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6 Bitchy Ways to Get Your Husband to Help Around the House

Photograph by Twenty20

My husband is a dream when it comes to cooking, loading the dishwasher, wiping down the countertops, scrubbing the toilets, taking out the trash. No matter how buried, frazzled and torn I am between having to get a zillion things done at once for three different people (four including myself), I don't have to ever lift a finger.

I'm kidding. Big time kidding.

My husband is an incredible and thoughtful guy (he is, no sarcasm there) but my friends and I frequently complain talk about how we've all somehow found ourselves in these super-traditional, gender-role-specific marriages and how we can't seem to do much of anything to reverse it, no matter how worn out we might obviously be from trying to do everything. (Maybe it's because we're Armenian? Many Armenian men are raised to be kings, you know...)

So I've come up with a few sassy—ok, bitchy—ways to shake things up and get husbands to pitch in.

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1. Go on strike

Cold turkey. With no explanation. Smoke him out. Stop cooking, cleaning, picking up Legos off the floor, flushing the toilet. Stop everything all at once. Things most likely WILL turn very disgusting, but maybe that's the emergency situation he needs to kick into gear.

2. Unexpectedly leave the house to run "errands" while obnoxiously announcing that you "have to get out of here, I'm losing it!" as you huff and puff your way out the door.

Then slam the door. Do this when you know he's going to be home to supervise the kids so that everyone's safe, at least. I've skipped out like this—with a big attitude—and have returned to a clean(er) kitchen.

3. Get your kids to ask him why he doesn't help Mommy when she's so tired.

And try not to laugh when he looks at them like, "Who the hell told you to ask me that?!"

4. Hit him where it hurts

For instance, my husband is a clean freak when it comes to the kids being bathed. From time to time, I'll just say, "I'm skipping bath for the kids tonight," and he can't help but give them a bath because the thought of them not being clean before bed drives him crazy.

5. Keep a $hit list

Your temper will then surge to a boiling point when you see everything you do (unappreciated and unaccounted for) in black and white.

Document everything—the things you do around the house, what you handle regarding the kids and all things you deal with concerning him and yourself—from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. Try doing this for a few days. Your temper will then surge to a boiling point when you see everything you do (unappreciated and unaccounted for) in black and white. It is then time to rub it in his face and demand an explanation. You may scream at this point.

6. Hit him in the pocketbook

If you're still getting nowhere fast, consider hiring babysitters, housecleaners and/or extra help for everything you can think of for a finite period of time (a week or so). Then, tell him that you need cash to pay for all the help you need to keep things running smoothly. Since he's unable to help you himself, he can pay for it.

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The alternative? You could just be an adult, explain that you're feeling a bit worn down with all this supermom stuff lately and have a grown up and honest conversation about life, love and for better or for worse. But that's not as fun now, is it?

How do you get your husband to help around the house?

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