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Guy Upset When Wife Doesn’t Show Enough ‘Appreciation’ After He Does Chores While She’s Away

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It’s always nice when someone steps up to the plate and does a little extra work around the house.

While everyone who lives in that house benefits from the work that was done, the one who did the work can bask in the accomplishment of being the one who did it.

Expecting a little gratitude is understandable, but should it always be expected?

Redditor AskingHard certainly seemed to think so, and expected his wife would be over the moon when she came home to discover all the work he had done while she was away.

But the original poster (OP) found himself in for a rather unpleasant surprise, when his wife appeared fairly apathetic to his work, if not downright annoyed.

Something the OP did not appreciate one bit.

Wondering if he was in the wrong for being upset, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not ‘fully’ completing projects while my wife was gone for a ladies weekend?”

The OP explained how he took his wife’s weekend away as an opportunity to catch up on some house work, and though he knew he didn’t get as much done as he’d hoped, he still didn’t appreciate her response.

“My wife told me approx 10 days ago that she was planning on going on a ‘wives’ trip to NYC for an extended weekend, and wanted to know if I was OK to watch our two boys.”

“I told her not a problem, I know how hard she works as a stay at home mom.”

“I wanted to give her a chance to get some R&R, and I knew that I would also get important stuff done.”

“She left on Friday, and I dropped my boys off with my parents so I could catch up on projects.”

“I took Friday evening off, as it was the first time I’d been truly alone in months.”

“Drank some beer, ate pizza, made the way I like it, as I usually buy what the wife and kids prefer, and caught up on my favorite TV shows.”

“I crashed early, and woke up Saturday ready to work.”

“I made myself a list of things I wanted done:”

“Fix the kitchen drawer (broken for 3 months).”

“Fix all the 5 loose curtain rods (2 boys do a number of curtains screwed into drywall).”

“Clean my half of the garage which is my workshop.”

“Get caught up on all laundry (wash, dry and fold) nearly 5 loads!”

“Finish my youngest sons room, I needed to shiplap one wall, fill the holes and prime it.”

“I got through the first four items on my list, but as I was finishing the last of the curtain rods, I tweaked my back.”

“No clue how, I must have twisted wrong or something silly.”

“I called it a night, and picked the kids up the following morning.”

“Got them home and they asked if the could play their tablets.”

“I saw a golden opportunity, I could finish my youngest sons room while they play!”

“I got to it, until I had two cuts left, the bottom row.”

“I went into my workshop to setup my table saw, and when I went to lift it, I aggravated my back injury from the day before and threw my back out.”

“If you’ve never thrown your back out, it is one of the most painful things you can do.”

“I called it a day, turned on football and waited for my wife to come home.”

“She gets home, I slowly get up, and explain to her what I’d been up to while she was gone.”

“I showed her the things I fixed, and progress on my sons room.”

“I was expecting a boat load of appreciation.”

“Instead my wife looked super upset and walked out of the room.”

“I followed her and asked why she was upset.”

“She said that if I was going to do all this work, I should have known to do our sons room first, and everything else later.”

“I honestly told her I was expecting some appreciation that I had spent my weekend off catching up on all these tasks that had accumulated.”

“Her response, in the most sarcastic and insincere tone: ‘thank you… I guess’.”

“She then told me she was taking a break, and I needed to handle dinner.”

“I explained to her I was in significant pain, and needed to lie down, and she just walked away.”

“I ended up doing dinner, two baths, and bedtime solo.”

“I tried talking to her today about everything, and her response was:”

“It’s your fault you got hurt.”

“You should have managed your time better.”

“She deserved a break after being in the car for hours, so she took one.”

“Am I the a**hole?

“My wife knew my parents were watching the kids.”

“My parents graciously took them as they knew I needed the weekend to catch up on both standard chores and household projects that are difficult to do watching two boys.”

“My wife thought I was going to be taking the weekend to get my own R&R and my getting all this stuff done was meant as a surprise as I knew they were on her ‘this needs get done someday’ list.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community was fairly divided on where they believed the OP fell.

Some felt the OP was unfair in wanting more appreciation from his wife, believing he shouldn’t only have been doing the chores for glory and recognition.

“Possibly an everyone sucks, but I am going to YTA.”

“The order in which you went about these project tasks shows that these were projects you wanted to do, not that needed to be done.”

“Cleaning up your workshop is a task that benefits you alone.”

“Loose curtain rods are annoying, but not something noticeable except when you mess with them.”

“Same with the single kitchen drawer.”

“Laundry is a household task, not a ‘project’.”

“The thing the house needed done, the thing that was the glaring task that is on the brain every time she goes in your son’s room is the ship lap.”

“Sure, she should have said thank you for the other fixes, but where you are the a**hole is getting all bent out of shape that she was disappointed that you did a bunch of projects of things that were bothering YOU and not what really needed to be done and sounds like could only be done with you involved or you alone.”

“I can just hear the frustration in your wife’s comment.”

“It’s the frustration of a spouse who has asked a bunch about finishing a project that continues to get kicked down the road.”

