How To Train a husband

Just to not raise too big hopes, let me say this right from the start: This method is not working for household tasks! I haven’t found a reliable way to train a husband into showing responsibility and dedication for housework - yet! In regard to that matter I’m more relying on ‘try and error’ exercises - I definitely see good progress in certain areas, but the real break through is still at large.

What I have to report is based on case studies rather than proper research; however, there is indication for a method to work for certain lifestyle matters. What one needs is a triangle.

No, not what you think!

Ever heard of the parrot Alex? Again No, you don’t need a pet. Alex was so smart, he could talk, take decisions and do many other things, but like husbands he wasn’t able to tidy up around him. So the similarities are obvious and hence I feel that his training method could work as well for the men sharing our lives.

And how did he learn? By observation!

The trainer would show for example a blue plastic key to another person while Alex would be sitting there minding his own business. Trainer: ‘Blue Key’, putting it on table. Trainer: ’Give me blue key’ - other person giving her blue key.  

Blue – small – shiny – interesting! You catch my drift. Alex firstly, wanting to have the key to play with and secondly, liked the passing on thingy, started copying the other person.

He didn’t learn as well when taught directly. He was much better in copying others. That is why kids learn so easily from other children and the telly, but not from teachers, or parents for that matter. Well, and that is why this method is not working on husbands for household tasks; it’s the lack of co-trainers. The only other members of the family are kids who do not respond well to direct training either. One would have to wait until their brains are insightful enough to set a trap. Sort of: Let’s play this game with which we teach Daddy. Once he has learned, you are off the hook and he will do everything we want!

This is killing three birds with one stone: The children will understand the concept of teaching and meanwhile unknowingly accept to learn stuff about household tasks, the trap setting bit will be a great bonding mechanism between you and your children, and hubby eventually might be picking something up.


However, I was fortunate enough to observ the effect of this training method in regard to ‘How to get hubby fit?’ several times now, and it is miraculous.

This method is even better for guys than for parrots because they are more competitive. As soon as an initial improvement is reached, they work like a Perpetuum Mobile and sometimes they even become rather annoying in their determination. So be aware what you are asking for.

It starts with the undeliberate entrapment phase: Without a husband in mind woman feels horrible, decides something has to change and get’s a gym membership, or starts running. Husband observes and gets interested but is not doing anything yet, woman shapes up and is getting compliments from others, she finds other woman to train with, she can put her improvements into numbers of kg or miles – very important incentive for guys, women talk about numbers in front of husbands, husband decides to give it a shot.

Interestingly enough they will not choose a different kind of sport but the exact same one that the missus is doing. Additionally they will not listen to the experience gained by the wives and will do it all wrong. However, on observing the spouses, they will improve and that is when the perpetuum mobile effect kicks in, they are starting to take over and become a bit of a nuisance at times, since THEIR ambition of course deserves the support of the whole family.

Although their efforts are generally a very good thing, we are now sort of pushed into the background a bit.

These guys are stealing our thunder!

And given the fact that the damn household is still our thing, it’s hard to find the time to put our minds to something else in which we can become the experts before they do.

Oh well, who is competitive now? But there is a grain of truth in it, isn’t there?

If somebody from the outside world would have a look at the constellation: They always would assume that the guys took the lead and we followed – I just can’t have that: Thanks to their testosterone driven body strength they managed to take us over; so at least we want to be the ones who did it first and were the inspiring part!

So, there is no two ways about it - However exhausting it sometimes might be: We have to stay ahead of the game. And the better we get the more they will follow. It’s good for them, it’s good for us!

And now I even have an idea for the perfect household training:

We need to travel more – alone!

The duration has to be just long enough that clean underwear and ironed shirts are running out. Kids and pets have lost the excitement of being served by somebody else, and the house is getting really dirty. And it has to happen more often. Household tasks are a bit like software, while the guys are a bit like computers: you need to restart the software once in a while, or they forget how it works and just idle.

So, let’s enjoy ourselves and let’s take off to new endeavours: It’s for the good of our husbands!
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Author: Rika