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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if it is just me, or if others feel this way.

Just an example: I will be in the kitchen cooking (you can see into the living room from the kitchen) and my husband and his mom are in the living room, having a beer and talking/watching t.v. or something on the computer. I know his mom has the full intention of staying for dinner. I’m running around trying to do 3-4 things at once, and one of them will just look at me and ask if I want help. I personally feel that if they don’t make the effort to come in and ask what they can do, it's just a half a**ed offer, and it ticks me off.
I know I should appreciate the offer and accept it, but when it is CLEAR that I could use help, they shouldn't have to ask. This has really started to get to me lately and I know with the holidays coming up it will be a bigger issue, since I will be the one doing all of the work, as my MIL does not cook well at all, even a few years ago she told us all she "doesn't know how to load a dishwasher" so she went and hung out with all the men, while the rest of us women cleaned up.
I do think I will tell my husband how I see it, and see if that changes anything, but I just wanted to see if anyone else felt this way.
 

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Just wondering if it is just me, or if others feel this way.

Just an example: I will be in the kitchen cooking (you can see into the living room from the kitchen) and my husband and his mom are in the living room, having a beer and talking/watching t.v. or something on the computer. I know his mom has the full intention of staying for dinner. I’m running around trying to do 3-4 things at once, and one of them will just look at me and ask if I want help. I personally feel that if they don’t make the effort to come in and ask what they can do, it's just a half a**ed offer, and it ticks me off.
I know I should appreciate the offer and accept it, but when it is CLEAR that I could use help, they shouldn't have to ask. This has really started to get to me lately and I know with the holidays coming up it will be a bigger issue, since I will be the one doing all of the work, as my MIL does not cook well at all, even a few years ago she told us all she "doesn't know how to load a dishwasher" so she went and hung out with all the men, while the rest of us women cleaned up.
I do think I will tell my husband how I see it, and see if that changes anything, but I just wanted to see if anyone else felt this way.
So it is not enough that he offers to help, he has to do it in the correct way? Even then, that is not enough because he should read your mind and just know you need help without even asking? I don't know if that is your intention, but that is sure how your post reads.

So why are you really made. Are you mad when he does this when your MIL is not there? Because in the end, I suspect what you are really mad about is your MIL not helping or offering to help even though she is getting a free meal.
 

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I agree with the others. When they ask, say yes even if it doesn't seem as if they want to help.

I'd love it if my husband knew what to do when I'm in the kitchen getting things done. Reality is, that's my domain but always does what I ask of him w/o complaint. He can't read my mind, and really stuff like that doesn't even enter his mind much unless I mention it. But yet, he's the first one to help with many other things outside the kitchen.

Don't stress yourself out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I figured it was a petty thing to let irritate me. I just don't understand why someone would offer, when it is clear they don't want to help at all.
 

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You're angry at the WAY they offered? (shakes head)

And how do you know they didn't want to help? The only way you would have known was if they didn't offer or offered and refused to follow through. I think there's more behind the scenes.

I know sometimes when I offer to help my wife she says no because (a) she does things her way, (b) sometimes she likes the thrill/battle of making a big meal and (c) sometimes trying to tell me how to do something is more irritating/time consuming/ anger generating than it is to do it herself.

You want help? You can ask for it or accept it when offered.
 

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I will be in the kitchen cooking (you can see into the living room from the kitchen) and my husband and his mom are in the living room, having a beer and talking/watching t.v. or something on the computer. I know his mom has the full intention of staying for dinner. I’m running around trying to do 3-4 things at once, and one of them will just look at me and ask if I want help.
...it ticks me off.

when it is CLEAR that I could use help, they shouldn't have to ask.
I completely understand this feeling and I have it at least several times a day. And I have come to understand that acting on this feeling is self defeating and dysfunctional.

So whenever I feel this way, I have trained myself to give specific detailed orders like "Dad, could you please get the plates out of the cupboard and set them on the table please" and "Mom, would you please get the salad out of the refrigerator and divide it into the salad bowls please". I don't really care whether they want to help or not
 

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I figured it was a petty thing to let irritate me. I just don't understand why someone would offer, when it is clear they don't want to help at all.
Let me ask you, how well do you accept the help? Do you give them a task and allow them to do it, or do you micro-manage? Are you pleasent when they are doing it, or are you short and testy while they are around? If you are irritated about this, how much of it comes through when you interact with them? Is there a reson why no one volunteers?

Part of my questions are projection on my part. My MIL was quick to note that she did all the work and no one (particularly my FIL) ever bothered to help. But frankly that was because she was awful to work with. Nothing was done right, she looked over your shoulder the entire time you tried to help, and she gave you the easiest and least important job (which she quickly noted whenever anyone tried to give you a compliment). I obviously have no idea if you do any of this, but wanted to let you know my experience.
 

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I'm a terrible 'helper' I don't who you are or how close I am to you. If I ask if you want help I sincerely mean it and I WANT you to give me an assignment. Just say 'yes' and tell them what you want them to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I guess that is what I will try to do, accept the help and give specifics of where I could use the help. I don't want to sound like a jerk, since they are offering, but I can't help how I feel either.
 

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I guess that is what I will try to do, accept the help and give specifics of where I could use the help. I don't want to sound like a jerk, since they are offering, but I can't help how I feel either.
One of my biggest problems used to be that I wasn't comfortable ordering people around, mostly because I didn't like to be ordered around myself. But I have gotten completely over this because sometimes it is the only way to get certain people to do anything
 

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When I'm busy in the kitchen I usually prefer to be there alone. If I need help from my partner, or anyone else, I ask for it.

Regarding your MIL, IMO, it's good manners for her to offer to help rather than simply jump right in where she might not be wanted.

If you need help, OP, just ask for it.
 

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Definitely take the help and then later sit down and figure out what you're 'really' upset about. It's not about the helping or not - there's another issue here.

For me, I love the help but only with certain things so I've learned to ask hubby. I used to get upset that he'd come in and take over so I would not let him help. Then, I would get upset that he didn't offer to help. Poor guy couldn't win. So, after getting really mad one night and having a big argument, he now asks and I'm specific about what I'd like him to help with. That would have been so much easier if I'd just been clear about it to begin with.
 

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Ask and ye shall receive.

As a man, I can tell you, I dont even think of the things that need to be done in the kitchen. Just doesnt register. On the other hand, if its anything to do with electronics, it registers like a 5 Alarm Fire. I guess its just how my brain is wired. So if its anything to do with kitchen or cooking/cleaning, I always want things to be spelled out. Again its not that I dont want to do it, just that it doesnt compute. So yes, in your case, when they ask if you need help, say YESSSSSSSSS.
 

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Life is too short to make something out of nothing. They asked if you wanted help, you should just say yes and direct them.

Or ask them to help you but in a non accusatory way.

Don't martyr yourself and then get pissed off when others cannot read your mind.
Totally agree. I've been where you are. You get mad...think someone should force their way into your kitchen and help whether or not you politely say "no".

Just try it once...before they even ask, think of several things you could use help with and when they ask, you say, "Sure! I could really use a hand with [insert thing here]." It'll take pressure off of you, and take the guess-work and discomfort out of the people wanting to help but not really wanting to intrude in YOUR kitchen. Get it?
 
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