Author Topic: I'm getting a bit tired of this (urgent, the discussion will be tonight)  (Read 9781 times)

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ShadesOfGrey

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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?
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

TootsNYC

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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. 


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.


Surianne

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Aeris and Toots both have some great advice here. 

Skepchick

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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.

TychaBrahe

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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.
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LeeLee88

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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!

Dindrane

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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.


kckgirl

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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.
Maryland

Dindrane

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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
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 12:03:20 PM by Dindrane »


kckgirl

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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.

Maryland

Dindrane

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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.


bah12

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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).


Diane AKA Traska

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::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.
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POF

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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.

Yvaine

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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.