How to train a man to do housework

Q: My spouse sits on the couch and watches me cleaning like a cave girl high on Windex. Does he move? I wish I could hook him up to a battery charger. I just want a clean nice home, you know, one where I can open the door to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and my mother in law. I am searching for a formula that will work. There must be one. Am I fighting a losing battle? Should I surrender to the mess? — Seething Windex Wife

Dear Seething Windex Wife:

I hope it’s somewhat comforting to know that what you are going through is very common. Nearly all of the married women I know struggle with the same problem. “My husband is a hopeless slob” ranks pretty high on most women’s complaint lists, with “he can’t get his lazy ass out of bed to deal with the kids” and “he communicates his desire to have sex with me by rubbing his boner on my thigh” running a close second and third.

And there’s hope. I once had the same experience as you. I’d spend hours scrubbing my husband’s pee off toilet seats and removing his dirty underwear from the hallway floor. He’d occasionally look up from whatever was on TV and say things like, “Thanks for cleaning the house, honey,” assuming he noticed at all. Now, he unloads the washer, runs the vacuum, and picks up our daughter’s toys without being asked. And when he sees me cleaning, it’s an automatic trigger for him to get his butt off the couch and help.

Here’s what I suggest.

1. Try to see things through his eyes. He probably doesn’t see or care about the mess. Asking him to care about a clean house is similar to him asking you to care about the color and height of the grass in your yard. Women notice dust and fingerprints. Men notice crabgrass and yellow spots. It’s just one of those weird genetic differences between the sexes.

Most women are taught how to clean from a young age, too. My mother, for instance, had a dust rag in my hands by age 10, and she supervised my work. I also happened to work as a hotel maid one summer between my junior and senior years in high school.

My husband? His mother did everything in that house, and no one lifted a finger to help her. He did not work as a hotel maid, or any other job that would have taught him how to clean fast and effectively. I once showed him how to make hospital corners when making the bed. He stared at me as if I were from Mars, wondering why the heck anyone would care about making perfect corners in a set of sheets.

Cleaning makes many men-especially those who have not been taught how to do it-feel inadequate. It’s similar to how we women feel when we have to dispose of a rodent caught in a glue trap. Sure, we can do it, but we’ll avoid that poor critter for as long as it takes, in the hopes that our lovely husbands will take care of it first.

I’m not saying that you should just accept his slovenly lazy ways. I’m only saying that, if you learn how to understand it and see it from his perspective, it might help lower your anger a notch, so you can address the problem more civilly.

2. Understand the Law of Household Entropy. All houses naturally fall into a state of chaos over time. You simply cannot keep a house clean and orderly every moment of every day, especially if you have children or pets.

Because of the Law of Household Entropy, you must be willing to come to a compromise with your spouse. How much chaos are you willing to have? Do you want your entire house clean once a week, with it gradually falling into a state of complete disarray by week’s end? Or would you rather always have one room that is clean and presentable (that you clean up daily), and others that you let go most of the time (cleaning only in the moments just before the mother in law visits)? What types of household chaos bug you the most? Perhaps you are okay with dust but you really can’t stand having mold in your toilet. Once you understand what bugs you most, you’ll more easily be able to ask your husband for the help you need.

3. Think about why you value a clean house, and go beyond jokes about Jehovahs. How does a disorderly house make you feel? How does it affect your mood, energy, and sexual health? Being able to put this into words will help your husband to understand your point of view.

4. Hold an intervention. Sit down when you are calm (probably not while or just before cleaning). Talk about how a clean orderly house makes you feel: happy, stress free, calm, like having sex. Explain how you feel when you clean it up while he watches TV: unloved, taken advantage of, exhausted, angry.  You might say, “I don’t like feeling taken advantage of. I don’t like feeling this way about you. I really want us to have a good relationship, and I really want to feel calm and stress free in my house. Can you help me with this?”

Then, get solution focused. Maybe he takes on some chores and you do others. Maybe you clean together. Be creative. Whatever you do, make sure your solution is specific. Remember: he’s blind to the mess. He needs an instruction manual, as in, “I would like you to pick up everything on the floor-including your empty beer cans, socks and banana peels-every night before you start watching TV.” Leave no room for misinterpretation.

5. Whenever you notice him cleaning, reward him.
Hug him. Say, “Thank You.” Jump his bones. Make him want to clean again.

Tips for Training Really Stubborn Men

So, let’s say you do all of that and your man resists. Let’s say he claims, as my husband did initially, that he already does plenty of housework.

Hold a contest. Create a big chart and list all of the indoor and outdoor chores. Over a month’s time, check off which chores you complete and how long it takes to complete them. At the end of the month, compare results. I did this with my husband and it really blew him away. He truly thought he’d been doing more than he really was doing.

Here’s another excuse that might pop up. He might accuse you of being too uptight. For instance, he’ll whine, “I work hard. When I come home I just want to relax. What’s wrong with relaxing? Why do you have to always be working?”

This is when you tell him that you want to relax, too, and you just can’t when your house is messy. Ask him to help you come up with a compromise that will make both of you happy and relaxed. Maybe, for instance, the two of you clean the house while you are dressed up as a French Chamber Maid. Then, once the house is clean, the good lazy boy gets a nice reward.

Just saying. It might get you a really clean house. In fact, your husband might want to clean the house every night.

Do you have advice for Seething Windex Wife? Leave a comment.

Do you have questions for the Marriage Expert? Email them to me.

Who does more housework, you or your spouse?

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62 comments… add one

  • Robert Erbeau April 3, 2009, 11:00 am

    No vote for us single people? Try doing everything for yourself for years, and you will worship your spouse’s efforts.

