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Is A Lazy Spouse Grounds For Divorce?

What are your thoughts?

You know, when your spouse portrays little annoyances here and there - that potentially lead to “big deals.” Do you call it quits with him/her?

Are these annoyances really worth the headache and stress of going through a divorce? I personally don’t know. I have always thought that “grounds for divorce” should come in form of infidelity, any kind of abuse,  betrayal, falling out of love, lack of respect..you know, the big things. Supposedly. However, those little things, to me, are foundation for the bigger things written above to take place. But what do I know, eh?

Those little quirks should be worked out it before they become grand.

I think most enter into a marriage with expectations. Usually, the men expect that women are caretakers and the duties of the house belongs to them. While some women go in with the notion that men are the money makers and shakers. They make things happen. Make sure the bills get paid, etc.

In my opinion, these are primitive expectations and thoughts. This sort of conversation is such that should come up before getting married. When you two are courting. Topics like chores, finances, health, etc. should be laid out on the table so you don’t get any surprises once you tie the knot.

We need to communicate our thoughts and expectations openly and clearly. Be true to yourself.

I don’t think anyone wants to come home every single day to a lazy partner. It can be irritating. Even more so when you confront them, and they make nothing but lame excuses. One of my readers (who prompted this post), complained of her husband, who recently got laid off. She gets home everyday to find him playing xbox. He played it before he lost his job too. The only time he gets up from playing is when he needs to use the bathroom or grab something to eat. Now, is that grounds for divorce? Well, maybe not…if they can iron it out. These kinds of behavior surely puts a damper on relationships.

Before bringing up the “D” word, though, I think it’s imperative to talk it out with your spouse. Sit him/her down and have a heart to heart conversation. Let them know the severity of this dispute. If your partner truly cares, and wants to make a difference or salvage the relationship, you’ll see it and things will change. Doing chores around the house is not meant for one - not unless you’re paying someone to take care of these responsibilities. Your spouse may have come from a background where him/her have never had to lift a finger. They had everything done for them. So, it may take you actually training and talking over and over again for them to finally get it. To the point where they no longer need reminders and take initiative.

I want to hear your experiences, though. How has this worked (or not) for you?

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Discussion

10 comments for “Is A Lazy Spouse Grounds For Divorce?”

  1. This is an extremely important post. Having narrowly escaped from marrying someone who expected me as a girlfriend to cook, clean ( and me mugu, I did both extensively) and who still thought I didn’t do enough of it to show that I was worthy of our impending marriage, It was made worse by the fact that I told him that any guy with those expectations must take up the traditional husband role of totally providing financially.

    I am a big advocate of laying all the cards on the table.

    Discuss it and agree. It is a big burden to cater to anyone (either financially or by doing all the chores) if the other party is not pulling her/his weight.

    Great post.

    Posted by In My Head And Around Me | March 27, 2009, 1:13 pm
  2. Oh dear, I hear you. “Mugu” lol..haven’t heard that in a while. You had me rolling. Jokes apart, I’m assuming you are no longer with this dude, or if you are, he completely changed his ways? Thank you for stopping by…

    Posted by Folake Kuye Huntoon | March 27, 2009, 4:35 pm
  3. I don’t know if talk is enough. You can only talk so much until you get fed up be forced to make a clean break from a lazy relationship.

    What in the world is your friend doing with a grown man who plays XBOX ? Shouldn’t he be meeting with his accountant/advisers to negotiate on the next bif money maker for the household.

    This is why I never took any man who plays Xbox seriously. WTF is that?

