs. :rofl:
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Errr... Huh? I'm a little confused... Honestly, I can't do that either. I have however explained to husband that... If I work all day and come home, and do dinner and dishes and a load of laundry or two, and a few other things... And he has been relaxing the whole time... Yes, he has energy - and I do not. Too darned tired. Plus I have to get up the next morning early where he does not. (Though I pester him to anyway.)

    :rofl: I wish! Actually I am going to try this... Cause it's making me crazy again.

    With my husband - it seems to slip his mind - we are waiting for them to schedule him for an appointment to be evaluated for ADHD - I really think it could be an issue with us.
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Now for us - I don't view this as "sex as a bargaining chip" as much as it is a "love languages" thing. I am very much an 'Acts of Service' person. Your deeds demonstrate your love.

    There was a Dr Phil episode that explained this very well:

    To most men - cleaning is a chore
    to many women - cleaning is an act of love

    IOW - I don't fix dinner for you because it is a chore that needs to be done....I fix dinner for you because I love you. If you do the dishes shows that you love me back.

    Now - if I am cleaning and cooking and doing laundry all day (demonstrating love, love, love)...and all I get from husband is tv watching...that is a rejection of my love. THEN he wants to get a little something something??? Nuh-uh! Not happening! I need some 'Acts of Service' from him first...

    At this point in our has almost become a joke:

    I walked in the other day to find husband scrubbing the bathroom and he told me "I know this is getting you all 'hot', but you're gonna have to wait until later...I'm busy."
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I wanted you to know I am not ignoring your post...just don't figure I'm in a position to offer any suggestions.

    I was never one to 'use' sex either, but you know what....marriage is a give and take. But it's not about 'give me a clean kitchen and I'll give you sex'... No, that's not right in my mind. But it came to a point that I had a really hard time finding romantic feelings for what equated to one of my offspring... I want that sort of relationship with my PARTNER, not my charge that I care for 24x7. I think at the very least you need to have a chat with him about that... It's not about trading work for intimacy, it's about doing things that make you want to intimate instead of having to.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  13. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Daisy - I am LMAO over here.....your hubby is hilarious! Sounds like mine... :)
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Alright, Df....share your husband training secrets. I do believe you, my dear, are sitting on a goldmine....

    You better hang onto him.
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yes. Exactly. It's not using sex as currency...

    One's love-life (or lack thereof) is an extension or an expression of the rest of the relationship. If we can work together...we can play together.
  16. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    LOL! O yes, nobody's getting him without a fight!

    The thing that works about our relationship is that we always try to look through those "rose-colored glasses"....and we treat each other as though we are the mates we WANT. I want a helpful, romantic partner - so I tell him that he is the most wonderful, most romantic, most thoughtful man I know.

    Generally, people rise (or fall) to meet your expectations. husband knows that I see him as a "romantic" person....therefore, he sees himself as a "romantic" person. Do I give him tips about what a romantic person might do for me? Sure! I'd love flowers on my birthday...that would be so romantic. (Well, since husband knows he is romantic and I said flowers would be romantic....he will probably bring me flowers.)

    From husband's side? Long ago, he told me that one of the most common complaints among his male friends about their wives is that they stop wearing sexy lingerie. Yes, they still love their wives....they are still attracted to their wives....but they often feel their wives are just not going that extra inch to make things fun and sexy any more.

    husband wants his wife to be "sexy"....that's how he sees guess what? No comfy cotton underthings for me! (And why not? It's fun to still be thought of as sexy!)

    In our house....all kinds of little things get recognized as "Love". Sweeping the floor....taking out the trash....baking cookies....buying groceries....

    If you decide that it is special - it is.

    If you decide to make it special - speak up and tell your partner! Tell them you love them. Tell them that whatever little thing they did was WONDERFUL and you know they did it because they love you. Tell them you love them because they are helpful. They are resourceful. They are frugal. All those good things...

    And if they won't get up off their duff in front of the television....put on some sexy little number and stand in front of their show. Tell them you have something more interesting for them to watch. See if that doesn't get their attention.

    (And the next let them know that they are such wonderful, thoughtful men...maybe they could make you a lovely breakfast? And while you have them whipping up eggs....make plans with your girlfriends. Tell him he'll have the whole afternoon to himself....but you'll be home to fix him something nice for dinner....)
  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    For the most part, Df, I agree with you. But I've said before, husband's family...well, never really seen anything quite like that lot before...and hope never to again. I think he even threw the counselors for a loop when she asked him what he thougt of my complaints and he sat there and said "she's right. she does all the work." lol

    So when those things don't work, ya just come gripe here. lol j/k

    I'm hopeful my own husband is getting a jumpstart to get going again. We will see.

    Susie, didn't mean to hijack your thread. Maybe you should just send your husband to Daisy's for a while and he could watch some good reality. Watch and learn.
  18. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I have to add that I once read that the most effective aphrodisiac for women was a man with dishpan hands.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I completely understand what you are saying about love languages and doing thing because you love them. It just isn't a way husband is capable of seeing things. After 20 yrs of marriage (well, 20 in august), I have come to accept that he will NEVER understand what you are saying. He has tried to, but it just leaves him feeling used and bad.

    So we get to the point where I say "You have to do this. Period. No reason you cannot and if you don't I am going to treat you liek I do when the kids don't do things. And you will not like it." Things don't usually get to this point, but since my body became defective and won't work we have had to re-figure things out.

    I appreciate the ideas and venting, and what you are all saying. But in this specific relationship, we try to not say that "I will want you more if you do more things". THe times we have tried that, even with a therapist helping us explain our points of view to each ohter, it just ends up that we all feel bad because husband just cannot see things that way.

    He did a lot of work in the kitchen today while I was sleeping. Not the entire list, but major amounts of work. Now we have to go because I have a doctor appointment to get lab results. what fun. NOT.
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Well... It's something, I guess!