I’ve been picking up after my family for almost 30 years now. Every.single.day. I’m too tired to do anything, er, romantic at the end of the day, and my husband is glued to the telly all evening, dozing and snoring. If he’d move an inch and pick up one damn thing once in a while, I might not be so worn out.
How can we bring back any um, romance?
Tired of the telly”
Dear Tired of the Telly,
It sounds like you feel as if you’re being treated like a maid rather than a mum or wife – which is something that most housewives (and husbands!) can empathise with. At some point in their lives, the one that seems to have adopted the role of housekeeper starts to feel unappreciated and unloved, but most of the time that really isn’t the case. I don’t get the feeling that your husband is actually treating you like a doormat out of spite, or because he is a bully. It sounds like it is just the roles you have fallen into. The problem isn’t that you do everything and he does nothing, the problem is communication.
He won’t know that you’re fed up unless you tell him. Just as you’re not, he’s not a mind-reader either. You say you want some romance putting back into your marriage – so pick a date in the diary and book a restaurant and a babysitter. No distractions, just you two, some nice food, and the time to talk. You don’t need to argue, you just need to tell him how you’re feeling. You never know, he might surprise you, apologise and start helping out a bit more!
You’re tired of the telly – so switch it off! You can buy limiters, timers, a whole host of gadgets and whatsits that can help you time how long the TV is on for. The healthy thing to say is no more than 2 – 3 hours of TV a day. Make sure you’re having your meals away from the TV as well. The worst habit any family can have is to sit in front of the telly for every meal. Set a space either in the kitchen, dining room, or back of the living room with a table and chairs where you can sit together to eat and talk. NO TV.
Make sure you have at least one day of the weekend that you set aside for family time. This is a day when you get out of the house and go somewhere together – the park, the swimming pool, the cinema, anywhere where you can spend quality time together. If you both work, use the other day as a cleaning day. This has to be the best decision I ever made – Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but in our house it is the family cleaning day. The kids have to tidy their bedrooms, the husband has to tidy his junk and the kitchen, and I change the sheets and clean the bathrooms. Then we get together to attack the living room. Yes there are complaints and moans and groans, but if they don’t join in then I just dump their stuff in a black bag and into the bin. Harsh, maybe, but I only had to do it once!
On the other-hand, if he’s just a lazy slob who couldn’t give a damn about you or the house, then you need to assert yourself. You could go down the route of refusing to do anything and go on strike, although if he’s in this mode the chances are your house will just end up looking like it belongs on Hoarders. You need to boot him up the backside. Try communication first, but if he is really stubborn then you need to put yourself first and may need to make a very difficult decision.