The issue I have is that when T comes over — on a day that I work and my husband is off work — A neglects his responsibilities. T is 32 years old, does not drive, does not have a car, and does not have a job. T lives about 25 minutes away from my husband’s and my home. Each time they hang out, my husband has to drive all the way out to T’s house to pick him up and take him home. This doesn’t bother me very much, but when T comes over, it is like my husband’s entire sense of responsibility fades away. In the past few months, there have been a number of incidents that have occurred while T is over, including a small fire being started by an unattended candle that could have easily burned the house down, the grass grows a mile high because he’s “too busy” to cut the grass on the day they hang out, he lets our dog chew up anything (I have recently lost 2 pairs of shoes and 2 TV remotes to this), along with a mess being left for me after I worked all day long.
I have no issues with my husband hanging out with his friends at all, I just hate that every time T comes over, something happens or something doesn’t get done and I get very frustrated. I have tried talking to my husband about this, but he gets very defensive of T (I think he feels the need to “protect” him in a sense) and does not seem to respond positively. Can you please tell me the best way to approach this might be? My husband is truly the man of my dreams in absolutely every other way, but I am tired of one day a week him turning into a video game-playing, mess-making, not-doing-anything-but-hanging-out-with-his-friends 16-year-old. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated! — Married to a 16-Year-Old One Day a Week
Hmm, call me crazy, but I get the feeling you don’t like T and blame him for your husband’s behavior. But the thing is, your husband is a grown man and, if he chooses not to mow the grass or to ignore your dog or knock over a burning candle, that’s on him. T isn’t holding a gun to his head and forcing him to be a neglectful husband one day a week. And he isn’t forcing him to spend his entire day off with him every week either. That’s your husband’s choice, so if you want him to behave differently and stop “protecting” his friend when you air your grievances with him, leave the friend out of it. Frankly, the way I see it, you’re lucky. Your husband is hanging out with the guy you don’t like when you aren’t home. You don’t even have to deal with T directly. And his time with your husband doesn’t cut into your time with your husband.
But, I get it: T’s time with your husband is cutting into time that your husband could/should be doing things around the home, like mowing the lawn and training your dog or whatever. (OK, side note: if you have a dog who eats shoes, either be in charge of putting your shoes where he can’t get to them, and/or send him to obedience school. Honestly, neither you nor your husband should have to spend your days off from work policing the dog to make sure he doesn’t eat all your stuff…). Can you tell your husband that you don’t care what he does on his day off or whom he spends it with as long as the lawn is mowed when you get home from work? Can you tell him that you’d rather he spend a portion of his day off when you’re working taking care of a few of his chores so that when there’s a day you both have off, you’re free to enjoy your time together?
As for the candle that got knocked over, I’d leave that alone. Accidents happen. An accident could happen even when T isn’t around. And the more you focus on T being the bad influence causing all the destruction and chaos, the more you alienate your husband. Even the whole “T doesn’t drive and A has to pick him up and take him home every week” sounds bitter. I mean, who cares? If you’re at work anyway, what difference does it make if your husband is driving his friend to and from his home? I mean, we’re not talking about an hour drive each way, are we? Even if you weren’t at work, doesn’t your husband — the man of your dreams who is so loving and attentive and makes you so happy — deserve a little time with his oldest and closest friend without it turning into some big thing?
I’ve got two practical tips for you. First: on the day that your husband hangs out with T, find something you can do after work that helps you blow off some steam and create a buffer between your work life and your home life. Go to the gym, take a dance class, start a book club, have happy hour with some friends — do something that raises your endorphins and puts you in a better frame of mind to face your husband. I have a feeling that part of your resentment stems from the fact that you’ve been at work all day not having any fun while your husband has been goofing off with his childhood friend, playing video games and acting like a “16-year-old.” Maybe if you had a little fun yourself, you wouldn’t feel so resentful about A enjoying himself, and the un-mowed lawn wouldn’t feel like the end of the world either.
The other tip I have is to keep your eyes peeled for a girlfriend for ol’ T. I know you don’t like him and you probably wouldn’t want to set him up with a friend of yours. But think about it: if T had a girlfriend keeping him company, he might mature a little bit. At the very least, he might not be available to spend entire days with your husband every single week. Plus, a girlfriend could take over some chauffeuring, too. Think about it. A girlfriend for T could help solve some of your problems…
Also, doggy obedience school. Seriously. You gotta protect your shoes.
[EDITED TO CHANGE NAMES]
You can follow me on Facebook here an Twitter here.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].
Amanda October 1, 2012, 9:06 am
WWS. That is all
Oldie October 1, 2012, 9:10 am
The shoes make no sense at all, unless husband is unemployed and at home every day. Does LW just leave the shoes out to be eaten on the one day that husband is home? I guess it’s possible that the dog is also jealous of TJ and that’s its way of acting up. I also don’t get the issue with the lawn and TJ. Is the guys’ day the only time the husband can mow the lawn? TJ does seem like a hapless loafer, but at the root of things, LW seems to see her perfect husband as a lazy guy who fails to pull his weight around the house. If TJ never came over again, would husband be more industrious on his video-game day?
CSP October 1, 2012, 9:31 am
I think the dog thing is that the husband plays video games for hours and doesn’t check to see what the dog is doing in that time.
