Honey, I Did the Laundry! Aren’t You Proud of Me?

Ladies, did you ever return home from a long day at work or an exhausting day doing errands, kid parties, and other chores to your loving man greeting you at the door like a happy little puppy because he did the laundry? If he had a tail, it would be wagging. You are so happy to see him and very proud of him for helping out!

And he is so proud of himself!

He goes on to say that the hamper is empty and every dirty piece of clothing is now clean…with a big smile on his face…and you LOVE his smile.

AND, he also did the separation of colors correctly and nothing shrank!

You feel a sense of relief because that is one less chore you need to finish! YAY!

Maybe now, you can take a bubble bath, or read the James Patterson book that you bought 6 months ago!

Your man goes on to say, “I don’t know what the big deal with doing laundry is. It was so easy to do and hardly took up any time!”

clean laundry not foldedYou walk into your bedroom and there are 3 or 4 baskets at the end of your bed filled with clean clothes!

Your man proudly points, “See its all done!”

This is a story that was shared to me by one of my clients last month. Since then, I have heard similar stories regarding laundry this from several other women who have experienced almost the same exact situation.

One woman, stated, “I came home and he was sitting in his reading chair and there was a HUGE mound of clothes on the sofa! When I asked him what it was, he said, with a big smile on his face, that he did all the laundry.”

Another woman shared, “I asked my husband if he would help out by doing the laundry while I went shopping for our vacation. I came home and he was watching the Phillies and proudly told me it was all done. BUT, the clean clothes were in bins in our laundry room-not folded.”

One wife stated, “He only folded his clothes saying that the kids clothes are too small and complicated.”

Women, has this ever happened to you? And, men, have you ever done this?

I was amazed that I heard similar stories, from 6 different clients, in about a month’s time. So, did further research and asked a few friends, both men and women, about this. I also did some research online. The conclusion was that this is common. So, of course, I had to blog about it because it seems like an important issue to many women.

men folding clothesThe reaction of each of the men, while their women were sharing their stories with me, were little innocent smirks on their faces. When we dug deeper to figure out why this was happening, here are some of the responses I received:

“I really thought she just wanted to me to clean it all. Not fold it too.”

“I never folded clothes and have no idea what to do.”

“I thought I was helping.”

Many of the men I spoke to stated that they never had to do laundry. Their mothers’ did it for them. Then, after leaving home, some paid a professional cleaner, while others simply let it stay in the dryer until needed.

When I was in my early 20’s I dated a man that lived with his grandmother and she washed, dried, and even ironed his clothes…including his underwear! She said, “Men don’t do laundry.” Hence, this man never ever knew how to turn on the washer. At least, many of these other men did.

I am not trying to pick on men here. Not at all. (I personally leave clean clothes in baskets at times due to having an overfilled schedule.) In fact, there are over 5 MILLION searches for “How to laundry” on Google every month.

All the men I spoke with love their partners and are very caring men. It seemed to be the bottom line was that these men simply did not think about folding the clothes, nor do they know how to.

Here is a great starting point at MarthaStuart.com. How to fold a T-Shirt

But, this really comes down to more than just laundry. A common complaint I hear from women is that their men don’t help out enough around the house. And the most two common complaints I hear from men is that their women don’t seem to appreciate them and their women are not as interested in sex as they are.

Here are some suggestions that have helped my clients:

  • Be nurturing and loving in how you ask. For example, “Babe, I would really appreciate it if you could help me with this…” or “Honey, I know you are busy, but when you have a moment would you mind…” 
  • Be clear and direct when you are asking for help from your men. Ask them to wash, dry and fold the laundry. Maybe even put the clothes away.
  • When your man does something sweet for you, hug him, thank him, and some extra time in the bedroom would encourage him. When he sees he is appreciated, he will gladly do more around the house. 
  • Refrain from being critical and judgmental. Also, please don’t nag. These will only make your partner not feel like helping out. Be patient with each other. Understand that you come from two different backgrounds and talk about solutions. 
  • Take part in a Rekindle Your Romance Retreat to tighten your bond. 

