How do I get my husband to realize that I am more than his house cleaner and child care?

Haliegh - posted on 08/13/2012 ( 28 moms have responded )

6

0

0

I am a stay at home mom, My husband works 8+ hours a day, my job is to care for the childre, his 3 children from his previous relation ship and our 2 year old daughter, there is a lot of issues with his ex and I have been right there helping, actually doing everything for him regarding the legal matters, I cook, I take care of the children plus the 2 I do daycare for so the house is not always clean, I had a hard time ajusting the life as a step mom, out house was always messy, like really messy, lately though I have keeping the house semi acceptable and nothing is good enough I asl him to at least clean up after himself and he refuses he says he works all day and that is my job. to the point that he wont even put his own dishes in the sink or clothes in the laundry, he literally drops his drawers wherever he is standing and I am supposed to find these clothes and wash them, he said wheres the respect, a wife is supposed to take care of her husband. If he would quit bitching about everything I would be a little more relaxed and not so paranoid that he is going to leave me if I keep the house clean, which he has said before.I love his children but from the first time I met them I was responcible for them, baths and bedtime and whatnot, I became pregnant very quickly so I guess he assumed I take over the mother role regardless of what I thought about it. What in the world do I do! Talking flat out doesnt work.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jodi - posted on 08/14/2012

3,560

36

3907

It is absolutely NOT your job to clean up after him. Seriously? He is disrespectful enough to drop his drawers where he is standing and has the absolute gall to tell you it is your job because that is what a good wife does?

You want to know what I would do? I'd tell him to fuck off. He has NO RIGHT to do that to you. It is belittling and abusive.

Julie - posted on 08/15/2012

512

54

53

GO ON STRIKE! Meanwhile, make a LIST OF PRICING to hire a professional for all the house hold/childcare things you do. I did mine on a monthly spread sheet. Cleaners for house, laundry services, dry cleaning, gardeners, daycare, personal chefs, personal shoppers, taxi services the list goes on right?
Give him the sheet after you "Strike" and say, these are your options:
Help me, pay me, or pay someone else to do it. Because this is how much my job is worth, and ZERO is what I get.
When men see what we are "worth on paper" it makes better sense. Dollar signs speak their language. Emotional arguments, not so much. They will Alpha Male us under if we do not step up to the table and thrown down like Business women
Sometimes marriage is like a business. We are equal partners of ownership (according to the law), and we deserve to be heard.
Happy Wife, Happy Life :)

Rebecca - posted on 08/16/2012

18

29

0

If you ladies have to do spread sheets and go on strike, or any other means of making your men see the light... then I'm sorry to say you have the wrong men. If a man truly values, respects and loves you then he helps us with things around the house without being nagged or threatened :( my man commutes 3 hours daily to work a 12-15 hour day, comes home and still does stuff for me. I don't expect him to, he just does ♥ its called real love, not slavery

Danielle - posted on 08/15/2012

778

25

110

I would take the opportunity to find a full time job, and put your daughter in childcare...

I would then tell him to organize childcare for his other children and that he will have to cover the expense for his other children to be watched while you return to work. You cover the cost of care for your daughter if it comes down to it.



Then save your extra money like crazy and get the hell out of there.

What kind of impression will this give your daughter when she is older?

It is not your duty as the mother to be the maid... a mutual relationship is based on understanding and respect. This is a concept he doesn't seem to grasp, and he sounds like a chauvinist pig!



It makes me wonder how he was raised, and makes me want to kick the crap out of his mother.

What a poor example of what a man should be, and how a loving relationship should function..

Lynn - posted on 08/16/2012

162

6

2

I think the women who are telling you to just leave him are far too quick to quit before giving this a real chance. The child you have together is worth enough to you to give her two parents to raise her, isn't she? You shouldn't get a divorce over something as simple as some dirty clothes and dishes left all over. I know it's annoying, and I sympathize. I have two kids with my DH, taken care of his two kids from his ex-wife, and I've had a home preschool for 16 years, so I do understand.

