Note to husbands and husband-like partners: IF YOU’RE TIRED OF YOUR WIFE ACTING LIKE YOUR MOTHER, STOP TREATING HER LIKE SHE IS!
I’m sure you’ve heard this scenario before. A wife calmly reminds her husband that he has an appointment or “nags” him to do some task he’s put off for weeks and he explodes! He acts like her simple request or reminder is a horrible insult to his male ego; that she thinks he’s incompetent or something. If he’s particularly upset, he’ll even tell her “STOP ACTING LIKE MY MOTHER!” The wife is often shocked at her husband’s outburst. After all, her request was reasonable or her reminder was appropriate. She knew her husband had been putting off this task for weeks and she was probably tired of waiting for him to figure out that it really needed to be done. She knew her husband was likely to forget he had that appointment because he always tends to forget that he has an appointment. In truth, his wife is merely taking on the role that her husband unwittingly had her take on.
So here’s the thing: We don’t set out with aspirations to act like a mother to our husbands; it just HAPPENS! And WHY it happens is simple; we learn to expect that our husbands aren’t going to do it BECAUSE THEY NEVER DO IT!!!
Their response when we point out that we’re taking on this role is “well, why didn’t you just ask me?”
There is a brilliant comic that illustrates why this is a problem, but I can sum it up a lot quicker: MOTHERS ask; WIVES expect. If we have to ASK our husbands to do things that should be obvious, like perhaps wash the dishes in the sink because they’re sitting in the sink and their wife is otherwise occupied, then that is putting us in the role of the mother.
WE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO ASK GROWN MEN TO DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE!!!!!!
Need a shirt washed? Well, how about instead of waiting for your wife to ASK you to do the laundry because she can’t get to it that day, you just assume that she might not be able to get to it that day and DO A FUCKING LOAD OF LAUNDRY!!!
Frustrated that there are dishes in the sink and your wife hasn’t gotten them done yet? HOW ABOUT YOU WASH THE FUCKING DISHES?
Is the garbage piling up and you know it’s your job but your wife hasn’t yet asked you to take out the garbage? HOW ABOUT YOU TAKE OUT THE FUCKING GARBAGE BEFORE YOUR WIFE ASKS YOU IN HER “ANNOYED VOICE” FOR YOU TO TAKE IT OUT?
See, we don’t start off as the nagging, annoyed wife. Here’s what actually happens:
Wife notices that the trash is full. Wife knows that it is her husband’s job to take out the trash and that the husband has agreed he will do it. Wife leaves the trash for her husband. Time passes. Wife notices that it’s been 2 days since her husband agreed to take out the trash. Wife notices that husband has left his plate/glass/empty can on the table/counter. Wife picks it up because it can’t be left out all day. Continuing with her other chores, wife hopes that the fact that SHE IS CLEANING THE HOUSE will cause her husband to notice that chores are being done and maybe he will remember to take out the trash. Husband comes home and immediately sits down to watch TV or play with his toys or whatever other non-chore thing he wants to do. He shows NO indication that he is going to remember the trash. The wife, trying to stay calm, reminds him that he needs to take out the trash. Husband says he will “later”. Wife reminds him that it’s been sitting for 2 days and the garbage truck is coming in the morning. Husband gets annoyed and says he KNOWS that, and that he doesn’t need her to remind him. Wife senses husband is irritated and tells him that she doesn’t mean to nag him, but he said he was going to do it 2 days ago and she really needs him to just do it now. “Stop acting like my mother!” is his response.
A wife has been finding that all the tasks she’s had to do for her husband and children lately are more than she can handle on her own. She tells her husband (after he gets annoyed that there are dishes in the sink or no clean shirts to wear) that she has too much to do. He tells her “you should have asked for help then” in response. The wife bites her tongue even as she fantasizes about beating her husband with the frying pan she’s washing.
Did you notice the actual problem with either of these scenarios? If you’re a wife, you probably got it right away! “The husband is an idiot!” is likely the response. If you’re a man, you probably are clueless because after all, the wife didn’t ASK him for help. If she had just TOLD him what she wanted in the first place then there wouldn’t be a problem, right?
IT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE OUR JOB TO TELL OUR HUSBANDS WHAT THEY NEED TO DO!!!!
MOTHERS spend all their time asking things of their children. We point out that the cup needs to go in the sink, not be left on the table. We tell our kids that their toys need to be picked up after they’re done playing with them. Their homework needs to be done before they go to sleep. They have that report or test next week they need to work on/study for. They need to help out with the chores. They need to remember to feed the cat. Please clean your room. Please help me with the dishes. Do you see how I’m struggling with these bags, maybe you could get the door? Maybe instead of running straight to the TV you could notice that you left your shoes in the middle of the floor and there’s homework/chores that need to be done so don’t sit there for hours while Mom is busting her ass cleaning!
But husbands are NOT children. We go into our marriages assuming that our partners are just as capable of seeing the mess or the problem that needs solving. We assume that because they are adults that they should be able to SEE the pile of laundry on the floor and think “oh, right! I should probably put these in the laundry basket, or better yet, I could wash them myself since I’m not doing anything right now and it looks like my wife is busy at the moment.” We expect that if our husbands are in the kitchen and they notice that the dishes haven’t been washed, that they’ll start washing them. When instead we get eyerolls, tantrums, and complaints that there are no clean dishes, we get annoyed. We think “he’s a grown man! Why can’t he just stop complaining and WASH THE FUCKING DISHES?” Because while the husband complains about the dishes not being done, the wife is picking up the husband’s dirty clothes off the floor, throwing the empty can in the recycling bin, or picking up some other mess that her husband just left without thinking anything of it.
