Manners Matter: Man of Leisure’s Wife Wants A Little Help


Dear Mary Pat,


My husband retired a year ago and I still have two more years to go before I can claim that status. I have to admit to being a little jealous of his new schedule. When he’s not on the golf course, he is spending time with our grandkids and going out to lunch with his buddies who are also retired. I’m glad that he’s enjoying his time off, but I resent having to do so much of the housework when I get home from a long day. It was one thing when we were both working full time, but now that he has his days free, would it kill him to fold a load of laundry or to run the vacuum? Last night, he asked me if I could be sure to have his favorite golf shirt washed and ready to go and I lost it. He was genuinely perplexed by my anger and quickly devised a chore out in the garage so he could escape from “the crazy lady.” We’ve been married for 42 years and I love him, but I’m very frustrated with him at the moment. Wouldn’t you think he would just chip in a little more to help me out?



Man of Leisure’s Wife

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.



Dear Man of Leisure’s Wife,


Your husband has had his particular set of chores around the house for over 40 years and has fallen into a pattern of what domesticity means to him. You mentioned a project in the garage. Does he handle the lawn care and the general maintenance on the house? Even though he’s spending time golfing and out for lunch, is he still doing what he has always done around the house?

You have been wishing (rather than asking) that he will start doing more work. Men aren’t mind readers in most cases. I’m sure if you discussed it over dinner one night and asked if he wouldn’t mind helping out a little more around the house, that he would be up for it. It is entirely possible that it never occurred to him to start a load of wash.

When you retire in a couple of years, you can revisit divvying up the chores in a different way if it suits you.


Good luck,

Mary Pat

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