Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Dating => Topic started by: LeeLee88 on July 16, 2010, 06:43:58 PM

Title: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LeeLee88 on July 16, 2010, 06:43:58 PM
Sigh.  Okay, a while ago, I came here about my husband generally not helping out around the house.  We had a talk about it wherein he sort of cut me off a bit because he was starting to feel really bad, but the talk worked... for a little while.  Sure enough, I didn't stay on top of the situation, and we were back at the same place again.  So we have another talk, this time very emotional for me because I was feeling a bit burnt out at that point.  He tried to cut me off because he was feeling bad again, and I told him, "No, I need to say this, and I need you actually hear me this time."  (thanks, folks!) So I told him that I was tired of working 50-60 hour weeks only to have to do everything around the house because he simply won't.  He seemed to get the message, only now, we are yet again back in the same place because I did not sit on him to make him do things.

I have discovered that the primary issue is that DH is a big gamer.  I have no issue with video games, and like to watch them being played (I can't play myself) but I begin to have a big problem with them when they render my husband utterly useless because he won't. stop. playing them.  I talked to him about this before too, and he said it's his only way of relaxing, and after being in the office all day, he just really needs to relax.  He then agreed to cut down, and we worked it out that chores would come first, and then video games.  Guess what, that arrangement also fell through.  So DH will come home from work at about 8:30 and get on one of his game consoles and just play.  Any time I ask him to do something, it's "Hang on, let me finish this" or something like that, and then I lose patience and just do what needs to be done because the cats can't feed themselves, and I honestly can't trust him to remember because he gets caught up in these GD games.  

I am preparing myself for yet another talk with him this evening.  I would like some input on exactly what points I should make in this conversation, and how I should phrase it.  I'm very close to telling him that I'm neither his maid nor his mother, and if I wanted to care for a child, I would have one.  But I don't know if I should say exactly that.  

Also, I'm thinking of telling him absolutely no more video games.  That is very drastic, I know, but he and I have been over this time and time again, and it keeps reverting back to him letting video games take everything over.  So I've concluded that the thing which keeps doing this must go.  Should I give him an ultimatum instead?  I don't want to take the games away, but he's not really giving me a choice here.  It seems DH is immune to e-hell approved advice  :P

Finally, I would like to try to make this the last time I have to have this conversation with him.  I refuse to tell him he's useless, but I sort of want to convey to him that if he doesn't get his act together he'll be having far more serious problems than just not having his video games.  Don't know if it makes a difference, but he's 30 years old, and he wasn't like this at all in the years we were first together and married (so it's not like I expected him to change or something).
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on July 16, 2010, 06:57:55 PM
If you figure out a solution, let me know.  Good luck!
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: BettyDraper on July 16, 2010, 06:58:33 PM
Personally I would not want to play video game police to another adult.  If my SO didn't respect me and our household enough to put time into the relationship and the upkeep of our shared living space without being nagged or having me place limits on his behavior, I'd be taking that at face value and re-evaluating the whole situation.  I would not want someone to change his ways just because I browbeat him into it or issued an ultimatum, especially having previously let him know that his lack of sharing in the chores was detrimental to me.  What, really, have you gained if you have to crack a whip to get it?  Why should you have to "stay on top of the situation" and monitor an adult male who presumably loves and respects you?

Sorry you are in this situation but in your place I would accept him as the autonomous adult he is, free to make his own choices, and make my own plans accordingly.  
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Linley on July 16, 2010, 07:12:15 PM
Personally I would not want to play video game police to another adult.  If my SO didn't respect me and our household enough to put time into the rel@tionship and the upkeep of our shared living space without being nagged or having me place limits on his behavior, I'd be taking that at face value and re-evaluating the whole situation.  I would not want someone to change his ways just because I browbeat him into it or issued an ultimatum, especially having previously let him know that his lack of sharing in the chores was detrimental to me.  What, really, have you gained if you have to crack a whip to get it?  Why should you have to "stay on top of the situation" and monitor an adult male who presumably loves and respects you?

Sorry you are in this situation but in your place I would accept him as the autonomous adult he is, free to make his own choices, and make my own plans accordingly. 

I have to agree. I'm afraid I think it is time for you to think hard about your whole relationship. Perhaps it will be a wake-up call if he realizes that his inability/unwillingness to participate in the upkeep of your shared home is not just upsetting you, it is threatening your ability to continue to be with him.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LeeLee88 on July 16, 2010, 07:24:29 PM
Personally I would not want to play video game police to another adult.  If my SO didn't respect me and our household enough to put time into the rel@tionship and the upkeep of our shared living space without being nagged or having me place limits on his behavior, I'd be taking that at face value and re-evaluating the whole situation.  I would not want someone to change his ways just because I browbeat him into it or issued an ultimatum, especially having previously let him know that his lack of sharing in the chores was detrimental to me.  What, really, have you gained if you have to crack a whip to get it?  Why should you have to "stay on top of the situation" and monitor an adult male who presumably loves and respects you?

Sorry you are in this situation but in your place I would accept him as the autonomous adult he is, free to make his own choices, and make my own plans accordingly. 

I have to agree. I'm afraid I think it is time for you to think hard about your whole rel@tionship. Perhaps it will be a wake-up call if he realizes that his inability/unwillingness to participate in the upkeep of your shared home is not just upsetting you, it is threatening your ability to continue to be with him.

And folks, you have hit the nail on the head.  I don't feel that I should have to keep on him.  And I don't like that we have to keep doing this.  I'm afraid of having to tell him that I honestly can't take it anymore.  I love him deeply, and I know he loves me, but I'm constantly responsible for him, and that's just not right.  It probably doesn't help that I've been listening to Damien Rice's "Rootless Tree" on a loop, does it? 

