Am I over-reacting?
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Am I over-reacting?

Hello Everyone ... I've heard great things about these forums and I would love others opinions on what I'm thinking so here I go ...

I have been with my husband for almost 5 years, married for 1 1/2 years and have just purchased a condo that we love. What my issues are is the lack of shared responsibility when it comes to maintaining the cleanliness of our home. We both work full-time (him M-F 9-5, me assorted days & hours). When I come home, I always cook dinner and I always clean our home. It's gotten to the point sometimes when I clean right infront of him so he sees me cleaning, trying to get a reaction out of him (anything like, "Can I help you?" etc.) I get very frustrated when I see him go to his office and sit there for hours upon hours and play poker online. Because of this, I have grown to detest poker and him "running away" to his office.

I have tried numerous times (talking about it, yelling about it, giving him the silent treatment, etc.) to point out the fact that I am the only one who cooks and cleans; I even asked him for just once a week to cook dinner because it is so nice to come home once and not have to make anything, but his idea of that is ordering take-out.

I don't know how else to ask for help. I've spoken to my mother about it and I get an unrealistic answer because my parents are divorced and she (still) hates him and she always did the cooking and cleaning, so ultimately what I'm wondering is, is this going to be my life? Are there any other wives out there who have/had this problem? And if so, what (if anything) did you find successful in coming to a resolution to this problem?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Ultimately I would just like to know that I'm not the only one going through this.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

Not a woman... But have you tried drawing up a list of chores and dividing them up between you? If his don't get done, let them be. And alternate days for providing supper. But keep your piece if he choses takeout instead of cooking. What difference is it, so long as you have dinner?

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Old 01-11-2012, 05:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

This is only going to get worse, especially if you guys have kids. If it doesn't change, is this a dealbreaker for you? You sound very resentful, and resentment is just going to keep building. I think if this doesn't change, you will be very unhappy.

There's a few things you can try. Write him a letter explaining how big a problem this really is, offering to work with him and come up with a chore chart. He probably has no idea you feel this way. Explain to him in no uncertain terms that this WILL result in dire problems the longer it goes on and you need to change it now before it's past the point of no return. If the 'sad' approach doesn't work, then you could try going on 'strike'. Just quit doing anything that you don't have to for yourself. Do YOUR laundry, cook YOUR meals, and ignore his needs. I would only do this, though, if you honestly feel you've totally exhausted other avenues, because he will NOT like it. You guys could also try counseling - not necessarily marriage counseling, but there are also groups and such out there for people to learn life skills. Maybe seeing that other guys DO do this stuff and they really don't mind it would click something in his brain.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

Some men feel that once they are married all the nice things they have done for their wife stops. I have seen were this will lead someone to commiting affair.
He really needs a wake up call. Try talking in matter the express your feeling not accusing. Something like this.
When I come home and see you not helping in the house I feel really abonded by you and hurt that you will not help me in my needs. I think we can share what needs to be done so we can have more time together. I would like you to show me how this poke game works. ( I know you hate this but this would also help him to see that you want do something he like and he might want to do what you need that way)
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope1964 View Post
This is only going to get worse, especially if you guys have kids. If it doesn't change, is this a dealbreaker for you? You sound very resentful, and resentment is just going to keep building. I think if this doesn't change, you will be very unhappy.

There's a few things you can try. Write him a letter explaining how big a problem this really is, offering to work with him and come up with a chore chart. He probably has no idea you feel this way. Explain to him in no uncertain terms that this WILL result in dire problems the longer it goes on and you need to change it now before it's past the point of no return. If the 'sad' approach doesn't work, then you could try going on 'strike'. Just quit doing anything that you don't have to for yourself. Do YOUR laundry, cook YOUR meals, and ignore his needs. I would only do this, though, if you honestly feel you've totally exhausted other avenues, because he will NOT like it. You guys could also try counseling - not necessarily marriage counseling, but there are also groups and such out there for people to learn life skills. Maybe seeing that other guys DO do this stuff and they really don't mind it would click something in his brain.
Good advice. Most importantly, that it won't get better unless it's addressed. Better to address it now then later, especially if you don't have kids yet.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

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Originally Posted by pier1girl View Post
Hello Everyone ... I've heard great things about these forums and I would love others opinions on what I'm thinking so here I go ...

