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Vent on the Losing Battle

goldengoat's picture

I lost my patience with trying to get DH and Guzzlord in line on the dish situation.  Like, I realize it sucks this place doesn't have a dishwasher, but it's not hard to do if you keep up with them and I feel like Guzzlord won't die from overexertion without one.  I decided for now I'll do it myself and think of something Guzzlord can't screw up that's still helpful to his dad and I.  I feel like there's some weaponized incompetence at play here. 

The final straw was last week when the dishes were backed up by a couple of days.  It was the start of my morning and all I wanted was a glass of ice water.  I looked at the pile of dishes at the sink and assumed there wasn't a clean one, but I checked the cabinet, and holy smokes!  There was a glass up there!  So I grabbed it and as soon as I did I felt the crusted-on old food that he'd failed to wash or rinse off.  It's like he stick all the nasty sh*t in the sink to "soak" and then just relocates it to the drain sometimes without bothering to do any of the steps in between, like washing and rinsing... I was livid pissed and I told DH to just tell him to leave the kitchen to me.  DH is still nursing a bad rib injury (which I hope doesn't turn out to be something more serious - he's just started physical therapy, so here's hoping), so he's not much help at all.  By the time he's in from work he needs to use an ice pack and then a heating pad and work on his PT exercises, which only exhausts him further.  I'm trying to support him through this, but I'm getting more and more pissed off every second that Guzzlord is just sitting on his Xbox in the basement making googly eyes with his long-distance girlfriend on Skype 24/7 and only helping when specifically told a quick chore (if we say bring the trash out now, he'll generally comply, for example, but if it's something that takes more than 3 minutes of his time he is SUPER resistent to it) while DH and I work our tails off - DH through his injury and myself through chronic depression, no less - for him to sit on his bum and consume the contents of our fridge and pantry with no regard for anyone on Earth but himself.  

Anyway, I digress.  The dirty glass in the cabinet paired with the double-sink full of dishes was the last.  I can't live with my kitchen like that, it grosses me out so bad.  DH is too guilty-daddy and in too much pain to do more than to give him a stern talking-to now and then about it, which generally just ends in Guzzlord yelling and bowing up and then pouring on the guilt when that doesn't work.  It's a neverending cycle and there's nothing at this point that's going to make me happy except for him getting TF out of our house.  I know it will depress the hell out of DH for his baby Guzzlord to finally fly the nest, and I'm a little concerned about what that's going to look like if / when the kid ever launches, but I guess I'll burn that bridge when I get to it.  lol 

So fine, I'll handle the kitchen.  And the laundry.  And the bathroom.  I make DH go down to the basement and make sure Guzzlord's room isn't nasty enough to be an insect or fire hazard now and then, but if it weren't for that I shudder to think how that room would look and smell.  It's already unpleasant enough that I won't go in.  DH said he would make Guzzlord take over the nightly sweeping and thrice-weekly mopping, but they stuck to that for literally all of one night.  

So far this week I've worked 11 and 12 hours every day to help out my bosses.  I'm exhausted and (as usual) struggling with depression, and even though dinner has been late every night this week and I've stayed up late cleaning up and such, I was feeling pretty OK up until a few minutes ago.  I had a glass and plate in the sink from lunch, no biggie to wait until after dinner on that, and I was feeling pretty good about how well I've handled my hectic week so far.  I just stepped into the kitchen to grab a cup of tea during a quick break, though, and apparently Guzzlord has been hoarding enough dishes in his room all this time, just deciding to bring them up today, that he's completely filled both sides of the sink again and I can't even access the faucet.  I literally just turned around and sat down and cried for a couple of minutes.  

I don't want to stress DH out overly much right now because he's been battling this rib thing for a couple of months now and it's really draining him to be in constant, sometimes severe, pain.  I feel like this isn't the right time for making waves or dropping ultimatums.  But it's nice to have someplace to vent.  If there are any fairy godmothers reading this, my wish one wish is for Guzzlord to successfully launch sooner than later.  


Cover1W's picture

I personally very likey would have thrown that glass across the room to smash on the floor and left it.

I get you. I TOTALLY get you. If you are disengaged from this, consistently, it will work. HOWEVER that is if your DH wants a reasonably clean house as well.  Mine actually does and while my cleaning disengagement worked, I still had to make some concessions but no way no way was I going to be the maid for everyone. I would have LEFT before that happened. Is the pain preventing DH from helping with this situation?  Will he be better anytime soon?

If the house becomes unlivable to you, you may have to have a very candid conversation with your DH. Not everyone wants to live with filth and trash and the stench and it's not reasonable for them to expect you to do so or else clean up after them, esp. a grown teenager who does nothing.