Oldie October 1, 2012, 9:45 am
Well no, unless the husband is unemployed or works from home, the dog has plenty of other days to eat the shoes, when the husband is not home and the houseis the dog’s sole preserve. Does LW leave the shoes out on purpose to cause problems on that one day? Is the husband’s job to guard LW’s shoes? Hard to do that while mowing the lawn.
I wonder if all sides wouldn’t be happier if husband and TJ just played over at TJ’s house. That would stop depredations to LW’s home, although she would lose her shoe guard. Husband saves 50 minutes of driving, gets to say hello to his parents, and can use the saved time to mow the lawn.
The dog doesn’t necessarily even eat the shoes while husband is home. It could easily happen while he’s doing his commute to TJ’s parents’ house.
What’s with the burning candle? Doesn’t seem like a guy thing.
bethany October 1, 2012, 9:49 am
The dog’s probably crated when no one is home, that’s why it’s not a problem on other days.
jlyfsh October 1, 2012, 9:55 am
yeah i agree on the crate and my dogs often ‘act out’ when they feel like they are being ignored when we are home. ‘acting out’ can mean usually means shredding a favorite thing of mine and bringing it to me with a smirk on their face.
LK7889 October 1, 2012, 10:13 am
My dog just decides that it’s time to pee in the house when I ignore him too much. “Oh, you’re doing housework, are you? Time to pee on the carpet since you clearly like those dishes more than me?”
jlyfsh October 1, 2012, 11:19 am
luckily my dogs do not pee. i also have to say it takes approx. 6 seconds for my dogs to find, destroy and bring whatever it is to me. or at least it feels that way 😉 you don’t necessarily have to be completely ignoring them for something like that to happen. you just have to be doing anything other than rubbing their belly.
applescruffs October 1, 2012, 11:17 am
I spent the weekend helping my boyfriend clean out his late mother’s house. This was an unacceptable use of time, and so even thought I came home halfway through the day to feed her, she had completely shredded “Green Eggs and Ham” by the time I got home that night (we’re housesitting for my mother, she keeps kids’ books around for my niece and nephew).
malikyiaue October 1, 2012, 11:45 am
This is in response to this entire thread of comments.
I’m a professional dog trainer, and I feel like I should let you guys know that dogs aren’t actually capable of being ‘vindictive’. If it happens when you’re home? Sure, they’re trying to get attention. Because dogs are like toddlers, and negative attention is better than good attention, and if you’re busy cleaning, and they bring a toy to you? You’ll probably just take the toy and put it down somewhere else. If they chew up shoes or something else like that? Then you come and yell at them, and YAY MOMMY AND ME TIME! Even if it’s not good mommy and me time.
But dogs only have five seconds where they’re able to connect action and consequence. If they’re tearing things up while you’re gone, it’s more than likely just out of boredom, and finding something to do on their own. Unless it happened like this: You leave — > Dog tears up book, then it’s not a commentary on your leaving. Just on the fact that they were bored, and it was out, and available to be torn up.
jlyfsh October 1, 2012, 12:42 pm
yeah i know my dogs aren’t capable of being vindictive but it’s pretty funny because it seems like they are. and i know they’re just bored. and i do actually usually stop cleaning and play with them, which probably doesn’t set any good boundaries as far as training them. but, they’re cute. so they usually win 🙂
although, we did deal with separation anxiety in our one dog after we first adopted her. she’s better now although doesn’t understand why i can’t work from home, haha.
Fabelle October 1, 2012, 9:56 am
Yeah, I agree that the husband staying at TJ’s might be a better idea– I wonder why he doesn’t just do that, if he’s having to drive to pick him up, anyway?
Wendy October 1, 2012, 10:03 am
Because TJ lives with his parents.
Fabelle October 1, 2012, 10:06 am
Ah, okay– that makes sense then! Didn’t connect the dots with the whole “has lived next door for over 30 years” thing.
artsygirl October 1, 2012, 9:10 am
WWS – The LW sounds like she is projecting her frustrations on her husband’s friend. After all, grass does not suddenly spring into life on the one day your husband hangs out with his friend. It sounds like TJ disrupts the normal cycle of things around the house and that is what is frustrating for the LW.
ChemE October 1, 2012, 9:14 am
I think the complaints are more about wanting to stop the husband from hanging out with his friend than you are letting on.
Why can’t the lawn be mowed the day before or after they hang out? It’s not like it only grows on the day they hang out.
Why can’t you put your shoes away? I assume he only chews on them that day? And no other times he does it? Must be one hell of a trained dog if he only does it that particular day of the week.
Tell him he has to clean up his own mess after his friend goes home. Even big boys have to clean up their own messes once in a while.
Candles are accidents waiting to happen no matter who is home, yes even you.
He has to pick him up and drive him home. I’m still not sure I get the issue here.
Please, lighten up. It’s one day.
BecBoo84 October 1, 2012, 10:20 am
Yeah, I didn’t get the lawn thing either. Unless the yard is ridiculously large, or on the the other six days a week, the husband is working 15 hours, the lawn can be mowed another day.
Fabelle October 1, 2012, 9:19 am
Wendy’s right– especially with this observation: “I have a feeling that part of your resentment stems from the fact that you’ve been at work all day not having any fun while your husband has been goofing off with his childhood friend…” LW, all the little things you list basically boils down to that. But if that’s the only day your husband hangs out with TJ– a convenient arrangement for all of you, really, since he’s off & you’re working– then obviously, he’s going to be having a low-key, relaxing day.
