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'AITA for refusing to keep doing chores for my wife until she apologizes?'

'AITA for refusing to keep doing chores for my wife until she apologizes?'


'AITA for refusing to keep doing chores for my wife?'


I (28m) and have been married to my wife 'Bella' (28f) for 5 years. We both met and went to the same college. She was pre-law while I was doing animation. She graduated top of our class and went to a T20 law school. While she was in law school, I had a lot of trouble finding a job in my field or a job at all, really.

I ended up working in a kitchen as a line cook to help support us (in addition to loans she took out) while she was going to school so she could just focus on her classes.

Bella got a very good job in a different state after she graduated, so I quit my job and haven't gotten another one since. We have no kids, a nice house for the two of us, and are overall living very very comfortably.

She works very long hours, so I take care of most of the household things. Cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, re-painting the walls and doing other work and renovations to the house.

In the last 6 months Bella's started referring to me as her 'house husband' around our family and friends. I've mostly been letting it go but every single time it bothers me. I'm already insecure about not being able to find a good job and it makes me feel even more inadequate.

I finally got to the end of my rope when we were with her mother on Sunday, who still doesn't really approve of me. They were talking about taking care of the lawn/garden and she said, 'Thank goodness I have a house husband for that or I'd never find the time' and smiled at me. Then they both laughed. It was humiliating.

I didn't say anything at first but I guess she could tell that I was really upset and asked what was wrong. I told her that she needed to stop emasculating me and making it seem like I didn't contribute anything to the household.

We were arguing back and forth and she told me that she would stop calling me a house husband if I was going to 'get that upset about it' but that it wasn't an untrue term and I needed to stop being insecure.

Bella refuses to apologize. I feel like she doesn't fully appreciate my value as her husband. I've stopped doing the chores until she apologizes and she is beyond p*$sed off. She's been coming home and cooking dinner (only for herself) and doing the chores I haven't and then taking off to spend the night at a friend's house.

I was talking to my sister about it and she told me that Bella was wrong but I was being immature in my response. The thing is, if I give in she's going to keep thinking that what she's been doing is okay. I don't even know anymore. AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


… but you ARE a house husband. And uh, what exactly is emasculating or insulting about that?? Are you saying doing housework is insulting? Or is it emasculating because it’s usually women who do it?

You are the one saying you don’t contribute without realizing you’re doing all of the household chores which is ABSOLUTELY contributing. Someone has to do housework and it is essential and extremely valued.

Bella isn’t in the wrong. You are. You’re putting certain views and honestly sexist connotations onto your very important and valued contributions. It’s your perspective that needs to change.

You’re a house husband. That’s a good thing. She makes money you do chores. Why is that a bad thing? House husbands are valuable and important, as are house wives. Get over yourself and stop being an a**hole to your wife for making a little comment that is 100% accurate. YTA.


NTA. I will give you the same response I would if the genders were reversed. Housework is serious labor and your wife should not be diminishing the sacrifices you have made for your family. She is in the wrong.

That said, I think probably rather than continue your labor strike you should sit down with her and talk through your feelings. Maybe it would be worth looking for a new job and splitting chores for your own sense of identity and worth.


She didn’t say “thank god I have a house husband” and then not laugh about it. She chose to use the term in a completely obviously way that was aimed at belittling him. You would have to be a dunce to not see that.


Your ego is very fragile isn’t it.


I perceived that the wife was intending to acknowledge what OP does around the house and is validating his role, not the opposite. “Housewives,” after all, have long fought for the role to be respected and while I don’t like either term much if I think of “housespouse” I actually find it kind of sweet. I don’t think there’s any wrong with the concept behind the term.

That said, I’m supportive of OP not liking the term and that his wife should stop using it, and I fully agree with your last paragraph.


YTA and the only person emasculating you is yourself.

She cannot simultaneously acknowledge your work at making the lawn look good while “making it seem like you don’t contribute anything to the household”.

Get a therapist who specializes in how the patriarchy demeans men.


ESH. If you've been candid with her about your insecurities about not having a job, her referring to you as a 'house husband' and laughing about it is needlessly belittling and insensitive. If the gender roles were reversed, nobody would be defending her on this.

But your sister is right, it's incredibly immature and unproductive of you to try and 'prove your worth' and get her to appreciate you by intentionally not contributing to the household at all. Neither of your behavior is OK, swallow your pride, sit down with her, and work through this.

So, do you think the OP's husband needs to reassess how he respects stay at home partners or is his wife possibly rubbing it in his face?

Sources: Reddit
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