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karmahappens posted 1/27/2014 15:38 PM

A member was discussing how her spouse does nothing to help around the house and I was wondering if any folks in R have changed their responsibilities at home with cooking/cleaning/bill paying since R began. How is it working and what have you found to be better or worse.....

In my house we both work full-time. My job is much more demanding on my time and I can easily work extra shifts, including nights/overnights and weekends.

We seem to go with the flow here. We pick up what's dirty, do the dishes when they are in the sink and pretty much do laundry whenever one of us does it. Very laid back, but organized and easy.

He pays the bills because he likes to manage money

I do all the cooking (I like to) and my husband does the car stuff (either that or I pay for all tune ups...I start my car and drive )

We both do the landscaping, but he is the real outdoor-green thumb guy.

So it's comfortable. No bitching about turns and things just get done. Kind of, if you see it needs to be done, do it, kind of mantra.

Our kids are grown so it leaves us much more free time, chores just aren't a big deal anymore.

So what do you do in your home? Has it changed since R?

Does it need work? Is it a sore spot?

Bikingguy posted 1/27/2014 15:43 PM

I am the BS but realized there were things I could help out with. So now I help with dinner or at least sit in the kitchen to talk to WW. I also started helping her make lunch, then thought screw this the kids are old enough to do most of this.
Just some of the little things that have changed in our house.

Sammy2013 posted 1/27/2014 15:58 PM

WH has stepped up a ton. He got out of his depressed funk and started helping out around the house. I went to visit a friend for 5 days, leaving him here with the kids. It gave him a greater appreciation for what I do. Since then he does dishes here and there. Will throw in a load of laundry, or fold a load. Just little things, but they are absolutely noticed.

He checked out on not only our marriage but the day to day family and house stuff. Now that he has checked back in, he sees the daily grind and is stepping up to help out more when he's home.

Lostinthismess posted 1/27/2014 16:00 PM

I worked until our 3rd was born and am currently a sahm. I did all the house, kids, bill paying before A, working or not. I still do the majority of those simply because he's military and gone all the time. When he is home though, the dynamics have shifted. He'll ask what he can do to help with dinner. I still have to have the plan but he he's more than willing to help and he and the boys will clean up. Honestly sometimes I will still do the clean up just because I don't have to, if that makes sense. I still do the major cleaning, like bathrooms, laundry, etc but when he's home he helps with the major living areas.

He does yard work. Except when he's gone I'll mow, but I don't do anything major lol. Not my thing.

He builds me stuff and fixes stuff, that's his main household job seriously though, I've always had a Pinterest board dedicated to stuff I wanted him to build me. I would occasionally show him and and he'd mostly be like, that's nice, that's a good idea. Now he's got his own account to check the board and builds frequently for me. He builds, I paint.

I still handle most of the bills but he's trying to be more involved in that. Not with the intention of taking over, just so finances are not always my burden. All I ever wanted really was him to show interest in making and sticking to a budget, and to be aware of where we stood financially. It was so bad at one point, he had basically said it's all yours, do what you want and didn't even know what bank we used. I handled scheduling all household and family appointments. He now helps with that.

I do appreciate the way he has stepped up and wanted to help. I do have some resentment that I was doing everything to make his life easier, I felt it was my job. I was a military wife and I needed to make sure that he could deploy and do his job without worrying if the house was going to fall apart or I was going to spend all the money. I was busting my ass and wearing myself out and he was screwing someone else. I try to stay in the present though. Things have changed now and he's stepping up.

Darkness Falls posted 1/27/2014 16:01 PM

Hopefully it will change for the better once we "officially" live together again. Right now it's hard because it's "my" place and not "ours" (only my name on lease) so even though he's there all the time I feel a greater responsibility to make sure things get done. He does help but I feel he shouldn't really have to. Again, it will hopefully be better once we're somewhere that's ours together. We both work, FWIW; we have the same hours (~12 hours away from home per day).

Rebreather posted 1/27/2014 16:11 PM

Equality in household duties was a critical part in my staying in the marriage. While he was always pretty good, he couldn't understand my very real issues with being expected to perform traditional gender roles. He was able to finally hear me on this after Dday and counseling. We now have a very egalitarian relationship. It is not prefect and we keep working on it, but on the whole, things are very balanced.