I was hoping that talking to him would be enough, but I think you're right; he most likely needs a good, jarring dose of reality concerning this whole situation.  This is going to suck, isn't it?
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LeeLee88 on July 16, 2010, 07:25:10 PM
Oh, and thank you all for the fast responses, I really do appreciate it very much.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: BettyDraper on July 16, 2010, 07:32:59 PM
Well, you could drastically change your approach to housework/maintenance issues:  Use a portion of your joint income to hire someone to clean & do chores; downsize or reduce belongings to streamline work, separate your living quarters i.e. find a place with separate bathrooms (or even bedrooms) so you don't have to worry about the state he leaves his in, get rid of pets that need to be fed, etc.  Change the overall expectation level.

To be honest though, if someone told me the only way he could relax when he got home from work was to rush to his game console instead of chatting or otherwise interacting with me, his spouse, I'd be taking a (regrettable) clue.  I like to decompress when I get home too and don't necessarily feel like engaging right away -- but hours on a computer? 
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: goblue2539 on July 16, 2010, 07:35:02 PM
Make sure you decide what you can live with, what you can't live with, and how far you're willing to go to get it before you speak to him.  If you need to give an ultimatum, make it one you can follow through on. 

All easier said than done.  Good luck!
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: PaddedPaws on July 16, 2010, 07:35:59 PM
Have you considered marriage counselling? It can be expensive, but workplaces will sometimes cover short term counselling. You've already tried talking it through together, and end up repeating the same scenario. Perhaps it's time to try something different.

Also, can you afford to hire some help occassionally? Would that help aleviate the strain?
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LeeLee88 on July 16, 2010, 07:40:50 PM
Have you considered marriage counselling? It can be expensive, but workplaces will sometimes cover short term counselling. You've already tried talking it through together, and end up repeating the same scenario. Perhaps it's time to try something different.

Also, can you afford to hire some help occassionally? Would that help aleviate the strain?

Holy jeez, I can't believe I didn't think of that.  Wow.  I feel really bad about that somehow.  And while we can afford to hire help, I get really antsy about it.  It's primarily that I've had very few experiences where housekeepers didn't take something (we have a lot of valuables in the house) and I would feel bad for the housekeeper because I'd end up just standing there watching him/her.  And that's not fair at all.  In an effort to keep my paranoia from afflicting some unfortunate soul I've hired to do the job for me, I feel it is wiser to avoid doing it until such a time where it would be feasible for me to be home a lot.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Sharnita on July 16, 2010, 07:41:47 PM
The idea of counseling seems good.  I think video games can be addictive, though I don't know if he is personally addicted or not.  He would probably benefit from discussing his gaming with somebody qualified to help him if it is an addiction.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: demarco on July 16, 2010, 07:44:27 PM
The question for you is, can you live with this for the rest of your life?  He's not going to change.   

Don't ask me how I know   >:(

Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LEMon on July 16, 2010, 07:48:25 PM
Agree with pps that you don't want to become the game police.  You resent him right now.  Become the game police - you will resent him and he will resent you, plus nothing will be solved.

You need to lay this on the line.  How you feel?  What does he want from the relationship?  What are the consequenses of this long term?  

things to think about:  How much time do you two spend together in general?  How much do you two talk about important things - especially any stresses on his plate?  What has he done in the last week/month to make you feel loved?  What consequenses are you willing to implement - is this the final dealbreaker?  something that could be worked around?  part of a patern?

I agree with those who asked why does he unwind with games rather than you, but I also know how easy to get addicted to them it is (all four of us in my family struggle with it).  Games are easy to win.  You can advance/succeed in them.  They take little work on your part.  It is so much easier than real life which makes it very easy to escape into the void, and leave the worries, things to do, and people behind.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Dindrane on July 16, 2010, 07:53:40 PM
I agree with the suggestion for marriage counseling.  I also think you may want to consider the possibility that your DH is addicted to video games, and perhaps look into counseling for just him.

See, it's totally normal to go through periods of time where you don't want to talk to each other or otherwise interact.  It's totally normal for those times to primarily happen right when you get home from work.  I think lots of people do that.

But spending all of your free time doing something which prevents you from actually taking care of yourself and living your life is truly a problem.  Video games can be incredibly engrossing, and I do think people can become addicted to them.  My DF has struggled for years to not get sucked into playing games he doesn't even enjoy anymore, and the only thing that's improved the situation is sheer self discipline.

Ultimately, when the two of you are working out an issue, you should expect that you will need to regularly discuss it.  That by itself isn't really a bad thing - situations change, people slip back into old habits, whatever.  The problem that you're facing is not that you have to keep talking about it - it's that you have to keep talking about it because there has been no net improvement.

To share an example, I really hate housework.  I can be kind of lazy about it, too.  Because of the way our current jobs work out, DF and I agreed a long time ago that he would do the bulk of the housework (because I work longer hours than he does).  However, there were things I was doing that both failed to hold up my end of the bargain, and made it harder for DF to hold up his.  That was a problem.  I'll be honest - it's still sometimes a problem, because I still hate housework and I'm still tired when I get home from work.

But the reason why it's not a big problem in our relationship (just a minor annoyance we sometimes have to deal with) is because I never slip completely back into my original habits.  I have created some new habits that are more in line with a fair division of household labor.  And I also recognize, fairly immediately, when something I'm doing is just not fair to my DF.

For instance, when we moved in together, he seriously spent like maybe 1/3 of the day actually doing work.  I worked full time.  So it made perfect sense for him to do pretty much all the cooking and regular clean-up, and for me to only pitch in on household chores on the weekends.  Now, however, DF spends maybe 3/4 of the working day actually doing work, and I'm still working full time.  So he probably works about 30 hours a week to my 40.  It is no longer fair for me to expect him to take on as much of the housework as he used to, so I've been gradually picking up more of it.

So maybe I have a week or two where I leave all my dishes in the sink for DF to take care of later, but most of the time, I clean up after myself and do some of the necessary household work.  A temporary neglect of household work does not, for me, mean that I'm not doing any at all, or that I won't self-correct when I've got more time or more energy.

