SRS Dishes: the beginning of the end?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by DarkAngel19, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. DarkAngel19

    DarkAngel19 New Member

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    Main question:

    I am in a longterm relationship of 2 1/2 years with my boyfriend and we are very well suited and get along very well. The only exceptions deal with something like like who does the dishes, which to me, the simplest of problems to fix (take turns), but to him is something else (not sure what).

    So, gentlemen, my question is this: how can I get my boyfriend to do the dishes once (or twice if I'm lucky:)) a week without having to ask?

    Little details:

    Right now, I do them all the time, and if I need a break I have to ask him to help.

    So far, I have brought up the topic in a (I feel) non-threatening way, saying something like "I'm a full time student at a University, work for the government part-time and am on the executive board of a major business, so sometimes I need help getting the chores done on the days where I get home at 10. Can you help me by maybe doing dishes?"

    Somewhere along the way, it has become my job to do the dishes, so now he feels like 1) It's my job, why should he have to do it, and 2) It's my job, so when he does them he's doing me a favor.

    Thoughts?

    DA
     
  2. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Buy an dishwasher. Money's a problem?
    Get a cheap countertop one. $150 or less.

    Don't go looking for trouble in the guise of "solutions" when there's a readily available fix.



    I doubt he's particularly swayed by an argument that's based on how "important" you are. ...youre on the executive board of a big firm, you're working for the govt, youre doing this, you're doing that...

    People usually respond better when you present them a personal request. As opposed to, you telling him he OUGHT to do work because you're more important.

    Yes yes I know you phrased it as you're more BUSY but come on, you must know the subtext of what you said.



    Now if the root of your issue was really some further conflict that simply manifests as "he won't do dishes" which becomes "he won't do XYZ"... let's talk.
     
  3. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Funny how the simplest things can set us off huh?

    Well my suggestion is to renegotiate the jobs. Everything in a relationship is a negotiation. While that doesn't sound particularly romantic it also doesn't need to digress into a "come to Jesus" kind of meeting where you're trying to correct very errant behavior. So while these negotiations often are informal and we suddenly find ourselves assuming some role, it also isn't written anywhere that you can't renegotiate them.

    My shrink used to say that the 3 things he deals with the most, in regards to intimate relationships, are:
    Time, space and money matters.
    You don't have to answer these questions they are more to further illustrate a point....How do you each spend your time? Fill it up with either work or play or try to find a balance between them? How do you keep your space (such as your house and car)? Are you a neat freak or slob or somewhere in between. And how do you manage your money??

    So the point is don't simply ignore this as something that will go away. These things have a way of really causing problems over time so if it's important to you, be sure to speak up and honor your feelings in this regard.

    However, my experience has been that dishes can often be a substitute issue when what's really going on might be that you aren't feeling as connected to him as you would like or that you don't feel like you really have a partner in life and that you're on your own. Only you know if there is an underlying issue here....if not, no biggie, just address the dishes issue head on but don't be surprised if he doesn't renegotiate other things as well.

    If there really is a deeper issue here, I would suggest you address the deeper issue head on and don't dodge it or try to "lead into the discussion" by talking about the dishes.....he'll likely feel used and lied to and it will cause many more problems.

    Oh and when you finally dump this guy, you gotta let me know....we'd have so much fun together. ;)
     
  4. Joybang

    Joybang New Member

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    Certainly sounds like there is more going on then who is doing the dishes. Honestly if that was the only issue you would have been better off taking it head on a long time ago because the longer these things go on the harder they are to fix. Is there something he does all the time that you don't need to take care off and maybe you don't think about doing it anymore? If he just sits around expecting you to do all the house work then obviously he's a hack.
     
  5. Redbeard

    Redbeard OT Supporter

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    I was in the same situation with my wife, she just let me know that it was our job and not just hers. Talk to him about it.
     
  6. sportsjunkie

    sportsjunkie OT Supporter

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    just do your dishes and when he needs dishes he will succumb to washing them
     
  7. Jcrash

    Jcrash 93.till.infinity-ing

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    Put a sign inside the door of the cupboard and above the sink.

    "Do your dishes; if not, the cockroaches will."
     
  8. DarkAngel19

    DarkAngel19 New Member

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    I actually hadn't thought of it this way... I can see what you mean. Maybe he does feel that way, and if that's the case then I need a different approach.

    So, if I had to say what the deeper issue was, it's that he's more selfish than I am. It bothers me, and it bothers him that it bothers me.

    However, I love him anyway and I'm probably overly selfless - two extremes.

    What bothers me the most, is that I have to ask him for help instead of him seeing that I need help. That was one of the most basic things I was taught as a child and clearly it's a good quality to have - grandma can't lift her groceries into the car, you help instead of waiting for her to ask. Yes?

