Wanting to be appreciated is completely understandable.
Especially if you’re the one doing all the cooking and cleaning on top of a full time job.
Let alone doing all the cooking and cleaning when your full time job is being a nurse during a global pandemic.
Such was the case with redditor RedditsLoveChild, who subsequently decided to teach her husband a lesson.
But she subsequently wondered if doing so was a wise decision.
This lead her to ask on the Am I the A**hole (AITA) subReddit:
“AITA because I decided to stop cooking and cleaning to teach my husband a lesson in appreciation?”
The Original Poster (OP) began her post by sharing how chores were divided in their household.
“I do a majority of the housework, and I’m okay with this.”
“I genuinely don’t mind it.”
“My issue was not with wanting more help from him. It was just because I felt like he didn’t appreciate it.”
She then explained that she works as a nurse, and, not surprisingly, her work has taken up far more of her time than usual.
“I’m a nurse who’s been working shifts that are longer than usual (no biggie).”
“So when I got home there was a lot of dishes in the sink since I’ve just wanted to shower and sleep when I got home the past few days.”
The fact that work had been taking up more of the OP’s time than usual did not go unnoticed by her husband.
“And my husband says, ‘I’m not sure if you’ve been waiting for those dishes to do themselves, but spoiler alert, they’re not going to’.”
“I told him ‘no they aren’t, so you better get on em’.”
“He laughed and we moved on. I went to shower, came back and did the dishes.”
“He then says there’s something he needs to talk to me about, and he looked really serious.”
“I thought he was gonna ask for a divorce or something.”
Even though the OP was prepared for the absolute worst, what her husband had to say still took her by surprise.
“But he said something along the lines of, ‘honey, I know you’ve been working late this past week, and I understand you’ve got a lot on your plate at work. But I’ve had to eat cup of noodles and hot pockets these last few night’.”
“So he basically told me I had been ‘slacking’ and he was ‘paying the price for it’.”
“I told him that he was perfectly capable of finding something else himself. And we argued a bit then made up.”
But the OP still didn’t seem to think that her husband quite got the message, leading her to take matters into her own hands.
“But I decided to just stop doing chores or anything.”
“And the house became a mess, he’s been whining about the TV dinners he’s been eating.”
“And since I haven’t been grocery shopping we’re also getting low on those.”
“He finally broke and apologized for not being more appreciative.”
“He’s since changed his tune.”
While her husband did apologize, it proved to be something of a backhanded apology.
“But he told me that I was acting like a, ‘B-word for those few weeks’.”
“I feel it was the only way to get him to be more appreciative though.”
“We both work full time.”
“He’s been helping out more lately.”
Fellow redditors gave their opinion of where the OP fell in this conundrum:
NTA – Not The A**hole
YTA – You’re The A**hole
ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors overwhelmingly agreed that the OP was “Not the A**hole”, and that her husband couldn’t have been behaving more childishly.
“You married a child.”
“No respectable adult tells their partner who just came home from a grueling nursing shift during a gd pandemic to do the dishes he’s been staring at while sitting on his a**.”
“It’s time to split the duties in your house, there’s no reason he should get to lounge about while you work and do chores.” – innocentsubterfuge.
Some even felt that the OP should stop doing chores for another few weeks owing to her husband calling her the B-word.
“NTA, do it again for the B-word. He only apologized because he didn’t want to suffer, not because he think he was wrong. He should do 50 % of the chores not 0%.” – RelativeDepartment87.
Some of the more candid redditors even questioned how healthy a relationship this was, less than subtly hinting that the OP should consider re-evaluating her life.
“No offense, but…why are you with him?”
“I mean, he sounds mature enough to talk through an argument and apologize, but if he isn’t going to do BASIC chores, what is he doing?”
“And him saying “spoiler alert, they’re not going to” is so…disrespectful!”
“And him saying “but I’ve HAD to eat cup of noodles and hot pockets…” he sounds like he not only disrespects you, but expects you to cater to him!”
“A grown man is perfectly capable of dealing with his own supper, and cleaning up after himself.”
“You said you come home to a bunch of dishes, and you just shower and go to bed basically, WHERE ARE THE DISHES COMING FROM!?!”
“This goes farther than an “AITA” post, this is a serious decision you need to make.”
“Are you willing, for the rest of your life, regardless of your physical, mental or financial situation, to care for this man, clean up after home, feed him, etc…”
“You are downplaying your own work, and downplaying your husband DEMANDING (cause that is what he has, in a round about way, done) you do care for him as you would a child.” – KandyShopp.
The OP did feel compelled to speak up when her marriage came under fire, even standing up for her husband of many years.
“We’ve been together since we were in 9th grade.”
“We’re in our 30s now.”
“We didn’t come this far by just calling this off as soon as things went wrong.”
“He’s a good financial provider.”
“And we have a lot in common. We’re stuck with each other for the rest of our lives. For better or worse.”
But the OP’s response did not set the minds of fellow redditors at ease.
If anything, some became even more concerned the OP has distressingly low self-worth and lets herself be manipulated by her husband, using the fact he makes more money than her as justification.
“It doesn’t seem ‘fine’ by you if you had to go on strike though.”
“Also, the amount of money someone makes in a relationship should not dictate the amount of effort they put into household chores.”
“If you both work outside the home for 40 hours, you both have the same amount of available free time for chores and whatnot regardless of whether your jobs pay the same or vastly different.” –stoic_prince.
Indeed, perhaps the OP should really ask herself if she was successful in the point she was trying to make.
For it still seems the OP will be doing the hefty majority of the chores for the foreseeable future, which is a rather strange victory.
This seems like one strike which needs to head back to the negotiating table.