Woman leaves dishes and laundry for her husband to do for days, chaos ensues


There’s been a trend on Twitter and TikTok for women to document the random crap they have to clean up around their houses in lockdown. Some have gone on cleaning strikes and have shared how messy their houses get. The thread I’m referencing in this post gave me at least ten minutes of entertainment, which is rare. There’s real household drama in how this unfolded. A British woman with a toddler and husband, whom she calls “Irish,” decided to stop doing the cleanup, dishes, laundry and random chores like replacing the toilet paper rolls. Two days later, she started to tweet about it. She chronicled how horribly messy her house got, the weak half-a-sed way her partner eventually tried to help, and how frustrating it was for her. I’ll spoil this right now – it has a happy ending. Her last tweet said her house smelled like bleach. However it was a real journey to get her husband to recognize that he needed to help. I don’t know her situation but she said she’s working 14 hour days and is really tired and fed up. So many of us can relate to this.

Her first tweet is above and you can follow that thread from there. I included some highlights below. The user, Miss Potkin, is really funny and I’ve followed her.

Instead of doing the dishes, her husband used a plastic spoon:

Here’s her asking Irish what the dish on the table was for:

He started loading the dishwasher:

She was hopeful but he didn’t actually turn on the dishwasher and left a bunch of crap in the sink:

He finally ran the dishwasher when she asked him:

And he finally cleaned up the rest of the house:

This tweet was made when she was in the middle of it and I found this so relatable:

Yes, I sometimes work 14 hour days, cook dinner, do the dishes, and find that my 16 year-old son has not done the bare minimum job we’ve agreed on for him, which is to put away the clean dishes. That was yesterday. I woke up to that this morning and briefly considered leaving it for him, but just gave up and did it myself. How many times do we just do it ourselves until we end up breaking? I should be fair, he does it 85% of the time. As the person running the household I do not have this option. I have to get sh-t done no matter what. My son will do laundry, sweep and vacuum, if I ask him and remind him.

So many women are not only caring for children full time, but holding down jobs and doing basic chores for husbands who have no understanding or appreciation for it. Women’s work is not only physical labor, it’s emotional labor. We are the managers and the planners and we often do it all behind the scenes, unrecognized. Meanwhile we’re taught to thank our husbands and partners for their contributions so they’ll keep them up. I’m trying to do this with my son, but I’m also trying to teach him just how much I do in a day so that he can not only help, but be prepared to run his own house. It can be exhausting.

Someone in that thread linked this article in Harper’s Bazaar about women’s emotional labor. It’s actually hard to take.

This is so sweet. I’m so glad it turned out ok for her!

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207 Responses to “Woman leaves dishes and laundry for her husband to do for days, chaos ensues”

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  1. AB says:

    I once did that. Then his mother came for a visit, heard the story and cleaned it all up for him. I filed for divorce.

    • NTheMiddle says:

      😆 Yep, my ex MIL always commented on what a bad housekeeper *I* was while I was the one working a full-time job, 2 part time jobs and taking classes while her son sat on his A and waited for me to have time to do it.

    • nievie says:

      This is why I live separately from my partner of three years and will continue to do so for a while yet. He’s only down the street and it works just fine.

      • lucy2 says:

        I think that’s pretty much the only kind of relationship I could deal with now. I don’t want anyone else and their stuff in my space, and I REALLY have no desire to clean up after someone. No thanks. I’m not the neatest person, but if there’s a mess, it’s my own. Plus I deal with enough extra stuff at work that other employees don’t have to, so that’s plenty.

      • DaffiestPlot says:

        I wonder if, past a certain age, it’s impossible to live with a partner. I simply don’t want to share my bed every night.

      • Grace says:

        You are living the dream! That’s perfect!

      • Snazzy says:

        @daffiestPlot – this is absolutely true. My partner and I got together in our late 30s, and actually we sleep in separate rooms. Some people are totally judgy about that, but it works really well for us

    • Annie says:

      Was your ex-MIL Marie Barone?

      • NTheMiddle says:

        Worse than Marie Barone but not my problem now. My poor daughter, however, is told all the time by ex MIL that she needs to keep her dad’s house better… even though she’s only there 50% of the time (she does chores and cleans up after herself but that’s not enough). Because of this, she and I have discussed what is needed in a partner. I never trash her dad but she asked me recently ‘Mom, WHY did you marry him?’ 😁

        My 2nd husband is a gem… we truly share housework and he has been a great example of what kind of partnership she deserves. There ARE good partners out there.

    • Concern Fae says:

      Over half of divorces are because of housework issues. Far more than infidelity. But there is so much cultural product, movies, novels, chat shows, tabloid gossip about “keeping it in your pants.” Compared to almost nothing about “dude, do the feckin’ dishes and pick up your damn socks.”

      • Rose of Sharon says:

        I finally broke w twin teens remote learning lockdown daily/nightly MESS CHAOS.

        Now I get up early. Do my thing- even prepare simple one dish dinner.

        By 5pm-I put dinner in the oven & get ready to “retire to my bed chamber”, threaten them w the rapture to make kitchen perfect apres dinner.
        They LOVE that I disappear (occasional appearances to monitor) and I LOVE waking up to a clean kitchen. Win win.

    • Sandy123 says:

      I feel you. I divorced my ex because not only was he not helping out, he was actually creating huge messes for no reason and it got to be too much. A baby in the house, a mess demon of a husband and a MIL from hell. I still have PTSD about it. Never again.

  2. Mrs. Peel says:

    My husband does such a piss poor job of cleaning, that I just end up doing it myself. He does do all the laundry though.

    • Spanky says:

      This is one of the reasons I never got married. For real. I always knew that I wasn’t put on this planet to be someone’s maid.

      • Eleonora says:

        Same, Spanky.

        No need for that.

        Luckily, I live in a city where anything goes, so I don’t get the “why don’t you have a boyfriend?” crap.

      • kim says:

        have been with the same guy for 20 years now, signed legal docs in 2013 to protect each other financially….I have only done his laundry 4 times in 20 years (and I never fold other people’s clothes, and once I told him it would cost him 50dollars–and he paid up). he does a majority of the cleaning, because evidently he thinks he does it better than I do LoL… I cook…because I’m better at it and more creative….point of this..flip the script in the beginning of the relationship and live like a man does….there’s a reason why they behave the way the tweeter recorded… 😆😆

      • AlpineWitch says:

        Spanky, this was my mantra too before getting married almost 10 years ago.
        Before the wedding I got sick (at that point we were living together but we weren’t married) and my husband did all the cleaning, ironing and cooking with no issues (long story short, I was stuck in bed for a while). He still does all housework when I am too busy, while he is always the one who washes up after a meal. He also has 2 jobs while I am unemployed. I couldn’t seriously ask for more in that regard!!

      • I taught my son and daughter to do their own laundry clean their rooms and do dishes. On the whole my son is neater then my daughters both of them clean up and help out.

    • Yup, Me says:

      I’ve been thinking a lot, especially in this past year, about how boys become men who have been trained to sit on their asses and do fuckall while the women around them take over and do things to a certain standard. I’ve been thinking about how boys/men get trained on cleaning and contributing so late in life that they’re allowed to be bumbling and inept and then just not help at all. I’ve been talking to my son, for years, about the importance of caring for the home that shelters and cares for you and I’ve told him stories of the men I know who have been dumped BECAUSE their lack of care for the home has felt like lack of care for others who live there.

      In our home, we have family cleanathons where we turn on music and EVERYONE has to stop whatever else they are doing and do their part to pick up the house. I take the lead because I have the most experience (my husband was raised by slobs and is another late in life convert to this arena). However, I do not like to cook, so my husband mostly takes the lead there (and I support him at times or I sit down and relax because a happy relaxed mommy is a much more valuable thing to bring to family dinner than anger and asparagus).

      I’ve also let them know that I understand and empathize with women who do everything by themselves for years on end and then, one day snap and kill their whole families and I’d hate for us to get to that place. I demand participation out of love for them and their safety and all of our collective well being.

      • Southern Fried says:

        hahaha! I hadn’t thought of telling my fam about the women who snap, so clever lol

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        I love everything about your comment @Yup,Me! I may borrow your cleanathon concept.

      • Lemons says:

        I want to vent, but your comment sums up where I want to get to. My boyfriend is also late to the cleanliness for yourself game and leaves it to me. Has NEVER tried to teach his sons to do better and his ew who was a SAH mom for 15 years has clearly enforced the idea that her sons don’t need to learn these vital skills either. It’s so sad to see this cycle continue.

        As an outsider to the dynamic, I have said my peace and have let it be known that I do not have the time to keep the home clean after them with a full-time job and classes w/o help. I have also accepted that some nights, I will have to skip dinner as they slurp on pasta with milk made by my boyfriend and exclaim that it’s “really good.”

        I almost miss the Saturday mornings where my parents would blast music in the house and we (my brothers and I) knew it was time to get the chores done and wash the car. It’s crazy how differently we grow up sometimes.

      • Laura says:

        We do the music cleaning too! We do a fast version where we play one song and see how much we can clean in that time. This makes us all feels like winners, even when the house is still a little messy at the end ;)

    • SaySo says:

      I have seen my husband of 18years resort to eating cereal from my KitchenAid mixing bowl and a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to avoid cleaning the dishes. My constitution is not strong enough to play these games with him, clearly, he was raised by wolves.

    • liz says:

      After 20 years of marriage, we’ve more or less sorted out who has how much tolerance for which kinds of mess. I can’t stand looking at dirty dishes, he can’t deal with piles of laundry sitting around. So I do the dishes and he does the laundry. I clean the bathroom, he vacuums & dusts. It took us a long time to get here – and a few bad arguments along the way.

      Now I’m trying to train the 17 year old to do their own dishes – or at least put the dirty ones into the dishwasher. They are in virtual school and I’m getting sick of “But, Mom, class is starting; I’ll do them later” while walking away from their breakfast or lunch dishes. “Later” is code for “I’m going to forget about them until Mom yells at me that she wants them out of the sink before she starts cooking dinner.”

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        are you in my household, @liz? Because damn that who zoom school is starting excuse sounds familiar

    • SpankyB says:

      I’ve been lucky in that both my ex-h and now husband do housework/cooking. My ex was a bit anal in cleaning so it was easy for me to keep up with baby/toddler messes and keep the house clean.

      Before I even got into a serious relationship with my now husband I was very upfront about housework and cooking. He loves to cook, we both hate to clean. I do dishes (since he cooks) and laundry, he does the rest.

      • NicDix says:

        That’s not luck. It seems you had those conversations which are important to have before tying the knot with someone. I was raised by parents who both did the chores so I am not settling for anything less.

  3. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    Men shouldn’t ‘help’, they should just DO. It’s half their house and half their living environment. This nonsense about women being auto-nurturing is precisely that – nonsense. Housework should be waged.

    • Eleonor says:

      When I was living with my ex I remember how tiring it was to be “the German Shepherd” always giving orders and him saying “you should have told me!” and me saying “FFS I am not your mother!”

      • Emm says:

        Yes!! It’s freakin common sense and you are a 40 year old man!

        Oh boy this post has got me because I have been in this situation, talked about this stuff, cried about this stuff, all the freakin time. The emotional baggage. We have had the battle of the “who will empty the bathroom garbage” many times. I’ve boycotted doing laundry over the last year. Yes my husband is by far much better then most and I do consider us partners but it took work to get to this place and he was never purposely being an idiot about it but it was so hard for him to just have it become second nature like it is to me. He was just raised by a woman who did everything for him which is not right or good.

