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My bf treats me like im his mother!

Community Member

My boyfriend and I have been together for 6 years and have 2 children together. My bf and I both are studying and looking for work but over the past year I have felt more like his mother then his girlfriend. He doesn't do any of the house chores (all i ask that he does the dishes and tidy kitchen) nor does he take the kids to any of there activities.

Im so exhusted from making sure all the house is clean, running after the kids and taking them to their activities and my own study. While he sits on his computer and games.

Im feeling disconnected from my bf, everytime I bring it up, he blames his depression (eg today he said - I know i have to do the dishes (its a few days worth because im waiting for him to do it) but when i look at the dishes I get depressed so i dont do them. Doesnt rake any medicine for his anixiety or depression. I have told him he should go see a doctor cos its affecting our family!

I wish he would just do them! they need to be done every day! I feel like my bf doesnt care about me, id love time to sit and relax or go to the gym but i have no time cos I have to run the household like im a single parent

I dont want to end my relationship over chores but I cant keep going, im hating each day.

4 Replies 4

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello, when a situation like this happens it begins to errode the relationship, becaus e it finally gets to the stage where you are going to collapse in exhaustion'
I understand that he maybe suffering from depression but he is denial, so he believes he has an excuse in not doing anything, well this does happen, but if he has the time and wants to spend it on the computer then he should be doing the dishes and heping out around the house and participating in what the kids are doing.
I think he needs to get an ultimatum, because to get a shock from you could be the only way he will decide to seek medical care and see his doctor.
Leaving the dishes unwashed is just going to increase your anxiety and then your depression will also be a major problem for you.
It worries me that he is studying and looking for work and if he can do these two, then I wonder whether he is actually depressed or just being lazy, so are you able to move into your parents place for a couple of weeks, because he has to understand that being in a relationship everything should be 50/50, unless some other agreement between the two can be organised.
I remember a young chap who was exactly the same and although he was living at home with mum and dad, he would never make his own bed, never help around the house inside or outside, got all his meals cooked for, would make a cup of coffee just for himself, refused to take the bins out to be emptied and literally was a real selfish person.
I also did some work for him but he never paid me and then asked me to do something else, so I said no.
People like this are so annoying and don't deserve any help until they start to realise that they too have to pull their weight. Geoff. x

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi RainbowPants,

Your situation sounds incredibly frustrating. I know what it's like to live in a household with lazy people and I can't imagine that person being my spouse and the father to my kids. Blaming your laziness on mental illness is one thing and I can relate to that but letting it get to the point that it affects the mental health of the person having to clean up after you is another. You need to put your foot down and let him know you won't continue to clean up after him. You know he has depression and you support that but if he won't make any effort to get better than you won't do anything to aid him. Sometimes people need tough love, even when they're in bad circumstances.

Community Member

Hi R.P. Your partner is certainly playing the part well. He may well be suffering depression, I'm not arguing with that, but he needs to acknowledge he is part of a family and therefore he needs to get some sort of mental health assessment. Rather than you and the kids relocate, albeit temporarily, I suggest you ask him to go till he sorts himself out. If he refuses, then look at leaving, but advice him you've had enough and he needs to acknowledge he has to get some help. By continuing to allow him to 'lose' himself in computer games/study etc, you are also allowing yourself to be 'used and abused'. He may well be in denial, but only because he's been left to stay in denial.


Community Member
Hi RainbowPants,

Firstly I would like to commend you on the strategies that you have tried to implement so far. It seems that have tried many things including being sympathetic and kind, asking him to seek professional help and one of the hardest ones… stepping back from chores to see if he will take tentative steps forward in his own time.

Ultimately I have found that you can only be in control of your own behaviour. So that you can wish or expect him to be many things, but only HE may or may not decide to be strive to be those things. I guess I would start by sitting down with him at a time when you are not feeling angry or upset with him and asking him a few questions:

- What sort of partner/ father does he think he is at the moment?
- What sort of things does he feel he wants or needs to change ?
- What things does he think are going well in your relationship and what things does he think need work ?
- Where does he see things in 1 yr ? 3 yrs? 5 yrs ?  .. Same ? Different? If different , how?

What i am getting at with this line of questioning is trying to work out if BOTH of you have an agenda for change and if you both do, are you BOTH trying to change things in the same direction to get to the same place. If one of you wants change, but the other is happy the way things are, you both have some big decisions to consider. Same with both wanting change but in different directions.

In that case you guys have to work out if you can tolerate the differences in your beliefs and ideas about what feels right in a partnership.

If he says he does want to change to be the man that you can love and respect, then I would go back to the old adage that "actions speak louder than words" and you need to SEE it not just hear it. You need to see the ways that he is trying TOGETHER with you to create the relationship and household that the two of you feel is the one you BOTH want to live in. I suggest you together make a list of what striving looks like . Does it include for example, him seeing a professional for his mental health issues so that he can get treated and be able to help more affectively around the home ? Does it include couples therapy ? Does it include structured chore division ? 

So..If you feel you can , have a go with this conversation but remember .. you are ultimately only in control of your own behaviours , not others .. so be the very best version of your self - being kind but not always putting your needs behind everyone elses as that leads to simmering anger and resentments.