It’s fair to say that we would all like for our homes to be clean 100% of the time.
But that requires someone cleaning it, and especially if there are kids involved, sometimes that’s just not possible, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
But Redditor Throwawaynes767 was still embarrassed when his wife, a stay-at-home mom of three, did not tidy their house for a short-notice visit.
When his wife called him a jerk, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he was somehow at fault.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my wife that it was embarrassing that the house was a mess when I had guests over?”
The OP had expectations for his wife, who was a stay-at-home mom of three.
“Relevant context: I (36 Male) am the breadwinner, and my wife is a SAHM (stay-at-home mom).”
“We have 3 kids so the house is a little too messy oftentimes. My wife does her best to keep up with the cleaning and keeping the house tidy.”
“Our kids are under 10 and our oldest is basically glued to her tablet and does nothing to help out.”
“I feel for her, I really do, so I told her she doesn’t have to clean up all the time since the kids are running up and down all day and making huge messes.”
“I did tell her that she only has to make sure the house is clean when we have guests over and she agreed with me.”
“My wife and I rarely argue about the guests coming over since we would at least have the living room ready any time someone shows up.”
The OP was recently embarrassed by his wife’s performance.
“Well, the other day I brought over some friends from work, and when I opened the door, all I could see was an utter mess, food and toys and clutter everywhere.”
“I was shocked, I was embarrassed, and I was just mortified that my friends saw my home looking like this.”
“Also, I had a couple of guys were coming over for the first time, so the first impression must’ve been horrible to them.”
“I took the guests into the least messy part of the house and my friends kept giving me weird looks and making indirect comments about the state of home.”
The OP confronted his wife.
“I was livid. I waited until they left and then went into the bedroom to see that my wife was actually sleeping.”
“I woke her up to ask why she didn’t tidy up the house, knowing I was going to bring friends over.”
“She said she didn’t know, but I sent her a text letting her know, and she said she didn’t see it.”
“I told her it seemed like she did see the text but decided to ignore it?”
“She said no, but she wasn’t feeling well and had a headache, so she thought of getting an hour-long nap.”
“I told her that it was so so embarrassing that the house looked like this when my friends came over and that this was avoidable had she cleaned up and prepared the house for the guests.”
His wife didn’t agree with his criticism.
“She argued that, first of all, the kids are the ones causing this mess and, second of all, it was my fault for not checking twice with her and making sure the house was ready for guests.”
“I thought that was ridiculous because she was basically blaming me for her own actions (or lack thereof), which I didn’t appreciate so much.”
“I told her it was embarrassing and, yes, she gets part of the blame for the house looking like a complete mess and being out of control like that.”
“She called me a jerk and then walked out of the room and avoided speaking to me about it, insisting that I’m the one at fault in this situation.”
“Am I at fault?”
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 appalled by the husband’s attitude toward his wife.
“I stopped reading at ‘I am the breadwinner.’ Whoever calls themselves that is at least trending towards if not a full-blown AH.” – stygian213
“Honestly, he’s a s**tty husband. I’d be more worried about my husband’s well-being, than what I needed if he wasn’t answering me back. I would have immediately checked and made sure that he was okay, and if medical attention was needed.”
“His wife could have been seriously ill, and he choose to mope around and complain instead of making sure she was fine. He got lucky this time, but what happens when his luck runs out?” – Humorilove
“The second sentence is literally OP telling his wife what she ‘has to make sure is done.’ You know, beyond raising their THREE CHILDREN on her own with what I assume is zero help from OP. He’s too busy entertaining his colleagues, poor chap.”
“Anytime you’re giving your partner orders, you’re 99.99% likely to be TA.”
“YTA” – portezbie
Others agreed and said the husband was responsible for caring for the home, too.
“WAY too many people (I hate to say it but typically husbands) with stay-at-home wives get home from work and think their day ends but their wife’s day continues 24/7. NEWSFLASH: IT’S YOUR HOUSE, TOO.” – notthe1_88
“He also seems to feel no responsibility in parenting with his wife to teach his children daily life skills. Kids can help clean from like 2 years old, even if it’s only putting toys away or throwing away a diaper.”
“They should all, including dad, be keeping the house clean. YTA as a husband and father.” – arradial
“If YOU were having guests over, then it is YOUR responsibility to make sure the house is clean for them.”
“She is working all day too, and in her case, she doesn’t get to hang out with HER friends after work because her shift NEVER ENDS. YTA.”
“Sincerely, A ‘breadwinner’ parent who respects the SAHP (stay-at-home parent).” – devilicious
Some shared their interpretations of the friends’ behavior during their visit.
“YTA. So let me get this straight… you work (presumably) normal business hours, or close to it, and you expect your wife to be ‘on’ 24/7 as a SAHM as well as a house cleaner?”
“I’ll also say, if your friends really were judging you that harshly for the state of your house, given you have three kids, then your friends are AHs too.”
“I wonder if the weird looks from the friends were because they were picking up on OPs hostility towards his wife.” – syst3x
“The friends could just be picking up on the OP’s embarrassment – once you see your house is a trainwreck, you have to own that in front of guests.”
“If you’re uncomfortable, they’re uncomfortable. OP needs to accept he has his children at home and so this is how his house is.” – spongekitty
“I’m wondering if the friends noticed that wife was apparently missing for the entire time they were there and OP didn’t seem concerned.”
“Like, if I had sent a text and assumed the house would be clean (ignoring the problems in that itself), and it wasn’t when I got home and I couldn’t find my spouse… I’d probably be a tad bit less concerned with the toys and more with finding my spouse and the adult responsible for my children at that point in time?” – BabyCowGT
While the OP was embarrassed on behalf of his friends and coworkers visiting, the subReddit insisted this was not the most vital concern.
Rather, he should have been more worried about his wife acting out of character. Not to mention, if he wanted the guarantee of a clean house prior to a visit, there was always the option to help out.