        We were actually just discussing this yesterday and I was taking about how I want our sons to be able to take care of themselves and want to take care of their partners and how I worry for our daughters because men are crap. Then we started talking about his maga parents and how his mom did pretty much everything, raised five kids and took care of all household things, while his dad went to work and thought that was all he had to do. He has one sister that luckily married a good guy who treats her great and she won’t ever had to worry about money or anything. On the other hand he has a couple of brothers who treat their wives like his dad treated his mom, expecting them to do everything even if they work as well and on top of that always putting them down, giving them crap for ever deigning to take some time for themselves. I don’t understand how a mother could be totally fine with her sons being terrible to their wives like that.

        I could go on and on about this topic. When I start reading stories from other women about this I realize I don’t have it so bad but the pandemic has definitely exasperated everything.

      • Emm says:

        I also wanted to add he does cook every night though, he loads the dishwasher, empties it in the morning, he gives the majority of baths, he has never once refused to change diaper or make bottles, he does school runs, he puts pony tails and braids in hair, he is not some douche bro who thinks anything is taking away his masculinity. He just was raised to not have to do anything for himself. He will do anything I ask him to, it’s just a matter of getting to the point of not having to ask and we are almost there.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “ him saying “you should have told me!” and me saying “FFS I am not your mother!””

        Ugh, yes! Delegating responsibly is mental labor! Why are the women expected to organize and delegate tasks? And then they resent you for ordering them around and telling them what to do.

    • HooofRat says:

      True – it’s like men saying they’re “babysitting” their own children. It’s. Called. Parenting. Dammit.

    • ElleV says:

      Agreed, housework should have a wage value attached to it! In our house, I make more money than my husband so naturally, to make up the difference in overall contribution, he does the bulk of the cleaning. And we each take on the tasks that the other hates the most to be nice. Serious question, no snark: why do people accept and/or enable less? What’s that about?

      re: other comments in the thread about men being so bad/useless at cleaning that their wives HAVE to step in… i don’t buy that. just seems like a clever way to get out of cleaning.

      • Jess says:

        For me it’s a money thing, even though we both work. It sounds ridiculous even typing it out and I get pretty resentful at times, but now I only work 2 to 3 days a week so I do most of the household chores and cooking. He makes 10 times what I do and thinks he makes more because he works harder, lol no.

      • Kate says:

        I get what you mean that unpaid work should be valued, but I don’t know if calculating a wage value is the answer though. I think in a partnership you should both be “working” about the same amount of time, unless one of you has a crazy demanding job and is working all hours of the day and night. If one person has a part-time job but is taking care of the kids and house for most of the day she isn’t working (and doing all the emotional labor) while the other is at a full-time job, then you are both equally contributing to the partnership with your time. When you’re both home at the end of the day or on the weekend then you both take on the work that is there.

        Otherwise the one who earns a large salary working 40-50 hour weeks at the office gets to enjoy a leisurely weekend while the part-time worker has to clean and care for the kids for the entire weekend to make up the difference. That’s what breeds resentment, because it’s like creating a class system within your own nuclear family!

      • Granger says:

        My husband makes about two-thirds more than I do. However, I have a much more demanding job, and generally work longer hours. There’s no way I’m going to take on the bulk of the cleaning just because I make less money.

        Also, what does this mean for stay-at-home parents? They aren’t paid for all the work they do to try and raise well-adjusted humans — and being a stay-at-home parent is HARD WORK. I guarantee you it’s harder than some of the jobs people leave the house for everyday. I don’t think they should have to bear the brunt of the cleaning/cooking burden just because their partner is the one getting paid for their job.

      • ElleV says:

        You guys are absolutely right – it wouldn’t be fair for a person who makes less money but works an equally demanding job (including the job of rearing children) to do all the household stuff on top of that. Perhaps the term “wage value” doesn’t quite get at what I’m talking about.

        I’m talking about valuing and balancing things like emotional labour, childrearing, and housework with financial contributions and job demands as part of a person’s overall contribution. When my husband took up a less demanding creative role, I took up a more demanding and lucrative one to support him, so he picked up household slack to support me. The point for me is feeling equally supported, not splitting everything 50/50, and absolutely the situations you describe don’t sound supportive!

      • Psudohnihm says:

        I got so tired of washing dishes that eventually every time I would wash them I would hide a few until we had exactly one plate and one cup and one utensil per person. Husband complained and complained that our dishes were disappearing and he couldn’t understand why. But my plan was working, right? Everyone was washing a dish when they wanted to eat.. until Christmas when I went to open my huge gift from my husband and found he had proudly bought a brand new set of everything. 8 piece setting. Utensils. The whole bit. Gravy boat included. Now I have to start all over and my closest have hidden dishes stuffed between the sheets. Lol!!!

    • sa says:

      I was the twitter thread yesterday and one of the replies made a great point that husbands, partners, etc who don’t do their share of the housework managed to clean their dishes, clothes, and home prior to marriage/living with a woman, so it’s not that they can’t or don’t know how to do it. It’s that when they move in with women they assume/decide it’s the woman’s job.

      • lucy2 says:

        I think that’s a big part of why many (not all) men don’t leave a relationship until another is lined up, or are very quick to find another partner after a split.

      • ElleV says:

        Exactly!

      • ClaraBelle says:

        My ex (long ago) partner was the only single 20-something man I knew who owned his own vacuum cleaner. He regularly cooked for me and made gourmet meals and was a fastidious house-keeper. As soon as we moved in together he didn’t know how to boil water. We had 2 kids together (the last one was an “oops”) and he got worse and worse and demanding that I meet his fastidious standards. I left him as soon as it was feasibly possible and have been so grateful for my own space since then.

        I’ll tell you it was a really eye-opening experience. I never fully realized the anger of women until I had kids and was in that domestic experience. I certainly had a new appreciation of my mother who said hallelujah every time a dish broke (one less to wash!) I think it must seldom get that bad until kids are involved. Men have NO IDEA of the endless work demanded of a mother of small children.

    • Grace says:

      God help me….this is SUCH a BIG deal! We don’t want “HELP”. We want them to DO without us having to ask. We are NOT their mothers! I haven’t mustered up the tolerance to just let all the housework go until it gets to be too much, but oh, I would love to and watch the chaos. SO MANY men suck at this. They let them get away with doing nothing, their precious little men. I’m tired of being “in charge”. Emotional labor is WORK that never ends.

      • Eleonor says:

        In the last months of living with my ex I was working two jobs and I remember me crying while cleaning the kitchen after the dishes.
        There’s a reason why he is an ex.

  4. Becks1 says:

    Ha, one time I asked my husband to help with the laundry. He made some comment about how he does the yard work. You all should have seen my face. (he does mow the lawn and puts the seed down and stuff, but I do most of the weeding and mulching.) Anyway, this was also November. So I just kind of looked at him and shrugged. and then I stopped doing his laundry.

    It took him a month, 6 weeks to figure out what was going on. One time he saw me getting ready to load the washer and was like, “oh are you washing my clothes?” and I just said “nope.” He ended up actually buying new undershirts and underwear, lol, and then after about 2 months he washed all his clothes. Since then I’m the one who actually does the laundry – like puts the clothes in the washer etc – but he usually does most of the folding, which works for us.

    (I should also clarify that at the time he was wearing suits every day, which get dry cleaned, so it wasnt like he was putting full outfits into the laundry every day.)

    • Spanky says:

      I love that “I do the yard work” BS response. Here’s the thing about yard work: usually it has to be done once a week, and not all year either.

      Cleaning, cooking, washing dishes and laundry and maintaining organization need to be done daily, 365 days a year. Spare me the yard work nonsense, boys.

      • Becks1 says:

        YUP. That was pretty much what I eventually said to him. Yard work once a week for even 6 months out of the year is not the same as the general maintenance of cleaning a house.

        In his defense, he is the one who cleans the kitchen for the most part lol.

        I do think now we have a pretty even split in household chores, but we did have to talk about it and figure it out.

      • lucy2 says:

        My dad has pulled the “yard work” thing for 40+ years. He has a big lawn so it’s a tractor, not push mower, and he complains about it all the time. I always say “so hire a lawn service” and he always balks at that, because the “yard work” is what gets him out of all the other stuff.

      • tealily says:

        Ha! My husband and I are moving into our first owned home and were doing some repairs around the place. He completely freaked out one night because I couldn’t close the door where he replaced the doorknob and couldn’t figure out how to fix it myself and asked him. He told me “I’m not mad at you, I’m made at the gendered division of labor.” A solid point, but guess who has had the lion’s share of the housework dumped on her for more than a decade??? Now that there is home repair and yard work in our lives we’re suddenly worried about the gendered division of labor, are we? F-ck oooooooofffffffffffff with that.

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      And the thing is, I would *like* to do the yardwork. I WANT to ride around on the lawnmower on a beautiful spring or summer day, while listening to my music, rather than scrubbing off soap scum and cleaning under the couch!

      • tealily says:

        Yes!! Just like my husband loves to cook… on weekends and holidays when there’s time to do something fun and everyone ooos and ahhhs over it. I’m the one stuck figuring out what to feed us on a damn Tuesday after a day filled with intense meetings. *Cooking is fun!*

  5. Snuffles says:

    My Mom trained my Dad to do ONE thing. Pack the dishwasher and turn it on and he thinks he’s the world’s expert on dishwashing. 🙄

    He’s 100% useless when it comes to house stuff. One time when my Mom had to stay late at school because it was parent-teacher night, she fixed a plate for my Dad and placed it in the oven. Then left him a note saying “dinner is in the oven.” When she finally came home around 9 pm, my Dad was furious saying he was STARVING. Mom said I made you a plate and left it in the oven! Didn’t you see my note? And my Dad was like, yes, but you didn’t tell me what to do with the plate! I didn’t know if I could eat it or not or if I had to wait for you!

    • Yup, Me says:

      How completely fucking ridiculous. Your father sounds like an ass.

      • Snuffles says:

        My father is a wonderful man. But he is terribly old fashioned about a number of things. Like housework and some traditional husband and wife roles. Don’t worry, the entire family needles him about it endlessly and he takes it with good humor.

    • nievie says:

      this resonates with me. My father only learned how to use the washing machine when mum divorced him. He was 65.

    • Kimmie says:

      This is exactly why I will not infantilize my husband to the point where he loses his problem solving skills. He does his own laundry, loads dishwasher after dinner, takes out the trash and the minimal yard work we have. He will also pick up a few things from the store if needed and we clean the house, as a family, on Saturday or Sunday. It was a long road to get to this point. I think seeing how I grew up (clean home, everyone doing their part) compared to how he grew up (messy/dirty) made it clear that many hands make light work.

      As someone mentioned earlier, men lived on their own and took care of all their needs before we entered the picture, so there’s no excuse for them to kick up their feet while we do all the work.

    • Grant says:

      I’m confused. Did he want to wait for her to get home before he could eat?

    • Cidee says:

      @Snuffles My dad, too, was a wonderful man who worked hard and loved his family……but used to TINKLE THE ICE IN THE GLASS FOR A REFILL……swear to God. My mother used to jump up and fill it up without a word. They had a fabulous marriage and she loved waiting on him. Luckily she raised a daughter (me, only child) who would scream “FUCK NO” if anyone ever did that to me. Later in life she would laugh and laugh about how insane it was. “I loved every minute of it.” Who am I to judge, I guess?

  6. Tour-malin says:

    It took us 2 years of therapy (I am not joking) but now I can say it is almost 50-50% housework for me and my husband. When I am superbusy at my jobs, he makes lunch for the kids AND me. When he needs a clean shirt he does the laundry. When he cannot find a clean cup, he does the dishes. I know it sounds like a miracle for many but it really took two therapists and me explaining it to him for two years. Why?!

