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Newly Unemployed Woman Irate After Spouse Refuses To Cover Cost Of Weekly Housekeeper

Woman crying while cleaning her home
Martinns/Getty Images

When we think about what we would do if we suddenly came into a large sum of money, a lot of us would probably cite some of the tasks that we hate to do that eat up our time, like cleaning our homes or cooking.

But as much as we might love to outsource tasks like that, we also understand they’re the first to come back to us when our finances aren’t in place, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor ThrowAWontPay was stressed from helping pay for a housekeeping service he didn’t think his home needed because his wife expected it, even though she was only working part-time.

When she became angry that he wanted her to cover the cost of the service she wanted and he didn’t, the Original Poster (OP) was surprised by how angry she became.

They asked the sub:

“AITA because I won’t pay to continue housekeeping services for my wife?”

The OP’s wife was firm about having a housekeeping service.

“My wife is someone who has always had a housekeeper from a young age.”

“When we first discussed moving in together before marriage, the division of chores was a hot topic. I was on Team ‘We Can Do It Ourselves,’ while she wanted to keep using the housekeeping service she had.”

“Ultimately, I agreed to the housekeeping service after both our parents told me it’d be easier to agree to make her happy.”

“My only thing was that it was a service she was responsible for paying for. She started out having them come every other week. Then she increased it to once a week and then to every other day to keep the house as clean as she liked it and do things like her laundry and empty the trash in her hobby room.”

When his wife lost her job, the OP felt the need to downsize.

“Mid-January, my wife was let go when her company downsized. She’s been having a hard time finding a job in her field. For now, she’s working part-time in retail.”

“We weren’t making amazing money before she was let go, but we live comfortably due in part to living below our means for the most part.”

“Since her current job doesn’t pay much, I said that I would cover all of our joint expenses, i.e., mortgage, property tax, utilities, and our phones, so she doesn’t have to deplete her savings and our savings won’t suffer as much, either.”

But the OP didn’t agree to cover the cost of the cleaning service she wanted.

“She paid for the cleaning service in February but then yesterday asked me if I was going to set up a direct pay with the cleaning company or transfer her the money to keep paying them. It’s USD $190 a week.”

“I told her neither; the housekeeping service was something she wanted and was responsible for.”

“I said that if she can’t afford it anymore without dropping her savings below a point she’s comfortable with, then we don’t need it, and I’m not going to pay for something two able-bodied adults are perfectly capable of doing ourselves.”

The OP’s wife did not agree with his reasoning.

“We argued. She says I know how much she hates cleaning and that it stresses her out, and since the housekeeper cleaned up areas like the kitchen and living room and made the bed sometimes, I was benefitting from it so it counts as a joint expense.”

“I’ve told her it doesn’t because I’m perfectly happy to clean up after myself and have cleaned rooms before when they needed it between visits.”

“Fast forward to today and she thinks I’m still being a jerk by not paying for it.”

“Am I being an AH here?”

The OP also came back to the post and added the following details:

“I’ve been doing housework even with the housekeeper. I do my own laundry, I make our bed most days, I clean up after our pets, clean the kitchen after we cook, and that includes the oven/stove/microwave.”

“I take out the trash and recycling, and I clean the A/C filters. I dust between the housekeeper’s visits. I’ll sweep and clean the bathrooms between her visits. I clean up the shower and sinks after each use. I pick up after myself.”

“Most of what the housekeeper does is already done by the time she shows up. If my wife is home, then it’s her mess that gets cleaned up. Or her clothes, plates, and items that she leaves around.”

“The housekeeper also cleans her hobby room, does her laundry, and whatever else my wife asks. She’s just used to having a daily cleaner due to her childhood.”


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 were busy trying to imagine how impeccably clean this house must be.

“NTA, but this must be the cleanest house in the country what with every other day housekeeping AND OP doing all that other work in between visits. Dusting between every other day visits…” – obxgaga

“AND sweeping the bathroom between visits. I wanna know how this house gets dirty so fast. Maybe the wife is like Pigpen in the ‘Charlie Brown’ cartoons.” – beastofwordin

“I mean… this is crazy to me. Having a housekeeper wasn’t enough, and now you’ve got them coming every other day because you don’t want to empty out your own HOBBY ROOM trash??”