    • stephanie October 20, 2014, 6:03 pm

      Haha not true. I have no problem cleaning up after myself. But when it comes chasing after him to cl3an up, nah unh. If I was alone I wouldnt leave piss all over the toilet/stains, or spill things on the floor and leave it. Plenty more! Yes I do live with an untidy person, but it does not make me worship “efforts”, when the whole crisis is him not putting effort in cleaning. I went on strike to see how far it would go, there was five toilet paper rolls on the floor and I had to pick it up. He still thinks its hilarious that theyre were many and he didnt do anything. My place would be much cleaner single! But pros and cons

      • Laura January 23, 2015, 6:10 pm

        Omg I hear you!

      • Amber October 3, 2015, 7:59 am

        I went on strike too. Tried it at least. Went on a trip with my parents for 5 days, came home to a friggin spaghetti -o spoon STUCK to the wall!!! Nowhere near the sink or where he ate it.
        If he leaves stuff lie now I pick it up, but I have a theme song, and a hidden bin of secrecy. He knows when I start singing the twilight zone song he’s lost the item until he redeems himself by cleaning something. The spoon thing has never happened again, thank goodness because we now have kids. On bad days I just therapeutically remind myself like a weirdo I love my daughters I love my daughters I love my daughters…

        He had everything done for him by mommy, and I think he’s gotten a lot better. The thing that made him break habits was working as an electrician on a travel project to South Dakota. He and his supervisor said they both were physically ill when they found bowls of food with maggots and a baby lived there. His super said he had no choice he called CPS. It is worse in places, so I’ve learned to take a little mess and he’s learned to help with it.

    • Ashley January 15, 2015, 5:02 pm

      I had a MUCH easier time keeping my place clean when I was single! I would pick up after myself immediately & never had piles of dirty dishes or laundry. Now, it’s a constant struggle. Sometimes, clean laundry will sit in baskets for weeks because I never have time to put it away. Once last summer my BF was out of town for 1 month. I invited a few people over for drinks & one friend said “Wow! With him gone, your house looks straight out of Better Homes & Gardens!” Men can be filthy animals! I like Alisa’s idea of making a chart that shows cleaning tasks I’ve completed VS ones he’s done. That just might work. It’s just such a terrible feeling though, to need all these sneaky ways to encourage men to just do reasonable day-to-day things. Also, I work full time, run a side business and do 85% of cleaning & house remodeling. He doesn’t even have a job! It’s like dealing with some man-child.

    • Miss being a single mom July 6, 2015, 7:09 am

      I was a single mother for four years. I worked a 40 hour job and went to school full time in between diapers and ten tons of laundry. I still managed keeping up a clean orderly house. Now married, it feels like I am a single mother of three. It’s so exhausting that I wish sometimes that I actually WAS back to being a single mom. My husband does “try”. He’ll change a poopy diaper, but he’ll leave it folded up on the side of the changing table with dirty wipes on top. He’ll do the dishes if I ask, but won’t dry and put them away. Nor does he check to see if they’re clean. He’ll put away his toothbrush and toothpaste, but he leaves the sink drenched in water and toothpaste smears. And if I point out that he has 4 days of clothes piling up in the bathroom, he whines about “he’s not the only one” because our eldest son happened to have left an outfit in there too. So forgive me if I am a little bit lacking in the “worshipping of efforts” department.

  • Lynn April 3, 2009, 6:22 pm

    I’m sooooo lucky. My guy has much higher standards than I do. Sorry ladies, he’s been mine for 40 years.

  • Tracy April 3, 2009, 7:56 pm

    “You you want your entire house clean once a week, with it gradually falling into a state of complete disarray by week’s end?”

    Wow, have you been to my house? We have a huge mantel that more or less takes up one wall of the living room. You can tell by how stuffed with crap it is which day of the week it is.

    I seem to have married Mr. Lynn Jr. He’s probably reading this and grumbling about sexist blog writers. ;-) It does seem like things run a lot smoother when both of us acknowledge each other’s efforts. He’s the tidy up/straighten up and yard guy, I’m the one that scrubs toilets and bakes bread (not at the same time). When we both feel appreciate that the other sees we’re doing a lot, just not the same things we are happy.

  • Mollie April 4, 2009, 1:03 pm

    I have had to designate my spouse a separate bathroom, into which I shall never venture. I had told him I’d do his laundry if he put it in the hamper, but since that never happened, he is stuck with doing his own clothes. I throw any of his stuff I find in the common areas, into his closet. It seems to be working better, than asking him for improvements to be made. I wonder why I can spend a whole day washing 8 loads of his laundry and putting it away with no acknowledgement, but he loads the dishwasher and he expects accolades. Why spend the time, when someone doesn’t even notice or care.

    • George July 22, 2013, 7:12 pm

      Use second as a reward for doing house work. He will do all the work.

  • Alisa April 5, 2009, 3:14 pm

    A number of people commented on my FB page about this post, mentioning that they were men who liked to clean or women who liked to be slobs. As much as I try to be somewhat gender neutral in my writing, I at times forget. My husband happens to be a stereotypical man, so I can, at times, forget that all men are not just like him. Thank you all for keeping me on my toes! The advice in this post, however, is still the same. If one of you is a so-called “clean freak” and the other is a slob, the communication tactics I describe here can help you reach a common understanding.

  • Kat April 6, 2009, 11:48 am

    I really liked this post. My issues has been though that he doesn’t clean because he says I don’t have a “real” job and therefore have more time to keep things neat. (I work from home.) While I understand he hates his 9-5, while I love my web design, I still work hard, put in at least an eight hour day then tackle chores. So I guess its a matter of try to compare apples to oranges. But sometimes I wanna do what Mollie does. Why try so hard when he’s not going to help clean up but he’s happy to contribute to the mess.