Here's my suggestion: make out a list of your responsibilites around the house: taking care of all the children, earning money with your preschoolers, cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, washing clothes placed in the hamper, washing dishes placed in the sink or dishwasher, etc. Then, make a list of his responsibilities - mowing the lawn, getting the cars serviced, earning his income, putting his clothes in the hamper, putting his dishes in the sink or dishwasher, etc. Then, make a list of things you will NOT do: pick up his clothes from the floor, pick up his dirty dishes, etc.

When you're both calm, and the kids are in bed, show him what you've written down, and explain that you both have responsibilties around the house. You will do most everything, as well as contribute to the household's income, but you have a breaking point. He then has to decide if he's willing to give a little. Tell him that any clothes or dishes placed where they are not supposed to be, will remain there. He will eventually not have enough clean clothes, or the mess will bother him enough to do what you're asking him to do.

DO NOT CAVE IN NO MATTER WHAT! If you give in, he will take advantage of you forever! He has to know you mean it! Just like when you discipline your kids, he may scream and "cry" for a while, but when that doesn't work, he'll come around. Just remain calm, look him in the eye, and tell him again what you said you will and won't do, and stick to it! Otherwise, you'll still be picking up his clothes in 20 years, wondering why you've put up with it for so long.

Make sure you require the same from your kids, too. My preschoolers, from the time they're 15 months old, put their plates and cups on the counter after lunch, and walk in and lay down for their naps. When your husband sees your 2 year old cleaning up after herself, it may help him get the idea that he can at least do that much! You have to remember that he is setting an example, and if he gets away with it, all your kids will think that this behavior is acceptable, and grow up to do the same things.

You might also consider finding a family counselor who will explain to him that everyone has to pull their own weight, and you're not asking too much. Find a male counselor. Your husband may listen to him better.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

28 Comments

View replies by

User - posted on 01/10/2013

1

3

0

I am with you all sometimes not a good thing to try get out of damed if do damed if u dont i am over the mess i have 4 kids of my own and two are my partners kids i am at breaking point

West - posted on 08/23/2012

162

4

4

I was in the situation as far as my husband being inconsiderate with the cleaning. I pointed out to him how we are help mates and he needs to help. Is it a chance he really isn't aware of the issue? I had to somewhat "train" my husband to put his clothes in the hamper, throw trash in the can, and put dishes in the sink. I took like 6 months but now it's second nature. He is used to women doing it for him and you need to show him the better way. If you have brought this constantly to his attention just explain to him how it's a weird a new situation for you to be a new stepmom so he needs to help. Hope I was at least a little helpful.

Amber - posted on 08/17/2012

23

15

0

I was in a similar situation. I had two step-children and our child, she was 6 months at the time. The boys had chores that were age appropriate, they were 9 and 10 at the time. The boys cleaned up their own room and after themselves. Meaning dirty dishes were set by the sink and I would rinse and they would put them in and when they were clean they put up the silverware. My ex would come home and just leave his things were they laid and then complain later when I had not had a chance to pick it up. What I did was I started cleaning only half the house. I would pick up for the kids and myself, because they helped, meaning just daily things like laundry. I literally had a line down the middle of the house and everywhere he went I didn't clean. After about a month of this he finally asked about it and I told him when he figured out what respect was and was ready to talk to me as his wife and not a 3 year old then we would discuss it. About another month went by and he finally came home had a babysitter and took me to dinner so we could talk without interruption. Things did improve for a while, and his girlfriend says he picks up after himself to this day. LOL he HATES to wash laundry.

Keri - posted on 08/17/2012

177

7

8

I thought of this as I was writing my response. I thought you could use a little bit of comedy.

One day a man comes home from work to find total mayhem at home. The kids were outside still in their pajamas playing in the mud and muck. There were empty food boxes and wrappers all around.

As he proceeded into the house, he found an even bigger mess. Dishes on the counter, dog food spilled on the floor, a broken glass under the table, and a small pile of sand by the back door. The family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing, and a lamp had been knocked over.

