12 Clever Ways To Deal With A Lazy Husband

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Recently my friend called me very seriously to ask if it would really be the worst thing if she just killed her husband. Perplexed by her shocking question, I asked her to calm down first while a series of scenarios ran through my mind as to what could have gone wrong. I assumed infidelity as a possibility for her outburst but the reason for her dissatisfaction with her husband turned out to be his ‘laziness’. She confessed to being extremely frustrated with her lazy husband.

Her husband’s inability to get things done had been making her angry for quite some time now and she just could not take it anymore. Finally, all hell broke loose one day when she was already overwhelmed with multitasking, handling cooking and the baby all at once, without any help from her lazy partner. Just then, the doorbell rang, and since she was preoccupied, she could not exactly get to the door. Expecting such a basic thing from her husband was also a mistake. Her husband kept calling her from the other room, asking her to open the door while he kept lounging in bed.

She then frantically entered the room only to find out that her husband was too lazy to switch on the lights and needed her assistance to do so. All I managed to say to this was, “No comments”, after listening to her story. I could have looked at it with a sense of humor but I knew exactly how she felt and I didn’t know how she could deal with a lazy husband like him.

Laziness is a luxury that most husbands enjoy, especially in India. Indian men spend a mere 19 minutes a day on housework, even when both spouses are working, says a report. Gender inequality in terms of household chores is related to the patriarchal upbringing of men, even in modern times. Surprisingly, even educated mothers tend to ignore this lackadaisical approach their boys have toward their domestic responsibilities.

You often hear relatives saying “get the boy married and his wife will bring him on the right track”. Ultimately, the wife becomes the rehab center for her husband’s lazy, selfish, unmotivated, idle life. If your husband is lazy and doesn’t work to lighten your load, I feel your frustration. The good news is that you don’t have to put up with your lazy husband, even if society has shown you it’s the norm. There are ways to shake up the status quo and get him actively involved in running the household, and I’m here to tell you just how to do that.

What Are The Signs Of A Lazy Husband?

We all have our off days when we feel like doing nothing at all. And we are sometimes allowed that. Wanting to spend time doing nothing concrete doesn’t make your husband a lazy person; it just means that your husband is feeling lazy on that particular day and probably needs a break. However, prolonged unwillingness to work and lying idle for days together can leave you thinking, “my husband is lazy and irresponsible”. He may even come across as a selfish husband who displays a blatant disregard for your needs and expectations. And if you do think you have a lazy husband ruining marriage, then you’ve come to the right place today.

There is a thin line between being laid back and being lazy. If that line is blurred to the extent of being non-existent in your husband’s approach to life in general and his role in the household in particular, the perception that “my husband is lazy and unmotivated” isn’t off the mark at all.

For more clarity on which side of the laid-back and lazy divide he falls, pay attention to these tell-tale signs of a lazy husband:

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Related Reading: The 10 Different Types Of Husbands

1. The extremely idle, lazy partner

If you find your husband with a ready excuse every time you ask him to do something, like picking up the dry cleaning or paying a bill or just looking after the kids, you have a very lazy spouse. You may find that your husband sits around all day while you’re juggling several balls at the same time to keep the household functional and running.

But if his laziness is accompanied by traits like being selfish, idle and unemployed, then this is a case of having an extremely lazy partner. In such a case, the wife has to take drastic steps to secure her future, as the idle unemployed husband can do no good to marriage. We know of someone who had no choice but to take her husband to therapy after he refused to look for full-time employment and spent 27 days straight at home without showering regularly or even stepping out.

2. The man child

If you feel like your husband is as demanding as your kids and needs constant attention from the minute he wakes up till when he is served dinner, you have a man-child for a husband. He may physically appear as a brute man, but he is nothing more than a little boy who needs his mother to clean up after him. You will have to focus your anti-lazy parenting skills on him just as much as your kids.

Your husband is actually the exact opposite of the new-age husbands who are as effortless workers at home as they are outside. But with a lot of mothering, your lazy husband might just agree to mop the floor or you could even have to offer him a reward like you do with your 10-year-old.