That, I think, is the goal that you should be working for -- the normal state of affairs in your house should be that your husband does X amount of housework without your having to stand over him and make him.  He should only be skipping that housework when there are unusual circumstances in play (like a stressful period of time at work or something).  But when those unusual circumstances occur, you shouldn't necessarily be taking over those duties -- ideally, you'd work out between the two of you which were non-essential, and you'd still do the same proportion of essential household tasks.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: BettyDraper on July 16, 2010, 07:59:32 PM
Have you considered marriage counselling? It can be expensive, but workplaces will sometimes cover short term counselling. You've already tried talking it through together, and end up repeating the same scenario. Perhaps it's time to try something different.

Also, can you afford to hire some help occassionally? Would that help aleviate the strain?

Holy jeez, I can't believe I didn't think of that.  Wow.  I feel really bad about that somehow.  And while we can afford to hire help, I get really antsy about it.  It's primarily that I've had very few experiences where housekeepers didn't take something (we have a lot of valuables in the house) and I would feel bad for the housekeeper because I'd end up just standing there watching him/her.  And that's not fair at all.  In an effort to keep my paranoia from afflicting some unfortunate soul I've hired to do the job for me, I feel it is wiser to avoid doing it until such a time where it would be feasible for me to be home a lot.

That's what I meant about changing your life, though.  Take the valuables to a safe deposit box or self-storage unit, lock them up and and otherwise make your dwelling such that a maid service can do the work.   

Would I do that for someone who would rather play WoW than have a glass of wine with me, or work in the garden, or take a shower together, or go for a walk to unwind?  No.  (And playing the games occasionally wouldn't bother me one bit; I like solitary pursuits too and hate clinginess -- but every day?) It's offered as a suggestion to counter the argument made here sometimes (with good reason) that we armchair analysts are too quick to tell people to ditch their relationships.

I would accept as the PP above said that this is it,this is his preference, and decide if I can live with that.   Or as others have said get counseling.  In any event this is beyond a manners or etiquette question, that's for sure.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LeeLee88 on July 16, 2010, 08:13:40 PM
Have you considered marriage counselling? It can be expensive, but workplaces will sometimes cover short term counselling. You've already tried talking it through together, and end up repeating the same scenario. Perhaps it's time to try something different.

Also, can you afford to hire some help occassionally? Would that help aleviate the strain?

Holy jeez, I can't believe I didn't think of that.  Wow.  I feel really bad about that somehow.  And while we can afford to hire help, I get really antsy about it.  It's primarily that I've had very few experiences where housekeepers didn't take something (we have a lot of valuables in the house) and I would feel bad for the housekeeper because I'd end up just standing there watching him/her.  And that's not fair at all.  In an effort to keep my paranoia from afflicting some unfortunate soul I've hired to do the job for me, I feel it is wiser to avoid doing it until such a time where it would be feasible for me to be home a lot.

That's what I meant about changing your life, though.  Take the valuables to a safe deposit box or self-storage unit, lock them up and and otherwise make your dwelling such that a maid service can do the work.   

Would I do that for someone who would rather play WoW than have a glass of wine with me, or work in the garden, or take a shower together, or go for a walk to unwind?  No.  (And playing the games occasionally wouldn't bother me one bit; I like solitary pursuits too and hate clinginess -- but every day?) It's offered as a suggestion to counter the argument made here sometimes (with good reason) that we armchair analysts are too quick to tell people to ditch their rel@tionships.

I would accept as the PP above said that this is it,this is his preference, and decide if I can live with that.   Or as others have said get counseling.  In any event this is beyond a manners or etiquette question, that's for sure.

I see what you're saying now, and it's definitely excellent food for thought.  And you're right, this did sort of go out of etiquette quickly, didn't it?  Sorry about that, everyone.  And thank you all very, very much for your very rapid input.  I'm going to try to focus myself a bit and see how this goes.  Thanks again.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: still in va on July 16, 2010, 08:21:41 PM
LeeLee, figure out what you need to be done in the house that makes it comfortable for you, and do it.  don't do anything that your husband feels is important for the household.  if it's important to him, he'll do it. 

when you are doing laundry, do yours.  leave his.  put your dishes in the dishwasher, and ignore his. 

i've never had to do such things, but my daughter has, and it seems to work for her when her husband decides gaming or golfing is more important than helping in the house.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LeeLee88 on July 16, 2010, 09:07:29 PM
LeeLee, figure out what you need to be done in the house that makes it comfortable for you, and do it.  don't do anything that your husband feels is important for the household.  if it's important to him, he'll do it. 

when you are doing laundry, do yours.  leave his.  put your dishes in the dishwasher, and ignore his. 

i've never had to do such things, but my daughter has, and it seems to work for her when her husband decides gaming or golfing is more important than helping in the house.

Excellent suggestions.  Yes... very excellent suggestions.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Aeris on July 16, 2010, 09:24:51 PM
If you ever get to a point in the discussion where you are both laughing about it, and this wouldn't go over poorly, you could always show him this:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrN76L2177s


I have a feeling he's not likely to take it as funny right now though...
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: blue2000 on July 16, 2010, 09:33:09 PM
LeeLee, figure out what you need to be done in the house that makes it comfortable for you, and do it.  don't do anything that your husband feels is important for the household.  if it's important to him, he'll do it.  

when you are doing laundry, do yours.  leave his.  put your dishes in the dishwasher, and ignore his.  

i've never had to do such things, but my daughter has, and it seems to work for her when her husband decides gaming or golfing is more important than helping in the house.

Excellent suggestions.  Yes... very excellent suggestions.

ITA.

You don't want to be his mother. I can't blame you for that. But if you took away his games, you'd still be acting like his mother and he might resent you for it.

If he had to do his own laundry or make his own dinner, the consequences would come from his own actions, not from you. And if he chooses to play games all evening and then has to do laundry until midnight because he has no clean clothes for work, you can be in bed sleeping and still make your point. :)

Good luck!!
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: missmolly on July 17, 2010, 01:34:02 AM
LeeLee, figure out what you need to be done in the house that makes it comfortable for you, and do it.  don't do anything that your husband feels is important for the household.  if it's important to him, he'll do it.  

when you are doing laundry, do yours.  leave his.  put your dishes in the dishwasher, and ignore his.  

i've never had to do such things, but my daughter has, and it seems to work for her when her husband decides gaming or golfing is more important than helping in the house.