1owner posted 1/27/2014 16:11 PM

It hasn't really changed at my house. WW still does not work, she does most of the laundry and cleaning, I do some of that too. Cooking, she does most of, maybe 3-4 times a week. Kids also help out with chores.

Sunday morning breakfast has always been my thing. I make a pretty mean country breakfast on Sunday mornings, the only day of the week I'm not at work. Eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, toast or biscuits, sometimes pancakes (my daughter has to help me with those), and some Sundays I make omlets, breakfast in bed for the W. I have done this for many years, long before her A. At first, I just did it to treat the family, now, W kind of expects it and kids are use to it too. Small thing to some, but it means a lot to me to be able to do that, and the kids will remember it when they are grown.

rachelc posted 1/27/2014 16:28 PM

not much but a little. We took the 5 love languages test and "acts of service" is my number 1 language, probably because we had 4 kids in 3 years and I was just overwhelmed most of the time.

We have very traditional roles but it works for us. I like to cook, he's a pretty anal cleaner. I work 2 hours less a day so I can get supper started and put a load of laundry in and get groceries.
He folds all the clothes and even folds my underwear and I've said, you really don't need to but he still does it.
We both hate outside work but he does it. And I do the bathrooms.
He secretly likes to take care of the pets (when we had them) because he grew up on a farm.
He does all the money stuff - he is a banker.
I made some pretty important decisions about how to raise the kids - I am an educator.
It worked for us.

Now, he has a broken leg so I am doing most (all?) of the work. that is fine. And I get to load the dishwasher exactly the way I want to - without mathematical precision - bah ha ha ha!

musiclovingmom posted 1/27/2014 16:31 PM

I guess we kind of went backwards on this. I actually quit working at all - even part time. My H works 24/7 on call and not working gives us flexibility in spending time together. A big pride point for him is being able to provide for his family and, in a way, it insulted him that I felt the need to work and contribute monetarily. I don't keep a perfect house - far from it. He helps some - trash, putting away his laundry, cooks an occasional meal. But, generally, I pay the bills and keep the house and he works long, unpredictable hours. We spend any down time he gets as a couple of as a family and basically neglect the house until he goes back to work.

Lionne posted 1/27/2014 17:04 PM

@music. Don't EVER say you don't work. Managing a house and kids is HARD WORK!

Our dynamic has changed in 35 years. Before kids we were 50/50, with him doing more heavy stuff, me doing more aesthetics. I was a SAHM briefly, did all the house work, cooking, etc. But I was working some evenings and SATs., did in home childcare, and it was frustrating to come home to a sink full of dishes, homework undone, etc. on my work nights. He didn't seem to be able to juggle both childcare and basic pick-up-after-yourself skills at once.

Once I was back to work the dynamic didn't change, I was still doing the house stuff, bills, homework, doctor's visits, etc., and getting hell for not ever being fun. About this time the absences began, he used this as an excuse not to come home, to find his "fun" girls everywhere else.

After d day, he is now seeing all that. Not immediately, and not all at once. He took care of most of the house work when he retired, I do most of it now when he is working part-time and I'm retired I'm much pickier, that's okay, but I never criticized his work, I would make requests, or accept it as he did it. Cooking is hit or miss. Neither of us do much. We graze.

I do the bills, he does the long term money stuff, we are wired differently for that.

He has stepped up a lot. He's done a complete 180 from the jerk he used to be.

[This message edited by scaredyKat at 5:05 PM, January 27th (Monday)]

LA44 posted 1/27/2014 17:25 PM

First off, love the title of this post even though I didn't see the other one.

Things are WAY better now in this regard in our house. I am a SAHM so I generally do the shopping of food and household supplies as well I do the cooking. He knows I HATE emptying the dishwasher so he gets to that often and even though I do most of the laundry, he often starts a load or I see him folding and putting away. He mows the lawn and takes care of the pool.

He is also proactive now in fixing things around our house or if he can't fix it he calls someone who can and he does it the same week! I even recall the week of D-Day - he tackled something (who can remember now) major that had been broken for a while. I think it was kind of symbolic of him wanting to repair something.

