Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceNot liking my husband much lately

Not liking my husband much lately

I (26F) love my husband (26M). He’s gentle, loving, a great father. Lately I just kind of… can’t stand him sometimes and I can’t figure out what to do. I’m feeling overwhelmed by running our household pretty much by myself lately. We both work full time and have two kids, one is a young toddler. He’s great with the kids but he pretty much goes to work, helps some with the kids and…. that’s it. This isn’t how it used to be. He used to be great at helping keep up with housework, cooking, etc. Now I do it all, and only get help when he’s asked several times/given tasks. I work, take care of the kids, cook, clean (and frustratedly assign him tasks when he doesn’t bother to do anything of his own accord.. which is 98% of the time), make sure bills are paid on time, grocery shop, make sure schedules are figured out and kids are where they need to be for school/sitters/extracurriculars, schedule appointments, and so on… he even stopped picking up after himself and it feels like he just doesn’t care. Sometimes I’ll ask him to do something repeatedly over weeks and end up just having to do it myself. He spends way more time on his Xbox or on the phone with friends than ever before. He gets home much earlier than I do and claims that having our toddler makes it hard to get things done… funny, considering I somehow manage to get things done when I have the kids.

He gets defensive when i try to talk to him and insists that if I just tell him what to do he’ll do it. I’ve told him I’m not his mother, he’s an adult and can clearly see when things need done, I shouldn’t have to add giving him a checklist of regular household tasks (that he used to have no issue completing) to my already lengthy to-do list.

It’s been 5 months like this now and at this point, despite me trying to talk it out, nothing has changed. I’m growing more frustrated every day. Our sex life is almost nonexistent now because I have no desire to be intimate with him. Sometimes I make an effort, but usually I just want it to be over with. I’ve explained that I’m exhausted, frustrated, etc and he still doesn’t seem to get it.

I know relationships aren’t always 50/50 and that sometimes one partner has to pick up the slack while the other figures stuff out.. but it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like i have to do it all because he doesnt want to. And I’m not sure what else to say or do to get through to him that I can’t keep up like this.

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  1. I suggest starting by sending him articles/explainers about the mental load. That might be enough to make him realize he’s pulling a shitty move.

    Also, make one last effort to open lines of communication and see if something is going on with him (problems at work, stress, depression, etc) and if there is, then work through a kinder way to split the chores that will help him recover but not leave everything on you indefinitely. Speak with “I” statements (I feel x when y happens) and come from a place of compassion instead of frustration.

    If that doesn’t work, make a list of all the tasks to be done around the house, sit down with him and divide the tasks between yourselves (if he refuses to participate, just pick your half of the chores). Tell him that from this point on you’ll be doing your half of the chores. And then stop doing his half. It’s going to be rough at first, because you’ll want to pick up the slack, but resist that urge. I suggest you keep tasks that are absolutely necessary (ie feeding yourselves and your child).

    And then you wait for him to feel the pinch. You’ll feel it first and it’ll suck. But don’t cave. Let the floors get dirty, let him not have clean clothes to go to work on Monday, let him suffer the consequences of his actions. Either he’ll show his true colours or he’ll start picking up after himself.

    I wish you all the best!

  2. Try having him read this: [She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink]( Tell him that you’re not at this point yet, but you WILL be if he doesn’t start putting in an effort.

    I think men have a bad tendency to minimize what their partners say… or to assume that because THEY don’t think it’s a big deal, their partner doesn’t/shouldn’t either. Obviously, this stems from patriarchal views that women’s opinions and perspectives are inferior or not worth considering. I doubt he’s doing it consciously, but that doesn’t make it okay either.

    He could also be depressed, but that’s no excuse to not communicate with you or find a solution. The fact that he’s not talking to you or putting any value on your feelings is the most worrying part to me. People who don’t put in the effort to get better, won’t. So hopefully this article resonates with him and gives you an opportunity to have a productive conversation about all this.

  3. Please google and read “She divorced me because I left dishes by the sink” by Matthew Fray.

    Then have your husband read it.

    You’re carrying the mental load of house manager, which is A LOT. Too much for one person. Your husband’s abandonment of his responsibilities, coupled with this defensiveness and refusal to engage with you on this needs to be an ultimatum time for you.

    You cannot continue like this, or you’ll grow to resent and hate him.

    Have a come- to-Jesus moment with him. Really drive the point home that you are exhausted and unhappy and that this will lead to the end of your marriage if it is not seriously addressed and rectified.

    Because this will kill your marriage, even if you don’t want it to. If you’re already fed up and exhausted over this now, there’s no way you will sustain this for the rest of your life.

  4. I mean… it’s not rocket science. You aren’t feeling him because he’s a third child, not a partner. Clearly your repeated attempts to tell him this is a serious problem are not working. Time to take more drastic action. Stop pulling his weight.

