spouses/SO

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by e6789, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. e6789

    e6789 Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2012

    Seems like I have been annoyed with my bf all the time recently! I know it has something to do with how busy I've been, since I am a first year teacher.

    Oldest story in the book--but it seems like he JUST DOESN'T get it! If I get up at 5am to make an hour drive to be there at 7am and don't get home until 6pm, don't you think he'd make the effort to CLEAN UP AFTER HIMSELF? This is what I'd what at the very least! Ideally, he would actually help me out by doing dishes, laundry, etc.

    Important note--he does not, by any means, work long hours or have a demanding job. He gets to work between 6:30 and 7:00. He rarely gets 8 hours in, and could be home by 3:00-3:30. He is a maintenance man. I know some in this profession may be very busy; however, his job mainly consists of mowing 2 days a week, pool maintenance, and bs-ing with coworkers.

    It's so ANNOYING because, while he says he does, he just doesn't understand how busy I am. I am working 7 days a week. I have a second job for extra money on the weekends, so I'm gone from 9:30-6:30 every Saturday and Sunday. It's not a difficult job, but when I am gone for 12 hours a day 5 days/week, all I want to do is spend a day relaxing at home, catching up on housework (since God knows he won't do it), and spend time doing what I'd like, for once.

    When I try to mention it to him (in a nice tone), he gets defensive and snappy, so I just drop it. I feel like he's being so selfish and childish.

    Does anyone else have these problems, or similar ones? If so, how can I deal with this, effectively?? I don't want to be annoyed with him all the time, because it just adds more stress to my life!
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 26, 2012

    It seems to me that this is the crux of the issue.

    You're two adults in a mature relationship. Yet it seems that you've been relegated to the role of the mommy, taking care of her little boy. And that he gets a bye if he acts sullen when you discuss it. He gets clean dishes and clean clothes, and all he has to do to earn them is pout when you bring up the subject.

    This is a problem. It's not about work or who works longer hours, it's about the expectations you two have of each other and of your life together.

    To answer your question, no, that's not how it is in our house. We each have chores we tend to do more often, but it adapts as the situation changes. When Peter was in the hospital, I took over pool maintenence; if I go out shopping he feed the kids and does the dishes.

    I think the two of you need a serious talk about the basics of your relationship.

    In the meantime, you're working two jobs. Consider springing for a cleaning service once a week.
     
  4. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2012

    Sorry, no great advice, but I would not tolerate this behavior. If he is unwilling to any part of his share of the work now, what might it be like when things really get tough (think babies, illness, etc). Good luck.
     
  5. njteach41

    njteach41 Middle School Social Studies Teacher

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    Aug 26, 2012

    my bf, now husband and I used to have the same arguments. it was a little different, he would agree to do things but then "forget". we talked about it and worked out a solution and things have been great. and sometimes it will amaze you how simple the solution is.

    all he wanted me to do was......... write it down. he actually wanted a to-do list. i think in my husbands case he knows i have a system and do tons of things and i don't think he knew where to start or what i wanted him to do so he avoided it.

    now that i gave him a list (not overloaded with stuff, just 3-4 things that i really want done, and i put star next to the really important ones)

    he does the to-do list and things are much smoother now. maybe you can ask your bf how he wants to go about helping and what he thinks he can do to contribute.
     
  6. e6789

    e6789 Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2012

    I have presented the idea of taking turns doing dishes, sweeping, Swiffering, all the basic stuff. Lately, I have been trying to catch up with all the housework, and let him do his own laundry....

    This has resulted in him throwing a MAJOR tempter tantrum (no better wording for it) because he has NO clean clothes in the morning. Instead of not having any clean clothes, you would think he'd step up and WASH THEM. Nope. He has a whole weekend that he could get these things done.

    I will try the list suggestion. Hopefully, he will SEE it on the fridge and step up. He does take care of the dogs basic needs more than I do--it's not like I don't take care of their feeding and exercise needs. For example, he gets up later than I do, and I leave before him. This means he takes them out in the AM to do their business, feeds them, and crates them up. He will throw this in my face, although our dog duties are equal when I am home. However, I will compromise and not fight the issue. I can include this on the list.

    Alice, the description you provided is exactly right. He grew up never having to worry about this. Whenever he got mad about doing something, his parents just let it go and did it themselves. Annoying.

    As far as talking about the basics of the relationship, he tells me I'm being petty about the cleaning issue, and that I shouldn't be so "mean" to him. I am not mean, by any means. But whenever I ask him to do something, he portrays it as mean.

    This morning, before I have to leave, I am trying to clean up the house, while ignoring his laundry. This may be immature, but he has to step up and do something. I just don't understand how he can play ps3 and bs-ing with buddies after work while I am working and barely have time to breathe.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 26, 2012

    The crux of the problem is the bolded words in this sentence.

    I'm sorry, but why were these YOUR complete responsibility in the first place? You set up a situation where you probably took care of everything. Now you are expecting a change from him. Have you had a discussion with him. I don't mean telling him what to do, but a real discussion. I also don't mean telling him you need help with the things that need to be done because that still implies they are your responsiblity and he is doing you a favor. Taking care of household responsibilities is a joint effort.

