How can I be Mary, when he's not always Joseph?


#1

My hubby and I have been married for 8 months now. I would say, that the honeymoon is comming to an end and we’ve gotten very comfortable in our roles, for the most part. I am struggling with something, though and would like some advice.

we both work. he works full time and I work part time. Most of the house chores are my responsability. sometimes, we are off on the same day and on these days, I would like his help with some of the chores. he, on the other hand, would rather play on the computer. he says, “it’s my off day” when I ask him for help. this week, he was off for three days in a row. we were both off on monday wich was his third day off and I wanted to do laundry, clean the kitchen and bathrroms and vacume. I asked him to vacume and he said, “yeah I’ll get it” (my least favorite thing to come out of his mouth) and he proceded to play his computer game some more. I continue cleaning and he stays on the computer. finally, I got so mad that I grabbed the vacume and did it myself because he would not budge. this is something that happens often when we have an off day together. and he gets mad at me for “Nagging”. he appriciates a clean home, but I don’t have the energy to do it all myself.

my question is, how can I better approach him and be more loving? I get so mad. are there any ladies on here who have trouble getting their hubbies to help around the house? how do you deal with it?

I know there are some things men will never do. he won’t touch the bathroom. that’s my job. the trash is his job. he’s not allowed to do laundry because he puts everything in together without seperating it. but we try and split the other chores. but it’s like pulling teeth sometimes to get him to work. should I just give up now and do it all myself? or is there a way I can become less of a nag and encourage him to help me in a possitive way?
sorry for the long post, I rant sometimes :slight_smile:


#2

I’m no expert, it would be interesting to experiement by asking him when he isn’t already using the computer, and seeing if it makes any difference. :slight_smile:


#3

Aside from destroying his computer with a baseball bat, this is something that is not on you. It is him.

When I first got married, I had to change. I am a slob and a fashion disaster by nature, and I used to be comfortable in my own slop, though I did have a woman come in and clean during my single days (for which she should get the Congressional Medal of Honor for her bravery).

Then after I got married, I was lazy and my wife would nag. But then, of my own doing, I did come to the realisation that she was right and that I too had to clean up around the house. So I did. But then she would nag me because I wasn’t “doing it right!”

Sometimes, a man cannot win!

Still, the man has to make the effort. Perhaps the only thing you can do is talk to him. And talk, and talk and talk. Do not lose your temper, and do not get shrill (nagging is being shrill), but just keep on him until he gets up and does things. Then while he is up, take over the computer and play his video games. And don’t give them back when he is done! Eventually, he will get the message.

Oh, and don’t forget to compliment him when he does well! And a little bit of extra snuggle time will reinforce the good behaviour!


#4

The only person you can change is yourself. When he’s not on the computer, tell him how you feel. (it’s not nagging to share your feelings) If you feel angry when he doesn’t do his chores, tell him so. No blame, just share your feelings.

Also, think about how much you’re each willing to do and stick with that. Agree together that you will do x,y and z and that he will do a, b and c. After you agree - back off. If a,b and c don’t get done, you have to be able to live with that.

If you’re going along doing everything while he plays on the computer, why would he see a need for change? He’s happy with the status quo. If you’re unhappy, you need to initiate change in yourself.
—KCT (who has been where you are!!)


#5

[quote=SueKrum]My hubby and I have been married for 8 months now. I would say, that the honeymoon is comming to an end and we’ve gotten very comfortable in our roles, for the most part. I am struggling with something, though and would like some advice.

we both work. he works full time and I work part time. Most of the house chores are my responsability. sometimes, we are off on the same day and on these days, I would like his help with some of the chores. he, on the other hand, would rather play on the computer. he says, “it’s my off day” when I ask him for help. this week, he was off for three days in a row. we were both off on monday wich was his third day off and I wanted to do laundry, clean the kitchen and bathrroms and vacume. I asked him to vacume and he said, “yeah I’ll get it” (my least favorite thing to come out of his mouth) and he proceded to play his computer game some more. I continue cleaning and he stays on the computer. finally, I got so mad that I grabbed the vacume and did it myself because he would not budge. this is something that happens often when we have an off day together. and he gets mad at me for “Nagging”. he appriciates a clean home, but I don’t have the energy to do it all myself.

my question is, how can I better approach him and be more loving? I get so mad. are there any ladies on here who have trouble getting their hubbies to help around the house? how do you deal with it?