Excellent suggestions.  Yes... very excellent suggestions.

ITA.

You don't want to be his mother. I can't blame you for that. But if you took away his games, you'd still be acting like his mother and he might resent you for it.

If he had to do his own laundry or make his own dinner, the consequences would come from his own actions, not from you. And if he chooses to play games all evening and then has to do laundry until midnight because he has no clean clothes for work, you can be in bed sleeping and still make your point. :)

Good luck!!

Big POD on this.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LifeOnPluto on July 17, 2010, 01:47:42 AM
I think the time for talking is over, and the time for action is here.

From now on, cook only your meals (not his). Wash only the dishes that you use, and do only your laundry.

If he leaves his messes in communal areas (eg his dirty plates and cups in the living room, or his stinky clothes all over the bathroom floor) pick them up, and put them in an area where he can't miss them - such as his desk, favourite armchair, or even his side of the bed!
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Baxter on July 17, 2010, 03:10:08 AM
Is he depressed or does he have any other reason to be "checking out" of life?  Sometimes people with no goals just get into ruts like this and find it difficult to get out of.  I also think that marriage counselling is a great idea and also have you considered having a family meeting once a week or so where you can talk about stuff like this.  Goodluck LeeLee.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LeeLee88 on July 17, 2010, 08:31:27 AM
Is he depressed or does he have any other reason to be "checking out" of life?  Sometimes people with no goals just get into ruts like this and find it difficult to get out of.  I also think that marriage counselling is a great idea and also have you considered having a family meeting once a week or so where you can talk about stuff like this.  Goodluck LeeLee.

When it first began, it was because he was depressed.  He was having a hard time finding a job, and he was completely reliant upon me, and all that was sort of emasculating him a bit, you know?  Well, he got a good job, and he's no longer in the funk.  Except he never quite broke out of the phase of letting me do everything.  I was willing to do a good amount of stuff while he was down because I know that when a person is super depressed, the last thing he/she even cares about is washing dishes or fixing the couch up.  But now I'm getting depressed because I have to get on his butt all the time. 

He was very adamant that while he was depressed he would NOT go see a counsellor, but I'm going to see if he'd be willing to see one now that it's going to be in an effort to put our marriage back on a good track.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LeeLee88 on July 17, 2010, 08:52:28 AM
All right, well, we had the discussion last night... sort of.  He came in, immediately powered up the X-Box, and I said, "You're going to play video games?" in this weird tone that even I was thinking, "Whoah... serious."  So he says, "Do you want me to turn it off?", and I nodded my head, and he turned it off.  I asked him to please fold the laundry in the dryer, but before that, I told him that we've already had this conversation about him playing video games and not helping me out around the house, and I'm really sick and tired of it.  He just starts going, "Okay, okay....", and said that it wasn't okay, that he needs to knock this crap off.  He went down and didn't just fold the laundry, but started a new load and did it correctly.  Then, I was washing the dishes, and stepped away to let one soak, and when I came back, he already had it cleaned and had moved on to the others. 

So I was happy, but at the same time, a little bothered because I had to get on him to help me.  However, don't look a gift horse in the mouth, right?  I'm going to suggest seeing a marriage counsellor after I've done some research so I have evidence to show him that this is something we should both be serious about.  I figure if I already have resources on hand to show him, then he can't hem and haw his way out of going to see one.  Entrapment, essentially  :P.  Also, no video games this morning.  Just Pandora radio to keep us company while we chill and pick up a bit.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: redcat on July 17, 2010, 10:17:54 AM
No, not entrapment!  That would be you being sneaky.  You're just being... prepared.  And showing him you're serious, which may give him the boot up the backside he needs.

Says me, who's currently engaged in a vicious cycle of not doing the washing up, as I did it the last 4 times out of 5.  And I've done most of the cooking >:(
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Aeris on July 17, 2010, 11:46:05 AM
This is an excellent update - really, the best possible outcome for a single day. But you're concerned, worried - because you know that it won't last forever, and you'll be right back here again.

The problem is that *consciously* he knows what he should and shouldn't be doing. He's just having a really hard time breaking the *habits* he's created. I know you know this, but it doesn't seem like he sits there and says to himself "I don't need to do any housework, she's going to take care of all of it". He's just goes on autopilot, and doesn't think about it. And once he's IN a game, it's almost impossible for him to actually extract himself.

I think pursuing the counselor is an excellent idea, but I'm going to give you one more, and there may be some disagreement on this one. TODAY, tonight, when you and he get home, I say grab him and plant a huge kiss on him, big enough to elicit a little shock. When he inevitably asks what that was for, tell him you really appreciated how he responded last night, how once he got started he jumped in on a number of different tasks without discussion. He made a real effort last night, and you don't want to let that go without some serious emotional positive reinforcement. I know you may feel, and rightly so, like you shouldn't have to positively reinforce what he OUGHT to be doing already, that you shouldn't have to hold his hand and say 'good job honey!' for things that are really just getting up to the bar, not surpassing it, but you have to remember that you're trying to *help him* break a habit. If he had an actual conscious attitude that he didn't need to do these things, I would have a completely different reaction. But that's not what it sounds like.

TODAY is a golden opportunity, because he's made a significant step in the right direction (I know, you're thinking, but I've seen this before and nada). TODAY you can bring it up and talk about it in perhaps the least combative zone, because he's made a good step and you can focus on that. Come at it with the positive, and then jump into "okay, that was awesome, and I know that you are just in a habit of getting yourself locked away on video games, and I know *we both* want to break that cycle, for our relationship. So what can we do to help that happen? Would it help if you put a post it note for yourself on the xbox that said "Please wait to play me til after the laundry!"? Or, what do *you* think would help you remember to make a little more balance?"