    Posted by How Body Na. | March 27, 2009, 8:22 pm
  4. WOW! I hit the nail on the head finding this site. I have been married 34 years and when I got married it was still the typical male roles/female roles. Well, my old man has NEVER done his male roles. I was 9 months pregnant (this happened with both my pregnancies) and had to mow the acre of yard we had with a Push Mower. I’m convinced the man doesn’t know start a vacuum. He was unemployed for 1 1/2 years…wouldn’t even think of getting a job at a store or some “menial” job. Instead he sat in front of the TV even after I had the satellite disconnected (couldn’t afford it). He only got local stations so took to watching Jerry Springer rather than do any work around the house! Even asking him to do something 3-4 times it doesn’t get done. So, I stopped asking and do it myself. We are now living in the same house but he now avoids contact with me. He has the master bedroom and bath and has taken over a room downstairs. They are all filthy! The bathroom is so gross our youngest won’t even go there! (He’s 15 and little grosses out 15 year olds). The old man has a new job and he started his own bank account so I throw bills in his “room”. He “forgets” to close doors to the outside during the winter, he bought a bunch of new electronics to amuse himself and they are left on so I figured he should pay the oil and electric if nothing else. The man has no hobbies and when he is home he sleeps or sits in this “room” watching TV and playing on his computer. HE DOES NOTHING!!!! There is so much work that needs to be done around the house and he does none of it. So, is a lazy husband grounds for divorce? I sure wish I knew because I am getting random hives which I am assuming is due to stress just like my “heart problems” that put me in the hospital but turns out I am healthy and so is my heart. STRESS?? Is that grounds for divorce? I am the only one taking care of this house and I am the only one who uses the 88 acres “we” own (skiing, etc). Will I lose MY house because he hasn’t beat me or the kids, hasn’t had an affair (who’d want that loser?), or done the usual things associated with divorce? Plus, how expensive is divorce? I don’t make enough to pay the bills on my own for the house the way things are set up but could IF costs didn’t go up for me. But I love my house and most of the furniture is from my dead grandparents. He doesn’t deserve any of it in my opinion. What does one do in a case like this? I am at wits end and breaking out in hives!!!

    Posted by Charlene | March 28, 2009, 5:29 pm
  5. Dear Charlene,

    In your case, laziness is a grounds for divorce. If you are being hospitalized due to the stress he puts you through (despite the activities you do to relieve stress) then it is the same as him beating the heck out of you to put you in the hospital. Abuse comes in many forms, including when he made you mow the lawn when you were 9 months pregnant. It was indirect physical abuse of you and your children knowing the complications it could have caused in the delivery room. Furthermore, husbands and wives generally should contribute to the relationship and do things to show that they care for one another; one person doing everything is not a relationship at all; you are not a slave. Do you know the joke?: “why is divorce so expensive…because its worth it!” I suggest you find a lawyer, maybe Binder and Binder(i’m not exactly sure if they handle divorce) and at the same time find a roommate, friend, or family member that can stay awhile and help you keep afloat. I know it doesn’t sound appealing, but don’t be afraid to ask for help from governmental or other private sources if you need help with food for awhile. And he will have to pay you child support for each child so you should push for that too. No material goods are worth your life no matter how valuable they are. If you love yourself and your children, you will find a way to make life after the decision to divorce work and you will be happy again even if it means giving up a few things. Don’t be afraid of where life can take you because I’m definitely sure it can’t be worse than where you’ve already been.

    Posted by Laura | June 6, 2009, 12:13 pm
  6. I divorced my lazy spouse. I have more of a load in some senses, because I could at least “park the kids” with him to keep a half an eye on them while I ran around doing more than my share of things, but the anger and frustration are gone.
    The way I look at it is that you obtain a lifemate with the idea that the two of you will be a “survival team” for life. When one of you is perfectly healthy but decides to “opt out” of this basic human biological duty, it’s time to shed the deadweight. You can’t be hunting for food for your babies with a big useless adult baby riding on your back.
    Plan your exit well. See a lawyer first to make sure you won’t have to pay him alimony.

    Posted by liz | February 1, 2010, 4:30 pm
  7. are yall serious? divorce out of laziness? marriage isnt what it used to be. To death do us part, unless one day i percieve him/her as lazy.
    Maybe you have heard of depression? Your spouse is probably suffering from your “stress” as well. It must be terribly uncomfortable for you to have to endure someone else’s mere presence. Why does the XBOX bother you so bad? why dont you pick up the controller and make him play it with you? cant you figure that contraption out? If your spouse isn’t doing anything you feel is constructive, ask them to do something with you that you feel is. get them excited for life and wired to do great things. It’s probably not just laziness. It might even be a good idea to encourage the laziness and be overly nice. i’d bet you’d get a much better response. show them you love them and if they really want to spend the rest of there life in front of the TV you’ll stand by your spouse. I doubt it will help going into a frenzy screaming…