I know there are some things men will never do. he won’t touch the bathroom. that’s my job. the trash is his job. he’s not allowed to do laundry because he puts everything in together without seperating it. but we try and split the other chores. but it’s like pulling teeth sometimes to get him to work. should I just give up now and do it all myself? or is there a way I can become less of a nag and encourage him to help me in a possitive way?
sorry for the long post, I rant sometimes :slight_smile:
[/quote]

WOW! I was married to a man like that for almost 27 years. We didn’t address this issue very well at all.

From my vantage point looking back on my marriage (I was widowed over three years ago.), I would have to say that had we gone for marriage counseling EARLY in the marriage, we might have been able to work this out better. As it was, my resentment grew worse. When we started our family, it REALLY got worse–I took care of the kids PLUS did the household chores, basically alone. We had fights over chores and not helping, etc. Our children became ‘programmed’ to clean when they heard us arguing. It was NOT nice! I would urge you to try counseling (individual for yourself or as a couple)of some kind, it you want to effect change. As someone else pointed out, you can only change yourself. You will have to work on adjusting your attitude.

I know all too well how frustrating this is!! At the beginning of our marriage, we didn’t have a computer, but there was ALWAYS something that was more interesting for him to do–watch TV, read, etc. than to help with the household chores.

Good luck with this! I will keep you in my prayers.


#6

I spent the first five years of my marriage being angry at my husband for not helping more. What a waste a time!! I’d say just settle on some lower standards and let it go.

A book I read recently is called The Five Love Languages. Read it and maybe you’ll find out that the way you feel loved the most is when your husband does acts of service for you. If that is true, you might want to have him read it and discuss it.


#7

JMU Teresa I have not read that book, but that is probably accurate. I used to fantasize about a man who would build me things and stuff like that. my idea of romance, is when my husband takes care of me when I am sick and makes me soup and stuff like that. and there, he’s a real trooper. this is really our only major problem, is the cleaning thing.

I used to be very disorganized and still am a little, but I am trying to improve. my husband would fuss about my slowness to clean things sometimes and I’ve been working on it. but now that I’ve devloped a good rourteen that would allow the two of us to get the chores done in two hours, he won’t budge. but maybe sitting down and talking about it will help.
I appriciate everyones advice. AnglicanRite, you are right. my sister nags her husband for not doing things her way and I try to never do that. I Just thank him for cleaning. and maybe I should shower him with hugs, kisses and complements when he helps me. but if I smashed the computer, I would not be able to be on the board :slight_smile:
Yes, I know the only person I can change is me and that’s why I was asking, what I can do. how I can be more loving. I know part of the problem is my attitude. and I need to change it.


#8

Welllll…good luck with that!
After 16 years, I just do it all myself, with no complaint, and keep the peace. All my nagging, requesting, begging and harping got me zilch.
At least he fixes the cars if something goes wrong. :rolleyes:


#9

[quote=SueKrum]My hubby and I have been married for 8 months now. I would say, that the honeymoon is comming to an end and we’ve gotten very comfortable in our roles, for the most part. I am struggling with something, though and would like some advice.

we both work. he works full time and I work part time. Most of the house chores are my responsability. sometimes, we are off on the same day and on these days, I would like his help with some of the chores. he, on the other hand, would rather play on the computer. he says, “it’s my off day” when I ask him for help. this week, he was off for three days in a row. we were both off on monday wich was his third day off and I wanted to do laundry, clean the kitchen and bathrroms and vacume. I asked him to vacume and he said, “yeah I’ll get it” (my least favorite thing to come out of his mouth) and he proceded to play his computer game some more. I continue cleaning and he stays on the computer. finally, I got so mad that I grabbed the vacume and did it myself because he would not budge. this is something that happens often when we have an off day together. and he gets mad at me for “Nagging”. he appriciates a clean home, but I don’t have the energy to do it all myself.

my question is, how can I better approach him and be more loving? I get so mad. are there any ladies on here who have trouble getting their hubbies to help around the house? how do you deal with it?

I know there are some things men will never do. he won’t touch the bathroom. that’s my job. the trash is his job. he’s not allowed to do laundry because he puts everything in together without seperating it. but we try and split the other chores. but it’s like pulling teeth sometimes to get him to work. should I just give up now and do it all myself? or is there a way I can become less of a nag and encourage him to help me in a possitive way?
sorry for the long post, I rant sometimes :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Hi Sue,
I had a similar…ok almost exact problem… What I have begun to do is ask him when we get up if he can do something together later that day that he likes to do, then after he says yes, I ask if he can help me get done the housework earlier so we can go. Be specific is the key…
example:
Honey, would you like to go to the movies today? Just you and me? (At which point he usually asks what movies are playing so be prepared to name at least one movie that he would like to see)
Then he says…Sure that sounds good. How about the 2 o’clock matinee show? So I say…ok, do you think you could help me get the kitchen cleaned up so I can really scrub the bathroomn so when we get home we can take a bubble bath together? At which point he sees a reward (in his mind) to helping out and he says sure. So I go to clean the bathroom and he cleans the kitchen…we get done about 11am and I say ohhh this is wonderful, we even have time to go get some lunch before the movie…or…wanna skip the movie and go straight for the bubble bath? We all end up winners in this scenario…and happy with each other. Just my advice but it works for me.


