6 Ways Your Spouse Gets Out Of Doing Housework

by Darcy Perdu
Originally Published: 

Hey, y’know what’s sexy?

Olivia Pope of Scandal knows. Picture Olivia’s intense stare when she says, “I’m handling it. It’s handled.”

That’s right, we love when you spouses handle things.

Why? Because usually we are handling everything. EVERYthing. We are hands-down the most likely to be hands-on, handily handling ALL the things.

We’re handling kids, meals, bath times, bed times, homework, housework, work work, doctors’ appointments, sports schedules, and a million more things. Every little mini-crisis lands in our laps:

“The dryer’s broken! Where’s my soccer uniform? I need 24 cupcakes for school tomorrow! The dog’s vomiting! The baby’s vomiting! The baby’s vomiting ON the dog!”

And yes, we get hugs and kisses and snuggles from the kids – and sexy playtime with you – and we LOVE our wild, madcap, frantic, frenetic lives.

But we’d also love it if you handled a few more things.

(Naturally this doesn’t apply to you amazing couples out there who manage to split all the duties PRECISELY 50-50 – or couples who are perfectly happy with the current division of labor. You’re incredible and I want to visit you on your Flying Unicorn Farm and eat Fat-Free Bon-Bons under your Living Rainbow of Color-Coordinated Butterflies while Fairy Sprites braid our flaxen hair. So just skip to the next article, Super Awesome Couples!)

But for those of you who agree that our mates (male OR female) might benefit from a Gentle Reminder about how SEXY it is to handle things, I’ve consulted some of my friends to prepare this list that MIGHT apply to your husband – or your wife – or your live-in lovah!

Whether you’re a guy or gal working outside or inside the home, working for a paycheck or not – whether you’re in a hetero- or homosexual relationship sometimes one partner ends up handling most things (The Handler), while one partner skates by (The Skater).

See if you recognize your partner (or yourself!) on this list, then see the tips for how to score more sexy time!

1. The What, Huh? Mate

This is the easiest move some of our spouses make – just ignore the laundry that needs folding, the lightbulb that needs replacing, the car registration that needs renewing. They figure we Handlers will eventually notice and dive right in to take care of it.

And if we point out something that the Skaters have passed three times without handling, our Skaters deliver Academy Award-winning performances for their innocent delivery of the line, “What, huh?”

Handler: Really? You didn’t see that the clean dishes need to be emptied from the dishwasher?

Skater: No. I didn’t even notice.

Handler: You’re eating your cereal with a fork.

Skater: Oh, yeah. Um. I…I…like it that way.

2. The False Flatterer

This person cleverly dodges tasks by telling his/her partner, “Oh, you do that so much better than I do.”

Oh please, buster! I invented this move! I was pulling this on my Mom when I was a teen: “Show me how to iron my uniform skirt again, Mom – you’re so great at the pleats!” or “I just can’t make pancakes as well as you, Mom, they taste so much better when you do it!”

And yes, I might decorate a Frozen-themed birthday cake better than you – and I might sew these Girl Scout badges on the sash better than you but do you really think I’m buying that I should put the kids to bed every night because I’m “better at it?”

Or that I should handle the taxes and medical insurance claims because I’m better at that “sort of thing?”

Skater: We should tell the karate teacher that Junior’s ready to move to the next level.

Handler: OK, his phone number’s over there.

Skater: Oh, you should call him. You’re so much better at that stuff.

Handler: Really? I’m better at CALLING people now? Is this a sophisticated skill that I’ve honed after years of practice? What specifically makes me more qualified than you to call someone – is it my diction? My articulation? My ability to PUNCH NUMBERS ON A PHONE SCREEN?

3. The Horn Tooter

These are the mates who trumpet their triumphs to the mountaintops.

My friend K. bathes her young kids nightly. Every few months, her husband R. will handle it, then march into the living room, plop down on the couch with a huge sigh as though he’s slayed a thousand dragons, and announce dramatically, “I gave the kids a bath.”