3. Being clumsy is a part of the lazy husband syndrome

If you often find yourself regretting assigning any chores to your husband, then you are dealing with a selfish husband who knows how to camouflage his laziness by being clumsy. His motto is, “Do everything in such a pathetic way that no one ever asks you to do it again” and it’s probably working out great for him.

His clumsiness reflects in everything, right from his messy work desk to the way he arranges his closet. Clumsiness is among the telling signs of a lazy husband whose favorite sport is plonking on the couch.

4. Being a selfish chauvinist

If you find your husband playing the male card every time you ask him to help you in the kitchen or with the kids, he is most likely trying to show his male superiority while hiding the fact that he is nothing more than just a bad and lazy partner. He may even manipulate and control you in order to have things done his way.

He probably thinks that arguing about a chore will discourage you from expecting help from him. “My husband is lazy and irresponsible but also entitled. He thinks he can rightfully expect me to run around fulfilling all his needs, right from serving him food on the couch to cleaning up after him, just because he is a man, I hate my lazy husband not just because he never helps out, but because he looks down upon me,” says Myra, who is exhausted from having to deal with her lazy husband.

Related Reading: How To Deal With A Lying Husband?

5. Your lazy husband might be a sweet-talker

If your husband flatters you by saying “I can’t do it as perfectly as you do it” and regularly gets away with not doing any work delegated to him, then you have a lazy husband who is a master of sugar-coating. He can be so charming that you won’t even realize he is playing you and you will be happily doing his share of the work too because you enjoy his compliments! He is not just lazy but also extremely cunning about it.

signs of a lazy husband
A lazy husband could sweet talk you into doing a lion’s share of the work

6. The conveniently handicapped

To spot the lazy husband syndrome, watch out for this in a man. Your husband gets blind occasionally and can’t find the baby’s bottle even after you have told him exactly where to look. He chooses to get deaf now and then, and says: “You never told me I have to take the garbage out every day.” He loses his memory quite often, especially regarding the errand he was supposed to run. He suddenly develops specific body aches depending on which body part he will have to use for the work you just mentioned. All these are sure symptoms of a lazy husband.

Related Reading: Dealing With A Cranky Husband -13 Tips That Work

12 Clever Ways To Deal With A Lazy Husband

The active wife–passive husband equation is rocking the marital boat of several couples today. When your husband ignores you every time you ask him to pitch in, you’re bound to feel frustrated and even wonder things such as, ‘should I leave my lazy husband?’. The feelings of discontentment can grow manifold due to the changing scenarios at home, where we have the working wife who expects her husband to share the home responsibilities just as they share financial responsibilities. And we know how tiresome this can be for you.

Since most men would go to great lengths to make sure that they don’t lose out on the royal treatment they receive at home in spite of their laziness, the wives must take steps to make their marriage more equal. The wife is left with two choices; one is to take the extreme step of divorcing the sloth husband. Before you do decide to cut things off after a heated argument one day, do try to correct things on your part. I mean, you did say those vows. It might just help him realize what he is doing wrong and turn things around. Don’t let him walk all over you, just try to show him that he needs to be better.

This second choice applies to the ‘not so hopeless’ case of husbands where the wife still has a chance of trying to inculcate a sense of responsibility and accountability in him. So all is not lost, there are still ways to deal with your lazy husband and we will tell you how to go about it. You just have to use your intelligence to work around a way.

1. Reason it out with him

“My husband is lazy and selfish and just so unmotivated that I absolutely can’t deal with it anymore,” said my friend. Yes, the same one who spoke about wanting to kill her husband. To which, I very calmly replied, “Talk to him, tell him how you feel and lay out your expectations as clearly as possible.”

This might make your husband angry but you have to reason things out with him to give any real shot at making things better. Have a one-on-one rational conversation with each other. Point out all the practical inconveniences caused to you and the kids as a direct result of his laziness. Tell him how your toddler almost choked on his dirty socks that lay on the floor.

How you almost burnt yourself trying to multitask in the kitchen, even when he was around. Try to convey your frustrations and expectations, clearly telling him what you want him to do. Just make sure you don’t sound too harsh, nagging or sarcastic while doing so.

