How do you get a lazy spouse to do his fair share?

Erin - posted on 06/20/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I got a debilitating illness at the same time I discovered I was pregnant. My partner and I discussed it and decided we wanted to go through with the pregnancy as we were engaged, wanted a family one day, and given my fertility issues we may never have the chance again. He knew and agreed that he would help me with household chores and taking care of the baby. We moved in with my parents when she was born so that I would have the extra help whenever I needed to recover from surgeries or was too ill. The entire 8 months he would help on occasion, but I was still exhausted from the late night feedings and very sick in the mornings. My family had to leave for work and school, but he would simply not wake up even after me practically punching him awake. We were both not working and he would sleep the entire day leaving me to clean up after 8 people, and care for the baby alone. He promised that once we moved 8 hours away to be near his parents (I wasn't getting along with mine) that he would pitch in as he was sleeping so much from being depressed over the situation with my parents. Well she is 13 months now and it has gotten even worse. Where we would take turns with tasks once he had bothered to get up, now I was expected to do everything by myself, clean up after and cook for him while he got a 15 hour sleep every night and then played on the computer all day as my health became worse and worse. I have tried yelling, talking, discussing my issues, even letting him take her for a week while I was out of town for surgery to see how hard it is and nothing works. He says he understands my frustration and that he will try harder, but when I ask him to take her one morning, take out the garbage, or let me have a nap its a huge fight or it just never happens. If he says he will let me take a nap he brings the baby in every time she cries. I am about ready to kill him, or myself. Short of leaving (which would cause even more problems with custody and getting separate monies) I have no clue what to do. All I expect is that he clean up after himself and take over the occasional morning wake up call or feeding when I am really ill. It's not like he is doing anything else anyway as he is still not working while waiting to go back to college in Jan. I get around 4 hours of sleep and have lost about 15 lbs from simply not having the time to feed myself. Any suggestions?

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Elfrieda - posted on 06/20/2012

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I would get rid of the computer and toss the baby in with him for a couple of hours each day while you either get some work done, or if she cries when she's not with you, then just go out for a couple of hours. Do the grocery shopping, buy some clothes, walk in the park, get a coffee. And then be cheerful when you get back, and say, "Tomorrow it's your turn! Where will you go?" Maybe getting him out of the house will help his depression. Fresh air is good for that.



If you don't want to get rid of the computer all together, take it with you in the car when you go.

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Erin - posted on 06/20/2012

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Like the idea Elfreida. I have moved the computer into the living room so that he is at least present now its just getting him to stop playing long enough to take care of her when she needs attention. I have busted him letting her cry in the high chair far too long :( I've threatened to smash it but since I own most of the belongings in our home I end up losing that fight. I feel very cooped up in here being in a somewhat remote location, dying to move away

Erin - posted on 06/20/2012

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If I leave now I will have a hell of a custody battle as I would obviously want to move back home with my daughter 8 hours away and I need his permission for that. Given our previous arguments I will have to fight that one very hard and legal advice leans towards me losing and having to stay here or leave her behind. So any creative suggestions on how to get what I want without making it harder on myself?

Michelle - posted on 06/20/2012

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Truthfully, I would get out of that relationship in a heartbeat. He's lazy and oviously don't give a shit about you at all. Or he would do everything possible to help you. As for getting custody of your baby..I would have to say ,, it is in your favor, for you are taking care of your baby and he's doing nothing. The judge will also look at that he don't have a job and who is bring in income? To me he sounds like a lazy bumb. As for cleaning up after him...I wouldn't even do it. If he can't help you, I wouldn't clean up after him or anyone else in that matter. I would only deal with my baby and myself and heck with anyone else. I would get away and get my own place and deal with it myself. Your illness may have alot to do with stress. Stress can make you worse in alot of ways. You will not get any better if you keep on dealing with this kind of treatment. When someone loves you, they are to be there for you no matter what. He sound very immature and thinks he is not responsible for tending to your baby. Why deal with that? I wouldn't. I would have done left. Take your baby and your clothes and things and get out. You are dealing with it all now. I'd imagine, you can deal with it by yourself and you wouldn't have all that stress to worry about. No man is worth that kind of crap.

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