    So... he missed that lesson, but now he is an adult and he can learn it now. Right?

    Right????

    Yeah, I have been asking him for a while, probably to the point where I have screwed myself now because it has become "nagging". Am I right, once it's 'nagging' you're screwed? He will never want to give me what I'm asking for?

    See, you clearly don't have whatever issue my SO has... this should have worked! He just say's "Okay, I'll do the dishes too" then never does and I have to ask him.

    Naturally, I did this with a roommate of mine, prefaced by the threat "If you don't do your dishes every week I will put them in your bed" which I actually ended up doing because (as Dr. House puts it) people don't change. She started doing her dishes, but resented me and our friendship faltered for a while, which is what I am worried would happen here. This feels petty, and I'm interested in solving the problem that is underlying (whatever that is!).

    DA
     
  9. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Actually I've been taught the same thing and I'm surprised at how much of the world wasn't taught these things. I mean to me it's common courtesy to do things like this but to a great many people, it isn't.

    My ex used to look at me funny when I jumped into the kitchen to wash up after we finished eating....we were at her mom's house and it's just the thing that my family did. Being the youngest of 5, we kind of made it a contest....kind of like would could be more generous or helpful first. Very often we all jumped on the dishes and knocked them out quickly. Mom cooked, we clean....that's the way it was so to me it was natural and normal. For my ex, it wasn't and she told me to go sit with the other men. :rofl: uh...ok

    My suggestion is to sit down and have a direct talk with him. Do NOT hint do NOT suggest, be direct and tell him exactly what you need from him. We guys rarely get hints or suggestions. It's better if you just lovingly knock us over the head with a skillet. If he says it's not his job explain it's not yours either and you need to work together to accomplish things.

    Don't be surprised if he resists....strongly. Many guys do this simply to make the woman back down and leave them alone. If it's important to you, tell him and make it really clear what you need. You might be surprised.

    So don't nag....change the game. Say, "Look we need to talk. It's important to me that you understand how important this issue is to me. I don't want to nag but this issue is important to me." Then go at it.....but don't blow it out of proportion.

    Where many women get into trouble is the use issues like this to bring up all sorts of other shit. Don't do that. Be focused and on point. The minute he says, " yeah I can do them more....I'll try harder" thank him for being understanding and then drop it and move on. We guys don't like to dwell on shit so please don't do that. :)
    I would suggest you remind him of these things and say, "Why is this talk any different? you still aren't doing them and I need you to help me with them. What is the problem here? I never agreed to be the only one doing the dishes and I'm sick of doing them."

    This goes back to the Space I was talking about in my first post. He likely doesn't mind messes around the house but you do. This will likely come up over and over again.
    People don't change? What a croc of shit. I'm living proof they do change. Want more proof? Go to any AA meeting. It's BS and I wouldn't listen to that kind of ridiculous non-sense any more. Rarely are absolutes true.
     
  10. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    Care,for all is like a bonsai tree
    Im also NOT a great fanatic on wanting to do the dishes, by coincidence our dishdryer has broken down, and can t wait till that thing is fixed.:wtc:

    Buying a dishdryer will give quite an alleviation, if not solution to the problem.
     
  11. Phantom Empress

    Phantom Empress mmmmmm tasty!!!

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    What bugs you is you want him to WANT to do the dishes, not just that he doesn't do them. You're never going ot get him to WANT to do the dishes.
    You can, however ask him if he wants to help you keep your home(his and your living area) neat and clean. DON'T bring up that you do more or that he doesn't contribute, just sit down together and ask "will you help me keep this place nice for us, and for you? Help me keep this place nice by doing teh dishes so i can spend more time taking care of you and we can cut out a bit of aggravation out of our lives?" "withyou helping mewith the dishes we will have more POSITIVE exchanges and quality time together not having me nag you about things you don't need to hear about."

    I say this because my boyfriend HATES doing the dishes/laundry, he'll never WANT to do it, but he does it fromhis WANT to help me out and his desire to have me a little more free to spend quality time with him. here wil be time he forgets, but he jumps to it ti help whenhe sees i get stressed about it.... but he'll do from a want and care for my sanity, not because he wants to do the dishes.
     
  12. energie

    energie I like to place an order.. the name? Situation the

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    this situation happens with my buddies, one of them always complained that the house was a mess and the rest didnt clean up


    He moved out and back to another city, and now that i see the condo they live in, its cleaner then before. Ive came to the conclusion he made the mess and wanted them to clean it up but they saw it as he makes a mess and cleans it up why would we clean it up? Both of their bedrooms are very dirty with clothes all over the floor but the rest of the house is clean.


