Men forced women into domestic servitude roles for centuries, but recently, they’ve been expected to step up and contribute equally to the home, as women have stepped up and started contributing financially.
Though many men step up to the plate without complaint, many only go kicking and screaming, using various tools and manipulations to get out of handling basic life tasks.
One woman came to Reddit seeking advice after yet another argument with her partner about household tasks.
He Does the Dishes
The Original Poster (OP) relayed that she’s been with her partner for three years, but chores are a constant point of contention.
He wanted to cook one day, but the kitchen needed cleaning first.
“I asked him if he could clean up his dishes from the day, and I offered to clean the hob and the kitchen side so they would be ready to be used for cooking,” she shared.
But Leaves the Towel
He did the dishes without complaint, but he left the wet dishcloths and sponges in the sink when he finished. OP knew leaving these items in the sink could lead to problems with mold later, so she asked him to hang the cloth out to dry.
The boyfriend couldn’t handle that simple task. “Instead, he stuffed them into a compartment on the drying rack where they obviously wouldn’t dry,” she recalled.
Of course, a scrunched-up wet towel would mold, and it’s evident to anyone who does chores that his solution isn’t ideal, but he couldn’t understand where he went wrong.
He Demands Help, but She Refuses
The partner feigned ignorance, incapable of determining where he could possibly hang a wet dish towel.
“He responded by asking where exactly I wanted him to put them, implying that his choice wasn’t right,” explained OP, refusing to engage in his childish antics.
“I told him that as a grown adult, I simply wanted him to choose somewhere to hang them up himself, as I didn’t want to be responsible for all the decisions.”
She’s the Mean One
OP’s partner couldn’t fathom her refusal to help him with basic life tasks.
“When I told him to figure it out himself, he got really annoyed and accused me of being mean to him,” she recalled, saying that rather than figure out the problem, he stormed off to play video games.
A Common Occurrence
OP reported that similar situations arise all the time, and she’s at the end of her rope.
“I seem to be the only one to remember what groceries we need, remembering to buy toiletries, towels, and bedding laundry, just keeping on top of the household chores in general,” she said, adding that he often misplaces things and expects her to find them for him.
It Gets Worse
His weaponized incompetence and refusal to pull his own weight are only the tip of the iceberg. His behavior at dinnertime showcased the full glory of his selfish entitlement.
OP shared that she let him stew for about 20 minutes, then went and told him she would start dinner. He couldn’t allow OP the satisfaction of doing the chore on her own, though.
“He abruptly came in, grabbed the saucepans and frying pans out of my hands as I was using them, and started swearing at me,” she reported. He complained about how mean OP was while continuing to yell at her and ordering her out of the kitchen.
Then, he had the audacity to tell OP she couldn’t have any of the food he was cooking.
Is OP Wrong?
Was OP wrong for expecting him to figure out a small task on his own? It would have been easy enough for her just to tell him where to hang it or even hang it herself.
She thinks it’s such a small thing to get worked up over. However, she also doesn’t think expecting your partner to handle simple tasks is unreasonable.
At a loss, OP came to Reddit for advice.
OP Justified, Partner Needs to Grow Up
Most users agreed that OP was completely correct in the situation. It may seem like a small task, but small things add up. The partner was clearly using weaponized incompetence to shift his duties to her so that he could do other things.
“OP was being completely reasonable, and he was lashing out because he wants to punish her for expecting him to contribute a tiny amount of mental labor,” said one user. “He hopes he can train you not to expect things from him.”
“This sounds like a clear example of weaponized incompetence, and he’s throwing a temper tantrum because it didn’t work,” added another.
Some Said OP Could Handle the Situation Better
Though most agreed OP was right that her partner should step up, some said she was in the wrong, too, because of the way she handled the situation.
“It would have taken 2 seconds to suggest a place for him to hang the washcloth, and kindness costs nothing,” said one user, explaining that the partner may really not understand the mold issues.
Another said OP sounded passive-aggressive in her response.
Constant Incompetence Wears You Down
While we understand these Redditors’ opinions, we also appreciate an exasperated OP. It’s not hard to figure out where to hang something on your own. Most adults understand that wet things lead to mold. OP shouldn’t have to explain these things to her adult partner.
Additionally, OP stated that this is a constant problem. The partner is constantly forgetting things and refusing to contribute to the household. We get OP’s refusal to do even one more second of mental labor for a fully functioning adult who refuses to figure stuff out independently.
In our view, OP did nothing wrong, but if her partner continues to lash out in fits of rage when he’s expected to do the bare minimum, she should reconsider the relationship.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.