Author Topic: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)  (Read 9541 times)

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LeeLee88

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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.

still in va

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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.

LeeLee88

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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.

Aeris

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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...

blue2000

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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!!
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

missmolly

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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.
"Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out". Chekhov.

LifeOnPluto

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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!

MsMarjorie

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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.

LeeLee88

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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.

LeeLee88

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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.

redcat

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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 >:(

Aeris

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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.

sparksals

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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. 


Dindrane

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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.


ShadesOfGrey

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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.  :) 
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