    They use the dishes and clean it up forthemselves. So maybe your the one who is making the mess and he doesnt think he needs to clean it up caus ehe didnt do it?


    let them sit there and see what happens. he may do something all the time that you dont, and sees it as being his thing to do for the house. (oil changes for example, car needs it and he does it. dishes you do. Sure the oil change only happens a few times a year but requires abit more effort/time then dishes do)
     
  13. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    You: "Honey, it's your turn to do the dishes tonight."

    Him: "Why? Dammit, I hate doing dishes."

    You: "Well, they're not getting done if you don't do them."
     
  14. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    it sounds like he's never had to live alone in his life. it doesn't matter if he doesn't like doing the dishes. they need to get done. i hope you don't aos have to wash and fold his clothes for him. if he really doesn't like dishes maybe he can do something else. like take out the trash every night, vacuum, and scrub the shower
     
  15. jmezz

    jmezz layin in bed stretchin my pumped quads for hours

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    You never told us what he does throughout his day - work, hobbies, etc...

    I'm a guy and I don't understand what the big deal is about doing dishes. It takes 5 minutes and sometimes you can make it interesting by goofing around.

    I agree with johan that he's probably not swayed from hearing how 'important' you are.

    However, maybe he feels like he does a lot of demanding things in a day and that he just wants to come home and relax, not worry about small chores that need to be done.
     
  16. eXyle

    eXyle ׂ

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    not going to happen. this reminds me of the scene in "the break up" where they fight about doing the dishes and she wants him to want to do the dishes.

    it's a chore and, as such, no one wants to do it, even if it needs to be done. if you want him to do it, you'll have to ask or provide some incentive for him to do it. it is highly doubtful he'll ever want to just do the dishes without being asked.

    also, are there chores that he does that you do not do, like take out the trash? if there are chores only he does, you'll need to start helping out with those as well if he starts helping out with chores you normally do.

    i've always subscribed to the "do your own dishes" method or "whoever cooks does not do the dishes" method. you two need to just come to an agreement on the issue, more so as roommates than a couple.
     
  17. vodkacollins

    vodkacollins New Member

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    my SO and i went through issues like this when we first moved in together. what he told me, which was very helpful, was that if i wanted him to do something, i needed to just tell him "hey, can you take care of xyz? thanks, that would help me a lot" and then drop the issue. if a time limited needed to be set, i would state that as well. "can you do xyz before dinner tonight so we have clean pots to cook with?" or something like that. i would leave him be to get it taken care of. if he didnt take care of it, then we would talk about it again. he told me that he doesnt see messes like i do, so he will never walk in the door and think "oh i should do the dishes" while i do think that way.

    i know its hard not to nag, i hold myself back all the time and often end up nagging anyway. but if you can try to just ask him once, nicely, and then leave it up to him to take care of it, that should entice him to do it much easier. it will be his gf asking for help, not his mom demanding that he cleans the kitchen.

    but if he doesnt do it, if he is busy doing things like playing video games or whatever, then you need to have a talk with him about something else entirely. its gotta be equal. if he seriously hates the dishes, then what will he do for you that you hate doing?
     
  18. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    That's a very good suggestion, vodka. If you're going to give him something to do, either tell him when it needs to be done by, or let him do it when he has the time and inclination. But don't nag. Few things will piss a guy off faster than being nagged.
     
  19. DarkAngel19

    DarkAngel19 New Member

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    This is all great advice, thank you guys so much. There is a lot here that hadn't occurred to me whatsoever, especially what PE and Vodka said. Great advice, I will definitely try that.

    My questions are these:

    1) Why do I need to provide incentive to my SO to do dishes that are his and mine both equally? Isn't this creating a mother-like relationship where I tell him what to do and he resents me? That sounds awful... that is exactly what I'm trying to avoid here.

    2) What should I do when I ask him to do the dishes, he says 'okay' but doesn't do them?

    3) Ultimately, how do I escape the role of naggy girlfriend? He would do all these things for himself if he lived alone, so how did things change when we moved in together? Why did he all of a sudden decide that all the housework is my job, and I need to ask him to help? Like Cootie, this is inconceivable to me.

    Okay so that was more questions than just 3... I am really finding out a lot about guys that I have always wondered!

    Boring details: He is a student at night, so during the day he stays home and plays video games or works on his small electronics business. His job is being a nighttime caretaker where he sleeps at a house with disabled people to be there if they need him. So, he gets paid to sleep:)

    Yes, this bothers me when I have 20 credits and am busy every second of the day, but I don't bring it up exactly like I wrote it above. Usually, I get home at 9 or 10 and the house is exactly the same as when I left (or worse) and I say "Hey, I have just enough time to get my homework done before 2, can you wash up?" and he goes "Yeah, sure". So I do my homework, go to bed, wake up and it's all still there.