“Yikes. OP is NTA. His wife needs a little reality check.” – Uninteresting_Vagina

“‘This must be the cleanest house in the country.’ THIS PART! This is exactly what I came to say!!!”

“I don’t really have an opinion on who’s the AH, but this part. I’m lucky if I dust once a month, much less several times per week, between housekeeping visits.” – AssignmentFit461

“I am actually a housekeeper, and to be honest, I would have a hard time not judging someone who needed me to come every other day. Seriously, unless you’re elderly or disabled, this is just sheer laziness.”

“I even have ADHD, and I manage to keep my house quite clean since my boyfriend’s work allows me to only work part-time. No shame in having a housekeeper once a week or every other week to keep up on the heavier cleaning, do some of the tasks you don’t want to do, or give yourself a bit of a break in needing to clean yourself, or even more than that if you actually need it due to mobility issues or messy children.”

“But paying somebody to come take out your trash every other day when you are fully capable of doing it yourself is actually insane, especially if you can’t afford it.” – lowkeydeadinside

Others reassured the OP that things had to give and take when it came to finances.

“NTA. We have a housekeeper come every two weeks to clean up our house. A few years ago, when I got laid off, I became the housekeeper because we couldn’t afford it anymore. Once I got back on my feet with steady, full-time work, we started it back up.”

“Since your wife is only working part-time, she now has more time than money. She should be doing the housework to make up for the money she no longer brings in. Again, I say this as someone WITH A HOUSEKEEPER.”

“If you are both working full time and can afford it, it’s nice to have the time savings of a housekeeper. But if you have more time than money, you got to step up and do it yourself.” – Lovebeingadad54321

“I have a housekeeper as well, but I know it is a luxury we can afford right now. If we need to cut back on costs, because one of us loses their job, this is one of the first things to go. NTA OP, having housekeeping come in every other day is ridiculous in almost any case” – Sara_1987

“My friend ended up divorced over a housekeeper.”

“She unilaterally decided to be a SAHM (Stay-At-Home-Mom) but hated cleaning and so wanted to keep their weekly cleaning service. Her ex, already miffed over her deciding to stay home with no input from him, canceled the cleaning service and told my friend she now had to take care of that task to save money.”

“My friend was livid, but her ex was resolute (can’t blame him). She told him he could clean then! The guy was already working a side job to make up for her missing income, and now she was refusing to clean.”

“Yeah, after a six-month stalemate, he filed for divorce, got the kid 50% of the time, and she had to go back to work full-time and lost her nice home in a great community. That was 35 years ago, and friend still blames her ex for everything that went wrong.” – Catfish1960

“Housekeeping service was the first thing to go whenever we hit a lean period. The OP’s wife is acting like a toddler.” – huggie1

“A housekeeper is an AMAZING luxury and reduces our stress level so much, but it’s a luxury. For some people, like those with chronic illnesses, it would be a much higher budget priority, but for two healthy adults working normal jobs (or between jobs), it’s a bad use of money.”

“This is how I felt about summer daycare (I’m a high school teacher). Being a SAHP (Stay-At-Home Parent) is not my jam. I love my kids so much, but I’m very bad at it. Being touched that much triggers my anxiety and I get irritable, I don’t keep a solid routine, and I let my kids on screens too much.”

“Like, it takes all I’ve got to be mediocre at it. But every summer while my kids were little, I sucked it up and did it because daycare while I sat home all day was just not okay.” – Spallanzani333

The subReddit could get behind enjoying a luxury service at home, especially when the finances were aligned to afford it, but unfortunately, when the money isn’t there, the services have to go.

As much as the OP’s wife might expect a housekeeping service, and even if she was raised in that environment if she wasn’t willing to do the work to bring in the income, then it wasn’t a luxury her family could have.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.