A division of labor in your household might look different to different people. One spouse might do all of a task, while in another household, the responsibility is split between the two people.
But what happens when you don’t feel like the other spouse is doing their part equally? Redditor frank_the_bean is enduring that exact situation at the moment.
The original poster (OP) explains the issue he’s having with his wife and their division of cooking duties. OP thinks she’s not putting in enough effort, and especially not as much as he puts in.
To figure out if he said something wrong, he decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” subReddit the titular question.
And he needs to explain exactly what’s going on.
“AITA for getting mad that my wife wanted to serve me plain pasta for dinner”
How is the labor divided between the two adults?
“I (husband) usually make all the meals in the household. I told my wife I was going to make dinner tonight, but she said she was planning to – ok, that’s fine.”
“So, I go back to work on my laptop. She comes into the room and I ask her what she’s making and she says leftover roast chicken and spaghetti.”
“Me: Oh, you’re going to make it with sauce?”
“Her: No, she says just plain spaghetti.”
“Me: Ok, so, why wouldn’t you make some sauce for it? No one eats just plain spaghetti.”
“Her: Sure you can, just eat it. What’s wrong with eating plain spaghetti?”
“I told her to do whatever, but I wouldn’t serve her just plain spaghetti noodles. So, I know it seems like maybe a dumb thing to get upset about, but she insisted on making dinner.”
“By making dinner, she intended to warm up the roast chicken, which we got from Costco, and warm up the noodles, which were actually leftover when I made us chicken carbonara.”
“I was further frustrated because a few days ago she agreed to make dinner while I spent the afternoon and early evening cleaning out the garage.”
“The task wouldn’t have allowed me time to prepare dinner. I entered the house tired and extremely hungry.”
“It turns out she made food for herself and the kids, but she had planned for me to eat the leftover spaghetti (with sauce and chicken) I had made the day before.”
“It was still in the fridge and in the container, and I opened it to heat it up, and there was like barely any pasta in there for a kids’ meal, which meant I had to now prepare dinner for myself when I was already tired and hungry.”
“She said she thought there had been more in the container.”
“I did get upset and told her I wouldn’t serve her plain noodles, because when I make meals for her, I try my best to make something she’d like to eat – all the time, because I take pride in that.”
“I told her it was insulting because it’s like telling someone you’ll make them pizza, but just serve them the crust. I dunno … that’s not pizza, is it?”
“I tried to have her see she wouldn’t serve her own sister plain spaghetti, but she insisted she would and have no problem with that. I honestly don’t believe that. I told her that would be embarrassing.”
“I can’t tell whether she is being serious that she believes it’s acceptable to serve people plain spaghetti, or she’s digging in her heels because she won’t admit she was just being lazy.”
“1. I got mad at my wife for serving me plain spaghetti noodles for dinner.”
“2. Not sure if I should accept her belief that it is okay and socially acceptable to serve people plain spaghetti noodles for dinner or if she is just being lazy and I should take it to be insulting behaviour on her part. Do I need to be more understanding?”
OP is justifying his frustration because he believes he puts more effort into cooking when he does it. But just because he didn’t like what she cooked, does it mean she actually did a bad job?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for what he said to his wife by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
After OP’s post, some commenters still couldn’t decide who was in the wrong. The situation was more complex than OP was making it out to be.
So they asked for a little more information.
“INFO By plain spaghetti noodles do you maybe mean spaghetti without spaghetti like sauce? For instance I use spaghetti noodles sometimes, and will add olive oil, garlic, sautéed squash maybe add some grape tomatoes and top it with parmesan.”
“I don’t think that’s what you are saying, you probably mean just the noodles, but I wanted some clarification there”
“If it’s really just the noodles then obviously NTA and she is being very rude and inconsiderate.” – RNwashington
“Literally dry, stuck together noodles, leftover from when I made chicken carbonara a few days ago. And, I should add she does know how to make spaghetti with sauce as she’s done it before.” – frank_the_bean (OP)
After the update and some debate, people agreed that OP was NTA. OP’s wife agreed to make dinner, and in one instance just reheated plain noodles, and in another, left OP to make his own food.
This is especially egregious because OP normally makes all the meals, and OP’s wife volunteered to make dinner this time.
“NTA and I’m surprised so many people think OP is TA… did no one else read the part about how she also agreed to cook dinner while he cleaned the garage, then proceeds to cook herself and the kids dinner and leave him with less than a serve of leftovers?”
“Anyway, if he makes an effort to regularly cook decent meals for her, I’d be pissed too if my partner presented me with plain f***ing noodles and called it dinner.” – pigeoncatdog
“Your wife didn’t make a meal, she boiled some noodles.”
“Sounds like your wife has a bad case of learned incompetence. She must be absolutely desperate to never make dinner again.” – frogger_mcdogger
“Just plain dry cooked spaghetti??? NTA. I throw stuff like that together to use up leftovers but I at least toss the noodles with butter and parmesan.”
“Weaponized incompetence is not gender specific as you are learning.” – Secret-Werewolf1942
“NTA and I’m shocked at anyone who says you are.”
“Just add blah blah blah. That’s making dinner. Wife insisted on making dinner. Reminds me of the story ‘Stone Soup’.”
“As for heating up the leftovers, if she said she was going to make dinner, she should have.”
“When my gf and I started dating, we had very different ideas of what dinner actually was. She’d be happy with popcorn most nights, I insist on a full meal. I would never consider plain noodles as dinner.” – NotHisRealName
“This is a valid point. I remember my brother’s friend coming over for dinner one night in high school. My mom had cooked a full meal (meat, veg, salad, potato).”
“It was normal for us. The friend was amazed.”
“When my mom asked what she usually did for dinner her reply was ‘well last night I had ham’ my mom asked ‘with what?’ And the answer was ‘ketchup.’”
“Depending on how somebody grew up words like ‘cooking’ and ‘meal’ are wildly subjective.” – supergeek921
“NTA – Who eats plain spaghetti??? (Excluding those with sensory issues) At the very least she could’ve gotten some passata, onions, bit of garlic, and some veg & mushrooms- thrown it all together for like a chicken pasta bake.”
“No one eats plain pasta… no no no. I’d of been upset too OP and I wouldn’t of eaten it as a result.” – redreadyredress
However, for some, this led to a deeper debate about the relationship. Is OP biased because he feels he puts more into the relationship? Is there context we might be missing?
We can’t be entirely sure.
“There’s more to this than this meal. You feel like you pull more weight than her in the relationship.”
“It’s impossible for us to know based on this spaghetti-specific post whether that’s true.” – catzrob89
“Not really. OP cooks for his wife all the time, and the two times she wanted to cook she did not make anything for her husband, who worked all day.”
“The second time she did not cook at all. She made straight noodles and warmed up chicken.”
“OP doesn’t think he pulls more weight, OP thinks he cares more than his wife. And he’s right. He puts effort into meals, does things for his family. His wife warms up chicken.” – ShaggyUI44
“That’s an absurd accusation to make without knowing anything else about their division of labor. Cooking is not the only way ‘do things for your family’.” – Temporary_Badger
“I have to concur this is a really dangerous line to cross when you start painting your own picture of things based solely on this one example of less than a handful of interaction. It’s definitely indicative of more information being needed as far as I can tell.” – boomerangthrowaway
OP and his wife need to have a talk and set expectations with each other. Maybe OP is being too demanding, and maybe the wife is being a little lazy.
But they won’t be able to get on the same page without communicating.