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How to get husband out of the rut

(34 Posts)
grandtanteJE65 Sun 21-Jul-19 08:46:15

Any ideas? I would welcome input from both women and men here.

Background: DH broke his collarbone two years ago and it needed two operations and plenty of time for it to get better. In that time he got used to sitting on the sofa watching Netflix,

His shoulder is as good as it is going to get now. He can't stretch his left arm fully above his head, but otherwise it is fine.

BUT he is still sitting doing d***n all, all day!

Formerly we shared the shopping, cooking and some of the cleaning. I did the washing, he did household repairs, decorating etc. It worked well. Now I do most of it, and what I can't manage doesn't get done.

I feel he is becoming an old man before his time, he will be 63 tomorrow.

How do I get him interested in doing things again?

Right now his only activity is what goes on in bed - that's still fine, but I miss my active, cheerful husband out of bed!

Cabbie21 Sun 21-Jul-19 08:53:17

If he is fit enough for bedroom activity, he is fit enough for other things. How about making a bargain with him?

Pantglas1 Sun 21-Jul-19 08:58:31

I’ve had something similar with my DH in the past following his ops but not with practical stuff more with sociAlising, which he wasn’t interested in.

My solution was to ask him which of two things would we do first - this made it clear that stuff was going to be done and his choice on the order! I sometimes think men who had bossy mothers (as mine did) quite like, or at least are used to, having a wife in the same vein!

ninathenana Sun 21-Jul-19 09:45:16

63 is no age and if he's not in pain then he should be doing his share.
Pantglas has a good solution or similarly ask him X and Y need doing, which are you going to do ?
Or say "If you help me do XY we can then ( what ever it is he enjoys, other than slobbing in front of TV) which sounds like bargaining with a child smile but you get the idea.

I don't hold with bargaining over bedtime activities that's a slippery slope.

lemongrove Sun 21-Jul-19 10:14:30

Good advice from Pantglas
My DH had serious health problems and surgery a couple of years ago, he took ages to recover, and not just physically.
I had to ‘lead’ in all that we did to get him out of that rut.
Illness/surgery affects men more than women IMHO, as they perceive it as a weakness, which then affects them in all sorts of ways.

Luckygirl Sun 21-Jul-19 10:23:56

My OH has always been one to stay at home rather than go out and socialise - ironically when I did manage to persuade him out he would have a great time; but I stopped trying to persuade him on the end - it was just too much hassle. Now he is immobile; but will not let any of us take him out in is wheelchair.

Lessismore Sun 21-Jul-19 10:28:55

A tricky on OP. Can anybody "make" a person do something/change?

Possibly a kind but firm chat with him about your concerns, suggest some activities and leave it for a week or so. I wonder what the pay off for him is in being less active?

Urmstongran Sun 21-Jul-19 10:54:06

He is only young to be a couch potato. There’s nothing wrong with his legs, his heart, his breathing. A mended broken bone? He doesn’t perhaps realise how fortunate he is.

Sounds like he’s gotten (sorry, I like the word) into a rut. Become lazy.

Instead of chores/repairs why not try to get out and about for walks and some fun? A pub lunch, the cinema?

Coconut Sun 21-Jul-19 10:56:57

I would tell him that you just cannot continue in this way, it’s draining for you .... so if he is not prepared to up his game, say you will pay to get help in, even if it’s a cleaner. He won’t change unless you gently nudge him to do so !

sodapop Sun 21-Jul-19 11:10:18

That's what I would do too, tell your husband you can't manage all the work on your own so you are going to pay someone to help. I think Urmstongran had a good suggestion about getting out and about as well.

25Avalon Sun 21-Jul-19 11:25:56

Tell him you are so tired with all you are having to do that you are too exhausted to have sex and all you want to do is sleep. Maybe that will start to shake him out of his lethargy. Seriously it is not good for his health to sit around doing nothing - he needs to do some kind of exercise for his heart. Perhaps you could just get him doing a few small walks and as he gets more exercise he will get more energy and feel like doing things. If he really cannot get moving at all then I think he would be well advised to see a doctor to get this sorted.

quizqueen Sun 21-Jul-19 11:52:54

Take the fuse out of the tv plug; it will take him a while to find out the reason it doesn't work and make sure there are no other spare fuses in the house anywhere. If he wants to watch tv again he will have to go out and buy some and while he's out there he can take a list of other shopping to get. Now he's done something once, he can do other things- give him a list e.g. prepare a meal, unpack the dishwasher, hoover etc.

If he doesn't do it then you cook for yourself and eat alone. How can you still fancy this man enough to have sex with him when he has no respect for you as he obviously sees you as just his servant. Almost everyone who posts on this site enable people to treat them how they do.

jaylucy Sun 21-Jul-19 11:57:56

These days a broken collarbone is a relatively a minor injury, with or without surgery.
I'd unplug the tv and hide the remote and give him a list of things to do - he can have the remote back once he's finished! There are many things that he can do without having to raise his arms above his head anyway.

M0nica Sun 21-Jul-19 12:04:59

He is a mere child. He hasn't even reached retirement age yet.

Think about things that would really inconvenience him and then do not do them so he has to live with the inconvenience or sort it out

Arrange to go out for the day on your own. Tell him you just assumed in his current state he wouldn't want to come and forget to leave appropriate ingredients for lunch in the fridge. If he always has cheese sandwiches, make sure there is no cheese in so that he has to go out to get some. Be gone a really long time so that he gets really hungry. Then when you get home tellhim you feel too tired to cook and will he get something - if nothing elsde he will have to ring for a takeaway, pay for it and walk to the front door to collect it.

