Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Dismaying Story #1: The Myth of the Helpless Husband
My husband is living, breathing proof that some men are just not cut out to do housework. He is always willing to help but trust me, it’s rarely worth it. Whatever he cooks ends up black or waterlogged. If he helps to get the kids ready for school in the morning, he gets frustrated and yells and I have to soothe the kids so they don’t go out the door in tears. I try not to be too picky about how he does things but honestly, he can’t even wring out a dishcloth well enough to wipe a counter without leaving pools of water behind. Whenever he helps I end up doing just as much work and sometimes more. The irritation is worse than doing it myself, so why should I get him involved?
Signed: Resigned to the Drudgery
Many guys can become skilled in the domestic arts but for some reason your man cannot. That must mean he is deficient in some way; he must have a disability that prevents him from learning how to perform certain tasks, or at least from learning to perform them well. Not only that, his disability is very specific. He can keep his files organized at work but he can’t learn where things go in your kitchen. Removing road tar from the fender of his car is no problem but baked-on lasagna defeats him every time. He can’t organize the guest list for your son’s birthday party but lining up three other guys for golf is a piece of cake. Maybe this is a clue; his disability just happens to coincide with the division between the activities he cares about most and the work he considers to be your responsibility.
How incredibly convenient for him.
Your husband has earned a get-out-of-housework card by sabotaging his own work. Is he capable of doing better? Please. I showed my 13-year-old daughter how to wring out a cloth and she can do it with no trouble. This has nothing to do with ability. The difference is that my daughter wants to be good at housework and your husband is content not to be. Learning household skills requires motivation, knowledge and practice, the same as with any other challenge.
Do you have a Helpless Husband? Have you found a way to supply him with the proper motivation? Send in your Dismaying Story today by clicking here.