    • Grant says:

      Well, focusing on the positive… At least he learned!

    • Nikki* says:

      I admire your persistence, I really do. I’ve been amazingly persistent with my husband whose mother was completely sexist, and definitely infantilized all her sons (she had no daughter). . He now does more housework
      than any other male in his family, but still not 50/50…

  7. Hillbo Baggins says:

    This is why you raise your sons to be fully functional members of the household from the very beginning. If my son expects his partner to work, cook, care of the children, and clean the house I will have completely failed as a mother. I don’t see eye to eye with my MIL on some things, but my husband knows how to cook and clean and manage the day to day household tasks because he was raised with that expectation.

    • MF1 says:

      Yup! My husband does 50% of the household chores. His feminist mother made sure he knew how to do housework. It makes all the difference in the world how men are raised.

    • Becks1 says:

      I have two sons and this is something I am very cognizant of. I commented above about my husband not doing laundry, and when he finally started doing it and we talked about it, something I said to him was that the boys had to see him doing things like laundry, cooking, washing dishes, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, etc – so they knew it wasn’t women’s work or men’s work, it was just work that had to be done. Of course there are still some things I do more than he does and vice versa, but that’s usually bc we enjoy it (like i love to cook, so i’m usually the one who does the majority of the cooking, but he usually makes one meal a week or so. He also makes their breakfast and lunch most days.) He likes taking care of the lawn and he’s very particular about it so he does the mowing etc.

      My boys are growing up thinking its completely normal for a man to clean a kitchen or bathroom, and that was very important to me.

    • Dierski says:

      100% agree @HillboBaggins! It is all about recognizing this extremely pervasive and quiet problem, talking about it, and then turning around and raising our sons differently than their fathers or grandfathers were raised.

      As a busy and tired newly single-mom of an 8 year old boy, I feel this SO hard. Its just the two of us around here! But I’ve found its also fairly easy to teach young kids these kind of self-sufficient housework/cleaning things, as long as you start it early enough that you aren’t trying to re-teach or un-teach after they’ve already developed bad habits.

      Currently my son loves unloading the dishwasher and doing laundry (8 is *such* a sweet age… I know it won’t last forever, LOL), so I’m going to work to not let that motivation slip away. And when we talk about housework around the house, I never discuss gendered roles, just ALL humans needing to know how to take care of themselves in ALL the ways: clean/organized home environment, healthy physical body, active/curious brain, healthy emotions.

      Not that I’m some mom-of the year over here, but after his dad’s lack of help for SO long, I know how important it is that my son be an equal to his future partner in all the ways. Fingers crossed it sticks!!

    • Nikki* says:

      I agree with you 100%: THANK YOU! Unfortunately, there are still cultures or generations where the women completely spoil their sons. My MIL is one of those, and it’s been years of struggle for me to insist he needs to do a fair share around the house.

  8. Wilma says:

    I had this really great conversation with mu husband last summer where I explained that just because I don’t complain about chores like he does, I still hate them just as much as he does. He has definitely gotten a lot better in doing things around the house.

  9. Mcmmom says:

    My husband actually does the vast majority of the cleaning in our house (he’s essentially retired and I work a lot. I cook and shop for groceries and he cleans and does laundry). He and the kids have been out of the house the last few days, so I’m living like a frat boy. Laundry is piling up, dishes sit in the sink for more than a day, and I’m about to take a conference call in my PJs and old lady sweater. I’ll have to do a deep clean on Sunday before they return, but right now, I’m loving the freedom and the chaos.

    • VIV says:

      This made me laugh because back in the beforetimes when I was traveling for work I’d get the question “when are you coming back again?” so that my husband could clean up his frat living before I got home. Doesn’t matter when as long as it gets done, right?

  10. Jenns says:

    I don’t find these things cute or funny at all. This probably explains why I’m 41, single, live alone and have no plans to change my current situation. I’m not spending my limited time of this planet playing mommy to some grown man. Never going to happen.

    This it not a knock on anyone who is in a relationship and dealing with this. But I know my limitations and I have ZERO patience for this kind of BS.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      This all day everyday! It is a matter of respect, everytime this guy walked past a dirty dish or sock it was disrespect for his wife, he thinks his time is more important than hers and the things she does for the family are beneath him. He is too good to clean and tidy, that’s what a woman is for.
      https://mustbethistalltoride.com/2016/01/14/she-divorced-me-because-i-left-dishes-by-the-sink/

      He might want to read about this guy who ended up divorced because he too couldn’t do housework.

    • Astrid says:

      There are helpful spouses out there. We split up the work around our house, it’s not an issue or a big deal.

    • AA says:

      I am with you on this, I cannot laugh, I feel sick watching this thread unfold.
      I am married but that is because I met someone who is my partner and pulls his own weight – no directions or extra mental labour from me needed, just two adults being partners. We both work full time, so of course we have times where the house is messy and then we get it done.
      His mom taught him how to do his own laundry and everything else when he was a teen.

      If I hadn’t met someone like that, yes, I would rather be single. I was happy being single – doing my own thing, sleeping around, why would I wanna be a slave for a disrespectful husband?

      My parents had a consentual arrangement where my mom was a stay at home wife and mom, and my dad brought home all the money and provided always. That I understand if both parties are ok with it.

    • emmy says:

      I’m about to turn 37 and a few years ago I was thinking “You’re going to stay single if you don’t relax. So what if a guy isn’t perfect?” I have come to realize I wasn’t looking for perfection, I was looking for respect and a guy who will mop a f*cking floor and I couldn’t find one. I realize they are out there but I certainly don’t see them in my circle of friends or looking at my girlfriends’ partners/husbands.

      I hate housework but I do it because I like it clean and I like fresh food. I would rather hack off a toe than take all of that on for another person without being able to unload some as well. I make my own money, I like being able to choose how I spend my time, and frankly, I’m not sure I would let anyone into my apartment even if he seemed like the kind of man who does his fair share.

      None of this is cute. Our parents failed us. I was born in the mid-eighties for the love of God.

      • AA says:

        Amen on the respect part.

        At the end of the day, if you are not bothered seeing your partner being overworked and overwhelmed, you don;t really respect, love or value them, that is my honest opinion.
        For those who say, “oh he hasn’t learned how to do it” or “he doesn’t see mess” – ok I accept that. But a partner who loves you can still SEE that you are overworked and overwhelmed, even if he doesn’t see the mess. And if he doesn’t know how to clean, he could arrange to book and pay for a cleaner to have it done once or twice a week when you are out with your friends. How is that hard? All it takes is being considerate at the end of the day.

      • Nikki* says:

        I absolutely LOVE AA’s response. It is very thought provoking!

    • Jenns says:

      Also, to follow-up on my post above, as I read this thread it’s both depressing and enraging what some women choose to believe. Because what we are talking about it basic human tasks that everyone has to perform. Women are not born with some magical DNA that makes them more likely to “see” messes. Come on. Continuing to excuse this lazy and selfish behavior is one reason why things aren’t changing.

      And I guarantee you that most of these men don’t pull the same crap at work that they do at home. Because it they refused to perform simple tasks at work everyday or expected praise from their boss every time they did something basic, they wouldn’t have a job.

      • emmy says:

        Dirty dishes are dirty dishes, the y-chromosome doesn’t obscure them from view. Now, they might not mind them as much but that’s really not an excuse. And you can learn to see these things and choose to care because you value your partner.

        I will say that kids and teenagers are different. They really live on a different planet, I know I did.

      • Chris says:

        Yeah, this makes me uncomfortable and I don’t know how healthy that is for a marriage. I would probably sit down and have an adult discussion with my husband if this was my life. If she’s already tried that and it didn’t work…. yikes. Your partner SHOULD care about your mental health status. My husband and I split labor, but if one of us starts slacking off we gently point it out and course correct. I am inherently messy (I am a nonlazy person though who cleans a lot) and even I don’t “not see” dishes in the sink. These partners know that dishes aren’t cleaned by magic, they just don’t value that work. I’m not judging other people’s marriage because I’m not in it, but this husband experiment doesn’t seem funny to me. I’m sad that she reached this point.

      • Cerise says:

        @JENNS – “Women are not born with some magical DNA that makes them more likely to “see” messes.”
        ☝️ THIS!!!!
        Also, women aren’t magically born knowing how to do housework, change diapers or take care of kids, we learn as we go along and just because we’re not whining about it doesn’t mean we enjoy it !
        GRRRRR this ish drives me mad, the mental load ( charge mentale) us women have to deal with is overwhelming and infuriating.
        If I ever have sons I will teach them to be self sufficient and not burden their partners like this.
        There is an excellent French comic called “Fallait demander” by Emma C which perfectly illustrates this.

      • ElleV says:

        I find it baffling, too. Surely there must be something women are getting from the narrative that they HAVE TO do it all while men are hopeless/uncaring… Otherwise, why live with it? Otherwise, why do advertisers use that narrative to sell us stuff? Is there something else these slacker dudes provide that’s more important than a fair division of labour? Then why the passive aggression about that compromise? I have so many questions and really don’t get it

    • Anna says:

      Agreed. This thread is just wow. How can women accept living like this? It’s blatant. I grew up with a father like this but my brother and brother-in-law are not at all this way, both pull their weight fully and above. I could never consign myself to that kind of life, thinking such behavior is acceptable. It’s exhausting and angering just reading about it.

    • Jordana says:

      I’m early 40s, divorced, kids, work full-time. And I have less housework now that my ex is out of the house. My mental labour is reduced, I know what has to be done, and I don’t have to explain it to him or beg for help.
      One job that went away: I no longer have to do a sock hunt before I run the laundry or vacuum under furniture. He had a disgusting habit of taking off his socks, where ever he was, bedroom, living room, tv room, and just fling the socks. I would find socks everywhere. If I did laundry, and had a bunch of unmatched socks, I knew I had to sock hunt under the couch. It was effing exhausting.

      I’m single, wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. The cost of my divorce was worth it. I’m never crawling around on my hands and knees searching for socks ever again. Worth it. So worth it! Effing socks

      • Emm says:

        @Jordana- your comment is *chefs kiss* perfection to me. I too have a husband that takes socks off everywhere but he is now much better at taking them with him when he gets up and I only see a pair tucked into the cushion about once every couple of months now. But I know what you went through and I’m glad you are out and much happier now.

      • Jordana says:

        Thanks Emm!
        I didn’t divorce him over the socks, it was the cheating, and gaslighting and emotional abuse for me. In many ways, the socks told me how he regarded me. I was the maid.
        I’m glad your husband is better about his socks now. No one should have to clean-up after a fully-able grown adult in this manner.

      • JanetDR says:

        I hear you @Jordana! I was divorced in my early 30s for the same reasons as you and found myself a sweetie of a man in my 40s. He lived on his own for several years prior to our relationship and perhaps that is why he is so good with taking care of things. We don’t divide the housework per se, but we each handle our own laundry, and who ever is in the kitchen loads/unloads the dishwasher as needed. We heat with wood, and he does all of the cutting but I assist with every other step of it.The reverse is true of cleaning, but the fact that he can and often does it without my asking is golden! Depending on our work hours (his fluctuate) he cooks me breakfast. I’m more of less vegan and he is a meat and potatoes guy, so we cook for ourselves with some shared dishes. I did more cooking when my kids were home, but when the youngest went to college I never touched meat again!

