Paige asks :

Hi Lucy,

I'm having a problem with my partner. I've been with him for sixteen months and we love each other dearly. I've moved in with him to his flat but he won't get into a cleaning routine like I want him to. Just now we've had a massive argument because I asked him to clean the shower out tomorrow. This is while I'm out visiting my family after I finish my work shift. How do I get him to understand I need his help?


'How do I get him to understand that I need his help?'

'How do I get him to understand that I need his help?'

Hi Paige,

It's possible that if he grew up in a house where his mum or sister cleaned that he expects the same from you. If you would like it to be a shared task, it might be worth sitting down with him and letting him know that this is what you aspire to. 

The argument might have arisen if he was surprised that you asked him or he has preconceptions about who should do what around the house. It seems that you might need to have a conversation as to who will do what moving forward. 

If he is able to help in other ways then this could be a point of compromise- if he is a good cook- perhaps he could take care of this while you take care of the cleaning. Or could he be in charge of the laundry instead? That way you can both agree on the jobs you will be doing to contribute to the running of the house.

It's possible that you are both just adjusting to living together- this is one of the most common arguments between couples- even ones who have been together for years.

You will both have your own habits and ways of doing things so it will take some time to get into a routine that suits both of you and something that becomes the norm. Maybe he is protective over his flat- if you have recently moved into his space, he may still feel a little territorial about it until he gets used to sharing it with you. 

Think about how you asked him. Was it a demand or a question? If it was delivered sharply, this may have made him feel less inclined to help out.

If you ask him and tell him how much it would help you out, then he may be more inclined to do it.

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