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Over my selfish husband

Community Member

I’ve been married 3.5 years and have a gorgeous 4 year old son and a beautiful 6 month old daughter who are the loves of my life.

My husband on the other hand...I love and care about him and don’t want to split up but I just wish he wasn’t so damn selfish. When I think of him, the first words that come to mind are all negative: selfish, unreliable, lazy.

He contributes to the household financially but that’s where it ends. He literally does not lift a finger around the house, has never washed any clothing for anyone but himself. Refuses to bath the kids, won’t play with them outside or take my son anywhere.

He won’t even take rubbish to the bins or wheel them out on bin night. I literally have to do everything. He works, eats and sleeps. His world revolves around him and his wants and needs. Not the children or the family as a whole.

He spends most of his time passed out on the lounge sleeping. I know he’s depressed, so am I, but the difference is I do something about it. We fight so much about his mental and physical health and not helping out at home. His response is always I hate doctors and I’m lazy.

I’m over his selfishness and unwillingness to change his ways. I can’t count on him for anything. If he puts our son to bed it will be 1 hour later than his usual bedtime and he won’t read him a story. He tells me he will do the daycare run one morning then the morning comes and he decides he is too tired and not up to it. So I have to scramble down with unwashed hair and dirty clothes to get my kid there on time.

I’m completely exhausted as I do everything when it comes to the baby and our son. I cook, clean and if I take a break he comments on the state of the house etc yet he won’t lift a finger to help. I feel so resentful because he is not the husband or father I hoped he would be.

He is his own number one priority. I’m just so tired of nagging him to help out, do things, see a doctor about his mental health etc I’ve literally got burnout from dealing with and living with a lazy, selfish person. I just don’t know what to do anymore. It would be easier talking to a brick wall than trying to get through to him.

12 Replies 12

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

You wrote my first marriage in your post. In addition my first wife was narcissistic and would stop talking to me for up to 6 weeks at a time for me raising my voice in anger because- she was so lazy. I worked 3 jobs so she could stay at home as a stay at home mum but I changed nappies more than her and cooked most times. I'd have to do the washing of clothes as they piled up on the floor, then hang them out. At 2pm sh'd get out of bed for breakfast and spend the next 90 minutes re-hanging the clothes on the clothes line and criticize me for hanging them wrong. While she slept I'd get the kids up, bath them, change nappies, gove breakfast and put them in a playpen while I built cubby houses for extra income.

It came to an end after 11 years when I had complete burnout and had a suicide attempt. My dad said once- " better to be a part time dad than no dad at all", which save me. I left the home one week later and for 14 years paid every child support payment on time. Her attitude continued after separation. She couldnt communicate nicely about our kids needs etc. When the youngest got to 18 I sent her a message "dont ever contact me ever again."

So, my sympathy. Some might say he has depression but the chores still need to be done and he is showing signs of - laziness. Such people dont mind others doing their responsibilities. I simply dont understand it frankly. My advice considering the above is to watch out for your mental health and be decisive in your actions. Loving a spouse isnt the whole package.

Of course relationship counseling is the way to go before other decisions. A GP check up also. You could also attend RC by yourself to help you cope with him.

Just some caution- refrain from revenge ideas like not carrying out your chores etc because he wont change that way. Some people are the type that would live a home with work piled around them. Try not to sacrifice your own standards.

I hope this has helped you. And no...it isnt your fault.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

I have been having a similar problem with my partner. I’m called lazy and messy because the house isn’t up to his standard. Yet he does nothing while I work full time (40 hour week) plus work a second job, plus try and keep the house clean etc, look after pets etc. meanwhile he works 3 days, spends the other two days either asleep or playing video games. While I am washing dishes (he refuses), taking out bins, cleaning up, washing etc before and after work. It’s manipulation and they know they are putting this pressure on you and it allows them to get away with it. I made a list of all the jobs that I did and then the jobs that he did, there were about 20 on my side and 3 on his. It was very eye opening and you can’t argue with facts. And now I plan to redistribute the jobs so it’s fair. It may seem petty but I’m honestly fed up. Whether anything changes is another story. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful but it’s hard to reason with an unreasonable person

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Fed Up Mumma, a warm welcome to the site.

There is a big difference between loving someone to caring for them, to love him means you want him to be with you for the rest of your life (supposedly) while caring means friendship and camaraderie in this relationship which may not the situation.

Both are possible, but to care for someone is not wanting anything awful to happen, but when you have to do everything and he's not helping at all, then the exchange of love slowly vanishes and makes the relationship and/or marriage difficult, simply because one person takes advantage of the situation and the love fades away because of the circumstances that are or aren't happening.

If unfortunately you are burnt out, then as soon as you wake up, all your thoughts are going to be about what needs to be done by yourself today, this is where you need the help to try and regain some strength because you have two children, a daughter who is six months old and a two year old son, and looking after them as well as trying to do everything else is thoroughly exhausting.

If he is helping out financially, that's good, but perhaps now you can employ someone for a few hours a week to help you out, such as a counsellor cleaner or for other chores, but please seek the help from your doctor who may suggest a mental health plan, this entitles you to 10 Medicare paid sessions per year, however you maybe able to have more sessions, your doctor will know.