      • Jordana says:

        @janetdr, thank you. You’re comments gave me hope. Lately, been thinking of myself as completely undateable, feeling very unlovable, and destined to be alone forever. I’m ok by myself, but sometimes, I want a partner. Or atleast the option.
        You met an amazing man who is truly adulting, and that’s great. I’m also vegan, and a lot of men find that weird, or want to argue about eggs with me 🤷‍♀️. I hope there’s still 1 more unicorn out there for me! Congrats to you

      • Ohlala says:

        Omg! @ Jordana I could co sign this! Same same same. Nearly divorced and happier. I could have written a long topic on it. Ex’s approach, MiL approach and his family.
        I am single mother and work as hell yet mental overload is a bit lower and also i don’t even have an equal co parent in him.
        The funniest of it all: he stayed in the family home which is now for sale. Last week my child was so sick with high temp that i rang him to help me to bring her to hospital..and what i’ve heard on the phone! Shouting that he HAS to clean the house begore viewing because i don’t help or offer to clean the house where HE LIVES. So he expects me to come and clean after him?
        I ended up taking a taxi to the hospital and learnt another valuable lesson: Not to ask hom.for anything in the future ever again!

    • Another Anna says:

      This all day. If I wanted to be a mother, I’d have a child. I’m not interested in playing Mommy to some guy who can but won’t learn. Throughout my entire childhood, my mother worked full time, almost entirely raised us kids, was the sole dinner maker (up until my sister and I learned how to cook and then we would try to help out), and basically managed my dad’s schedule. I once asked her why she put up with it and she said that it would be the same with any man in her generation. That made me sad for her. And it’s a big part of why I would rather be single than some guy’s mommy substitute. The flipside of that, though, was that I didn’t really view my dad as a parent, so much as my mother’s husband. Dad saying no meant I could probably go around him and get away with it. Mom saying no meant no. It was not a happy way to grow up and it definitely caused some lasting issues between me and my father, watching him treat my mother that way.

      My roommate (who is a guy) and I have found a good solution for us: we keep a running list of tasks that need to be done around the house, with high priority ones marked. As we have a burst of energy during the day, we pick a task from the list and do it. I have ADHD, so this is helpful for me because otherwise most of my energy gets used up deciding which task to do.

    • Grace says:

      I divorced my husband because I didn’t want to pick up his clothes! 🤣🤣🤣 (JK, but it was one of the reasons!)

  11. Gigi says:

    I hate to see a full sink. When we visited my partner’s parents’ house everyone put their plates directly in the dishwasher after dinner was done. Well, he was leaving his plates everywhere and in the sink at our place. Took him a while to figure out while there were stacks of plates on the coffee table but the dishwasher was running. No dirty plates on the sink at our house. You put your used plates directly in the dishwasher. Easy.

  12. Alarmjaguar says:

    This hits so close to home! My husband literally does not see messes and the whole loading the dishwasher, but not turning it on all the time WTF!? The lockdown made it 50 times worse, so many dishes!!! So much laundry! I refuse to do it all for our family and my house is a disaster- I feel guilty about it, but I a, not training my kids to assume women should do all the work. I talk to them a lot about putting things away by trying to get them to see how much work it is- who do you think will do that if you leave it there, what are you assuming? So far, as I said, my house is a disaster (I wish my house were as nice as the woman in this post), but I am hoping they learn. Sorry, that became a bit of a rant.

  13. Soni says:

    I often wonder how men have ruled the world for so long. Clearly brute strength is the only reason.

    • Yup, Me says:

      I have a friend who did a very compelling study on the theory that men have been able to “rule” for so long because they have been willing to kill women and children. She argued that motherhood makes women vulnerable and the family dynamic where women are isolated with a man and their kids (as opposed to women living together and collectively caring for the community and kids) makes them especially so. Look at cultures where women (and their kids) belonged to men (as property and reflections of their wealth).

      • I pet goat 2 says:

        Indeed a compelling theory, one that the first book of Marylin French’s women’s herstory collection also dives into.
        “From eve to dawn”, for those interested. The collection spans 4 books and ends with postmodern society.

  14. FYI says:

    She is adorable!!!!

  15. Case says:

    I mean, I see this stuff and while I get the humor in it…why don’t they have a damn conversation about dividing household chores? Yes, it’s his home too and he should automatically pick up whatever his partner is dropping in chores. But this is the most childish way to go about it? Maybe…communication would be better?

    IDK. Maybe I lack a sense of humor lol. I grew up in a house where my parents clearly talked about this stuff because they split chores pretty evenly. Both cooked, both cleaned. My mom did laundry, my dad vacuumed. It was never a fight.

    • Emm says:

      Do you live with someone or have kids? I’m not trying to come at you, just curious. I my case my husband doesn’t see or mind messes. It’s like he has tunnel vision and I will say “didn’t you see that laying in the middle of the floor while you just walked over it!!” And he will genuinely say no because he was thinking about something or concentrating on what he was doing. Honestly, if 15 years has taught me anything it’s that most men like my husband cannot multitask like women. I am always “on” constantly thinking about what needs to be done, constantly scanning the house, constantly just doing things. My husband thought is one to not hear me when I say his name when I’m ten feet away from him because he’s so focused on one thing. My kids are the same, they don’t mind messiness and they only clean when told and reminded but I’m hoping this turns into second nature for them eventually.

      • Case says:

        There are a lot of people who are “clutter-blind” — that’s an actual thing, and I find that wild! But it explains a lot about why some people are okay with messes while other people can’t rest until everything is tidy. That said, I still feel like communicating about dividing chores is better than a silly social media experiment, that’s all. :)

      • Emm says:

        @case- you are kidding! That’s definitely what he has but there is no way I will ever tell him. And I am the one who can’t stand even the tiniest amount of clutter. I end up going on a purging spree and throwing everything out. I do get it though and I’ve had many conversations before going on a “garbage can strike” but it takes a lot of time for something, at least in my case. I’ll get so irritated and yell one day about something I’m always reminding him of and he is always apologetic and says he will do better. There is not pushback.

    • Maria T. says:

      In my case, the household division of labor is basically our one source of conflict (I have a theory that all couples have one fight and wage it in various ways throughout their relationship). My husband needs to be praised whenever he does something like empty the dishwasher – like, he will come into my office and tell me. It ENRAGES me. But we’ve been married 10 years and this. will. never. change. So, unless I want a divorce, I have to live with extremely incremental improvement, backsliding and doing 80% of the household chore myself. And to be honest, if he were living alone, he wouldn’t do it either. He is an absolute slob. For example, I do all the laundry and sort all the clean clothes into baskets but don’t put it away. He has – and this is not hyperbole – never once actually put his clothes away. He just picks through the basket. And I am a super feminist who used to say “why do you LET your spouse do x,y or z.” Now I know, you really, truly can’t change another person. He’s lucky he’s sweet and charming and an awesome dad.

      • Kylie says:

        I totally feel this… my husband always acts like he deserves a cookie and pat on the back for completing the most menial of chores and it feels absurd. I was working out of town a lot last summer and would always make sure the house was spotless before I left, and I was absolutely enraged when I came back after a few days a couple and he hadn’t done anything at all to maintain it (which would have been super easy). He eventually did start to get better, but then he would always be like “look! I cleaned up, doesn’t it look great?” and I always felt like… do you really feel like you deserve an award for picking up after yourself and putting all your dirty dishes in the dishwasher???” Frustrating.

      • Sarah says:

        Ha! I used to do everything for the house and then, when my husband got home, I would lead him on a tour of the house so that he could acknowledge and praise my work. He is now the main person at home so he does the same. We apparently both require praise for mundane tasks.

        This was an issue in our marriage when our kids were little and it really took him staying home full time when I got a different job for him to get it. Luckily, he wasn’t a dick about it ever.

      • Nikki* says:

        Maria, I totally feel your comment. The only thing that gave me hope about my husband was when I went to Sea World and reasoned that if they can teach seals and walruses to do tricks, I MUST be able to influence my husband!! I praised his every effort, I tried explaining, crying, guilting, record keeping, etc. I thought about divorce, but he really has many great qualities. A comment above – about whether or not a man likes housework, if you really LOVED your partner, you wouldn’t want to see her overworked and exhausted – hit me hard. Because basically I agree with that. My husband THINKS he does a lot – that’s mind boggling to me – so I sometimes list chores that need doing, tell him I’m too pooped to do them all, and ask which ones will he do….

    • ab (the other one) says:

      Some people need that visual demonstration to really get the point across. I am good at communicating with my husband but I’ve learned that he responds to actions better than words. I have done things like this (stop doing the laundry or leave shit lying around that I would normally pick up, not automatically start getting the kids ready for bed, etc) to get him to understand when shit gets unbalanced around our house.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Omg we have conversations. I refuse to do my husbands chores for him. So instead he asks me to “help” him with his chores. I am asked to hold the bag while he double bags the trash…assist him in making sure he loads the dishes right. Our first giant fight as a married couple was after he asked me to “supervise him” while he did the trash. Apparently a 42 year old man needed supervision to do a chore 12 year olds do all the time. In all other Ways this man is a reasonable, functional and intelligent person. Good news for our neighbors… my husband will never take over the world or loot someone’s village as I will simply refuse to supervise this activity.

    • FYI says:

      It’s interesting that you think she has never broached this subject with her husband before. Why do you think this has gone viral? Because many, many, many, many, MANY women talk until they are blue in the face about this issue.

      Do you not see the part where she works 14-hour days?

      Do you not see the part where he left the dishes for DAYS?

      Do you honestly think communication is the problem here? Read the other comments on this board to get an idea of the problem.

  16. Helen says:

    It’s just me and my dog here (he’s excused, he doesn’t have thumbs), but growing up, my dad never did this shit. He worked more hours, so it seemed like my mom did more work, but he never would have left this shit like this. (My parents are het, so this is very heteronormative)

    Hell, I remember people bragging about how their dads would serve them cereal for breakfast if their moms weren’t home, and that always blew my mind. If my dad was busy, maybe we’d have hot dogs, but it was still a meal (salad, fries, another veggie, etc). The only thing he doesn’t do is vacuum, and the only thing my mom doesn’t do is mow the lawn.

    HOW DOES THIS EXAMPLE MAKE ME SPOILED????????

  17. Willow says:

    This is why men have successfully had careers and families for generations. Because they have had to only do one thing – work outside the home. And a woman does everything else. Even this generation of men, who change diapers and pick up dirty socks, still have a huge blind spot about how much more women do for the family.

    • Emm says:

      That is exactly what my in-laws did, he worked, came home and took a nap, had dinner, watched tv and then went to bed. There is no way I would live like that. He was basically just a sperm donor and made the money.

  18. Southern Fried says:

    I was gone a week taking care of my mother, got back and it was like a tornado hit. I called my husband at work and without any greeting asked why he didn’t tell me he’d broken both arms. After a long silence he finally got it. My son who plays every sport known to humankind all year long kept ignoring my pleas to at the very least put his filthy sweaty clothes in a basket and turn the noxious socks right side out. I finally woke him up early on a Saturday morning, told him to gather it all up into trash bags, bring all his money and leave his phone at home. Then drove him to the nearest laundromat and dumped him. Hours later I went back to pick him up and while he’d done his laundry he’d also used the pay phone to call friends who came to keep him company. A party at the laundromat! He told me I could take the laundry home since he had a ride.

  19. Shirin says:

    I’m kind of shocked that most men don’t do their share. My husband is always doing housework. He does the dishes every night and he exclusively does the laundry. I have been sick with a flare up for a month now and he has been incredible. Cooking, cleaning and doing everything for our daughter. If I attempt to get up, he’s like “rest & relax, I got this.” I guess I got lucky.

