Don’t Correct or Fix His Helping

I’ve mentioned this before, but it came up in a comment recently and I realised it’s been awhile since I wrote on it.

When you husband does something “for you”, don’t criticise how he does it. 

Don't Fix His Helping

I’ve had a number of men tell me they no longer load the dishwasher, or do the laundry, or fold the towels, or put anything away, because rather than appreciation they get complaints. Do that a few times and most men will just stop trying… forever! Even worse he may stop doing much of anything.

The less aggressive way of doing this is to follow behind him and redo it the way you think it should be done. Odds are he will be aware of it, and while it’s not as hurtful, it’s still a slap in the face.

I do realise sometimes there is a right and wrong way to do things. But most of the time he’s not doing it wrong, he’s doing it differently. If it’s really a matter of harmful or dangerous, then discuss that with him AFTER you thank him for his help. If his way isn’t wrong but drives you crazy, I suggest thanking him and saying “It would be even more helpful if you could _____.”

BTW, there are several things around the house I make a point of doing because I like the way I do them better than the way Lori does them. Her way isn’t wrong, and I would never try to tell her to do it my way. I just make sure I get there first on the things that really matter to me.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and we don’t even have a dishwasher.

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9 Comments on “Don’t Correct or Fix His Helping

  1. Not sure why my website is not being recognized?

    Anyway, Paul, I don’t think even “The less aggressive way …” is good.

    How would your wife like her husband doing this to her about any job she does? Cooking, taking care of the kids?

    Overall I think this post is good.

    • I don’t think he meant it as a positive alternative, but rather he gave a common example of another negative that doesn’t seem so bad, but is still, “a slap in the face.”

      I shake my head at all the women who complain about their husbands loading the dishwasher wrong. First of all, be thankful he helps with the household chores. Secondly, be thankful you have a freakin’ dishwasher!!!! With a house full of children here, I don’t have a dishwasher. Some days I feel like I live at that sink.

      • @Libl, yes! Sometimes I feel like I live in the laundry room! Of course, I do have a washing machine. 😊

        I get the sense your kids are younger than mine – but it continues! With a house full of teen boys there are plenty of school clothes, workout clothes, baseball uniforms, crew clothes – it’s never ending! And they eat constantly. (Although I am quite blessed to have a dishwasher. I didn’t, but when we redid the kitchen my sweet grandmother felt so strongly I needed one that she bought it for us. “Trust me,” she said, “with those growing boys you’ll be glad to have it!” And I sure am.)

        In a way, though, I see the mess as a beautiful mess. It makes me happy they are happy while creating said mess. (Although I’m not sure I felt so happy when they were too tiny to help clean it up!) 😊

  2. I think that for many women (and men!) the pull of tradition can be stronger than one realizes. My wife was taught to do things a certain way by her mom, and when she stepped out of that path she felt she was being disloyal – and that her mom, if she’d come visit us, would disapprove.

    Contrast this with someone who will use a sink for cleaning dishes, carburettors, and weapons, and you’ve got the gist for some very interesting conversations.

  3. My guess is that if she complains about her husband helping, then that is just the tip of the iceberg. A smart woman lets a man “own” the job. I do practically all of the laundry, and I usually do the bathrooms, and I frequently load and unload the dishwasher. My wife NEVER
    complains–she is grateful. I do try to imitate the way she does it unless I really prefer another. She used to fold towels; I roll them. Now she does to. I also fold the bedclothes into a bundle with the matching parts. She truly appreciates the help! Let the overly particular ones do it all themselves, but then tell them to be quiet when they complain of being over-worked.

  4. Agree. Opposite is also true. When your wife does something for you don’t criticize her about how she does it.

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