I have been with my husband for almost 5 years, married for 1 1/2 years and have just purchased a condo that we love. What my issues are is the lack of shared responsibility when it comes to maintaining the cleanliness of our home. We both work full-time (him M-F 9-5, me assorted days & hours). When I come home, I always cook dinner and I always clean our home. It's gotten to the point sometimes when I clean right infront of him so he sees me cleaning, trying to get a reaction out of him (anything like, "Can I help you?" etc.) I get very frustrated when I see him go to his office and sit there for hours upon hours and play poker online. Because of this, I have grown to detest poker and him "running away" to his office.

I have tried numerous times (talking about it, yelling about it, giving him the silent treatment, etc.) to point out the fact that I am the only one who cooks and cleans; I even asked him for just once a week to cook dinner because it is so nice to come home once and not have to make anything, but his idea of that is ordering take-out.

I don't know how else to ask for help. I've spoken to my mother about it and I get an unrealistic answer because my parents are divorced and she (still) hates him and she always did the cooking and cleaning, so ultimately what I'm wondering is, is this going to be my life? Are there any other wives out there who have/had this problem? And if so, what (if anything) did you find successful in coming to a resolution to this problem?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Ultimately I would just like to know that I'm not the only one going through this.
I agree you need to address it now or it will get worse. Since you are the one posting, one thing you need to avoid is the yelling, silent treatment and passive agressive type reactions. Those typically don't help, so you need to stay away from them.

You probably do need to follow up your talks with action. Explain that the "home" work (both inside and out) needs to be divided equally. Find what he will do and assign it. Make it equal. If he does not do it, stop doing tasks for him. Quit doing his laundry, making his dinner, or doing his grocery shopping. Make sure he knows this is what you are going to do ahead of time.

You are neither his maid nor his mother, and he needs to understand that.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

Don't try the Jedi-Mind trick thing ...

It simply doesn't work.

Tell him what you want. Ask him for his help. Assign him responsibilities.

And if he chooses to ignore your requests, or abdicates his responsibility, you then know that you have some genuine issues to address.

It's all about setting expectations.

And for the record ... I was the husband that did all of those things. My ex focused on the kids, to the exclusion of virtually all other household responsibilities. It was extraordinarily dysfunctional.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

Resolving this type of thing is part of the process of marriage.

I agree you need to be direct that you want him to do A,B,C. One of those things being some housework or cooking and another one not spending all his time on the computer.

But rather than a dicated demand, it should be a conversation with give and take.

Ultimately if he does not do anything you want, you should stop contributing your efforts to what he wants. i.e. Don't cook for him, don't sex him etc.
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

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Originally Posted by Hope1964 View Post
This is only going to get worse, especially if you guys have kids. If it doesn't change, is this a dealbreaker for you? You sound very resentful, and resentment is just going to keep building. I think if this doesn't change, you will be very unhappy.

There's a few things you can try. Write him a letter explaining how big a problem this really is, offering to work with him and come up with a chore chart. He probably has no idea you feel this way. Explain to him in no uncertain terms that this WILL result in dire problems the longer it goes on and you need to change it now before it's past the point of no return. If the 'sad' approach doesn't work, then you could try going on 'strike'. Just quit doing anything that you don't have to for yourself. Do YOUR laundry, cook YOUR meals, and ignore his needs. I would only do this, though, if you honestly feel you've totally exhausted other avenues, because he will NOT like it. You guys could also try counseling - not necessarily marriage counseling, but there are also groups and such out there for people to learn life skills. Maybe seeing that other guys DO do this stuff and they really don't mind it would click something in his brain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirdano View Post
Some men feel that once they are married all the nice things they have done for their wife stops. I have seen were this will lead someone to commiting affair.
He really needs a wake up call. Try talking in matter the express your feeling not accusing. Something like this.
When I come home and see you not helping in the house I feel really abonded by you and hurt that you will not help me in my needs. I think we can share what needs to be done so we can have more time together. I would like you to show me how this poke game works. ( I know you hate this but this would also help him to see that you want do something he like and he might want to do what you need that way)

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Old 01-12-2012, 03:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

Kick him in the groin...
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deejo View Post
Don't try the Jedi-Mind trick thing ...

