Ask Laskas: “My Husband Wastes Water!”

Now it's your turn to help solve our readers' problems!

from Reader's Digest | September 2013
Laskas SeptemberIstvan Banyai for Reader’s Digest

My husband leaves the water running the entire time he shaves, brushes his teeth, and does the dishes. It drives me crazy seeing water being wasted like that! I’ve tried asking him to stop, but that gets me nowhere. Please help!

- Eco-friendly Emma

What’s your take?

Give your best advice in the comments below, and your answer might appear in the magazine.

Have your own qualm? Send your questions about manners, parents, partners, or office politics to Sending gives us permission to edit and publish.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

Sending Message
how we use your e-mail

  • Your Comments

    • France

      Dear Eco-friendly Emma, put the plug in as he starts shaving or brushing his teeth and don’t allow him to pull it out until he has finished his usual routine even when the water spills on the floor. I can’t imagine he would want the experience repeated too many times… As far as the dishes are concerned, I also run the water so I can rinse…consider yourself lucky he DOES wash the dishes…

    • amy

      This is the kind of problem that will solve itself. Keep on nagging your spouse about insignificant things that don’t matter at all, and pretty soon he’ll be shaving, brushing his teeth, and washing dishes in some other woman’s house. Your problems will be over, your sanity will be restored, and you’ll have nothing to complain about.

    • NancyR

      Time with our husbands is too precious and life is too short and uncertain to worry about such things as this. I suggest you leave the bathroom when he is shaving and/or brushing his teeth, likewise when he does the dishes – or else do the dishes yourself.

    • Shannon Day Westcott

      I had spent a big part of the last decade complaining to my husband about trivial things such as this. If your husband has been told repeatedly about it and continues to do it anyway, find other ways to save on the water and other resources in the home.
      My husband and I are now separated and have been for over two years and he is no longer standing in my bathroom letting all of the water run down the drain. Although we are good friends, his absence stings.
      I think you need to focus on the bigger picture. He washes dishes?? Thank him!
      If you spend all of your time worrying about trivial stuff that ends up driving a wedge between the two of you, you will be kicking yourself and feeling terrible if one day you find yourself divorced or even widowed.
      Enjoy the now . . .

    • EnidV

      Does he pay the water bill? Be thankful he is clean and helps with the chores! Most men will stop helping out once they’re told how to do ordinary things around the house. Since being eco-friendly is your priority and not his (it’s ok to be different), get a dishpan to collect the excess and use it for plants, washing the car, etc.

    • OOKL

      Boy oh boy, people have nothing better to whine about? If this was my wife I would divorce her faster than she could take her next breath. What a whiny brat. I waste water.. remember that.. for every ounce you save, I flush twice, I leave a faucet running, I spill water down the drain just to tick off enviro-whackjobs like you.

    • mike

      Dear Eco-friendly,

      Life is full of trade-offs and compromises. You need to determine if water conservation is more important than personal grooming and the sharing of household chores. Your marriage and the local ecology cannot both benefit if you press this issue. Count your blessings and find another earth-friendly way to offset your husband’s habits.

    • Miss My Girl

      My sweet wife did the same thing. It’s just another small irritation that I regret fussing at her about after cancer took her away. You have little to complain about, especially if he’s helping with the dishes. Choose your battles.

      • Shannon Day Westcott

        I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Karen in Tacoma

      Dear Eco-friendly,How about
      you take a 7 minute daily shower, versus a 20-30 minute one while
      shaving your legs and underarms, that would save you 40 gallons of
      water. I think you are blessed to have a clean shaven husband with fresh
      breath and clean teeth who also does the dishes for you; but if you
      still are annoyed then why don’t you do the dishes?

    • K.G.

      My question to you: “Do you want a marriage that is based on mutual respect for one’s personal choices and preferences or a marriage based on parent-child interactions–where your husband pleases you when you are present and rebels when you are absent?”