Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceMy (25f) boyfriend (28m) doesn’t help around the house and I’m thinking...

My (25f) boyfriend (28m) doesn’t help around the house and I’m thinking of breaking up with him

Me and my boyfriend have been together for 4 years, and living together for 2.
He’s a messier person than I am, so I’ve always naturally ended up doing more, but recently (last 6 months) he has gotten way lazier when it comes to helping around the house.
About 6 months ago I offered to completely take over the cooking and shopping, if he paid for groceries, which he agreed to. I noticed after this he wouldn’t help at all with the dishes, so I said to him that I’d take over doing the dishes officially if he did all the washing, which was fine at first, but now he hasn’t done any washing in about a month.
I do the vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, just basically everything.
I’ve tried talking to him about it, and it gets a little bit better for a day and goes straight back to how it was before.

He doesn’t handle confrontation well, so I’m struggling to find the best way to approach him. I don’t want to be doing this for the rest of my life, and I want to be with someone I could settle down with, so it’s getting to a point where I’m thinking of ending things. I love him a lot, everything else in our relationship is fantastic.

What can I say to him that doesn’t come across as accusatory? Is there hope here or should I cut my losses?

TLDR: My boyfriend doesn’t do any cleaning and I’m thinking of ending things because I don’t want to spend my life like this, but I love him and don’t want that

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  1. Why are you worried about coming across as accusatory? You can absolutely ‘accuse’ him of not contributing. It is what it is. You can also ‘accuse’ him of having brown hair. If it’s facts it’s facts. Tell him he’s a contributing partner to the shared household or it’s over. The more you allow it and bargain, just think if you had kids. Nip this is the bud now, or never

  2. One thing I did was go on strike. I just handled only my stuff and nothing else. It made him realize how much I do.

    I have no problem doing most of the chores but if I’m doing everything or having to tell him to do everything then the relationship dynamic needs to change. If I’m doing everything for the house then I should only be required to have a part time job so I can keep up with that.

    My solution works for us. Doesn’t mean it will work for you but it’s important to just give perspective. All that housework does amount to at least an unpaid part time job.

    He needs to contribute. Either by making more money so you only have to work part time to handle everything, or he needs to pick up half the chores.

    Also he’s manipulating you every time you argue (based on your comments) so don’t feel bad about going on strike to prove your point.

  3. My friend and her husband split rent and she docks her half if he isn’t pulling his weight. She’s like “Hey the dishes need of be done so I can cook dinner. Either you do them now or I’m paying $20 less in rent.” He loved it at first but quickly figured out *he can’t afford a housewife* and mostly does his chores now.

    But personally? I don’t want to be with someone who thinks it’s my job to be his maid/mommy on top of working full time.

  4. Based on your comment above he’s manipulative. If you’ve brought it up and his go to was to break up then you know what he expects. You either do all the work or you can leave.

    If you really want to “work it out,” tell him calmly but straight forward: I do all the work (list it all out) and I cannot do this anymore. I’m not happy bc of XYZ. Either you start XYZ, or we need to break up. Tell him that picking up and helping for a few days and then resorting back to his old ways will result in you breaking things off immediately – that there will be no more second chances.

    Just know that his response will most likely be like before and that’s when you open the door and say good bye.

  5. I had a calm convo with my partner. I said i cannot live like this. He is not a messy person but didnt clean up after himself or take initiative on cleaning or laundry and im not his mother. I didnt have kids for a reason, im not mothering him. If he wanted to work on it and stay, great. He did. Now he does all grocery shopping, cooking, and (mostly) tidies up and does laundry without having to be asked.

  6. He is manipulative and lazy and if you stay your life will be servicing him and his every need. Get out now and work on your confidence. Being alone is better than being your partners parent. Good luck!

    I ignored all these same signs and let my self confidence completely disappear. Now I’m stuck and my partner has someone anticipating their every need just to keep things good. It’s not a good life to live. Run!

