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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Ladies (and men) of TAM.

My husband and I are newlyweds, married 2 years in February. And with a cross-continental move one year ago, I'm feeling like we're still trying to figure out how to live together.

My question is basically, "how do you fulfill your husband's desire for a maid without feeling like one?" I've heard a lot of guys (and yes, I've read the 5 Love Languages -- though awhile ago, and believe it touches on this "manly desire" in the book) need their wife to do the lion's share of the household chores just as the wife typically needs financial security from her husband.

I just feel like if I do keep the house ***** and span, cleaning up after him, I will grow to resent that he can't clean up after himself.

Like, he cuts his toenails in the living room and doesn't clean them up right away (ew). Or right now there are bottle caps lying on the floor, one from two days ago that he hasn't bothered to pick up (lying pointy side up even).

I recently had a thought, "oh I guess I understand now why people say guys are gross." I never grew up with boys (no brothers/dad deceased at early age), and never lived with a guy until I moved in with my husband before we got married.

Note: He DOES help when I ask, and he definietly loves a clean house, and can clean it himself. It's not like he's incapable, but it's just the role he's seen growing up.. wife/mom takes care of house, and I grew up where everyone pitches in, I never imagined that guys would be able to get out of cleaning their messes.

How do I reconcile those two differing opinions???
 

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Well first this isn't typical male behavior this is your guys behavior. Men and women are all different in regards to cleanliness of themselves and thier home. For me I need to have my house organized more than totally free of dust. I have always done more of the "housework" stuff because it's usually a lot more important to me than the women I have been with.

This seems like you both came into this marriage with different expectations. Honesty if you were engaged I would tell you not to marry this guy because this lazy attitude HE has will be a huge resentment down the road. I guess the one saving grace you have is you are still newlyweds and might be able to change this behavior some. Guess what I would do is make a list of things that need to be done and have him pick some off the list he doesn't mind doing and build it that way.

And honestly you better talk to this guy now about what his expectations are with kids. Sounds like he is going to be one of these dads just happy to come home with money and crash on the couch.
 

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first of all, don't sound resentful or nag about him cleaning up some(not saying you are). Simply ask him to pick up something when he is near it, more like "Oh will you grab that for me while you are over there" than a "get your nasty toenails up before I puke". LOL

I'm a husband myself, and sometimes I do similar. It is not intentionally leaving it for my wife to clean, but more i'll get it in a minute then forget. a simple reminder works wonders without making me feel slighted.

That being said, my wife is worse than me about leaving things sitting around. I used to gripe to her about it, but found the being nice tactic works better both ways. Plus the way I look at is both of us work full times jobs so we share in the chores. I actually do about 90% of the laundry, whichever one of us cooks the other cleans(older daughter is starting to do both so we help her out), and we both go together to the store.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well first this isn't typical male behavior this is your guys behavior. Men and women are all different in regards to cleanliness of themselves and thier home. For me I need to have my house organized more than totally free of dust. I have always done more of the "housework" stuff because it's usually a lot more important to me than the women I have been with.

This seems like you both came into this marriage with different expectations. Honesty if you were engaged I would tell you not to marry this guy because this lazy attitude HE has will be a huge resentment down the road. I guess the one saving grace you have is you are still newlyweds and might be able to change this behavior some. Guess what I would do is make a list of things that need to be done and have him pick some off the list he doesn't mind doing and build it that way.

And honestly you better talk to this guy now about what his expectations are with kids. Sounds like he is going to be one of these dads just happy to come home with money and crash on the couch.
Thank you for your reply.

I want to correct something. My husband is still adjusting to my culture. He's only been here just over a year. It's so much busier here, and he's often commenting on how crazy life is here. I want to be able to support him in this change, and yes, not let him be lazy, but still be gracious towards him.

And I don't really understand why you assume he's just going to come home and crash after work when we have kids? Or why that is a bad thing -- to have some downtime after work. I need it, too. As long as he's not neglecting us.
 

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first of all, don't sound resentful or nag about him cleaning up some(not saying you are). Simply ask him to pick up something when he is near it, more like "Oh will you grab that for me while you are over there" than a "get your nasty toenails up before I puke". LOL

I'm a husband myself, and sometimes I do similar. It is not intentionally leaving it for my wife to clean, but more i'll get it in a minute then forget. a simple reminder works wonders without making me feel slighted.

That being said, my wife is worse than me about leaving things sitting around. I used to gripe to her about it, but found the being nice tactic works better both ways. Plus the way I look at is both of us work full times jobs so we share in the chores. I actually do about 90% of the laundry, whichever one of us cooks the other cleans(older daughter is starting to do both so we help her out), and we both go together to the store.
lol, my husband nags me way more than I nag him.

I think you are right.. asking him for help with tasks that need to be done is a good way. And he does it. He'll take out the garbage when I ask, he did the dishes (that were left over from when my girlfriends came over on the weekend) last night.

I'm not saying he doesn't clean, or he won't clean, but I guess I just feel like I have so many more responsibilities than him, and it's unfair. Some things he can't do yet.. he doesn't have his full license, so I'm often driving him to and from work, or running errands, for example. I work more hours than he does, but he's also in school.

I myself have never had a job where I work so many hours (guaranteed 84 biweekly, and i often pick up 12-24 hours overtime every two weeks too). So I'm also feeling overwhelmed with everything to do.

I'm just trying to find my groove.

