Sunday, June 26, 2011

How to get your husband to do the washing up.

The problem with thankless tasks is there's no incentive to get it done.

Now don't get me wrong. A clean kitchen is a delight to see and a kitchen where there are simply no plates left to use and nowhere to prepare your lunch is a frustration. It's that middle ground clutter that's the problem. Men just don't care. If we can shovel the detritus to the back of the bench and clear a sandwich-sized crop circle then we're happy. We're utilitarian like that. There is no sense that the cleaning is 'yet to be done'.

For many women the guilt and frustration of it not being done is often overwhelming. This is a gross generalisation (and possibly even just plain wrong) but I reckon women get more out of doing the washing up than men do. They've got more kitchen guilt to absolve.

So how to make your man get off his arse and clean then?

Red gloves

"One of us is going to get dressed in latex"

Thank him. Every time. Sincerely. Change a thankless task into a rewarding one. Every man likes a big kiss and to feel like a hero. Of course it has to go both ways. When you've done his washing or his ironing, point it out to him. He won't be thankful. It's one of those thankless tasks. So he has to learn to be thankful too.

It's not hard.

You don't have to both cultivate a thankfulness for the task that has been done. You just need to reflect on the tasks that you didn't have to do. Here's a question. What's more awesome?

That someone did the washing up.

That you don't have to do the washing up.

It makes me delighted to reflect that I don't have to wash or hang out clothing ever. Equally my wife is elated to know that she never has to do the washing up. Having given that everlasting gift to each other how could we not be thankful? A bit of positive reinforcement is an amazing thing and soon he'll be taking the initiative himself.

Admittedly this may not work for all men. Some guys are just lazy arse-holes, but that's alright.

You were probably a bit of a bitch to begin with anyway.


  1. Fixing a relationship without buying a number of self help books? Crazy talk!

  2. Reading this I thought "Dan has suffered a head injury, or is being medicated" as it just didn't sound like you. I was a bit concerned.

    Then I got to the last line and relaxed. :-)


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