I don’t see how the grass can be growing “a mile high” in only one day, but for the other stuff (the shoes, the mess, etc.), you’ll just need to approach it differently. You KNOW when TJ is coming, so the night before, casually say to your husband– with no bitterness in your voice–something like, “Oh, I know you’ll be hanging out with TJ tomorrow, but at some point could you make sure to________?” Don’t make it a “you never do the chores when TJ’s here” thing.
Taking a class or maybe even going out with your own friends or coworkers is a great idea. I can picture you coming straight home from work into a messy house as your husband & his friend are drinking beer on a couch or something. I’d be annoyed, too! But it’s not his fault that he spent his time relaxing on his day off. I think you just need some buffer time between “work” and “TJ”.
AmyRenee October 1, 2012, 12:41 pm
The only thing I would add as a counterpoint to this is the part about: “But it’s not his fault that he spent his time relaxing on his day off” if because A is relaxing on his day off, LW has to spend HER day off doing the household chores that he didn’t do. But if LW doesn’t tell A that this makes her mad, then its not A’s fault for not just figuring that out. Maybe I’m projecting my own situation on the LW, but I have fallen into the same trap with my husband, blaming my BIL and my husband’s friends when at the end of the day, its my husband that makes the choice to hang out instead of doing chores or taking care of the kids. (Note -it doesn’t happen all that often, just often enough for me to get mad at BIL and then realize I’m projecting my anger in the wrong place.)
T might be a “bad influence” on A, but at the end of the day, its not his fault. LW, TALK to A about how you feel, and how the 2 of you prioritize housework/yardwork over leisure time. If you aren’t getting any leisure time of your own, let him know that. He’s not a mind reader. And do it now, because if you plan to have kids this situation gets a whole lot uglier without it being resolved- replace dog chewing on shoes with kid not being picked up from the babysitter on time or waking up every day at 6 am and expecting you to always be the one to get up early to deal with it.
JK October 1, 2012, 9:20 am
WWS, up to a certain point.
I also get the feeling that you don´t like TJ much, BUT Andy should totally be pulling his weight on his day off work (and why do you have to get home and clean up the mess the two of them make?). Also, that whole having to go pick up TJ, 25 minutes away, makes nearly 2 hours each time they see each other. And this is every week?
I think it´s time for a serious chat with Andy, either to start reducing the frequency of the visits, or shortening them, so he can get stuff done before or after the visits.
CG October 1, 2012, 10:04 am
I also think Wendy missed the mark on the finding a girlfriend for TJ suggestion. I know the economy blows and TJ might be in his current situation through no fault of his own (like he got laid off and is having trouble finding another job and had to move back in with his parents for a while to save money), but I don’t know a lot of ladies who would jump at the chance to date an unemployed 32-year-old who still lives at home and doesn’t drive. The LW obviously doesn’t like TJ so maybe that’s coloring her description of him and he sounds like a bigger loser than he actually is, but still. Finding a girlfriend for him is probably easier said than done.
LK7889 October 1, 2012, 10:18 am
And if someone wrote in complaining about her unemployed, car-less, still living with the parents, 32 year old boyfriend, we’d tell her to MOA.
kerrycontrary October 1, 2012, 9:23 am
WWS-The LW’s problem is with her husband, not TJ. And don’t leave your shoes out! My entire house doesn’t have anything within my dog’s reach (except for her toys) because of this. Now if your husband didn’t let the dog out all day and you came home to pee and poo all over the house then that would be another story, but honestly I think if your dog can get into your closet and is quietly chewing a pair of shoes while your husband is playing videogames in another room, it’s not really anyone’s fault. Dogs like to chew on leather cause it feels good on their teeth. Price of having a dog.
tbrucemom October 1, 2012, 9:28 am
Wendy is spot on as usual. I also have to add that the LW sounds like a joy to live with (note sarcasm). Most wives would love the scenario she describes. A hardworking, loving husband who spends his one “goof” off day at home with an old friend instead of hanging out at a bar all day, or on an expensive hobby (i.e. golf). I wouldn’t want to clean up after them after working all day either, but all of the other arguments stated are just being petty.
ktfran October 1, 2012, 9:30 am
Umm, how is it another man’s fault that a dog ruined your shoes? Does he sit there and actively force the dog to chew on them? Please explain, because I don’t get it.
Why does the driving bother you so much? Is it because he could be doing other things instead of taking time out of his day to pick up his friend? He’s an adult and needs to learn to prioritize. So, if wants to goof around all day, that’s fine. But then he needs to get up early, not sleep in and mow the lawn. I’m an adult. I don’t like chores. I would rather play. But, when I have chores, I make sure they get done. Also, does he have to mow the lawn on his day off? Couldn’t he spend an hour after work one night a week to mow?
The candle thing would bother me too. But it was an accident.
It honestly sounds like you both need to grow up. Your husband needs to learn responsibility. You need to learn to communicate in a productive manner and not blame others for your husband’s shortcomings.
bethany October 1, 2012, 9:33 am
Are you fucking kidding me?
It takes WAY longer than 1 day for the grass to grow a mile high, and if you have such a problem with it, why dont’ YOU mow it?
Your husband should be able to spend his day off however he wants to, especially if you’re not there for him to spend time with. And honestly, why do you care that he’s going to pick up his buddy? it’s 50 minutes out of your husband’s day, not yours!
