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My husband is lazy and full of worthless promises

Tagged as: Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (6 January 2005) 5 Answers - (Newest, 1 July 2012)
A , anonymous writes:

I fear that my husband and I have different expectations of life together. We have been together for almost 14 years, married for 2. He has recently retired. 'Whooppee!' I thought, "life will be less stressful; we will be able to spend our weekends doing more interesting things than housework." This doesn't seem to be his idea at all; he was adamant that that he was not going to be just a househusband, nor is he going to do all the housework. "Why not?" is the thought that crosses my mind. After all, it doesn't take long to keep the home clean and tidy, say an hour a day. That does not seem too much to ask. But, far from this happening, the place is a tip when I get home after work. He is very untidy and just leaves things lying around, so I can see I am going to be doing more in the way of housework than when we were both working. In addition we have acquired a dog; to keep my husband company and to keep him fit taking the dog for walks. The dog, of course, being a puppy, needs a lot of attention which, again, my husband is not prepared to do - he has better things, i.e. more interesting things to do with his time and while he SAYS he knows the dog needs grooming, playing, walking, training, when it actually comes down to it, he is not prepared to make the commitment to actually doing it. So again, when I come home, the dog has been fed, but that's about all.

He's full of promises, but his promises are worthless; he'll say whatever he knows I want to hear - anything to get me off his back, but doesn't actually deliver.

He is totally absorbed in his own world; self-absorbed, self-indulgent and to my mind, with no sense of commitment to us, or our home, or to making any contribution to making life pleasant. There is no doubt that he cares; that he loves his home, his wife, his dog, etc., and he wants it all to be lovely and happy - but doesn't see that making it lovely and happy involves some contribution from him as well.

I am so frustrated, so unhappy, so angry. But, I accept that nothing is black and white. Maybe I am being unreasonable in my expectations.

I really want to talk this through with someone, in fact with a group of people, and get other peoples views. Please help me.

View related questions: my ex

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A female reader, liz123 United Kingdom +, writes (1 July 2012):

if you cant change the man change the man. Break it or fix it. I was married to a lazy freeloader for 31 years and regret wasting my life with such a waste of space. I was told and did not listen. You can take the spots of a lepoard but its still a leapord.

My ex husband was also very hurtful and never nice to me. Now hes a charmer all la de da to catch another stupid woman who thinks I can change him.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 March 2008):

Well, this guy sounds like a spoiled child acting up.

I would stop doing anything that he wants you to do to get his attention. i.e. sex ,dinner; ect. I would tell him that his actions indicate that he could care less about my feelings and that this is going to make me not care about his over time. I would tell him that relationships are all about compromising and he is not pulling his weight in this department. I would give him a time frame to improve and if he did not try, I would stick to the time frame and look into a divorce. Life is too short to be miserable.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 July 2007):

I had a husband exactly the same. For 7 years, I was calm, persuasive, understanding etc. And you know what? The only thing that changed was that I got more miserable, unhappy and stressed. I woke up tense and went to bed tense. Until finally, it dawned: he was having a nice life thank you very much and was quite happy to get a free ride while I was doing all the work. Your requests aren't unreasonable - don't let anyone brainwash you into thinking they are. He says he loves you, but words mean nothing without actions to back them up. The saddest thing will be if you continue to put up with it.

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A reader, shaz, writes (28 January 2005):

Hi, I really sympathise with how you are feeling. You must feel alone in that relationship at the moment. I couldn't help but pick up though that your husband seems to have lost self motivation for anything! You didn't mention if he does do anything at all, does he have hobbies? What does he do during the day? Is it only since he's stopped working that he has been like this? It could be that his self worth has taken a knock. It is always good to talk things through, although I know this isn't always easy as things can turn into arguments, particularly when they feel they are being critisised. So, it might be good to sit down and calmly tell him how unhappy you are.

Explain how much you were looking forward to you both doing so much at this time but it hasn't worked out that way. Ask him if there is anything bothering him and why he doesn't want to do the things he says? Did he change after you got married? I wondered this as you mentioned you have only been married for 2 years, sometimes reltionships do change after marriage. Understandably you get frustrated with all these empty promises, and also the way he seems to be taking you for granted. Has he said why he won't help out with the housework? Have you asked him if he respects you and loves you enough to want to be able to help you, and not just let you do everything? I know there is no reason why he shouldn't do all the housework, but, to him he probably sees it as a 'come down' and would feel worse about himself than he might now.

I would suggest when you talk that you start by saying that you could both do a share of the housework, maybe right out a routine that you both follow, setting out certain jobs for him to do daily. He will actually feel better for doing it.Because ultimately you will have that quality time together doing things to enrich your relationship if you both feel there is respect and consideration here. Talking is the answer, but obviously in a calm way so that he doesnt automatically get defensive. If though after this he genuinely doesn't want to give any contribution into the family or home, then you would need to ask yourself if want to spend your life with this man. Best of luck, hope this helps.

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A reader, absynth, writes (27 January 2005):

Your duty as a wife is to get him off his lazy ass and do somthing to better society.

Give him more sex and see if he starts to clean the house, if he does not begin to clean the house, stop f*cking him till he's ready to grab life by the balls.

Also, tell him that if he does not start taking care of the dog you will find a better home for it.

If the dog was your idea, then you are the one responsible for its maintenance, end of story.

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