Related Reading: Dear Husband, I Need You To Love Me

2. Make him your hero to help him shed his lazy husband syndrome

“My husband has no drive in life and doesn’t lift a finger to help around the house. I hate my lazy husband and I just don’t know what to do next.” If this is your conundrum, then think about trying this interesting and unique way. You can try reverse psychology techniques to motivate him. Let him know that there are some things which only he can do for you. Ask him for help by handing over your superhero cape to him. Let him feel needed (even if you don’t actually need him).

Make him aware of all the positive changes that only he can make by just by helping a little. Once he experiences how happy he can make you and the kids by doing a little more around the house, he will be tempted to keep his superhero image forever. And who knows? This just might make him want to help you a lot more.

my husband has no drive in life
A husband could be lazy but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care

3. Lower your standards (and expectations)

As annoying as it is, this could be one way of tackling your lazy husband ruining marriage. To deal with a lazy husband effectively, you may have to introspect a little. Do you expect him to do this your way? Do you re-do what he’s done because it wasn’t to your liking? Well, it may be time to lower your standards and expectations of him.

This may be a little tough for you initially but if you wait it out you will get your work done exactly how you want it. You just have to accept the haphazard work done by your husband in the early stages so that he learns and eventually completes tasks well.

Once he realizes that he can’t get away with it, he will do a better job the next time. You just need to have loads of patience. That’s not just the secret to get your lazy husband involved in household chores, but also the mantra for a successful marriage.

4. Appreciation – always, all the time

Your lazy partner needs appreciation, kindness and lots of love from you. Appreciation can do wonders in your mission of getting your husband to help you out more at home. If your husband is lazy and doesn’t work, start by getting him involved in small tasks at first. Once he finishes, thank him for his effort or let him know that you appreciate him lending a hand.

Just make sure you sound genuine and not fake while you compliment him on a job well done. You can show your appreciation by awarding him with a treat of his choice such as his favorite meal or agreeing to watch a movie he really wants. If by using a bit of praise you can work things out with your lazy husband then nothing like it.

5. Avoid threatening your lazy husband

No matter how much your husband challenges your patience level, do not resort to threats or deadlines to get a chore done. Give him ample chances and time to do the job his way. Once he is convinced that no matter how long it takes you are ready to wait for it to be done, he will do it. He might even surprise you by doing it even better than you expected him to.

Yes, I understand the instinct to lash out when your husband sits around all day and doesn’t contribute in any way. But you will have to learn to rein in those instincts for a while. Try using a more positive approach to push him to be more hands-on in the house.

Related Reading: 20 Qualities To Look For In A Husband

6. Be feisty and firm

‘Should i leave my lazy husband?’, if it has indeed come to this, then it’s time to be firm. You cannot be a pushover anymore. Don’t threaten a divorce so quickly but do show him that you might just walk out if he does not mend his ways soon.

Be tough and assertive wherever needed, without changing your tone. You may think that raising your voice in getting your kids to do something may apply to your husband as well, but in reality, it doesn’t work that well with kids and certainly not with your husband.

So just be firm and let him know that there is no way out of the task assigned, period. There are times you could feel your pet is better at listening than your partner but if you can put your foot down without shouting and yelling and do not relent then you will have your way.

7. Work on bonding

We know, the last thing you want to do right now is bond with your lazy husband when you are constantly so angry with him. But do give this a go. Try to bond with him while he is helping you at home. Try doing things together like cleaning the house or cooking and have deep conversations about feelings and experiences. This will shift his focus from how much work he is doing to looking forward to having this opportunity to spend time with you.

You can try and work on increasing the emotional intimacy that the two of you share. This is a great way to prevent his laziness from turning into a persistent bone of contention in the relationship. When you team up, chances are that he will be more forthcoming in taking on domestic responsibilities. You, too, can go from struggling with “my husband is lazy and unmotivated” to a happier realization of “my husband may be lazy but he is learning to help”.

husband is lazy and doesn't work
Working on the chores together can increase bonding

8. Be flexible and open to new ways

You may have your way of doing certain things, which may even be the best, but once you assign a task to your husband, do not interfere in his work. Be flexible and accept his way of doing it. If you interfere, you might end up doing it yourself and he might have bitter feelings towards you.