  • Jill April 6, 2009, 9:05 pm

    Thanks for this amusing blog Alisa! While I used to be so organized with everything labeled, & all was clean, now being married with young kids and wearing 2 business hats, I am thankful for my slightly OCD husband! He is now the one to have everything clean and put away. I’ve learned I cannot physically do it all and so have let go of my perfectionist self (well, I’m trying and succeeding in some areas anyway ;). Thanks for your great and fun writing!

  • Sarah Liz April 10, 2009, 4:46 pm

    THANK YOU ALISA! A week ago I did this, I came upon this post on the EXACT day I was complaining that my husband wasn’t do a damn thing around our house and not only did I WANT help, but I physically NEEDED it, because I was exhausted! I think men in general, just don’t notice stuff that women notice (the toilet paper’s gone; I’d better replace it; oh, no garbage bag in the trash can, might want to put one in there, etc)…I think their minds (not to demean them) can only handle so much at one time; where as, we women tend to be able to multi-task and JUGGLE 100 things at once. Sometimes that’s a curse and/or a blessing-depending on the situation! But, I digress. The point is….last Friday night, after reading this post…I made a nice candlelit dinner and put on a nice outfit and had a heart to heart with my husband when he came home. I explained to him that while I appreciated his working so hard outside the home, I NEEDED his help inside the home too! And I told him that, like Alisa said, it’s hard for ME to relax or rest if/when the house is a mess. And that also, the more time I have to spend doing housework, the less time I have to spend with him…and we like hanging out together. Anyway, I didn’t bitch at him, or moan or groan…I simply stated my opinion and then we came up with ways to divy up the chores. We decided that we’d make lists; one for him, one for me–and we’d each get up to 5 items to put on that list. And that by Saturday night of EVERY week, those 5 things on our rsepective lists, needed to be done! It doesn’t matter when/how, as long as they’re done come Sunday morning. And lo and behold–yesterday, when I got home from being out all day–the entire downstairs of our house was CLEAN! He not only did the dishes, went through the mail and took the garbage out like I asked him (and put on his list), but he ALSO cleaned the half-bathroom, swept the floor (we have complete tile downstairs) and dusted. I was SHOCKED! But, last night after I asked why he’d done all that, he said “I don’t like seeing you tired, I wanted to see you tonight, not watch you cleaning, and you didn’t bitch at me, or nag me. And I appreciated that.” Don’t get me wrong, NOT nagging during this week was HARD…but I had to stick to what I HAD agreed to. And I did. And he did. And our downstairs is clean, ready for Easter Dinner guests on Sunday and we had an amazing time hanging out together last night! I think NOT bitching at our men goes a long way…I also think that, no, I KNOW, that Alisa’s advice HELPED tremendously! I followed a lot of her advice/suggestions–to the tee–and it worked! So, goodluck, ladies and gentlemen! Housework will ALWAYS be an issue for most people; MOST people don’t enjoy it…but the way I see it is: if I have a messy house, hey, at least I have a house…I have a roof and shelter and those dirty dishes meant I had food to eat! So, really, that’s a blessing! Thank you, Alisa, for your help/advice…it did wonders for my marriage this week! You rock and you proved once again, why I am such a loyal follower of your blog! Thanks for sharing your life/stories/advice! Have a great weekend, everyone!
    -Sarah Liz :)

    • Alisa April 11, 2009, 8:09 am

      Thanks Sarah! I’m glad it worked for you. I’ve heard from a few others as well. The “talk about it while you are calm” is key.

      Regarding the TP roll: it took me a long time to understand that my husband just didn’t use as much TP as I did. Men usually only use it once a day or less often (if they are not regular or they take care of business at work). So they rarely get caught in the situation where they are sitting on the potty, getting ready to wipe, reach for the TP and then think, “Ooooooh Nooooooo.” I think that’s why they often forget to replace the roll. Just a theory though.

  • George April 15, 2009, 1:05 pm

    The ball-and-chain got laid off 10 years ago. Now all she does is volunteer work, lunches with friends, cropping and bunco, we have Merry Maids come in once every other week. I’ve got 3 jobs, eat a sandwich at my desk each day, and when I get home all I see a crappy house.

    She wants help? Get a job.

    • R June 28, 2015, 6:58 pm

      Lying, woman-hating selfish jerk.

  • Bea April 22, 2009, 10:35 am

    Really enjoying your blog. Chores is the number one thing my husband and I fight about. This is great advice.

  • Kate July 16, 2009, 9:15 pm

    So what happens when he complains about the house NOT being clean, but then refuses to do the housework because it should be “my job”? I swear guys….he even told our pastor that he wants a clean house but it’s up to me to get it that way. Granted, he’s helped out some since our pastor told him he was being absolutely ridiculous, but he still expects the house to be spotless and me to do most of the work!

  • otrpu July 19, 2009, 4:23 am

    I’d be simply thrilled if Wifey would do anything to help around the house. I’ll be a paycheck she can’t remember the last time she ran a vacuum cleaner. I ask her for help, she says she don’t wanna. I say what the heck does wanting have to do with anything? I haven’t done anything I wanted to in my life. Always doing what I have to. It’s a meno thing. . .why God waits till this stage of my life to give me this to go through I’ll never know. Like to lost the house cause she didn’t wanna go back to work. Finally her sisters were able to talk her into it. Well the dishes are done and the washer’s a running. Wifey’s at work and I’m a sittin on my azz typing a post. 40 years of marital bliss, and now I don’t even know this woman. I don’t mind doing the chores, just wish she wouldn’t disagree with everything I say. No matter what I say she takes the opposite position. If I were a more controlling person I could really take advantage of this situation. Now I’m just looking for a part-time weekend job so bring in more money and stay outta her hair. This must be the “or worse” part of them vows I took long ago. Cheers, time to go move the laundry.