I can see getting mad about the fire, but that’s probably a 1 time accidental thing- accidents happen to all of us. Just this weekend, I forgot I had a candle lit, and went out shopping, only to realize that I had forgotten to blow it out when I was 20 minutes from home. I had to turn around and go back to blow it out- and I’m a fairly responsible person!
kerrycontrary October 1, 2012, 9:42 am
Yup, accidents happen. One time I went to target and didn’t notice my dog had slipped out of my apartment onto the landing. She didn’t bark so she was there for like 45 mins. Now I’m OCD about making sure that doesn’t happen again.
bethany October 1, 2012, 9:50 am
Somehow I also forgot to lock the front door, too… So I got home to an unlocked house AND a burning candle. I win the idiot award!
SixtyFour October 1, 2012, 10:23 am
One morning I woke up, ready to go to work, and I couldn’t find my keys anywhere! Then I opened the front door and saw that I had left them in the keyhole all night long. I realized I had come home from grocery shopping the day before and my hands were full of bags that I left the keys in the lock while I carried everything in and then forgot to take them out. Anyone could have seen them in my door and walked in while I slept, or taken them and driven my car away. But strangers seem to be nicer than those murder mystery tv shows have led me to believe.
katie October 1, 2012, 10:33 am
i have done that so many more times then i would like to admit… i did it in college in my dorm room (and wondered why people were knocking on my door lol), ive done it in my car, in my door.. yea.
bostonpupgal October 1, 2012, 12:58 pm
I agree with this to a point. I woud love to be able to spend my days off exactly how I wanted, doing whatever the hell I wanted, but the reality of being an (almost) married adult who owns a home, is that there is a lot of work to be done. Like, a lot. All the time.
Depending on the husband’s schedule and how industrious he is on other days, it might be perfectly reasonable that this one day a week he’s sitting around doing nothing, or it might not. I would be pissed too if my husband expected me to come home from work and clean up after him and his friends every single week. I agree that this is obviously a lot more about her resentment than the actual issues (grass can definitely bo mowed other days), but I can also see her point.
I completely agree with Wendy that you need to leave the friend out of this. Have a talk with your husband where you explain that you arent a maid, and he needs to clean up after himself. Tell him you expect the house in exactly the same condition it was that morning by 9 pm that night. If he shirks his duties, call him out. It might also be helpful to list the chores that need to get done that week and who will be doing them (my fiance and I do this). If you find his half isn’t done by the agreed time, call him out. Don’t put it in the context of the friend, put it in context of what needs to be accomplished. If several weeks go by with him not doing his share, then have a talk about time management and his day off
bethany October 1, 2012, 1:43 pm
I agree with you that there’s a lot to be done, but I’m also a married homeowner, and I seem to have no problem spending one of my days off literally doing nothing around the house. Yesterday after a 10 mile run, I was spent. I laid in bed, read magazines, hung out with my cat and then watched tv and drank wine. Did my husband pout and complain that I was a lazy POS? Nope. Because on Saturday I busted my ass and got a ton of stuff done around the house/yard. The grass didn’t grow a mile in the day that I took “off”.
The LWs husband doesn’t sound like a good for nothing guy who doesn’t pull his weight. He sounds like the male version of me, and he’s enjoying his time off. If he really does leave the house a mess every time his buddy comes over, then yes, the LW should address that one aspect with him. But that’s it.
wendykh December 14, 2012, 8:04 pm
I have a friend who works six days a week, her husband 5. She’s LIVID that her husband spends one of his days off (the one she does not have off) doing buttkiss around the house. Because see this means that on her ONE and only day off she absolutely HAS to do all the housework. yes, he helps that day. But if he would do just some on the extra day he has, they would both have more leisure time together. Alas, he does NOTHING on that day. I can see why LW might be cheesed off.
katie October 1, 2012, 2:25 pm
i think a huge part of this is if he is actually *expecting* her to clean up after him and his friend, or if he is lazy and not doing it and she is angry-cleaning every thursday night without saying a word about it, OR if he would do it, but isnt doing it according to her schedule…
all those things would be completely different situations, with completely different advice that would need to be given. LW doesnt say if she has to clean up after them, if she does out of frustration, or if he does, but the next day or something.. she only says that it is messy after the friend leaves, which is pretty normal.
katie October 1, 2012, 9:42 am
yea, i feel like this is a time-management problem really more then anything.
so first off, what do you do on your days off? are they relaxing? do you get to see your friends, hang out, do mindless things like playing video games? if not, start doing that. i am a firm believer that everyone needs atleast one day to just decompress from everything and do nothing. nap. play with your dog. read a book, whatever makes you happy to just do nothing. (for me, this usually TLC and lots of wedding dresses that i groggily watch while i nap with my cats). so, if you arent getting any of your own “guy time”, start doing that. the demands of your household rest equally on both of your shoulders, as do the demands of relaxing. yes, i do treat relaxing as a “demand”. you need it. everyone needs it. make time for it.
secondly, is your husband doing chores the rest of the time, or is this messy lazy person a once a week thing? i have found with my relationship that me and jake have completely different ways of approaching chores. i realized this after a huge fight and lots of crying, so if you can figure this out before that point, do it. i like to make lists, check things off, and i like do get all the work done before i relax, like a chore/reward kind of senario. also, i like to do my chores when jake is at work because then when he is home we get to spend more time together. jake, on the other hand, approaches things totally differently from me, and honestly i cant even tell you what his system is, if he even has one. but, you know what? he gets housework done that needs to be done, he always has dinner ready, the bills are always paid on time, ect.. so, if this is just a case of different ways of apporaching chores, have that talk with him and figure out some kind of system so that you dont feel like he is just lazy because he gets to hang out all day and do nothing. and, remember, he is allowed that.
