Doing almost all the labor around the house by yourself can be overwhelming—especially when you have a job and kids to care of.
A little help from your husband can undoubtedly go a long way in reducing some of the stress associated with handling these household duties. But men can sometimes be uncooperative when it comes to sharing chores.
Yes, they are either completely absent-minded about these home responsibilities. Or, naturally feel that household labor is not a masculine thing and needs to be done by women. Either way, if you've got a husband who refuses to help around the home, here are some tips that could help handle the situation.
With this article, you'll understand some of the reasons why your partner is not helping and what you could do to get him on the same page.
- 1 7 Things To Do When You’re Partner Refuses To Do The Housework
- 1.1 1. Some men have stereotypical beliefs about household chores
- 1.2 2. Past criticism has gone wrong
- 1.3 3. Your other half doesn't see or think like you
- 1.4 4. His schedule is swamped
- 1.5 5. He got used to you doing all the housework
- 1.6 6. Is your other half truly refusing to help
- 1.7 7. He just doesn't want help
- 2 FAQs
- 3 In Summary
7 Things To Do When You’re Partner Refuses To Do The Housework
1. Some men have stereotypical beliefs about household chores
Even though the clamor for gender equality is now more common, even among men, traditional gender roles still exist in many homes. Many men still embrace the mindset that specific household tasks are for the wife, while others are for husbands.
Research shows that this belief may stem from their upbringing or childhood environment. In these modern times, it doesn't even matter whether both husband and wife have day jobs, many men still don't split housework equally with their wives, who may even earn more.
Here's the thing with stereotypes. Once they are in motion, studies reveal that they can be tough to challenge or break. So, It's best not to attack this one by forcefully demanding help. It won't work. Even worse, it could cause a rift between you both.
Therefore, a gentle conversation will be beneficial here. Let him know you understand how things were in our parents' time, make him realize the role synergy between couples plays in handling domestic responsibilities.
If you both have day jobs, remind him how stressful it can get since you work too. The love he feels will undoubtedly make him come through for you. If you can, try to avoid giving him the impression that the household chores are yours, which might make him feel he’s doing you a favor.
On the contrary, let him see you are a team in solving the household challenges. Therefore, a continuous teamwork situation that'll be beneficial to you both is what you should seek.
2. Past criticism has gone wrong
If there's a way to measure the size of a man's ego, permit me to say that it can compete with Mount Everest. Ego or pride has always been men's Achilles heel, especially when a bruise or punch at the ego comes from a female counterpart. If your partner has been assisting you before and suddenly refuses, you may need to think back.
Perhaps, you have made him feel incompetent. Naturally, women are usually better at housework than men. Even more, we have specific ways we feel a task can be best done.
Therefore, if you criticize his approach of handling tasks because you have a different “superior” approach, trust me, that could turn him off, especially when the outcome isn't different from yours.
If you find that you may have bruised your man's ego, you need to apologize. More importantly, let him fly however he wants. If he's going to load the dishwasher in a weird way, let him do it. Chances are, the dishes and utensils will come out clean either way.
When it does come out good, placate his ego that he has taught you a new way of doing tasks. Men like to solve problems; so the more useful they feel, the more you'll get them to do more.
3. Your other half doesn't see or think like you
One of the major differences between men and women is their view/approach to things. Women care a lot about appearance; that's why you can spend 40 minutes getting ready for a party. On the other hand, a man needs less than seven minutes to throw his suit on. This behavior also shows up in other areas of their life.
Your man may see bigger or technical fixes more than he sees vacuuming the carpet. That’s because those things naturally interest him. Men can be so absent-minded about small everyday chores they can trip over the trash can without even thinking about taking it out. So, yes, you technically have a better eye for smaller everyday chores.
Again communication is essential. You might need to continually remind your man of those little labor that require attention around the home. Furthermore, you can learn his priorities, i.e., which housework is vital to him. Then look for ways to relate the small details you see with his bigger picture.
For example, link the significance of doing the housework he doesn't notice to the maintenance costs it'll save the family. Trust me; cost always catches men's attention.
4. His schedule is swamped
If you have a surgeon for a partner, you know he can sometimes spend tons of hours in the operating room. Girl, you might want to bring in some understanding, especially when you have more time to spare than him.
Yes, his very demanding job shouldn't completely excuse him from his share of household responsibilities, especially when you work too. However, you don't want to play it like everyone else because relationships aren't the same everywhere.
