Things can change a lot over the course of a marriage, and on Reddit, a woman posting under the handle u/CommercialMachine98 has just discovered how far apart she and her husband have gotten from one another—and a basic understanding of reality on his part. She wrote on r/AmItheA–hole that they had a huge argument over chores and she no longer knows who is in the wrong.
“AITA for greatly increasing my husband’s chores and dismissing his complaints after he called me a homemaker?” she asked.
The OP says she has her own start-up and her husband, John, works in a movie theater. They once made close to the same amount of money, but now she makes about five times as much as he does. She also works from home. During the pandemic, John was helping out with chores, which was a change. Usually, the OP did the “lion’s share” of housework in addition to her job. Once movie theaters opened again, John was back to doing nothing around the home.
I have been lenient and doing more than my share, since he comes home every day exhausted and complaining. After work, he does nothing but leisure, totally overlooking the fact manage our household ON TOP OF running my company. I’m kind of a doormat sometimes, so I let it go because I wanted to be kind to John.
Last weekend, he crossed a line. I work 7 days a week, John has weekends off, and he was playing video games all day while I was working – and he came to ask me when lunch would be ready. I told him that I am very busy with work and can he cook, for once? He declined, then complained that it was so much easier in his grandfather’s time, when the “homemaker” didn’t do anything other than “her duties”.
I exploded. We had the biggest screaming match in our lives, with him calling himself the breadwinner of the household, repeatedly hiding behind the claim that he “goes out” to work (as opposed to me working from home, which means I’m a housewife uh?).
I steamrolled his claims by pointing out that I earn much more money than him, I work longer hours and still do all the chores. I told him to quit his job and dedicate all of his time to chores, since he is so enamored with the simpler times of homemakers and breadwinners – even if he became unemployed, our financial situation wouldn’t change. He acted appalled.
That week, the OP says she gave him a list of chores to do, about three a day. She says he is always complaining about it and when he does she just says, “Quit your job.” He tried to stoped and she “shouted him down into submission” and then locked up his PS5.
“This is not in my nature – I am usually polite and soft-spoken, and I feel like an asshole when he see him looking like a sad puppy and whining that he is tired,” she concluded. “But I just… snapped. I feel like I don’t have a choice: If I let John do nothing and consider himself the breadwinner who deserves to come home to a clean house and warm meal through no effort of his own, I would lock myself into a life of servitude. Am I an AH?”
I don’t know who the a–hole is, but this definitely seems like a miserable way to interact with your spouse. There were thousands and thousands of comments on her post, with some people accusing her of being controlling and abusive and asking everyone to imagine if the genders were reversed. Wouldn’t this be a form of financial control?
But a lot of people took the “switch genders” thing and ran with it, talking about how men often want the “traditional” 1950s gender arrangement, but without making enough money to actually support two people.
But even people sympathetic with the OP warned her that her reaction isn’t going to get her what she wants.
The OP eventually came back with a long edit saying that she ultimately thinks she was right to stand up for herself, but wrong to let her resentment build up until it became this huge fight and she reacted to John with rage.
“I had been stewing in anger for days, and that is horribly unhealthy,” she said. “And that anger is years of bottled feelings spilling up over something not worth that sort of reaction. I will sit John down tonight and have a long talk. I will show him this thread and we will decide how we want to proceed. The people that we are now are so different from the people we were when we got married and we started dating.”
Sounds like things are going to change for this couple, one way or another.