I'm really lucky in that J had pretty much the same upbringing that I did: both parents worked, both parents helped out equally around the house, and it was just expected that the kids did the same. So, as an adult, he's pretty good about doing the chores. Sure, he does a rotten job of the dishes (not deliberately, but he simply doesn't see the crud encrusted on the fork or the pasta smears on the microwavable bowl) and he could care less that there's hair in the sink or rings around the bathtub, but all in all he's a pretty tidy guy. I'll often re-do the dishes or clean out the sink, but only because it's easier for me to just do it
than to try to get him to see dirt or hair that doesn't seem to exist for him. We also have certain chores that are, more or less, ours alone: he does the laundry while I clean the apartment, he cleans the litterboxes and I make the bed, he does the garbage while I clean the garbage bins and replace the bags, and so on. We cook dinner together, but that's something we both enjoy -- it's not a chore to us. Sometimes it seems like an unfair division of labour (cleaning the apartment requires more effort on my part than him doing the laundry, whereas me making the bed is certainly easier than him cleaning out the litterboxes), but this is what works for us.
I made it very, very clear early into our relationship that I'm one of those "don't call me a chick" chicks
and that I expect to be treated as an equal partner, not as a surrogate mother or an indentured servant.
If the division of labour isn't working for you, you need to talk to Lee and let him know this. And I don't mean talk to him while he's watching television or playing on the computer ('cause if he's anything like J, it's in one ear, out the other). Sit him down for A Talk
and explain, calmly and rationally (but be sure to keep yourself calm and under control -- men have a tendency to take women less seriously when we raise our voices or start sounding like what they would consider "hysterical"), why you're unhappy with the way things are. Explain to him that your relationship should be a partnership, and that you are not there to baby him or mother him or clean up after him. I wouldn't necessarily make it an ultimatuum ("Change your ways or I walk"), but let him know that this is where you're afraid your relationship is headed if
things don't change. Make up a list of chores that need to be done, and then decide who does them. Try to give the chore to the person who hates it the least (for example, I hate cleaning the toilet, but I hate cleaning the litterboxes more; J would prefer not to clean the litterboxes, but the thought of cleaning the toilet makes him feel sick -- we each do the thing the other person hates more); if you both hate a certain chore equally, alternate it so that one week one of you does it, and the next week the other one does. Also remember to divide labour based on capability: lifting heavy garbage bags makes my wrist (CTS) stop functioning, so J is responsible for doing that, whereas he's terrible at housecleaning (no eye for details), so I do it. And if you absolutely cannot agree, ask him if he'd be willing to shell out some money towards paying for a cleaning service once a week (or twice a month, or whatever you can afford) -- if he's like J, he'd rather save the money and (grudgingly) do the work himself, but often putting a monetary value on that kind of labour gives him an idea of just how hard you're working.
Honestly, if I ever came home from work to find J sitting at the computer going "So, what's for dinner?" I'd probably throw my lunch bag at his head. And I have really