How to train your husband

Dolphin.jpgI was going to write a quick guide on how to train your husband this week. But my first port of call was some research into the matter, and I discovered to my chargrin that this subject has been done far better by many others. Far more inventively in fact.

One woman has written a blog entry about how to train your husband like a dolphin.

A DOLPHIN. Now why didn’t I think of that?

I was more going along the lines of training my man in the way I’d train a dog. Or perhaps using behavioural techniques that I use on the children.

But like a dolphin? I have to admit a keen flash of jealousy mixed with some extreme curiousity here.

For example, does the training involve any water based activities? And can said husband be trained to leap through small hoops slung over deep water?

I’m now thinking that I need to get hold of more of this advice and see what I can use from it.

Because I have to face facts, dear reader. My husband needs training. He needs it badly. No – correct that. *I* need it badly!

I once decided to test his level of bathroom filth tolerance. Unfortunately for me, it was extremely high. 6 weeks into that test I caved – and it took me two weeks to chip off the air dried skid marks from the toilet. 

In more recent years he has demonstrated an independent ability to notice a grimy sink and clean it. But if he notices the toilet being scummy, he firmly represses that thought – because the alternative would mean he had to think about doing something something about it. And cleaning a toilet is something he simply doesn’t want to do.

So there is my first challenge – how do I make my husband want to do something that he simply doesn’t want to ever consider doing? What dangling treat, what rich reward could possibly achieve that goal?

I’m going to sleep on that one for now.

My second challenge is – how do I make my husband remember the fact that he’s a middle aged father of two when he has a drink with mates?

I got a text the other week at 3am. He was sleeping on the sofa at work. It was a Wednesday night. It was a school night. Am I being old fashioned when I think that a responsible person who has a family at home doesn’t just keep drinking until he falls over, drags himself to the nearest sleeping point, and then wake in the middle of the night and text the wife he forgot to call earlier?

I once spent a night simply unable to sleep because I couldn’t get in touch with him, and he simply didn’t come home. I felt sick to my stomach with worry. I was phoning and texting and there was no answer. The simple reason – as discovered the next day – was that he was snoring his head off and was lying on his phone. It just couldn’t wake him.

More recently I find myself able to get to sleep even when I haven’t heard from him. I wonder what the police will say to me when they have to ask why I didin’t report him missing. I’ll have to reply with “Well, he often forgets to come home, forgets to call, forgets to text. I just thought he’d be home in the morning with a contrite “sorry” and the generous offer of a greasy spoon (because he’s hungover).

A part of me realises that there is a huge amount of jealousy involved here. Because he’s at work, and he has total control over my movements simply by the lack of his presence. I have to pick up the kids and get them fed every night. I can’t just work late and then pop out and have a drink with my friends. I can’t be running a little late because of a client, or suddenly change my plans when something unexpected pops up.

I am tied to the house. I am forced to stay here because I am the only adult here. Any plans by me also require the organisation of a babysitter. 

He points out – and rightly so – that on a Wednesday night I was NOT going to go out anywhere, even if he’d been home. That’s quite true. I have band on Tuesdays and orchestra on Thursdays, both of which he arrives home (almost) in time for me to leave.

But the main point is that as the one of us who works away from home, he has a level of freedom that I just don’t have.

Do I want to train him OUT of freedom just because I don’t have it? No. I swear that’s not what I want. All I want is that he thinks of me before he gets too trollied to know what’s going on, and tell me what he’s going to do. 3am texts just don’t cut it.

So – how to train your husband. Did I mention that I actually have no clue how to do that? I’m off to visit a few dolphins for advice now.

Categories: the male enigma


  • Sigh…I saw this link on SITS and was hoping it would provide me with all the necessary tips and tricks! I think I’ll stick with the whole puppy training thing 🙂

  • It’s not likely you will change him. My only advice is to show him love and respect. Build him up whenever possible and maybe, hopefully he will want to start doing things to please you.

