Living with family members can be both a blessing and a curse. While it is wonderful to have loved ones close by, sharing a living space can also come with its fair share of challenges, especially when dividing household responsibilities.
One woman recently took to social media to vent her frustrations about her situation, and she’s not alone.
The woman, who we will call OP, shared that she and her husband built a home a few years ago with extra bedrooms intending to host family members occasionally. However, two of her husband’s siblings are now living with them permanently, and she feels like she is carrying the burden of managing the household for everyone.
As a mother and full-time worker, the load is already heavy enough for her.
The older sibling pays rent but does not contribute to cleaning or participating in household chores. The younger sibling only contributes a little because she is in school and trying to save money.
The woman has repeatedly talked to them about helping out more, but with no changes.
The Final Straw
The woman’s tipping point came after she spent hours cleaning out the pantry and fridge, throwing away expired food and brand-new bags of Costco-sized food. She also had to manage a sick child simultaneously, and everything piled up.
She feels overwhelmed and wants the siblings gone.
When the woman’s husband came home, she vented her frustrations, but he did not understand why she was so upset. He told her she was blowing the situation out of proportion and that they did not have to address it immediately.
The woman felt hurt that her husband did not want to hear about her overwhelming situation, and she was shut down immediately.
Ask For Help
The woman feels like she is being too emotional about the situation and wonders if she is in the wrong. She is seeking advice and help from others.
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Thoughts From Redditors
User M89-90 sided with OP, giving her two options to deal with her husband:
“Since he doesn’t seem to care either way, give him an offer:
“1. Sit down and listen to the issue and come up with a resolution together.
“2. Leave it delegated to OP (as he has been doing), and he and his siblings will be informed of their move-out date + husband responsible for everything in-between now and then.
“This is a mess your husband created. He damn well needs to step up and start cleaning it up. Also, to be very, very clear – spouses don’t have delegation power to other spouses; you’re a partner, not a subordinate.”
Several user replies were also along the same lines, supporting OP and urging her to force more responsibilities upon her husband. Some notable messages are below.
Kissiemoose replied, “Stop doing anything for anyone other than for yourself and your child. If you stop doing your husband’s laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking, then he may realize there is a problem.”
Any-Music-2206 piled on, “ Go on a long break just OP, leave kid & siblings for husband to manage, so he understands what you have been dealing with.”
KaliTheBlaze suggested some desperate measures like locking up the refrigerator and confronting the siblings,
“It sounds like he doesn’t care because it doesn’t affect him – you’re the one carrying the majority of the load. So stop. Take care of yourself and your kid, and everyone else has to figure out their own shit. You may (and by may, I mean almost definitely will) need to get a lockbox to go in your fridge to keep them from consuming the food you buy for you and your kid, and a similar one in the pantry. Do only what is necessary for you two. As for the others, you can tell them that when they choose to be contributing adults, you can all work together as a household, but they are not your children, and you won’t tend them as if they were. Make an announcement and do it.”
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Finding a Balance Is Challenging
Many people can relate to this woman’s situation. Living with family members can be a challenge, especially when it comes to dividing household responsibilities. Finding a balance that works for everyone is challenging.
The woman’s husband may not fully understand the weight of the situation, and this lack of understanding can make the woman feel unsupported and alone.
Sage_Planter chimed in with her own experience to help the OP ease some pressure on herself.
“When I was in a similar(ish) situation, I learned to ask myself “What’s the worst that can happen?” I put a lot of pressure on myself to be a perfect homemaker, and even though my ex and his kids (not mine) barely helped, I ran myself ragged trying to get everything done. I started taking a step back and asking, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Like, if I didn’t rush out to get his kid’s favorite foods before his custody time, either they’d eat what we had, or he’d go get it himself. That question just helped me stop doing the things I felt pressured to always get done.”
Finally, user ImStealingTheTowels rounded out the advice by once again putting the responsibility squarely on the husband’s shoulder:
“As it is with so many posts like this: the problem here is your husband.
“He should be listening to you and putting his foot down with his sisters; instead, he’s telling you to suck it up and get on with it. I wonder how he’d feel if they were your siblings and he was the one having to deal with their laziness.”
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Couples need to have open communication and work together to find a solution that works for both parties. It is crucial to validate each other’s feelings and work towards a common goal. If one person feels overwhelmed or unsupported, it can negatively impact the relationship.
CancelAfter1968 agreed but wanted the OP to include the siblings in the open communication model.
“NTA. You all need to have some kind of family meeting. There are 4 adults in that house. That means you split the chores 4 ways. That includes your husband.
“If they don’t agree, STOP doing things for them. Cook, clean, laundry, etc. Just do it for you and your kids. They can do their own.”
Thousands agreed that the woman was not blowing the situation out of proportion. She has a right to express her feelings and should not be shut down or invalidated. Her husband must listen to her and work together to find a solution.
Living with family members can be challenging, but finding a balance that works for everyone with open communication, understanding, and compromise is possible.
What are your thoughts about this situation?
Inspired by this original Reddit thread.
Featured Image Credit: EdZbarzhyvetsky /Depositphotos.com.
This article was originally published on Ash & Pri.