“It’s the frustration of ‘this project is never getting finished’ and ‘he had an entire weekend to work on projects and he still procrastinated on this’.”

“It’s the same frustration of asking your spouse to help with the cleaning for a dinner party that evening and they choose to organize the outdoor shed and accuse their spouse of being ungrateful because they had commented last week that the shed was messy.”

“Point being, when you were making your list, you failed to assess what was a priority for the whole family, or at least your wife.”

“She should not need to hand-hold your understanding of how to prioritize household projects.”

“Not to mention, the shiplap is the project that is the most labor and time intensive, saving it for last was a bone-headed move regardless of any back issue.”- anglerfishtacos

Many felt the OP was justified in his frustrations, as his wife seemed to show little to no sympathy for his back injury and felt she should have been more appreciative of the fact he chose to do work around the house rather than having a restful weekend.


“This come from a 34 yrs married 54F farm wife.”

“My DH often puts in 60-70 hrs a week at work and doesn’t take time off or have time to make home repairs.”

“I am the one who does it a lot of the time.”

“When he does have that rare day at home he lets me do whatever I want and he fixes whatever I have flagged as important.”

“I always thank him for what he gets done.”

“It’s called being a good person.”

“It shows him he is appreciated.”

“For your wife to act the way she did says a lot about her character, and lack thereof.”

“I see your list as having been done in the order of items used or seen most so those needed to be done first.”

“I’d have let the room go to last as well.”

“Her having no understanding of your back?”

“I deeply hope she hurts hers as badly or worse than yours just because I cannot stand people like her.”

“So what if the kids went to their friends home?”

“I don’t care if she can do all her shit with them underfoot.”

“I couldn’t.”

“Ours got sent across the yard to their grandparents constantly so I could stay ahead of their messes.”

“My DH can’t get anything done at home if they are here as they are up his a**.”

“There is no shame on not having them with you while you tried to do the projects.”- FugglerFan

“After reading the entire post?”


“You did what you could, when you could and I commend you for that.”

“I have thrown my back out before so I get it.”

“Never pleasant, your wife sounds like an ungrateful person.”

“You tried to get done as much as you can, and she simply didn’t appreciate it.”- FireFox181


“Jesus Christ if this was the other way round everyone would be up in arms at the hubby going away for a fun weekend while the wife was at home doing work round the house all weekend, and not even being shown any appreciation.”

“You did a lot of the things that maybe should’ve been done a while ago, but you work and have two children.”

“Hell, I have one child and I struggle to get the laundry done most weeks!”

“Being in a happy marriage includes showing appreciation for your other half, no matter how ‘small’ the job that has been completed is.”

“Good job OP and I hope your back improves soon.”- M-RsYummyMummy

While others felt neither the OP nor his wife were ultimately at fault, finding the frustrations of both the OP and his wife understandable.

“I’m going with NAH.”

“You know how much work and time you put into all these projects, however, it sounds like, from your wife’s perspective, she came home to you grunting up off the couch to show her a still incomplete project.”

“Just a guess, but your son’s room is likely a more significant project to her than your garage being cleaner.”

“She wants to come home and wind down from travel, not jump right into making dinner.”

“You want her to take over right away because you’re tired and in pain.”

“Sounds like you each hoped the other would recognize your ‘more deserving’ need for rest.”

“Any chance you can schedule a date night and take her somewhere that you can both relax?”-RealTalkFastWalk

Upon reading the comments from the Reddit community, the OP returned, acknowledging he could have behaved better, but standing firm the same was true of his wife.

“So I thought I would post my final thoughts here on who is an asshole in this situation.”

“I think both of us were a**holes in our own way.”

“Me for expecting appreciation and my wife for not showing any appreciation.”

“The reality comes down to this.”

“Being a parent is hard work.”

“Whether you are a working dad/mom or a stay at home dad/mom.”

“Every day brings its own challenges, and its own rewards.”

“Could my wife have shown appreciation?”

“Yes, it would have been nice!”

“But, what else is going on in her life that might make it hard?”

“Could she be overwhelmed thinking about all she has to do next week, or could be that she’s just exhausted from driving for hours?”

“Should I have expected her to be super appreciative?”

“I think yes and no are both fair answers.”

“As some have stated, some of these tasks were part of being a homeowner.”

“Should I have been shown appreciation for getting things done that probably should have been done weeks earlier? “

“Probably not.”

“As others have stated, I paid a price for my efforts unexpectedly by throwing my back out.”

“For those who haven’t had the experience, it sucks!”

“Finally, my son’s room.”

“Should I have been shown appreciation for that surprise?”

“I would like to think so.”

“It’s something she had talked about for weeks wanting done, and I wanted to do something nice for her.”

“I’m going to close with this.”

“My personal belief, is when someone does something for you, out of the kindness of their heart, whether it’s tiny or large, take a moment to say a heartfelt thank you.”

“It takes just a moment to return kindness with kindness.”

No one should do anything purely for recognition and congratulations.

Yet, when one does try and go above and beyond to help out, even the smallest acknowledgement is appreciated.

Hopefully both the OP and his wife can reflect upon their behavior, and might think more carefully on how they’ll behave in the future.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.