and then, try to think about the other things in life that you and he does besides cleaning. i used to get really upset that i do the majority of the cleaning around the house, but then i remind myself that jake: cooks everything i eat, pays all of my bills, keeps track of the car stuff, figures out our finances and budget every month, and still works chef hours. he does a lot. and even though its not cleaning, it contributes to our household. i mean ill be perfectly honest: i clean, usually, lol, and i take care of my cats, and i do laundry. i pay two bills that are tied to my personal accounts. …..and thats like it. i really have an awesome life.
also, please remember that sometimes both of you will just not have the energy or the willpower to do work 7 days a week. i came home one day to jake (the chef, who cooks all of our meals), on his day off, i think he might have been playing video games, relaxing, whatever.. and he was just like, i dont want to cook today. now, we really try not to go out to eat because its expensive, and jake cooks better then most places anyway, but i absolutely did not mind that day. it is his day off, and it is completely his right to say, you know what? im doing shit today. ill do it tomorrow. (but, the kicker there is that it DOES have to get done tomorrow/next week/whatever). and, there have been days i have been off that i have not cleaned, and jake will get home, and ill be like omg i didnt clean today!! and he is just like, whatever its your day off. just do it later, its fine. the world isnt ending. and he is right…
lemongrass October 1, 2012, 9:57 am
As long as your husband is doing equal chores to you throughout the rest of the week you do not get to dictate when he does them. If he chooses to mow the lawn on sunday instead of saturday then that is his choice. Frankly, you sound like a control freak. Part of being a wife is sometimes picking up the slack so your husband can enjoy himself. It goes both ways. You should be happy for him that he has such a great friendship! But your not, you’re bitter. I don’t think that is your husbands fault, I think it says something is lacking in your own life.
MiMi October 1, 2012, 10:07 am
Your loving, attentive husband is not going to stay that way if you employ a whip-cracking, foot-stamping management style of demanding things done your way and on your schedule. He is a grown man, so stop acting like his mother and more like a partner and negotiate issues fairly to a reasonable compromise.
Also, many teenagers are in need of jobs – how about helping a neighborhood boy or girl start up a grass-cutting/yard work enterprise, beginning with your lawn?
jlyfsh October 1, 2012, 10:10 am
was tj not an issue before marriage? did you not notice this behavior before? i also have to say i agree with Wendy, this isn’t about TJ it’s about your husband. first i’m going to guess like bethany said above that the dog is crated while you guys are at work and that this is why the dog gets in to stuff when someone is home. i think all pet owners have learned the don’t leave things for them to get in to lesson the hard way. i’ve lost two directv remotes to my dogs, expensive (for remotes) lesson learned!
as far as the other things i would say think about what your husband does the rest of the week. is this his one time a week to just hang out. do you have time once a week to do nothing? i mean i feel like i’m pretty type A. i often feel like i have to have a perfectly clean house (or used to feel that way) in order for things to be ‘ok’. at times i still can’t relax unless things are neat, but i’ve learned to let go of some of that. if i come home and my husband has left dishes or clothes or both all over the house (and those damn socks stuck in between the cushions of the couch!) i take a deep breath and realize nothing is going to happen. and you know what else i’ve found if i don’t clean it up he will, maybe not in the time frame i would do it, but he gets it done.
and if you feel you need to talk to him about this, don’t make it about TJ. because it’s not. you may think it is, but more than likely if TJ wasn’t there he would still play video games and let the dog do whatever on his day off.
katie October 1, 2012, 10:23 am
whats that saying- our house is clean enough to be healthy, but dirty enough to be happy…? something like that..
AmyRenee October 1, 2012, 12:26 pm
I agree that this really isn’t about T but rather about your husband’s priorities. From the letter, it sounds like he is prioritizing 1) being attentive to LW, 2) “Man time” with T, 3) Household chores. If each LW and A only have 2 days off per week and only one of them is together, I could see LW getting frustrated that her husband prioritizes spending one day with T, leaving the other day for him to either spend time with her OR do chores – so in effect his priorities seem more like: 1) “man time” 2) Spend time with LW OR do chores. Then LW feels frustrated either way, because either she gets to spend time with her husband but has to do all the chores herself or they spend an entire day off together doing chores and they don’t get to do anything fun together. This cycle comes up in my marriage from time to time, and I tend to fume about it for a while until I explode.
LW, you need to talk to your husband, and leave T out of it. But you need to tell him: I feel like you are prioritizing “fun” (either with you or with T) over responsibilities and its driving me crazy. Then the 2 of you need to come up with a plan – whether that be to outsource some of the housework/yardwork if possible, both spend more time doing chores during evenings so there is less to do on your days off work, or as some people have said, agree to let your standards slide a little as far as having a spotless house and yard or whatever compromise you come up with. Don’t call out T specifically, but instead refer to video games and sports and other activities your husband is doing other than household responsibilities – because at the end of the day, just because he’s doing them with T doesn’t make it T’s fault he’s slacking.
