Husband Does Dishes. Wife Gives Him Grief.

I might be a moron. Or I might have a legitimate gripe. I am not sure. You tell me.

I think I’m better at systems than my husband. But what’s the prize for having the best system? It’s not as if we are both going to a systems review committee and one of us gets a prize. Then the person who doesn’t get the prize is like, OMG, I love you more than ever. How am I so lucky to live with someone more clever than me? Please remind me of that daily. It’s so inspirational.

Let me lay out the nuts and bolts. We don’t have a dishwasher. We are the dishwasher. Therefore, there are always dirty dishes to do and there are always clean dishes in the rack needing to be put away. You wash a dish drain’s worth, let them dry, put them away and then do some more.

Not my husband. He likes to add wet dishes to the dry dishes. If the rack is full and there are two spoons in the sink, he will wash the stupid spoons, sprinkling water all over everything as he nestles them in with the dry ones. Now you can’t put the clean dishes away because they are no longer dry. This is like moving the trash bins to the end of the driveway before backing out. It doesn’t work! Wrong order!

We’ve discussed his methodology almost as frequently as talking about what’s for dinner. He’s not a fan of this conversation and more accurately describes it as berating. After countless spins on the merry go round of why are you like this, I’m still not sure. Direct inquiry has not been as revealing as hoped, but I think he just hates putting dishes away. He prefers washing. I find this so weird. Washing is way worse than emptying. But there it is. We are different. We have different preferences.

So how big of a deal is this? Is this a good hill to die on? Is there a scenario where I will truly be happier if I shame my dish washing husband into washing fewer dishes? Has any wife ever asked this question? What is wrong with me!

Since I am so freaking good at systems, even I can see that I am the problem here. Efficiency is a useful tool for time management but it’s not a treasure. Of all the things holding me back from peace of mind, the state of the dish drain is not one of them. I’ve never thought, I’ve got to get into therapy and deal with this dish drain situation. I can’t take one more minute of it! Okay, actually I have thought that.

I am starting to see that my desire for rigid systems is the way I self regulate. If the chores are under control. Then maybe my life is under control. When I see my husband sprinkle water on dry dishes it can feel like he is inviting chaos over for dinner. I am not saying he is; I am saying it can feel like it. But that’s on me. It’s not true and it’s a stupid over reaction.

I really love being efficient but as I stated here, Being Efficient isn’t a Great Epithet, rather than be admired for something that leads to imperceptible gains, I should like to be remembered as someone who was pleasant to be around. Maybe those newly wet tupperware lids are a sign to go make some art or tell someone I love them.

9 thoughts on “Husband Does Dishes. Wife Gives Him Grief.

  1. I think I’m a dishwasher and not an emptier. I also leave folded clothes in the laundry basket. Hate putting them away. The husband is not happy with it.  Mary Trunkmaandpafilms.comwww.musclememoryproject.comwww.thewatershedproject.com626-590-1803

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahahahahaha
    It’s the same in our house. My solution? As he starts washing the dishes, I take away the dry ones on the rack and put them away. This means leaning over or around him, which probably irritates him. But I do it anyway. And I am grateful that he does the dishes.
    Love your dish rack face!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being close together is always good. I am sure you have wonderful conversations!

      Thanks for the compliment on the dish rack face! His eyes are little ceramic saucers from Air France that my father brought home from business trips. Hard to believe there was a time when the disposable meal items were ceramic! They are so cool. We use them for holding little sauces and things.


  3. My wife rearranges the dishes I put in the dishwasher. I cannot see the benefit of the changes and could not duplicate them anyway. At least I do not feel guilty about not helping.


    1. I am glad to know that. Some people have a strong need for specificity and order. I am trying to let go of that need when it doesn’t harmonize with my higher goals, of love and connection. I don’t always succeed so I write about it as a way to nudge the change forward.


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