If he's participating in that conversation actively and non-combatively, and treating it like a problem to be solved, he'll start using those world famous man-stereotype fixer tendencies. And that's what you want - you want HIM to be fixing the problem, not for you to be mothering it away. YOU don't want to put the sticky note on the xbox, you want HIM to. You want HIM to acknowledge 'Dude, this is a bad habit, I KNOW I shouldn't be doing this, but I keep getting myself in this rut - how can I help myself get out?"

In some ways, it's no different than quitting smoking, or taking up a new diet, or starting a new gym regime. You have to want it, and you have to own it, and you have to find ways to 'trick' yourself into doing the new good habit instead of the old bad one.

BUT DON'T WAIT ON THIS! Start this interaction TODAY! Catch the efforts he made last night and solidify them with positive feelings, let him know that you see what he did, and you appreciate it. I am not saying in anyway that you're going to have to do a song and dance every time he just, you know, does what he's supposed to, but for right this moment, you're trying to turn the runaway horse around. And it does sound to me like he wants to also, just doesn't know how to keep it up yet when it's not in his immediate conscious thoughts.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: sparksals on July 17, 2010, 11:52:24 AM
Personally I would not want to play video game police to another adult.  If my SO didn't respect me and our household enough to put time into the rel@tionship and the upkeep of our shared living space without being nagged or having me place limits on his behavior, I'd be taking that at face value and re-evaluating the whole situation.  I would not want someone to change his ways just because I browbeat him into it or issued an ultimatum, especially having previously let him know that his lack of sharing in the chores was detrimental to me.  What, really, have you gained if you have to crack a whip to get it?  Why should you have to "stay on top of the situation" and monitor an adult male who presumably loves and respects you?

Sorry you are in this situation but in your place I would accept him as the autonomous adult he is, free to make his own choices, and make my own plans accordingly.  

I agree with everything here.  I will also add that you have tried several times to discuss this with him.  I think the next step is to insist on counseling.  If he refuses to go, go without him because you also need help dealing with this and making decisions. 

Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Dindrane on July 17, 2010, 12:07:26 PM
Aeris, I agree with you completely.

Habits are hard to change, no matter how much you know you should.  It goes so much more quickly and so much more smoothly if there is positive as well as negative reinforcement.  I agree that you should try giving some very obvious positive reinforcement now, and see where that takes you.  If it doesn't help the situation improve, you can always stop.  The only danger that I can see is turning the slightly exaggerated positive reinforcement into a part of your status quo -- but if you focus on the reinforcement being a temporary experiment, and you pay attention to what effect it has, it shouldn't be too difficult to stop it before it becomes a part of this pattern.

And if it doesn't work, I think your next step should absolutely be counseling.  Marriage if you can convince him to go, for yourself if you can't.  You're very frustrated right now, and rightly so.  I think you will have an easier time navigating the whole situation if you can find someone who isn't invested in it to point you in the right directions.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on July 17, 2010, 12:55:13 PM
I agree with Aeris - one of the things that really works on my hubby is positive reinforcement, when he *does* do something right.

I, of course, hate that I have to treat him that way, but the truth is that it's very basic human nature to seek the reward out.  So if you give it, I think in some cases, he'll be more likely to continue the behavior.  :) 
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on July 17, 2010, 12:57:56 PM
I wonder if you could talk to him about plans for as soon as he gets home? Like "Hey, tonight, I'd really like to take a walk around the block when you get home.  I think it'd be a great way to unwind and get us on track for the night, what do you think?" It would help him get out of the habit of turning on the Xbox, it would give him a few minutes to unwind (and dont start on any topics of conversation on this walk, if he really needs some time to unwind, then take a silent, languishing stroll with him.  Make sense?
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: TootsNYC on July 17, 2010, 01:18:25 PM
All right, well, we had the discussion last night... sort of.  He came in, immediately powered up the X-Box, and I said, "You're going to play video games?" in this weird tone that even I was thinking, "Whoah... serious."  So he says, "Do you want me to turn it off?", and I nodded my head, and he turned it off.  I asked him to please fold the laundry in the dryer, but before that, I told him that we've already had this conversation about him playing video games and not helping me out around the house, and I'm really sick and tired of it.  He just starts going, "Okay, okay....", and said that it wasn't okay, that he needs to knock this crap off.  He went down and didn't just fold the laundry, but started a new load and did it correctly.  Then, I was washing the dishes, and stepped away to let one soak, and when I came back, he already had it cleaned and had moved on to the others. 


Have you told him that you MISS him? That you are lonely when he goes off gaming?

Because one thing I'm seeing--the only thing he got when he turned off the games was a scolding, and chores.

Not much of a reward.

Tomorrow, ask him to turn off the game, and then ask him to go for a walk with you. Ask him to read the newspaper to you. SOMETHING.

Also--make chores more fun. You're trapped in the house while you do them. Make that a positive. Treat it as something you can do together.

Seriously--working together on something breeds intimacy. That creates closeness. It's crucially important to a marriage, actually.

Make a rule: Nobody does dishes alone. Nobody does laundry alone (if space is squeezes by the laundry machines, you have to do it with one arm around one another).

Nobody dusts while someone else is reading, gaming, whatever. At the VERY least, whoever is doing chores should be accompanied by someone who is doing some other chore (in toddler-dom, we call that parallel play, and it is very important and emotionally rewarding at times).

Or, if you're washing dishes, then he can lean on the cabinetry and read you the funnies, or talk to you about your day, or plan with you what you'd do if you won the lottery, or fantasize about European vacations, or something.

NO ONE--not you, not him--is alone while they are doing chores. They have company. Hopefully helpful company (so the chore becomes a "joint activity"), but friendly and engaged company nonetheless.

Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Surianne on July 18, 2010, 01:13:00 AM
Aeris and Toots both have some great advice here. 
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Skepchick on July 19, 2010, 09:42:46 AM
Not sure if this would work for you both, but--do you both have Gmail addresses?