  • Flore August 11, 2009, 11:20 pm

    My dear hubby used to everything in the house before we had kids; now we have 3 boys all under 4 that are when he won’t help. I work & go to school full time, still when I get home I have to take care of the kids, cooking, laundry, paying the bills and all. 2 weeks ago I asked to please do the laundry so I can go to bed in decent time (go to bed @ 0100AM to wake @ 0600AM) yet, he did not do it.. We have not say a word to each other since unless it has to do with the kids (get milk, did you feed him.. etc).. I don’t think he could care less about me. we have been married for 7 years, but I am already thinking of divorce… I sure do want more sex, but I am just too tired to be in the mood, and the fact is his attitudes toward my feeling turn me off… I am afraid I will file for divorce in a very near future….
    PS.I don’t believe in divorce… but a marriage takes two

    • V June 19, 2015, 1:00 am

      I feel your pain. My hubby used to pull out weeds from the garden, do lots of laundry, dishes and clean before we had kids too. We have 2 kids under 6 years old. I feel he stays extra time at work just so he can avoid helping with the kids and the chores. I work from home with 2 seller stores in ebay. I do my own pictures, listings, shipping, answer messages, etc. my 4 year old only goes to school from 8-12 noon. My 6 year old is on summer break and home all day since we can’t afford $200 a week for camp. My hubby expects me to make money to pay the Internet, the phone, food for everyone, clothes for the kids, gas for my own car. And on top of that he wants me to do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, take care of the kids, do dishes, etc. when I ask him to help me, he automatically gives me an attitude and asks ” well ……what did you do all day?” . I am so tired and stressed out so I am thinking divorce. At least he will be forced into watching the kids for an entire day or two while I get my chores done. I don’t think he has ever been by himself with the kids for more than 1 hour. I am trying to not get stressed out about my dusty home. And make a huge batch of food on Monday for the entire week. I don’t believe in divorce either, but enough is enough. And I feel disrespected and used which also makes me not even think about sex at all.

  • Desiree August 25, 2009, 8:54 pm

    A perk for the single people…no one to pick up after.
    I am happy to see I am not alone in the tidy house battle.
    I will give these tips a try..
    Thanks :)

  • Linda August 31, 2009, 9:02 pm

    Personally, I think sex should be given and received on it’s own merit, not used as reward or punishment for anything. Are we all living in a James Bond novel?
    Why must we as women have to give treats to our husbands for doing what they should be doing anyway; as if we are training little boys or puppies? Who is praising us for our chores completed?
    Frankly, their abdicating complete power to us unconciously is frustrating to me. I would prefer a relationship of side-by-side thinking rather than one walking several steps in front of or behind the other. The infernal game playing we do to win each other over during dating needs to be put into an album to be paged through occasionally and fondly reminisced by the two of you.
    He as well as you needs to be interested in discussing and planning and trouble shooting. There is no aphrodisiac so strong as two people putting their heads together and working something out to both their satisfactions. Why do you think a lot of affairs are started during those burning-of-the-midnight-oil sessions at work? If they would be as involved at home that way instead of considering everything you say bitching, there would be more candlelight in the bedroom then oil burning in the office.
    So, this goes for either gender who is guilty of dismissing the other because what they are saying just doesn’t seem important enough. Sit down and take time to LISTEN and PARTICIPATE!

    • Judy January 21, 2015, 5:09 pm

      Best response yet!

  • Dan August 9, 2010, 11:17 pm

    I read this article because I have 2 male roommates who are not contributing with the housework. I rent to both of them, and I like them as renters. I wanted to be able to confront them in a way that they will not be offended.

    I found Linda’s comments very interesting when it comes to marriage/romantic relationship. I think you have it figured out, my dear!

  • Chris August 16, 2010, 7:15 am

    yeah this works. yeah its like training puppies. but you gotta teach them the way they need to be taught. men are generally very self-absorbed and if there is nothing in it for them, then why do it? so you usually gotta work with em like puppies or little kids. not ideal, but true.

  • howard March 5, 2011, 6:30 pm

    how to train a dog to do housework. enough said.

  • Cara August 21, 2011, 4:23 pm

    I know this is an old topic, but I’m in “nagging” mode today, apparently (according to my DH, after I asked him to do ONE THING) so I need to vent.

    My husband doesn’t work. He’s not disabled. He’s just addicted to computer games and has a very high opinion of himself. And I make enough money that he doesn’t need to. (20 years ago, we had an agreement that I would work and make money, and he would stay home and take care of the house/vehicles.)

    I don’t do housework, either (see agreement, above) — but I DO go to work for 40 hours, every week, and have managed our money to the point where we have an excellent net worth. This takes effort. As does 40 hours of work, every week.

    I have tried to look, realistically, at what he DOES do for me and the home: he OCCASIONALLY fixes my vehicle (nothing big). He DOES make me coffee, bag lunch, and dinner EVERY DAY. (I do all the grocery shopping.) He starts lots of projects (projects that HE wants to do), but finishes maybe half of them. He occasionally gardens. He occasionally does yard work (rarely, we don’t really have a yard).

    Mostly, it seems to me, he sits on the computer reading his hometown newspaper, and playing backgammon.

    So — when I ask him to vacuum the house, or give him a list of no more than 5 small tasks to perform OVER THE COURSE OF A WEEK, or rarely ask him to do one thing SOON that I want done and that I cannot do (move a very heavy/large object) — he gets p.o.’d at me and calls me a nag.

    I don’t know how to respond to this EXCEPT in anger.

    I’m sure that he looks at me and thinks I do nothing, as I often spend my weekends on the computer because I’m so resentful of him.

