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When it comes to housework, sometimes you and your spouse may face some challenges especially if you’re a clean freak and he’s a slob. This is a common household conundrum with an easy fix and in this post, you’ll learn how to get your husband cleaning willingly without you having to nag.

How to Get Your Husband to Clean 

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1. Make cleaning your problem, not his.

First things first, you have to address the real issue here: Keeping a clean house is essentially your problem, not his. What I mean by this is that your husband isn’t bothered by the clutter or the mess that he often leaves behind so when it comes to cleaning, it isn’t an issue that he thinks he needs to deal with. So, instead of trying to force him to see things your way or change his habits, politely explain to him that keeping a clean house is your problem and that you need his help to deal with it.

You can try saying something along the lines of, ” Honey, I have a problem. When the house is messy it makes me feel overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. These feelings become difficult to deal with and spill over in other areas of our life together and I need your help.” Then proceed to tell him exactly what you would like for him to help you with. This is a non-criticizing way to express your feelings without attacking your husband’s character.

2. Make a list.

Sometimes, simply telling your spouse what you need for him to do around the house isn’t enough so put it in writing. Create a list of tasks that you each will handle in and around the home. By doing this you are setting very clear standards of what your responsibilities are leaving the remaining tasks up to him to freely take care of.

3. Allow him to clean his own way.

Let’s face it. Although we want to believe that our spouses will think and clean exactly like us, this idea is a little far-fetched. Your husband will probably never clean to your standards and you have to be OK with this if you truly want and need his help. This means not intervening in his responsibilities, criticizing or looking over his shoulder when he does his share of housework. When asking for help from your spouse, you have to be willing to give up a little bit of control and give him the freedom and space to operate on his own.

4. Accept that you can’t make him want to do housework.

When you see your spouse expressing dislike such as grumbling, pouting or sulking while handling his share of housework, simply ignore it. Yes, ignore it. Why? Because these are his problems! Some wives may find it difficult as they watch their spouses learn to sit with their feelings and handle them on their own. Eventually the pouting and sulking will subside in time as he creates his own habits in keeping up with chores but this will never happen if you jump in to “rescue” him from his responsibilities every time he shows any signs of discomfort.

I hope by reading this article, you have learned a constructive way to communicate your needs to your husband thus alleviating the burden of household chores on yourself. If you’ve found this post helpful, please feel free to share with your friends 🙂

This post is based upon teachings from the the New York Times best-selling book, The Dance of Anger written by Dr. Harriet Lenner. A must-read for any woman who desires to gain clarity of oneself by using the emotional signals of frustration and anger as tools to create lasting change in intimate relationships with others.