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Woman Gets Petty Revenge On Boyfriend After He Seems To Forget How To Do Basic Chores

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One of the most annoying things about living with someone is an imbalance in responsibilities.

It can start off innocently enough, like with someone being exhausted from a long day’s work and asking their housemate to do the dishes for them.

But when it’s a long-term issue, it’s a problem, stressed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor lappisl was shocked when she realized her boyfriend not only was not doing his share of the chores, but he was pretending to not know how to properly do things to convince her to do more.

Fed up with his behavior, the Original Poster (OP) decided to give him a taste of his own medicine.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for my petty response to my boyfriend’s purposeful incompetence about chores?” 

The OP tried to call her boyfriend out.

“My boyfriend has started pretending to be bad at basic life s**t like dishes and laundry, like he can’t do it, so I have to do it…”

“I felt pretty frustrated with that and told him straight up that I knew he didn’t forget how to clean since he moved in with me.”

“He was always very competent living alone and I didn’t appreciate him ‘forgetting’ how to do chores.”

“I said that when I asked him to do dishes and he refused and refused until he finally did them wrong, that I was not that stupid.”

Her boyfriend did not agree with her.

“He said that he was trying his best and I was wrong for saying he was trying to manipulate me.”

“He added that from his perspective, I asked him to do something, and he did it the best he could, and I kept at him because it wasn’t up to my impossibly high standards and he couldn’t win…”

“He said he wanted me to believe him when he says he is trying.”

The OP decided to retaliate. 

“Anyway, this might be petty, but I decided to give ‘believing him’ a try.”

“So…”

“He had bleach-stained my favorite little black dress.”

“Instead of getting mad, the next time he had a family event, I put it on.”

“He asked me if I was really going to wear that because it looked messy.”

“I said that I loved that dress and understand accidents happen, so I wasn’t mad or upset it had bleach spots, actually. I thought it looked kinda cool.”

“He said he really thought it looked bad.”

“I said if he wants he could sharpie on the white spots real quick in the Uber. It ended up looking even worse.”

Then the OP did it again with the dishes. 

“Another time, we were having dinner and he had done the dishes.”

“But he put some of the cups and bowls in the dishwasher upside-down so they filled with dirty dishwater.”

“I took those cups and bowls, dumped them out in the sink but didn’t wash them further, and served his food in them.”

“He said that it was dirty.”

“I was like, ‘They just came out of the dishwasher! It’s just water, it’s fine.'”

“He said that, no, it was disgusting.”

“I said it was really no biggie, I was getting over my impossibly high cleanliness standards, and I really didn’t think it was that gross.”

Then there was the work dinner incident.

“The last time, I had cooked for a work party of his.”

“After cooking, the dish needed to cool for about 30 minutes then be refrigerated.”

“I had plans with my friends that night, and I asked him to put the dish away after it cooled.”

“He forgot.”

“The next morning, he noticed the dish was never refrigerated.”

“I said it was fine, it was just a mistake, and it would probably be fine to eat, since there wasn’t a lot of meat in it.”

“He got frustrated and said that you can’t serve meat left out overnight even if it is ‘only a little.'”

“I said, ‘Oh I think it should be okay, stuff happens.'”

The OP’s boyfriend got fed up.

“He’s stopped being so lazy about chores after he realized I seem totally okay with leaving stuff done badly and that he’ll be living with it.”

“But I feel a little petty for having been dishonest about it.”

“I actually hate how my bleached dress looked, and my stomach turned at dirty dish soup and unrefrigerated meat.”

“AITA for being petty?”

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 said the OP taught her boyfriend an important lesson.

“NTA. You’re a genius.”

“It’s not petty. It’s refusing to let him externalize the costs of his behavior to you. I think it’s brilliant and you should keep doing it whenever this comes up.”

“If he’s truly being willfully incompetent, you will get the results you see here and he’ll have to cut the s**t out.”

“If it’s an area where it is truly your higher standards, you will see that when he doesn’t care and you’ll be able to decide what to do with that information.”

“Well done.” – Jaded-Chip343

“It taught him weaponized incompetence isn’t going to work, so he shouldn’t try. All it’ll do is make his life less comfortable.” – fallen_star_2319

“This was malicious compliance at its finest. I’m impressed with how OP handled her boyfriend. She didn’t resign herself to being his maid like so many women do.”

“Instead, she went along with his little game and made him deal with the consequences like an adult has to do, rather than saving him from himself as if she was his mommy. She even made him eat from his own dirty dishes!”

“Bravo, OP. NTA, you are a hero.” – thistleandpeony

“‘The white spots? Oh, Joe put bleach in the wash with it – I think it came out looking great! The Sharpie marker to try to cover it up was his idea, too.'”

“At his family event. Tell ’em all what a goober he’s being. I love it.”

“NTA” – karskipellis

Others agreed but said there was something better she could have done with her time.

“I don’t think she was being a genius. She wasted a lot of time not dumping this lazy a**.” – Hamdown1

“You know what would have really taught him a lesson? Dump him when he starts gaslighting you.” – solarisink

“This behavior smacks of a significant lack of respect for their partner. And wow, the entitlement! That they think it’s okay for them to slack on household chores because their partner should do them instead.”

“If your partner doesn’t respect you, they sure as hell can’t love you. People need to get the h**l out of those situations and find a better life – either single or in a better relationship.” – RayeInWA

“I’m kind of worried about the people who constantly say, ‘Not everything is something to break up over.'”

“ANYTHING can be something to break up over. One is not obligated to love someone just because.”

“I can break up with a guy because I hate the way he styles his hair, the way he talks to his coworkers, the way he treats my children, or the way he talks to customer service reps on the phone.”

“OP needs no ‘reason’ to break up with her boyfriend, although I think this is a huge issue to break up over.”

“If my partner isn’t willing to do something so simple as the laundry or dishes after me asking politely once, then I don’t need them in my life.”

“People shouldn’t have to resort to wearing a f**ked up dress, eating off dirty dishes, and ruined cooking to get their point across. If her boyfriend really cared about her, this should’ve been a nonissue after the first discussion.”

“NTA, OP. But seriously reconsider this relationship if you have to go to such great lengths to get him to act like an adult.” – 40milesaway

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update in the comments.

“This all has been making me reconsider whether I see him as a life partner tbh (to be honest). I’m trying to not rush into life decisions and take some time to think, though.”

“I definitely saw us being together long-term before we started to live together.”

“I saw him as smart and competent and kind and motivated. He had his career and social life and home life in order and was independent and competent and responsible.”

“But since living together, I feel like I expected him to stay just as competent and independent and mature…”

“And it feels sometimes to me like he had an expectation that he could do less and I’d be ‘mommy,’ which makes no sense because we both work, we both have active social lives, and sports and hobbies, neither of us is just home all the time wanting to be a homemaker.”

Though the OP wondered if she was wrong for how she handled the situation, the subReddit insisted she was right to stand up for herself and teach her boyfriend a lesson via consequences.

But after seeing the comments, the OP openly wondered if the experience she’d had was worth it, especially since this is a behavior that likely will arise again over time.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.