Calling out a partner for not pulling their weight in the house can be deeply frustrating, particularly if it feels like the conversation keeps happening with no improvement on their end. On one hand, no one wants to feel like they're "in trouble" or being scolded by a parent. On the other hand, no one wants to feel forced to "nag" someone so the workload can feel more equal.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for telling her boyfriend if he doesn't prioritize chores he's creating a s*xist household dynamic. She wrote:
My boyfriend (m35) and I (f33) have been together for a bit over a year and living together for 5 months. Overall, we’ve both shared that we enjoy living together. When it comes to daily housework, we do a good job of sharing tasks like washing the dishes, making the bed, laundry, etc.
There are certain tasks I find myself doing more, like cleaning kitchen surfaces and sweeping, and tasks he does more like mowing and grocery shopping. My issue lies with the less frequent, but equally important tasks. Things like changing the bed sheets, mopping, scrubbing the toilet, wiping down windows and mirrors, wiping off furniture surfaces, cleaning the shower, dusting baseboards, etc.
He has done them just a handful of times since we’ve moved in. He sees me doing them, so he knows they are things that need to be done, and they're overwhelming completed by me. I’ve brought up to him multiple times that I'd like him to contribute more. He usually became defensive or gave excuses. He says because of his ADHD he doesn't notice when it gets dirty or forgets.
In the end, he says he will do better and then takes up some of those tasks for the day, but there's no long-term improvement. Today I found myself again working my a$$ off on these chores. I approached him again about my frustration and he got very defensive and downright angry. we both escalated quickly and it turned into mutual yelling. He again cited his ADHD as the cause.
I said he does amazing at managing his ADHD in his career and in other tasks by using strategies like setting reminders, alarms, putting things into a calendar, etc. He should implement them for housework too if he can't remember. He told me to write him a list of what needs to be done and when.
I said no because I'm not taking on the mental load of being the household manager and sent him a video about how it is unfair when women have to manage and delegate tasks and schedules for their spouse to do their share of the work. Eventually, I just sent him a chore list and schedule I found online because I'm not sitting down for an hour to make one.
The fight dragged on and at one point he brought up that I do things that annoy him too...like when I left a candle burning and a throw pillow got a burn mark (we were both in the room when this happened and the pillow was accidentally nudged from the bed to the nightstand). I thought that comment was unrelated to the real issue.
It ended in me saying I wasn't going to end up in a misogynistic household where the woman is expected to do most of the cleaning and manage when others clean.Am I being unreasonable? AITA?
NTA; He's honestly just being not willing to put in the work and blaming it on his ADHD, which is no excuse. Sure, it can be a factor of some things he may struggle with, but that doesn't actively excuse his lack of responsibility or cleanliness.
As you said, he does well at managing his ADHD career-wise, so there's no reason it shouldn't be a problem at home too. He has to actively work on house chores he struggles with, because if he doesn't there will be no progress.
The more he works on what he struggles with, the better/easier it will get for him to deal with. He needs to do better, you're not in the wrong. Hell, I'd be stressed too in this situation where I'm the main one cleaning.
YTA. You have been living together for 5 months. A lot of the chores you have listed that they are not doing are not daily chores. You admitted that he has done those things a handful of times, while also keeping up on the chores he does more than you.
When he asked you for help to schedule when these things need to be done on an irregular basis, you basically told him to get f#$ked. Then had the audacity to send him a video on mis0gyny?! Grow up, sit down with your boyfriend, and discuss how to divide chores in the future and when they need to be done. Otherwise, end it and go find happiness.
YTA based on your comments it almost seems like you don't like him and just want to be right. There's a difference between someone who doesn't do anything and then wants their s/o to make lists and whatnot. It's entirely different when one person has very specific expectations while refusing to make a basic list outlining it.
Some of what you're saying and doing seems so passive-aggressive and instead of doing a few things in order to achieve the end goal you get mad and put the blame on him. From my pov I can see why certain things fall to the side and they're probably more tedious and easy to lose focus on too as they're more detail-oriented.
People can be incredibly successful in specific areas of life and struggle in others. If you care about this relationship I would recommend looking more at your own behavior and what passive-aggressive behavior in a relationship can look like.
YTA I think. Ummm…you’ve only been living together for 5 months and you’re already cleaning baseboards multiple times? Maybe I’m just a gross human but I definitely don’t clean that often. I did have to learn to compromise a bit with my ADHD fiancé—and realized a lot of my obsession with cleanliness wasn’t really about me but about how I fear being perceived by others.
It might help to have a chill conversation about how clean you both expect the house to be. He’s using his ADHD as an “excuse” but it seems like you might also just have different expectations/cleanliness standards. Also, not fair to make it about men vs. women.
I haven’t seen this comment yet, so I thought I’d throw it in here: there will be some parts of ADHD that can never be worked around, so if you see the symptoms as a huge problem in the relationship, consider ending it. I’m a therapist specialized in ADHD, and I see this a lot where people think that if their partner tries harder to remember, then it will change.
Or if they set enough alarms, they will then be excellent at doing that task. There are a lot of workarounds to accommodate for ADHD, but they take a huge amount of cognitive effort - it is exhausting to be implementing them all the time. So when you note he does it at work, all of the strategies he’s developed to make it work for him drain his energy and cognitive capacity.
To then go home and continue setting alarms and tasks, while not impossible, would be gruelling to engage in. This isn’t a simple case of “he has capacity to do this in one area of his life so…”, because having that capacity takes a hell of a lot of work.
While people can't fully agree on a verdict, one thing seems clear: OP needs to figure out if she actually likes her BF enough to work through this.