He headed up the stairs, stepping over toys, to look for his wife. He was becoming worried that she may be ill, or that something had happened to her.

He found her in the bedroom, still in bed with her pajamas on, reading a book.

She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, "what happened here today?"

She again smiled and answered, "You know everyday when you come home from work and ask me what I did today?"

"Yes," he replied.

She answered, "Well today I didn't do it!"

Keri - posted on 08/17/2012

177

7

8

You do need to have a serious conversation with him. One way to get him to be more respectful of you is to institute new rules for the house. Make the kids clean up after themselves and have him start doing it too. The house will not be perfect, but it will help a lot.

I am also a stay at home mom. I home school my oldest, I entertain my youngest, and I have to run the middle kid back and forth to school. The house is not always spotless. I do keep up on picking up the toys and the laundry. I HATE doing dishes. I try to do them once a day, but I don't always get to them. My husband works anywhere from 8 to 10 hours a day usually 7 days a week. He still helps around the house. He helps with cooking and when he isn't dead tired, with picking up, and sometimes cleans the kitchen.

I make the kids clean up after themselves. They have to take their dishes to the kitchen, put their toys away, and put there dirty clothes in the laundry. Usually that is in a pile near the bathroom that I usually take to the laundry room once a day. I also make them straighten up their rooms. I have just begun the put your own clean clothes away thing which has resulted in them being shoved in a drawer, but I am not folding them and putting them away anymore except for my 3 year old. If you get everyone doing it hopefully your husband will start to do more too.

One thing I have found that gives a new perspective is having him do everything you do for a day. He will figure out really quickly that you don't sit on your butt doing nothing all day long.

Janiene - posted on 08/16/2012

5

5

0

If you are doing all of these things and he does not appreciate you, then there is no marriage. He works and you are the caregiver. You will burn-out. You cannot possibly be everything to everyone. This includes being your husband's mother. Try getting a bit of time for yourself so that you can re-evaluate what your needs are in this relationship. Maybe both you, and your husband need to have "A heart to heart" talk and if he refuses, then you need to set some boundaries before you loose your self esteem. Begin now to set boundaries with all of the children, make them do chores, reward their good behavior, and take some time for yourself so that you can take some control back. No man will respect anyone that they can walkall over. Tell him kindly to pick up his clothing and if that does not work, let it lie on the floor until he picks it up, regardless of how bad it gets, DO NOT PICK UP THOSE CLOTHES. He is a man , and needs to take some personal responsibility.

Lacye - posted on 08/16/2012

889

0

221

My husband had the balls to tell me that it was my job to take care of him one time and one time only. He would also leave his clothes anywhere he felt like it. I started throwing them away and what did actually make it into the laundry basket was left there while I washed my daughter's and my clothes. He finally stopped acting like an asshole when he ran out of clean clothes and had to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe.

You do not have to be responsible for cleaning up after him. He is a grown ass man and you are not his mommy! As for his kids, how old are they? If they can pick up a broom handle, it's time to learn some chores. My 10 year old niece has been in charge of dusting my sister's house for the past 2 years and her and her brothers all put up their own clothes and help fold the clothes as well! Your step kids can learn how to do some thing around the house.

Jeannie - posted on 08/16/2012

35

6

2

My husband did not understand how much work it was to raise our kids and would come home from work(10 hour day) and complain that he had to give our son a bath. I tried to be patient with him saying he is a new dad and he will come around. After my son got sick he still didn't help out. We had our second kid and he was home for a week to "help". I still made most of our meals cleaned the house and took care of our 1.5 year old as well as our newborn. He made a few dinners and played with our son for a few hours a day. He went back to work and said he was so tired he couldn't hardly do his job. Problem solved right? No, nothing changed except I would help with my son's baths. Well his job cut his hours and I went to work until he could find something better. That is when he got his first taste of what "I did all day." He had to take care of the kids by himself and he needed help so he would bring them by my work for my lunch so I could give him a break.