    • Trufflefries says:

      I refuse to call this lucky. My husband does so much for our household and he’s the only one in an income producing role at the moment. My MiL likes to take some credit although this is not what it was like in their household growing up. I attribute it to having come from similar education/career experiences prior to getting married and truly respecting your partner. My husband is a reasonable and considerate man and we are raising our son similarly. At 2 years old it sounds like my kid does more than most grown ass men. When he wants to participate in doing dishes, sweeping, during or vacuuming I let him because I know that he truly wants to be helpful and I’ll be damned if I play a role in crushing this interest at such an early age.

      I know for a fact that if I hadn’t found a partner who respected and supported our family as he does, I probably would not have gotten married. Funny enough my own mother thinks I let him “do too” much which only furthers my belief that we as a society have let me off the hook with responsibility for the family life they also helped build and benefit from.

  20. Merricat says:

    I married fairly late, but I married the right one. We are partners, and he does the laundry, often the grocery shopping, and sometimes the cooking. I try to keep him out of the kitchen because I like things a certain way, and the kitchen is my favorite room of the house. However, this might be due to my being very clear about household duties before we got married, lol.

  21. Kylie says:

    I did all of the cleaning for the first year and a half of our marriage. Hubby was working 60 hours a week and I was only working part-time so the housework was my responsibility. But since COVID hit he’s only been working every other day, usually only a few hours, and it’s been a struggle to redivide the chores now… he’s not used to having to do anything so I have to constantly stay on top of him, which is exhausting in itself. I’m starting a full-time job next week, though, that’ll have a quite long commute and I’ve already told him that he’ll be responsible for everything now since he’s working maayybbeee 15 hours a week.

  22. Anne says:

    UGH. This story makes me furious for that woman. My husband has always been a partner when it comes to domestic chores (he does 100% of meal planning and cooking, and most of the cleaning), and it’s definitely down to his fabulous mother and father who set an example of men and women being partners. I remember reading an article somewhere about how most little girls grow up doing more chores, and boys with sisters are more likely to grow up to be this kind of man-child who expect their wives to do all the housework— because of seeing their parents insist on sister helping with laundry/ cooking/ etc.

  23. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I know for some this is serious. But in my world, raising three boys and a husband, I let go of spotless a long time ago. And with two adult sons having moved for years and no young children around, I cling to each of us being responsible for our spaces. Sure, I’m the main cleaner of the kitchen and bathroom as well as the chef, but I started letting certain shit not only pile up, I permanently walked away lol.

    Since each of us have our own space, when they come to me in mine, I have my waxes melting, vacuumed floors, no dirty dishes, bed made, and all my ‘stuff’ has a home. My husband started doing the same. Now when both of us pass our 15yo’s space, we shake out heads and gtfo fast. He cleans only when it’s demanded (I take his remotes and controllers) and he actually helps me in the kitchen whenever I ask. He likes being with me in the kitchen lol. Fine. Oh and about my chef duties, I quit doing that 24/7 a long time ago as well. If I cook a big meal, I’m not cooking one the next night or maybe even the next. Rest assured, there’s plenty of healthy fend-for-yourself food.

    I guess I got tired many years ago of being some version of a traditional housewife and mom. I love my family. But I love me too and being obsessive about clean and tidy perfection isn’t worth it. Each of us has no problem letting go of things, we donate often and discard often. We definitely appreciate ‘spaces’ in our spaces such as blank spots and furniture with nothing piled on top. If some thing or things need displaying, then that’s it. We’ve always been a yearly donation family which is, imo, one of the best ways to clean house.

    Something awesome to come out of years of motherhood and parenting? My two older sons keep their spaces surprisingly extremely clean. My oldest has his man space in his garage where he installed can lights throughout, fancy floor and a work area to rival any professional carpenter and car enthusiast. Funny how things turn out. Now that he has a newborn son, I’ll enjoy watching him protect his space from a toddler. Heh heh.

    • Grace says:

      Many of us aren’t even talking about having “spotless” homes. We are talking about basic cleanliness and organization. I love the way each person is responsible for his/her own space in your home and how you walked away from the 24/7 duty!

      • Emm says:

        @Grace- I agree, I used to have a pretty spotless house and I grew up like that, my dad is very anal about organization and cleanliness. Then we had kids and I’ve just had to let some standards go because it’s impossible to keep up even with two adults doing it all the time. So it was either never have a minute to sit and take a breather and enjoy my kids or have a spotless house. But yeah, I’m taking just general cleanliness and not living in squalor.

  24. Busybody says:

    This is a major conflict in my house, too. Both my husband and I work full time (though I make significantly less), but I the bulk of the housework including all of the shopping, meal planning and prep, clean up after meals and all the laundry. We have two teenage children who do chores, but I don’t want to have to tell my husband what to do. He has a very skewed idea of how much he does and counts every little effort as something he does for me. Meanwhile, I’m working all day, taking the kids to sports, attending virtual meetings from my car in the parking lot, getting home at 7:45 and cooking dinner for famished kids. It’s exhausting.

    • emmy says:

      I have a serious question for you, one that I’ve wanted to ask girlfriends forever but when you know the people, it comes off harsh. So please don’t take this the wrong way. But WHY? Honestly, why do women put up with this? Is it a gradual thing that happens? In the beginning he did his share? I truly do not understand why anyone puts up with it. Could an honest conversation really put the relationship in jeopardy and if so, is keeping silent worth it? Maybe it’s because I truly loathe housework but no man would be worth this. Because it’s daily. It wouldn’t be a “sometimes he annoys me” thing.

      • Kate says:

        Because by the time you are sharing a space with someone you are in love with them. It’s not like you’re sitting down with someone on the 3rd date talking about how you will divide household labor and he’s like “eff no i’m not doing laundry” and you’re like “well ok bye then”. So, as an in love and cohabitating couple, if your guy is not very defensive and open to hearing your concerns (and this is a big prerequisite b/c a lot of men are very proud and any criticism from their partner feels like an attack and they go into fight or flight mode), then yes you can have a frank and direct conversation about it. If your partner tends to be defensive when you air your issues, then it’s not going to be a conversation it’s going to be an argument. He will argue he DOES contribute and will point out all the things he does or the reasons why he doesn’t do what you want him to do and it’ll be a whole thing and eventually you’ll come to some sort of resolution, but the process will repeat and each time you’ll have to decide if you feel like getting into a fight. At some point you get tired of fighting and just breed resentment, but it’s not like you’re going to divorce someone who you otherwise love and is really great at [insert things he does well] and break the hearts of your children just because he doesn’t put away dishes and do laundry, right? Some women will, if the [insert things he does well] is lacking or they don’t otherwise love him. But many more women won’t.

      • Busybody says:

        @Emmy, I definitely don’t keep silent. I’m angry about it and let my husband know. He will pitch in for a couple days after I say something and then it goes back to his normal. He’s a lost cause and we will probably divorce over it, since this is not the only way he shows me disrespect. I am concerned with the model I’m giving my kids though.

      • emmy says:

        @Kate: And men count on that, don’t they? But honestly, why not have that conversation early on? It’s more important than what movies someone like.s. I guess I’m not very romantic … possibly also why I’m single. What I don’t understand is how someone (let’s not pretend only men are lazy or messy) cannot still see this before moving in together. Do people not visit each other’s apartments? Do they not stay over for a few days? How does anyone get to the kids phase without putting their foot down? I agree that it is not necessarily grounds for divorce IF it doesn’t bother someone too much. But reading this thread … it bothers women. It bothers them daily and they feel disrespected. My mother never said anything to my dad until she was in her 60s and then she basically did what the woman in this post did. I asked her why (my dad was born in 1940 so I didn’t need to ask why he turned out that way) and she said it simply never occurred to her.

        It occurred to my dad though because he never thought my sister and I should marry and be “housewives” a.k.a. take care of a man. So thanks dad for wanting a better life for us than you wanted for your wife?

        @Busybody: I’m really sorry. And yeah, I guess women do divorce their husbands over these things, it’s just upsetting that men don’t realize doing their fair share could keep them from being hit with divorce papers. It seems so unnecessary. I see women in my circle heading in that direction (but first they’re having kids at the moment) because men don’t magically change. These dudes are pushing 40. It really sucks.

      • Emm says:

        @kate- gosh that last part is so spot on and what went on in my marriage for far too long. The pandemic brought me to the breaking point though and the conversations have been much more productive.

      • ElleV says:

        @Emmy – thank you for asking so succinctly the question that’s been driving me crazy on this thread
        @Kate – thank you for unpacking an answer so eloquently
        @Busybody – wishing you well as you find your way forward

      • ClaraBelle says:

        I think in most cases, this unfair division doesn’t really kick in until you have kids. And I think it is almost impossible to know how overwhelming parenthood is until you experience it. You might THINK you know (from babysitting or watching younger siblings) but one doesn’t truly know until you find yourself recovering from childbirth and finding that you are suddenly on-call 24 hours a day and will be for several years. No matter how well you knew your partner or how clean you saw his apartment as a single man……having kids can just throw all ideals into chaos.

    • Maria T. says:

      Are you me? One time my husband WROTE A LIST of the chores he does and I do to compare. He gave himself credit for things like “hanging my towel after I shower” whilst my list was like “grocery shopping, all laundry and preparing every meal.” He was like “my list is way longer.”

      • Nikki* says:

        Something similar happened to me too, Maria. I thought when my husband retired, things would be more equitable, but he does math very peculiarly to think his contributions come at all close to mine! :O

  25. LaraW" says:

    Firstly, I would like to make it clear that I in no way am disparaging the ways others manage their relationships. This is based purely on my own experience and approach (which is admittedly… a bit harsh and brusque and sometimes doesn’t work out). I fully understand that works for one couple doesn’t work for another, depending on history, temperament, personality, etc.

    Personally, I sometimes get the impression that men are like dogs: they come with a history of How Things Were Done At Home Growing Up and How Things Were Done In Prior Relationships. When getting into a serious relationship with one such person, I’ve always felt that I’ve inherited a specimen with years of bad habits behind them. And like dogs, there’s a LOT of work on the front end to break those habits and set a new regimen of expectations. Sometimes it works out; other times it doesn’t (at which point the relationship ends). To me, it speaks volumes of the individual if, that early in the relationship, they’re not willing to even consider taking an equal share of household maintenance.

    • Maria T. says:

      My husband *thinks* he does far more than he actually does. He also has super ADHD so simple tasks take him approximately 5 times longer than they should. One day I came home from work and found the dishes half put away and was like “WHAT DID YOU DO ALL DAY?” And he told me he’d been “working on” the dishes since 9am. And, to be fair, HE WAS.

      • Another Anna says:

        I have ADHD and it definitely makes housework more difficult. It’s not that I don’t want to do it, it’s that if it’s not demanding my attention, it doesn’t get done. I have tried everything – lists, reminders on my phone, scheduling time to clean, etc. I used to feel really bad about it, because it felt like I could not get my brain to remember basic functional adult stuff. Fortunately my roommate and I were friends before we moved in together, so none of this was a surprise to him. Also fortunately, I work in a job that allows me to afford a housecleaner once a month, so I pay for that happily and she does a significantly better job than I have ever done. I am so grateful that I was able to be honest about who I am and, while my roommate doesn’t coddle me about it, just not ignoring the consequences of my actions stops most of the issues.

  26. salmonpuff says:

    I have so many thoughts about this…

    My mom went on strike like this when I was 7 or 8, and I vividly remember trying to figure out how to do my own laundry and make food for me and my younger sister. When I asked for help, she said, “Figure it out.” I am all for young kids pitching in — I’ve been teaching mine to do household chores since they were toddlers — but at the time I felt very stuck in the middle of my parents’ fight and responsible for fixing things. It is not a tactic I would use now, no matter how frustrated I get.

