My Husband Sucks at Laundry | Ask the Rev. | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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My Husband Sucks at Laundry


Published June 26, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.

  • ID 293268777 © Ekaterina Panova | Dreamstime

Dear Reverend,

My husband and I have very different work schedules. His is much more flexible, and he often has time during the day to take care of chores around the house. I really appreciate everything he does, except he's really terrible when it comes to doing laundry. He doesn't separate colors or delicates and just throws everything in the dryer on high. I've given him tips, but nothing has sunk in. If he ruins another piece of my clothing, I'm going to lose it. How do I rectify this situation without being mean?

D. Landry (man, 31)

Dear D. Landry,

Your question reminds me of a Shel Silverstein poem called "Helping." In it, he writes, "And some kind of help is the kind of help / That helping's all about / And some kind of help is the kind of help / We all can do without."

In theory, it's great that your hubby takes care of the laundry for the two of you, but wrecking your clothes in the process cancels out any benefits. I like to believe that you can teach an old dog new tricks, but if he hasn't picked up on any of your laundry pointers by now, it's time to try another tactic.

You could tell him that, while you really appreciate him doing the laundry, you would like to take over that particular chore. If you're worried about being mean, use a "You do so much; let me do this" approach. However, if he likes to be a busy bee, he may just keep doing the laundry because he thinks he's being helpful.

Another option, if you have the space for it, is to have two hampers. One is the "community hamper," in which you put things that can handle his washing style: sheets, towels, his clothes, etc. Put your more delicate items in a separate hamper that you keep in a spot far away from the other one. Let him know that you're in charge of the things in it because they require special care, and make him promise not to touch it.

If this is the biggest problem in your marriage, Cheer up. I think it'll be pretty easy to turn the Tide and Bounce back.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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