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Working Mom Stops Cooking For Husband Since He Refuses To Help With Dishes After Eating

A woman doing the dishes.
Dougal Waters/Getty Images

We’d all like to think that in our progressive society, no men expect women to be solely responsible for the upkeep of the house.

Unfortunately, far too many men still expect women to be full-time domestics in addition to having a full-time job outside of the home.

While Redditor ApplicationOdd8566 had a full-time job, she always took joy in cooking for her husband and son.

Something the original poster (OP) enjoyed much less was doing all the dishes after dinner.

As a result, the OP asked her husband if he might help out in this department, something he flatly refused to do, claiming it was the OP’s job.

Not at all pleased by this response, the OP felt there was only one way to handle it.

Wondering if she went too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITAH for not making dinner for my husband since he refuses to do the dishes?”

The OP shared how she decided to handle her husband’s refusal to do the dishes:

“I love to cook.”

“I make dinner every night for myself (F[emale] in my 30s), my husband (M[ale] in his 30s), and our son (M, 4).”

“I don’t typically make things that take 100 dishes or leave a massive mess but there’s usually a couple of pots and pans, some utensils, and a cutting board.”

“After I plate up our meals and serve, we all eat together.”

“My son is old enough to rinse his plate and put it in the dishwasher.”

“My husband always does the same.”

“I end up with all the cooking dishes myself.”

“I have brought this up to my husband and asked if he could do the dishes after I cook as I’m tired from doing the cooking.”

“He says that since I made the mess, I should deal with it myself.”

“I was mad but didn’t ask again.”

“The next night I made dinner that was just enough for me and my son.”

“None for husband.”

“He was confused.”

“I told him if he wasn’t going to do his part for the meal, then he could make his own.”

“I think this is fair! If he thinks cleaning our dishes from our shared meal that I worked to make, then he can handle his own food!”

“I am not a stay-at-home parent.”

“We both work full time and I handle most of the house and kid stuff.”

“His job is manual labor, and mine is a desk job.”

“So am I the a**hole?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to cook for her husband after he refused to do the dishes.

For just about everyone, it was the fact that the OP’s husband said the dishes were her responsibility owing to the “mess” she made, ignoring all the work and effort she put into cooking him dinner.


“‘He says that since I made the mess, I should deal with it myself’.”

“If that’s his view, he can deal with cooking for himself then.”- Apart-Ad-6518


“My husband and I always have shared the responsibility.”

“One of us cooks, and the other cleans up, and when our children were old enough, they pitched in too.”

“Our kitchen is not a restaurant; you’re not getting a full-service meal.”

“Seems fair.”- Peony-Pony


“By your husband’s logic, you should also stop doing his laundry, making his side of the bed, and any other household chores that involve things he uses.”- Trick-Actuator2249


“I think more women should go on strike this way.”

“If he isn’t going to help, then he can just feed himself.”

“Not sure why this is even a problem.”- Unhappy-Prune-9914


“Just because of the ‘you made the mess’ remark.”

“What was his reaction when you didn’t cook for him?”

“Suggest you do a discuss and divide with all chores.”

“My husband hated doing dishes.”

“I hated cleaning bathrooms.”

“We traded our worst chores.”

“For me, doing dishes daily was worth always having spotless bathrooms.”- Holiday_Trainer_2657


“I cook the meals. My partner does the dishes.”

“We are in a relationship where we treat each other with equal respect.”

“We both work, and we both contribute to household chores.”

“I made it clear from the very beginning of our relationship that I was not looking for a partner I would also have to act ‘mother’ to and would not expect him to have to ‘parent’ me.”

“Over 10 years now and going strong.”

“You should really sit down and have a proper conversation with your husband about what you both expect from each other and as a family.”

“Neither of you will benefit from subversive back-and-forth tactics, and your child will pick up on any unhappiness and resentment.”

“Talk to each other and be honest and open.”

“He may have some things he feels he is tackling alone as well.”

“If you can both come to the table and work out a system that works for you both, than your relationship will come out all the stronger for it.”- Possum-Shinanigans

“NTA at all!”

“He’s the a**hole, especially if you work.”

“Also why are you making dinner every night?”

“He should be helping you with that, and just a wild guess here, I bet you do most of the childcare for your son too.”- Positive_Mix_6164


“This is a very reasonable way to handle your valid request for help after you prep & cook, especially after working all day.”

“Apply it to weekends, too.”- Outside-Ice-5665


“Let him cook.”- One-Mission-4505


“If he wants those to be the rules, then he needs to cook 50% of the time.”

“He doesn’t get to expect free food with no effort every night. That’s not how a partnership works!”- Big_Zucchini_9800

“This can go for laundry/etc too.”

“Fight fire with fire.”

“Husband wants dinner.”

“Clean up doesn’t take long.”

“NTA.”- OceanStsr


“Your husband is really disrespectful and I’m sorry you have to deal with that.”

“It also doesn’t set a good example for your son.”

“When my mom would go out of town to visit family, I would make and have dinner with my dad so he would have nice meals and not get take out or frozen while she was away.”

“He ALWAYS did the dishes.”

“He appreciated and respected that I did that for him.”

“We would get excited and plan our meals for the week since I cooked things that he normally would not get often, and we both enjoyed that time together.”- aGirlySloth

“The rule is always the cook doesn’t do the dishes.”

“You make the meal, spouse does the dishes.”

“Your husband doesn’t see it that way?”

“He can cook and clean up after himself.”

“NTA.”- SnooDoughnuts4691


“Is this normal attitude/behaviour for him?”

“Why the hell did you marry this punter, sis?”

“Every boyfriend I’ve had has naturally known that whoever doesn’t cook does the dishes ‘rule’.”

“My parents, before they retired, worked together, self employed.”

“Dad would work 12 hours, and Mum would start later and finish earlier. He always did the labour-intensive part of their business, so she did the cooking and dishes.”

“This worked for them, and it was a fair deal that they were both happy with.”

“Then, as soon as they retired, Dad—on his own volition—took over the dishes.”

“What I’m trying to say was that every guy I’ve dated has not been an a**hole like your husband, and the only times I’ve come across an exception to the whoever doesn’t cook does the dishes rule was my parents where their system was fair to each other, then dad knew to pick up his dues when they retired.”

“You said you have a desk job and your husband has a labour job, but I’m guessing your situation is different from that of my parents, where for them, the work was at the same place and they combined their work and home duties together and divided them fairly.”

“That’s not the case for your husband.”

“Good on you for not cooking for him after that awful statement.”

“Please don’t bend to his selfish ways.”

“You don’t want your kid picking up those attitudes as he grows up, too.”- cornbutterbread

If the OP’s husband can only see a “mess” after all the time and effort she put into cooking him dinner, it’s hard to argue that he deserves to have her cooking for him.

Indeed, perhaps after he attempts to cook himself dinner and then discovers how tired he is, likely being a bit less inclined to clean up afterward, he might appreciate how tired the OP must get doing so every day.

Hopefully, this will eventually lead to him agreeing to divide responsibilities a bit more evenly.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.