    That said, I have much different standards of cleanliness than my husband. He thrives in chaos and clutter. He was raised with a mom who followed him around picking up after him, so it took him a long time to learn how to clean things, and he still doesn’t notice when things get messy until he starts tripping over stuff. It can get really frustrating, but over the years I’ve found we each have our lanes, and ultimately I think things are pretty evenly divided.

    And most importantly, we’re able to deal with household frustrations without resorting to drastic measures because we each respect where the other is coming from and pass that respect onto our children. When I get stressed or the kids have been slacking, he calls for a “love scrub” and they spend an hour giving the house some much-needed love. When he’s burnt out on making dinner every night, the kids and I step up and do it for a couple of nights to give him a break.

    This woman’s thread was funny, and she had good humor about everything. But if my son ever behaves that way with his partner, I will shame him to the moon and back. Keeping a home is stressful and onerous and everyone living in the home should contribute.

    • salmonpuff says:

      Update: I just had to wake up all my teenagers to get them to bring dishes down from their rooms when there were no bowls in the kitchen… It’s not a perfect system, but we manage. 😊

  27. HeyThere! says:

    I get it from everyone, even other moms because I’m a stay at home mom. Other women who work outside the house, have the nerve to say well how hard can it be what else are you doing all day??? And then my head wants to explode. I’m doing EVERYTHING. Everything but take care of my self. I hardly ever eat, sleep or relax. I body actually forgot how to relax. It sucks. Anything that happens in our home educational wise, Bill wise, managing appointments and calendar, all 100% of cleaning up after two toddlers a human man and a dog, plus all the messes I make. Literally I do everything. Sometimes I’m trying to play with my kids, read books and teach my kids educational lessons. I always say this: “no human laid on their death bed and wish they had some more deep cleaning or dishes. Nope. We wish we had more moments with our kids and family.” That normally shuts people up really quick. Years ago I quit trying to have a perfect house and I’m okay with it now. This isn’t a rag on my patented either. He only ever works 12 hour shifts and lots of overtime. He’s tired. I get it because I am also tired. My house will be clean when the kids move out. LOL

    • Liz version 700 says:

      My mom was a stay at home mom and man they have some nerve think you aren’t doing an 80 hour work week.

    • bibi says:

      I can totally understand. I find stay at home moms get the worst attitudes towards them. At least working moms are recognized because our time is taken away from us by a working payed for job. But stay at home moms are never recognized, they even get worst sideeyes when their kids are at school. The mental load is just so heavy and endless without no recognition ever. The only time where I had the stay at home mom status was when I was on maternity leave and my time was just filled with small things I had to do all day, that were never “showy” enough to prove that I did something the whole all day. THAT SUCKS

  28. Leigh says:

    Teenagers should be doing the dishes every night after dinner! My kids started doing the dishes at age 9, of course there were and still are lots of learning opportunities lol but I was raised to pull my weight around the house and that’s how I’m raising my kids. Except laundry, I’m going to have to show them how before they move out I guess. I do a load every day and I don’t have the patience to deal with multiple people doing laundry throughout the week. I wash and dry and force myself to fold and put away every day and if my husband is home he helps me fold the clothes out of the dryer. These kinds of posts also make me sooooo grateful for my husband. He is the breadwinner and also helps a lot at home without nagging or even asking in most cases. My biggest help is having the kids involved though.

  29. Léna says:

    lol I’m so glad my boyfriend loves cleaning and doing dishes because i hate it! I cook and then he cleanes. It’s perfect :)

  30. TeamAwesome says:

    I just found out that my sister, who currently has a concussion, broken nose, and injured elbow from a fall, is STILL going to my niece’s house to clean the cat’s litter box because my niece is pregnant and can’t and her husband WON’T. Like what in the actual? If he won’t clean a litter box to protect and help a wife that he supposedly loves, then I hate to break it to her that he isn’t going to jump at dirty diapers either.

  31. bibi says:

    Very early on, I understood when we first got our house, that nobody was going to have my back when it came to cleaning and taking care of the house – not even my own mom, which was more traditional in that sense. I wasnt going to do all the chores on my weekends while Mister was watching TV or whatnot. I ALSO have a full time job AND babies to take care of. So we got a cleaning lady. I cook, he cleans up my mess. I dont care if the dirty dishes stay on the counter 3 days. I have no inclination to do it, and dont even feel a sparkle of culpability. I have no pitty and I dont care about how he feels about having to do it. My MIL was disgusted about my behaviour/that her son – a man – had to do chores in the house. My modo is “DO YOUR JOB”. we don’t fight over our chores, it’s just what we each need to do now. (livign together over 15 years)

  32. Kate says:

    As a mom I’m kind of annoyed at people blaming men’s moms for raising them to be helpless slobs. Like, we’re going to give men the benefit of the doubt and not hold them accountable to be grownups because of how they were raised, but we’re not going to give the women who raised their kids in the 70′s/80′s when women’s rights were still a nascent idea and who themselves were raised in households where THEIR moms did all the childcare and housework that same benefit of the doubt? It’s like even as we are all yelling about equal partnership we’re still holding women responsible for everything.

    • Gail Hirst says:

      I love your comment. Thank you!
      Anyone here remember “Free to Be You and Me” Marlo Thomas’ collaborative project?
      Carol Channing did a bit about housework:
      “Your mommy hates housework”
      Your daddy hates housework
      Even I hate housework…so when there’s housework to do…you do it together”
      Find it if you can. My son was raised on it. His daddy died before he turned 2, so it was always just the two of us. I did everything, he ‘helped’. Sometimes he was awesome, sometimes he was awful…same as me!!
      My son is a better cook than I am…I often say he learned in self-defense.
      He does stuff when asked…most of the time, but always on HIS timetable which could take days then rags on me for nagging. So now I say, please would you before 4:00 p.m. today, or before bed, or before you go to work, or after supper. It’s not 100% but more gets done when I need it done. Anyway, this conversation took me back to when I was raising my boy, and though I tried, his job on a construction site where toxic masculinity still runs rampant, has diluted a lot of my teaching. Luckily he lives alone now in a trailer, so if he lets things go, it gets ugly really quickly.

    • Nikki* says:

      I disagree with you, because a lot of these moms STILL coddle their grown sons, and act like we’re awful wives if we don’t. We had to stay with my MIL when our renovation went over the expected date. She criticized me harshly for not teaching my 5 year old daughters to make their beds before hurrying to kindergarten in the morning. I reminded her that when I was in the hospital after a C-section, she made my husband’s bed every day. YOU BET I hold those moms responsible. I raised my son to be a competent and thoughtful human being.

  33. Livethelifeaquatic says:

    I found myself laughing hysterically. What a great post. I think a lot of women, myself included, don’t always go into a relationship thinking that the outcome will be like this. There is a honeymoon phase where maybe you want to be more nurturing and take care of your partner, but if that’s not reciprocated that phase quickly dwindles away and turns into resentment.

    I filed for divorce at the beginning of Covid last year. My ex-husband is like so many of these men described in comments and others postings.

    Raised by a semi psychotic overbearing mother who did everything for him. When I first started dating him, she was still making his doctors appointments for him. And he was in his early 20s. I remember always feeling judged by her, because I didn’t iron clothes, keep up on laundry, etc. My house is always tidy, but I work as well and I raise a child. He can do his own laundry.

    Some of the longer trips that we took, ex MIL would take it upon herself to enter my house and do my laundry. One time she even rearranged all of my furniture. When I returned home and I was puzzled, she said oh don’t you think it looks much better that way? My ex-husband Always had an excuse for why he couldn’t contribute his fair share of household chores. The excuses change depending on chore or has given mood of the day. Laundre was that he didn’t know how to do it. Or that I just did it better. Other things were mostly him telling me not to worry so much about things.

    There was never a time where he planned dinners, vacations, etc. he was and is a selfish man, and now he lives where he should be living in a shitty rental behind a car wash in the slum town 15 minutes down the road. I continue to reside quite happily in my own home, the third one that I bought and perhaps my final home as I restored to previous homes. He was never around for that either so I quickly learned how do use power tools, tile, drywall, all that stuff by myself. I finally woke up one day just sick of dealing with him. His rage issues, alcohol abuse, selfishness, and just the aspect of being with somebody so shitty really fucked with my head for a while. He now dates a cocktail waitress who is over 10 years his junior, and I hear that she keeps quite a nice and tidy calendar. Well good for him, he needs all the help he can get.

    I have since moved on and set boundaries and standards for myself which I keep in check routinely.

    Divorce was one of the most unstable parts of my entire life, it was frighteningly scary, but the alternative was a slow and painful death of my soul. I raced everything with the hope that there may be something out there that was better, I risked it at all to maybe find true love. Because I believe that exists surely.

    I am happy to report I have found a real adult love with a partner who was raised by a feminist step mom and a single dad most of his upbringing. And I can report the view from here is how I imagined it would be. It’s sexy AF to be with a man who takes care. Who can and will and wants to contribute. Who likes the feel of clean sheets and will make that a reality. Who knows I dislike dishes so takes over after every meal so I can relax and spend time reading to my daughter. I like to cook, he likes to help, watch, and eat, and he always cleans up. We all wear clothing in this house and he does loads of laundry and finishes the job with hanging and folding. Gone are the days where I have to micromanage and remind an adult about their daily responsibilities in the home, financial, or otherwise.

    This concludes my brief report after emerging from the other side.

    Oh, and all those things I was so scared of losing actually I didn’t need them anyways. The only thing I miss is my beautiful tri toon boat that I paid for in cash. That stung a bit, but live and learn – certainly if I get married again I will protect what is mine with a prenuptial agreement .

    • Southern Fried says:

      I’m so happy for you! As for the boat you’ll get yourself another if that’s what you want. My ex mother-in-law sounds much like yours, very difficult. She flipped that I had the nerve to divorce her boy. Until he changed companies and moved in with them for a while. Don’t think having an adult selfish slob was as cute to her as a kid. She relented somewhat on the criticism, seeing that when my ex did have the kids for occasional weekends she’d be the one tending to them so he could play golf. I actually got a thank you note years later for being a good parent to our children which still surprises me to this day.

      • Livethelifeaquatic says:

        @southernfried

        I hope you kept that thank you note. It’s never too late to have an epiphany. I’m not holding my breath, as I have cut off all contact with my ex MIL. Classic narcissist and she raised one as well. But your note that you received sounds touching and it’s things like that which make me believe in humanity. Even after all those years for her to sit down and acknowledge…whoa.

      • ClaraBelle says:

        My sister got a thank you phone call many years after she left her ex with two teen-age boys. They had argued for years about their roles and when she decided on divorce he would not move out (and she didn’t fight it) so SHE moved leaving him with the boys. So, the dad DID learn how much she had been doing and surprised her years later with an apology and a thank you. Of course it was not a get-back-together, she is still happily single, but the call was very gratifying.

  34. teehee says:

    I am able to restrict my partners mess to his own office. I made a deal with him, he acn do anything he wants in that one room, and the rest he has to try to keep it reasonably presentable.
    I still do the majority, because I am more aware of a mess than he is.
    Men (and women) are done no favors to be raised to be incapable of caring for themselves or of others.
    No family or household can be left “uncared for”, but this is precisely what men are actively taught to do- to NOT take care of anything.

    Its a horrible shame. And so easy to fix.