And it is reasonable to say “Hey, when I come home from working all day when you had the day off it ticks me off to find dishes all over, [or whatever] – could you and T make an effort to clean up a little before I get here?” – but make that a separate conversation from the overall one about how you spend your days off vs doing chores.
rangerchic October 1, 2012, 10:38 am
I get the frustration…it seems like when my husband gets off work early he goes home and doesn’t do much though and when I have time off or get home early I always do the dishes or laundry or dust or whatever it maybe. So I get frustrated sometimes. My husband works a very physically demanding job and I don’t but still….I would get a little frustrated; however, he now asks me if there is anything he can do for me when he gets home! I usually say nothing but at least he asks.
So if there are certain things that you would like done that day maybe just ask him to do it before he hangs out with his friend. Also, keep your bedroom door shut so the dog can’t get your shoes. I’ve got two dogs and yes – they chew on everything so be mindful of where your things are before leaving!
Bossy Italian Wife October 1, 2012, 10:45 am
I love how LW names these people T & A…. was I the only theater geek who got that?!
Anyway, yes, I agree with Wendy that you need to deal with your husband about the issues, and not make it about the friend; in reality your husband is choosing this. Maybe you could approach this way: “Hey babe, I know that you sometimes like to blow off the housework and hang out with your buddies. I love to blow off stuff too every once in a while. Do you mind maybe blowing off those things a little bit less; like maybe once a month?”
Or you could try complimenting him when he does the stuff instead of pointing out when he doesn’t. This is sort of the reverse psychology approach to things, but really men do respond to positive feedback more often than negative feedback because they feel better. Give it a try… either way, you need to put your shoes in a safer place!!!
*HmC* October 1, 2012, 12:55 pm
Theater geek? No. I must be a pervert though because I thought of something else…
kate B. October 1, 2012, 2:01 pm
It refers to that, but in a musical.
Lindsay October 1, 2012, 10:50 am
The only thing that seems, to me, to be a direct result of these visits is that the LW comes home to a messy house. But as Wendy said, these things aren’t T.J.’s fault. The dog chewing stuff up is more of a problem with the dog/the training of the dog — surely the LW and her husband leave the dog alone at other times. And it takes longer than a day for grass to get too high. As for the home cleanup, it may just be that the husband and the LW have different standards of when the house should get cleaned. Does the LW come home, fume and then clean it herself? What would happen if she left it until the next day — would he get around to it on his own schedule? Does the husband just never clean up after himself?
lynn October 1, 2012, 11:02 am
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Does he get “things done” every other day of the week? Let him enjoy his day off. Don’t micromanage his life, because even though you claim you don’t care that he hangs out with his friends… guess what? You do. If I were you, I’d be happy that my husband has a close friend of 32 years and that the person helps him keep/remember his youth.
If you fret about stuff like this, all you’re going to do is get stressed and get wrinkles.
bittergaymark October 1, 2012, 11:14 am
Eh, this is why I stay single. Seriously. Isn’t everybody entitled to ONE day off? The LW sounds like a real nag — and as others have pointed out — half her beefs are dubious at best. (The whole dog ate my shoes thing in particular…) Frankly, if I was married to somebody who seemingly blames EVERYTHING on me — I’d probably need one day a week to just goof off and play video games… Oh, and I’d probably be pretty desperate to spend some time with somebody like T who ISN’T a controlling harpie…
PS: A great way to end a marriage is to needlessly attack your spouses friends. Oh, and isolating your partner and then demanding that they live according to YOUR standards are all tell tale signs of abuse. Seriously, you sound decidedly unpleasant. If his goofing off ONE day a week is truly too much for you, then you don’t want a man, you want a fucking robot.
Oh, and yeah. The girlfriend remark was totally off the mark in my book.
MISS MJ October 1, 2012, 11:53 am
So here’s what I didn’t get from the LW’s letter: that she has any friends, interests, hobbies or does any activities outside of working and going home to spend time with her amazing husband who treats her like a queen and still takes her on dates and is so, so attentive and tells her daily how happy he is with her. I’d wager that’s because the LW is one of those people whose life revolves around her husband and she’s more than a bit jealous that her husband still hangs out with “T” instead of spending his entire day off doing what she wants him to do. If she doesn’t need to hang out with other people, why does he? Except that the LW knows that it’s “wrong” to not want your husband to hang out with his friends, so instead of just outright saying that’s what bothers her, she has come up with some things that happen when “T” is around to justify the fact that she doesn’t want her husband to hang out with him. Her husband has to drive! Her dog eats her shoes! One time a candle got knocked over! The yard doesn’t get mowed on her schedule! The LW needs to calm down, get some outside interests of her own and let her husband enjoy one day a week with his friend. None of this stuff is a big deal. At all. You know what is a big deal, though? Harping at your husband because he doesn’t bend to your every whim on his own day off. There’s your problem, LW; it’s not T. Also, the LW should take responsibility for picking up her own shoes so that the dog doesn’t eat them. And put some effort into training the dog.
SGMcG October 1, 2012, 12:03 pm
I can sympathize with the LW. Just like LW’s husband, A, my husband has a T in his life too. Unlike the LW, I liked my husband’s T, and I considered him my friend too. However, my husband would go see his “T” twice a week to play video games, and sometimes straight after work, not just on his day off. After 6 months of this two-a-week in our first year of marriage, I told my husband that I didn’t like him hanging out with T so much. I explained that it made me feel that his T, although my husband’s best friend and one I consider my friend too, is a bigger priority in my husband’s life than I was – and as his wife, I felt that I should be his best friend. I also felt that such hangout time should be discussed with me, rathern than just letting it happen whenever, so that if there were things I wanted to plan together, I wouldn’t interfere with the guy time. Perhaps you feel that way yourself LW.