Thanks for the input :)
 

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I do think it will breed resentment.

Are you thinking of a trade of economic security for maid service?

I would rethink that one, OP.
 

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Ok honestly, the toenail clippings in the living room is beyond disgusting. I have never been around anyone (male or female) who does this! This is your guy's particular gross habit...

The next time he settles in on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn and his trusty little clippers, this is where you say "Oh H*LL no!", take his hand, and guide him back to the bathroom. Better yet, post a sign in the living room -- NO TOENAIL ZONE.
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If he helps when you ask, why not just confront the issues directly? Explain your work load and explain what is acceptable (he doesn't necessarily need to vacuum the living room) and what is not (clipping nails in the living room and bottle caps laying around)?

If he can't listen to reasonable requests then cut back on what you do... no laundry, etc... When he asks where his clean shirts are tell him you spent the time you usually spend on laundry vacuuming the living room because of his habits.
 

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Why not repeat to him what you said here?

I'm not saying he doesn't clean, or he won't clean, but I guess I just feel like I have so many more responsibilities than him, and it's unfair. Some things he can't do yet.. he doesn't have his full license, so I'm often driving him to and from work, or running errands, for example. I work more hours than he does, but he's also in school.

I myself have never had a job where I work so many hours (guaranteed 84 biweekly, and i often pick up 12-24 hours overtime every two weeks too). So I'm also feeling overwhelmed with everything to do.
If he is as understanding and helpful as you state, then he'll step up to the plate and lighten your load. Give him the opportunity to help you.
 

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Put a small waste paper basket in the living room. For him to get easy access to the garbage. Then, don't pick up after him. When it gets really bad, he will take care of it. Did this to my son. According to him he really can't live in a messy house, now that he is cleaning up after himself.

When you are asking him to clean up, remind him it takes seconds to put the garbage in the correct place and it takes you hours to have to clean up after him. Ask his help or say remember to pick up so so and so.

But stop picking up after him. He will get the message.
 

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I would also avoid asking him to pick up after himself "for you". Instead, just ask him to pick up after himself. Phrasing the requests as favors to you reinforces the idea that he's helping you with something that's really your job. It's not your job. It's a shared responsibility for the home that both of you live in.
 

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Thank you for your reply.

I want to correct something. My husband is still adjusting to my culture. He's only been here just over a year. It's so much busier here, and he's often commenting on how crazy life is here. I want to be able to support him in this change, and yes, not let him be lazy, but still be gracious towards him.

And I don't really understand why you assume he's just going to come home and crash after work when we have kids? Or why that is a bad thing -- to have some downtime after work. I need it, too. As long as he's not neglecting us.
I make the assumption based off your post. A guy who isn't willing to contribute to basic cleaning up after himself and his house isn't like to want to do much cleaning after kiddos.
 

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Okay, I think that you have misunderstood my question. Though I do appreciate everyone saying that it's really not my responsibility to pick up after my husband, I do need to hear that.

My question is that I've heard it said that guys need a wife who can "keep the home." Domestic duties and whatnot. While women need a man who can give her security.. financial, I guess. So, if that's what a man needs, then how can his wife give it to him without feeling like his maid? If she doesn't keep the home clean, then he's going to feel like he doesn't love her? Isn't that the basis of The Five Love Languages? I admit it's been a long time since I've read it, but that's what I remember from it.
 

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Okay, I think that you have misunderstood my question. Though I do appreciate everyone saying that it's really not my responsibility to pick up after my husband, I do need to hear that.

My question is that I've heard it said that guys need a wife who can "keep the home." Domestic duties and whatnot. While women need a man who can give her security.. financial, I guess. So, if that's what a man needs, then how can his wife give it to him without feeling like his maid? If she doesn't keep the home clean, then he's going to feel like he doesn't love her? Isn't that the basis of The Five Love Languages? I admit it's been a long time since I've read it, but that's what I remember from it.
See I don't even get what that means. I don't know a single guys who doesn't contribute to house maintenance and work.

everyone has very different views on marriage and what they expect out of it. Sounds like your views and your husbands aren't aligned because if they were then you would never feel like his maid. On the surface it sounds like you would like a more equal partner and he would like more of a I provide financially and you take care of the home relationship. Neither is wrong but you have to both agree what your signing up for.
 

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Okay, I think that you have misunderstood my question. Though I do appreciate everyone saying that it's really not my responsibility to pick up after my husband, I do need to hear that.

My question is that I've heard it said that guys need a wife who can "keep the home." Domestic duties and whatnot. While women need a man who can give her security.. financial, I guess. So, if that's what a man needs, then how can his wife give it to him without feeling like his maid? If she doesn't keep the home clean, then he's going to feel like he doesn't love her? Isn't that the basis of The Five Love Languages? I admit it's been a long time since I've read it, but that's what I remember from it.
If you are working long hours outside the home, how is he giving you this financial security?

The point? The idea that a man needs a woman to keep the house clean comes from a time when a man supported his wife, and the wife took care of the house and children.

Do he work the same long hours that you work?

What's going on in your home is that your husband wants a maid. That's not how it works with both spouses have jobs outside the home. He cannot expect that you support yourself (by working a job) and the you also do everything that a stay at home wife does.

You will grow to resent him for this. Especially after you have children.

The fact that he thinks you are the maid right now is a strong indicator that he will also consider you the nanny and not help much if and when you have children.

Does he come from a culture, or home, where his mother did everything for him?
 
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