Gransnet forums


Bloomin’ Useless

(22 Posts)
NanKate Thu 02-Aug-18 10:40:21

Two of my dear friends are in a bad way health wise and need help and support.

They are both reasonably happily married but they are worried their husbands won’t cope as they are useless domestically. One has never cooked a meal in his life and the other one only learned to make a cup of tea in his 60s !

I know I am lucky that my DH has shared everything with me over the years, but how can these men be so bloody useless ? As you can see I have got my dander up.

HAZBEEN Thu 02-Aug-18 10:45:41

My Father was the same until he retired, then he started baking making cakes and even his own bread. When my Mother developed PD he took over the housework and ended up being her carer for about 7 years. After he had a stroke Mother went into a care home and he joined her there for the last 3 months of his life.
The family could not believe how domesticated he had become, going from not knowing how to make a cup of tea to running the whole shooting match!

GrannyGravy13 Thu 02-Aug-18 10:56:53

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Let's hope these men are able to step up and help their wives. Husband has been looking after me for 8 weeks now (I am slowly getting my mobility back), he has done ok. He has however, the ability 'not to see things that need doing' and hasn't always taken kindly to having these things pointed out to him. I am fortunate in as much as I have 'ladies' who clean for me, and they have done the little things that he just hadn't noticed.

Wishing your dear friends well ???

PamelaJ1 Thu 02-Aug-18 10:57:58

They are like this because they were ‘allowed to be’.
I think that man management should be a GCSE subject?

rubytut Thu 02-Aug-18 11:50:43

This can also be a problem the other way, I know of a couple of ladies that had no idea of household finances when their husbands died. One did not even know that you paid water bills, they had no clue about online banking, or even if there was still a mortgage in one case.

JackyB Thu 02-Aug-18 11:57:33

One of my husband's uncles found himself in this situation and as well as housewifing, he also had his wife to nurse. He learned it all fine and was proud of his cake baking achievements and managing to feed the two of them. It may have even given him a sense of purpose and the feeling of being needed. It certainly seemed to cheer him up.

Men aren't stupid, they just have a different mindset, so, as a wife, especially if they are particularly houseproud, your friends will have to lower their standards. The men will also have other priorities. If they can't see that the bathroom needs cleaning, that shouldn't be a worry as long as you don't run out of loo roll or other essentials like milk.

After all, one of them has learned to make tea. That's a start.

Maybe they could start a club and exchange household tips? Maybe the wives can start making notes - perhaps a little handbook for their husbands, while they still can.

And, of course, there's always the internet - starting with Gransnet and lots of ideas.

PernillaVanilla Thu 02-Aug-18 12:04:47

I think that the older generation of men who were conscripted or did national service were better at fending for themselves. My father ( who would be 92 if he was still alive)
learned to cook in the army and was very proud of the fact that he could knit his own socks too.

ninathenana Thu 02-Aug-18 12:17:23

My dad was like this with household chores and cooking. He also had no idea of household finances. Mum paid the bills, arranged holidays and basically did everything. How he would have coped if he hadn't died before mum, I don't know.
H has no idea of our finances (joint account) he just looks at the balance on 3 monthly statement and comments if he thinks it's not satifactory shock he is very domesticated though.

stella1949 Thu 02-Aug-18 13:27:43

I've been married for 10 years - my husband is 79 and until we started living together he'd never cooked a meal. His ex -wife had never let anyone in the kitchen. He soon learned !

Mind you I've known plenty of women who have either never driven a car or never paid a bill, or both, while they have a husband to do it for them . Then they are widowed and oh dear, it's all to hard .

I'm a great believer in being independent whether you have a partner or not.

kittylester Thu 02-Aug-18 13:36:48

My Mil had a stroke aged 61 so dfil gave up work to look after her. He did everything under expert tutelage and she wasn't above giving him a whack with her stick if he got it wrong. He was a lovely man and put up with a lot from her.

Dh can if it is necessary but when I had a hysterectomy we had cheese on toast for lunch every day. I think it was a ploy to get me back on my feet!

OldMeg Thu 02-Aug-18 14:15:20

Come on! If they are literate then they can read a cook book ?

Melanieeastanglia Thu 02-Aug-18 14:39:54

I think GrannyGravy is right. Yes, necessity is the mother of invention and OldMeg is right when she says a cook book would be the way forward.

As far as cooking is concerned, it is possible to buy pre-prepared things easily nowadays although I do accept that you can waste a lot of money like that.

Other domestic tasks - not rocket science really and I suppose, if you're not particularly fussy, it won't matter if there's dust on the coffee table.

goldengirl Thu 02-Aug-18 15:16:38

Good grief! I never knew this sort of male still existed!!! I would never have put up with it. Where's equality when it's at home???? DH and I joke about man's work and women's work and I do ask him to do heavier stuff because I've got muscular problem but when I'm away he manages fine and vice versa - and I naively thought that was the way these days! Perhaps I've been lucky but I've always been treated as an equal at work and at home and I too am 70.

Bluegal Thu 02-Aug-18 16:22:32

It really is a generation thing! Most men today are very domesticated including my husband. My father felt he was the breadwinner and the running of the household was the woman’s job. He couldn’t get over his sons washing ironing and rearing their children. He was great in so many other ways though.

Bluegal Thu 02-Aug-18 16:25:41

Ps to say necessity is the mother of invention. Your friends’ husbands will learn. They won’t starve themselves ?

Bluegal Thu 02-Aug-18 16:26:36

Oops Melanie you beat me to it ???. Agree

seacliff Thu 02-Aug-18 16:43:20

My Mum did not want my Dad in the kitchen helping her, even though he was quite willing to. She actively discouraged him. She had been a housewife, and when he retired he took on lots of local interests.

She was always more of a homebird and felt the kitchen was her domain. In her last few years, due to her ill health, he had to learn to cook etc. Generally things have changed a lot now, and many younger men I know cook just as much as the women.

annodomini Thu 02-Aug-18 17:44:47

After he retired, my Dad started bread making and even won prizes for his loaves at the village show. After my Mum died, he taught himself to cook full meals, using the produce of his own garden, even herbs which he'd always avoided as being 'foreign' and garlic! His soups were legendary, accompanied by his nutty wholemeal bread.

Tweedle24 Thu 02-Aug-18 17:53:25

I have often wondered if this is why men seem to ‘take up’ with another woman sooner than the widowed women seem to. Of course, it could just be that, as women tend to live longer than men, there is more choice for them.

BBbevan Thu 02-Aug-18 18:00:16

Just read the OP to DH. He said "They will soon learn"

Baggs Thu 02-Aug-18 18:08:00

I lodged in the house of an Oxford don for a while. He ate in college a fair bit (lunch mainly, which was his main meal). His wife, also an academic, scoffed (she was ill and not doing much by this time) that if you can read you can cook.
When the prof died one of his colleagues put it a different way, saying that M was the only person he knew who could spoil cornflakes by boiling them in the bag.

harrigran Thu 02-Aug-18 18:45:17

DH can cook and he dishes up the most delicious meals, I bow to his superior knowledge and let him spoil me. He is also a whizz with a steam iron and gets through the wash in one session.