Home » Life In General » Call the AFL-CIO, I’m striking!

Call the AFL-CIO, I’m striking!


So, Smoochy’s been pissing me off lately.  He’s never been a pitch in and help around the house kind of fella, and I am starting to resent this.

Yes, he’ll wash the dishes.  If I nag ask.  Yes, he’ll sweep/mop the floor.  If I nag ask.  Yes, he’ll vacuum the floor.  If I nag ask.  Okay, you see the pattern.  Anyhoo, I’m tired of asking.  When we were first marrried, we divvied up the chores in an equitable manner.  One of us would cook, the other would wash the dishes.  Of course, I always cook, he rarely washes the dishes within oh, 72 hours.  He was to clean one bathroom, I’d hit the other, etc. etc.

Well, the man is just on his own time schedule.  And it’s not one I’m comfortable with.  he will clean, just not regularly, or when needed.  Dishes are washed 3 days later.  The floor is swept infrequently, and mopped less than that.  WhenI get really pissed – about once a week, I’ll just do it myself because I don’t live in dirt.  I’ve asked.  I’ve pleaded.  Yes, Nerd Girl has even cried.  And to no avail.  I am seriously considering going on strike.  Excep that I can’t live in the filth that would start to accumulate before he even realized that I wasn’t doing anything.  And then he’d just say “well, why didn’t you ask me to help?”  Umm dude, I’ve been asking for 8.5 years – but who’s counting.

 I have one child.  I had no intentions of trying to simultaneouly raise a 3 year old and a 35 year old.

So, I’m thinking of striking.  But, even as I type this, it sounds horribly immature.  The stike would go a little something like this:  no cooking for Smoochy, no laundry done for Smoochy.  Umm, that’s really all I have.  Everything else that’s done is communal and benefits us all.  I really don’t think a strike would be effective at all!

Any suggestions?  Tips?  Hints?  Have ya’ll gone through this in your relationships?  Did it get better?  Worse?  Did you just give in and do it all?  Or, are you the “Smoochy” in your relationship?  If so, do you ever help?  What prompts your finally giving in and lending a hand?  Thanks in advance for any help/words of wisdom/bail money you can provide.


11 thoughts on “Call the AFL-CIO, I’m striking!

  1. My Loverman, too, moves at his own snail’s pace, and when I got sick & tired of being frustrated by doing it in “his own time,” I decided to do something I never thought I would— I hired someone to come in once a month to do the comprehensive, heavy cleaning and all we have to do is light maitenance between her visits. It took a helluva lot of stress off of me trying to keep the house in a manner that’s pleasing and presentable, and Loverman may not readily admit it, but he likes the way our abode looks and smells immediately following one of our cleaning lady’s visits. He’s a little bit more proactive in trying to keep in looking fresh and clean.

    Listen, do it for yourself, because it doesn’t seem to be bothering him and this little indulgence will alleviate a small roadblock— remember, don’t sweat the small stuff:)