We hope you can get back to us, although WE know you're very busy.

Take care.


Hi Tony,

Thanks so much for taking the time to write back to me. It’s taking me this long to respond because I simply have not have a chance before now. I’m at my 6 weekly hair appointment, the only ‘me’ time I get.

I’m so sorry to hear that things got so bad for you in the past. Thank goodness you were able to leave that relationship.

You are so right, depressed or lazy, the chores still need to be done or else the house falls apart and it’s the kids who suffer. Getting myself to counselling is in the too hard basket for now. It would mean bringing the baby with me and having to explain where I am going and why which would result in a fight. And I feel like counsellors can be very black and white with their advice.

I’ve decided in the meantime to start venting in a journal. Maybe I should leave it lying around so he can see how I really feel? He probably wouldn’t care though and I would still be accused of attacking him, which is basically what happens every time I speak.

You made me chuckle at least warning against revenge. I’ve tried that and you are right, it doesn’t work. As I battle through my exhaustion and negative feelings to make sure the kids have clean clothes and are well fed, I remind myself I am doing this for me and them.


Hi there,

You sound like an absolute saint....how dare he call *you* lazy and messy when you are the one who works and does everything! That really makes my blood boil.

How do you deal with the resentment and the negative feelings? It’s something I’m really struggling with. I feel so angry and pissed off with him all the time and little things that I never used to notice irritate me now.

Why do they think it is acceptable to behave in this way? I really appreciate you responding to me because if nothing else it helps to know I am not alone.

Hi Fed Up Mumma,

I’m glad that I have made you feel as though you are not alone, but also sad that we are both in this situation! I must admit I find it very difficult to deal with the resentment and anger. Particularly when I finish work for the day to come home and find a stack of dishes in the sink, the compost not emptied, our chooks without clean water etc and him sitting there playing video games in the same place as he was that morning. Some days I’m better than others, I remind myself that if I was on my own I would still need to do all these chores. That I don’t do the chores for him, that I like to have a clean house and have my pets well cared for. And other times I flat out ask him what he has done all day, and then ask if each chore has been done and highlight when it hasn’t. It may not be a particularly great approach but at least it doesn’t let him think that his laziness has gone unnoticed and he’s gotten away with it. At least that way he no longer has the gall to comment on the state of the house. This certainly doesn’t address your problem regarding his selfishness and unreliability but would you consider getting a cleaner to help you out a bit? Or perhaps you can consider sitting down and reaching an arrangement regarding a fairer division of chores. For example, on wednesdays and fridays he drops the kids to school, no excuses, don’t answer your phone so he can’t back out etc. I think you need to create some permanent non-negotiable things that he needs to do

Community Member
I hear you Fed up Mumma. My issues are different but I certainly understand your exhaustion & frustration. I feel similar things in my relationship but for different reasons. Hang in there & keep posting here for support. You sound like a great Mum

Hi Geoff,

Thanks for the welcome and sorry it’s taken so long to respond. By days end, I am so exhausted and collapse into bed in a heap.

You really hit the nail on the head with the care VS love thing. I love him and care very much as he is the father of my children. But I’m not in love with him because he lets me down so often and takes advantage of me on a daily basis. So that is why my babies are the loves of my life and not him. My little boy has such a pure heart and helps me more than my husband ever has.

He gets his own breakfast ready, picks out his clothes, puts dishes in the sink, helps me carry rubbish to the bin, pegs washing on the line with me. In other words, is a little legend. And I feel proud knowing I’m raising a little guy who will respect his partner and pull his weight around the home.

Since I wrote my original post, my husband threatens divorce on the daily and tells me no one else would have me or put up with me. I had to laugh at that one! I’ve now told him were it not for the kids I would’ve hit the road long ago. I value my own self worth but love my children above anyone else.

I’m not bothering with a counsellor as being told to leave will be the advice. I’ve tried sitting down and discussing jobs rosters etc Husband is just selfish and lazy, he’s happy to admit it too. Reminding myself I’m doing everything to make myself and the kids happy is helping. As is journaling about my feelings of anger and resentment. And being able to vent on here as well.


Hi Juliet,

You are a strong woman. If I wasn’t married and didn’t have kids, I would’ve walked away from this relationship 100%. I stay for my kids. Why do you put up with your partners lazy behaviour?

I’m with you, if not for me, our pets would starve and die from lack of food and water. How does your partner handle being asked what he’s done all day? I get childish temper tantrums and accusations of “attacking” him when I ask why he hasn’t done something. He always threatens to leave. I wish he just would.

I’ve tried the allocation of days for school run, bedtime routines etc but it doesn’t work. He doesn’t care one bit about the kids routines. Last night it was his turn to put our son to bed. He is in bed with lights out by 8pm. Last night I went and got him at 10.22pm and did it myself. He doesn’t get him to Kindy on time, sometimes closer to 10am! My hubby’s only priority is himself.

If I want anything done or on time, I just have to do it myself. Females and mothers (mostly) are such selfless beings. Always putting everyone else before themselves. A lifetime of service. At least serving the kids I get unconditional love, devotion and heart warming smiles.

And on that note, I think I will take your advice and get a cleaner.

Kelly ☺️