5 Sneaky Ways To Make Your Husband Do More Stuff

Does your husband not do enough? Here are simple ways to get him to finish stuff around the house.

husband washing dishes Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Husbands! They do no housework when left to their own devices. There are evolutionary reasons for this.

But I could care less and I’m sure you feel the same. Instead of nagging and then just doing everything yourself, I propose the following 5-point plan to get your husband’s butt off the couch and into your good graces.

RELATED: Men: You Have More Agency In Your Relationship Than You Think

Here are 5 sneaky ways to make your husband do more stuff:

1. Figure out what your husband’s core competencies are

This is a business term and it means, what does he do really well and enjoy doing? Not housework, you say. Not so fast, though, Grasshopper. Is he good at any of the following: Fantasy football, Excel spreadsheets, work presentations, or sports?


Well, would you look at that, he’s good at ORGANIZATION. No, I’m serious.

Or he may be good at problem-solving- well you know he is, because of what he does when you try to share your emotions with him. So how do we make use of this newly discovered organizational skill set? Give him a discrete organizational task and express your confidence that he can do it extremely well, perhaps even better than you (don’t pass out).

Example: “Honey, the garage looks like sh*t because we keep leaving our stuff around. Can you please make it so that there are two rows of crap on the shelves and nothing on the floor? I know you’re good at spatial things, and at problem-solving, and this is a big problem for me.”


Also note:

  • You owned your contribution to the problem, which always starts things off on the right foot
  • You’re being concrete and not vague in your request which will limit the possibility of miscommunication
  • You also are making yourself vulnerable, eg saying this is a problem for you. So if he cares about you, he will want to come in and solve your problem.

RELATED: Stop Caring So Much About Your Wife Thinks, According To A Marital Therapist

2. Express confidence and appreciation in advance 

Building on the prior example:

“Honey, the garage looks like sh*t because we keep leaving our stuff around. Can you please make it so that there are two rows of crap on the shelves and nothing on the floor? I know you’re good at spatial things, and problem-solving, and this is a big problem for me. I know you can do a great job and I would really appreciate it a lot.”


Doesn’t that sound nice and loving?

3. Frame it as a one-time goal

Men like this better than daily drudgery. And by men I mean everyone. So do NOT say, “We’re going to have to put our stuff away every time we come home to keep it looking like this.” Instead, say: “We need it done by tonight because it’s going to rain and I want to park in the garage so I don’t get wet.”

Men also do better with short time frames. It gets their adrenaline going. Whereas for most women it makes us so anxious we vomit.

RELATED: 5 Things To Ask Yourself To Be A Better Partner

4. Give a little to get a little

“Is there anything you’d like me to do if you clean the garage?” Be prepared for the obvious request.


Wh*re myself out for the garage to be cleaned, you ask with revulsion? But listen up: why do you have to conceive of this as wh*ring yourself out to get your garage clean? Why can’t you frame it like, I’m doing something for the marriage and he’s doing something for the marriage? I mean, think about it.

5. Express gratitude both privately and publicly

“Girls, look what an awesome job Daddy did on the garage! Make sure to marry a man that helps you around the house, and also is handsome.” Your little kids will eat this up. Your older kids will secretly like it too although they may be like, “Oh God, stop.”

Okay, someone try this out and report back to me ASAP. And when your neighbors are like, “Hey, how’d you get John to paint the kitchen?” you can be like, “Check out Dr. Psych Mom and her awesome blog, and your husband will soon be re-siding your house, girlfriend.” Then you can snap.


RELATED: Stop Being So “Confident” And Your Wife May Be Way More Into You

Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, aka Dr. Psych Mom, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the founder of DrPsychMom. She works with adults and couples in her group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.