  7. Cut your losses. Run. I’ve had all the promises of being better from my OH, we lived in a caravan and he didn’t care, so I did it, with promises of when we lived somewhere nicer he’ll be better. We moved to an apartment and nothing changed, but those promises of one day kept coming. We have 2 kids now and live in a beautiful house, thanks to me. If it were up to him he’d happily live how we did in the caravan. I’ve been begging these last few months for more help, literally begging, still nothing. Today I told him I hate him and kicked him out. Run before it’s too late.

  8. My and ex bf (3 years) and I recently broke up. It wasn’t the main reason but it definitely played a part. I was always cleaning by myself. He would help once a blue moon. I have an autoimmune disease and my back is messed up. I love him so much but love isn’t an excuse to stay in a unhealthy relationship. I begged and pleaded him numerous times to help. It’s exhausting. You are better off on your own.

  9. Honestly? Break up. Men children like these do not change. You’ve already bargained enough and with no positive outcome. I had an ex like that and it ended up building so much resentment… Regardless of the fact that he even paid me at some point. The thing is the message was my time is worth less than his.

  10. This isn’t confrontation, this is something that is important to you. If he doesn’t fixes it and makes it a problem. Leave him, you shouldn’t have to deal with that

  11. If I may add another perspective, this sounds similar to my own relationship. Specifically, I was the equivalent to your bf in this scenario. Long story short, I was unknowingly dealing with depression and it wasn’t that I didn’t want to help out, I just mentally couldn’t.

    When you mentioned that things improve when you say something that to me is a sign of trying to be okay. And I also don’t see his “you deserve better” as manipulation but as a verbalization of what could be happening internally.

    To be clear, this is NOT to give your bf a pass but rather add some potential context.

  12. Depression is a serious problem nowadays and its gotten much worse in the past 3 years. This is actually a true fact. Have him talk to a doctor about everything and see if he needs to be given medication. . I fell in that trap and was hesitant to take anything for it for years, until I reached the bottom. Im now glad i take something for it. Good luck and baby steps work well.

  13. if you can’t talk about basic life tasks what can you talk about? we are all creatures of habit. we live by rote. he’s not being malicious, he’s just living as he’s adjusted to as are you. to change someone else’s behavior, you have to change your own. do your own laundry, your own dishes, clean up after yourself, if you two can’t agree on who cooks, cook for yourself, make your side of the bed. don’t clean up after him, don’t do his stuff at all but don’t be doing it conjunction with punishment. don’t be, if you don’t clean up I’m withholding affection or sex or whatever. this isn’t punishment, it’s a lesson in change. tell him you want to schedule one day a week and do deep cleaning together. dusting, vacuuming, etc. if you two can’t find 3 hours to clean together, listen to music and would just rather argue about everything being even, go for it but you can try this. I’m also approximating 3 hours as I don’t know how big your place is, 3 hours maybe, with some music. and dress cute, give him a peep show of sorts. not make up and everything, one of his t shirts and underwear. it could be he learns by doing. if you don’t want to make the effort to change his behavior, that’s cool too. just break up and go get your own place, clean your place, leave him to do whatever in his own place. or vice versa, I don’t know who moved in with who.

  14. I would bc it’ll only get worse. My cousin went through the same situation with her last baby daddy. She didn’t break up with him but she let him abuse her and her son. So if I were you I would stay at least 100yds away from him and never look back. Bc guys like that will never change.

  15. There’s a great book and documentary you can rent called Fair Play. It addresses not only the imbalance in visible work in the home, but also the invisible work involved in running a household. It’s not your job to do his share, nor keep track of what that share consists of. He’s an adult and can identify and complete tasks just as well as you.

  16. Meet him with his tactics.

    He may get distracted with playing games, but he sure has worked out how to play you too.

    He is being lazy. He knows the difference between right and wrong. And hes still getting away with it.

    Some men need it spelled out or they will continue taking the liberties.