If so, Google has a function called Google calendar.

My husband and I schedule everything, from birthdays to what's for dinner, on Google calendar. We can both input and edit stuff.

Fortunately, we don't have issues with keeping the house clean, but maybe your husband might respond to having the stuff he needs to do written down on a Google calendar-like tracker.

It sounds like he needs to be conditioned to look for stuff to do when he gets in the door; the only thing that leaps to his mind is the Xbox. He may have no inherent idea what most needs doing in the house on any given day.

If he had some things written down on the calendar, such as 'start dishwasher' or 'fold laundry' at the hour when he gets home, and THEN you condition him to check Google calendar first thing when he comes home, maybe that would help or even solve matters.

Not saying it will work, just saying it might be worth a try.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: TychaBrahe on July 19, 2010, 10:24:57 AM
I imagine you've told him how you feel when he doesn't help with the chores.

Have you told him how you feel when he DOES?

"Babe, thank you for contributing to *our* chores.  It makes me feel so good when you do things around the house.  I feel like you love me and care about me and care about our relationship and our home.  It makes me feel protected and respected and loved."

Some people need negative reinforcement, and some need positive.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LeeLee88 on July 19, 2010, 10:39:11 AM
Oh yes, I definitely give him high praise when he helps me.  I think I did it wrong though when I started praising everything like, "Wow!!  Thank you so much!!!" because I thought that if I praised little things highly, then maybe he'd think "oh, what would happen if I do big things?"  I think all that did was make him think that if he's going to get lots of praise for small things, and I handle all the big things on my own, then there's really no reason to do the big things.  I'm holding back on the praising every single little thing he does, but I definitely praised him well for doing the dishes on his own volition (which he did again this morning before he left for work, I'm super-pleased) and for helping me clean up before company came.

I think the line is between too much positive feedback (example: "Thank you sooo much for throwing away that pop can!!  Who's a good boy?!  You are!!")  and constant negative feedback.  I usually give him no negative feedback because I didn't want to knock him back down after he'd started to help, but I think I didn't give him enough negative feedback in the form of me holding my frustration with his lack of housework inside all the time.  All that does is make a bottle rocket of vitriole that will be very nasty when it finally bursts forth.  So I believe I'll stay on top of positive reinforcement, but be mindful to not overdo it, and also let him know (kindly of course) things like, "Hey, I really need you to put the games down and help me out, all right?  Let's get a move on."  I'm not being nasty, but I'm letting him know I need him to pay attention and that I need his help now, rather than when he gets to it ("after this level.").   

Also, we are working on the calendar right now, which is fantastic, thank you!
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Dindrane on July 19, 2010, 10:47:20 AM
I definitely think it's important to find a good balance of praise and criticism.  Both have their place and their uses, and both are harmful when you overdo it.  And the balance between them isn't necessarily going to be the same for everyone, or even for every task.

I think for some of the smaller things that he has been doing (even if not consistently) for a little while, you might try just thanking him sincerely and moving on.  You're still grateful for it, you still notice when he does it, but it's not this big gigantic deal...because you kind of expect him to do it regardless.  So a simple, "Thank you for washing the dishes, honey.  It always makes it easier to start the day with a clean kitchen," (or something) would be all the praise I'd give.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: kckgirl on July 19, 2010, 10:57:13 AM
Just remember that he is not "helping you" but "doing his share" of family work. Housework is not "your" job; it's "people who live in the house" who are responsible for it. I just get a little irritated sometimes when wives want their husbands to help with the housework (like it's the wife's job) instead of just doing housework that is everybody's responsibility.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Dindrane on July 19, 2010, 10:59:46 AM
Just remember that he is not "helping you" but "doing his share" of family work. Housework is not "your" job; it's "people who live in the house" who are responsible for it. I just get a little irritated sometimes when wives want their husbands to help with the housework (like it's the wife's job) instead of just doing housework that is everybody's responsibility.

It's not always wives that expect their husbands to help.  It is sometimes the other way around.  Can we just stick with spouses if we're talking in a general sense?

Because seriously, in my house, I (the woman) do very little housework, frequently need to be reminded, often think of it as "helping" rather than my job, and want lots of positive feedback when I do any portion of my share of household chores.  I know that this is probably not the most common way things work out, but it does happen.  I always find it very frustrating when people make broad general statements about how men never do housework as consistently as women, because it isn't something that is true all the time.

edited because I hit post too soon
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: kckgirl on July 19, 2010, 11:12:45 AM
We absolutely can stick with spouses. It's just NOT one person's job to keep a house that everybody lives in, especially if that one person works outside the home and the others do too.

I read in The Tightwad Gazette once about the division of duties in the author's family. Their philosophy was that the adults spent an equal amount of time per day doing things "for the good of the family." In their case, the author worked part time outside the home on their newsletter, and the husband (retired from military service) stayed home. He did more housework than she because she was away from home earning money for the good of the family. On days she didn't work, they worked together or separately on things that needed to be done.

Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Dindrane on July 19, 2010, 11:22:04 AM
We absolutely can stick with spouses. It's just NOT one person's job to keep a house that everybody lives in, especially if that one person works outside the home and the others do too.

I agree completely.  I only brought up my own attitude because it's what most people assume the man in a relationship will think, not the woman.  I don't think my attitude is very healthy or fair, and I have been working pretty hard to change it. :)  But it did mostly stem from the fact that my DF is more bothered by certain types of messes than I am, and by the fact that I spend a lot more time working than he does.  So even in a fair distribution of household labor, I'd still get less because I spend more time at work.

And actually, LeeLee, just to give you a bit of hope that there may be light at the end of this tunnel -- even though I have similar attitudes about housework as your DH (i.e. I often don't think of it as my job), I have gotten a lot better about that in the few years I've lived with my DF.  I'm hardly perfect, but I have made a lot of progress.  There are some chores I do that I didn't used to think of as my job, but now I do them without comment and without expecting anything but the satisfaction of a job well done.  I've still got more I need to work on, but it's not nearly the source of tension now that it used to be.

