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demanding husband

(67 Posts)
Hermia46 Tue 06-May-14 09:28:49

My husband is driving me potty! - he is retired, as I am I, but whereas I am more than happy with my own company, hobbies and pastimes and don't expect constant attention, he seems unable to do anything without approval. Barely downstairs this morning post shower when it was 'come and have a look at this on the pc' 6.30 am!! When all I want is my breakfast and a cup of tea! How do I get him to stop this childish demanding behaviour ? It is making me very grumpy ...can't seen icon for grumpy!!

Mishap Sun 18-May-14 22:25:54

My OH does most of the housework - I shop and cook. I have also found that I cannot fill the dishwasher to his liking, so he does it - suits me! In fact I'm not mad about his system either, but I keep schtumm as it is better than actually having to do it!

I never ever get into a political discussion with OH - what's the point? I know his views, he knows mine - end of, as they say.

And as for shopping - I can remember only one occasion in 44 years of marriage when we went shopping together. Suits me - in fact we shop a lot online now because of the distance we live from shops.

We rub along together just fine - neither of us can be bothered with conflict - no point really. After all this time we know each other very well and never go out of our way to wind the other up.

rosequartz Sun 18-May-14 21:03:39

grin petallus

A good idea; if they complain about the way you do things then suggest that they take on the task themselves (unless you really prefer to do it - I like to be in charge of the food shopping).

I remember a friend telling me years ago that her daughter had married a Royal Marine and they were posted overseas. Before he went out each day to work he left her a list of 'daily orders' to be completed.
Of course, she did not comply, it caused a few arguments but he learnt soon enough!

petallus Sun 18-May-14 20:43:05

When DH took early retirement 18 years ago one of the first things he did was devise a complicated card system for doing the housework.

The card system was only used for a week or two because it didn't work. Anyway, DH soon lost interest and only did/does housework when prompted/nagged by me.

rosequartz Sun 18-May-14 20:19:09

DH hated being retired at first, and would tell everyone who asked if he was enjoying his retirement: 'No, I'd rather be back at work'.

However, he is more adjusted now, and it can be very useful; you could stay in bed a bit longer, Hermia46, and suggest that he brings you a nice cup of tea in bed.

Apparently I am useless at ironing (having done the ironing after a day's work, cooking a meal and clearing up for 5 or 6 of us for years); DH now does it to his own satisfaction!

I like to look at prices in the supermarket and get best value for money, but apparently I am 'gazing' at things, so I send him off with a list of basics. He usually comes back with chocolate, buns etc as well which I try to put back surreptitiously.

It takes time, but you have to find the best way forward for both of you.

Ivanhoe Sun 18-May-14 17:10:30

Hermia46, Your husband is used to being around people when working, what he is doing is quite natural, he is simply involving you in what he is doing by calling you to see something, or calling you in general.

Because he is now retired, his situation has changed, and because he has retired and he is now at home 24/7, so has yours.

Sit him down and talk to him about how you feel, and have him do the same.

granjura Sat 17-May-14 21:00:57

ahaha there is no way OH is coming shopping with me on a regular basis - he buys 'all the wrong things' anyhow ;)

It is so important in retirement to each keep some personal time and activities- living velcroed at the hip is just disastrous imho.

dorsetpennt Sat 17-May-14 20:56:51

Apparently the divorce rate amongst retired people is quite high, I wonder if it's because retired husbands are driving their wives nuts. In the supermarket I'm always amused by the way husbands take over the shopping, knowing more about it then the woman who has shopped for the family for 40 years.

seasider Sat 17-May-14 20:51:26

My DP is not retired but he is becoming an old man! He moaned today that he might as well live alone because he is always on his own. I said this is because I do not want to spend my evenings/weekends sat in front of the telly. He said he watches telly because there is nothing else to do ! On Wednesday it was a lovely evening so I invited him to walk on the prom with me and dog but he declined. Last evening DS was at cinema with friends so I invited him to go for a couple of drinks at the local and again he declined because he wanted to go early not at 8pm! ( I was dropping off DS). I reminded him we are in our fifties not eighties! If I organise things with friends he will come and always enjoys himself. He always moans about holidays because of the cost etc (I pay) but then tells everyone what a great time he had. Only saving grace is he does not moan when I go out with friends and family!

Mamie Sat 17-May-14 14:55:44

I think we have, yes. Our son does a lot of childcare, cleaning, bread-making, cooking, washing and so on and this is considered completely remarkable where he lives in Spain; his Spanish MiL finds it all quite astonishing. He used to say that he got funny looks from some older men when he was out with a baby in a sling or pushing a pushchair.
We certainly never expected anything different from our son and our daughter in terms of chores when they were growing up.
Don't you think though, that what you grow up with does tend to have a big impact in the end? I never even considered being a stay-at-home mum, partly because it wouldn't have suited my temperament but mainly, I think, because my mother and my grandmother both worked full time.
My DD works full time and my DiL does when she can find work. She has been unemployed for nearly two years now and hates it, but unemployment is at 50% where they live.

whenim64 Sat 17-May-14 12:36:44

I set out to bring my two sons up to be 'new men' who would be sensitive, share the work, do jobs that have traditionally been called women's work and so on. One is a great cook and can do childcare, change nappies, run the household as well as his partner. I say 'can' but most of the time he doesn't! Peer influence from his manly mates, but also pressure from his partner, who likes to control the household tasks and says she loves pampering him. I keep telling her she needs a fortnight with me when he takes advantage and swans off to play golf or watch the football on a nice day like today, instead of them negotiating what they might do with the children today.

