Weaponized incompetence is one of the hot new buzz terms floating around the internet. It describes the phenomena where one partner intentionally messes up a task, so they don’t have to do it anymore.
Typically, a wife will ask her husband to do something, and he’ll fail at it epically. The poor wife will have to clean up his mess and finds it easier to do it herself than to ask him to do it again. The husband then lives life in easy mode on the back of his wife’s labor.
In rare instances, the genders are reversed, and the wife purposely does things poorly to get out of work.
One man took to Reddit, sure that he was right after “jokingly” telling his wife she was weaponizing incompetence.
Original Bargain Filled with Red Flags
The original poster (OP) started by describing the bargain the pair made when they first became serious.
“I (30M) live with my wife (27F), and we have a 2-year-old daughter. We share expenses equally, but since I make more than her (I make 140K and her 100K), we agreed that she would handle meals and indoor cleaning and most of my daughter’s needs.”
Most Redditors caught the red flags in the opening statement that they equally share expenses and both work, but the wife still has to do most of the domestic labor.
“She is doing the lion’s share of the everyday housework and the parenting while also working full time,” stated one user, describing why the OP is a jerk.
“Wait. You EQUALLY split, but because you make more, she is burdened with more chores? I didn’t even have to read past that. YTA,” said another.
Why OP is Upset
When we move on from the horrific opening statement that does nothing to help OP’s case, we learn why he’s distraught.
“My wife is an excellent cook, and she has always made great food for us, for which I am really grateful. We lived together for many years and got married about 2 years ago,” he said. But things changed after they got married.
“But since we got married, she has started neglecting her part of the deal,” he started, sharing that she cleans less, which doesn’t bother him that much, “but she has also started cooking much later, and when I get home, I find her relaxing instead, on weekdays her meals have gradually become more simple.”
Op Tells Wife She’s Using Weaponized Incompetence
It gets worse.
Rather than reflect on why things may have changed (did you note that the opening sentence also mentioned a two-year-old child that the wife is now fully responsible for taking care of?), OP decided to “jokingly” tell his wife she’s not holding up her end of the deal.
“I brought this up gently and did not really accuse her or tell her to do differently, but did suggest that I liked her pre-marriage meals better,” OP began while sharing that he told his wife he still handles his end of the bargain, like taking the cars in for service every three months.
He then said he made a joke about weaponized incompetence and couldn’t understand why his wife got upset.
OP dug himself an even deeper hole, saying, “More than the food, I think what bothered me was the fact that the change happened once we got married, so it felt like she was taking things for granted now that we tied the knot,” neglecting the fact that they brought a whole new human into the world around the same time that his wife is responsible for taking care of.
Actually, The Husband is the Jerk
Redditors destroyed OP in the comments.
“WTF. So you each pay 50/50, but she does ALL of the housework and child-rearing? AND she has a full-time job?” exclaimed one user. “YTA. So, so, so much,” they added, telling OP he’s a giant jerk.
“So they split the chores 20/80 (and that’s a generous assumption) because he makes $40k a year more, but they still each contribute 50%. So I truly don’t understand the so-called logic of making his wife take on the lion’s share of household responsibilities if she still has to contribute 50% to the household finances. This dude is out to lunch,” replied another user.
Another user snidely described the conversation they believe OP must have had with his wife. “‘Darling, since I can save more money for my personal needs than you can, it’s only fair that you also do all the housework. That way, I get more money AND more leisure time. Which is the only logical distribution I think you’ll agree,” they quipped.
Chore Split Way Off
Others mentioned that his chores are simple and don’t need to be completed daily, while hers are time-consuming everyday items.
“It is not the number of items/chores on each person’s list but the daily/weekly frequency and time to complete that has a huge impact. So the wife is working full time like OP, but she is also doing daily child care, daily cooking, and daily cleaning. While OP takes out the trash and cuts the grass weekly and auto care quarts. Not even close!” said one.
“Taking out the trash takes a minute, cooking a meal can take an hour every stupid day. Yard work is seasonal and not daily. Your chores are not evenly divided. YTA” replied another.
Financial Split is Completely Unfair
Others rightly pointed out how unfair the 50/50 split is when he makes so much more than her, and she does the bulk of the work around the house.
“My head is kind of exploding trying to figure out the math here. They both work full-time. They both contribute to bills 50/50- but her making less equals she has to do MORE of the chores?? That she’s not getting paid for. While he makes more and contributes less,” said one user.
Another pointed out that the difference matches the gender wage gap. “The income differential basically matches the rate that women are underpaid compared to men. Urg,” they said.
OP Needs to Step Up
Many users said OP needs to step up. Some said he could help by using the extra $40k he makes each year to hire help.
“Step up as a father and a husband,” advised one Redditor.
“Drop that extra 40k on a house cleaner or something… Don’t hold it over her head like it somehow means something when she’s working far harder for much less,” another user stated.
Many were shocked at the unfairness of the situation, again saying OP needs to do better.
“How is any of this fair? Even though she makes less money, she pays an equal share AND has to take on more of the chores. It should be you who does more around the house!” exclaimed one.
Wife Would Be Better Off Without Him
Many users said they hope the wife wises up to her unfair treatment and leaves him.
“Your wife makes less than you, but you split expenses equally, meaning that she has less income for herself. She does more chores and does more childcare. Where is exactly is her benefit in your situation? She’d be better off single and getting child support,” said one user.
Another plainly stated, “Being a single parent would be less work for her.”
Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.