  2. Girl, I’m right there with you. I can’t offer any advice. I’ve been married for almost 4 years and for the first two, we divided all the chores in an equitable manner. Pretty much, we each did whatever it was the other didn’t want to do- I’d cook, he’d wash dishes (he liked to wash dishes…fine with me. And he had to do them BY HAND! We didn’t even have a dishwasher!), etcetera. Now, I do EVERYTHING…I don’t know why, or how, it got this way. It’s like, he just walks past the mess. I ask him to help, and if he’s feeling equitable, he’ll say, “Just make a list, and I’ll do whatever is on it”. But he doesn’t. He’ll pick and choose his chores. He’ll sweep, but not mop. Vacuum the downstairs, but not the upstairs.
    I’ve gone on strike. About 6 months ago. The dishes didn’t get done for 6 weeks. It was awful. Two days into the sink of dirty dishes, I sweetly asked him to wash them, seeing that I had done the cooking. He said he would do them (we have a dishwasher now. Ironic, huh?), and didn’t. I’d sweetly remind him, again and again. The pile in the sink grew and grew. I refused to back down because I was already doing every household chore. If I broke down and washed those dishes, I’d lose. I know they say that there is no winning and losing, but I want him to realize- or is it remember?- that like him, I am also strong-willed. I didn’t get married so I can clean up after a grown-ass man. I have a full-time job just like him, and I have things I’d like to do with my free time, too (we don’t have kids). He drops his clothes and shoes all over the house. I’ve tried nagging (we fight), nudging (he ignores me), sweet talking (he thinks I’m trying to flirt)and just shutting up and cleaning everything myself (he’s happy and I feel like a 1950’s housewife. Defeated. Doomed.).
    The only time he really got down and cleaned with me was 3 months ago, when his cousin was coming to visit. Can’t have family staying for a couple of days, then go home and spread the word that you live nasty.
    For this main reason (there are other small things), I don’t know how long we’re going to last. He wasn’t this way when we got together, and he didn’t immediately become a slob right after we got married. I hope it isn’t a slow descent into some real craziness. I really hope it’s a phase.
    I have discovered, since I got married, that I can forgive my husband of things I’d never take from a boyfriend. Nothing crazy, like any type of abuse (I’d be soliciting bail money myself, because he would only have one time…). I don’t keep track of the small transgressions, because I love him. Now, I’ll never forget six weeks of dirty dishes, you know what I mean? But this is like a different kind of pseudo-abuse. He’s not honoring me, it feels, as a partner, and I really don’t know how much more of this I can take. I was raised in a household where the men didn’t really clean a thing (I seethed with rage when I had to clean piss off a toilet seat-it wan’t mine, why I gotta clean this?!?!), and my sister and I were told that it was our role to clean the house. I vowed not to live that way, once I had a choice. I’ve told him that there needs to be a change soon, or I might have to take a walk. I really don’t think he takes me seriously.
    Good luck. I’ll be checking back to see what others have to say. I need help, too, as you can see.

  3. I can’t be any help in this area – I’m married to OCD clean freak and I’ve been flat-out told I will never be good enough (Lord, don’t let him find this comment) for him in this area… to the point I nearly just left. He grew up in a military family and he was military – and I don’t scrub toilets with toothbrushes.. but he doesn’t do the things I ask him to do – like not leave knives hanging off a counter… or take all the wet, nasty dishes out of the sink and pile them on the counter, instead of put them in the dishwasher. This is what I get for marrying a 40 year old man who had never been married.

    A really nice woman just told me the secret is to just pretend you’re doing things their way and figure out a way to get them to do it your way. I have yet to figure that out.

    A strike sounds like a plan to me. Come on over and we’ll make signs. I have plenty of paint!

  4. Okay – I just re-read this post and boy was I pissed. I don’t think I’ve had this many typos since – well, never.

    Lisa – believe me, hiring some help is something I’ve considered. But we really, really, cannot afford it. I’ve considered giving up my cell phone, but realized that in and of itself wouldn’t be enough. Now the cell phone plus the cable would work. But then he’d probably be off somewhere blogging about how his evil wife has cut him off. From ESPN! And I know that the dishes were my main gripe and a cleaning person could definitely handle that, but I think the thing that upsets me the most is his refusal to pick up after himself. Walk through the door, take shirt off, drop shirt on floor. Sit down in chair, kick shoes off, stack shoes between chairs – along with 4 other pairs previously kicked off. That kind of thing. But if I can ever find a few extra ducats, believe me, I’m calling in some help and perhaps he, like your Loverboy, would be more motivated to pick up.

    Shanda – I definitely feel you on the honoring thing! I swear I tried the old “When you don’t clean up after yourself, I feel like you’re disrespecting me and the work that I do.” You know, not tell him he’s a slob (because that’s labeling/blaming), but tell him how his actions make me feel. Apparently he’s not watching Oprah or Dr. Phil, ’cause that did not work! And I definitely don’t want to stand in front of God or a judge and say I left my husband because he’s kind of sloppy most of the time. Not crazy ass, cat lady nasty, just less than clean. So, that’s not an option. But believe me, the thought has crossed my mind. And I really hope that your husband will come to his senses before it gets to that for you all. I’ll be praying for you. And I too, made that vow – both my parents worked, but my Mom still got stuck with all the housework. I just knew that when I got married, I’d choose a more progressive spouse. The thing is, Smoochy doesn’t fuss when the house isn’t clean like my dad did – which is a definite plus. He just doesn’t give a damn and is content to just let it ride – definite minus.

