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Am I Being Unreasonable? What Would You Do?


_Asti_

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This is my situation.

Live with my long term boyfriend and we've been having 'conflicting' views on who does what in terms of house work, and whatever.

 

In the past, I've had no problems doing things, because I felt a balance in our roles. It was give and take, help the other person out, it was good.

 

He's started a new job, and it gives him a crazy schedule, shift work, long hours, and suddenly its all put on me.

 

At first I was ok, but as time passed...it just felt like too much. I would get home from work, clean up the mess he left behind, get dinner ready, clean up after dinner, do whatever..there goes my night. All my time is being spent taking care of the place, and taking care of him. His down time is spent on himself, my downtime is spent on him and making his life easier.

 

We've talked it through this past week, but he still feels I should cut him some slack. But I feel like he's not wanting SOME slack, he wants ALL the slack.

 

Its reached a point of frustration where I've stopped going above and beyondd because I felt at a constant give, give, give .

 

I just feel like I don't ever get some slack. My Mother passed away three months ago, and he's been great in terms of listening and talking, but doesn't understand that grief sometimes makes me just want to stay in bed.

I work a demanding job, where I cater to sick and ill people all day, some days it would be nice to come home and put MY feet up, but he feels that since he just worked a 12 hour shift, he should come home and put HIS feet up.

 

This all sounds so petty as I type this out, and we've had many great discussions, all with him saying he'll be more conscious of not just TAKING as I have expressed feeling more of a Mother, than a partner because there is no partnership feeling.

 

A co-worker had made a comment that her husband has it made because she does it all for him.

 

Am I being petty? Am I asking too much of him? Why do I constantly feel taken advantage of when I should be helping him out? I have no problem doing things when I feel like he is given something, ANYTHING back, even a simple take the garbage out on your way out makes me happy...

 

Any suggestions? We feel at a standstill. The last we talked earlier, we both acknowledged we're trying to find our footing and boundaries here, any recommendations on how to carry on from here?

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Well I can honestly say unless he's doing physical labor that have him crawling into the door each night, I'm sure he can at least pick up a dinner plate or two to help you setup and clean up. You're not asking much, some couples work out fine with one person doing all the house work while other couples balance the load.

 

I would encourage him, make it an excuse for you two talk while cleaning the dishes, him picking up the house while you fold the laundry, for example. If that doesn't get his attention I'm sure your physical exhaustion don't make you feel any romantic by end of the night. Him helping you around the house and you feeling less pressure to get the daily tasks will sure be appreciated. And us guys love to be appreciated and complimented.

 

At the end of the day, either one's sitting on the butt watching TV and one is feeling tired and want to go to bed. Or two people can work together to get things done early and relax, appreciate one another (the most important) and perhaps it'll create more romantic evening.

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He made a funny joke the other night when he pulled out the vacuum and I asked what he was doing [nothing needed to be vacuumed...] and he said ITS CALLED FOREPLAY!

 

It's just tough with shift work..there's so much discrepency between our schedules. I haven't spent time with him since last Thursday because he's going to bed as I'm getting up for the day. And I think that's where the frustration is now, I come home to whatever he left during the day.

 

And when he's on days, sometimes he doesn't get home till 7:30. I've cleaned, made dinner, and we spend a bit of time together, the odd time he will do dishes, but I clean as I cook, so there may be a pot or pan that needs to be cleaned, that he will do the odd time.

 

I don't know. I guess I'm just struggling with alot in my life and I just feel really irritated.

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If he leaves a mess behind and doesn't clean, he's not a five year old, leave it for him. He'll get the point. (It works, my wife does it haha) The simple things, whether you're dating someone or living with a roommate, you're an adult, it needs to get done.

 

I think once he understands and see that you can come home to feel less stressed out on top of your mother passing (my condolences) he'll be more inclined to help out. It's great he's there to listen and be there for you but the housework itself is another area that he cannot ignore. Everything is about balance in a relationship.

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I like the idea of writing out a list of things and splitting it up. Like if you cook dinner, then he cleans the dishes. Or if he does the laundry, you'll do the vacuuming. Be open to trying something new especially if things aren't working out now.

