“Boyfriend responsibilities” are not the same as “marital duties,” but the latter can be included in the former. My sweetie and I were discussing boyfriend responsibilities during his visit this week.
After he returned home he apologized for not being more cognizant of his boyfriend responsibilities. He knew my garage door opener needed a minor repair. While I was conducting an hour-long client call he took a nap, which was fine with me. In his email he said, “I’m very sorry about the garage door. I should have jumped right on it.” I hadn’t asked him to fix it, nor did he say he would, so I didn’t have any expectations that it would be magically fixed while I was otherwise engaged.
I don’t expect my beau to be my ad-hoc handyman, unless it’s something in which I know he has expertise and doesn’t mind doing. He said, “My fingers shudder and refuse to let me pick up a hammer. Power tools have a restraining order against me. Changing oil means changing cars. Is there such a thing as an ‘unhandyman’?”
As a homeowner, the never-ending list of “honey do’s” keeps expanding. Even when I was married, I always had a handyman to do all but minor repairs. It saved us a lot of tension and fighting from my nagging my ex to do what I considered simple things, but he thought were time-consuming trips down frustration lane — as well as multiple visits to Home Depot.
I may occasionally ask my sweetie to help out with a quick job, especially if it’s something simple that I can’t do by myself. I do a lot on my own, but some tasks need two people. Others are better delegated to my handyman so I can focus on other things.
I really appreciate it when my beau takes initiative to do anything that helps around the house and would fall on my shoulders otherwise. Without my asking, he’s already emptied the dishwasher, cooked me breakfast and dinner, washed the dishes, fixed a nearly clogged faucet, brought in the mail, helped me prepare some packages for mailing, took out the trash, brought in firewood, and other things that he saw needed to be done. Since this week was an especially frazzled one, I’m grateful for anything he did to pitch in. And I appreciated it even more when I didn’t have to ask or point out the task. It feels more like a partnership rather than his being a guest in my home.
What’s your take on boyfriend duties? When you’ve been seeing someone for a little while, do you have any expectations of what he will do for you around the house? Do you discuss these expectations and see if he has any desire to take on these “honey do’s”? Or is there tension and conflict because of different expectations? And what about when you’re at his house? Does he expect you to do tasks that are traditionally “women’s work” — mending, cooking, cleaning, laundry? If so, how do you handle it if you don’t want to do the task, or don’t have the skills?
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