After I let him know how I felt, my husband decided on his own not to see T for awhile, to work on our relationship as husband and wife. Yet, I recognized that it made him absolutely miserable to not see his friend – and it was especially hard for T since he had medical conditions that made it impossible for him to drive at night. So I told my husband that he should get his deserved guy time, especially since he was beginning to be proactive in our marriage. Sometimes I prepare snacks for them while they play video games or watch sports in our house. Perhaps LW you could ask that A hangout with T at his house if you can’t stand the mess they generate in your shared domicile.
j.walker October 1, 2012, 12:24 pm
I think Wendy went easy on you. Your husband might be a great guy but it sounds like you’re protesting too much. HE’S AMAZING I’M SO IN LOVE HE IS PERFECT AND ATTENTIVE while this other friend is laziness, stupidity and annoyance personified? I think T just represents the aspects of you husband’s personality that you don’t like but are too afraid to voice because it will break the spell you have around the “man of youe dreams.”
Forget T, and accept the fact that your husband can be lazy, childish, forgetful and neglectful. (And has bad taste in friends.) BUT for the most part he’s also loving, attentive, takes you on dates, etc. He’s human. SO don’t expect him to be perfect 100% of the time and give him some room to breathe one day a week.
ktfran October 1, 2012, 12:38 pm
I agree with everything you said. And you stated it very well. But why is T a bad friend? Just because he doesn’t have a job, most likely lives at home and doesn’t drive? Those are the only qualities she list. I don’t think those qualities alone makes someone a bad friend choice. Especially since A and T have been friends since birth. I think it’s quite amazing for people to have life long friends because I do think it’s rare.
AmyRenee October 1, 2012, 12:50 pm
I don’t think she’s necessarily saying T is a bad friend – I think she’s saying hes a bad influence. Which I would agree with to an extent. But the husband is an adult, and its not like this is an afterschool special where big bad T is pushing innocent little A to take drugs and steal cars. T might be suggesting they slack off, but its A’s job to be a grownup and deal with his responsibilities.
ktfran October 1, 2012, 2:24 pm
I guess this is the comments I was addressing . . .
“(And has bad taste in friends.)”
I don’t think the husband has a bad taste in friends, especially if said friend has been around for 30 years.
j.walker October 2, 2012, 8:59 am
What I meant to convey by “bad taste in friends” is not that T is a “bad” friend, but that A has chosen to be best friends with someone who hasn’t moved out of his parents at age 32 (and not because he’s in a PhD program either..) and doesn’t have a job.
Maybe T has some psychological or health issues that is behind this lifestyle (in which case the LW is being kind of a bitch) but it mostly sounds like the guy is kind of a loser and A is enabling him..
ele4phant October 1, 2012, 12:41 pm
Ah, you bet me to it!
ele4phant October 1, 2012, 12:42 pm
ele4phant October 1, 2012, 12:27 pm
It kinda sounds like rather than giving up the image of your “perfect” husband for the more realistic one (one that has the ability to annoy you at times or fails short of your expecations), you’re projecting all of your annoyances onto a surrogate -T.
Relationships aren’t perfect. You’re husband isn’t a perfect person – its okay to recognize that it bothers you that he lets the dog out of the crate and then doesn’t supervise him. Its okay to admit that you wish he’d kick in a little more effort around the house, maybe starting with the yard.
But prolonging the honeymoon phase so you don’t have to own up to the realities of life and marriage is only going to hurt you guys in the end.
Stop scapegoating T. And when you address your greivances with your husband, don’t nag. Have an open discussion where you both talk about what your expectations are, housework-wise, and then come up with a solution that makes you both happy, one in which you both put in equal effort and where you both get some down time to use as you like.
*HmC* October 1, 2012, 12:58 pm
Ah, you hit the nail on the head as to why the whole “I don’t like him he’s a bad influence on my man!” complaints bug me so much. People are responsible for their own behavior, and NO partner is perfect.
*HmC* October 1, 2012, 12:52 pm
I hate to diminish people’s feelings because of course they’re entitled to them, and I think Wendy gave some really great practical advice for how to better cope with T and not let him drive you insane. I dunno, maybe just writing the letter and venting has helped as well? But from my objective perspective, I can’t help but feel like this isn’t such a big problem. You have a wonderful, amazing husband who blows off steam once a week with a friend you dislike because he’s 32 and irresponsible, reflected by the fact that he’s single, unemployed, doesn’t drive, and somehow gets your husband to be less responsible in his presence? Has it occurred to you that maybe your otherwise perfect husband really needs this time to be less than perfect, and the way he behaves around his friend is his responsibility and reflects on him, not the friend? Honestly, my advice would be to count your blessings and be thankful that you’re with such a great guy, and that he has someone to blow off steam with and who makes him happy other than you. That’s really healthy. And it’s also admirable that they’ve been friends for so long. So you can add loyal to the long list of great traits that your husband has. I’m sorry you don’t love the guy, but I think this is a chance for you to focus your energy on other things and people that you do like.
cdobbs October 1, 2012, 1:04 pm
LW your letter is so transparent…you obviously can’t stand your husbands friend and are looking for any excuse (no matter how remote) to confront your husband and get him to stop hanging out with him. you have to remember marriage is about compromise…you are bordering on co-dependent control freak…you can’t even give your husband one day a week to kick back and enjoy life? i am sure there are lots of married people out there who can’t stand someone in their significant others life (mother in law, sister, friend, etc). Count your blessings that at least they hang out when you are not home. My advice is get over it and don’t bring this up to your husband, it will just make you look petty.