    I honestly don’t know where to start. I cannot stand the advice that seems to think I need to coddle him, baby him, PERSUADE him to do what he agreed to do. Why can’t I just ask, once, and have it get done? What can’t *I* be the one that gets babied? Remember — most things are, “Do this sometime over the course of the 40 hour week during which I am sitting at my desk taking sh*t from people.” It’s not like he’s got some horrific lists of chores (and, please know, the majority of the clutter and filth in our house is emanating FROM HIM, anyway).

    If anyone has tips on dealing with resentfulness over this issue poisoning my feelings so much that I can’t approach him with anything BUT nagging, at this point — help me.

    • Cubed November 8, 2011, 9:13 am

      Well… first off stop keeping score, that’s the quickest way to divorce. second. You cannot control him, the onlly thing you can change is you. I know it’s a rough pill to swallow but there it is. There is no magical cure for lazy. Absolutly I think it’s fair he does his part, however at some point what he does do he think’s is enough, maybe it’s time to have a coming to Jesus Meeting with him and explain what you do expect. if he starts getting defensive calm him down, tell him you’re not ambushing. Do not drag history into this conversation and do your best not too use You never, You didn’t, Just try your best to not use you in an accusing way. And above all do not raise your voice, storm off or throw a karate chop at him ( God I’ve been there too, don’t do it)

    • V June 21, 2015, 1:14 am

      I don’t get it why they can ask you to do 20 things and of course they have to be done their way because that is the only right way. My husband would see me do dishes and go see how I am doing them. Then commenting I am doing everything wrong. However if I ask him to do I chore for me, which it is something like our laundry, I am nagging. I think they abuse the word nag because it is so stereotype.

  • BUKISS November 20, 2011, 3:17 pm


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  • Karen Fields June 16, 2012, 3:11 pm

    I have to say, this article strikes me as trivial and sexist. Oh, of course, women know nothing about a lawn, because that’s the man’s domain. Really? And obviously, us girls get all squeemish around rodents, amiright, ladies? Try not to make this a Venus vs Mars battle and give me real advice on how to teach my actual all-around messy fiance how to do dishes or clean a cat box or mow the lawn. Dusting and fine tuning are the least of our problems. Sorry for the interruption. Please resume telling us girls the best way to keep a pot roast juicy while our men work on a motorcycle, or put up a fence, or something.

    • Katey April 3, 2015, 1:14 pm

      Well said, Karen. I take care of the rodents, as well as the garbage, and I am the one who notices the weeds in the yard and trims after he mows. The only reason I don’t mow is I cannot start the mower! I also do ALL the indoor housework and laundry, and while he is supposed to do the grocery shopping, I do a good portion of that as well. He works 40 hours per week and says that he just wants to relax when he is not working. I am self-employed, so in his book I have 24 hours a day to do whatever I want. I believe I am saddled with the teen-age son I never had and never wanted!

  • janie September 19, 2012, 9:48 pm

    I have a hard time getting my husband to help around the house but it’s like it goes in one ear and goes out the other. But i like what Mollie said so guess what husband of mine u got something coming baby watch out iam ready for a change.

  • Melissa December 11, 2012, 9:34 pm

    My husband used to be a neat freak when he was single. Now that we are married, he sits on the couch and watches TV while I make dinner and clean the kitchen as well as the rest of the house. He used to let me cook then he would clean up the dishes. This was a sweet deal! It seems like now when I ask him to it turns into a fight because he doesn’t want to do it. We are in our first year of marriage and it has been really difficult to figure out our roles. Any advice?

  • Jenny January 24, 2013, 4:28 pm

    My husband & I have been together 8 years & had a baby last year. I always worked full time until a few weeks ago, whereas he has not worked in 4 years. I get home at mid-afternoon & he has not given the baby any lunch, he has done no housework or cooking. His idea of looking after the baby is to watch tv while she plays on the floor, which needs vacuuming. I make all the baby food, all he has to do is microwave it. I’d like to give us work to be a proper mum but we can’t afford it. I’ve tried everything – lists, ignoring the mess, praising him, reminding him before I go out. I don’t know what else to do. Any suggestions other than divorce?

    • V June 21, 2015, 1:22 am

      My last resort is counseling. I told my hubby yesterday that I am setting up a marriage counseling session with my church pastor. Maybe this men are like little kids and need someone to hold them liable for their behavior. Maybe they keep getting away and pushing the shit because they know we have no choice but to suck it up. What happened to the marriage vows? I reminded him today that when we got married he promised to respect me and for him to disrespect me is a deal breaker and that I would have no problem divorcing his lazy ass.

  • Krystal April 4, 2013, 6:26 pm

    OMG!! I work Mon.-Fri. 8 to 5, my man, is on unemployment, stays up till 5 in the morning playing video games and sleeps till noon. I come home from work and I just want to relax, but I can’t I have to make dinner and then get the kids and I ready for bed. Im not saying I always cook dinner, cause I would be lying, but if I don’t cook then we eat out. Anywho, I have tried everything to get him to clean, talking, telling him how it makes me feel, nagging, rewarding….. nothing works!! He tells me, “I don’t need a boss.” Gurrrr It makes me sooo mad. I wish there was a magic wand I could use to shove up his lazy butt and walk him around like a puppet and make him do everything I want him to do…. Someone needs to make that! lol

  • Lucy April 12, 2013, 2:59 pm

    Thanks for this article – I know it’s from a while ago but it made me feel a bit better. I can relate to the first point – my boyfriend grew up with a mother who did everything for him and wouldn’t even let him cook, so when we first moved in together he’d never had any experience doing any kind of housework and feels like he doesn’t know how. Really I don’t know anything much either, but I just get on with it because I’ve always had to.

