We tend to think of self-care as being the little kindnesses that we show to ourselves.
The treats that we allow ourselves to have in this dreary, angry world.
Sometimes, though, self-care is literally just taking care of the physical form we have found ourselves in.
So what happens when someone else lets you know that the care you are showing yourself isn’t just below standards but truly gross?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) aitaundie when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for asking my girlfriend to continue doing my laundry if she wants me to buy groceries.”
OP began with some background.
“My gf (28F) and I (32M) have been living together for 4 years now.”
“She works from home since covid most of the time but sometimes does go into the office, I go to my office every day.”
“My girlfriend has always done our laundry together and never had a problem with it for all these years.”
“Since she works from home, she takes care of a lot of the housework but I do help out, where I can when I get back from work although she often refuses my offers with reasons like I should wash my hands better.”
“I do wash my hands though.”
“Lately she has started separating my undergarments and vests from the laundry pile and not washing them when she had no trouble doing that in the past.”
He then explained the situation at hand.
“She that my undergarments with contaminate her clothes and wants me to do them myself in a separate load.”
“Yet she still washes hers in the same load.”
“I suggested we do all our undergarments in a different load and she said no because hers are cleaner and that would be worse.”
“She got pretty mad and made some nasty comments about my hygiene, saying I should keep myself cleaner in my privates, not soil myself (I do not), and learn how to wash my hands.”
“I do shower and I do wash my hands, but maybe it is natural that men smell more idk.”
“I am getting pretty annoyed at being treated like I am disgusting when I am not. I lived with my mom before her, who did my laundry and never said my boxers were dirty.”
He left his partner with a choice.
“I said if she keeps doing this, I will stop buying the groceries she keeps telling me to bring on my commute from work and she can do that herself. So, AITA”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: YTA
The primary topic was, of course, cleanliness.
“YTA. Come on.”
“If your crusty underwear is dirty enough to contaminate the outerwear, then you have a problem.”
“Book a doctor’s appointment to make sure you don’t have some random infection, but most likely, it is a poor hygiene issue.”
“Your gf is probably sick of getting a UTI every time she has sex with you.”
“Your mum not saying anything is meaningless in this context. I bet she didn’t say anything about your nappies as a baby or your bed sheets and special sock when you hit puberty either.” ~ saran1111
Many commenters tried to get past OP’s denial.
“I think the worst part of your post was the fact that you seemed to be in denial about it and think it wasn’t a problem.”
“It seems like you’re owning up a bit more in the comments…but this comment is going back in the wrong direction again.”
“This isn’t a type of situation where you need understanding and support. You gotta just own it and act accordingly.” ~ GlobalDragonfly1305
“I mean, it is as bad as it seems because you’re a grown man that doesn’t know how to properly wipe his own a*s* That’s bad.”
“I don’t know a different way to explain that to you.” ~ PossibleAmbition9767
Though this comment laid it all out.
“It is as bad as it seems.”
“People are reading the original post PLUS the additional comments you made.”
“Your post implies you’re gross, but there is an overreaction on her part.”
“But then people read the comments you made justifying your poor hygiene.”
“She supervises your showers and washes for you.”
“You just put body wash in your crack and spray water.”
“You just scrub your palms together 5-10 seconds to wash your hands.”
“But I’m hairy down there.”
“You consistently have poo marks in your underwear”
“You don’t like the bidet because it leaves you wet.”
“The above is not a medical condition.”
“You’re more than likely not taking a medication that causes anal leakage.”
“The above is completely avoidable.”
“You’re just in denial and not wanting to accept you’re much grosser than you think.”
“As many other commenters have stated, poo stains in underwear are not normal. It took you a while to find a girlfriend, and it was probably your hygiene.”
“You honestly probably stink and don’t realize it because you’re used to it.”
“Your girl obviously likes you ’cause she’s sticking around and trying to help you.”
“If you liked your girl enough, you’d change these things.”
“She isn’t asking you to change your personality, how you dress or alter your physical appearance.”
“She is asking you to simply clean yourself. Here is a how-to shower guide:” “https://www.manscaped.com/blogs/grooming/how-to-properly-wash-your-body”
“To add to this article because it offers no direction:”
“scrub. your. a*s. between the cheeks and all. Get all of your bits down there clean.”
“Oh, and use a wash rag. Don’t use your hands.”
“Don’t use a loufa. Don’t raw dog a bar soap.”
“Use soap on a rag and wash/scrub.”
“It’s truly simple to get yourself clean. I don’t understand why you’re so adamant about ‘it not being as bad as it seems.’ It is.”
“Also, getting waxed is a good idea, but try simply bathing and wiping better.”
“See if you can improve and go weeks without poo stains.”
“If it continues, go get waxed.”
“Hell, if you need to, find a friend (NOT one that also has poo stains) and ask to wash him shower.”
“It’ll be awkward as hell probably, but just say ‘apparently I don’t know what I’m doing,’ and then just do what they do. Just… do better.” ~ Bookishrhetor
This, of course, led to disgusting stories.
“Yes! I had a classmate I had a crush on in high school.”
“One day, he sat next to me and when he opened his legs (how dudes normally sit) the God awful smell that arose cured me instantly.”
“Maybe he saw my reaction because then he grabbed Axe body spray and doused his crotch.”
“It made it 10x worse because I can’t stand the smell of Axe on a good day, but it was that scent and like rotted meat competing against each other.” ~ lankyturtle229
“Let me tell you the story that has haunted and disturbed me about the hygiene of some men.”
“Back when I worked in restaurants, I walk into the kitchen one day, and there are 5 guys working and making jokes about ‘d*ck cheese’ like this is just a universally accepted thing.”
“Finally, another guy walks in and asks them what the heck ‘d*ck cheese’ is.”
“I did not know this group of men could actually be embarrassed by anything, but they shrank as this man sat there and explained to them all, in a very concerned tone, that they did not know how to shower properly.” ~ TryingToHaveANap
“Since you brought in a nasty story, here’s mine.”
“My coworker learned to ‘manpon’ in the military after a sh*t and continued that practice at our job.”
“Grown adult, married, child, and stuffs his a** with TP till he can shower back at home. No wiping.” ~ triter2002
Some saw this as a sign of deeper problems.
“This is more a symptom of bigger problems than just personal hygiene.”
“She is entering the phase of not really liking you anymore as the person you are.”
“Time to consider making some serious investment in communications therapy where you both can get to truths or time to consider moving on.” ~ Jaxsso
“She’s not your mother, and not even your poor mother should’ve to wash your nasty underwear.”
“You’re a grown man. Act like one.”
“Your girlfriend is already doing more than she should’ve.”
“And she doesn’t have to do any of those things, so consider yourself extremely lucky and stop complaining, or you gonna end up alone living with mommy.” ~ Confident_Light2112
OP did return to admit defeat.
“Edit: Ok, point taken. I will take her advice about hygiene and shave/wax down there and see a doctor in case I have some condition. And apologize to her.”
Taking care of your body is a difficult topic for a lot of people.
There can be elements of shame or depression or fear, or a thousand other emotions all tied up in something as deceptively simple as brushing your teeth or combing your hair.
Whether a person’s hygiene deficits are intentional or not isn’t as important as the compassion, patience, and kindness, we show to the people involved.