7 Ways to Deal With a Procrastinating Husband Without Losing Your Mind 2

7 Ways to Deal With a Procrastinating Husband Without Losing Your Mind

How do you deal with a procrastinating husband? Do you try to nag him into submission?

You nag and nag. But he doesn’t change.

(When you repeat a complaint or request over and over and over, it’s called nagging.)

You’ve asked him three times this week to take out the trash. But the overflowing bin still sits in the same place, stinking up the kitchen.

The more you ask, the more he resists.

Complainer vs. Procrastinator

You’re ticked, and it’s game on: The Complainer vs The Procrastinator.

No one’s going to win.

David and Teresa Ferguson in Intimate Encounters* say the “Complainer and the Procrastinator” is one of the  marital games. And marital games are driven by unmet emotional needs.


Yes, procrastination is a response to something he’s lacking.

He doesn’t lack arms. You just want him to Take. Out. The. Trash.

I get it. But it’s more complicated than that. Instead of telling you how your “demands” or complaints make him feel, he ignores your request. He might not be aware he’s doing it.

Early in my marriage, I used relationship-repelling patterns of behavior. Instead of telling my husband what I needed, I’d play emotional games to get it. Sometimes I wasn’t even aware of it.

So how do you “fix” a procrastinating husband?


Complaining Won’t Change Him


Complaining about it won’t “fix” him.

He may seem like an uncaring, lazy bum, but he’s responding in the way he’s used to responding when he feels like someone’s bossing him around.

It seems like a simple thing, but he established patterns of relating to people way before he met you. And yours were established before you met him.


Learn about his family


If your husband grew up in a household where excessive complaining or controlling was common, he may not respond well when you complain or make requests he thinks are controlling, whether they’re controlling or not.

You may think his response means he doesn’t care about what you want or he’s ignoring you.

In reality, he may not be responding to you at all. He may be “responding” or mimicking the behavior of his controlling father or complaining mother. He’s using the only method he knows.

Don’t try to psychoanalyze him and pretend you’re his therapist.

That’ll probably make him mad. But when you begin to understand why he responds the way he does, you can make an effort to respond differently instead of getting mad or feeling hurt.

People usually “play” games because that’s all they know. That’s how they’re used to trying to get their needs met.

Marital games are never fun, and there’s never a winner. They only up the ante on negative emotions.

God created us with emotional intimacy needs. He also provides ways to get them met.

Your “lazy” husband might feel unappreciated.


7 Ways to Deal With a Procrastinator Without Losing It


Here are seven ways you can live with a procrastinator without losing your mind:

1. Accept you can’t change him.
2. Decide not to get angry, bitter or nag.
3. When he procrastinates, clarify your request–Honey, will you take care of the trash when you get home today?
4. If he agrees but still doesn’t follow through, gently and lovingly point out it hasn’t been done and give him a timeframe–I can take care of the trash tomorrow if you can’t get to it tonight.
5. If he still doesn’t follow through, then:

  • Do it yourself (without bitterness)
  • Hire someone, if you can’t do it (without bitterness)
  • Let it remain undone, especially if the consequences will affect him

6. If he’s willing to talk, ask him to tell you how your request makes him feel.
7. Ask God to help you both understand your emotional needs and give you a desire to meet them for one another.

Set aside some time to talk about your needs. You may discover learning about his childhood and understanding yours does wonders for your marriage.

How might your emotional needs be affecting your marriage?


*Source: Intimate Encounters by David and Teresa Ferguson.

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4 thoughts on “7 Ways to Deal With a Procrastinating Husband Without Losing Your Mind”

  1. This is terrible advice. This will constitute nagging to a husband. Women should ask for what they want and choose faith over fear!

    1. I agree, Mary, we should always choose faith over fear. I’m certainly not encouraging nagging. I’m not quite sure how that message came through. Asking for what you want is a great way to approach a situation, but a soft touch is usually more effective than a heavy hand.

  2. “Do it yourself without bitterness.”
    Really? Are you kidding me?
    If I have to do everything myself then this really isn’t much of a marriage or partnership is it?!
    How come whenever he asks me to do something, I do it. Period. I do it because I respect him. He asked, I do it. It’s that simple.
    Why is it that he’s allowed to call it procrastination? Where’s the respect in that? THAT “reason” is just a cop out.
    Plain and simple.
    The trash is over flowing, I say “please take out the trash.” He should love & respect me enough to do because I asked him to as I would do for him. Not act like a baby because he feels “bossed” around. My God grow up & get over it! There’s always someone in our world telling us what to do! The police, our employer, the judge, etc.
    Get over it! It’s called life! It’s called being an adult!

    1. I understand how you feel, Mary. It can be aggravating and frustrating when your husband procrastinates. I write from my own experiences. After 34 years of marriage, I’ve found some tactics are more effective than others. Sometimes in marriage, we have to do more than our share. That’s part of it. I wish it was as simple as “he should love and respect me enough to do it.” Ultimately, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Give this technique a try and let me know how it goes.

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