And then later, when the wife, tired from cleaning all day, forgets to turn off a light or put something of hers away IMMEDIATELY, her husband is quick to point it out. He then expects HER to pick up her cup or turn off the light, rather than do it himself because he spotted it. And if the wife points out that to her husband, he will say “if you wanted help you could have asked instead of given me that attitude about it”.
WE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO ASK!
Guys, try to understand this concept and ladies show this to your men the next time they pull this crap: Husbands who expect their wives to tell them what needs to be done are treating their wives like their mothers.
Every time you wait for your wife to tell you what to do, you are making her act like your mother.
Every time you expect her to remind you of something important, you are treating her like your mother.
Every time you think she should just ask you what needs to be done instead of using your fucking eyes and looking around the room before you sit your ass down, YOU ARE MAKING YOUR WIFE ACT LIKE YOUR MOTHER!!!
YOU are the one who put her in that role! YOUR behaviour is what has led to her taking on that role that you seem to resent so much when it no longer serves you. She LEARNED this role from YOU! In the beginning, she assumed you were capable of doing what needed to be done. When you repeatedly left dishes in the sink to pile up, she eventually gave up and washed them. When you repeatedly left your clothes on the floor despite her picking them up and putting them in the laundry basket in front of you, she gave up on you picking up your clothes and putting them in the basket. When you repeatedly forgot important appointments or things that needed to be taken care of in a timely manner, and then later said “well YOU forgot to remind me about it” in response when you were suddenly scrambling to make it to that appointment or take care of that task before then deadline, you taught your wife that she needed to become your secretary and remind you of your appointments and obligations. YOU did this to her! YOU showed her that you were incapable of doing these things on your own! YOU showed her you needed those reminders and that she had to pick up after you all the time. IF YOU WANT HER TO STOP ACTING LIKE YOUR MOTHER, STOP ACTING LIKE YOU’RE HER CHILD!!!!!
How do you do that? THINK BEFORE YOU SIT!
When your wife wakes up in the morning she thinks of all the things she needs to do that day. While she is doing these things, she notices other things. So she goes into the living room to clean up the kids’ toys and notices that the floor needs vacuuming. As she pulls out the vacuum cleaner she takes note that it will need emptying soon and the filter cleaned. So she picks up the toys, notices that the mats need to be wiped down, wipes those down, vacuums, and empties the container afterward and cleans the filter. She washes out the sink, notices that the dishes from last night need to be put away. She puts away the clean dishes, notices that the cupboard needs a quick tidy up and does that too. She sees that it’s getting close to lunch time so she starts to plan the lunch menu and remembers to also take out something for dinner as well. She starts lunch, prepares for dinner for later that evening, and recalls that she needs to do a load of laundry. She gathers up the clothes that were left on the floor and washes them, then puts the clean clothes into the dryer. She takes the clothes that were already in the dryer to the bedroom to fold and put away. There is still a long list of things she had planned to do, but she is unable to get to them. Exhausted, she takes a moment for herself and forgets to put something away that she had been meaning to get to. You see that she forgot to put the thing away and make a little comment about how she needs to finish what she started. She wants to kill you.
Now, here’s what typically happens with husbands when they’re asked to do something: You are asked to take out the trash. You notice that your wife hasn’t yet swept the floor and step in the dirt around the garbage can. You gripe about this. You take out the trash. At the door you notice your wife forgot to put the kids’ shoes away. You kick them out of the way, annoyed. You come back inside. You notice that you tracked dirt into the house and it will need to be cleaned up. You tell your wife that there’s dirt on the floor. She tells you she will get to it when she has time. You complain about her “attitude” and watch TV.
Here’s what your wife is thinking: ”He stepped in the dirt near the trash can? WHY wouldn’t he just clean it up before he took out the trash? Really, a simple pair of shoes in the middle of the floor has him upset? Just move them! How many times do I have to pick his shit off the floor or put it away? And now he’s tracked dirt into the house and yet he expects ME to drop everything I’m already doing and take care of it for him? Can’t he just bust out the vacuum cleaner like I do every time I make a mess unintentionally? And instead of just fucking doing this shit himself he’s going to bitch about it and then sit on his ass and watch TV? Seriously? Does he not see that I’m currently washing dishes that we ALL ate off of, cooking dinner that we ALL are going to eat, and that I still have a pile of laundry to fold that we ALL contributed to?”
Is it any wonder she has an “attitude”?
Guys, if you don’t want your wife thinking you’re an incompetent child, maybe you should stop acting like an incompetent child. Next time you see that she hasn’t gotten around to washing the dishes, do this:
Just shut the fuck up about anything negative you have to say.
Don’t complain, don’t whine, don’t comment on how there’s dishes in the fucking sink. SHE KNOWS THAT THERE ARE DISHES IN THE SINK!!!!!!!! Just pick up the damn cloth, turn on the tap, and WASH THE FUCKING DISHES! And if you are thinking “but she’s the one who washes the dishes and if she wants help then she should just ask me” I want you to shut up right now and think “what would my wife do if she saw dishes in the sink?” If the answer is “she would wash the dishes when she had a spare moment or ask me to help out” then congratulations, you aren’t as helpless as you pretend to be! You DO know what to do!
Now GO DO IT and your wife will magically transform before your eyes into the sexy woman you fell in love with instead of the nagging shrew who seems to think she’s your mother!