At this point have you tried removing all the serveware and replaced it with all disposables? Pack the glasses and stuff away - AWAY - and only have disposables there. I made the mistake of leaving all the regular stuff there and people used that instead until I removed that option.  "Oh the environment, oh, the waste...!"  Ohhhh, then clean up after yourself!

goldengoat's picture

Luckily my pre-frontal cortex kicked in just in time and I remembered my puppy could hurt himself so if I did it I'd have to clean it up myself. lol 

I'm managing to keep it comfortable enough.  DH does help out.  He's been folding and putting away the laundry as long as I bring it up and down from the basement, and making sure the handful of things we're asking of SS right now are getting done (except the floors, he's fighting that hard because it costs him too much precious screen-time).  DH also has been giving me a hand with dishes after dinner, which has been pretty nice, especially last night.  lol 

I'm bothered by the environmental waste of paper utensils, myself, or I probably would do.  I'm definitely planning to use those exclusively for a couple of weeks in June when my parents come up to visit, because washing after that many people would be definitely overkill so I feel like I can justify it at least temporarily.  lol  But your quote at the end has me LMAO, that's brilliant.  

Merry's picture

I almost left my DH over an overflowing trash can. So I get it. Funny, SS is a neat freak and my kitchen has never been as clean as when he lived with us. Other issues, but pitching in was never one of them.

I know you want to keep as much away from your DH while he's healing. But you can't take it all yourself. You just can't. His physical health is important, but so is your mental health. And nobody seems to care about that.

I don't know what the solution is, but I might find a time to have a civilized conversation with your DH when he's not in terrible pain. And I'd not be above a come-to-Jaysus meltdown over it if the civilized approach doesn't work. In fact, just skip right to the meltdown if you've had multiple attempts at civility.

Have you tried trading dishes for internet? No dishes, no internet. Screaming hissy fits will ensue no doubt, but you don't have to participate or even react.

goldengoat's picture

If I'm really honest with myself, DH has a serious lack of parenting skills.  

Using the internet as a bargaining chip has crossed our minds, but I have my concerns about the fallout from SS.  He gets pretty emotional, and every little thing feels like a huge personal attack to him.  It kinda starts will yelling and attempting a million justifications, and when that doesn't work he has a tendency to turn on the waterworks.  DH parents from a place of guilt 99% of the time, so in the end we decided against it.  But I wonder if turning the internet off for all of us for an hour for housework wouldn't be a suitable workaround...

Survivingstephell's picture

Yeah, they don't deserve nice thing right now. As long as DH is unable to pitch in meaningfully, then paper plates and plastic silverware and solo cups.  It's just not worth the aggravation.  Control what you can and is there any place to send SS to live?  

goldengoat's picture

I don't really like using disposables because of the waste factor.  I'd rather wash the dishes, honestly.  

SS would never even consider moving out without being made too, and DH would never.  lol

missgingersnap2021's picture

I agree with the other poster I would allow him to only drink out of paper cups and eat with plastic utensils and on paper plates. I know the environments important but sometimes our own personal sanity is more important. And besides that tiny bit that your family will be contributing to landfills is nothing compared to what's going on in the whole world. 

Winterglow's picture

Avoid all accusations about the environment by buying wooden disposable utensils and not plastic. Problem solved.



goldengoat's picture

It's just a thing.  I'm not against them if there are a lot of people over to eat, but I wouldn't feel right doing that on a daily basis.  Your right, though, sometimes mental health should be the priority at least for a bit.  

Cover1W's picture

I didn't like it either, but it DID start DH kicking in for dish duty, esp. for the SDs dishes. I stopped doing ANY dishes for the SDs if they were perfectly capable of doing so but didn't want to and left them for someone else to do. I had made my point with the disposables (took a couple weeks).


Ispofacto's picture

Your household only needs four of everything.  Four plates, four forks, etc.

Keep your cup in your room.


goldengoat's picture

That's really not a bad idea!  And I already tend to be a bit of a minimalist so no one would really be surprised.  lol

Cover1W's picture

Yes, I was going to try this and keep a coffee mug, glass, utensils and a bowl/plate for myself but the disposables ended up working. I would have had to lock my stuff up anyway as I'm sure it would have been pilfered.

DarkStar's picture

I would destroy that Xbox in a hot minute.  You can even Google "how to destroy an Xbox without anyone knowing" and get some good ideas!!!  Many a frustrated stepparent has participated in the deserved destruction of electronics.

goldengoat's picture

I'm not sure it'd do much but send him into a raging freak-out and I know he'd wear DH down to buy him a new one eventually, but the temptation is real!

Survivingstephell's picture

You could strip his room of all unnecessary items, take his door and make him earn it back by changing his behavior. Teach him now what prison is like. (Soap on a rope optional ) 

goldengoat's picture

But how to convince DH... LoL  

He's got the Guilty Daddy thing bad, and Guzzlord is all too aware of how to pull his strings.