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Why do I have to spell everything out for a man to do something around the house?

Why do I have to specifically ask every time the trash is full if he can take it out? Why is it that doing one chore for 5 minutes is a big accomplishment for him...but then when I clean the entire kitchen top to bottom (including scrubbing the floor for 30 minutes because of all the stuff he's spilled and never wiped up) he doesn't do anything but mess it up again within an hour and not clean up after himself?? Why can't they ever figure anything out on their own and just do it for once????

So tonight I simply asked him when he was going to take out the trash and he told me not to worry about it. (code for i don't feel like it and i have no idea if I'll ever do it.) I asked again and he just told me to stop thinking about it. This led to a brief argument and now he's watching TV and I'm eating cake and chocolate...what the hell?



Tue. Jul 31, 9:50pm

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What you have here is not a male/female problem, it's a messy person/neat person problem. He just doesn't have any problem with overflowing garbage and a dirty floor, and figures if you have a problem with them, you can clean until you are happy.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007, 10:03 PM

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I don't have any idea why men are this way. I stay home all day with my boyfriends parents, tending to their everyneed, cleaning the house for all of us, and when I simply ask him to pick up his shoes so his mother doesn't fall, it's a major deal.
My suggestion is to get online and do some research for at home stress relievers like breathing exercises, or positive focus thinking. That way maybe you won't feel the need to emotion eat (I do the same, so I am NOT judging.) Hope your doing better!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007, 10:26 PM

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10:03 - This may not be the case for all couples, but generally it's true a lot of the time for men and women. I think that it's a case of women noticing dirt because it's generally their job to clean (and I know some men clean, yes, but generally that's the case). Men in general seem to notice things less, there can be stuff around the house that's driving me nuts and my husband honestly won't notice. And not just, he's ignoring it, but it simply doesn't register with him.

OP - I've found that you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar! My first year married almost led to divorce over socks on the floor etc., with lots of arguments. I'm slowly learning that he does want to be helpful, but it's hard for him to make cleaning up as much of a priority as I do. One day I said to him, "Man, that pyjama fairy must be working overtime." He said, "What?!?" "You know, that pyjama fairy, the one that picks up your pyjamas every day and puts them away." And he did start picking up more after that! I've resigned myself to the fact that every once in a while, I have to gently remind him that he's not a bachelor or a neandrathal, so pick up your socks already.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007, 11:25 PM

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Ooh, you hit a nerve with this one. In my house, I don't care about a little clutter, a pile of books or papers here and there, but I don't like dirt!!! My husband is the opposite... As long as things look put away (more or less), he doesn't see the need to clean.
We did divide up chores at some point, but he still needs a thousand reminders to do his, and then gets resentful about my nagging, and then I get resentful that he's making me nag if I want him to do anything! UGH!
My latest tactic is to tell him once only, and then the next time I notice it's not done, I just do it. I try really hard to not be pissed off about it and I don't say anything. Sometimes he notices and guilts himself into finding a couple of other chores to do, sometimes not. I am just tired of dealing with it altogether!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 1:40 AM

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Mine told me one time men don't like to be nagged about taking the trash out.(well daggh, it won't put itself out).I told him sorry I don't mean to be a nag and I wouldn't want anyone to nag me but I just asked him to give me a break I cooked and i'm cleaning up the kitchen and if i don't ask he won't do it.He just gave me a rasberrry.If he doesn't put it out I'll ask him if we're broke and if he says what made you ask that? I'll say well it looks like we're trying to save money on trash bags I just didn't know if maybe we're broke or something. He'll laugh and say I'll put the trash out, DEAR. Sometimes i'll just get po'd and take it out and say thats ok i'll cook and clean up and take the trash out while you sit there watching tv and he'll just look at me and say whats with you ? They just don't get it and trash doesn't bother them.(so.... they are lazy...or weaker because we're tired too and we do stuff anyways and we are neater and they can be pigs because it doesn't bother them. Not all men but the majority it doesn't bother them.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 3:04 AM

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maybe they miss their moms?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 7:49 AM

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OP- Thank you for starting this thread!

