Recently my friend called me very seriously to ask what would happen 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. 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 frustrated with her lazy husband.
Her husband’s inability to get things done had been making her angry for quite some time now. Finally, all hell broke loose one day when she was already overwhelmed with multitasking, handling cooking and the baby all at once. Just then, the doorbell meanwhile her husband kept calling her from the other room.
She 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.” 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.
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. 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. This 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.
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:
Related Reading: The 10 Different Types Of Husbands
1. The extremely idle husband
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 extreme laziness. 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 stepping out.
2. The boy husband
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 boy-husband who is just physically a man. 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 sign of a lazy husband
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.”
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 his laziness. 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,” says Myra, who is exhausted from having to deal with her lazy husband.
Related Reading: How To Deal With A Lying Husband?
5. The 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.
6. The conveniently handicapped
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. The feelings of discontentment can grow manifolds 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.
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.
The 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 unmotivated and I just can’t deal with it anymore,” said my friend. Yes, the same one who spoke about wanting to kill her husband. To which, I 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. 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.
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2. Make him your hero
“My husband has no drive in life and doesn’t lift a finger to help around the house.” If this is your conundrum, 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 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.
3. Lower your standards (and expectations)
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
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
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
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”.
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.
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.