  • Persis says:

    wow this is a super interesting posts! stopping by from SITS.
    psst. don’t forget to enter the Pink Lady Giveaway contest on my blog

  • Persis says:

    wow this is a super interesting posts! stopping by from SITS.
    psst. don’t forget to enter the Pink Lady Giveaway contest on my blog

  • alison says:

    stopping by from SITS! with a post title like that…i HAD to check it out.
    if you figure this all out….please let me know! and if it makes you feel any better, i work full-time and am still the one that’s responsible for all of the housework and the children. i don’t think i’ve left the house without kids tied to me for 5 years now, but the hubs can make it to Bible study once a week…go hunting (alone)… to the grocery store or do errands (which i have to do on my lunchbreak if i don’t want to tow three kiddos along). i love my hubs, but HOLY MOLY i’d love to train the crap outta him 🙂

  • Stefanie says:

    Oh. Dear. I wish I was your fairy godmother and I could wave my wand and make your wishes come true. Or. Maybe that’s a genie or is it just a joke that my husband likes to tell. Wait. I had a point….

  • rima says:

    I don’t have the answer, but I can tell you that over the years my husband has learned more and more to be considerate of me and aware of his responsibilities within the context of our family . . . but the mirror on his side of the bathroom sink is still covered in toothpaste scum!

  • Oh good lord – if you figure out how to train a husband, you will be a wealthy woman!
    I choose to pick my battles. Such as no “guys night out” without at least 3 days notice. That usually eliminates the spur of the moment drunken evenings. And I gave in on the toilet thing. Because if you want something done properly, you should probably just do it yourself.

  • Jaysen says:

    Hello again.
    Being male might I suggest bribery of a physical nature. The fact that he does come home means he like being there anyway. You just need to get him to realize how much he likes being home with you there.
    At least I think this is what my Mrs did.

  • Jayde says:

    Good luck with that endeavor! I don’t know that it’s possible to train men at all! If you find anything useful, be sure to pass it on. 🙂 Stopping by from SITS.

  • I’m not sure about the whole dolphin thing–I mean I’ve seen dolphins do a lot of tricks, but cleaning the toilet wasn’t one of them. Although, now that I think on it, it could have something to do with having fins. And the fact that they basically live in their toilet.
    So I’m no help. But if your husband does start to jump over large ropes at animal parks, give me call. I’d pay to see it 🙂

  • alison says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone! I have to add a caveat – he’s quite furious at me for inferring that he’s the one responsible for the skid marks, and that’s not what I meant to convey! Those are clearly miniskids.
    He demanded to know if want him to clean the bathroom, to which my answer was “i’ll give you a trial!” which didn’t appease. Because it’s got to actually BE clean!
    And even more annoying – I was planning on doing a big clean tonight, and now that means I have to NOT do the bathroom, which will irk me! Although chances were that I wouldn’t get to it anyway, as the rest of the house needs hosing down.
    The minute he starts jumping over hoops in the local pool I’ll call you all down there, okay?

  • urbanvox says:

    well… there is always ONE treat that always works with men… come on… you know what I mean… 😉

  • Elly Lou says:

    You are already wiser than you realize:
    “What dangling treat, what rich reward could possibly achieve that goal?
    I’m going to sleep on that one for now.”
    See? You already know the answer. Bow chicka bow now.

  • I love this! I’m right there with you, while I was at school this last semester my husband was to clean our house. Ummm lets just say next week my poor house has to be deep cleaned.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  • Veronica says:

    Stopping by from SITS.
    I was also excited when I read the title, hoping to soak up some wisdom to execute at home for my untrainable husband. The good news is, I see I am not alone. I’m anxious to see what you discover. =]

  • Anne-Marie says:

    Stopping by to wish you a Happy Saturday Sharefest as well as a Happy Mother’s Day. I’ve been married for 25 years. I think I still have a little humor left in me. As far as not coming home from drinking 2 much, well, lets say, when you have kids its not funny anymore. How did I stop this behavior, I presented him with divorce papers and an idea of how much money I needed a month in support payments. I really did not want to divorce him but lets say it changed things around quite a bit. Never happened again…Like Dr Phil says that sort of behavior is a deal breaker in a marriage. Its time for him to grow up…That’s just my 2 cents worth. Take care!

  • Sara says:

    How is it that men can do this with the toilet?
    A dirty toilet grosses me out in an unbelievable way. And when it’s just me using that toilet, it takes a lot longer for it to become gross.
    When a man is using the same toilet, it takes about 4 days. And THEY DON’T NOTICE/CARE.
    Truly foul.