Now I am back at school to get my nursing degree and he has changed his tune a lot! He helps out with the cooking and cleaning to a point. Laundry is no longer a curse word and he helps with both kids as soon as he gets home.
I also know he needs time on the computer to unwind and I try to make sure he gets a half an hour. I also make sure he knows that I appreciate him going to work to earn a living for us. I make sure we go to his work every Friday for picnic lunch with Daddy because both the kids and daddy love it and would be sad if I didn't get us there. I also think this is his way of showing off at work saying 'look I am a great dad' but that is a little part of it.
Try to find something that you can do to show him that you appreciate him making a living for your family. Then go to a child care conference for a weekend and leave him to take care of all the kids. Maybe it will be the shock to the system that your house needs.
Oh I like the writing things down comment below I would like to add make a list of what it would cost to have someone do your 'jobs' 24 hours a day. Subtract 20% from the total because one child is yours and you live there too. Show him the totals so he can see you realize part of the responsibility is yours.
Good Luck ))hugs((

Tausha - posted on 08/16/2012

7

0

1

Well I know my husband loves me....he just don't understand that my job never ends....I don't ask him to do ne thing....but I also don't make him do it either....cause I know he is tired...he works out of town away from his family and I don't expect him to do ne thing!!! But he loves me I know!!!! So no I dont have the wrong man!!!!

Alisa - posted on 08/16/2012

3

3

0

Coming from a Stay-at-home-Mom,
Try to talk to him about sharing the responsibilities and if he works 8 hour a day,point out that you normally pull 12 hour shifts with childcare and cleaning as two jobs. Maybe he'll start looking at thing differently and I hope that he does, but if not:
Get a job,put the kids in a daycare, and hire a housekeeper!!!!!
I know it may sound harsh, but believe me when I tell you that after 8,5 year marriage and in the same situation with doing all the housework:Man never change!!!. Maybe when he starts paying for daycare and housecleaning,it will hit him how much he needs you around the house. I have been doing everything around the house from cooking to cleaning and not sleeping at nights when my son is sick and still doing everything all over again next morning. My husband never even changed a diaper claiming it's not his job. All I got after 8,5 years of marriage, and 3.5 years of which being a stay-at-home Mom is that my husband walked out on me three weeks ago. My husband still thinks that I didn't do anything even though my house was and is always sparkling clean and he always got a home-cooked gourmet meals

Tausha - posted on 08/16/2012

7

0

1

Well I have the same problem....but my situation is a bit diff....my husband stays gone 28 days and home for 14...and he works 15+ hours a day....but his pulls the same crap.....if u ever get him to understand.....PLZ...LET ME KNOW!!!!

Elfrieda - posted on 08/16/2012

2,620

0

462

I totally agree with Lynn. You two have other issues, but the laundry thing is easily solved by kicking whatever dirty clothes aren't in the hamper into the corner of the bedroom and leaving them there (don't be too anal about this, if he tossed them toward the hamper but it missed by a foot, I'd still wash it, that counts). If he complains about the lack of underwear, say, "I empty the hamper three times a week. Tomorrow morning I'm doing a load, so put whatever you want washed soon in there before that and I'll take care of it."

Jamie - posted on 08/16/2012

8

18

0

Wow that is really selfish of him. I agree with the post below this is a partnership and although you may be a stay at home mom your job is to take care of the kids not clean up after a perfectly capable ADULT. I am a working mother I work and go to school full time. I do the dishes 2-3 times a week and clean most of my house. My husband stays with our 2 year old and believe me staying home with just 1 child is enough, I don't think your husband knows how much work you are doing. He didn't hire a maid he got married! Marriage is a partnership, he is not your boss. Hope he gets it. hugs :)

Jill - posted on 08/16/2012

101

1

20

He doesn't respect you, and you can't really love what you don't respect. He is treating you like his maid and concubine, nothing more. You'll need couples counseling to save this marriage. If he refuses, then you'll need to make some hard decisions about what kind of life you want to live. You need to try to let go of the paranoia - you want a good husband and father as a partner, not a crappy one sticking around.

