Offloading responsibilities I've taken on

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    • #89856

      There are many things I want to improve in our lives, but right now my main goal is to return the responsibilities of life management back to my spouse. I slowly took these on over the years without really noticing but it is overwhelming and exhausting now and also, it’s kind of obnoxious of me to be repeating requests constantly. In short, I’ve become a nag and no one likes that.

      I work full time and my spouse has been unemployed for over a year, so really, I do not have the time.

      The things I have been doing are like:
      -noticing when laundry needs to be done, and asking 3-10 times for laundry to be done
      this includes every step: please take it to basement. Did you change it to the dryer? did you bring it up? can you fold these please? Can you put away the folded laundry that’s all over the floor?
      – Dishes, see above
      – the dog is crying at the door can you please take him out? can you please take the dog now? no, not in ten minutes, he’s gonna pee…ok, I’ll take him
      -can you please get X, Y, and Z at the store for dinner? Are you going now? when will you go? I need it by dinner time. dinner time is 7 PM. (repeat until dinner arrives and we have no ingredients)
      – your mother called, please call her back. Did you call your mother yet? When will you call her? Your mother has called me twice now, can you please call her back?

      (I know that I’m obnoxious, I don’t want to be like this. )

      These efforts have not yet made any difference:
      -reminders in phone (the phone is misplaced constantly, and even when in hand, no notifications are looked at)
      -reminders on Alexa (ignored)
      -making a list, posting it, (nothing happened)
      -doing nothing to see if a breaking point is reached; laundry, dishes, dog care, and shopping, etc, then all become 100% things I end up doing.

      I am open to brainstorming other ways to get these responsibilities off my plate, but they still have to get done.
      Should I go away for a period of time?
      We cannot afford any hired help, due to the unemployment.

    • #89878

      Step number one is to acknowledge at what level everyone in the house cares about these things. Some people don’t mind messiness to a certain degree, or least don’t think all the work involved in keeping things well organized and clean is worth it. So, your standards may be higher than anyone you’re asking to live up to them. Back up and have the conversation. What level of clean is everyone willing to support with their efforts? Really dig deep into this conversation, as it will help understand the difference between needing to be reminded, and just not wanting to participate. Nagging comes, most often, from asking for something from someone who doesn’t really want to give it the first place.

      All that said, most people don’t want to wear stinky clothes or eat off of dirty dishes. So there is a common standard above “complete mess” that most people want to maintain. Be willing to compromise to find that zone where everyone will want to participate because the effort warrants — in their mind — the payoff. In short, if you are dictating the standard, you are going to meet with resistance from anyone who has a different standard.

      Of course, you didn’t mention where ADHD might play a role here, but if that’s a variable, it must be addressed first.

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