#10

BlestOne,
I like your idea :slight_smile: sure wish we had a tub big enough for the both of us :smiley: but I"ll think of something :smiley:
thanks


#11

When your husband* does* do something, even if it’s not quite right or it is small, lavish on the praise, and brag to family and friends within earshot of your husband. Example (phone conversation with family or friend while you hubby is within hearing distance.) “Oh yesterday even though ‘John’ worked all day he helped me clean up the kitchen. I feel so blessed that he’s willing to help even when I know he’s tired.” And sound very genuine. The more you appreciate your man the more he’ll do to get appreciated for.


#12

Wow. And Good Luck!

After 9.5 years, I still have to nag and get on DHs case;)


#13

It’s difficult when each person in a marriage has a different way and idea of cleaning. My dh is sort of slobby. Once every 8 weeks or so, he goes on a clean/organize rampage through the basement and garage, and actually complains that we (me and the kids) are “such slobs”!!! Ahhhhhhh!!! We’ve been married for over 18 years now. It hasn’t changed. I’ve tried nagging, complaining, etc. etc. I’ve also tried being nice, complimenting when he does something, etc. etc. It’s pretty much the same as always. What I do that makes things better is this: In the midst of being angry or frustrated, I really try to focus on the things he DOES do—he coaches the kids’ teams, he takes care of the cars, he takes care of the majority of yardwork (we have a few acres), he put up pool (free from a neighbor) by himself and built the deck, he rebuilt an old wood swingset better than new, etc. etc. Then, I realize I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I take a few deep breaths and try to appreciate my husband–the man God gave me to spend my life with. It really does work!!!:slight_smile:


#14

[quote=rayne89]When your husband* does* do something, even if it’s not quite right or it is small, lavish on the praise, and brag to family and friends within earshot of your husband. Example (phone conversation with family or friend while you hubby is within hearing distance.) “Oh yesterday even though ‘John’ worked all day he helped me clean up the kitchen. I feel so blessed that he’s willing to help even when I know he’s tired.” And sound very genuine. The more you appreciate your man the more he’ll do to get appreciated for.
[/quote]

AMEN !!! It really only takes a little bit of recognition, and say “thanks, that looks FANTASTIC!!” even if it doesn’t!! When was the last time you were eager to try fractions again after the teacher marked all but one wrong on your paper?! I have found that a simple thankyou, in the right tone of voice (the one that says “I’m so lucky to have found you for so many reasons” but doesn’t say “unfortunately, dishwashing isn’t one of them”) – that can go a LOOOOONG way to “perfect” dishes in the future…this will REALLY come in as a handy ability when the kids come along…as in, ok, so Jr’s diaper is on backwards, and the sides are taped with packing tape, but the main point is, Jr is ALIVE, and there’s no poop on your white carpet, so SAY THANKYOU or the next time the diaper needs changing, he’s goingt o think “well, I never do it right, so I’ll just let her do it”

I always tell myself “well crud, nobody does it half as good as me…so just appreciate what is offered wouldya!!!” :stuck_out_tongue: Besides, if I insist no one does it as well as me, then I’ll always be the one to do it…
One more thing – praise where he can hear you praising him – rayne has an excellent suggestion there…I can feel him swell with pride when I ‘brag’ to my mom how good he is to me b/c he took the recycling out even tho he was late for work, but it was cold, so he did it. I’m not exaggerating the truth, I’m simply acknowledging it so that he knows I appreciate him even when he’s not the one I’m talking to about it…

Oh, and I always make sure to tell people (as I’m doing now) that he brings me my coffee every morning when I start to snort myself awake…can you beat it?!?