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So am I supposed to just leave the dirty dishes and stuff on the counter till he tackles it tomorrow afternoon? I had to clean the kitchen to cook my dinner tonight.

 

And I told him that just because I clean it, doesn't mean its ok to continously do it.

 

I keep reinforcing the balance issue, and that things are horribly off balanced, but he wants me to understand that it is that way because of his work schedule. 'The extra time he'd normally spend helping me, is spent at work...' Not sure if I really believe that though.

 

*sigh* I don't know. I've talked this issue over almost daily since last week with him, but it really feels like a standstill with part of me just feeling unsure of if I really should be cutting him some slack for working so much [which at times is his personal choice as well for taking overtime and extra shifts]

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I like the idea of writing out a list of things and splitting it up. Like if you cook dinner, then he cleans the dishes. Or if he does the laundry, you'll do the vacuuming. Be open to trying something new especially if things aren't working out now.

 

The only problem is our schedules. I've been making dinner for myself the last 5 nights. I clean up the dishes from his cooking during the day that he was rushed and couldn't do, then make my dinner, clean the dishes.

When he's on a stretch of days, our laundry facilities here close when he gets home, and his laundry takes almost a full day to do [we're talking 9 loads!] I generally do that once a month when I know I'm going to be home a full day on the weekend.

 

Plus he has a casual second job, that he may get called into on his days off on a whim..

 

I'm not trying to make excuses for him, and that is what it feels like..but I feel the frustrations on both sides, but I know many simple things he can do to help out that don't require strict schedules, and I've voiced it to him.

 

 

Maybe I am being really petty and should cut him some slack.

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The 12 hr shift just sounds like an excuse, what does he exactly do? And it's the simplest thing. 'Pick up after yourself'. You're not really asking much from him.

 

I can understand the laundry part, if you don't do it, well he's not going to have any clean clothes (unless he can squeeze time during the day). All others can be done in matter of minutes. It's not fair to you and you have every right to be frustrated.

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He does security. Its not strenous.

 

Like I truly don't mind helping, I really don't. But its jsut the expectation of his down time spent for himself, and my down time spent on him. He agreed it wasn't fair, and I've pointed out how selfish he's being, and when he talks it does sound all ME ME ME, and he does acknowledge that...he knows I'm unhappy and frustrated...I would just like an action plan of sorts to present to him as I know that would work.

 

Maybe just laying out the small tasks he could do daily that only take a few minutes.

 

I guess I just wished at this spot in my life and my personal struggles that I would like a little help. That I need to also take care of myself, and that its just not realistic with his work. I wish I could be all that for him, and help him out.

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It only takes a few minutes to do the dishes for one person - he can't be that rushed. He isn't doing them because he is choosing not to do them not because he can't.

 

Yea, I told him that today. And when I put it that way he actually admitted and said "I could have done them, but just didn't feel like it..." Which ok, some days I don't feel like doing dishes right away...but the whole "Cut me some slack, I just worked 4 nights..." comes in.

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Neither of you should have the mindset that he 'helps' - he is as responsible for the chores as you are. It's not your prime responsibility and he helps out as a sort of unwilling assistant.

 

Thats a good way of putting it. And thats how it feels. Help from him is a bonus, is the way it feels. I like the way thats worded, thanks. That may actually work on him haha

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A simple list may be good, just a nice reminder so it sticks as part of his habit (of picking up after himself).

 

Do you guys go out often together when you both are home? If not creating more time together may create more bond and him appreciating you and see a bigger picture of the puzzle. I'm sure the schedule isn't helping with the situation either.

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Thats a good way of putting it. And thats how it feels. Help from him is a bonus, is the way it feels. I like the way thats worded, thanks. That may actually work on him haha

 

I completely understand this. My bf and I have been living together for 2 years and the 1st year and a half I did ABSOLUTELY everything. Cooking every meal, dishes, laundry, cleaning the bathroom, taking out the trash, vacuuming, walking the dog - you name it, I did it.