Also here are some insights for men that I found on Men’s Health website. Figured men would appreciate a man’s point of view:

men doing chores


Couples decide to live together out of love for one another. Remember this bond and reconnect regularly. Learn to have open communication and patience with one another.

Your Turn

Can you relate with the above situation? How do you handle laundry and chores at your house? Do you have any tips to share? Please share below.


Joanne Cipressi, CHt, CNLP

Empowerment Personal Coach and Mentor





  1. Surely it’s only my opinion, but I think that doing laundry is no wonder. If a man is lazy then it might be. But family is a wholesome unit and we should help each other. Thus while my wife is out i can easily do the laundry or anything about the house. And I think it’s normal.

  2. Andy,

    Thanks for visiting here and for leaving a comment on behalf of the men that do help out. I think you are right, some are just lazy. There are all types. :) I am sure your wife greatly appreciates all the help you offer. That is very kind of you. I like how you stated “its normal.” That, in my opinion is how it should be. :)

    Hope your day is amazing! Enjoy.
    Joanne Cipressi recently posted..Honey, I Did the Laundry! Aren’t You Proud of Me?My Profile

  3. I don’t have this current problem and haven’t in years. But I will attest to the fact that most men just either don’t know any better or their significant others just haven’t asked. Granted, some men are just lazy but those that would help just need some coaxing.

    In the past, I would ask for help with things and usually I had to ask several times. By the third time I would just do it myself and they would come back and say “why didn’t you ask”. That’s when I would blow. In all honestly, those guys didn’t stick around for long. I don’t ask for much so when I do, it’s important. Laundry was never on that list.

    Interesting post Joanne and I can sympathize with a lot of women. You ask them to do something and the majority of the times it’s going to be partly done. You have to sit them down, walk them through everything you need and then maybe they’ll catch on.

    Good luck with that ladies! :-)

    • Hello Adrienne,

      I was amazing by how many searches there were online for “how to laundry” and “how to do laundry”. It was mind blowing to me. But, that is reality…many people simply don’t know. And, yes, I have also found that some coaxing often does motivate a man to help out more. I hope your next man is around for a very, very long time and adores you. :)
      Joanne Cipressi recently posted..Honey, I Did the Laundry! Aren’t You Proud of Me?My Profile

  4. Wade

    I guess I was just brought up different. Not saying that my dad did any, ANY, of the laundry or dishes or “Woman’s Work”. But my mom and grandmother made sure I, we knew what was expected of the men they were growing up. Laundry, dish washing, vacuuming, whatever was done around the house we knew how to do it. Now fast forward to being with this woman that I’ve shared my life with for 21 years. We live in what I would consider a home that looks lived in, (four kids make the lived in look, easy), it’s isn’t perfect but it’s comfortable happy. When un-close friends or relatives visit there is the mad dash to pick up the toys, straighten the cushions, empty the sink all to give the impression of perpetual cleanliness. It’s just the way we do it. SO anyway clothes, if I empty the washing machine I hang up the clothes. This last year or so, have had the oldest boy, 11, doing laundry. He runs the machines and we all fold, makes things go so much faster. Back before we had the kids I also went clothes shopping with the wife. Yes I did, and I held her purse too. I did it for purely selfish reasons, with me along she bought less. And with me holding her purse she had two hands to shop, which means shopping faster. I don’t understand the men that make the process take longer than it needs, by being contrary. As for as the chores go, I’m not saying that sometimes I don’t have to be asked or nudged or prodded or poked with a pointy stick, but sometimes so does she. We share in the chores and our procrastinations for them. Thank you Miss Joanne, this was my first time to post here, hope it was ok. Wish you and family to have a wonderful and very happy week.