#15

As for your question “How can I be Mary when he’s not always Joseph,” I have a wonderful idea! ASK Mary to help you be like her! Just pray “Mama, please HELP me! ‘John’ is really getting to me. Please help me to be patient and know how to deal with this situation as a holy wife. And please inspire him to be more responsive with the chores. I love you!” She won’t be able to say no to that one :smiley:


#16

[quote=leaner]…this will REALLY come in as a handy ability when the kids come along…as in, ok, so Jr’s diaper is on backwards, and the sides are taped with packing tape, but the main point is, Jr is ALIVE, and there’s no poop on your white carpet, so SAY THANKYOU or the next time the diaper needs changing, he’s goingt o think “well, I never do it right, so I’ll just let her do it”

[/quote]

:yup: But when he acknowledges his so-so job of diapering or feeding (getting food everywhere on baby’s face except in the mouth, for example), I also say “You’re doing fine! You just need a little more practice, that’s all–if you did this all day you’d be a pro like me :)” and it might just be my hubby, but this seems to actually make him want more practice, which is more than fine with me!


#17

[quote=CatholicSam]:yup: But when he acknowledges his so-so job of diapering or feeding (getting food everywhere on baby’s face except in the mouth, for example), I also say “You’re doing fine! You just need a little more practice, that’s all–if you did this all day you’d be a pro like me :)” and it might just be my hubby, but this seems to actually make him want more practice, which is more than fine with me!
[/quote]

The other thing I’ve found to go a long way – (and mind you, all of this is true, and none of it is “fluff” – the difference is that we always just assume these things are understood, when they’re just not! )

“are you kidding? My dad woulndn’t even TOUCH a diaper, so you’re LIGHT years ahead!!!” – but yes, I have said the “yeah, 18 times per day will get you pretty proficient…” – and then I make a joke like “how’bout I take a week in Bermuda, and you can kick my butt in diapering by Sunday, 'k!!!” with a big smile…then followed with “nah, I’d miss you too much…lol!” – and again, none of it is false…it’s just stuff you don’t think to verbalize, but can do so much for a relationship!


#18

Okay ladies, you may not like my advice, but since SueKrum asked for advice here’s mine: I notice that when you describe “household chores” nowhere do you list things like snowplowing the driveway, maintaining the cars, cleaning the garage, repairing and installing various gagets around the house, etc. Those are things that qualify as household chores too.

If your husband does nothing to contribute to the wellfare of your home except work and play computer, it’s a problem. But if he just doesn’t want to vacuume because he doesn’t think the house need vacuuming or something like that, give him a break. You say he works full time and you work part time. You might find more happiness in your marriage if you did some of the mundane housecleaning during your time off while he’s at work instead of nagging him on his day off.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox. Some of my friends used to get mad when I failed to sympathize with them on this issue, and I expect some of you will as well. But I can honestly say that I have a much happier marriage than they did, even if my carpets weren’t as clean. (Oh, and today our son did the vacuuming, so that problem is solved.)


#19

Actually I agree…and there is a line of thought that goes with this; if you get the household chores done because that’s your responsibilities then the rest of the time off you have together you can spend…TOGETHER…and then maybe that computer game won’t seem so engaging!

Dr. Laura’s book The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands addresses this issue. She gets some things right…combine it with prayer and making the Domestic Church the sacred refuge for you both and who knows what might happen?

My prayers are with you!


#20

To offer a different perspective my friend. I also work full time and go to school full time at night, thats my second job as my husband of a little over a year says. He works a full time job and a part time job so that we can afford the school expenses. When I am in school he helps with the cooking because I get home so late, occasionally he will make the runs to the grocery store or do a load of laundry. However when I am home, I do all of the housework with out question. Its kind of my way of saying “I appreciate you” he works two jobs and he helps with the cooking when I am in school, so when I can I do what needs to be done to allow him to rest. Perhaps you can split up your housework to a more workable schedule. for example, a small load of laundry each night just to keep up with it, run the vaccum a couple of times a week and wipe down the bathroom when you have time, then when it is your day off you can spend less time finishing your housework and more time with him enjoying each others company. That was the hardest lesson for me to learn as a new wife and a self proclaimed neat freak. It doesnt all have to be done in one day and I dont necesarrily need his help to do it. I can do it by myself if need be and allow him his down time. you both need time together just relaxing and hanging out. It doesnt always have to be productive. Just try to make yourself a schedule and stick to it. It will make your life easier. As far as inspiring him to help, the trick is to make the absolute biggest fuss over anything he does to help even if he does it wrong. If he folds the towels wrong, dont go back and refold them, let them be and thank him immensely for helping you, pretty soon before you know it he will want to help if nothing more to gain some praise from his new bride. my mom jokingly told me one time when I had this same complaint that husbands are like puppies, its all about positive reinforcement.


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