 

Every now and then when I was really busy, I would ask him to do something small (walk the dog) and I would be so grateful that he was "helping" I honestly believed I was supposed to do the work and that his "help" was a bonus. He felt the same way I guess.

 

The past 6 months, it has really gotten to me. I realized I was doing ALL the work, plus I go to school full time - and work 2 jobs. He only works a few hours a week and goes to school part time. SO - it really started to bug me that he would sleep until 1, play video games, etc. While I was working my butt off at home and at my jobs and at school.

 

I tried to express it to him, but he didn't understand that it was his responsibility too. He would say - I just don't think to do anything or its not a big deal to leave the dishes a couple days. The last 2-3 months he has been a bit more helpful and it has been wonderful. It's nice that he will pitch in. And I had to realize that it isnt MY job.

 

Even if your SO's job is stressful, it doesnt mean he shouldnt do the house work. YOU have a stressful job too. Like DN mentioned, he isn't "helping" you - he is doing his part. You guys are equals and each should pitch in and take turns doing the housework. It should not be pinned on one person. Have a talk with him and let him know that you EXPECT him to put in his fair share of work, just as you EXPECT to put in yours.

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We go out atleast once a week I'd say, on average. His work schedule has made us more conscious of spending better quality time together, he is good for acknowledging what I do. He'll ask to take me out for dinner to give me a break sort of thing, he'll comment on how spotless the place is when he gets home or wakes up, he'll come home with flowers, or coffees...in many aspects he is absolutely wonderful, but I just can't seem the shake off the feeling of things being unbalanced.

 

And I do like the line of these are responsibilities he should just be doing in the first place. And I may take that approach with him.

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he is good for acknowledging what I do. He'll ask to take me out for dinner to give me a break sort of thing, he'll comment on how spotless the place is when he gets home or wakes up, he'll come home with flowers, or coffees...in many aspects he is absolutely wonderful, but I just can't seem the shake off the feeling of things being unbalanced.

 

He does sound like a great guy, just needs little tweaking like anyone else

 

And I wouldn't blame yourself, I'm sure emotionally and physically it's been very difficult for you.

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He does sound like a great guy, just needs little tweaking like anyone else

 

And I wouldn't blame yourself completely, I'm sure emotionally and physically it's been very difficult for you.

 

And the good thing is he wants to work at it. He's always been open to changing, and working at things and always says "Just kick me in the butt and tell me where I'm screwing up.." sort of thing.

 

I guess I just didn't know if I was being really unrealistic and if my expectations were a little much of him. And this won't last forever [his work...] and he says he's doing it for us [wedding, downpayment for the house..] Its not something he throws in my face type of thing..but I know his reasons for working so hard.

 

Thank you guys. I'll be giving him a call here in a bit to have a final talk. I do feel better about writing/talking this out.

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I guess I just didn't know if I was being really unrealistic and if my expectations were a little much of him. And this won't last forever [his work...] and he says he's doing it for us [wedding, downpayment for the house..] Its not something he throws in my face type of thing..but I know his reasons for working so hard.

 

So there is a big picture! That's awesome. It sounds like you guys are working at it and sound like a normal healthy relationship.

 

Just for laughs ask him who's going to change the diapers and stay up at night once you two have kids

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if he is like this, and you guys are not EVEN married. then that really sucks, ask yourself would you want to marry someone like him?

 

what i see now is taht you dont, living together means, sharing everything. if he can't do that now, i dont think he will do that if you guys are married.

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if he is like this, and you guys are not EVEN married. then that really sucks, ask yourself would you want to marry someone like him?

 

what i see now is taht you dont, living together means, sharing everything. if he can't do that now, i dont think he will do that if you guys are married.

 

He won't be working like this when we're married. Its a temporary contract job, that will be different from his career.

 

He was different before, he was fine..did his share of things, had no problems helping out, and there was balance and a great partnership.

We're both trying to adjust to this new crazy work schedule, and both trying to found our boundaries.

 

I am not getting worked up because this won't be the norm for us, and I know how he is with a regular work schedule.

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