  5. “I’m feeling overwhelmed by running our household pretty much by myself lately. We both work full time and have two kids, one is a young toddler. ” So, you’ve got a guy who has unilaterally decided to just….not do any house responsibilities and dump it on you.

    He doesn’t need to be told what to do–he’s an adult with eyes. He wants to be your kid (and bang you) after he plays his fill of video games and hangs out with his friends. The absolute contempt he has for you, your time, your job and your status as an equal human being is absolutely 100%.

    I don’t know that you can fix this, and living the rest of your life this way is soul crushing. Leave. Save yourself and your kids. Living without an adult albatross around your neck and squatting in your house will be a lot easier, I promise you.

  6. I know reddit likes to jump right to the divorce option, but there is a practice purpose to those suggestions — if nothing changed, would you divorce him?

    People like your husband are not self-motivated (at least he has not matured into that type of person yet). He weighs his actions against the consequences that follow. Presently, there are no consequences, other than some nagging by you and then he resolves it by taking limited action.

    Without an internal drive or external consequence, I can promise you there will be no change. So, are you ready to deliver some form of consequence? If the answer is yes, then communicate to him what those consequences will be if he does not change (and work towards self-motivated action). If the answer is no, then you’re stuck with the cycle of nagging-to-create-action.

  7. Already loads of great advice, so I’m just here to say that maybe you two could use a mini-vacation together without kids and responsibilities. Maybe you could benefit from finding each other again, having fun together, relaxing together, reconnecting and bonding over a new experience.. good luck 🙂

  8. I know it may be hard but stop picking up after him. And stop asking him to do it. Just leave it there till it bugs him and he does it. Do your laundry and dishes but not his. Idk get petty at this point because you’re right… he’s not blind he can see that you need help but he doesn’t seem to care.
    Want a break from the kids? Get your stuff ready and as you walk out the door tell him what you’re doing and just leave he has to watch them now.

  9. Aside from doing all the things people already mentioned, I think you really need to spell it out for him that you can’t continue living the way that you are. It sounds like you have talked about this with him again and again to no avail. Perhaps he is going through some depression and it’s preventing him from action. Unfortunately guys are taught to keep that kind of stuff in and not deal with it. But it’s clearly affecting your relationship and it’s only going to get worse if he continues not listening to you or looking around and realizing. I think you should try to have another conversation with him to try and see if there’s some thing that’s been on his mind, especially since you said he used to do everything just fine. If he still ignores you or is resistant, then I personally think you need to let him know that you want to be there for him for whatever is going on with him but you feel taken advantage of and if his behavior is going to continue, then your marriage will be in serious trouble. If that doesn’t wake him up, that might point to a bigger problem in your relationship than just him shirking his duties

  10. That does sound frustrating and I’ve been in similar situations with a previous partner.

    I know it’s easy to get caught up in our frustration and resentment, but if he used to be more helpful and suddenly isn’t I would check in with him to see if something may have changed with his mental health because that’s a possibility.

    However, if there hasn’t been a change to his mental health and he’s just slacking off cause he’s lazy and doesn’t want to change the behavior after you’ve discussed it with him multiple times then you have 2 options. 1. Accept that this is your life now or 2. Leave

    You shouldn’t have to beg a partner to treat you right.

  11. Is he depressed? Have you addressed this change with him from a place of concern and caring, or from a place of anger and conflict.

    The info you provided makes me think he’s going through depression. Especially if he’s let go of less dire chores but has good performance in other areas of daily life.

  12. You shouldn’t have to give him a todo list because he’s an adult but here we are I guess lol. Just write out everything you do in a week and hand it to him. He should be handling about half.

    My husband and I have a day off together and another day off separate that are pretty spread out in a week. We agreed we both would follow the list on our days off. We also don’t have kids so y’all definitely got more to split up.

    If it’s his direct mess, I wouldn’t touch it. Stack his trash on his desk, throw his laundry in the corner, etc.

  13. Sounds like he might be depressed. Has he seen any doctors or gotten any treatment for depression? Some depression can make taking initiative on small tasks to seem impossible. You can be overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done so instead of just doing something you do nothing.

    I would at least talk to him to see if he is depressed and if he might want to talk to a doctor about it.

  14. Have you talked after the kids are in bed? It could be job related. Are there changes coming? If he’s financially savvy he may be worried about your future. All of this could be leading to depression. Before you follow the time honored Reddit tradition of demanding a divorce; try to talk and suggest seeing a therapist. I can remember years when we were dog assed tired and started to hate each other but we got through it by talking and checking in with each other. Are you sure you aren’t making yourself have to do “everything” to make your point? That can be a very insidious thing that you don’t realize you’re doing until the resentment builds to levels that can be permanently damaging.

