An unhappy grandmother has become acutely aware of the difficulties of retirement, as her husband opts to spend his time away from home and lounging on the couch rather than assisting with domestic duties.
Claiming the house is “disintegrating” around her, the woman says she’s fed up with her husband, who refuses to pick up the slack and lend a helping hand – despite having plenty of spare time.
Venting her frustration to the online forum Gransnet, the grandma said I’m “at my wits end” and need advice on how to make him pull his weight.
“He is reluctant to do any of the DIY, maintenance jobs that really need doing around the house saying ‘I’ve worked all my life and now intend to enjoy myself’,” she revealed.
The grandma who is desperate for answers said she doesn’t have time to manage all of the chores in between looking after her 92-year-old mum, taking care of her grandkids, cooking, cleaning, and shopping.
While her husband has different ideas about retirement, choosing to spend his time bowling, watching sport, in the garden and volunteering.
“I don’t know how to get him to pull his weight, he just says I’m nagging,” the grandma said, asking for advice from fellow women in the forum.
The woman’s plea for assistance was met with a compassionate response, as numerous understanding wives proposed solutions to resolve the issue and persuade her husband to abandon his bowling shoes and occupy himself at home.
“You could ask him for his help to organise all the things that need done, including care of your grandkids and mother. Have a list and ask him to help you decide who should do what – you/him/paid help. Pin him down to whether he thinks total free time in retirement is only for him while you keep on working – paid employment is not the only kind of work,” one person suggested.
“Shocking that in this day and age there are so many men that still behave so selfishly like this, I so feel for you. Instead of asking why he treats you like this, twist it around and ask why are you allowing him to, As other have said get a cleaner, get a handy man, don’t cook him dinner, tell him you are on a diet and have salad and let him fend for himself. Don’t do his ironing either.. think how much control you actually have at your finger tips and ask yourself an honest question, in what way does he enhance your life? After all isn’t that what marriages are about, a partnership in love, respect, caring and helping each other,” another added.
One responder suggested a trick that had worked for them in the past.
“Stop doing his washing/ironing, say no time. Do not empty bins in kitchen, wait till overflowing and say you have not had time. “I ate out so not cooking today…no time anyway”. Need I go on,” they wrote.
“Other bigger things like general house maintenance more tricky, but the above a good place to start. I know the bin trick worked for me.”
Another suggested that the woman have a civil chat with her husband to make him see sense.
“I see nothing wrong in pointing out to the dear man that you do get his point that he has worked all his life and now is entitled to some fun, but that you have worked all your life too, and his retirement has not lightened your workload, as you are still attending to all the housekeeping,” they suggested.
“Sit him down and explain your expectations of retirement. He can doubtless understand the argument that it would be most unwise not to keep up repairs to the house – some day you may want or need to sell it, after all. And a glance at the actual amount of money the pair of you have to live on and at your outgoings should settle any discussion of DIY versus a handyman.”