He makes me wonderful dinners now too - goes out, gets all of the groceries, my fav wine, preps the food and prepares it all.

Guess the sexist pig on the other thread is rolling around in his pen now!

JustSoSad42 posted 1/28/2014 06:42 AM

I just went over and read the OP and wow! I know different strokes for different folks, but I would never be married to someone and have completely separate finances! Talk about score-keeping.

Before kids when I was working full-time, my paycheck went to savings and fun money. We lived off of my husband's salary because we knew I would stay home once we had kids. Even when we were both working, I handled 100% of our money, paid all the bills, budgeted, etc. Mostly because I am very type A and love doing that sort of thing, and also out of necessity because he is military and deploys once a year.

Our roles in our marriage are very old fashioned, with the exception that my husband loves to cook, so he makes dinner a lot. In fact, I have been so wiped out between moving to a new house, being 8 months pregnant, taking care of a 2 and 3yo, and finding out my husband had a ONS, that I have cooked dinner maybe 3 times in the last two months.

I am expected to take care of the majority of the housework because I do stay home, so that is basically my job. He has been very helpful around the house and especially with the kids since Dday. They are so young, and in the first few weeks I would just randomly have meltdowns, and I would go in our bedroom and he took over watching the kids for a while.

If I worked, I would make sure house chores were split 50/50, but as it is, I AM home, so they fall on me.

I just can't even imagine keeping up with who pays what in that OP's scenario. To me, keeping finances that separate when you're married is just like banking on getting divorced. I know stuff happens, and I am here on this site so obviously even awesome marriages like mine can encounter potentially deal breaking issues, but why bother getting married if you're not going to go "all in"? It seems like it would be so unhealthy to use paychecks as a way to keep score on who brings what to the table.

karmahappens posted 1/28/2014 09:29 AM

It seems like it would be so unhealthy to use paychecks as a way to keep score on who brings what to the table.

Keeping score isn't meant for relationships, it was meant for football games......

BrooklynLove posted 1/28/2014 09:43 AM

My husband is extremely sexist. While he will clean, do laundry if necessary and outdoor work. He will not step foot in the kitchen. He says that is a woman's work and that was one of the reasons he cheated . The OW would cook him 5 course dinners everyday he was with her. She needed a green card and was willing to do anything and everything. While I was asking my husband to help out more, he was complaining to her and she was telling him I was a horrible wife. I would get the Bertolli's frozen dinners and he would get up throw it in the garbage and walk out during his affair. Once he moved back in I was just so desperate to have my husband back I started to cook everyday. I had no choice because I got pregnant during HB.

wanttogoforward posted 1/28/2014 09:45 AM

I make more money.... however, who does more depends upon the need and the season. My job can be very stressful, but I get some time off in the summer so I pick up most chores and the slack then, and he does most of it when I am busy and stressed.... In a good marriage there should not be 'this is your job and this is mine'.... it is not the reality of today's modern world where both partners work outside the home.
If that game is played then the woman ends up with sooo much more work between raising kids and housework. It should be a partnership completely where you are not keeping count of who does 10 minutes more than the other person.

Like today- I have a day off!!! And I will do the dishes, laundry as needed, and vacuum so that our day tomorrow will go smoother. I have the time today and will do the things needed so as to not cause him more stress.

Morhurt posted 1/28/2014 09:49 AM

My H has always been very helpful. (I'm a SAHM) In fact it used to frustrate me so much when the kids were tiny that he could whip the house into shape so quickly. During the A years he was still helpful but he spent a lot of time at the gym and "working late" so I did more.
Without those two things, and with the trauma of DD I'd say he does more than his "fair" share (nothing's fair anymore though).
The biggest things for me are the emotional support and outside relationships (his mom etc). I used to be the only doing all the support for the kids and for both our families. It was very exhausting but just expected. He now has taken over with his family and does parent teacher meetings and helps with kid issues.
It's so great for me but even better for the kids. :)

heforgotme posted 1/28/2014 09:56 AM

This has changed hugely for us. FWH is now an integral part of the household, which he never chose to be before.

We do bills together and he does much more around the house. He will even notice when things need to be done without any prompting from me.

