How does one get a spouse to help with cooking, cleaning and washing the dishes and putting leftovers away?

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    Does anyone have any advice or suggestions on how to get a spouse to help me with cooking, cleaning, washing the dishes and putting leftovers away?   We both work and don’t get home until late. Most of our children are out of the house and we have one who is home working towards his goals  who does also help me cool and cooks on his own without me.  My husband on the other hand will cook every once in a while and will wash dishes when I’ve had enough of not getting help to do any of the above mentioned. 

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      Have you talked to him about it? Communication seems like the first step. It doesn’t sound like you’re wanting him to take over all those duties, just to help out, which is probably reasonable. Communication and being vulnerable about your feelings in this case are the building blocks for intimacy with your spouse.

      I don’t support the idea of using sex to manipulate your spouse to get what you want, nor do I support manipulating your spouse to get sex. That being said, Kevin Leman’s book “Sex Begins in the Kitchen” might be a good read for your hubby (if he reads, and/or would be at all open to the suggestion). Better yet, read it together!!

      On the floor Answered on February 5, 2020.
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        I agree about communicating. But something I have had to learn is to accept my husband for who he is.  I had to learn to apprectiate that he was trying to help me out, even if it didn’t look exactly like how I wanted it to.  I might get upset that when he unloaded the dishwasher, he didn’t put the dishes away how I liked, or he didn’t load it like I would, and I totally missed and didn’t appreciate that he was actually helping.  The fact your husband is willing to pick up food to take the load off of you, wow, that is something to appreciate.  As you work at communicating what your needs are, also look for the good in your husband and appreciate his strengths and how he is loving you.

        Under the stars Answered on February 5, 2020.

        This is really great advice – it is easy to miss the good things a spouse is doing and allow discontentment to take root.

        on February 6, 2020.
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          @SeekingChange makes an excellent point. We have to ensure that we are being our best selves and loving and appreciating our spouses for who they are, regardless of whether they are living up to our expectations. Gratitude goes a long way, both for the giver and receiver.

          In some of my darkest moments of marriage, I decided that I would be as generous of a husband as I could be, regardless of if my wife ever reciprocated in any way. That’s our calling from Christ, to love one another sacrificially. I think it’s fully right to communicate your needs and share your heart, and then let the cards fall where they will as you do everything in your power to love your husband and make your marriage all it can be. You can’t change him, only he can change him.

          On the floor Answered on February 6, 2020.
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            Here’s some advice to the husbands on this forum.

            Husbands, know your wife. Yes, it’s a lifetime quest. It starts with paying attention, being aware of her love language, sensing when she could use your help, etc. Do things that matter. Put your clothes in the hamper or laundry. Put the dishes in the sink or better yet in the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher (if she agrees and it helps). Do the laundry. Prepare meals (if in agreement). Make the bed. Change the light bulbs.

            Yes, this is coming from an old man. Trust me though, you will have a better marriage when you know your wife and show her love and consideration.

            Oh, and change the baby’s diaper!

            Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on February 8, 2020.
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              I come from a family where both of my parents cooked and cleaned and me and my sister did the same. He comes from a home where his Dad worked and his mother stayed home and may have only had one or two jobs as he and his sibling were growing up.

              I think you are onto something here.  You grew up having one expectation and he grew up with another.  Usually this type of difference shows up earlier in marriage.

              It sounds like he is being straightforward when he tells you that he doesn’t want to do any work after he gets home, it sounds like this is important to him and is confirmed by him getting up early to do the work.

              My recommendation would be to try to negotiate this with him, but he may tell you that he wants it to be your responsibility.

              Empty nesting can be a tough time for marriages – how are things outside of this issue?

              On the floor Answered on February 5, 2020.
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                This might be neither here nor there, but have you considered one of those meal programs like Dinnerly or Blue Apron? I’m in roughly the same boat as you… I love that my husband will offer to go out to pick something up, but I prefer a home cooked meal and don’t always have the time. A friend of mine has started using Dinnerly a couple nights per week and says it’s really helped her outlook.

                Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on February 6, 2020.
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                  My husband will help if I ask directly.  “Would you please wash the dishes?” “Would you please reboot the laundry?”  My husband does not now that need to be done at home.  We both work, but I do the lion’s share of the housework.

                  In the interest of full disclosure:  I am a bit of a control freak about housework.  I ask husband to help out,  not assume full responsibility for home chores.  He cuts the grass in the summers without prompting, so it’s a fair trade off.

                  Queen bed Answered on February 6, 2020.
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                    My husband will help if I ask directly.  “Would you please wash the dishes?” “Would you please reboot the laundry?”  My husband does not now that need to be done at home.  We both work, but I do the lion’s share of the housework.

                    In the interest of full disclosure:  I am a bit of a control freak about housework.  I ask husband to help out,  not assume full responsibility for home chores.  He cuts the grass in the summers without prompting, so it’s a fair trade off.

                    Queen bed Answered on February 6, 2020.
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                      My wife will simply ask. We both work, so it’s easy to get behind. Some stuff I do anyway. I bought a Roomba, so I do the vacuuming. I also bought a Scooba, so I do the hardwood floors. May as well make it easy on myself! 😉

                      But, if she needs help, she will ask for it. No big deal. I can load a dishwasher, and do.

                      Hammock Answered on February 8, 2020.
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                        A few years ago I was really struggling with the same issue. I was and am a stay at home mom but at that point had two young children and a baby who would not let me ever put her down for more then 30 seconds or she would cry. She wouldn’t go to my husband or she would cry. I did everything one handed. The one thing I wanted him to do was the dishes in the evening because I needed to get all the kids ready for bed and do story time etc. He would come home, eat, spend tons of time in the bathroom, and then sit on the couch. He worked hard but I was so exhausted and finished by the end of the day. I would end up yelling at him to help me and he would get upset that I was mad at him after he worked hard all day. Finally after months of this we had a huge argument and I felt devastated. He said all I ever did was yell at him and he didn’t even want to talk to me anymore. It was at that point that I had to realize that all my nagging and getting upset didn’t work at all. I cried out to God and even though I was really mad at him and the problem hadn’t been fixed I decided I wasn’t going to ask him for help anymore and that I would just do it all myself unless he offered. But I would pray for him and for myself. I also made myself thank him at least once a day for something he did at home even if it was hard to think of something. At first it was small things like, “Thanks for reading a story to the kids while I did the dishes” or “Thanks for going to work today”. Within a week I noticed a huge change in him. The more I complimented him the more he offered to help. I think his love language is words of encouragement so the more I would nag at him or get frustrated at him the less he would do.  He still doesn’t help much and I still get frustrated sometimes but it has gotten easier as the kids get older. Maybe a schedule would help you. You could see if your husband is willing to be responsible for dinner twice a week weather he picks it up or makes it and your son can be responsible at least once a week. Then when it’s your turn always make enough for two meals so you have leftovers for the next day. You could also see if he is willing that whoever makes supper the other person is responsible for cleanup of dishes.

                        Double bed Answered on February 9, 2020.
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