    It isn't about whose job is harder. Don't even bring that up in the discussion because it makes you sound petty. What is different is the time away from the home with your two jobs making it impossible for you to the jobs that you used to do around the house.

    However, he may just have different standards. He may not care about dishes piling up in the sink (especially when he knows that you have a lower tolerance). You also may not end up with YOUR optimal solution, but a compromise somewhere in between.

    At the end, can you live with it.

    I also agree with Alice. You probably have been is surrogate mommy. Not the relationship a girlfriend or wife should have but one many create.

    OP, we cross posted. I now see some of your further detail.

    Let him throw his fits. Kindly remind him that he has no clean clothes because he didn't do his laundry. Drop it and don't stew about it. Don't get emotional. But in reality, if he won't step up after a while of trying, chances are he won't step up for a while. Sometimes you need to look at the situation and decide if it is still working for you. Is he really mature enough to be living with? How long will you wait for him to become more mature?
     
  8. mrs. young

    mrs. young New Member

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    Aug 26, 2012

    My husband repeatedly told me he needs a list. My thought at the time was I do not have the time to put together a list . . .can't he see the garbage needs to be taken out?!? But no he can't and so we utilize a list and life is so much easier. I think it comes down to the men and women are created differently business. Women are great multi-taskers and men can only focus on one task at a time.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 26, 2012

    If one of my sisters, or a friend, told me this about her relationship, I would be very concerned.

    Think very carefully about all the years to come... about raising children, being ill, all the ups and downs of life as a couple.

    Do you really want to be put on the defensive for asking your partner to do a reasonable amount of the work that has to be done?

    He sounds like a child. Having kids is whole different thing from being in a relationship with one.
     
  10. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I had a hard time with this when my now-husband and I first started dating. Then I realized that his personality just needs more leisure time and more alone time and more sleep than I do. He was doing the things he needed to do (laundry, dishes, etc.) but I just didn't get why Id come home from doing something extra at school and still need to take care of dinner or sweeping or something. It was because he had done his work, he had helped with what he thought was his share, and I was late getting home because I chose to do extra work.

    What works best for us now is having a housekeeper come once a week for a couple of hours. She just does four rooms, and only does floors, dusting, etc. It's so worth is, especially wince we're both really busy at work and with other obligations now. It lets us both have some guilt-free downtime without getting behind on the house.
     
  11. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    He sounds like he is being very disrespectful to you. There is no way this would fly in my house. Even if you had 50/50 jobs, I would just ask him why he thinks it is ok to leave all the work for you? Would he be ok with the house just being a huge mess and neither of you cleaning? (I ask this in seriousness, because my fiance would be totally ok with that.) Or does he really expect it to be done, just not by him?

    I had to explain this to my fiance the other day. He felt like I was nagging him because he wasn't putting things away where they belonged in the kitchen. I basically told him it was disrespectful to me when he didn't take the extra couple of second to put things away right (stack the glasses or bowls the way they have to go, stack measuring cups, etc.) He sort of looked at me like I was crazy to think he was being disrespectful until I explained that we are short on space in the kitchen. You can just throw stuff in a drawer or whatever, but when the next load gets put away, it has to be rearranged or else the stuff won't fit. Basically the message you are sending to me is - this isn't important enough for me to take the time to do so I will just leave it for someone else to do. And since it's just the two of us, someone else = me. So basically you are making a mess for me to just clean up later. You are making my job harder later by making it easier for yourself now. Disrespectful. I think he got it. I have also taken the time to fold his laundry and then he doesn't put it away, just lives out of the basket, and then stuff ends up on the floor and back in the dirty clothes when I know darn well he didn't wear it. I did stop doing his laundry after that and it stopped. (Not that I always do the laundry.)

    On the other hand, he has never just totally refused to help clean. He realizes that things need to be done and that it's both of our responsibilities. But of the two of us, I am the cleaner one and I am sort of the "manager" of what needs to be done around the house. I make the list and he follows, as someone else said. And I have to make a list, because if I just said 'Go clean the bathroom" he would probably put away some things on the counter and swish the toilet bowl and be done. I have to spell it out - clean the mirrors, wipe down the counter and sink, scrub the tub, clean the floors, etc. However, he has never thrown a temper tantrum about not wanting to do it.

    I guess my big question is, like i said, if he isn't going to do it, who does he expect to do it? If he says you, then why? Because you are a woman? He obviously has more time than you so what other reason would there be? Or he wouldn't care if you lived in filth, which, like I said about my own BF, I wouldn't put past him. Then I would say you need to compromise and come to an agreement about what you want the house to look like and who will be responsible for what. I just really think that sometimes they still believe in the cleaning fairy. They don't always think things through, like I said above. He didn't make that connection - if I don't do this, I am basically leaving it for her to do. Is that fair?
     
