Why didn’t he take out the trash?

Why didn’t he wash my clothes?

Why didn’t he get up and take the dog outside?

These are questions I’ve asked myself internally about my husband. I just expected he should do these things, and would get frustrated and wonder why he didn’t do them. It seemed obvious to me that he should be taking out the trash, washing my clothes andย his clothes, and doing his share of taking Frankie outside to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. But he wouldn’t and I’d be made each and every time. So why wasn’t he doing these things and so much more? Well, because I didn’t ask.

Hubby is very smart, and maybe even part psychic as he’s predicted several things to happen, including Steve Jobs’ passing, but he’s not a mind reader. How did I miss that in his background check? Surely, he should know what I want and when I want it. But he doesn’t, and I laugh at the fact that I assume he does. The majority of you probably have the same problem with a spouse who doesn’t how to read your mind. So how can you stop the frustration of your spouse not doing what you want them to do? It’s simple: ask.

First, figure out what you want your spouse to do. Do you want your wife to fold the clothes, not just wash and dry them? Is your husband’s record of cleaning the bathroom much lower than yours? Come up with the tasks that irritate you the most when your significant other doesn’t do them. This isn’t the time to come up with slave chores for your honey, but it is time to reduce your stress and frustration.

Next, ask them to do it immediately. I’ve found that asking hubby to take out the trash “some time today” will keep the trash bag in the trash can. Instead, when I see he has some down time (not in the middle of him doing something), I ask “babe, if you’re not busy, can you take out the trash for me please?” Who’s going to turn you down when you ask so politely?

Then, watch the magic happen. It’s amazing! The dishes have found themselves out the sink and in the dish washer. Poop has been surprisingly scooped. You can see how nagging and asking nicely yield different results. This isn’t a time to gloat or say “see how easy that was?” or “why can’t you do that all the time?”, but they will see it for themselves.

Finally, show your appreciation. It can be as simple as a “thank you”, a smooch on the cheek, or baking a cake. Whatever you think will encourage the behavior to repeat. I don’t want to say men are like dogs and respond to treats, haha, but they do! But women too! People act on incentives. If there’s no incentive to take out the trash other than not having to wake up to critters in the morning, that’s not enough for some people. Take this as a time to sneak in an extra “I love you”, give a hug, or bedroom rewards if you catch my drift. Your appreciation will keep the acts going.

I won’t lie; this isn’t going to work every single time. You may think your boo isn’t busy and they may claim they are. This isn’t the time to go off and say all the things they don’t do. If it’s something you can do yourself, just do it. In some cases, when your lover sees you doing something you asked them to do, they’ll feel bad about it and may jump in. Just give it a try.

What has your spouse not been doing but you’ve been giving mental signals about? Have you been asked to do something lately and haven’t?

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