How to get stuff done around the house without nagging

How to get stuff done around the house without nagging

I am new to this web site and just read this complaint and the excellent reply. My husband works long hours and also goes to school nights to earn his Master's degree. As a result, I (a stay-at-home wife) am responsible for everything else.

I don't like chores like taking out the trash, but I know that if I want it done I have to do it myself. That's just the way it is.

My brother's girlfriend once complained to me that my brother wouldn't hang up a picture no matter how much she nagged. I suggested she hang it herself. A few days later, she told me with a smirk that she took my advice: she had leaned over him as he tried to nap on the couch and hung the picture! This was not my advice, and I was horrified. Of course, they had a huge fight. They eventually broke up because of her attitude.

I have things I need my husband to do, and I once joked that I would have to start a "honey do" jar. He got very angry and said he hated that term and I was not to use it. I meekly asked what he would like me to do, and he said to list the jobs on strips of paper and put them on the fridge—and then never to mention them again, except to thank him for the ones he did.

This system has worked out well. He does the jobs when he has the time and energy. I know they will get done—in his time, not mine. So I don't worry about them.

I, on the other hand, am disorganized and forget what he tells me to do. We tried all sorts of systems and nothing worked. One day I bought a small magnetic whiteboard and put it on the fridge. Now he writes things on there and, if they are still undone in a week, I get a spanking. This works quite well and has actually boosted my self-esteem as I see myself finishing tasks and getting more organized. The more I get done, the more I want to do.

Mouseybabe

Taken In Hand Tour start | next

Comments

thanking

If you are supposed to thank your husband for the things he does, I hope he also thanks you for the things that you do.

Louise

"This works quite well and ha

"This works quite well and has actually boosted my self-esteem as I see myself finishing tasks and getting more organized. The more I get done, the more I want to do."

It's really amazing what a bit of motivation does for me. Knowing that my S.O. is actually paying attention to whether I get to bed at a decent hour, if I keep up with my studies (current student), is a great source of motivation for me. When someone pays attention I get into this mode of doing the job (or some healthy habit), and gain confidence because of it.

manly work is getting done without you having to nag

I meekly asked what he would like me to do, and he said to list the jobs on strips of paper and put them on the fridge—and then never to mention them again, except to thank him for the ones he did.

This system has worked out well. He does the jobs when he has the time and energy. I know they will get done—in his time, not mine. So I don't worry about them.

That is a great idea! I love how the manly work is getting done without you having to nag.

Praise works with most people, men included.

Typo?

My brother's girlfriend once complained to me that my brother wouldn't hang up a picture no matter how much she nagged. <...> They eventually broke up because of her attitude.

Must it not be "because of his attitude"?
When a man realy wants a woman, than he has to show it. By action, if something has to be done.
The girlfriend has my smile, she's a smart one.

Erwin
--
erwinh@myskoda.de

how I get things done

I once needed my man to put up a mirror in my new apartment. I had asked him many times and he kept saying "I'll do it tonight". One night when were were getting ready to go out I asked him if he could please hold up the mirror for me while I put on my make-up and did my hair (hard to do if you have to hold a big mirror in one hand). He of course agreed since he had once again forgotten to bring over tools so he could put up the mirror. I took my time putting on my make-up and doing my hair, and he patiently and with a smile on his lip held the mirror for more than half an hour without ever complaining. He of course knew exactly what I was doing. He may be in charge but he does not take himself so seriously that he can't admit when he is the one who made a mistake. We still laugh at this every time we think about it.

My husband sends me a To-Do list daily

Hi Mouseybabe,

What I used to do is tell my husband the long list of all the things I wanted him to do for me, especially on weekends or when he walked in the door from work, and he'd do as many of them as he could. I was unhappy in my marriage for many reasons, and I got into the habit of thinking, "well, then make yourself useful." Horrible, I know, and the husbands reading this who have been committed to this life-changing decision to take their wives in hand will be aghast—but a couple of weeks ago we began to turn this boat around. I introduced my husband to the idea of a Taken in Hand arrangement, and we've been slowly gearing up since then.

What has happened is that he now sends me a list, via e-mail, once he gets to work (he leaves very early, before I am awake) of all the things he wants me to get accomplished during the day. If I don't finish them, and if my attitude is bad about them, I get a spanking. He has devilishly included things he knows I hate to do, like ironing, and he expects cheerful obedience. I am still wrestling with the mixture of relief and resentment I feel (understand, I'm new to this, and though I suggested it, it still challenges my very real dominant nature, one I'd like to soften, but it is very, very difficult for me).

Luckily, he also frequently will come home or rise on a weekend to announce we are going to hang pictures (we just moved to a new house a couple months ago), or unpack boxes, or rearrange shelves. He is thinking, knowing what I would need to get done, and he's considerate of my need to have an orderly, put-together home. This blesses him as well.

My list has started to include a requirement to provide him with a weekly meal plan (so he can budget), and long and short term goals for myself, which he will later hold me to. These are not just "honey-do" things that he's doing to keep me busy; he is really trying to shape and mold how I budget my time, how I care for myself and prepare our home. It is also serving to remind me that there are many things I can accomplish in a day if I don't spend all my time blogging on the computer! Luckily, he allows time for my "research," too, and appreciates the posts and articles I occasionally send him to read. All in all, for now, this is working for us, and I'm feeling productive and well looked-after.

Belle

Re: How to get stuff done around the house without nagging

I am lucky enough to have a husband who helps around the house sometimes, and yes, I say HELPS because he works 90 hours a week and I think it's the least I can do to do the household chores and keep his home environment pleasant and relaxing. We have a real partnership, and a Taken In Hand marriage to boot!

Claudia