  15. People on here are commenting saying *”have you tried talking to him? Have you told him what to do? How about you go on a trip! Have you thought of not nagging him? You two just have different standards of living.”* Bullshit. She has talked to him and he has ignored her.

    This is weaponized incompetence and he needs to get his head out of his ass. This does not sound like the kind of man who (after being told a thousand times) will somehow magically get it by hearing OP cry her eyes out one more time.

    OP, go on strike! Only clean up after yourself. Do your laundry, your dishes, clean up your messes. Let your house get a mess and tell him that this is what you do in a day, a week, a few weeks, a month. That he hasn’t appreciated you and here’s the mess to prove it. If he still doesn’t get it, he is not going to ever get it.

    You aren’t a maid. Don’t let yourself be treated like one any longer.

  16. Maybe the two of you could download Sweepy together and work out all the chores? It lets you assign certain ones to certain household members, it distributes work based on the effort level of the chores, and it’ll make sure the work load is fair.

  17. You frankly need to have a very plain conversation with him.

    It sounds like this might be a mismatch in standards to where he’s fine living a messier and lazier life than you are.

    If that’s the case, you might need to pin down what specifically matters to you most – clean house, clean laundry, cooking for the baby, whatever that might be – and have him specifically do those things for a week.

    A lot of these situations boil down to two different people having different standards on how important thing A or thing B is.

    Knowing yourself and spelling out exactly what matters to you will give him an opportunity to either step up or not.

  18. I know the running of the house and things you need to do are important but what about fun- doing something as a family or getting someone to watch the kids so you can spend some quality time together? He might be just burntout and doesn’t know how to pick things up again. Having grown up talks don’t work when your burntout because they emphasise your shortcomings. You either need to support him emotionally or say look you need to go and stay at your parents for the weekend and recharge or something similar.

  19. Negotiate. Don’t remind, complain, threaten or nag. Don’t boycott the bed. You’ve gotten into these behaviors in part because Husband avoids, and in part because he participates or avoids entirely at his discretion.

    First and foremost, he needs very specific and concrete guidelines. Everything written out, signed, scheduled, posted and tracked. Established, virtually-immediate incentives for compliance with the agreement and disincentives for breaking it.

    An MFT to help with the negotiations might make a difference. If it’s just the two of you, hostilities could erupt.

  20. You need to communicate with your husband because this road only leads one way and that is eventually to divorce. Resentment builds until you fight more than you talk, someone eventually looks for support and affection outside the relationship and everything comes crashing down.

    Use “I feel” statements to communicate.

    “When you (action) I feel (your reaction)”.

    Ex “When you don’t contribute to the care and management of the house, I feel like you are just another child. When you want sex, I ask myself ‘why would I want sex with a child?’ Your actions do not support the belief that you are my partner and not just another of my children.”

    If he says “you didn’t ask…” point out, you didn’t say he wasn’t finishing a list, you said he wasn’t contributing to the care and management. Managers don’t need to be told how to do their jobs. The children need to be told what and how to do their jobs because they are in training. He is supposed to be a manager.

    If a manager at work can’t do their job, then they loose their job. Your husband is a manager in your relationship, one of two. He can either do his job, or be out of a job.

  21. You need him to embrace his responsibility as a man and the father of your children. I can understand why your frsutrated. Maybe quit your job or quit the housework. But definitely share how your feeling, he’s not being a man and he’s mistreating you by expecting you to baby him through his responsibility.

  22. Resentment has a way of killing love.

    Having a daily chore allocation discussion and weekly chore allocation discussion is the way to go.

    Who is going to cook dinner tonight? (I strongly suggest that whoever cooks also cleans, otherwise the cooker has no motivation to clean as they go or avoid using 100 pans!)

    Who is going to do the laundry today?

    Who is going grocery shopping today?

    Who is going to plan this weeks meals ?

    Just asking. Not accusing.

    A responsibilities whiteboard on the fridge with each person’s name.

    I also suggest making a list of daily tasks and a list of weekly tasks, that is pinned to the fridge.

  23. You don’t want to have sex with him because you have become his mother and his maid. What’s sexy about that? Not to mention the emotional and mental load that you seem to be carrying alone.

    Women will put up with this for years, occasionally asking for help, until they finally emotionally check out. And then they say they’re done, and only then do the men realize that the women were serious and try to change things. Far too late.

    Sit him down and calmly tell him that the current state of your relationship is not sustainable, and that the way he is acting will break your marriage. Tell him that you need him to be an equal partner and that you don’t want to have to ask him for help. Tell him that you love him and that your marriage is important to you, but in order for this to work you need him to step up

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