Part of the key with that was my DF making sure to tell me right away when he was unhappy with something I was doing (or not doing), and to tell me specifically what he wanted me to do differently.  I tend to sort of go along thinking everything is fine unless DF says something, because that's how I operate -- I don't hold things in and get resentful about them the same way he does.  So as part of our bargain, I try to anticipate him, but mostly he needs to tell me when something is wrong so that I can fix it.  And I do make a very concerted effort to do what he's asked me to do once he tells me about it.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: bah12 on July 19, 2010, 11:26:54 AM
It sounds to me that the problem really goes beyond how much he plays vs how much he helps with housework.

Gaming can be an addiction and your DH playing to the point that he is neglecting other things in his life does lean towards addiction.  You said the gaming started when he was depressed so that makes me think that this is somehow an outlet for him.  He's getting something from gaming that he doesn't want to try to find outside of it.  KWIM?

I think you both would be more successful if you focused on the gaming instead of the lack of housework.  If he can cut the gaming back to something that is reasonable, he'd have more time to take care of you, the house, etc.  Tell him that you're concerned about the amount of hours he puts into it.  How much sleep does he get?  Is he ever late to work because of this?  If he's not, then tell him you don't want to see those things start to happen.

A councelor will help, because he/she can help him figure out why he spends so much time gaming and checks out of everything else.  If he can figure that out, the rest will eventually fall in place.  Otherwise, you are going to have to police him to get him to consiously turn of the games and do something else.  I think you both will resent that (and maybe already are).

Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on July 19, 2010, 11:29:00 AM
::Sighs, takes deep breath::

I can totally identify with this.  This is just how it is in our house... and I'm the culprit, sadly.  I don't mean to be this way, and it's not laziness per se... if I need to do to something, I can knock it out rapidly.  For me, a large part of the problem is that I don't have a set deadline.  I work best with a deadline.  SO goes to work, has to be there a certain time, so SO has a deadline.  But housework... well, one can't be "fired" from housework, so it seems less urgent, somehow.  I *know* this thinking is flawed, I *know* I'm doing it wrong.  But for the life of me, I can't.  Freaking.  Stop.

SO is beyond wonderful, but is most likely getting miffed about this, because if someone were doing this to me, *I'd* be miffed.  For the record, I do all the cooking (SO's cooking is limited to knowing how to set power levels on the microwave), and the laundry.  I should be doing more... I'm home all day and SO works.  But it seems like when I try, the morning just slips away without anything getting done.

It's intensely frustrating, even moreso because I should have the ability to change it (because only I can), but nothing I do seems to work for more than a few days.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: POF on July 19, 2010, 11:41:14 AM
I am going to say one thing in defense of your husband ( and let me tell you I have me own tale with my own DH ). I have a stressful job and when I get home - I am tense, tired and just wiped out. I also am an introvert that recharges by alone time.

When I get home - I greet everyone and take 20 minutes for ME. This may be laying down for a quick nap, watching the news by myself, a PC game or reading a chapter in my book.

I find I need this transition before I immerse myself in our crazy household. I am more effective, more energetic and just happier.

I would not be happy if I walked in the door and was told to fold laundry.  You might want to see if your DH needs a transition time.... BUT he needs to recognize that it isn't 4 hours and he should not start an X-BOX session if he can't turn it off in a reasonable time frame.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Yvaine on July 19, 2010, 12:02:56 PM
I am going to say one thing in defense of your husband ( and let me tell you I have me own tale with my own DH ). I have a stressful job and when I get home - I am tense, tired and just wiped out. I also am an introvert that recharges by alone time.

When I get home - I greet everyone and take 20 minutes for ME. This may be laying down for a quick nap, watching the news by myself, a PC game or reading a chapter in my book.

I find I need this transition before I immerse myself in our crazy household. I am more effective, more energetic and just happier.

I would not be happy if I walked in the door and was told to fold laundry.  You might want to see if your DH needs a transition time.... BUT he needs to recognize that it isn't 4 hours and he should not start an X-BOX session if he can't turn it off in a reasonable time frame.


Pod.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LeeLee88 on July 19, 2010, 12:07:15 PM
Everybody needs recharge time, definitely.  I wouldn't begrudge him even an hour of game time, it's when it gets into 3+ hours that I'm thinking, "Okay then... that's a little much."  I also appreciate my time to unwind, I get on and read E-hell while eating dinner and sometimes play Tetris online to just relax.  But that's very brief (I'm bad at it :-P) because there are other things that need to get done. 
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: high dudgeon on July 19, 2010, 02:18:09 PM
Maybe an alarm clock set to go off about an hour after he gets home would be helpful? Or have him set up a kitchen timer set for thirty minutes or a hour when he starts playing? Just having something starting to beep at him would be a good way to jar him out of the game playing coma he gets into. Some recharging time is necessary, but not when it takes over all your time.

I guess I might be a bit PA, but after bringing it up so many times with mixed results, I'd probably go the route of only washing my own clothes and eating out on the way home from work or cooking for myself, and eventually when he got hungry enough, or ran out of clean underwear, he'd realize that every second outside of work can't be only "fun time." I would take care of any pets or children, but that would be about it.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: sparksals on July 19, 2010, 02:18:38 PM
I am going to say one thing in defense of your husband ( and let me tell you I have me own tale with my own DH ). I have a stressful job and when I get home - I am tense, tired and just wiped out. I also am an introvert that recharges by alone time.

When I get home - I greet everyone and take 20 minutes for ME. This may be laying down for a quick nap, watching the news by myself, a PC game or reading a chapter in my book.

I find I need this transition before I immerse myself in our crazy household. I am more effective, more energetic and just happier.

I would not be happy if I walked in the door and was told to fold laundry.  You might want to see if your DH needs a transition time.... BUT he needs to recognize that it isn't 4 hours and he should not start an X-BOX session if he can't turn it off in a reasonable time frame.


