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Guy Refuses To Do Household Chores Until Wife Apologizes For Calling Him A ‘House Husband’

man doing chores
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How we feel colors everything we perceive.


Shame can make us react harshly to innocent comments, anger can change how we react to a stranger.

Whether or not we deserve to feel a certain way doesn’t factor into how we feel – and that’s where things get complex.

What happens when innocent words receive an unwarranted reaction and you just can’t take it back?

That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Top_Teaching_7287 when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.

He asked:

“AITA for refusing to keep doing chores for my wife?”

Young Love.

“I (28m) and have been married to my wife ‘Bella’ (28f) for 5 years.”

“We both met and went to the same college.”

“She pre-law while I was doing animation. She graduated top of our class and went to a T20 law school.”

“While she was in law school, I had a lot of trouble finding a job in my field or a job at all, really.”

“I ended up working in a kitchen as a line cook to help support us (in addition to loans she took out) while she was going to school so she could just focus on her classes.”

“Bella got a very good job in a different state after she graduated, so I quit my job and haven’t gotten another one since.”

Harsh realities.

“We have no kids, a nice house for the two of us, and are overall living very, very comfortably.”

“She works very long hours, so I take care of most of the household things. Cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, re-painting the walls and doing other work and renovations to the house.”

“In the last 6 months Bella’s started referring to me as her ‘house husband’ around our family and friends. I’ve mostly been letting it go but every single time it bothers me.”

“I’m already insecure about not being able to find a good job and it makes me feel even more inadequate.”

“I finally got to the end of my rope when we were with her mother on Sunday, who still doesn’t really approve of me, and they were talking about taking care of the lawn/garden and she said, ‘Thank goodness I have a house husband for that or I’d never find the time’ and smiled at me.”

“Then they both laughed. It was humiliating.”

“I didn’t say anything at first but I guess she could tell that I was really upset and asked what was wrong. I told her that she needed to stop emasculating me and making it seem like I didn’t contribute anything to the household.”

“We were arguing back and forth and she told me that she would stop calling me a house husband if I was going to ‘get that upset about it’ but that it wasn’t an untrue term and I needed to stop being insecure.”

“Bella refuses to apologize.”

“I feel like she doesn’t fully appreciate my value as her husband.”

“I’ve stopped doing the chores until she apologizes and she is beyond pissed off.”

“She’s been coming home and cooking dinner (only for herself) and doing the chores I haven’t done and then taking off to spend the night at a friend’s house.”

“I was talking to my sister about it and she told me that Bella was wrong but I was being immature in my response.”

“The thing is, if I give in she’s going to keep thinking what she’s been doing is okay. I don’t even know anymore.”

OP was left to wonder,


Having explained the issue, 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



“First off, it’s the correct term. What would you prefer to be said regarding the work you do? That you’re an unemployed mooch?”

“A sugar baby?”

“A house husband is an accurate term to describe your work and contribution to your family. It isn’t emasculating. What’s the alternative?”

“Your wife clearly appreciated what you do and recognizes that the home wouldn’t be nearly as good without your work.”

“What makes you an a**hole is that you never bothered to share your insecurities with your wife.”

“You never bothered to have a conversation.”

“You blew up about it instead and have now gone on with your temper tantrum and are now officially contributing nothing to the household and are just leeching off your wife.”

“If you don’t want to be a househusband then don’t. Get a job and contribute financially.” ~ Ohcrumbcakes

“Wonder if he’d rather prefer the term unemployed?”

“I mean, he currently does not have a job. So if someone asks the wife what he does for a living, she only has very few options: househusband, homemaker, unemployed.”

“May be he should pick one and let her know?” ~ Grouchy_Job_2220


“You are the house husband.”

“There is no shame in that, and it sounds like she genuinely appreciates having you be the homemaker.”

“If the term bothers you, fair enough, she said she’d stop using it.”

“But now you actually aren’t contributing anything to the household.”

“This sounds like a problem with your insecurity, and you are now acting childish.”

“Either go get a job (literally any FT job) and split the chores 50/50 or be the homemaker and stop thinking that somehow emasculates you.” ~ 777joeb

A deeper issue.

“Gentle YTA.”

“You took ‘house husband’ as demeaning because you look down upon housewives.”

“If you saw the term ‘housewife’ as having the connotation of huge contributions it should, you’d be proud to be called a house husband.” ~ reenaltransplant

“YTA, you just kinda told on yourself that you don’t see a stay at home wife / housewife as contributing anything even tho she’s supposed to do all the stuff that is your responsibility around the house.”

“If you stop doing your share of the responsibilities you’re not even a -good- househusband you’re just a deadbeat “~ orangefreshy

“Sounds like she was using ‘house husband’ in a rather complimentary way to me – she’s probably sick of defending the progressive roles you’ve taken on & approached it w/ family as a light-hearted way of deflecting from others’ (antiquated) judgments.”

“If that’s the arrangement you’ve both made & are happy with it, it’s nobody else’s business & I’d be inclined to joke it away w/ narrow-minded, old-school family members as well.”

“That being said…you wouldn’t be so defensive about this if you weren’t feeling some type of way about the arrangement already.”

“And if that’s true, get a job. Any job.”

“You ‘stooped’ to being a line cook once, you can do it again. Restaurants are always hiring back of house.”

“It’s not like y’all have small children & made this decision for SAH parent reasons. Nothing is keeping you from leaving the house.”

“Don’t take your insecurities out on her by pulling a full-on stand-off about this, or else she’ll eventually wake up & realize she’s already doing everything on her own anyway.”

“Why support the equivalent of a temperamental child?”

“Do you wanna cut your arm off to prove a point & be right, or do you wanna be happy? YTA.” ~Zealousideal-Ad6358

“But you…DON’T contribute anything to the household except domestic things and she DOES take care of you the same way a man would take care of his housewife.”

“And the only thing wrong with any of that is your attitude about it.”

“Domestic work contributes HUGELY to the wellbeing of a household and it sounds like your wife appreciates that.”

“If your ego can’t handle the reality of the situation you’re in then you need to get a job.”

“For the record, if the term itself bothers you then I think it’s fine for you to ask your wife not to use it.”

“But it seems like that’s already happened. The deeper issue here is your ingrained sexism and insecurity.” ~ oodlesofotters

Not the AH?

“I don’t think you’re the AH but it sounds like you and your wife need to have an honest and open conversation about your relationship and your roles.”

“Not everyone thinks the term house husband is emasculating but it’s person specific.”

“She needs to care about your feelings in this, but you also need to be realistic about your life goals and your future career.”

“These things are personal and no one way is right for everyone that’s why you both need to have a conversation about it and find out what works for you.”

“NTA” ~ Buffering_disaster


“She used a term that you feel is belittling and makes you feel underappreciated. You asked her to stop, and she said she was sorry…that you feel that way.”

“Not an apology.”

“Granted, you are the primary household manager, so I agree that the term applies, but she is very, very fortunate to be able to be in the position where her spouse can take on those responsibilities and she should be grateful to you.”

“Part of this is you feeling insecure about taking on this role, but you need to be clear with your feelings with your spouse and she needs to respect those feelings, or there’s an issue.” ~ Sumnersetting

You’ll notice that “insecurity” plays a big role in the comments.

Anger and fear and joy can affect how we react to the world around us, but those feelings that we harbor for ourselves?

Those can do serious damage.

Insecurity, self-loathing, and shame can sabotage more than just your day or a single interaction.

Be careful to be kind not just to others, but to yourself as well.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.