I am sure if you get creative you can make life difficult enough for him to have to do something.

Calpurnia Sun 21-Jul-19 12:17:01

I used to be upset and exasperated trying to get my husband to go out. I would always be the one who decided where to go and made all the arrangements. I longed for him to come up with exciting places for us to visit as we are retired and have spare time. I used to ask him to look on the internet for interesting “What’s On” locally to no avail. I joined the National Trust so we would have places to go and when we did visit places after five minutes he would say “I’ll go outside and wait for you”.

During last year’s heatwave he would watch tv all day. When I urged him to “do something” before the time came when he wouldn’t be able to go out - my pleas fell on deaf ears.

Little did either of us know that catastrophic medical emergencies hid just around the corner.....

A traumatic amputation and terminal cancer diagnosis put paid to us ever going further afield than to hospital or surgery.

I do get him out every day (time is not on our side) but it is a struggle to manage driving, wheelchairs, disabled toilets, access if we want to stop for coffee etc etc etc and for me it is just hard work.

It is now too late to have another holiday together and I am daily reminded of all the things WE cannot do.

It is ironic really - I love getting out and about, went to the theatre, cinema, museums, exhibitions on my own for the past 20 years as he preferred to stay in watching tv but now I am his full time carer and can only manage very brief trips out to meet friends for coffee.

Sorry if I hijacked this thread but hope this will make - mostly wives! - to make the most of the time together - while you have the chance,

Harryfletcher Sun 21-Jul-19 12:18:11

My husband didn't seem to do much about the house but now he can't do anything I realise how much he actually did .He is the opposite of your OH and is immobile on Oxygen 16 hours a day and breathless after a few steps.Could you not suggest a few days away by coach and then he would mix with other people.

sarahellenwhitney Sun 21-Jul-19 12:18:36

Many would I am sure like to be in your shoes with a 'bedtime active' husband of your husbands age. So why not get someone to do the jobs you would be doing and H could be doing and make the most of it while it lasts.

Grandmablue Sun 21-Jul-19 12:47:56

My husband is the same ... he works but had major surgery 3 years ago. He does nothing. Except if it suits him. He has turned into a rude person and I don’t like him. I work very long hours and dread going home, he can make a mess in a shoebox. Clothes just everywhere, tissues, he covers his wound daily and leaves bits everywhere. If I ask him to do anything he says ‘ he won’t do sniff he’s told’ but if I don’t tell him he doesn’t do it. We argue constantly and as for the bedroom ... forget it... HE decided my sex life finished at 49! I have no choice ....

grandtanteJE65 Sun 21-Jul-19 12:51:42

Thanks for all the good suggestions. Taking the fuse out of the TV plug is no good; Danish plugs don't have fuses!

Unfortunately, we can't afford help in the house or garden, but the other suggestions are certainly worth considering.

Grandad1943 Sun 21-Jul-19 13:57:15

grandtanteJE65, for many years, I have worked in Industrial safety, and the symptoms/behaviour your husband is exhibiting is not unusual for any person (man or woman) following a severe accident.

In cases such as described, it is often the psychological fear of a similar incident occurring that makes a person withdraw from any activity that could bring about any such circumstance again. In such a contingency remedial action typically includes both physiotherapy on the limbs or other parts of the body affected by the incident, and psychological therapy carried out by professional persons.

The above in almost all cases bring about an outcome that allows the affected person to resume a normal healthy life (or as near normal as any chronic physical injury will allow). However, in the vast majority of cases, we deal with, there is the incentive within the person affected by the accident to return to work, which is often well supported by an employer.

In such circumstances should the person who incurred the injury not fully comply with the remedial action recommended, then that person can face disciplinary action by the employer which can lead to dismissal from his or her employment. The forgoing make for a strong incentive to comply as loss of any social security benefits can the result from non-compliance, and a reduction in the financial amount eventually paid of any claim the person may have against the employer

The reason I point out the above grandtanteJE65, is that I feel you have to bring similar pressures to bear on your husband if he is to return to having a full healthy life. You do not state if he was working at the time of the accident, but I am assuming he was not. Therefore to seek outside professional advice by way of your GP could be a first step, as the lifestyle, he is now living will in time (in all probability) bring about other medical issues.

Hope this helps.

rockgran Sun 21-Jul-19 14:56:16

Try nagging. The tried and tested method. grin

GabriellaG54 Sun 21-Jul-19 15:02:06

One of my children broke their collarbone and pelvis in a sporting accident but went back to work in a matter of weeks. Not all people veg out watching Netflix or similar after an accident. It depends on your outlook. Being proactive and positive reaps rewards in terms of health and mental wellbeing.
I hope you find a solution.

GabriellaG54 Sun 21-Jul-19 15:16:42

A broken collar-bone 2 years ago does not mean he can't walk. He's not a child. Why do wives or partners have to 'encourage' their men to do simple things around the house or tidy up or get their own meals...?
He's not an invalid.
Gordon Bennett. Between being a doormat, looking after GCs for the better part of a week, being a dogsbody for AC, lending money and babying husbands who veg out...I think today's women need to get a grip and take their lives back as some of you clearly aren't happy with the status quo.

GabriellaG54 Sun 21-Jul-19 15:18:33

Not that the last paragraph pertains to you 25Avalon.
That was a general observation. grin

Coconut Sun 21-Jul-19 16:15:24

Grandmablue .... please believe that you have every choice, to live the life that YOU want to live, it s not all about him, gone are the days where women have to “obey” and put up with mental or any other type of abuse. Where is his respect for you ? We are only here once remember, so please focus on yourself and build a wonderful life for yourself, with or without him.