  35. Moorele says:

    Reading this thread gave me Anxiety. Women should not put up with this crap… household inequalities are just exacerbated by the pandemic.

  36. Onemoretime says:

    I have a 20 & 25 year old daughters at home & neither do anything to help with the cleaning. They keep their doors shut & run to block me if I try to enter because they know it’s a pigs pen in there. Some days I just leave their messes to see just how long they let it go. The longest was a week before I broke down & cleaned up. I think every adult needs there own space & place .
    They blame me for their laziness, because when they were “little” I did all the cleaning up. Smh the horror of cleaning up after your small children. Give me the strength to put them both out!

    • MerlinsMom1018 says:

      Onemoretime…I hear you. I have 3 daughters all grown and gone now and their rooms could have gotten us on an episode of Hoarders. I flat refused to clean up after them, I would close their doors and let them stew in it. I also stopped doing their laundry when they hit 12 years old. Would it have been easier to do it myself? Yes. Was I tempted? Yes. Did I give in? Nope. (as an aside, they one and all are clean freaks now. 2 of them have teenage daughters putting them through the same thing now. I get lots of phone calls with bitching.)
      I say let them keep their doors shut. Let them blame you for their laziness (I call bullshit). When they start popping off just point to the front door and say “feel free”
      Good luck

    • lucy2 says:

      I would say their rooms are their rooms, but they absolutely should be helping with the other areas of the house they use.

  37. Miss Margo says:

    I’ve been sick in bed for three days now with a migraine. I’ve been working full time and doing 90% of the housework with 200% of the planning. The only time he helps is if I’m sick and literally can’t move. The past year has been awful. These tweets are funny and all, but living it really isn’t very funny.

    • Nikki* says:

      No, it isn’t Miss Margo. I hope you feel better, and I hope you figure out how to get more of what you need from this relationship. I also hope you have someone else for emotional support meanwhile – a sister, friend, counselor.

  38. Margot says:

    My husband can cook and clean. People tell me I’m so lucky he can cook. I’m not lucky, I’m a good chooser! I could not live with one of these helpless men who can’t figure out how to turn on the oven.

  39. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    MerlinsDad was raised in a traditional Italian Roman Catholic family where the wimmenfolk gathered in the kitchen and did all the heavy lifting + dishes while the men sat outside, solved all the worlds problems and occasionally screamed “Maria (just a generality here) bring me a beer”, so you can imagine the OUTRAGE when (at a family gathering) MerlinsDad not only made his own plate but brought me one as well. My response to that was ” first off, I ain’t his mama (who loathed me but there you go) nor his staff, and he’s perfectly capable of helping himself ”
    We’ve been married 43 years and we sat down early on to get shit straight. I hate mowing the yard, he hates doing dishes, I don’t like cleaning bathrooms and he loathes doing laundry (but we will and have switched on occasion) I like to bake and he’s a hell of a good cook (who cleans up after himself and will load the dishwasher)
    I guess because I saw my Dad (who was probably a feminist) help my Mom without her asking, I just naturally expected it?

    • Emm says:

      Same! My husband’s family is the same but they are just the definition of white Christian patriarchy. Before we had kids we used to go to his aunt and Uncle’s house every Sunday after church and it would always be the women upstairs making food and caring for the kids and the guys downstairs watching the game. I said then that it was bullshit and I won’t be doing that and I haven’t. We haven’t been over there since we had kids. His immediate family is the same way which is also why we visit them maybe twice a year and why not seeing them for over a year with the pandemic hasn’t been a problem for me at all. and his dad doesn’t like me for the same reason, because I don’t let my husband walk all over me. I have always felt so judged by all of them though, BILs and SILs included, because I am not always in the kitchen making all the meals, have a perfectly pristine house, doing everything for my husband and kids. It’s hard to stop having those feelings but the last year has really helped with letting go of trying to be perfect in the eyes of my maga in-laws.

    • Gail Hirst says:

      My dad’s rule was the cook shouldn’t have to clean up. He washed, his kids dried and put away.

  40. Other Renee says:

    Both of my husbands (ex and present) were/are great about doing their fair share of housework. Except I did end up doing the laundry when I lived with my ex. Until the time I asked him to toss a load into the washing machine because I had to leave (I don’t remember why I asked). He said, “Sure. But which one is the washing machine?” My response was: “Take a guess. You have a 50% chance of being right!” :)

  41. Country Bumpkin says:

    I have been married for over 40 years. We had 3 children with one having special needs. My husband complained that I needed to work outside the home. I agreed but it was never enough. He said he did the majority of income earnings. So one day I actually sat down with all the jobs I have worked until I lost my job in 2010. At that point I had work almost 30 yrs, did the majority of the child raising, cleaning etc, & by my calculations had cooked almost 35,000 meals. I then broke down my work hours per my pay, then figured in my hourly rate as maid, & rough cost of meals. He now knows better to say anything about laundry, cleaning, or cooking.

  42. Gail Hirst says:

    At work we have to keep a log book. Client name, started at 11:12 finished at 1:32, then travel time is 17 minutes to the next account 1:49-3:15 p.m. etc.
    When my son was of legal age (18 here), I kept a log book of household chores, sat him down, and said: you live here too. This is your home too. Pull up your socks or leave because even though I am your mother, I am not your slave. You are of legal age and I can legally tell you to leave, unless you get your act together and pitch in more consistently.
    It worked for awhile, then he would slip. When he saw me with my log book after cleaning the bathroom (example), he would slide into the kitchen and start cleaning up!
    I found putting things in black and white was the best way to reach him. For awhile, anyway……..

  43. Bella says:

    I love my husband, and he is a great guy, great dad, will do anything I ask….and I’m so freaking tired of having to ask! How can they not see???? Come on….it’s been 22+ years…dude…

    Don’t even get me started on having to decide what’s for dinner….

    • ME says:

      That’s the problem. Why should you have to ask him to help? As if it’s YOUR job and you should be grateful if he actually does something once asked to. Ridiculous ! No one asks YOU to clean and cook. No one should have to ask…it should be automatic. This is something that needs to be ingrained into men’s brains !

  44. inkdipped says:

    At this point, honestly, why even stay with him. Yes, he tried, *once*, exceptionally poorly and only after having imposed his filth on everyone in the household for days, if not weeks, on end before realising nobody else would pick up after him out of sheer desperation *this* particular time, but he patently *does not care* about his partner’s or his child’s comfort, and *will* continue to need to be reminded, bribed and confronted into doing even the smallest portion of his share of the work, all the while conceptualising it as “help” he generously offers his partner rather than his incredibly obvious, basic responsibility as an adult who lives in the same household. Just leave him, continue to get everything you already do from him by asking for a contribution to child support, and spare yourself the boundless emotional and physical labour and expense he needlessly and selfishly creates every single day he continues to live with you.

    • Livethelifeaquatic says:

      Comment of the week. I have been following this thread for over 12 hours. You are so right. I see a lot of explaining and covering up for men. A lot of hoping and wishful thinking for men. A lot of, well they’re not *that* bad and now they maybe will appreciate me type of stuff.

      I was almost buying into it then read your post. Honestly this type of explaining and gaslighting and multiple step explanations of why people don’t do basic life shit is exhausting. It really is. I’m so glad I am free of that way of thinking.

      • JD says:

        Agree. The heart of this is a respect issue not a housekeeping one.

      • inkdipped says:

        Ahaha, thank you! I know men are invested in convincing themselves, and the women they live with, that behaving like an adult is curiously difficult for them in this particular context but no other, certainly not a professional one, and I don’t fault women for being gaslit into accepting less than they deserve, but I do get agitated and feel a slight impulse to shake so many of my fellow women who also or exclusively date men while asking them whether they really, truly get *anything* out of their relationships with men? That is, apart from an increasingly uneasy suspicion that they may be in a romantic and sexual relationship with somebody who effectively behaves like a small child? Or whether they realise that it is possible to have *never* experienced any protracted incident of this sort across *any* relationship, and to still have been dating plentifully, whether women or, yes, even men? Or whether they are aware that it is possible to, every single time a man attempts to take an interaction in this sort of direction, tell him in no uncertain terms that you *will* insist on being treated like a person, inasmuch as he expects you to treat him like a person, and leave if you are not, *and still have untold numbers of men eager and willing to date you*?

        Or, from a different angle, I am currently dating someone, a man, whose mother, who had only sons and raised them to be both obliviously and deliberately incompetent, was absolutely appalled to hear that the first time he invited me to dinner and we cleaned up together afterwards, I told him that I found his dishwashing utterly revolting and that I would be refraining from joining in because he clearly needed the practice, not to mention that I would insist he get lots and lots of it if he was considering ever inviting me over for dinner again. But guess who now *never* has to ask for the dishes to be done, wash them again herself or anything of the sort? Not her! And not any of the other women dating her sons, who have been nothing but unfailingly kind and patient, either. I could tell dozens of anecdotes like that, the point being that, in my experience, you don’t actually need to be patient, or ask nicely, or expend time and effort into coaxing and convincing and inventing excuses for men and, in fact, you really shouldn’t given that the attempt is often counterproductive, allowing the men in question to feel secure and coddled in their absolute failure to model even mediocrity. You just need to be able to insist on dating an actual adult, one who will not latch onto your unwillingness or exhausted inability to pepper your assertions of personal boundaries with euphemisms, apologies and flattery whenever he feels mildly criticised by their contents, and leave if you find that you are not. It *does not* improve, or at least not substantially and consistently enough to be worth anyone’s protracted time and energy.

    • Nikki* says:

      I agree with you completely, although I haven’t lived my life that way. As I developed self esteem, I fought back against our decades-long arrangement. I was so scared of being alone! Alone is better than always frustrated and angry at the injustice. inequality, or just lack of real empathy.

  45. ME says:

    This is what happens when men are raised in a household where they only see their mothers do all the cooking and cleaning. How is it fair that when a man comes home from work he can just sit on the coach and relax waiting for a nice hot meal. A woman comes home from work and has a second job cooking and cleaning. F*ck that sh*t !

    • JHo says:

      FR. My MIL was a single mother and factory worker and raised 3 boys. I’ve never in 16 years felt my husband doesn’t participate enough in household duties. She made them work in their household because there was no way she could do it all. There’s no way anyone person can manage all the care tasks and remain sane, whether they work outside the home or not

  46. Liz version 700 says:

    Hahaha based on the number of comments, I feel less alone in my chore allocation frustration lol!!!

  47. Veronica S. says:

    I’m going to save my own rant about seeing this first hand living with married friends and simply say this: how a partner’s home is cared for is one of the first things I look for when I visit. I’m a forgetful person who can be a tiny bit messy, but my kitchen and bathroom are always clean, and it’s never a disaster. That’s all I ask. If they can’t even handle that, I bail. I will not be your keeper.

  48. GOLDEN says:

    My partner is pretty good at doing his part and is essentially in charge of loading and unloading dishes but he does not wipe off counters or clean out the sink filter, ever. He also puts away dishes in the most inexplicable places. I have a friend whose partner only does his own dishes and leaves hers and their kids in the sink to clean.

  49. Bettyrose says:

    UGHHHH!! I’m glad I never wanted children because raising my partner is work enough. I refuse to fight about it though. That’s more stressful for me than him and I don’t want to be another pandemic statistic. I will admit one thing to my CBs though … around the 15 year mark (going on 20) we stopped sleeping in the same room. It just happened naturally as I was always up later than him. Can’t recommend it enough. But I have no advice for getting dudes to put one fking dish in the dishwasher.