Nicole - posted on 08/16/2012

2

0

0

First of all I think this is a cry for help. If you wanted out then you would have already left him. I am not sure if you believe in God or not. But if you do then I think you need to pray for answers. Also pray that God will change you not him , the change will be that you find coping skills on how to deal with him or strength to leave him. Either way something needs to happen herer , this is not healthy and will only go down hill . I wish you the best.

Catrina - posted on 08/16/2012

16

0

0

All I can say is good luck! Men like this seldom change. I know many men that have the mindset that the wife's place is raising children, cooking, cleaning, and doing everything possible to "take care" of their husband. These men don't realize how much work it is to be a stay at home mom. If they did, they wouldn't take the mothers for granted. Have you ever asked him if he thinks the job is so easy if he wanted to do what you do in a day? Him having to do what you do may be an eye opener for him, and make him realize that you have enough to worry about with the children to have to worry about your grown child that is perfectly capable of cleaning up after himself or putting his laundry in the hamper. He should also value you even more since you have stepped up to be super-step mom to his other children. That is VERY difficult!! I am a step mom myself, and would have some difficulty with that, so kudos to you! These kind of people are EXTREMELY difficult to deal with and/or change their point of view at all, but it sounds like your hubby may need a reality check. Maybe a temporary role reversal would be best if you can get him to do it. I wish you the very best of luck in all of this.

Peg - posted on 08/15/2012

6

1

0

I have to say you now know what he has an EX wife. I am sure he treated her the same way.

Now regardless of which a marriage is a partnership. He may go off to work for 8 hrs a day but you are at work 24/7. Taking care of children, cooking, cleaning, etc. There are no days off, no vacation, no sick days. The home you have is shared and as a family everyone who lives there should help keep it up.

Believe me if he doesn't respect you then those children won't either. Boys will learn to treat the women in their lives like him and the girls will think that it is acceptable behavior.

Stifler's - posted on 08/14/2012

15,141

154

604

Let the housework go. Throw things out until it's really easy to put everything in it's place at the end of the day, do the dishes and sink into bed. Make easy food for dinner rather than elaborate meals with sauces and fried things. I find life so much easier since I did those things bahahaha! I don't know how you cope with so many kids. i only have 2 and I find it annoying that Damian isn't here when they need dinner and baths and are getting ready for bed. If he leaves clothes/socks out anywhere but the laundry basket I don't wash it. On his days off tell him to mow the lawn. Tell him husbands are supposed to look after their wives too not just wives look after their husbands, working and coming home isn't exactly fulfilling that when you need extra hands around the house.

[deleted account]

Way to go Jodi!! I do like your style.
Haliegh, the next time he says it's your job then just casually ask him what he is going to pay you. Surely if it's a "job" then there must be some rate of pay and if he thinks you are being a smart-ass, tell him that if there is no pay then it is now up to him to tend to his own children because there are not enough hours in the day to care for children, run a house and look after a lazy husband too. A wife is not supposed to take of her husband in this day and age, marriage is a partnership and you help each other, and you can't respect a man who treats his wife like a slave. If he is willing to leave you over a less than spotless house then let him. He will be hard pressed to find any woman to put up with that kind of shit for very long.

Tina - posted on 08/14/2012

1,314

28

301

Explain you're meant to be a partnership and help one another. I honestly can't give better advice. My partner although doesn't have the same attitude as her husband if very similar. He leave his dishes around rubbish. Occasionally he'll help me take out washing but he normally just throws them on the floor then I'm in the shit If I have missed something he wanted washed. Sorry but it's very hard to reason with a man like that. Maybe remind him respect is earnt not given and it works 2 ways. You shouldn't feel paranoid. He is disrespectful. You could always turn it around it you wanted to be nasty depending on how financial you are. He expects you to do everything as the woman pick up and dote over him. It's his job then as a man to provide for his family. Does he do any of the manly chores like mow the lawn and so on. Remind what a man's job is if he is going to be so demanding.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms