“Men are overly sensitive to being told what to do. If they are persuaded to understand that they’re making you happy by doing more, they’ll be a lot more interested, than if they’re doing it because they’re being told.”
Hi, My name is Beth…and my husband is very lazy. Everything that needs to be done – I do. The result? Most things go left undone. What can I do to get my husband to help me with the housework, the kids, and everything else? Help!
Are you living the scenario above? If so, you’re not alone.
Your husband’s slowness at “getting things done” has been infuriating and frustrating you for a while. But, the last straw was when you were trying to clean the house for impending guests, while your hubby was reclining on the couch – with his feet up, watching a football game on the television, and munching on popcorn. Really?! You think to yourself, “Could he be any more inconsiderate? Nope.”
Unfortunately, this is a common complaint amongst newly married women and those, who have been married for years or even decades. Many husbands partake in the fruits of laziness – because they can. Plain and simple. We allow them to do that.
But, what does that laziness really stem from? Well, it originated long ago, when most, if not all of the world was patriarchal. During that time, household and parenting responsibilities lie with the wives, while the husband brought-in money from their outside jobs.
Men didn’t really have do anything – but financially provide for the family. Their responsibilities typically ended once they arrived home. At which time, they could enjoy the luxury of, well, being lazy.
Women’s responsibilities, on the other hand, pretty much never ended. There was always work to be done with or without any “help.” They did not get to enjoy the luxury of laziness like their husbands, because the family (especially children) had to eat, the clothes had to be washed, children had to be “entertained,” and the house had to be cleaned – every day.
Surprisingly, even highly-educated and accomplished wives typically ignored the dismissive ways of their husbands and male children. Designating household and child-rearing tasks for themselves and their female children. As a result, even children were being taught that wives are responsible for the “home,” while husbands are responsible for “paying bills and putting food on the table.”
But, why now? That was a million years ago. Well, not quite a million years ago – maybe a few decades ago. I guess some traditions and beliefs die hard. In other words, even today, some remnants of this mentality still exist.
You’ve probably heard “well-meaning” onlookers say, “He’ll change his ways once you get married or have children.” Yeah…maybe, but maybe not. Plus, when did you become “rehab” for your husband? You don’t remember signing-up for that complex and possibly, impossible job, do you? But, here you are…trying to get your lazy husband to do something!
Yes, we, as a society, have become more progressive over the decades, but there is still a lot to be desired when it comes to gender equality and the “sharing of household and parenting chores.” It is what it is. But, that in a nutshell, is *probably* why your hubby appears to be lazy, selfish, unenthusiastic, and slow-to-act.
To be fair, we all have those days when we really don’t want to do anything, but “veg out” in front of the television. Maybe, he’s worked long shifts all week or maybe, he’s just not feeling well. Or, perhaps, he just needs a mental health break, because he’s highly stressed. Laziness in this situation is normal and even healthy.
A day here-and-there doesn’t mean your husband is lazy. However, if more times than not, you hubby refuses to help you around the house or with the kids, he just may be a lazy person, who needs a fire lit under is butt (figuratively not literally) to get him to help out.
The good news is this article can provide you with some much-needed pointers on how to deal with a lazy husband, who refuses to help you with…well, anything really. The suggestions listed below will hopefully motivate your hubby to get up and help you with household and parenting responsibilities.
Things You Can Do to Get Your Hubby to Help Out
Listed below are ways you can inspire your husband to help you with household and parenting responsibilities:
Ask – Don’t Yell
If you want your hubby to do something, ask him. Don’t, however, yell at him out of frustration and anger. It’s irritating to ask your spouse fifteen-times to do something. only to come back later, and find he hasn’t done a thing! I get it.
But, yelling at your husband about what he’s not doing isn’t going to make him do anything. It’s only going to infuriate him to the point that he blocks you out. It could also lead to a knock-down-drag-out argument or he could get up and leave the house altogether. Then, what? You’re still stuck with the chores – and now, you have to contend with an angry husband.
So, ask him in a calm tone, if he can help you with this-or-that. Do not however, make demands, yell, or give him ultimatums, because it’ll backfire on you.
Note: Accept that you may have to remind your husband several times to get him motivated to do something, however, try to ask him each time with a pleasant tone (even if you have to bite your tongue to do so).
Make Him Believe He’s Your Real-Life Hero
A good way to get your spouse to stop being so lazy and help you is to make him believe he’s your real-life hero! In other words, explain to him that there are certain things like getting things off the top shelf of your closet, cleaning the gutters, mowing the lawn, etc.