  50. Amy Too says:

    My problem isn’t my husband but my 14 year old son. He has always been very academically smart and successful but he’s immature in other ways. Uncoordinated, his gross and fine motor skills were a bit delayed, he’s still into kid stuff as opposed to “teen stuff.” He’s more like a 10 year old in a 14 year old body. He’s super kind and sweet and smart but he’s not good at housework or personal hygiene. He scoops dog poop in the yard when asked. He matches and folds the family’s socks. He can vacuum and he puts his own laundry away after I have folded it. His dad and I have always split the chores and cleaning and we didn’t really think to start including our son as he got older because we were just rolling along with our set routine. So my son is good with “tasks” and “picking up” (when asked) but not with actual cleaning.

    He is “grossed out” by the sink for some reason so he will generally just carry his dirty dishes to the kitchen and put them on the counter next to the sink. He will rinse them and put them in the sink if I ask him to but he thinks it’s really gross. This being grossed out about the sink also leads to him not wiping up or rinsing his own toothpaste spittle that doesn’t make it down the drain. He is a messy cook. He can make microwave meals, things that involve the toaster, hot cocoa, and instant pudding, but he leaves empty wrappers and packaging and ingredients everywhere and doesn’t wipe the counter when he spills or dribbles things. He will do those things if and when I ask, though. But by then whatever was spilled on the counter is now hard and stuck and he’s not a good wiper/cleaner. He does the minimum and then gets fussy if I say it’s not actually clean or done the way that we do things in our house. He even makes a mess when he’s cleaning. Like he’ll get a rag soaking wet to wipe something and then there’s a pile of water wherever he was “cleaning.” He doesn’t wash his hair or face well. Like he very lightly moves the product around for a short time and then he’s done. I bought him facial cleansing wipes and he very lightly sweeps them around his face, missing many spots and thinks that should be good.

    I remember being 14 and caring deeply about my hygiene and also having my mom ask me clean to the entire bathroom or scrub the kitchen floor on my hands and knees each week and I was good at those things and did them. What do you do when your child is just not good at these things? The reason for him to do chores is 1) so I don’t have to do it and 2) so I can spend my time doing something else, but if I have to stand over him and keep saying “you need to get this spot more, you didn’t get this spot, you need to actually scrub this, you need more/less product here,” then I’m not getting either of the benefits. Do you have them keep doing their chores (poorly) anyways and then just fix it yourself afterwards? Do you stand there and manage how it’s being done? I keep thinking things will get better as he grows up and matures more, and things continue to improve, but probably too slowly. I’m worried that he won’t be self sufficient in college and afterwards. On the other hand, maybe he will do better when he HAS TO do better because no one else will do it for him?

    He’s very motivated by being paid to do chores, so maybe that’s the answer. Maybe he will get over his “grossed out” feelings pertaining to the sink and actually start to do chores well and properly if there’s some money on the line. But I kind of feel like I shouldn’t have to pay him to help around the house. He lives here too and these are just life skills that nobody else gets paid to do. Do you guys pay your kids for chores?

    • Regina Falangie says:

      Yes, we pay our son an allowance for chores. He loads the dishwasher, vacuums the carpet and takes out the trash and recycling.

      We first strated this when he was 9 and he suggested 50 cents a week. We had planned to pay him more but we pretended to think it over and then accepted his offer. 😄

      This left plenty of room for raises. His work is ok but getting better. We have chipped bowls and plates now but that’s ok. You can’t expect perfection. We don’t stand over him as he does it. It’s too stressful and leads to animosity. So we’ll check his work after and start with thanks and praise for what’s done well and then constructive criticism on what could be done better. We tell him that a good job will lead to a raise. Or a bad job will lead to the same work for no pay!! He’s 12 now and we’ve raised it to $2 a week.

      Start small $ and give room to build. Let them make mistakes. Start with thanks and praise and then teach/show them how to improve.

      Say, You are so smart and capable, I KNOW you are going to do a great job!! Don’t leave room for negotiation or I can’t do it. You got this!!!

  51. KBeth says:

    It’s funny, the one thing I *can’t complain about my ex husband…he was great about doing housework without being asked or needing any kind of direction.
    He’s a lying cheat but he cooked & cleaned, lol.

    • ME says:

      LOL ! Maybe the guilt of lying and cheating made him cook and clean lol.

    • bettyrose says:

      Sometimes I find myself feeling grateful that my SO isn’t likely to cheat because he’s completely co dependent. I don’t think he could function without the structure I provide. I would so judge someone else for saying that, but he was a different person the first 10 or so years. We still laugh constantly and I still love him so much, but we’ve become this awful stereotype. I earn most of the money and do most of the housework. He relies on me in so many ways. I was never looking for someone I could control. I’d be thrilled if he rediscovered having his own life. I recently asked a trusted advisor “Why can’t he be loyal, sweet, wonderful, and an independent person with his own goals and ambitions?” Her answer: “That doesn’t exist.” Is that true?? (I suspect there are women in same-sex relationships who will say it does exist, but does it exist for women in relationships with heterosexual men?)

      • Emily_C says:

        That is not true. Again, I don’t know where you people find these men. My husband is a loyal, sweet, wonderful and independent person with his own goals and ambitions. All my male friends are as well, and I never dated a guy who was codependent or as terrible as so many women seem to think is “average”. It looks like a different world to me, and a terrible one.

    • Nikki* says:

      I’ve been sitting at my kitchen table for 5 minutes merely considering which I’d rather have: a man who was great at housework but was a lying cheat, or my husband….Did he at least always wear a condom??

  52. Cj says:

    Yep. A clincher for me with an ex was that his dirty socks and boxers were ALWAYS left on the floor. I moved the fecking laundry basket to where he dropped them on his way to shower… AND HE STILL DIDNT USE THE BASKET.

    And I just had this pure clarity of “I don’t want to pick up someone’s socks and underwear for the rest of my life.”

    There were lots of other flags to come but that one was the moment I knew he would never try, and it wasn’t something I could sacrifice myself to.

    Current partner does all the cooking and all the dishes and knows how a laundry basket works. Couldn’t be happier to have someone pulling their weight with tidying up especially as I find it soul crushing when my anxiety is maxed out.

  53. Regina Falangie says:

    The work that stay at home parents do, and moms in general, is invisible and rarely noticed or appreciated. My husband is wonderful and we share the workload. BUT as the stay at home parent, I have no time off, none. No sick days. I don’t get a salary, I will never get a raise and have a monetary value to feel proud of. I don’t have a 401k. I’m on duty 24/7 for the past 12 years.

    In the before times, weekends were the hardest. It’s wonderful to spend time together as a family, don’t get me wrong, but each week is spent getting the house in order just to have it all undone on the weekend.

    I plan, prepare and pack for all our vacations. I lost it on my husband after our last vacation (in the before times). Who do you think planned everything?!?! Who shopped for the best flights and took all the variables into consideration to make the most of our time, money and happiness?!?!? You know why we had saline solution in the beach bag ready to go when one of the children inevitably gets sand in their eyes?!?!?!? Do you think the snacks that avert a hangry meltdown breed in my purse?!?!? It’s not magic, I fucking did that. I plan for months and I don’t get a thank you or a good job. I opened my husband’s eyes and he has a new appreciation for what I do. But the truth is he doesn’t notice unless I point it out. He’s making more of an effort now and I see it and appreciate it.

    Being a mom is hard work no matter how you slice it. I see you ladies and I feel you. Thank you for all that you do. ❤️

    • Emm says:

      @Ragina- All of this, all of it. That article linked at the bottom of celebitchy’s post is spot on, I feel like I could’ve written it. I’ve also been reading and commenting on this thread all day long because I’m cashing in on some me time and it’s something that I’ve thought about and anguished about for so long.

  54. Kate Bush says:

    If anybody is interested in exploring this topic there is a great book called Counting for Nothing: what women do and men value . It’s brilliant it’s quite old now but I think there is an updated one called Still Counting.

    Basically the unpaid work women do, how it’s not valued by society (men) and the amount of $$ it’s actually worth to society.

  55. Mel says:

    Tried it once. I blinked first. Couldn’t stand to be in my own house anymore. My standards aren’t very high; theirs are just very, very low. And I HATE the “help” word. “Your mom needs help” (meaning from you kids not me). No i don’t need “help”! I need you to do your share!

  56. L4frimaire says:

    Reading all these comments. Wow this really hit a nerve. Housework is such drudgery and with everyone home for long stretches, it really becomes a burden and source of tension. There were times when between work,kids at home, housework and just the stress of everything that you’re reduced to tears of frustration.

  57. Dini says:

    In my house my husband does all of the cooking and 90% of the kitchen cleaning. The rest of the house work is fairly split and I do all of the laundry (I love it)
    I didn’t realize how abnormal this was until I read the comments. Is it a millennial thing ?

    • Shabs says:

      Been with my partner since university, 32 now and the split has always been fairly equal, with him doing more in all honesty.

  58. Lissdogmom02 says:

    My besties mom came home one day, we were 16 or so, she’d been working 12’s & then a commute. We asked what’s for dinner right when we saw her, her response “Fish for your own damn dinner” is a legendary moment I will forever love. She was done with our foolishness thank you very much, lol. That said I’ve lived with 2 guys, 1 was more neat than me it was weird but he was so hot & I was early 20’s lol.
    Last one only did so when I told & or threatened him. He didn’t want his 10 year old, we had his son 50% of the time, to have to clean his gross bathroom toilet as he can learn to do it when he’s 18, however he made his daughters at that age 👀. We didn’t last. I like my space, me & my dogs, whomever I allow in my orbit needs to have a home and go home there every night, except for an occasion. I’ve no desire to live with anyone other than my dogs and the kitty I keep trying to get lol

  59. Mina_Esq says:

    Oh man, I feel bad for this lady. I feel that I have to ask for help, but he does it right away whenever I do. It’s the complete opposite situation at my brother’s house though, so I don’t think I can chalk it up to a men v women issue. It’s probably a personality thing, and how tolerant we are to mess lol

  60. Nikki* says:

    Do lesbian couples have to deal with this as much, do you think?

  61. JK says:

    After my divorce, I swore to myself I would never live with another person ever again! I’ve been in a wonderful relationship since, my partner lives in his own house, I live in my own house, my daughter has gone off to university and it’s just me and my lovely kitty at home. My partner is a wonderful man who is looking after his elderly parents, both of whom need a lot of assistance. His mom has Alzheimer’s, wears adult diapers, needs to be fed, washed and diapers changed, all of which he does himself. They have a lady who comes to cook and clean in the mornings and also helps her bathe. So this is why when he comes over to my house a couple of times a week for a few precious hours, I cook for us and spoil him a little. I still cannot see us ever living together though. I really, really, like the way things are right now.

  62. Shabs says:

    Been with my partner since university, 32 now and the split has always been fairly equal, with him doing more in all honesty.

  63. Dee says:

    It starts young. My SIL was always complaining about all the work of raising two sons, all the laundry, dishes and cleaning. I told her to teach them life skills, like loading the dishwasher and doing laundry. Now she’s a Covid long hauler and as teens, the boys had a crash course in cooking and cleaning. It would’ve been much easier if they’d had that training earlier on and on a regular basis. You’re not doing them any favors by teaching them that women do all the housework.

  64. Kynesgrove89 says:

    My husband cleans. Thank God. However he isn’t good at dishes and folding laundry hurts him. He has arthritis in his hands.. So we worked out a system where he will load the washer and dryer and I will fold. He does most of the cooking and I clean the dishes. (We have a dishwasher). Ect.

    I wouldn’t put up with a man not cleaning.

  65. Lainey says:

    Call me old fashioned but i love keeping a nice house And dinner chimed for my man