An Open Letter to My Husband


I’m writing this largely to beg other wives to tell me I’m not alone.

To hear I’m not the only wife whose husband thinks rinsing dishes out is some kind of taboo or form of torture I’ve invented just to annoy him. I’m not the only wife whose husband can know the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty, yet stacks them in the sinks. Or the only wife whose husband sometimes uses a roll of toilet paper, pulls out another one, but doesn’t actually change the roll.

Don’t get me wrong. You’re a wonderful husband and father. You’re actually probably a better father than I am a mother, but I know you’d argue that with me. But just once, I wish you’d rinse a dish out. Or change the roll of toilet paper.

I can’t be alone. I just can’t. I wonder if there’s some secret club I don’t know about where husbands learn to do things like rinse their bowl out in the sink instead of leaving milk there to fester all day. If there is, where can I sign you up? I’m kind of at a loss for what to do. Sometimes, I give up and don’t clean for a few days. I let the dishes pile up in the sink, the laundry go undone, etc. It drives me crazy and I crack pretty quickly.

M, you’re a wonderful guy. But would it kill you to check whether the dishes are dirty in the dishwasher before you put your dishes in or around the sink? Or maybe rinse that spoon you eat peanut butter out of the jar with? [You’re so weird.]

I love you, honey.

Let’s work on this together.

-Your wife

5 Replies to “An Open Letter to My Husband”

  1. Shoot, I’m not even married and this annoys me. Probably why I’m single, because putting dirty dishes in the sink and leaving them to fester is a deal breaker for me. Nothing will irritate the shit out of me faster than a dirty kitchen. I come unhinged. So I feel for you.

  2. at least he pulls out a new roll when the old one is empty. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to scream for a new roll b/c he used the last TP and didn’t replace it!

  3. I completely agree with you, even to the spoon with peanut butter. Except my situation is reversed.

    I’ve been begging her for 5 years about the dishes and I get the response “I never know if the dishes are clean or dirty!” My response to that? “If this light is on they’re clean. If it’s not on, they’re dirty.” Really doesn’t seem that difficult to understand, right?

  4. You are not alone. You can do a couple of things. 1. Stop doing…something. Maybe the cereal bowls, maybe his socks. When he notices — and let’s hope he does — tell him what’s up. or tell him before hand: I’m going to stop putting your sock in the hamper; I’m going to stop rinsing out your bowls. YOU do it, honey. 2. FLIP OUT. Dan & I do this on each other (I’m not the world’s best housekeeper), and what it has lead to is actually solving the problem. (For example, I haven’t blogged about this yet, but we send our laundry out. It comes back clean and folded; I just put it away. It’s has freed up so many hours.) 3. Crawl into bed, and be down for the day. If you get up and the house is a wreck, crawl right back in.

    You’ve got the right idea about working together. That is something that has kept Dan & I from totally — I don’t know, going completely insane I guess. The reminder that we are partners, that we are team mates. Sometimes that reminder comes at the end of a good old fashioned yelling at, but we do get there & solve the problems. It’s vital now with 3, and it’s vital for you now with your health issues. (Pssst: cleaning lady.)

    Hang in there!

  5. PS: Book: Baby Proofing Your Marriage.

    PPS: THEY DON’T SEE THE MESS. They don’t, trust me. TALK to him. Gently at first. 😉

    PPPS: Dan eats out of the peanut butter jar, too, and the worst part: He’s taught the girls to do it. I’m sure Michael will be doing it someday, too.

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