The other son is much more in tune with negotiating what they do as a couple, and will happily take on lots of jobs, but his fiancée just wants to stay at home and be a mum and all that entails. She's highly qualified, got a good career, could easily continue and my son would offer to be a stay-at-home dad for a while, but she likes the idea of being a full-time mum. Oh well, if they're all happy, that's fine.

annodomini Sat 17-May-14 11:42:06

Have we all brought up our sons to be 'new men'? I wasn't aware that I had, but they are - I give their partners the credit!

Patsydeluca Sat 17-May-14 10:32:14

I find wearing the iPod my daughter got for me for my birthday, which she had inscribed. Mum - enjoy the music! I can now drown out my husbands constant moaning...true magic..

Mamie Sat 17-May-14 05:08:55

Yes of course GJ, circumstances alter cases.
My OH also worked long hours for many years and spent a lot of time away in the States, the Middle East and Europe (a lot in Zurich!), but by that time the children were five and seven so it was easier. I worked full time from when they were two and four and we didn't have family near, so it all had to be very tightly managed when they were tiny, but OH was still pretty nine to five at that stage.
He retired before I did, so when I was doing the worst of my long hours and travelling, he was picking up nearly all the household chores.
I watch some of my friends' husbands claiming not to be able to do stuff in the house and I think it is just learned helplessness really.
Maybe it is because we both read The Female Eunuch at an impressionable age. grin

granjura Fri 16-May-14 20:33:11

You were lucky. When we first met, I didn't have any qualifications apart from Baccalaureat and PA course- and OH was working 130+ hours a week, having just finished 7 years of study. When DD1 was born- he was still working 80-90 hrs per week, including nights and week-ends away from home- so I did it all the babies and home stuff, including DIY, gardening, etc, etc. Nothing to do with male/female roles, but circumstances.

I went back to Uni when youngest started school- and when I was finally released from duties by the arrival of mobile phones. But my hours, even when I got to being senior teacher and head a faculty, were still always less than his- so I still continued to do all the above- although the first thing I did when I qualified is to get cleaning help and a dishwasher and dryer. He is absolutely hopeless at any DIY and gardening (or he pretended to be, he is very 'clever') so even in retirement I still do it all- apart from mowing the lawn and strimming (but I have to keep an eye on strimming activities as he does not know a dandelion from lavender!). It's OK- because I know it is not a male/female thing- just the way we are. He is master of computers and technology and a brilliant photographer smile and his professional knowledge is quite useful- I know he keeps a good eye on us all.

Mamie Fri 16-May-14 19:13:18

Forty-five years for us in June and we have shared all the household jobs / childcare from day 1. Sometimes over the years, OH's career has been more demanding, sometimes mine and then the balance has shifted one way or the other, but we both cook, clean, wash, iron, garden etc. I can't imagine living any other way tbh and it hasn't changed in retirement.
We do argue a bit about whose turn it is to cook, but only because we both enjoy it. grin

NanKate Fri 16-May-14 19:03:08

I don't listen to half that my DH says to me, but wobetide him if he doesn't listen to me.

I'm irritated when he interrupts a good thriller I am watching on the telly, so now when I am about to watch say Law and Order I press the record button so I can put on pause and not miss the crucial part.

I avoid shopping with him as he spends literally hours checking out all the prices and looking for good deals. I can do the shopping in a quarter of the time.

However aren't we lucky to still have our fellas here to moan about. It must be hard on your own - well it would be for me.

GrannyHaggis Fri 16-May-14 18:12:39

When OH first retired he got up at his usual going to work time and would hang out the washing for me. I was by then settled into retirement and didn't get up until later! I used to cringe at how he'd hung things up, using 4 pegs when 2 would do etc. I showed him how to do it properly and though, it's still a mess when he does it I've given up moaning, because at least he does it and is helping? me in his own funny way! Now, if I could get him to tackle the ironing, that really would be a bonus!!

jeanie99 Fri 16-May-14 00:23:37

We both have our own interests and thank goodness for that.

Having never had an interest in gardening my husband mows the lawn as his contribution and know nothing about plants at all.

Today he very annoyingly said I had planted a shrub when I pointed out that it had been put in by the previous owners he said I must have forgotten, I could have choked him.

NfkDumpling Sat 10-May-14 08:25:41

Pentstemmon - I should have been more specific - I'm sure there are many like you who have such an active life that retirement was a relief as work was getting too much in the way of all your other activities!

However, there are many - usually men, as women do still tend to do most of the routine house chores - who find themselves with nothing, absolutely nothing to do and no role once they retire. I'm constantly surprised that, even with retirement courses available, many people enter retirement with no preparation for this next stage in their lives.

Aka Fri 09-May-14 10:20:34

grin and wink

Ariadne Fri 09-May-14 10:13:02

Me too, Pentstemmon! I am mellow and tolerant and generous about other people's faults. Giving orders is not in my nature. No one would ever know that I had been a --stroppy cow--Assistant Head in a big comprehensive! grin

Pigs flying emoticon......

Penstemmon Fri 09-May-14 10:03:09

NFK I have spent a lifetime going to work and beingquite important but I am certain I am not irritating or annoying in any way! hmm

Nonu Fri 09-May-14 08:07:42



NfkDumpling Fri 09-May-14 07:56:48

They've spent a lifetime going to work and being 'important' so it's not surprising retired hubbies flounder a little. Mine, after a week or two of aimlessness, took over the cooking. Delia and Mary are his best mates. But I'm not jealous. To start with recipes were followed slavishly and I did the puddings, but now I never know what wonderful concoction will arrive before me and he's branching out into puddings. I still do cakes to get my rare baking fix.
The best part is that it means he does the food shopping too! And cleans out the freezer! I am blessed! smile

kittylester Fri 09-May-14 07:39:03

Galen and Elegran flowers. Nice to see you Galen

I'd call that a result Deedaa!

Luckily DH still works part time and spends quite a bit of time in his study. I'm not looking forward to that state of affairs changing!