    • Wade,

      Welcome! And thanks for sharing! Your comment was excellent. :) From what you wrote, you and your lady seem to have a really great bond. I think its wonderful that you share in the responsibilities with your lady. Sharing responsibilities shows so much love for one another. And kuddos for teaching your 11 year son how to do laundry! I have known many women in their young twenties that were frustrated because their boyfriends did not know how to do this chore. He will definitely have a plus with some special lady when his day comes. :) I love how you point out that both of you need a poke or nudge at times…we all do–both men and women. I know I do at times. :)
      Hope your and your family’s week is amazing as well! :) Would love to have you back.
      Joanne Cipressi recently posted..Honey, I Did the Laundry! Aren’t You Proud of Me?My Profile

  5. It’s Not About Asking For Help; It’s About Requesting A Measure of Sharing, Ideally Equal Measures When Appropriate.

    Perhaps there IS a difference between helping and sharing, and maybe it’s subtle, but worth making some observations.

    Helping implies to give or do what is useful or needed; to aid or assist with one’s efforts. Help emphasizes actively providing whatever support another needs. Helping is what you do when you are “helping” your child do homework when she/he might be having difficulty understanding a problem or concept. You don’t “share” their homework assignment.

    Sharing implies the part owned in common; the part/portion belonging to one person; that which is used/enjoyed together. Share emphasizes the idea of common possession, enjoyment, or use. Sharing is what mature adults do with specific household responsibilities, including child-rearing activities if children are involved (laundry, cooking, house cleaning, food shopping, taking time to feed the baby and change diapers at 2 AM, driving children to soccer games, telling stories before bedtime, etc.).

    Depending on how people experienced their own early childhood, including observing role models of what Mom and/or Dad did re these activities, they will most likely expect similar routines in their couple-hood future. Yet even older dogs can be taught new tricks. Couple-hood is an opportunity for transparently discussing and negotiating these kinds of issues.

    Some men and women don’t help or share in these activities, especially those who provide the main source of income for their families, and whose time away from home precludes sufficient time for equally sharing in these activities. It’s difficult to imagine why a working spouse might not be able to provide some measure of sharing with certain activities. After all, these activities constitute real expenditure of great efforts and skills, very real work, just not “paid” work.

    If a spouse/partner is working full time and the other spouse/partner is not working, or has a part-time job, each couple will hopefully discuss how best to participate and develop reasonable strategies for accomplishing what needs to be accomplished.

    The reality is, sadly, that most women who work still end up spending more time dealing with these activities compared with their equally employed male spouses, and for many reasons, some of which are discussed in the link below re research about society, culture, and public policy influence the decision of household labor. Hopefully, this is improving, but far too slowly for many who experience stress related to this situation.

    At the end of the day, BOTH spouses are going to tired after their respective day’s “work”, and the laundry still needs to be done, including ironing!

    Let’s move towards more “sharing” and maybe some of, “Honey, I did the laundry, including ironing, and supper is almost ready. Why don’t you relax for a few minutes, and I’ll call you when I get the kids seated☺”

    Thanks Joanne for an important post for men and women. EdC

    Edward Colozzi recently posted..TRANSITIONS: STEPPING STONES TO SUCCESS & HAPPINESSMy Profile

    • Edward,

      LOVE this! Sharing vs helping. YES! A relationship is a partnership where we share our life together (referring to those living together)–therefore, we would share responsibilities. The examples that I mentioned in the blog were of couples where both partners worked full times jobs. And, like you stated, unfortunately, the women still did the bulk of the housework and attended to their children. These couples could surely benefit from rethinking how they view “chores”–that they are shared by each other.

      I enjoyed the link you posted. It is interesting what other societies feel is important in these areas. How we are raised truly does impact how we treat the relationship in every way. Thankfully, we are adaptable beings and can change. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insight Edward. I truly benefited from it, as I am sure my readers will as well. :) Hope to see you again! :)
      Joanne Cipressi recently posted..Honey, I Did the Laundry! Aren’t You Proud of Me?My Profile

  6. Leroy

    Women are innately obligated to minister to the household’s needs, which, obviously, washing clothes, table cloths and bedding are but several. Once women are once more morally and legislatively required to remain within the inner sphere, that is familial life, and no longer permitted to perversely work akin to and alongside men, performing laundry duties will feel joyous, from the vantage point of the wife.

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