How to fix a lazy boyfriend?

How to fix a lazy boyfriend?

My boyfriend never helps around the house. If I cook he won’t do the dishes. We got a dog (at his insistence) but he never walks it so it’s left to me. Now I’m at uni and working full time and finding it hard to keep on top of everything. How can I make him do more? Chloe

Short of putting a rocket up his bum, you can’t, and I’m sure, like other women in this position, you’ve tried nagging, wheedling, bribing etc, to no avail.  According to the ongoing Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey of 12,000 households, 51.5 percent of women who work full-time think they do a bit or much more than their fair share around the house. Only 16.2 percent of men who work full-time feel they do a bit more or much more than their fair share.

In households where couples have at least one child under 15, the gap widens further; nearly 70 percent of women say they do a bit or much more than their fair share, compared to 11.6 percent of men.

If you love him in spite of his lazy ways, chalk it up to one of those issues you can’t fix (we all have them) and outsource: get a cleaner, buy a dishwasher, hire a dog-walker, and say it’s his choice to pay half, or do half. If he won’t agree to either, it may be time to leg it – and let him find a new slave girl to torture. Trust me, the ever-growing resentment you’ll endure living with a partner who never pitches in is just not worth your mental health.

Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. pollypringle 11 years ago

    I agree, Jen – it is all about how people have been brought up, dragged up, whatever you want to call it. I think there’s no greater gift a woman can give her son’s future wife than to instil in him the motivation to do the dishes, pick up his socks, fill the washing machine from time to time and hey, even scrub a toilet. Not to sound sexist because I’m sure there are lot of lazy girls out there, but speaking as a woman who’s lived with 2 guys romantically, I think you can really tell which guys have been expected to do all this stuff, compared to guys whose mothers have picked up after them all their lives, so much so that they can’t even make a piece of toast for you!!

  2. Jen 11 years ago

    I’m lucky I don’t have this problem – my hubby is pretty good and I put that down to a decent upbringing. But I have friends whose husbands never lifted a finger when they were just going out/living together and now they have kids and the relationship is just crap because they are doing it ALL. it affects everything if someone won’t pitch in

  3. H 11 years ago

    My girlfriend and I do about the same, although we do split up jobs according to what we like doing. usually that works 🙂

  4. reality chick 11 years ago

    It’s hard, I’ve been there myself. I think we all have expectations of how relationships should be and when they fall short it’s easy to think, well, he’s a great dad / he’s responsible / he brings home the bacon / he makes me laugh etc etc etc, does it REALLY matter that he’s never cooked for me, or picked up the vacuum cleaner, or changed the sheets on the bed? Like any little niggle, it’s all about how much it gets to you.
    But, while you may be able to gloss over the little someone does when you’re just cohabiting DINKS (double income no kids), when kids do come along it’s going to throw any unfair division of labour (or total lack of labour) into stark relief. And then you’re really stuck in a dynamic that’s possibly much harder to break.
    On the flip side, I do know loads of men who share the burden equally with their partners and some who even do more than their fair share – so those caring sharing dudes are out there! 🙂

  5. Anon 11 years ago

    You say leave him, but i think a lot of people do just put up and shut up becuase everything else is good – I personally was with someone for five years and seriously I could count on one hand the amount of times he did housework. In five years, he never once changed the sheets on the bed.
    it seems like such a crap reason to leave someone over.

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