Best of all, he is involved with the kids. He gets them off to school on the mornings he is home, helps with homework, bedtime, etc. Previously all this was left to me, even when he was unemployed and I was working.

My life is much less stressful in this respect as I have a partner and feel supported.

The other thing I've noticed (wondering if others have had this experience too....) is that now FWH makes PLANS. This is something he very seldom did before. Life just sort of happened to him and then he would react. This led to all sorts of stress as well. But now he plans. Even little things like getting our son's school uniform ready the night before.

I like this as well.

I still get a little nervous sometimes that he will eventually revert to old behaviors, but at 14 months out I haven't seen signs of it yet. We've had our occaisional lazy day, but it's usually both of us and then we both make up for it later.

I have to say too that these things more than anything else have convinced me that he has changed. They make me feel like he has concern for my well being and stress level. That he wants to be a true integral part of the family.

One thing he used to always say pre-Dday was that he felt like a visitor in his own house. Like it was our fault, when in fact it was his own. He was kinda a visitor to our lives (and not a very considerate one at that) because he had made himself one.

So anyway, thanks for bringing this up. It kinda seems like a small thing, but for me it was huge.

lilflower1000 posted 1/28/2014 10:17 AM

Mine is helping a lot more than in the past.We both work full time, but he works more hours, I do almost everything around the house and w/ kids. He takes care of bills and is good at fixing stuff, but I do a lot of that too. Since R he is really putting in effort to do things together. Of course, it is more of him pulling me into his projects than helping me with kids and house, but he does more than he did pre A. Yesterday was a bad day. I was sick as a dog. Fixing supper, while washing dishes, and helping child with homework. He was sitting in living room watching TV with 1 1/2 yr old on his lap. ( his version of helping with baby). Our 9 yr old wanted to watch something on Netfix. He came to me To help him with login and l told him to go to dad since I was already multitasking and I was elbow deep in dish bubbles. Needless to say, dad told him to come to me because he was busy w/ baby. Empathy is not his strong point, but he's working on it.

Althea posted 1/28/2014 11:43 AM

This was a HUGE change for us after Dday. It came about in a funny way too. WH and I had a talk about what I needed in order to get back to work. One of the things HE came up with was that he would help out more around the house so that I could have more time freed up to do continuing education. Of course he didn't think I would follow through, it was another empty promise, but I surprised him by mailing him a chore chart and asking him to fill in the chores he would like to be responsible for. He did, and a few days later had a meltdown about how unfair the chores were
I calmly reminded him that he picked the chores, and he looked at the chart and realized he still wasn't do anywhere near 50%. In reality he was upset about something else, and his go to reaction at that point was to find a way to blame me and my unreasonable expectations of him. He was the provider and I was on vacation caring for our kids. I had no right to ask ANYTHING more of him

Through IC he realized how shitty that was, and just how much he was (by his own actions) living on the periphery of our lives. Since I agreed to R, he took a job working from home so that he can help with caring for our kids. He does half the housework, cooks dinner 3 nights a week, gets up with the older kids every morning, gets them breakfast and makes their lunches, and takes them to school. He also watches the baby so I can go to the gym or run or even go to appointments without lugging around a giant infant carseat.

All this from the man who prior to Dday couldn't be bothered to make it home by 5:30 one day a week so our small kids could see him for an hour before they went to bed AND had the nerve to ask me to do more around the house when I was doing 100% of the housework, childcare, bills, etc. I just wasn't doing it to his standards.

The thing I worked hardest at in IC was understanding why I stayed in a marriage like that AND felt like it was the way it should be because I decided to be a SAHM.

catlover50 posted 1/28/2014 13:34 PM

This has been a big improvement for us as well. As my H's self awareness increased he was unable to avoid how selfish he had always been. I had given up having him help around the house since it led to "nagging" and withdrawing. I did things myself or hired them out.

Now he helps in so many ways, without being asked. We go grocery shopping together, or sometimes he goes on his own. He helps with dinner, the pets, cleaning. This weekend we put together care packages for the kids and he made the cookies and packaged the boxes. It makes me feel like so much more of a team with him.

Oh, and I hate emptying the dishwasher too. Not sure why that is!

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