    You are being a housewife, maid, chief cook and bottle washer to this entitled little git.
    You make up the guest bed with all your clean linens. Lovely. Sleep in it alone, it’s good for you.

    Take the “cat” treats away, and he’ll start asking.

  17. from reading your post and some of OPs comments, I can tell right away that this man is manipulative. Having a break down and calling things off saying “you deserve better” when you bring up an issue is NOT a way to go through the rest of your life. He’s seems to act like a victim anytime he’s in the wrong and doesn’t handle confrontation well. It doesn’t matter how in love you are, if you can’t confront your partner and have productive conversations when necessary, you two will never be able to grow. Do you have joint bank accounts yet? How do you think he’ll handle financial problems when you get to that point? Are you thinking of having kids one day? I cant imagine a man who treats you like this would be a good father or even help you parent. I know these seem like far-off things to think about, but they’ll be here before you know it. It might be a good idea to voice these concerns with him and see how he reacts. If he continues to play the victim and make you feel bad for confronting him, I’d kick him to the curb. Not a good life partner.

  18. There is a book that is worth reading (for BOTH of you). Ignore the religion part. Title is something like 80/80 marriage. You can also easily ignore the marriage part. Anyhow, it goes into detail about relationship histories 1930s 80/20 relations where females did 80% of the relationship work, and males 20%. On to more modern 50/50 (you, seemingly) and how that is bad. Then after being super long winded, finally it gets into the 80/80 bit, which I find to be a great mindset. No one “owes” a damn thing. If you do something you have to expect nothing in return. As long as the other person is going above and beyond (80) then things work out. Otherwise…. you will continue to do the 50/50 battle (I did this, why didn’t you do that, or it’s my turn to go out w my friends etc..). Do things out of love, not because you want something in return. If after both of you read this book and he or you fail, then… well, you know what to do. It’s an easy read. 4 to 6hr maybe. If you want a better relationship, learn about relationships. There are a ton of books. M43, btw.

  19. If you stay with him, this will be the rest of your life.

    Without a doubt.

    “He does not deal well with confrontation” is the reddest of red flags. Either he withdraws or escalates – both would be massively troubling.

    If you find you cannot have a simple. Conversation about household chores – it’s time to make a better choice in life partners, or accept the misery for the next 50 years.

  20. I would recommend starting off by telling him how much you love him and respect him. That will get his attention. Then if he doesn’t change after that conversation then dump him. He has nobody to blame but himself, especially at 28 years old.

    Shut the TV off, put the phone away, eliminate all the distractions. Sit at the table across from each other.

    Try something like this:

    “Hey [boyfriend] I need you to listen to me right now. I love you, I respect you, I want to be with you, however I have limits as a person and what is happening isn’t working for me. I need [requirements] from you or else I’m outta here/you will be outta here.”

    Maybe him getting some therapy wouldn’t hurt as well. Maybe tell him that he needs 6 months of weekly therapy as well as whatever else you need from him. At the end of those six months, re-evaluate the situation and decide if you are leaving. If he doesn’t take this seriously or starts skipping out on therapy sessions, then you drop his ass. He knows the gravity of the situation and he knows what will happen if he doesn’t look in the mirror and change some things.

    He either changes or he doesn’t.

    That sounds a lot better than just starting an argument. People often stop listening because they feel like they are being attacked. No arguing, no accusations, no “keeping score” try not to use the word ‘you’ in the conversation. Focus on ‘I’. Make ‘I’ statements.

    Whatever boundaries that you set, you have to be willing to enforce them, or you won’t get the changes you desire.

    Speak less. Make your words have impact. If you talk incessantly about inconsequential subject matter, he probably isn’t listening to a word that you say. Say what you mean, mean what you say.

    If you threaten to leave the relationship, you have to be prepared to leave the relationship. If you are one of those people that threatens a break-up everytime you have a disagreement only for him to come home from work and you are still there, he isn’t going to take you seriously.

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