(Naturally, my reaction would be to praise this behavior in hopes of it recurring! If it were me, I’d fawn all over my husband: “Oh thank you! That’s awesome! I bet they had a blast giggling and laughing and now they’re so clean thank you so much! You’re amazing!”)

My friend K. just gives R. the stink-eye and says, “Whaddaya want – a parade?”

She teases him, like, “I give those stinkin’ kids a bath every stinkin’ night, mister! Don’t be actin’ the martyr just ‘cuz you entered the Splash Zone once in the past six months!”

4. The Procrastinator

This is the partner who absolutely agrees a task needs to be done (awesome!) – and absolutely agrees to do it (hooray!) – but postpones it by saying, “I’ll get to it.”

My friend M. says his wife will tell him, “Don’t worry about the painting mess the kids made on the kitchen table, I’ll take care of it.” Or, “There’s laundry on the couch, but I’ll get to it.” She’s claimed those tasks as hers, so he works on other things around the house. But eventually people need to use the table and the couch, so he ends up handling her tasks too.

“Her timing is brilliant,” he laughs. “As soon as I finish what she said she’d do, she sails in and says with a smile, ‘Oh, I was just about to do that! Thanks!’”

5. The Delegator

Some hubbies handle the “outdoor chores” like mowing the lawn, yard work, small repairs, and/or pool care – and some prefer to delegate those things to a gardener, pool guy, and handyman. That’s fine, baby! You got extra cash to outsource some tasks? Awesome.

However, things can get a little dicey when the Skaters delegate duties to the Handlers – especially when those duties were handled just fine by the Skaters before they got married.

If you find yourself running around town, desperately searching for great Christmas gifts for your husband’s relatives, wrapping them, boxing and addressing them for shipping, then handing a pen to your hubby to sign the cards during a commercial break while he’s watching the game, you just might start to wonder if you’re the executive assistant to the CEO!

That’s all fine and dandy, IF he’s reciprocating somewhere along the way by handling some of your stuff – or at least giving you heavenly foot massages on a regular basis!

6. The Dismisser

This is expert-level task-avoidance. This is the mate who declares that the item doesn’t need doin’ at all!

Whenever you say something like, “The washer’s making a funny noise, so should we—” or, “Maybe we should talk to the teacher about—” or, “Before this becomes an issue, we should—” this mate will say, “Nah, it’ll work itself out. Leave it alone.” And you never know: is that sage advice, or just an avoidance tactic?

Handler: Hey, can you please help me set out the folding chairs and tables on the patio for the birthday party?

Skater: Um yeah OK. (helps puts out one table and eight chairs, then turns to go)

Handler: Wait, we have more to put out. We have 20 people coming!

Skater: Ah, if people need more chairs, we can just get them out as we need them. Everyone’s not gonna sit at the exact same time.

Handler: (fumes internally while setting out more chairs, muttering, “Eight seats for 20 people? Are we gonna play Musical Chairs, for Pete’s sake?!”)

Admittedly, the Skater lifestyle is much more chill – but a slippery slope.

The “ah, we don’t need to go to all that fuss” approach might quickly devolve from sitting down to a nice family dinner with real plates on a tablecloth – to paper plates on the kitchen counter – to eating directly out of the pot on the stove like you’re camping!

Increase Sexy Time!

So if your partner is a What, Huh? Mate, False Flatterer, Horn Tooter, Procrastinator, Delegator, or Dismisser, you know firsthand that it’s difficult to feel frisky when you feel resentful.

But when you can count on your mate to just handle it, now that’s sexy.

So don’t be afraid to speak up. Tell your Skater, “Yes, honey, your ass looks great in those jeans – and yes, I love all the things you do for our family – and how hard you work – and how you make us feel loved and happy – but you know what I find really erotic? Handling stuff.”

Forget the flowers and chocolates and fancy restaurants. Change that lightbulb, make that appointment, bathe those kids, or empty that dishwasher – now that’s sensual!

Sure, a ripped Channing Tatum or a suave Ryan Gosling can certainly get me hot and bothered – but a guy who sees something that needs to be done and just does it? Holy hell, that’s a Fast Pass to Sexy Town!

This article was originally published on