It simply doesn't work.

Tell him what you want. Ask him for his help. Assign him responsibilities.

And if he chooses to ignore your requests, or abdicates his responsibility, you then know that you have some genuine issues to address.

It's all about setting expectations.

And for the record ... I was the husband that did all of those things. My ex focused on the kids, to the exclusion of virtually all other household responsibilities. It was extraordinarily dysfunctional.
I was also "that" Husband. Its not only dysfunctional - but it likely means that one of you (Original Poster) may be more invested in the partnership than the other. Not a good thing.

While I was "cleaning", my wife actually felt somewhat ignored and began to find her entertainment elsewhere.
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

I don't think you're overreacting at all.

It's tough keeping house and I don't think that men really realize how hard it is until they have to do it themselves.

How nice it is to come home to the smell of a nice supper, dinner on the table, clean carpets, clean laundry. All the towels are folded nicely in the cupboards in the bathroom with a nice clean fresh one for them every morning. Their shirts are all nice and clean for the next days work, hung up in the closet, socks are all folded in the drawers, clean undies, etc.

They go to the kitchen cupboard and have clean glasses to drink from, the refrigerator is full of food, their lunches are packed all set to go when they leave for work in the morning.

When they go to bed, the bed is made, sheets are clean, pillowcases smell all nice and fresh...AHHHHH!!!!

Leave them alone for a minute and they're on the internet.

Leave them alone for a month and they're saying ARGHHHHHH!!!!!!!

I've got a pretty good guy though...leave him alone for a month and although he misses his clean house he also tries to:

Check the oil in the car, change the oil, check the tires, (and all other car maintenance), cut the grass, shovel the sidewalk, paint the front steps, fix the crack in the wall, fix the falling off wallpaper, unplug the toilet, unplug the sink, put the falling door back on his hinges, and all other maintenance work around the house while looking pretty darned good doing it.

If he could get all of the above done in a month..it'd be a miracle..but he tries..once you can get him off the net!!
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

If he's seriously not doing anything towards the upkeep of the house, whether chores or maintenance, then I suggest you give him a raised eyebrow and tell him to see what it's like when you go on partial strike - i.e. do for yourself in ALL things.

Have you talked to his mother? Did she do the same for his dad?

You did not sign up for this kind of misogynistic nonsense.

Get yourself some dinner, curl up in front of the TV and see how he likes it!

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Old 02-06-2012, 02:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

I wouldn't say so, but at the same time are you cleaning for him, you, friends, the marriage....

I took a good hard look at myself (since I was and technically still am in the situation your in) and found that I was cleaning to "keep his love". After talking with him I found out that he really couldn't care less if the house was dirty or clean as long as I was happy. That's when I decided to clean for me and the kids and not for "his love". I already had it! I love a clean house and my kids love it too, and that's what matters to both of us. (He's also tried to help a few times but two cracked frying pans and a broken vacuum cleaner later I told him to quit while he was ahead. LOL!)

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that it's not over reacting. I greatly dislike that term as it belittle real emotions. If you look at your motivations for cleaning and talk it over with him what he expects than you might come to some agreement. Then again, you might not. Whatever you do, don't let resentment eat at your marriage. Sit down and have a calm conversation with your husband. Your marriage is too precious to throw away over who mopped and who folded towels last.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Am I over-reacting?

You need to nip this in the bud. If you let it go, your resentment will build up and kill your libido. Your husband will be on here in a few years lamenting his sexless marriage and how he does not feel cherished or emotionally connected to you. Some here will tell him that you should just suck it up and meet his sexual needs enthusiastically so he will feel encouraged to "help" you. Others will encourage him to figure out why you have no desire for sex and work on his short comings to make himself more attractive to you. Others will complain that if he "helps" you, he is turning sex into a transaction. Big trouble that can be headed off now.

Get yourself a copy of His Needs Her Needs, both of you go through the emotional needs survey and figure out what three top emotional needs you have and work to meet them. Make a list of the household chores and take turns picking out the ones each of you will be responsible for. Each of you needs to be honorable and do the things on your respective lists.

Seriously, if this is left to fester, it will be way harder to sort out and fix.
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