No relationship is perfect, and there are bound to be some annoying aspects to both parties.
But when those annoying traits worsen, they might become dealbreakers, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Unusual-Recording447 was overwhelmed by how much food was being wasted by her husband, who was in the habit of having midnight snacks every night and not cleaning up after himself.
When she’d had enough of it, the Original Poster (OP) began to threaten limiting his access to their food, at least after nightfall.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for causing a scene over wasted food and laziness?”
The OP’s husband had severe ADHD.
“My husband has ADHD and refuses medications. His body, his choice. That’s not the issue.”
“I’m sure this behavior has something to do with ADHD and pot smoking but can’t say for certain. He’s 29 (Male), I’m 30 (Female).”
The OP’s husband had also developed some bad habits.
“He has a habit of staying up until 3 AM smoking and eating whatever he can get his hands on. Again, not an issue. I don’t care what he eats or doesn’t eat.”
“I also don’t care that he smokes. It does help him (anxiety).”
“My issue is that he will take leftovers out of the fridge to pick at throughout the night and then leave it on the counter overnight.”
“He also leaves his dirty dishes all throughout our bedroom (which has our office space and computers), so I wake up to several dirty dishes all over our desks. Mainly mine because he will set it there also it’s not in his way.”
“So not only is he wasting all the food d**n near every night, but he’s also creating a pig sty, and he will generally leave the dishes there for two to three days before he remembers to bring them to the sink to be washed (I’ve started refusing with every ounce of my being to clean up after him).”
The OP tried to talk to him about it but to no avail.
“I’ve talked to him about it several times, and he merely says he forgets to put things away. Doesn’t matter what it is. Leftovers, bread, sandwich meat, condiments, milk, etc.”
“When I’m awake, I make sure to go to the kitchen after him and put it away because I don’t want spoiled food, but I’m usually not awake when he does it, and he doesn’t even make an attempt to remember to put things away.”
“Same thing for when he makes dinner. Uses every single pan to make something simple (like spaghetti) and then never puts away anything that he uses, including the dishes. Just leaves them wherever they are. And again, I’ve talked to him, and he says he forgets.”
Then there was the final straw.
“Last night, he took out the leftover Alfredo and left it right on the stove.”
“I intended to take some with me for lunch but obviously couldn’t since he left it out all night.”
“I was f**king p*ssed because I didn’t have time to make myself lunch for work at this point and can’t be spending extra money on something on the way because we are financially f**ked right now (fraudulent charges to our bank account that we are fighting to get back).”
“So I did wake him up and was p*ssy about it and basically said that if he was going to be lazy and waste food because he refuses to put anything away after he’s done with it and burden me constantly, then I would be putting a lock on the fridge.”
“He gets heated and says that he can’t believe how ridiculous I am being over something that he ‘tries to control but can’t’ and for not being more empathetic to his ADHD or giving him reminders.”
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 wondered why anyone would stay in a relationship like this one.
“Your husband wastes food.”
“Your husband leaves food out on the counter, so it spoils.”
“Your husband does not clean up.”
“Your husband stays up until 3 AM smoking pot.”
“Your husband does not appear to be helpful with your ‘f**ked financials.'”
“Why are you with him?”
“This is like every AITA ‘My husband/wife/BF/GF is a great person in every way EXCEPT…’ and that ‘except’ is the largest red flag you’ve ever seen, and is possibly visible from space.” – Straight-Singer-2912
“He’s a grown man. Yes, he has ADHD. So what? Adults find ways to cope with their own issues.”
“What he’s really doing is relying on you to do all the chores. Especially the cleaning and washing dishes. And he’s using his ADHD as an excuse. Especially since he refuses medication for it.”
“Mental illness isn’t a license to not deal with what it causes. You need to decide if you want to take care of him and clean up his messes indefinitely. He’s never going to change. He doesn’t want to.”
“I would break up with him personally. You will be the one having to do all the cleaning and housework.” – bmyst70
“NTA. I have ADHD, and I know how it can make someone ‘blind’ to mess (don’t look at me like that, brains are weird), but this is a shared space, and he must respect that.”