    Hence, the problem.

    DA
     
  20. blackbirdbeatle

    blackbirdbeatle New Member

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    Does he do other chores that are equally frequent and time consuming as the dishes that you don't? If so drop it, if not, then I don't really know what to say other than he's a slob. Nagging won't help and clearly he isn't smart enough to pick up cues from what you say or the way you act about this issue.

    Most men are retarded when it comes to empathy and things of that nature.
     
  21. eXyle

    eXyle ׂ

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    1. Well he's not doing them as is and you're trying to get him to do it. He'd respond more favorably to your request if there was an incentive other than fear of punishment. It all depends on how you ask him, it could come off as a mother-nagging type of way or not.

    2. You need to give him a deadline. If he doesn't follow it, then he's either immature or lazy, maybe even both.

    3. Don't nag. Asking him to do something is not nagging. Pestering him every minute about it and checking up on him would be nagging. Things changed when you moved in together because you most likely started doing his dishes for him and he simply accepted that arrangement (why wouldn't he since it's beneficial to him?).


    There needs to be some more clarification on household duties and who does what. Are there chores he only does that you do not? Are the chores balanced (for everyone you do, he does one as well) and are you fine with that? Or do you prefer everything be split (you both do dishes, take out the trash, vacuum, etc.)?
     
  22. JohnJohnJohnson

    JohnJohnJohnson Effetely Sipping My Latte OT Supporter

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    No, have a direct, non-girly conversation because he's a guy. ask him directly, guys don't hint at each other, they just say things directly. tell him to pick out the days of the week when he will do dishes, if he doesn't agree or if he agrees and doesn't do it, then :dunno:

    Seriously I have no idea, after that point, what else there is to do.
     
  23. JohnJohnJohnson

    JohnJohnJohnson Effetely Sipping My Latte OT Supporter

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    Nagging does NOT work btw!!!!!!!

    Positive reinforcement only. When he does do the dishes - be REALLY happy. He will get a kick out of it which will have a positive effect on his behavior - just like training a dog - where nagging will actually have a neutral or negative effect. When he doesn't, don't punish him emotionally.
     
  24. vodkacollins

    vodkacollins New Member

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    1. well....i think its just how guys tend to work. or at least both my guy and your guy it seems :) maybe set up some house rules? how often you guys will clean the house (dust, vaccum, clean the toilet, etc) and then divide up those chores between the two of you. put taking out the trash, dishes, things like that on there as well. maybe he is more visual and it will help him to see a break down of what you each do. then its a joint thing, taking care of "our" apartment instead of him doing only what you tell him

    2. if he doesnt do them, ask him why he didnt get around to it. it will make him realize he probably doesnt have a good answer (cause video games all day does not count :mamoru:) if he does have a good answer, than accept it, and let it slide

    3. you are right, he probably would EVENTUALLY do these things if he lived on his own. but you obviously notice the mess before he does, and want it taken care of before he sees it. sit down with him and ask him what bothers him and what he doesnt notice. then tell him the same. try not to point fingers when you do this, just say "it bugs me when dirty dishes sit in the sink over night" or something like that. maybe you do something that drives him crazy and you both can work at improving. ask him how he would like you to ask him for help. maybe he would like a list for when he wakes up in the morning to cross things off. maybe he just wants you to tell him "can you please take care of xyz." or maybe he wants to be a total slob and have you clean up after him. whatever his reasoning is, at least then you will know what he best responds to and you can hopefully try to ask him in a way that doesnt make him not respond....if that all makes sense.

    but remember to be fair. sometimes he is going to slip, and thats ok, cause you are not always perfect either

    maybe since you guys seem to have opposite schedules, you can have set things that you each take care of. like since he is home during the day, he can vaccum since it would be too loud for you to do at night when you get home. i hope he doesnt realize he is making you feel this way and that talking to him like this will work. if not....then maybe you need to re-think living with him since you both have different expectations for your living quarters

    good luck :wiggle:
     
  25. Phantom Empress

    Phantom Empress mmmmmm tasty!!!

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    1. he doesn't see leaving dishes in the sink as a problem. Say to him "i don't want to act like a mom and have to tell you what to do. Help me out here and lets decide what days will be good for you to get dishes done by xyz time of the day."

    2. if he doesn' do the dishes by the previously agreed time DON"T DO THEM YOURSELF. Leave them there. tell him that you had an agreement and he should honor it.

    3. He expects because youa re the girl you do the "girl chores". Set down teh rules that these aren't just Your chores, their chores that the both of you are working adults and students need to share if you are goign to have the house run smoothlyl.
     

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