Moving in together is a major milestone for any couple, but the step comes with its difficulties.
Of course, the couple will learn things about each other they never had to know before.
But one guy found his girlfriend to be unusually frustrating after he moved in with her, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor bloxandis felt like he was at his wit’s end after repeated arguments with her.
But after lashing out against her latest attempt to make amends, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he was in the wrong.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for cutting up a ‘task book’ my girlfriend made because I found it insulting?”
The OP started arguing with his girlfriend shortly after they moved in together.
“I (27 [Male]) dated my girlfriend (26 [Female]) for almost three years before we moved in together a few months ago.”
“We have been fighting about chores the whole time so far while things were great before.”
The two couldn’t agree about how to clean their home.
“It first started when she’d interrupt me and make requests for what I could do to help her that day. Okay, no problem. I can help. I did dishes and took out the garbage and stuff. I’m not a slacker.”
“Eventually, I was mad at her for interrupting me so much [while gaming] in the day and we fought.”
“So her ‘solution’ the next day was to make a list of chores pinned inside the closet and she said whenever I can help, just check the list and do anything on it.”
“I already felt then I was treading on over-controlling roommate territory but she can be very fussy and likes stuff tidier than me and I didn’t want a fight, so I agreed.”
“But she asked for ‘minimum one chore a day’ as if I’m an employee and this isn’t my home as well to relax after work.”
“After a few weeks, she was still coming to tell me how I do chores wrong and making more requests.”
“I said I don’t like being interrupted for chores all day and it’s bad for my mental health and she said she doesn’t like living in a ‘dirty’ apartment for her mental health (it isn’t dirty, just not flawless) which also annoyed me because it’s our home and she insulted it and we fought about that as well.”
Fed up, the OP’s girlfriend presented him with a task book.
“She ended up printing out a whole f**king book. It has sections with sticky tabs and extremely overly specific instructions like, ‘If you clean the toilet, use X products, we keep paper towels under the sink and cleaning stuff on the first shelf in the pantry, and make sure you scrub under the bowl with the brush and flush afterward and check the floor for whatever, make sure you use disposable cloths,’ and just that for literally pages of step by step instructions.”
“She said, ‘Use this book when you have time for chores and I won’t come to bother you.'”
“Obviously, it was insulting because she gave me this stupid manual that she clearly spent time in writing (she doesn’t ‘need it’ but I do apparently) and it treats me like a literal child or id**t who can’t do anything without hand-holding or lectures.”
“I thought I was moving in with a gf (girlfriend), not a manager.”
“In the moment, I just cut it up with scissors and threw it in the trash.”
“So after that, we fought again. She thinks I’m being unreasonable and I think she’s being a micromanager.”
“I think we have problems, but it isn’t the chores.”
“Was I an AH for ‘ruining her work’ in this situation, when I literally never even asked for that ‘project’ she chose to do?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out the OP was not doing his share in his own home.
“The ‘I can help’ comment is SUCH a tell. OP, you aren’t supposed to ‘help’ your girlfriend with chores. You’re supposed to take on 50% of the chores, including the mental load of remembering what needs to be done and what supplies are needed. Taking out the rubbish and doing the dishes are NOT 50% of the chores.” – Financial-Astronomer
“I would wager good money on OP being one of those people that think household chores is women’s responsibility, and that she should just be thrilled if her man does even the most simple task like throwing his dirty underwear in the hamper and not on the floor.” – Zupergreen
“As soon as I saw that he thinks taking out the garbage and doing dishes is a fair share, I had a feeling he would be TA. There is so much more that goes into running a house.”
“His gf obviously thought she would be getting an equal partner, not a child she needed to babysit to get half the chores done. She tries to teach him and can’t seem to win no matter what. I think he’s just looking for any excuse to keep doing the bare minimum.”
“Btw OP, a lot of couples use chore charts to help divide housework, it’s all about fairness and making sure both people contribute equally.”
“You need to get over this because very few women (except maybe your mom) will put up with a boyfriend who doesn’t help out around the house. The fact that she felt the need to explain how to clean a toilet proves you’ve got a long way to go.”
“Apologize to your gf and make an effort to start doing at least half the chores. One a day is a very reasonable ask!” – peachgrill
Others said they’d be grateful for one chore per day or an instructional book.