Jess October 1, 2012, 1:28 pm
Most men have this friend. So many, in fact, that this friend is a fixture in most movie and TV plots. He’s the guy that lets your husband act out his fantasy of never growing up, playing games all day, not changing his underwear, etc. And you know what? You need this friend too. The fact that your husband gets to visit the bachelor life once a week is probably JUST the right dose for him to have an outlet for those yearnings without giving himself over to them. Let it be the yin to his married yang.
It’s no different really than when you or I set out on a shopping spree and buy those impractical heels that we will never wear because we don’t go out “clubbing” anymore (do people still say that? I don’t even know). Or we go out for girls night and have one too many pink cocktails. Maybe we don’t do these things as often or need them as much, but we ALL need to revisit the land of youth and irresponsibility. It feels so good to know we COULD live like that if we choose. We CHOOSE not to.
So I echo Wendy’s point about your good fortune that this time overlaps with your time at work and you don’t have to deal with T head on. That’s a blessing.
Life changes and goes through phases. Your husband is one year married and there is probably still some identity shifting going on. Staying in touch with other parts of his life may be especially important to him now. Maybe in the future, with more years of marriage children potentially in the picture, he may not relate as much to T. But hopefully he always keeps his childhood friends nearby to some degree. It’s healthy and an important part of who he is, –even if it’s not your favorite part.
Besides, the more you chastise him for it, the more he will NEED this kind of support outside your marriage. You see?
6Napkinburger October 1, 2012, 1:33 pm
This is the perfect type of advice!!!!
katie October 1, 2012, 2:16 pm
i agree- perfect!
Jess October 1, 2012, 1:47 pm
References for Married Guy with Deadbeat or Player for friend:
You, Me, and Dupree
Everybody Loves Raymond
Two and a Half Men
(Please add yours!)
jlyfsh October 1, 2012, 1:57 pm
king of queens!
katie October 1, 2012, 2:16 pm
painted_lady October 1, 2012, 5:16 pm
I Love You Man!
Temperance October 1, 2012, 9:37 pm
Temperance October 1, 2012, 9:39 pm
Seriously! Mr. Temperance has a single, underemployed friend who lives two blocks from us and wants to hang out ALL.THE.TIME. When he wasn’t crashing on our time out, he was trying to get Mr. Temperance on weekend nights (our nights out, which are either date nights or with other couples, save RARE exceptions). LW is lucky that this dude isn’t trying to encroach on weekends!
Then again, I am a bitch and I seriously limited that. LOL
EricaSwagger October 1, 2012, 1:18 pm
Your husband has “man time” one day a week, and THAT’s the day you expect him to also mow the lawn? Is that really practical? Ease up! Let him have his man time. He is a man, after all. Put the dog in its crate before you go to work. Let your HUSBAND clean up after his own slob of a guest. And like Wendy said, if he bugs you, just don’t hang.
Temperance October 1, 2012, 9:36 pm
LW, I get it. While I might write a similar letter in a fit of rage, I wouldn’t call Mr. Temperance the perfect man in other ways, either. I’m happy with him, but he’s not the OMG bunnies and ponies husband of my dreams, and we’re not married yet, either.
Does your husband only have one day “off” per week to get things done around the house, and he’s choosing to spend it with his unemployed, directionless friend instead? That would piss me off, too! Could you compromise, and ask him to cut the grass before picking up the basement-dweller? It doesn’t seem so unreasonable to me to expect him to do his share around the house, ESPECIALLY on a day without work! Why should all the chores fall to you, or to a day when you are both off?
Also, LW … you don’t want this dude around all the time when you are, so be glad that they hang when you aren’t home. I speak from experience, ugh (although I nipped it in the bud by pointing out that I was sick of being the “third wheel” in my own damn relationship … you are much nicer than I am, LW) but be open, honest, and work it out!
vizslalvr October 1, 2012, 10:01 pm
First – wow, a lot of people have incredibly poorly behaved dogs.
Second – I agree that either there is a lot more negative behavior on the part of the LWs husband apart all of this stuff with his friend, or you need to suck it up and not expect your husband to be your perfect little man slave all of the time. That might sound harsh, but really – in the scheme of things, is it worth being angry at your husband, nagging your husband, and resenting your husband over some longish grass for a day or two or a couple empties hanging around until the next morning?
If the biggest point of contention in your marriage is a dirty house one evening a week and some long grass, count your lucky stars. Realize that if that is what you are focusing on, you need to get a hobby, lady. There are bigger fish to fry. Find something to make YOU happy. Find your all day video game playing, beer drinking, dumb ass friend time. It might be yoga class followed by daquiris or book club or a stitch and bitch or training for a marathon or going to a coffee house and curling up with a good book – but Wendy is right, make YOURSELF happy outside of your husband. And you’ll be a lot less concerned with some long grass and a friend you think is a bit of a bonehead.
PrettyGirlRock October 2, 2012, 12:13 pm
Hey LW, why don’t you have any friends to hang out with on your days off?