    The problem for me is the housework related to basically keeping my boyfriend in shape and clean. If I don’t do it, then he doesn’t either, and then my thoughtful, nice-looking boyfriend turns into someone who wears dirty clothes, gets fat, and snores so loud it’s like trying to sleep next to someone starting a lawnmower with a faulty engine.

    He throws his clothes all over every room in the house, so I pick them up and wash them for him. Sometimes I get sick of it and leave them on the floor for him. But then when I eventually clean his clothes again, he’ll say “oh, great! I’ve been wearing the same underwear for the last three days.” Ew.

    If I don’t cook him healthy meals, he snacks on junk food instead. Once I was too sick to get up and cook so we ate nothing but corn chips for three days and by the end he’d starting using measuring cups to drink out of because there were no clean cups or glasses left. I’ve tried giving him ‘cleaning lessons’ but invariably he just says how much he hates cleaning once he learns how to do it. He’d rather find a way to live without it.

    It gets tiring sometimes, but I like who he is when he’s clean and healthy and doing lots of housework seems like the price I have to pay for it.

  • Cherry January 14, 2014, 10:57 am

    I’ve been I 3 serious relationships
    First my ex husband 16 years together we shared the chores he grew up in a big family

    My ex 9 years first 7 years I did 80% then we got a business together he did 60%

    My fiancé who’s mum did everything for his dad and the 3 boys who are now men
    My fiancé will not cook tries to wriggle out of washing up we have no dishwasher his 7 year old daughter stats over a couple nights a week too so I have to cook for 5 of us
    I do 99% of everything we are self employed and work together so I do my fair share working
    We have fallen out many time over the 6 months we’ve lived together
    He stays he will do chores when he thinks about them don’t tell him
    So I left the bathroom 3 Weeks Did he clean it NO
    SO I just get on with it as it’s that it constant arguing
    Reading this article your making men out to be children
    Thanking them and hugging them when they do chores or reward them with Sex ???? Really it’s 2014 they are not children mines 36 I’m 44 so maybe I’m not tolerant of child like behaviour being he had to do 100% all chores before we meet there’s no reason why he can’t do 50% now

    Men you wonder why us women get tired and we lack interest in sex well get off your lazy ass and do your share your not children so stop acting like were your mommies

    • Delia April 15, 2015, 8:50 pm

      Hi Cherry,
      I’m almost in the same type of relationship! I’m 42, he’s an immature sloppy teenager in a 33 year old man’s body! He said he’s so tired, he works so hard! I’m sick of the excuses, I work too buddy! 40-45 hours, graphic design in a large company. He works 40-45 as a security officer, days Mon thru Fri, nights Fri & Sat. Our only time together is weeknights, or Sundays once he wakes up. I make breakfast, dinners, wash all our laundry. Sometimes he’ll make a greasy bacon breakfast for himself, but the then leaves all the pans, utensils, plates, cups, piled high in the sink, so he has time to go to the gym, go on his bike, anything but house chores! I’m sick of asking! He had the nerve to say, can you check the mail, go get a case of water & go get my uniform our the cleaners, because he’s so tired, or forgot on his way home! He even got home before me and was laying on the couch expected sex after I did all the errands. Ha! He went to bed no sex tonight! I texted him earlier, agreed to do dishes if I did other stuff, he didn’t come thru on his side of the agreement. I still had a greasy kitchen, stove, dirty pile of dishes! Don’t know. Guess it’s no sex til all that gets done. I’m so angry, sex is last on my mind! How a man can be horny in a cluttered, grease filled dirty home is amazing to me! Good luck to us!

  • Cherry January 14, 2014, 10:58 am

    Mens explanations would be nice

  • Tom February 1, 2014, 8:19 pm

    Interesting how there’s nothing here about wives who don’t do a blessed thing, and about kids whose mother throws a fit if dad suggests that, just once, a child be asked to clean up after himself, particularly if it’s spilt food all over the house.

  • Carrah April 10, 2014, 6:06 pm

    Nice to know I’m not alone on this issue. Im so grateful that I have a husband that cleans part of the time so I suppose I shouldn’t complain-period. He puts clothes in the dryer for me every night. In the winter he cooks more often for the both of us when he’s home all at during the winter season. He will take the trash out quite regularly. Yes there are things to nag about daily if I wanted to but I over look them most days because no one comes to visit us loliI don’t make a big deal on what doesn’t get done during the week and neither does he. The only time I might mention housework is if the same undone job is still there after a while of staring at it day in and day out. I’ll give in and clean it or leave it. It will be there tomorrow. And as the saying goes, what doesn’t get done today will be waiting for you tomorrow. Sit down and relax even if it doesn’t get done today. If he doesn’t care, why should you haha.

  • Leighanne August 3, 2014, 7:46 am

    I am married 32+ years and very trained to do my housework. My wife started my training 6 months after we married. She prefers a uniformed house maid now and I comply by wearing one of my 6 housekeeping uniforms. I even have a special uniform for entertaining and special dinners.

  • Jane August 4, 2014, 3:07 pm

    My husband is a man who is taught by his mother that its a women’s job to do all the household work like cooking and cleaning.His mother had maid to do household work( full time) when he was growing up. And all she did was to cook food and pamper her somewhat abusive sons.

    He will NEVER cook, NEVER clean dishes and ALWAYS leaves the bathtub filled with his dirty body hair and filled with the filthy water.

    He is a stereotypical indian man. Abusive type.