I have been killing myself doing it all! Cleaning, cooking, getting our son, packed up for camp. Packed up for Football practice.......... Plus working full time! Then on the weekends........... hosting his friends, which means more cooking and cleaning.

I have been feeling like such a failure, because I can't do it all, but yet keep trying. My husband will do whatever I ask, but on his schedule, not a real schedule........ and when I ask, I feel like even more of a failure, because aren't wives and mothers supposed to be superhuman? I am just so glad I am not alone!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 8:19 AM

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The bottom line is men don't want to feel controlled . Unless they are the boos at their job, they are "controlled" all day long. They don't want to come home and have to answer to someone else. Nagging equals control to them...don't do it. Talk it out, divy up the chores and make up your minds (and agree to) about who's going to do what when - then stick to it. When the trash is overflowing, go out and buy another trash can or put the trash in a paper bag, or if it's really bothering you, empty it yourself. I feel for you all who have to deal with this. I am VERY lucky in that my husband does his job and I do mine and it all works out for us. After 14 years of marriage, I've learned not to "control" him by telling him what to do and when to do it - he's a big boy; when the kids run out of clothes, it's his problem and he knows it (he does the laundry) I don't rush down and do laundry for him or tell him when it's time to do laundry - he knows - my guess is yours' do too - they just don't want you to tell them when to do it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 9:20 AM

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*make that "boss" at their job.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 9:21 AM

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10:03 here

Well I admit it.... I'm a woman, and definitely the "messy" one of the couple, so I'm telling it as I live it!

This is my deal: I have a high tolerance for mess. (When the garbage has been smelling for a day or so I might get around to taking it out.) I work a 40-to-80 hr week, depending on the season, and some time ago I realized that I could not be the perfect housekeeper AND the successful professional AND get my workout in. So I gave myself a pass on the housekeeping.

Now I will say that I don't lay around watching TV when I am home -- I cook and garden and so on. I can't watch someone else work without helping and watching TV is just lazy. But again, I don't think men have an exclusive franchise on laziness.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 9:33 AM

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My husband is a neat freak and he cleans the whole house and cooks dinner and does the laundry. He's amazing in every capacity. I just wanted to give a shout out to the male cleaners out there!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 9:37 AM

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I have a daughter with ADD and another who doesn't and you can pick out the one with ADD just by looking at their rooms. ADD is inherited, so I know the reason my husband doesn't pick up after himself and has a hard time finishing things is not because he's obstinant, but because he also has ADD. Early in our marriage I figured out that if I didn't hire a maid, I was going to go nuts. 30 years later, we still have a maid come in once a week. I would give up a lot in our budget before I gave up the maid service.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 9:54 AM

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I agree whole heartedly OP. My EX was the same way, I could n't handle it anymore because it was him disrespecting all the hard work that I put into cleaning the house (after cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom, he would come in with his muddy boots onto the kitchen floor, make himself something to eat, leave crumbs all over the counters and not put anything away, then flop onto the couch - were the little elves supposed to clean it for him?)
We are no longer together, and I am now with a wonderful man, who is considerate of all the hard work I do.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 10:14 AM

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The thing I hate most about men is that nearly all of them expect us to take on the domestic crap once we start living together. It's like they only did their own laundry and cooking and all that because there wasn't a woman around to do it, but now that there is, why should they?

This is why I think that my cleaning lady is the best $50 we spend every week.

And by the way, this is reminding me a British TV show where women secretly employ dog training techniques to get their husbands to carry their weight. Like clean the garage and I'll grill us some steaks for dinner type of thing. I'd love to watch a few episodes...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 10:14 AM

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I have a husband who cares just as much about how the house looks as I do. He is great about doing the dishes, vaccuuming, etc. When we are home together on a day off, I make a to-do list with three things for each of us and we each work to accomplish those items. I'm grateful to have a husband like this. My father never lifted a finger around the house (and still doesn't). I hope we can raise our son to have the same standards.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 10:28 AM

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I'm not the only one!