Disclaimer: Women can also do these things, but the goal is to get your hubby to help you. So, make him believe there are things only he can do. It gets you the help you need and provides him with an ego boost.
Seriously, men like to feel needed, so if you can make him feel like you need him, he’ll be more inclined to help out. Once he sees the “extraordinary” things he can do simply by helping out a little or even sometimes, he’s more likely to continue to help, because it makes you happy and makes him feel good.
Also, don’t forget to be appreciative when your husband actually does something. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small – make a big production out of it. Praise him for a job well done. And, explain to him that you couldn’t have completed your tasks without him.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated, right? The key to making this tip work? Be genuine about it. Don’t fake your enthusiasm, because he’ll be able to tell. He’s your husband, after all. He knows you. So, be genuinely appreciative and reward him with a treat of his choice for a job well done!
You’ll also need to be considerate towards him. In other words, put yourself in his shoes. Would you want to houseclean after you’ve been working 10-hour shifts at work all week? Probably not. Should you still expect him to do something? Yes, even if it’s simply picking up after himself and/or taking out the trash.
Should you expect him to clean the whole house with you? No. He’s tired and probably stressed, so don’t ask more than he can emotionally and/or physically do. It will only lead to disappointment and frustration (on your end) and resentment and anger (on his). So, think about why he may be “acting lazy” before you give him a million tasks to complete. Then, praise, praise, and praise some more for the help you did get!
Accept That You’re Different
In other words, accept that you and your hubby are two different people. You were *probably* raised differently, and, as a result, you probably have different values and perceived levels of cleanliness. So, your husband may have been taught how to clean differently than you.
And, guess what? That’s perfectly okay – if it gets the job done. You don’t have to do everything the same to accomplish tasks. Who says your way is the better way? No one. But, if you just don’t like the way your husband performs tasks – do them yourself. You want him to help you because you need the help, so be appreciative of the help he gives you, and thank him for helping out with the household and/or parenting tasks.
Don’t Go Behind Your Husband – Fixing Things
The absolute worst thing you can do if you want your spouse to stop being so lazy and help you is to go behind his back – fixing things. Nothing irks a person (any person) worse than having someone go behind him or her, “redoing” things they have already done – not because it’s wrong, but because the other person simply doesn’t like the other your method or style. It can make your hubby feel like the little he is doing, isn’t appreciated or is somehow “not good enough” for you.
You may not like how your hubby puts the dirty dishes in the dishwasher – you face them one way, he the other way. But, try not to take them out and reposition them. I know it’s hard, but try not to, because it could cause him to stop putting them in the dishwasher altogether.
Rather, sit down and discuss how you’d like both of you to perform the task – i.e. which way you want the dirty dishes to face in the dishwasher. Then, you’re both on the same page. So, leave it be, and remind yourself that the only thing that really matters is the task gets completed.
Ask Him When He’s in a Good Mood
Lastly, if you want your husband to get up and do something, ask him when he’s in a good mood. The truth is everyone has those days when they’re just not in the best of moods. That’s also normal. How does that affect your husband from helping you? Well, if he’s in a bad mood, there a high chance he won’t help you with anything, because he’s just not in that mindframe.
But, if he’s in a pretty good mood, there’s a higher chance he will. So, wait and be patient until he’s in a good mood – then pounce on him. In other words, ask him to help you. Don’t be blunt about what you want him to do, rather, ease him into it by sharing with him something you’ve been struggling with. Because, he’s feeling good and happy, you may just get him to stop being lazy.
Adjusting to each other’s mannerisms, quirks, pet-peeves, and habits, when you get married can be challenging. The truth is it takes time to sync-up with one another, and it takes even longer to discover the things you dislike about one another. This is especially true, if you only recently got married.
However, it can also be challenging if you’ve been married for a while. To have a successful marriage it is imperative that both spouses’ participate, in some way, in household and parenting tasks. In other words, both partners’ must pull their own weight to keep the marriage afloat. When one spouse is lazy or unmotivated to help out, it eventually leads to problems in the marriage.
The good news is laziness can be changed. It’s not a permanent state-of-mind. But, your hubby must be inspired to do so. And, unfortunately, you must be the one to inspire him. Yelling at, belittling, and demanding that he help you will not work, but asking him (even several times) in a polite and non-threatening way and being considerate and patient just might.
So, be creative and flexible, and keep at it, because persistence pays-off – even with a lazy husband.
Science Struck. (2019). Patriarchal Society: Definition, examples, and ill-effects. Retrieved from https://sciencestruck.com/patriarchal-society-definition-examples