    Posted by john | March 30, 2010, 11:36 pm
  8. John, I doubt she has TIME to play XBot if she is the only adult willing to work and feed herself and her children. Depression isn’t an excuse to bail out on life and it’s not a reason to be a slob with no work ethic. Clinical depression does need treatment but if this man can’t recover then he really has no place playing house and making everyone else pull his weight does he? If she is in a “frenzy screaming” it might have taken time and lots of bad lazy behavior to get there. Real men don’t leave the little lady barefoot and pregnant while struggling he SUPPORTS his wife and growing family. Agree?

    Posted by Nicole | September 25, 2010, 6:04 am
  9. Absolutely…laziness is complete justification for divorce.
    John, perception is reality. Laziness is abuse in the form of neglect. If a lazy husband “forgets” to change a diaper, feed the kids, pick them up, drop them off, keep the house clean for the sake of providing a safe environment for the offspring that is neglect, and neglect is abuse. The video games are a bother because men who are addicted to playing video games can become slovenly disgusting and unappealing. Women can’t “get them (men) excited for life,” motivation is something that comes from within, not something that a woman must also be burdened with in order to make sure that her adult partner is staying focused on life. If a man is not excited about life then he is likely the one who is suffering from depression and needs to do the adult thing and seek professional help. Encouraging laziness??? Uh-huh, that will get him in gear!!! If they want to spend the rest of their life in front of the TV, then they can do that in their mother’s basement like the rest of the losers who are too immature to have an adult relationship. I agree with Liz…drop the dead-weight before he drags you down with him.

    Posted by Dana | September 25, 2010, 10:23 pm
  10. If your view of your husband is that he is lazy because he sleeps until 9:30, lays in bed until 11:00 gets up eats something, plays games on the computer, does a few computer surveys, then plays more computer games, does maybe 30 min. of something around the house or yard, then walks the dog, then reads the newspaper, does suduko puzzels one after the other, then watches TV and he says that he knows how to relax when you bring it up. How would you feel?

    My husband is a pilot that has been laid off now for 18 1/2 months. Now, this behavior did not start after the lay off but was how he justified relaxing after he had been gone for awhile. I just call it lazy…. This is both of ours second marriages and I came into this now 8 1/2 year marriage with two children and he has none of his own. When we got married the girls were 15 and 10 and they watched this behavior and resented him asking them to do things around the house. I would defend him and say that they don’t understand how hard is to be gone from home all the time. I tried to explain to him that children learn by example and if you don’t set the example then they are not going to follow. Didn’t seem to matter to him, “children should just do what they are told”. This has caused so much tension in our marriage to where I have just recently moved out. This was prompted over an argument (one of many) that he and my 19 year old daughter got into. He does not seem to understand that his lack of motivation, especially after being laid off, has caused a lot of resentment on my part when I feel that he has picked on my girls over the past few years about what they don’t do. He now has a “compromise” that with my money I get her an apartment and if she needs help then I help her with my money. I feel this compromise sends a message to my daughter that she doesn’t matter. He says the daughter wins, I win, and he wins but how do she and I win in this? She would never feel like coming home for the holidays because I choose the lazy husband over her.

    Then on our relationship, if mentioning to him about something that bothers me envokes a response that “If you don’t like it then how about I don’t do it at all and see how you like that?” or “Why don’t you tell me what else I am doing wrong since I can’t please you?” If he loves me why would he not want to please me. I tried to always make sure that when he has been traveling that he had a home cooked meal to come home to, went to baseball games when I don’t really care about the sport but he will not go to a musical with me, separate the laundry out in the way that he asked me to when it was not laid out like he wanted. Now I could go on but I think you get the idea.

    He wants me to go to reconciliation at our church. If he can not see the harm in all of this, how is the church going to help other than telling me that the man is the head of the house and he should be respected? You earn respect it is not demanded.

    What would you do?

    Posted by JNevelyn | November 13, 2010, 9:46 pm

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