I love my husband to death, but I get so tired of asking him to do things. He is between jobs right now and so is home a lot. I said its fine as long as he takes care of the chores so when I get home after work there is less for me to do and we can actually spend some time together. BUT when I leave each morning its like I have to ask him to do a certain thing. And for some reason he seems to only be able to accomplish one thing a day. Wash dishes one day then maybe fold clothes the next. He is HORRIBLE about leaving clothes out. I have a quilt rack and he seems to think its his clothes holder. haha.

He also has a problem spending too much time on the internet. He is a car freak :P

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 10:31 AM

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you aren't the only one honey! i've finally decided it's a test of wills, because if i ask, and he says he'll do it later then i just let it go no matter how nasty it gets til he finally does it. i asked three days in a row to take the trash out.... it kept growing and growing and stinking and stinking. finally last night he took it out. 3 black bags worth.... ew.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 10:41 AM

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My favorite trash argument:

Garbage attracts insects and rodents. If I have to call an exterminator, it's coming out of your personal account, not our joint one.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 12:08 PM

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My new husband & I have been dealing with this during our first year of marriage. I am the big mess & he is the Type A, no clutter, everything shoved into the closets & drawers, clean freak. It is so hard on him. I have such a hard time keeping up with work, cooking healthy, working out, making time for scheduled events etc. Sometimes, well very often, I feel so trapped by clutter too. I really wish I could be different & I honestly try to work at it. It in no way shape or form comes naturally for me. I have to be very disiplined to get everything scheduled in...so very frustrating. I have much respect for you women out there who juggle all responsibilities & CHILDREN...wow! I am trying to learn the skills of organizing, cleaning & time management before we start our family. Sometimes I think my husband is a total jerk & overly anal...but the truth is he probably isn't...I am just so much the other way that he seems overboard. Challenges to grow...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 12:17 PM

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this is the 10:31 poster again

I noticed that once I got married my OCD over the house organazation and cleanliness started showing through. When I was on my own I didn't care about little messy piles... even though they were organized piles and they all had their own place to go :) But now when he leaves something on the kitchen table it drives me crazy. He also is on his laptop a lot and sits it on the coffee table, then has all his cords and other mess in t here too. Then he just leaves it! We live in a trailer right now and there is just not enough room for that! And we just got a dog!

::pulling my hair out::

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 12:25 PM

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so why'd you get the dog if you already can't handle things?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 12:32 PM

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During our first year of marriage we argued a lot about the household chores but then I got sick of always feeling like a "nagging bi@ch" (my words not his) So I told him I would not ask him to do something more than once. If it didn't get done I would remind him that he said he would do it- once.

He thought this sounded like a good plan, until the first cuple of askings and remindings happened.

He didn't take the trash out (after i had asked once and reminded once) so i bought an extra garbage can, put it in the kitchen, and putt the full one next to his side of the bed. When he asked about it I just (sweetly) told him I didn't want him to be upset for forgetting his promise to me again.

Same thing with dirty laundery, especially socks, strewn throughout the house-I got sick of picking it up so instead of yelling at him for it, I quietly picked it all up for a week and put it in a pile in our spare room. Then one morning when he asked me where all of his clean clothes were, I told him. Instead of arguing with him, I calmly explained that I was not going to pick up his clothes and wash them too. He would have to choose- put his clothing in with the dirty laundry and have me wash it, or have me pick up his clothes and he could wash them himself.

Sometimes you just have to show them that you will not be taken for granted.

ps. it did work. now he takes out the garbage and picks up his own clothes.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 12:41 PM

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10:31 and 12:25 here

I didn't say I couldn't handle it. I was just being silly with the pulling hair out thing. It is annoying, but hes a guy. I have read today that its a very general thing for men to be slobby. Hes getting better. And the dog was a needed thing. My husband is going to be working offshore. He did interning a few months ago and being alone was really hard for me. The dog will be a comfort for me when he is gone. She is a puppy now so we are potty training (i will take tips if anyone has any!) But she has been doing great and we have only had her a week.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 12:48 PM

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12:41, you're pretty smart!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 12:51 PM

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I agree. I just talk all his random crap and put it on his computer table. Then he has to look at it when he goes in there :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 12:55 PM

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12:41 you rock!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 2:25 PM

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