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How To Get Your Man To Help With Housework

Updated on April 14, 2010

Even the most enlightened, feminist, egalitarian man can sometimes be problematic in a relationship because he doesn't seem to realize that the house isn't self cleaning. Women who don't want to live in filthy hovels can find this frustrating, especially if they end up doing the bulk of the cleaning simply because it needs to be done.

I have good news though, it is possible to get men to help with housework, and it's actually pretty easy to do. The first thing to do is not to say nothing, let tensions build up, and then release your household chore related rage in a screaming fit. Although it may seem as if the man in your life is leaving you to do all the work, he probably doesn't know that he is.

The simple fact is that men often don't see what women see. Whether it is a biological force at play, or merely socialization, I've noted time and time again over the years that most men don't have the same eye or regard for clean living quarters as women do. Of course, we are talking in generalities here. Some men are brilliant at helping around the house, but if you were with one of those men, you'd not likely need to be reading this article.

Is the view that sometimes men just can't see dirt sexist? Perhaps, but that won't change it from also being true in many cases. I am sure other women can attest to spending a decent portion of a day cleaning, to have the man in their lives come home and not notice that anything is different at all. You can vacuum the carpet, do the laundry, clean the shower and toilet, and mop the kitchen floor without some men thinking that anything has changed.

Women appear to, generally speaking, have a lower tolerance for mess and dirt in their home spaces. A pile of dirty clothes isn't just a chore to be done, its an eyesore that pulses at the edge of your consciousness, nagging at you until you wash it. To a guy, it's just another part of the house that isn't food.

So, here is what you do if you want a man to help with housework. First of all, you calmly mention the fact that you've been doing all the housework lately, or the bulk of it. This will put the idea in his mind that housework isn't something you've been doing for the fun of it. Next, you ask him for help when you want him to do something. If the dishes need to be done, ask him to do them, or better, ask him to help you do them. Don't do them yourself whilst getting all passively aggressively angry. This just bewilders men. If you clearly state what you want when you want it, you have a much better chance of him actually lending a hand. It's not nagging to make your desires known, it's just good communication.

After a while, the man in your life will come to realize what you want, and if he's a good guy (which most men are at heart) he will start to do tasks on his own without you mentioning it first. When this happens, show your appreciation. That might sound like odd advice, given that women very rarely recieve positive reinforcement simply for keeping their houses slightly more clean than the average slum dwelling, but it works.


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    • profile image

      Mary 7 years ago

      My husband and I each day from work put on our aprons and start togeter on cooking and cleaning. We wear our aprons with pride and get all our housework done as a team On weak ends he does the loundry and bathrooms and I do the ironing. We enjoy doing our housework. I love my man

    • Hope Alexander profile image

      Hope Alexander 7 years ago

      I don't know, but you might want to get that issue sorted before fiancee becomes wife!

    • profile image

      Adrian 7 years ago

      Interesting Hub. However, I have a problem. I need help on getting my fiancee to help around the house. Being the man of the house I seem to do everything from cooking, cleaning to doing the laundry. And yet my fiancee just doesn't quite get it. I wonder if this information will work on her or will I just get a slap in the face.

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 7 years ago from North America

      Hi Hope Alexander,

      This is an interesting hub but I do have my on views. I thought relationships are based on Love, understanding & caring for each other.

      If that is the case then why a woman even needs to ask her husband for help. Are you not suppose to be doing this together as a team work if you are not then may be your relationships are not working.

      That is what I think but everyone has his on way of doing things. However, I really enjoyed your hub & the topic you selected. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • profile image

      Niqqi 7 years ago

      Given the topic of many of your hubs, Hope, I'm a tad surprised you didn't mention something like what my wife and I agreed to do. If the guy ever likes to wear lingerie and dresses, have him do so and handle the housework. It's a win-win for both.

    • profile image

      hopefan 7 years ago

      And to think I thought you were going to riff on asking your man to don a frilly apron or some sort of uber feminine get-up and tell him to put that alter ego to work! I know that would motivate me!

    • profile image

      chevy34_00 7 years ago

      Hope, I'm a man who dosen't mind helping do the housework. Good Post.

    • beth811 profile image

      beth811 7 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Seas

      Good hub!

      I may say that I'm proud of my husband when it comes to housework. He doesn't like clutters around the house.

    • cluense profile image

      Katie Luense 7 years ago from Buffalo, NY

      Awesome Hub! I rated it up a notch!