What to do:
Have a discussion on the household chores and cleaning which he can accommodate with his hectic schedule. Let him have the chance to make choices. Also, there's no point giving him his share of the housework when he won't be available, you'll only end up doing it.
Therefore, adopting a timetable might be beneficial here. If you find that all of these won't work, hiring help might not be such a bad idea.
5. He got used to you doing all the housework
Remember, I mentioned stereotypical beliefs earlier? Research shows that many women, by themselves, unconsciously fuel these stereotypes by dominating most housework. They see the kitchen and the home altogether as their territory.
If this is your picture, you may have unconsciously sent your partner the message that you are a superwoman who can handle it all and prefer doing it independently.
So, while you're thinking he's refusing to help, he has only gotten used to a few tasks you unconsciously allow him to do, like taking out the trash, taking the dishes to the kitchen, and more.
List the chores you can let go of. E.g., since your other half is probably bad at cooking, you can leave the dishwashing and cleaning to him. Allow him to handle the chores that you won’t have to complain if the outcome falls below your standard. Trust me; it won't be nice to ask for help yet criticize his every move because of your standard.
6. Is your other half truly refusing to help
Is he indeed not helping at all, or your expectations are sky-high? There was a time I felt like my other half wasn't helpful until he traveled for a week. It dawned on me he bathes and feeds Tyson, our 30kg Caucasian Shepherd, every morning.
Gosh, I could trade that task for anything. Also, there was no ready-made coffee in the machine because he usually makes coffee once he's up. In summary, I had to do about seven extra daily chores I unconsciously never noticed.
Recheck that you are not assuming and let go of some expectations. This way, you might realize he's doing more than you think. Once you identify what he does around the home that you've not been noticing, you can reasonably ask for more help without “raising any dust”.
Also, by doing a re-evaluation, you may realize you've been shooting up your expectations. Perhaps you've been comparing your marriage with other relationships.
7. He just doesn't want help
If he simply refuses to help, not because he's busy or doesn't know how and isn't willing to try, I hate to break it to you, you might not be in the most healthy relationship. Family life requires making sacrifices.
And don't get me wrong, It doesn't automatically mean he doesn't love you anymore. However, it could mean he has been taking you for granted at some point. Your relationship might need some attention from you both.
First, talk about it. Let him know it's not fair to deliberately let you handle all housework by yourself even after you asked for his help. If it's not working, let him know you won't do it all by yourself anymore.
Sometimes, people need a reality check to know how serious you are, so handle the little you can to keep the home running and let him handle his stuff like ironing his clothes and doing his laundry. You don't have to be mean or create a huge fight about it. Also, it's okay if you want to bring in an expert like a therapist who can let him see the importance of assisting you.
Unless he is incapacitated, then a husband should help his wife with housework. They are partners, and the truth is, household chores can be altogether overwhelming, which can cause stress, physical, and mental breakdown.
A husband who loves his wife should lovingly accommodate some of the house chores into his schedule even if he's always busy, showing he appreciates her and reducing some of the stress.
You can start by letting him know how you feel, then reduce some of the chores you handle if he doesn't change. You can leave out the part that concerns him, such as doing his laundry, ironing his clothes. But you may handle everything else so that the home doesn't suffer.
Also, let him see the importance of the chores and how it will save money if you don't have to hire paid help to do them.
Sharing housework in the real sense of “equal” between partners may be impossible. That’s because some chores are small yet come up daily, while other housework may not come up frequently but are more technical and physically demanding. Depending on what works for you and your partner, you can share tasks based on individual schedules, strengths, and priorities.
A husband should never use words that'll make his wife feel unloved, e.g., you're crazy, you're worthless, you are never good at anything, I regret meeting or marrying you. Also, a man should not tell his wife he can't help her at all even when he's clearly capable and has enough time to spare.
The first thing is to have a dialogue about what you need him to do around the home. Find out his likes and introduce them to the chores. You can even dress sexy while you handle some housework. This way, you can entice him into doing the chores with you. Finally, men like the “hero feeling,” so introducing tasks that will soothe their ego will surely get them to do more.
Different partners have different conditions when concerning labor around the house. So there's no point in expecting your partner to handle chores like another woman's partner.
Communication is key to get your other half to share part of the duties. Even more, it’s better to share according to the conditions peculiar to your marriage. This way, your partner can handle tasks willfully and without any “pushing.”
I hope you enjoyed the article. You can drop a comment and a few ideas of your own and share them with friends who need the information.
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.