  12. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 26, 2012

    So, what if he has a lower tolerance for filth and untidyness? Where is the compromise? Can you find one that you can live with or is living with an untidy person going to be a constant thorn in your side if you can't get him to come to an agreement? I don't expect that you will get everything you want here. He may end up doing his laundry at some point without throwing a fit, but can you really live with coming home to scattered dishes and a messy counter when you didn't make that mess?

    Also, he may just see this time as playing house, not a real committed relationship.
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 26, 2012

    :yeahthat:

    I was trying to figure out a way to express that earlier. Well said, Alice!
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I was a stay at home mom for a long time and took care of much of the daily household chores...dh was in the military at the time and could be gone for weeks or months at a time. Since he retired from the military (and now has a second career) and my teaching/tutoring schedule fills my days (sometimes I'm out of the house for 12 hours), we've come to more of a balance..in addition to having a housekeeper come during the school year (about every three weeks), in between I do laundry on weekends, he cooks most nights of the week. We both 'straighten' up daily. We make our bed together every morning and split the vacuuming. He does the garbage.We both work on the yard together...relationships change over time, but we've always been a partnership. You and your bf may need to sit down and discuss your expectations for not just household chores, but your relationship overall. Good luck to you.
     
  15. njteach41

    njteach41 Middle School Social Studies Teacher

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    Aug 26, 2012

    it won't work by telling your bf/so/husband/wife or whoever what to do. i don't like being told what to do. its just like with students, you have to have a discussion and guide them in the right direction. in the end they can come up with their own solutions.

    it sounds like a discussion is out of the question which is concerning. i would be concerned that he is acting this way for something such as cleaning up and taking caring of basic needs. like another poster said, what about when things get tough, like really tough.... sickness, money troubles, children, etc. etc. etc.

    i believe that all relationships take work and no one is perfect. my husband was babied by his mother as well and came with a ton of that "take care of me" syndrome lol. but he was willing to discuss and understand where i was coming from and we learned together how to be there for each other no matter what the issue was. if he can't discuss and compromise, it might be something to think about.
     
  16. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Aug 26, 2012

    You guys probably can guess what I'm goig to say! I sure wouldn't tolerate his horrendous behavior either. What is this?! Us ladies have enough students who we have write down their HW assignments & other info. We don't need another student when we get home too! :mad: Tell buster that things will have to change around here! With all that extra time on his hands bs-ing w/ buddies like you say, he has enough time to work 2 or 3 jobs.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 26, 2012

    If somehow you haven't left yet, consider leaving him a reminder on the fridge that his laundry still needs to be done if there's anything there he'll need for the upcoming week.

    That way he's not taken by surprise by the change in the routine.
     
  18. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    Aug 26, 2012


    I agree with the other poster that said you need to also ask yourself if this is something you are willing to continue to deal with for the rest of your life. Men are different beings and the habits that they grew up with are often times hard to conquer!
     
  19. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    When my hubs and I were first married, I was the one that did most of the inside work while he did the outside work. As time as gone on, that has become more of a balance where he does certain things inside and outside and I do certain indoor and outdoor chores. He's been away for 2 years doing border work so I've had to step up and do everything (the one thing I've hired out for is yard work). He's living in a hotel where his room is cleaned every day by the housekeepers. I know that when he comes home we're going to have to work on him letting go of that housekeeper mentality.

    I agree with Alice that you need to look down the road into the future.
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I think silver approached this the right way. She didn't seem overly emotional, and she had a sensible conversation that allowed him to realize his choices were in fact disrespectful. Tossing that measuring cup in the drawer or cabinet seemed harmless and even "time efficient" to him at the moment, but once she explained she was having to go back and correct those choices thus causing her more work, I am sure he was able to see the problem.
     
  21. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    You do have to compromise, and it has to be a true compromise on both sides. Another example - BF was leaving his shoes and clothes all over the place in the living room - he likes to strip when he gets home, chills in his underwear for a few minutes, and then goes and puts on gym shorts and a tee. Can't say that I mind. :angel:

    Anyway, the stuff all over the floor was unacceptable. His shoes alone would kill me - size 15s make quite a tripping hazard. But I didn't really expect him to go upstairs, fold up his clothes, hang them up if he planned on wearing it again, put his shoes in the closet, etc. He wanted his time to relax and chit chat. So we worked out a realistic compromise - we have a shoe bin by the door, a laundry basket and hooks in the laundry room. If he wants to "depantificate" as he calls it, when he walks in the door, that's fine - shoes go in the bin, anything he wants to re-wear goes on the book, dirty stuff goes in the basket. Realistic compromise.

    Back to the OP, though - I just think this is an important question to ask because it goes back to the crux of the issue - If he sees the house as messy and wants it clean, but expects her to do it after her two jobs while he goes and plays PS with his friends - this is a serious issue that goes way beyond household chores. If he is not really seeing the house as dirty and just doesn't think that it's a big deal for the stuff to get done, then the issue is about finding a compromise for housework that they can both deal with it, but it isn't that he is being blatantly disrespectful or expecting her to wait on him hand and foot.
     

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