When you dreamed about marriage, you probably had some things on your perfect partner ABC list. Things like attraction, brilliance, compassion, does anything I ask, etc. The letter “L” would have included stuff like loving or long kisses. Let me tell you what probably didn’t come to mind: Lazy spouse.

Realizing that your spouse is L-A-Z-Y stinks.

It can be painful and downright frustrating to feel like you’re putting in most of the effort. It can lead to anger and resentment for the one you promised to love, honor, and cherish for a lifetime. These bad feelings are not helpful for your marriage. 

There is a chance that what you think is laziness might be something else. You can read about that here.

But let’s say your spouse is truly lazy. And you’re over it.

You want more for your marriage. You want to know your spouse cares. And you want to feel heard, seen, and appreciated. But you’re tired.

I feel for you. 

And while there are no guarantees, there may be some things you can do to get your lazy spouse off the couch and by your side.

Here’s what to do.

Talk about what you need. 

According to one report, 61% of participants said that sharing household chores is very important for a successful marriage. (Although that percentage seems low to me.) And many couples are struggling to make ends meet, too.

Your mate can’t see what you think, and they probably didn’t take Mindreading 101, so you’re gonna need to lay it all out (without nagging). Say, over a non-threatening cup of coffee.

  • Talk about the budget. 
  • Write down all those unseen things you do and what needs to be done. Let them know you want a fully-invested partner in your marriage and home life. 
  • Ask how you both can make that happen, financially and emotionally. 
  • Talk about what your spouse does well, find ways to use their unique skills to make your lives more fulfilling, and make sure you both have time to rest and recharge. 
  • If you have kids, discuss how you both want to model the kind of mate your kids should look for.
  • Provide options. Delegate tasks. 
  • Set a start and stop time. 
  • Divide and conquer together.

ASK for what you need.

Motivate your mate. 

Make a big deal when they do helpful things. 

  • Tell them you appreciate the things you think they should just do, like taking out the trash. Tell ’em nobody could take that trash out any better than they do. 
  • Brag on them, even over small things. Make them feel like a hero.
  • Mention how close working as a team makes you feel. And how great it is to cross things off the to-do list.

Remember, if it’s fun, it will probably get done!

Be willing to do things their way.

Early in our marriage, my husband washed the towels. With the clothes. Leaving fuzz EVERYWHERE. Of course, since I was the “laundry expert,” I let him know about it. 

Not the best move for my marriage or my dreams of laundry bliss. Learn from my mistake.

Any chance you’re expecting too much or that your standards are too high? Ever re-do what your honey does? Or complain about how they do it? (Guilty.) If your spouse is afraid of doing something wrong or being criticized, they may just give up or resist because they don’t want to fail or because it hurts.

There’s more than one way to do things, and how you respond can encourage or stop the help you want. 

Seek Support.

Maybe you’ve tried these things already, and you feel stuck. That’s super hard. Talking to a professional counselor, either on your own or as a couple, may help. You might even have to hire someone to do some bigger or specialized things that need to get done.

I’ve heard that insanity is continually doing the same thing while expecting different results. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. A change in you may lead to a change in your lazy spouse, and ultimately, a change in your marriage.

I don’t have all the answers, but I can tell you that you won’t know if you don’t try. And I wish you the best.

Other helpful blogs:

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

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