    Holli – I guess the grass is always cleaner on the other side?!? I won’t lie, I’m glad Smoochy’s not OCD – because I’m definitely not. Just a little order would be nice. I hate hearing the doorbell ring and having to run and do a guest bathroom check – before I open the door – because I never know what state it’s in. I wonder how long it takes to drive from MS to DC . . . it’s a long weekend, so if Lovegirl and I show up on your doorstep, I’m expecting paint, plenty of dropcloths – so as not to upset your hubby, and at least one mixed drink!

    Dang . . . this comment was long enough to be it’s own post. Eh.

  5. lol i’m not married, but someone close to me is with a baby (dividing that responsibility just ain’t happening,lol). i hear about this regularly. her solution was and it sounds like it might work for you, even if its just for a little bit… is that she uses one bathroom, he uses the other. so she only cleans her bathroom and lets his get messy until he can’t stand it. she keeps a few dishes in one cupboard that she mainly uses and let his stack, she keeps her closet, dresser etc clean on her side of the room. it’s not perfect, but it helps her to keep a small piece of her own sanity while on baby duty 24/7 and just accepts what he lacks. when company comes, she just lives with knowing that he’s the mess, not her. not a perfect solution, but maybe he’ll see how much he accumulates when things aren’t regularly cleaned by you.

  6. I don’t have advice on this because we struggle with the same thing at times. I have gotten much better at not letting things get to me the way they used to.

    Personally my biggest issue wasn’t as much with him as much as it was with myself. Getting past the anger and irritation of my own childhood and being forced to clean up after others is a scar so deep I’m not sure when/if it can be healed. We both read the Five Love Languages which helped me to some extent – I’ll be praying that things get better for you in the very near future.

  7. NerdGirl,
    I feel you on this one. Every night, I cook and do dishes, when the house gets cleaned, I do it. On the other hand, my husband can spend 3 or 4 hours on yardwork, and we only have 1/2 of an acre. He says the yardwork relaxes him, but inside work does not. The only problem with this is that the wife gets the blame if the house is nasty or if the kids look unkempt. I don’t have a solution, I just wanted you to know that you are not in this alone!

  8. Kia – your friend may be on to something . . . of course I know that Smoochy’s threshold for mess is way higher than mine, it would be just my luck that his mess never bothers him.

    Yolanda – I’ll be continuing in my prayers and picking that book up – probably this evening

    Dmac – We did agree when we married that he’d do more yardwork and I’d do more housework. Thing is – our association fees cover yardwork. Somehow I still managed to come up on the short end of the stick – maid service is not included!

    Thanks everyone for your comments – I see I’m just going to have to kick my prayer life up – considerably.

  9. At first I thought this post was about me! My only advice to you is be patient: If you ask him to wash dishes Monday night, he may get around to it Tuesday morning. But he WILL get around to it. Good luck with getting him to help – you’ll need it.

  10. We had to have some serious discussions about gender equality and how I couldn’t work 60+ hours a week and then come home and cook and clean all night, plus pay attention to the kids. This was after I did stuff like stop washing dishes and he went and bought paper plates. So then I grabbed all his New Edition 12 inches and hid them. I told him they weren’t coming back till he washed the dishes.

    It just really helped to explain that if he didn’t pitch in that I might have a breakdown, and I’d start looking old much faster…like how everybody thought George Bush the 1st’s wife was his mama. Seriously, no man wants that!

  11. Keith — LOL! If the post fits . . . I really am trying to be patient. Most days I do okay, but there are those days . . . Lord knows there are those days!!!

    Los Angelista — Hiding the New Edition and threatening to look like Babs? Girl, I need to sit at your feet and take notes – you are the master!

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