Dear Mrs Vito,
My Husband and I have been married for a year now, we had a beautiful wedding and an even better honeymoon. We both work and have busy schedules, but make time for each other, from going out, having dates nights to chilling at home. I don’t feel like i’m asking for much but he seems to be allergic to helping out at home. For example, if we’ve both been at work, and i get home i’ll make us a meal, it would be nice if he at least washed up, but he doesn’t. Its almost like he expects me to do everything, its a “woman’s role” is what he said once. I do most, if not all of the house work and literally have to beg and plead for him to help, which he calls “nagging”. Lately I’ve given up and do it all, but its a real issue for me, because i feel like he is taking me for granted. To be honest, i didn’t think he would be like this.
When two individuals (independent in thought & behaviour) live together from two different backgrounds, you’re bound to have teething problems. Remember, you have both been taught how to do the same thing in different ways, i.e you are used to washing and drying the plates, meanwhile he had a dishwasher. Or living in a family whereby things are done for you, compared to where you have to share chores, all play a part on how you see yourself carrying out such tasks in the future. Also if you take into consideration past independent living skills, i.e if he lived alone he would have had to tackle housework at some point, but if he still lived with family, before marriage someone would do it eventually.
Sometimes its not that he can’t do these things, its that he won’t/doesn’t, and that’s probably what you resent. He may be aware that you want him to help out around the house because you “nag”him. Not the best way he could describe it, as i’m sure this term doesn’t make you feel good. Yet, unless you spell out your thoughts, he may not be aware that its driving a wedge between the two of you.
If we believe that husbands and wives are partners in love and life then this needs to reflect in day to day activities; discussions need to be had on what we priorities and why. If one of you priorities the need for a clean home, then so should the other. Is not acceptable for your husband to think “if she’s going to do it, then why do I need to do it”. Understandably you’ll feel unappreciated and resentful.
Communication is key, I would suggest having a conversation with your husband; not the typical “you need to wash up more”, but about how you are feeling, why you are feeling that way and what could help to make things better. Its easy to assume that when you get married, things will fall into place, “a wife or husband should know their duties” but without articulating what your expectations are, we can not expect the other person to read our mind. What might be obvious to you, is not to the other person. When you start to shift your thoughts to align with that notion, the more at peace you should feel.
You may also benefit from:
- Writing a list of the things that need to be done around the house, and agree on who will do what. Optional, but this can be switched regularly so that you both get a go at different tasks.
- If you both encourage/praise each other once tasks are completed, it will affirm your efforts and you are more likely to feel happy about helping out.
- Share tasks, as this can allow you to bond, i.e. cook a meal together at least once a week.
Once you don’t feel like you are doing all the work, i’m sure you’ll start to feel better.