Sometimes women become control freaks and want a certain thing done their way only. Ditch that notion and just relax. His way of doing things may be different but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. You need to keep an open mind in order to get a lazy husband actively involved in shouldering your burdens.

9. Avoid redoing anything that he has done

No matter how bad or messy the job done by your husband is, do not redo it immediately or in the presence of your husband. This is a sure-shot way to prevent him from doing that particular task in the future. Then next time you complain, “My husband is lazy and doesn’t work”; he’ll have the perfect comeback, “What’s the point? When you’ll do it all over again anyway.”

He will always have a feeling that no matter what, he will not be able to meet your level of expectations, so it is best not to do anything. So your lazy husband will go back to the couch. We must say you are not being clever this way. Just believe he would improve, that’s all.

10. Be considerate while dealing with your lazy husband

Consider the urgency and priority of the job that you have assigned to your husband and try to see his point of view too. You can’t blame your husband for being lazy if you are suffering from OCD. Just because you have the habit of immediately washing the teacup after you finish doesn’t mean your husband has to do the same.

The key to dealing with a lazy husband is learning how to delegate work. Once you’ve asked him to do something, keep reminding yourself that it is no longer your responsibility. Leave it to him to handle it, the way he sees fit.

Related Reading: 12 Smart And Easy Ways To Deal With A Nagging Wife

11. Go on a holiday

The best way to deal with a lazy husband could be to leave home for a few days. This is a drastic step but don’t make it sound drastic. Tell him you are dying to go to that girl gang vacation or visit your aunt in the hills. He might not initially relent to let you go but work around it.

If you suspect that your husband will strongly resist the idea, break the news to him after you’ve already done the trip planning and preparation. Book your tickets, order new luggage, and some dresses and shoes too while you’re at it, and then inform your husband about your plans to hit the road. He won’t be able to discourage you from going considering that you have already put in so much effort (and money) into the trip.

Leave the kids with him. When you are back you will see how much of a difference 7 days without you made in his life. He could just rustle up a fancy meal to celebrate your arrival.

12. Divide all the work

This is something you need to do from day one of your marriage. You could have a conversation about this before marriage too. You could be a career woman or a stay-at-home wife but the chores should be divided. He should not expect that you would manage the home entirely on your own because he is working outside.

Laying down the duties and pinning them to the refrigerator could be a great idea. You could get a few magnetic to-do list pads to stick on your refrigerator, and write down the division of household chores and errands on it every day. If the daily writing and erasing feels like too much work, consider getting a weekly planner instead.

You can sit with your husband over the weekends to discuss what needs to be done during the next week, and divide duties in consultation with him. Just the way you could decide on sharing the expenses in a relationship, you could decide on sharing the housework. If you do still think that things are not getting better and you might need an expert to intervene and show you the way, you must certainly consider availing the benefits of couples counseling. Lucky for you, Bonobology has a fantastic panel of counselors that are only a click away.

Getting your husband to take on more is sometimes as good as taming a wild stud; you should know just when and how much he needs to be stroked and scratched before you handle the reins. That’s a clever way of dealing with a lazy husband.


1. Is laziness grounds for divorce?

Not traditionally but we can see how having a lazy spouse can make things incredibly difficult in any marriage. Being a little laid-back is one thing. But if you are convinced that your spouse just does not care about you, is not even trying to help you, and shows no signs of changing, we can see why you might consider divorcing them.

2. How do you motivate a lazy husband?

The first thing you can try is to talk to him. If you two often have good and clear communication in your relationship, this should not be a problem at all. If he doesn’t listen or understand, then you need to start being more firm with him about your expectations.

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Readers Comments On “12 Clever Ways To Deal With A Lazy Husband”

  1. “Assigne a task to your husband ” My husband call that CONTROLLING. Because he wants to be left alone the whole weekend watching tv. No family time. Then he says ‘ when are you taking us to the fair?’

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