“He needs to find a way to remember it. Maybe stick a big reminder on the wall or on the bedroom door? It’s that or lock the fridge (to at least protect food from spoiling) and leave him a reserve of foods that don’t spoil so he can snack like he wants to.”
“ADHD is a pain but with it is possible to keep some level of organization, even without meds. The question is, is your husband ready to work on his food hygiene habits? Or is he happy to continue as he does? And how long can you live with this?” – Booky_Cat
Others thought this was a form of weaponized incompetence.
“This is where I land. I forget to put things away sometimes, I see them, say, ‘Okay, I’m gonna pick that up and do X,’ then forget again if I get distracted. It’s annoying, and I know it annoys people around me, but my husband knows I’m doing my best and we work together.”
“I also take medication because functioning better is good for my family AND good for me.”
“I don’t think OP is the a**hole even a little, and her boyfriend is weaponizing his neurodivergence by refusing to manage it. I just think it’s because he happens to have ADHD and be an a**hole.” – scatteringashes
“To be honest, I’m kind of annoyed that he’s blaming his poor behavior on ADHD and pot. I’m not going to pretend that I never forget to put something back in the fridge, but it is certainly not an every night occurrence.”
“It’s just obvious with people like OP’s husband that if it weren’t ADHD or pot he would find other s**t to blame his wastefulness on.” – dasbarr
“My husband is very forgetful, so he builds processes for himself to prevent waste such as this.”
“For example, he’ll take everything he needs to make a sandwich out at the same time, make the sandwich, then put everything away at the same time before eating said sandwich.”
“Before, he’d put some stuff away as he went and left others; the problem was that he’d leave one or two things that needed to be refrigerated, but after eating, he was full and not paying much attention, so he’d glance at what was out and see, ‘Oh, it’s just the bread,’ and wouldn’t approach the counter to verify that there wasn’t anything behind or under the bread.”
“Without his process, his food coma self would decide he’d just deal with it later. Fast forward to the next day, not only would there be unnecessary clutter on the counter but he missed that the sliced turkey was sitting behind the bread and he’d now wasted $10 of turkey slices.” – lc_2005
“I also have ADHD and frankly consider myself a slob, and even I would draw the line at leaving perishable food out overnight.”
“I get that ADHD affects people differently, but if you’re capable of taking food out of the fridge or pantry, you’re capable of walking back to the kitchen to put away leftovers and throw out scraps. Occasionally forgetting is one thing, but leaving open food out on a regular basis is just asking to end up with pests in your house/apartment. Certain foods will start to stink after a few hours, too.”
“The pot smoking is also a choice and not an excuse. Massive food waste and infestation risk are a good sign it’s time to cut back, even ignoring the financial difficulties they’re apparently facing.” – cruxclaire
“I also have ADHD. I’ll be honest, I used to be like her husband. However, once I got medicated, all of those problems went away. These days I get bothered if my area isn’t neat, especially around the company. I always tidy up before I leave for work.”
“Weed also should help with concentration. Even nicotine can (I used to smoke). Her husband is showing a lack of consideration for OP, but it also speaks volumes about how he views himself. He probably resents himself deep down for living that way. If he organized a bit, he may even find that he likes being neat.”
“Refusing to do the bare f**king minimum shows that he doesn’t care how his actions make OP feel. Marriage is a partnership, and OP said times are tough…”
“I wonder now, who is doing the cooking? We already know who is washing the dishes. How about the laundry? Work? Bills? Does he do anything other than be lazy and inconsiderate?”
“OP and this guy need to have a long, hard talk and when all of their troubles blow over they need some marriage counseling.” – NPD_wont_stop_ME
The subReddit could understand that this might be something the OP’s husband was struggling with, but they also didn’t think it was something the OP had to put up with. Being unable to do something is one thing, but weaponized incompetence and an unwillingness to change are entirely different things.