  • jane November 6, 2014, 10:44 am

    my husband is so dirty its enough for me to leave the marriage. he lays on the bed and throws stuff in the trash from the bed and misses. the room spells so bad you have to keep the bed room door shut. he drops change from his jeans everyday and sometimes goes days without picking it up. he is 62 and acts more like 92. cant take any more. we have separate bedrooms its so baddddddddddddddd

  • February 2, 2015, 3:53 pm

    Sims can learn this skill by reading books about mixology, practicing making drinks at a
    bar, and from attending a mixology class at a restaurant.
    Impatient attitude will be considered as a negative
    aspect of your character. – Express the need to go potty (verbally or through body language) – Expresses an interest in the potty – Uncomfortable in wet
    diapers – Able to dress and undress – Imitates family members – Stays dry for two hours – Has regular bowel movements – Interested
    in big kid underwear.´s last blog post

  • Lana February 18, 2015, 2:44 am

    My husband works 12 hour shifts but only works 3 days a week. His days off consist of 6 hours of Xbox while the 2 eldest kids are at school, 4 hours of tv followed by 2 more hours of Xbox once my 9 month old is in bed. That’s it. He does nothing more. His reasoning is “I work hard and I need a break”… At the end of my rope.

  • Jann March 18, 2015, 4:30 pm

    I’m so frustrated, no more girls at home,just us I work 95 hrs every two weeks, I do all the cleaning including the backyard, garage, she’d, my vehicle, front yard, driveway and the 2 big hair dogs, including baths brushing, trimming, nails ears everything, 2 cats including litter boxes! Oh he mows wow ! He has his own pc business and its out of or home. He’ll watch tv while I’m folding laundry and not bother to be offer to help, when we were newly married I had 3 girls he adopted he stayed home , cooked, clean kitchen only, girls had chores, but now never cooks always lets go get take out or you go get it I’m tired! I’m fed up! Frustrated no idea what to do if I
    approach him any way he thinks I’m micromanaging him! He spends hours at his sister and brother in law house, the both
    work at home pc also, he’d rath be anyplace but home! I’m not going to baby anyone or reward with sex we both live here
    show respect! Has a car he’s been restoring forever oh and
    wants me to sit outside when he works on it, seriously I have
    shit to do and sitting with you don’t make me feel any better about our relationship! I’m at the point I don’t care anymore
    I’m 53 both my knees are bad, his back hurts him, and im just tired of caring! No time to read a book sew, craft,stitch, it just
    sits in a room! I’m depressed, we never talk oh he’ll tell me about so and so pc and their shit, but we never talk about hey what kind of ideas you have for one of our daughters bday or holiday gift, nothing, and it’s fine if he tells me what to do and how to do it, but if I donim micromanaging him! What??? He has to say things like dang someone should take the trash out its so full it’s all over the place, I’m like I don’t feel the need to announce the trash issues I just take it out, no big deal, not like the trash is going have a huge sigh of relief it got emptied because he announced it! Lol Beyond frustrated, but do love him! Now what??

  • Lilu March 23, 2015, 3:32 am

    All thous men who don’t work and just want to be lazy and everything done for them, just comfortable and riding on your shoulders, drop the lagedge ladies you feel you have time for more fun things that’s doesn’t wait you down. Give them a choice to get their butt out and put effort or they be single. If you don’t get result than you mAking yourself a favour as it’s not fun drugging someone who should be walking by your side. Women mother man too much.

  • Laura March 29, 2015, 1:33 pm

    Ughhhhhhhhhhhhh. I said I’d never do this, but sometimes you just have to. My boyfriend is a fucking slob, his place is disgusting and when he comes over he makes my place like that. I like my home to be nice, and yes, that is when I feel like having sex. I actually had a break down last night because I have to deal with it all. We share one room and live on a really tiny budget, and on top of that are full-time students and I do all the house work. So, I’ve been putting dealing with it off because I guess I’m lazy or scared or unsure because I don’t want to have to do this. Why are men such children in this way? He seems me cleaning, and he sees that it makes me angry; he’s a smart man does it really confuse him as to why i’m angry? It makes me feel like he doesn’t care that it makes me suffer because he just wants to watch stupid youtube videos.

  • Delia April 15, 2015, 8:38 pm

    Hi girls, it’s 9:30 on a Wednesday worknight. I had to also look up advice on what to do about my lazy, self absorbed, sloppy, cluttering boyfriend of 5 years! I too have tried the reward him with sex, be it a sexy lingerie while I make a nice dinner, in hopes he’ll get up and offer to do dishes. He works yes, but I know he says it’s an easy job, security while he plays on his phone all day, Mon-fri, then he goes to the gym. While I go grocery shop, make dinner, do dishes, laundry, both his & mine, shower, then he expects sex once I’m exhausted & upset! Sure he pitches in on some bills, half rent, but I asked numerous times, can you please do dishes! Politely, nicely, nagging, yellin,nothing works! There’s the dishes after he made a greasy mess from his breakfast! He leaves greasy pans, plates, and just lets them pile up! I was too tired, so I didn’t do them either, since he said yes, he’ll do them, but after his gym routine. I’d like to have time for myself, gym, go do my hair, clothes shop. But no, gotta come home to clean. He works am occasional weekend at night, again, easy security at club, but says he’s so tired! But oh, he has energy for gym and his shit! Asks, baby, do me a favor, go get my uniform out from cleaners, then he’d do dishes. Lied, I got his clean uniform, paid for it, no favor of clean dishes in return. I’m at the end too, he’s asleep while I look up advice! He said growing up, mom & maids did that! Ugh, I’m not your mom or maid, I don’t want to be this! Help!

  • lauren May 11, 2015, 7:16 pm

    The rewarding thing doesn’t work…just sayin’

  • Carly May 11, 2015, 7:32 pm

    Rewarding Him with sex For Doing The Dishes Seems Insane. Do Us Women get A Reward Everytime We Do chores? A French Maid Outfit?..What A Joke. My Kids Dont Need To See That, And I Dont Think It Would Set A Great Example For My 2 Teenage Boys.
    I Want To Hear More realistic Ideas. If there are none, id Rather An Honest Answer.. ‘he will never change, get rid Of That Disrespectful slob’.