This is a very good point.  I need my quiet time first thing in the AM.   Let me have my coffee, don't bug me, give me time to wake up.  DH needs his when he comes home from work.   We respect each other's decompressing needs.  I would never barrage DH with duties the minute he walks in.  We chat a bit, I give him a beer and he goes down to his dungeon mancave for about 30 minutes.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Aeris on July 19, 2010, 03:46:02 PM
I definitely also need my recharge time, but as a semi-serious gamer, I can tell you straight away that once you turn on the game, it's really really really really hard to stop again. If he needs 20 minutes or even an hour to recharge before picking up housework, I highly recommend he find something other than gaming for that, and only pick up the game when he knows he can safely do it for awhile, or til he goes to bed, or whatever.

This is coming from the girl who constantly tries to turn on a game for just a half hour, only to find herself 6 hours later still engrossed.

Since it's xbox, it's probably not a MMORPG like WoW, which makes things better than they would otherwise be. I will never ever play that game, because I'm bad enough with offline console RPGs.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: KitFox on July 19, 2010, 03:55:02 PM
Everybody needs to decompress, but I'm the exact opposite of your DH. I want to get things done while I'm still in work mode. I tend to hit the house at warp speed, fly through what I have to get done in the evening, and after we finish cleaning up from dinner, I put on my lounging wear (PJs) and cuddle up to my sofa and book/knitting/movie/etc.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: LeeLee88 on July 19, 2010, 04:00:32 PM
Everybody needs to decompress, but I'm the exact opposite of your DH. I want to get things done while I'm still in work mode. I tend to hit the house at warp speed, fly through what I have to get done in the evening, and after we finish cleaning up from dinner, I put on my lounging wear (PJs) and cuddle up to my sofa and book/knitting/movie/etc.

And that's exactly how I prefer to do it too.  It's nice to wind down before bed so I don't forever to fall asleep from still being keyed up.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Dindrane on July 19, 2010, 04:15:05 PM
Everybody needs to decompress, but I'm the exact opposite of your DH. I want to get things done while I'm still in work mode. I tend to hit the house at warp speed, fly through what I have to get done in the evening, and after we finish cleaning up from dinner, I put on my lounging wear (PJs) and cuddle up to my sofa and book/knitting/movie/etc.

And that's exactly how I prefer to do it too.  It's nice to wind down before bed so I don't forever to fall asleep from still being keyed up.

So if your DH is the opposite, do you think you'd be okay with him doing his chores after you've finished yours, as long as they get done?  Or do you need the time-frame to be more specific than that, so that (for instance) you both have some time to talk for a little bit?

I think one thing that might help you is think about what your ideal evening situation would be.  Then compare that to how things work now (because that seems to be your DH's ideal evening situation).  Figure out where the middle is for you, and work towards that.  Your DH isn't going to do everything exactly the way you do, and there's nothing wrong with that.  You just both need to adjust your expectations of how the evenings will work to a point where you can both live with them.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: sparksals on July 19, 2010, 09:37:25 PM
Everybody needs to decompress, but I'm the exact opposite of your DH. I want to get things done while I'm still in work mode. I tend to hit the house at warp speed, fly through what I have to get done in the evening, and after we finish cleaning up from dinner, I put on my lounging wear (PJs) and cuddle up to my sofa and book/knitting/movie/etc.

And that's exactly how I prefer to do it too.  It's nice to wind down before bed so I don't forever to fall asleep from still being keyed up.

That's how you prefer to do it, but if your husband picks up his share, do you think it would be the same for him?  It has to be what works for both of you. 
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: high dudgeon on July 20, 2010, 09:30:39 AM
Everybody needs to decompress, but I'm the exact opposite of your DH. I want to get things done while I'm still in work mode. I tend to hit the house at warp speed, fly through what I have to get done in the evening, and after we finish cleaning up from dinner, I put on my lounging wear (PJs) and cuddle up to my sofa and book/knitting/movie/etc.

And that's exactly how I prefer to do it too.  It's nice to wind down before bed so I don't forever to fall asleep from still being keyed up.

So if your DH is the opposite, do you think you'd be okay with him doing his chores after you've finished yours, as long as they get done?  Or do you need the time-frame to be more specific than that, so that (for instance) you both have some time to talk for a little bit?

I think one thing that might help you is think about what your ideal evening situation would be.  Then compare that to how things work now (because that seems to be your DH's ideal evening situation).  Figure out where the middle is for you, and work towards that.  Your DH isn't going to do everything exactly the way you do, and there's nothing wrong with that.  You just both need to adjust your expectations of how the evenings will work to a point where you can both live with them.

I wonder if you could give him a list of things he had to do before coming to bed? Then if he wants to stay up until midnight playing video games, then that's when he'd have to start his housework? Or would he just blow off the housework and come to bed whenever he got tired?
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: TootsNYC on August 07, 2010, 01:40:59 PM
Just remember that he is not "helping you" but "doing his share" of family work. Housework is not "your" job; it's "people who live in the house" who are responsible for it. I just get a little irritated sometimes when wives want their husbands to help with the housework (like it's the wife's job) instead of just doing housework that is everybody's responsibility.

It's not always wives that expect their husbands to help.  It is sometimes the other way around.  Can we just stick with spouses if we're talking in a general sense?

Because seriously, in my house, I (the woman) do very little housework, frequently need to be reminded, often think of it as "helping" rather than my job, and want lots of positive feedback when I do any portion of my share of household chores.  I know that this is probably not the most common way things work out, but it does happen.  I always find it very frustrating when people make broad general statements about how men never do housework as consistently as women, because it isn't something that is true all the time.


Ditto, actually.

But for the OP, the biggest danger and problem I see isn't so much the *chores*, but the lack of closeness, the singularity of their evenings. They aren't together; they're just in the house at the same time.

I see it in my own marriage sometimes, and it's not a force for good.
Title: Re: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)
Post by: Danismom on August 09, 2010, 02:22:20 PM
I'm wondering if there are any updates Leelee?  I'm hoping that things are going better now.