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Stay-At-Home Mom Enrages Her Husband By Refusing To Do His Laundry Unless He Uses A Hamper

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Often times a person’s willingness to participate in household maintenance reflects other belief systems.

Redditor txgrl308 turned to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgement on their own home based conflict.

She asked:

AITA for refusing to do my husband’s laundry when I’m a SAHM?”

The Original Poster (OP) aired out their dirty laundry to the Reddit hive mind:

“My husband (36M) and I (37F) have been married for 7 years and we have 3 kids (6M, 4F, and 1M). I do 85% of the chores and 95% of the child care because he works 50 hours a week and I haven’t had a job since last February.”

”I’ve been homeschooling the older kids this year. I don’t mind doing laundry that much, though it does pile up with five people. My issue is that he refuses to put his laundry in the hamper.”

Instead, he leaves it on the floor in the bathroom or next to his side of the bed. I have asked him many, many times to please put his clothes in the hamper.”

I’ve even put the hamper in the bathroom, but he will drop his clothes next to it. I’m trying to teach our kids to pick up after themselves, including their dirty clothes, but it’s hard when he won’t do it.”

My solution was to get him his own hamper, and whatever clothes get left on the floor go in there. He is responsible for its contents. I will only wash the clothes that he puts in the main hamper.”

“He remembered tonight that he needed to do laundry in order to have clean clothes for work tomorrow and got mad at me. He said I’m a douchebag for treating him this way.”

He feels that since I’m at home all the time, I should just get over it and pick up his clothes, but I am not his mommy, and I don’t want to. AITA for not doing his laundry when I don’t have a job?”

After some comments OP added a few of her own giving more perspective to her husbands unacceptable behavior. 

“I am normally a preschool teacher. I went on maternity leave last February that turned into forever, and here we are. I guess I let it go on because I didn’t know how to make it stop.”

”I’ve tried nagging, asking nicely, getting mad, and just not picking up the clothes, but the piles of dirty clothes make it hard to walk in our room or open the bathroom door and it drives me insane. I would be mad at him before he even came home because of it.”

“This is a solution that my therapist came up with because I was so frustrated and feeling powerless about it. Now my floors are clear but I’m not mad about it because I don’t feel like I’m his maid cleaning up after him.”

Sadly there was more than just chore issues here. 

”He once threw a lamp at the wall, but that was like 6 years ago. Other than that, he’s never been physically threatening. He does love to name- call, though.”

”He says I’m being immature if I get upset about that. Like even little kids know name- calling doesn’t really hurt anyone and they get over it. But I hate it. “

”We did try marriage counseling once for maybe 4 sessions, which he says proves that it doesn’t work because nothing changed. I don’t want to leave him, plus we can barely afford to sustain one household. No way we could sustain two.”

Many Redditors had mentioned leaving but OP explained why she feels stuck in her current situation.

“Several things- first, I cannot possibly support myself and 3 kids alone, and I wouldn’t get nearly enough child support to sustain us. We have been scraping by since I quit being able to work (thanks, Covid), and that’s for only one household. No way could we support two.”

Second, this is already my second marriage. No one wants a twice-divorced single mom with 3 kids. Pathetic.”

Third, I have a history of depression and anxiety including hospitalizations and other stuff that’s not allowed to be mentioned here, and he has told me that he is perfectly willing to use that against me if we ever got a divorce.“

Redditors were asked what they thought on this difficult circumstance by deciding:

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

Redditors decided the OP was NTA for her minimal expectations.

“NTA. Your husband is awful. You’re homeschooling your older kids while taking care of a baby and the household. All he has to do is put his laundry in the hamper.”

”That’s not hard. By refusing to do so, & ESPECIALLY when he puts it next to the hamper, he’s being passive aggressive and showing that he doesn’t respect you.”~DisgruntledxPelican

NTA at all, this is about him having power and no respect for you. It is not about him working so much that he cannot put his clothes in the hamper.”

“He thinks that it’s your job to pick up after him and he can do whatever he damn pleases to you. He doesn’t respect you enough to put the clothes in the hamper because to him this is a power issue. He has the power, you do not.”

My father is the same. He doesn’t want to be controlled so he does all kinds of weird stuff like this to show that he’s the boss and he can do whatever he pleases to the rest of us.”

”This is 100% about control and him showing that he’s top dog in the house. Do not back down. This is a hill to die on.”~ImFinePleaseThanks

NTA You’re asking he do a very simple task, he is refusing in a childish manner. I am more concerned how he is escalating to verbal abuse to you over it.”

”Where are the kids when he’s calling you names? Tell him in a calm voice if he can’t talk to you in a calm and reasonable manner, without resorting to name calling – you simple won’t listen to what he has to say.”~gemma156

Having respect for an intimate partner includes more than simply going to work and providing for the family. Hopefully things calm down for this OP and they are in an ok place.

If you or someone you know is dealing with verbal, emotional, physical or other forms of abuse you can call the national domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 any time.

Written by Heidi Dockery

Heidi Dockery is a Maine artist & nature enthusiast with an affinity for libraries. She studies Criminal Justice with a special focus on psychology & sociology at the University of Maine. When not studying, painting, or re-reading the works of Terry Pratchett, she volunteers & enjoys various activities most would label nerdy.