Social Question

nikipedia's avatar

How to handle this laundry-based relationship conflict?

Asked by nikipedia (27300 points ) December 12th, 2011

My boyfriend put a silk dress through the wash. It is ruined. Should I just ban him from ever doing laundry again? I don’t love this solution. I am trying not to be mad. But I loved that fucking dress.

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27 Answers

bongo's avatar

Buy a separate laundry basket for delicates and tell him not to go near it. He can do the washing from the other basket of day to day clothes.

zenvelo's avatar

He does his wash, you do your own wash. You can split things like sheets and towels. That way you never mess with his favorite Metallica T-shirt, he never messes with your lingerie (well, at least not in the laundry.)

deni's avatar

Perhaps talk to him about what absolutely cannot go in the wash. Quiz him on it. Maybe that seems obnoxious but I bet that dress wasn’t cheap. Hopefully that will get through his head, and if it doesn’t, then yeah I would never allow him to do my laundry again.

Facade's avatar

Do your own laundry. My SO messed up something of mine about 4 years ago, and he hasn’t touched my laundry since.

Keep_on_running's avatar

That way you never mess with his favorite Metallica T-shirt, he never messes with your lingerie (well, at least not in the laundry.)

And to think you couldn’t possibly make a question about laundry sexual…

flutherother's avatar

I think the answer is to ask him to replace it. After he does I don’t think it will happen again.

Coloma's avatar

Obviously it was an honest mistake, and I am sure he has learend and feels regretful for ruining your favorite dress. Yep, I’d say you both do your own laundry, and, maybe look at it with a bit of wisdom. A good lesson in not becoming overly attached to anything.

If he hadn’t ruined the dress, sooner or later it would have worn out, beeen eaten by moths, stained, torn, outgrown. Every- thing is of a transient nature.

I know someone who just lost everything in a house fire last Weds. night, a can of compressed air was left by one of the teens too close to the fireplace after they cleaned their computer. Poof up in smoke, and while they are well insured, between the burned room and smoke damage, pretty much everything is ruined.

It’s only a dress, keep it in perspective.

janbb's avatar

Where’s the learning for him in banning him from ever doing laundry again?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I did the opposite when my husband and I couldn’t agree on laundry.
I refused to do laundry any more until he would see things my way. After a while he realized that he wasn’t so great at doing laundry, so… now we share. And we do it the right way.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Keep two bins/basket/hamper for dirty clothes and only put the things of yours in the communal bin he knows how to launder and dry. How long have you two been sharing laundry? My guy has taken near 3yrs to be ok sorting and laundering our stuff but there have been losses. :(

Take your dress to a dry cleaner, explain what happened and see if they can bring it back to life. By accident I have washed silk items and seen them shrink up into scary sights but some of them were salvaged by warm ironing, very gently while still damp and a few others went damp straight to a dry cleaner.

YoBob's avatar

Well, clearly he needs to be beaten about the head and shoulders for trying to help out with the laundry.

The solution seems pretty simple. Do your own laundry.

jca's avatar

You do your laundry, he does his laundry. If you never let him do your laundry again, but you continue doing his laundry, the lesson he learns is that if he screws up, he gets out of a chore forever.

YoBob's avatar

@jca – Apologies in advance, I seem to be a bit on the snippy side today. Must be that pre-holiday return to the office…

Anyway, I just can’t help but comment on your choice of words. While I understand the idea you are trying to communicate, putting it in terms of “the lesson he learns” makes it sound like he is a dog that needs to be sent to obedience school. Treat your partner like a dog and they are sure to eventually run away.

The guy screwed up by throwing the wrong thing in the wash. Bummer, especially since it was one of those special pieces of clothing, But hardly something worth disciplinary action. For goodness sake, who hasn’t done something like accidentally throwing in a white shirt with a pair of red socks? If this is the worst slip up this guy ever makes, @nikipedia needs to count her blessings!

jca's avatar

@YoBob: Nowhere in what I wrote did I say anything about “disciplinary action.”

submariner's avatar

When a man and a woman cohabit, and they aren’t rich enough to hire servants, the woman does the laundry. If they want to be egalitarian, then the man will do something else to compensate for the laundry that he is not doing (for example, my dad did all the grocery shopping and his second wife, a hard-core 70s feminist, did all the laundry). For each to do his/her own is possible but inefficient. Having a man wash a woman’s clothes will only lead to grief. I’ve been doing my laundry since I was 8 or 9 (i.e., not long after my folks divorced), and I still don’t know what most of the buttons on the washer mean, because I never need them. Men’s clothes are generally just a lot simpler to deal with, so men don’t know what to do with stuff like silk (especially if they are not sons of single moms; I would have at least known to set the silk dress aside and let the woman deal with it).

janbb's avatar

@submariner What kind of crap is your first sentence? I did laundry sometimes, my husband did laundry other times; it all came out clean. There is no laundry doing gene on the X or Y chromosome.

submariner's avatar

@janbb I expect jellies to read the whole post if they are going to reply to it, and not to pull things out of context.

janbb's avatar

I read the whole post; I just don’t believe in sex-based household job allocation. Sorry if I reacted strongly.

nikipedia's avatar

You guys are all correct (except for that weird thing about women necessarily doing all laundry, sorry @submariner). Thanks for the good advice. @YoBob, @nikipedia is counting her blessings. @Coloma, it is just a dress. We had some good times together. And if @Neizvestnaya‘s dry cleaning solution works out, maybe there will be more.

We had a very sane discussion and agreed that the two-basket solution is best, especially since all his work clothes have to go to the dry cleaner’s anyway.

submariner's avatar

Ok, I admit my first sentence was deliberately provocative, but I had hoped people would see what I was getting at by the time they reached the end of the post. Sorry you had to find out the hard way about men and laundry, and I hope your new laundry arrangement works for you.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well, did he apologize? I mean he didn’t mean to ruin it so how can you stay mad?

nikipedia's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir, he apologized and offered to replace it, but I wasn’t mad anymore by the time we talked about it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@nikipedia Well, yay new dress! And I know he’ll be more careful when doing laundry for you next time. I don’t think you have to ban him.

john65pennington's avatar

Since most men are ignorant when it comes to cleaning clothes and the laundry, why not watch him next time and explain the mistakes he is making?

No one is perfect, but even myself would have known not to put a silk dress in the washing machine.

Valuabe lesson, I hope, was learned by both of you.

YARNLADY's avatar

It sounds like a perfect excuse to always do the laundry together.

nikipedia's avatar

Although I would like to pretend I don’t believe in using sex roles to segregate chores, today I realized that I am grateful that there is no expectation I will kill spiders or fix broken toilets.

janbb's avatar

@nikipedia Unless you live alone….

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