“Also, ‘Minimum one chore a day’?? I DREAM of only doing one chore a day! That would be bliss!”
“I’m FAR from a clean freak, and I have a husband that is great with the division of labor in our house – every day someone still needs to cook dinner, clean up after dinner, do laundry, dishes, clean floors, tidy up stuff on the benchtop/loungeroom/dining table, feed pets, etc.”
“On top of that, there’s also the routine chores that need to happen regularly, such as deep cleaning the bathroom, mopping floors, changing sheets on the bed, yardwork, grocery shopping, vacuuming, etc…. I would be delighted if I only had to do one of these a day!” – Raise-The-Gates
“Also, some people genuinely need direction? I have to spell out steps to my partner sometimes because he never had to clean and he isn’t always sure of what to do.”
“I wish I’d thought of the book idea. It would’ve saved me a lot of time texting!” – FightMeCthullu
“This is me. When I do a quick clean-up, I don’t really get in the nooks and crannies, and, as I’ve found this week while making a point of actually cleaning, it’s just made my job 1000x more difficult. If I had spent the extra 2 minutes to do it as I was doing the visible area cleaning, I wouldn’t be spending 20 minutes now just scrubbing floor tiles.”
“I’ve learned my lesson (hopefully), and I get the feeling that that’s how OP was, except instead of making more work for himself later, he’s making more work for GF.”
“Also, I like the list. I’m totally making one so my husband and I can try to do better! Depression brain makes keeping things clean hard, my home might make a great case study in it.” – Chicken-nanban
A few hoped the OP’s girlfriend would also do better for herself.
“He seriously looks at doing the dishes and taking out the garbage as ‘help’ and not just being an adult. He only did this because asked him to. He needs to grow up a little. These two are not compatible.” – JohnnyFootballStar
“Hopping on the top comment to add his gf’s mental health is like being affected by moving in with someone who sees housework as an option, and then claims he’s ‘done it’ when he hasn’t.”
“She’s taken a massive step down in her standard of living, and her bf is b***hing to the point she’ll be forced to move out, or more likely, take on all the hard work whilst being grateful for his meager contributions.”
“It’s like the old ‘I’ve cleaned the bathroom’ which just involved dumping a bottle of bleach down the loo. No – you need to do the bath, sink, toilet, mirror and Hoover and mop. Otherwise, you most certainly did not clean the bathroom – if there is beard hair everywhere? Not cleaned. YTA” – throwawayj38sld
“And he uses the word ‘help’. As he helps her to clean THEIR home. He thinks he is ‘helping her’ when doing any little thing in THEIR home.”
“He is a slacker.”
“OP should not HELP her. He should SPLIT the chores with her, as it is as much as HIS DUTY to clean that it is her.”
“OP, you are YTA massively.”
“And everything else stinks. OP thought he was leaving with a maid, not a gf. ‘It is HIS home to RELAX after work’… well it is HIS home to CLEAN too.”
“I just hope she will break up with him. This is a huge red flag for her. She needs to leave him for HER sake. OP will not change, he will just think of her as a maid, and he should just relax when she cleans everything. Sorry, he ‘takes out the trash’… what a HELPER!” – DarkPingu991
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update some Redditors didn’t read as too promising.
“I came back to a ton of comments and lots of different opinions. Thanks for all the replies and DMs. I’m trying to read and respond to as many as I can but probably won’t get to them all anytime soon.”
Then the OP updated again with a lightbulb moment he had.
“I had a lot of DMs suggesting I post in other subreddits to get more ‘male-oriented advice.’ and that kind of clued me in that I am probably an AH, because some of those subreddits can be gross and sexist, and if that’s the place for this story to be taken positively, then that means something.”
“Also an extra thanks to some people leaving actual productive advice, even though that isn’t the point of this subreddit. It does make me glad to see at least a few people think we can figure it out and improve without jumping to breaking up right away.”
He then updated one final time, giving himself his own YTA rating.
“Finally: I can’t deny all the comments saying my chores aren’t enough. I get it now.”
“I don’t talk about this stuff much so this was actually news to me that a lot of you would also be mad at your partner for what I did.”
“I was an AH.”
The subReddit was firmly on the girlfriend’s side in this scenario, citing many of the OP’s behaviors as problematic. But it seems the OP took the advice and feedback to heart, placing his relationship before his pride.