Dirty dishes


Dear Alexis,

My life is going pretty well, but something that has been bugging me is the lack of help I get from my husband around the house. Do you have any suggestions as to what I might do to improve the situation?

- Curious

Dear Curious,

I can relate to your problem; I've been dealing with something similar in my own life. For me it's actually a fairly new phenomenon as, before this point, I was usually the one on the other side. Much to my parents' chagrin, I was never great at doing chores regularly. No one could get me to change until I decided it was needed.

That is the unfortunate truth here; the only person you can change is you. So, while you can suggest to your husband that he might help in particular ways or praise him more when he does the things you want, in the end the decision to make long term change lies with him.

This isn't to say that you can't improve the situation, but rather that the avenue for change may be different than you expected.

Consider the reason you do dishes at all. While the reasons may be various, I tend to find that people clean for one main reason; they prefer a cleaner house. Meaning that they clean because it makes their day to day lives more enjoyable. Recognizing this is often the first step in alleviating the resentment built up when one person feels they are doing more than their fair share.

Does this mean that you're stuck doing dishes forever? No, although if you choose to do so that's okay. There are solutions to the dish conundrum. You could hire a housekeeper! But if you don't want to fork out wages for someone else to clean your house, paper dishes might be right for you.

Whatever you choose to do in the end, I always recommend asking yourself this question, "which world would I prefer to live in?"

Are you willing to trade your time and energy so that you can have nice dishes that you are proud of or would you rather save yourself the effort at the cost of utilizing disposable dishes? Consider your emotions too, which of these options would lead to fewer headaches on your part?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you'll know which path to take. Good luck and happy cleaning.

     ~ Lexis

Alexis Baker writes from her home in Olympia.  Write to her at 


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