    Some Men Are Just Too Lazy, And Leave The Bulk Of Lifes Problems For Their Wife To Sort Out.

    Thinking You Can Change Him, Is a womens First Mistake.
    Personally, im Busy Putting Away My Escape Money. I have worked out, i really Dont Like My Partners Behaviour In General. t

  • gdm June 26, 2015, 10:00 am

    yes i to was to become my room mate house maid it happen one day i told her to clean up the house it was a mess she told me i work all day and i am tier she then said i know you work all night and you sleep all day i said fine i clean up then well i start to clean i was about to do the wash when she ask if i would wash her panties and bra by hand i said yes it was no big deal as i was them i thought for a joke i would wear one of her bra so i toke my shirt off and but on the bra and went back washing her clothes just then she walk in well what have i here my room mate in my bra and it look nice on you to she came over and fit it a little there now that better as i turn around with wet clothes she said you can keep that bra and then she found the panties here put them on and you have a set well after a few weeks i was still in panties and bra then she came home one night with some bags she then ask how was her little sissy girly boy i told her fine she sat down beside me she then said i have some thing for you i brought you a outfit to wear around the house i told her i hope it some new bras these ones are to small just then i remove my top to show her she just smile at me well dear you have nice tits and do not be sorry what i have here you will never wear male clothes again she was right about that she turn me into her sissy house maid and sex slave

  • DMV July 21, 2015, 6:40 pm

    I’ve got the same problem with my spouse. He expects me to assist him with projects and yard work, but when I ask him to assist me with indoor chores, it’s the same fucking thing: “I had a stressful week.” “I just want to relax.” “I made plans with so and so.” I can’t communicate my needs because he doesn’t exactly make it easy for me. Even when I confront him in a peaceful way, he gets defensive and accuses me of starting a fight. We got in a fight the other day, and he said, “I’ve been like this for the past 14 years. I’m not changing. I’m not a bad guy. You could do so much worse.” Yeah, well, I could do SO much better. He doesn’t cook, doesn’t clean, doesn’t do laundry, doesn’t make beds, doesn’t help grocery shop. Hell, he won’t even clean up the dishes after I cook supper. He literally has ONE chore that is completely his own: bill paying. After that, he does whatever the fuck he wants with friends and leaves me home on weekends to do chores. Then he wonders why I don’t have friends of my own. On the very rare occasion that I give up a Saturday to spend time with friends, I NEVER get the favor of a clean house and finished laundry returned to me. He says he doesn’t ask much of me. He asks something of me every single day. “Will you make me a sandwich? Will you make some fresh tea? Will you sew this button on my shirt? Will you this? Will you that?”

    Want to know a real kicker? My husband wants – or THINKS – he wants a kid. Aside from the fact that I have never had any desire to have kids with ANYONE, I would NEVER have a kid with HIM because of his sexist, misogynistic attitude toward helping me, his wife. The child would just be another fucking chore that gets dumped into my lap.

  • Karen October 20, 2015, 1:36 pm

    I have a partner of 4 years who moved in with me over a year and a half ago. Getting him to do ANYTHING is almost impossible. And when he does do something I’m suprised. I mean I can’t even get him to move off the sofa so I can clean behind /underneath it. If he does the washing up all the places are still greasy like he has just rinsed them under the tap. He hides mess rather than puts it away too. I once stopped doing his washing and his laundry basket was so full I started putting his dirty clothes into dustbin liners and putting them into the cuboard. He would say “why don’t I have any clothes?” And I’d say well you haven’t washed any. He’d then pinch my tracksuit bottoms and socks and any tops he can get away with washing. If he did wash he wouldn’t put it away. He is a walking disaster. Once said we’d so rotations on washing plates. I did my lot his day came and went and a week later the plates were still there with mold growing on them. We have two dogs too which molt everywhere and chew up bottles etc and I just can’t cope with it anymore. Oh he says he would clean up but I just beat him to it as my standers are a lot higher than his. I can’t stand mess!
    Karen´s last blog post ..Did the man in the wheelchair need help? I was too wimpy to ask.

  • Laura October 29, 2015, 2:25 pm

    Great article but you lost me when you suggested that women dress up in sexy outfit and tease with sex as a motivator to get a man to help clean. That is just ridiculous. Men should help chip in if they ever want to get sex again, period. I am not going to prostitute myself to get him to help.

  • "A" Standard November 28, 2015, 2:24 pm

    After reading more than half of the comments in this blog I have one word of advice to all of you and your spouses. GROW UP! and stop acting like children.
    I’ve always found it amazing how the childlike attitude of “me do” changes to “me not do” and reflects the even more child like completely selfish response of “you do” .Please, no offense intended here, but when you take out the “me” and “you” attitude, it all reads like a bunch of selfish do do.
    There is one simple rule that applies here and shows a more mature unselfish and adult like response.

    Just do what needs to be done- when it needs to be done- whether you want to do it or not.
    Housework is like homework, we all have to do it to get an “A” for acceptable behavior.
    There is one big difference however, unlike homework, housework will have to be done over and over again until we get it right and really show that our work is truly acceptable to ourselves. We grade our own housework we determine what an “A” is.

    To most grown up mature adults in the world this is called self discipline.

    If it’s true that the only attitude we can really ever change is our own. then the only adult solution here is that both parties cooperate to determine one single standard of what “A” housework is.
    Failure to cooperate on this one silver lined standard changes the “I do” of the marriage covenant to nothing more than an empty promise and brings to much selfish “do do” to the relationship.

    Please just grow up and discover what happy ever after really can be like.


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