09 Aug
He Cleans. But He Snarks, Too

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband is not like many men. He’s a neat freak, anal retentive, and basically never stops! He is constantly cleaning, working, out in the garden, or fixing something. I chip in with the chores often so it’s not all one sided but he’s so annoying that if I clean something, it’s not clean enough so he does it all over again – then complains that I don’t help. He’ll ask me to do something and if I don’t do it that very second, he does it and complains that I don’t help. I will tell him I’m going to do this, this, and this but he just does it anyway – and says I don’t help! He’s driving me crazy especially because of the digs he plays on me daily. If I’m vacuuming or something, he’ll say, it’s about time you did something. I just want to strangle him! He never sees all the stuff I’m doing every day, just focuses on stuff that’s not done yet. He’s constantly living life trying to “get things done” and I’m sick of it! I want A. to rest sometimes, B. him to realize I do help! and C. to stop the digs!


No Help


Dear No Help,

I am writing this advice from the top of a Laundry Mountain, so I have to assume that what you have here is a genuine problem and not an attempt to rub my face into the fact while my husband is watching the Mets game, your husband is a cleaning machine.  A cleaning machine that seems to want you to clean along side with him , at supersonic speed and at his specifications.  Hmm…I’m starting to see the issue.

As so often happens in life, you have some choices!

1. Go the “gee whiz, but you do it so well” route, which basically butters him up to do it all while you act all lobotomized at the prospect of loading the dishwasher.  Sure you lose face, but you’re preserving the marriage.

2. Take him on.  Have a friend come over one day and watch as you and your husband each vacuum one half of the living room.  Your friend will then rate each of you on speed, grace, and effectiveness.  Feel free to do this for other cleaning chores, for as long as your friend is willing to play along. (And if you find that after a few rounds of The Clean-Off none of your friends return your calls, write us again!  Because The Mouthy Housewives are here to help!)

3.  Designate Cleaning Zones.  Make a chart.  One week, you’re responsible for dishwashing and bon bon eating while he dusts and vacuums and does laundry; the next week you switch and he does the laundry, vacuums and dusts while you eat bon bons.  Tell him that according to your union rules, neither of you is to be supervised while cleaning and any digs received about your cleaning will lead to an immediate ceasing and desisting of the same.

Good luck!

Marinka, TMH

10 Responses to “He Cleans. But He Snarks, Too”


Comment by dusty earth mother.

I’m kinda with you on this one, No Help, because my husband is much much cleaner than I am, and sighs constantly and loudly about my less-than-stellar skills. Maybe you could talk and designate a room that is “yours” to clean on a continual basis and then really go to town on that one space (tip: Make it something small, like a closet. Or a hallway.)


Comment by writingmama04.

Wow, this could have been me and my husband – except I am the one who ‘always has to get something done’. Since there is always something to do, I need to take a lesson from No Help and sit down to watch the Mets game once in a while. The laundry will always be there.


Comment by Seana.

Who snuck in and wrote a letter on my behalf? This is TOTALLY my husband with one minor exception. I clean better than him, I just do it way less often, because I don’t want to do it unless it will be done right. No half way for me. This sends my husband into tizzies because he wants to do all the “work” right now, so that it’s not hangning over his head as “things to do”. I’ve tried to tell him there will always be things to do but to no avail.


Comment by reanerbean.

Have any of you guys tried Chore Buster? It’s a website that’s made things so much easier. It’s helped me to remember to do things and has minimized the resentment of “I’m doing more than you do.” You can divvy up chores (rated by difficulty) in half, have one person do more, or have one person do a lot more. You can even have chores that aren’t alloted to specific people. It could at least help with part of the problem, and then it’s working on the realization that good enough is good enough – it doesn’t have to be perfect!

Bonnie Wienke Reply:

Wow! Chore Buster? Great idea for the kids and their chores. My hubby was single for five years and before that he was married to a slob, so he makes the bed each morning, unloads the dishwasher and loads it, does ALL the laundry and cleans up if I cook. I have to FORCE him to stop enabling the children so they can learn how to carry their part of chores. I do everything else (??)and we are all happy except for the step children who now have to do two chores a day and keep their rooms clean.


Comment by vodka tonic.

I think you should hire a cleaning lady.


Comment by Annie.

I think this was written tongue-in-cheek by a man with an OCD wife.


Comment by Kokopuff.

Have you tried distracting him with sex? Messy, dirty sex?


Comment by woohoo!.

I think you should dump the fu***r. This reminds me so much of my ex, it makes my skin crawl! This kind of guy as so many issues he’ll never get out from under, and you’ll never make him happy. That’s not what life is about. So get out while you can!


Comment by I Can Bring Home The Bacon But Please Don't Make Me Fry It Up In A Pan! | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] or give the cat a haircut? Having this discussion will give the two of you much needed practice for the many and varied conversations (both heated and not) that are a huge part of marriage and your next 20+ years […]

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