Are you ever at a loss when it comes to understanding your partner’s expectations? Or maybe you feel like your partner’s standards are simply impossible to meet? Well, you’re not alone. A similar discussion has been making the rounds on social media, highlighting the challenges that arise when couples have vastly different views on household cleanliness and parenting responsibilities.
In this case, OP, a stay-at-home dad, and his working wife have been clashing over how clean the house needs to be and how often their children should bathe. While the wife has exceptionally high standards for cleanliness and hygiene, the husband believes that some of her expectations are unrealistic and that he is doing what is reasonable.
To set the scene, OP and his wife have been married for 3 years. They have two children, who are 2 years and 1 year old. He describes his wife as a clean freak who keeps the house as a model home. OP did not know this about his wife before marriage.
Describing this further in his post, OP says,
“She is the reason why our house looks like a model home. She hates dishes in the sink, while I’m content to let them sit for a couple days. She spends her off days scrubbing bathrooms because, in her mind, they should be cleaned weekly. She doesn’t let me bring my shoes inside and insists I shower immediately when I get home before laying in bed.”
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OP describes being a stay-at-home dad who quit work when the younger child was born. His wife works 40 to 80 hours a week. Around this time, his wife’s expectations of cleanliness started causing disagreements between them. He mentions,
“She expects me to do most of the chores now when it used to be primarily her, and I wouldn’t mind if they were reasonable. She wants the children to have a bath every day, and I think every 1-3 days is fine. She wants all of their toys put away by the end of the day, and I think there is no point when it will be a mess again. She wants the dishes done daily. She wants all house bedding washed weekly. She wants me to vacuum weekly.”
He also adds that,
“Because I don’t play along with most of her demands, she ends up being the one to do most of the housework when she gets home or her rare off days.”
Things came to a head when the wife came home from work and found that the dishes hadn’t been washed, there was still grease and food in some of the pans, and the trash cans hadn’t been brought in from outside. She flew off the handle, calling her husband lazy and a slob, and even suggested that he return to work so they could afford to hire a weekly housekeeper and nanny.
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The OP feels hurt and angry, feeling like his wife’s expectations were unreasonable and that she was overreacting. But is he right? Well, that’s up for debate.
Here’s what Redittor’s had to say.
User Suspiscious-Hat6285 chided the OP for being lazy.
“You’re a stay-at-home father. All of the stuff you listed that she wants is normal things an adult does. Your standards are too low. YTA. Bathe your kids.”
BexclamationPoint took a more neutral approach, asking the OP to negotiate and at least do the bare minimum.
“I would say the wife’s standards on some cleaning areas are unusually high (not TOO high, just on the high end of what’s reasonable), so I disagree with those saying her preferences are totally normal and everyone does it that way. But OP’s standards are way too low, to the point that he can’t even tell the difference between which things really just need to be done this way and which are areas where his wife is more particular than average, where it might be fair to negotiate or leave those tasks to her if she feels so strongly. Your wife is not objectively right about all of this, but you are pretty completely in the wrong.”
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User FlyingWithAliens disagreed, saying that OP’s standards are too low and worried about his mental health.
“Your standards are too low. I am someone who genuinely has always struggled with keeping my environment clean.
Dishes should be done every day
The house should be vacuumed like every other day not even weekly
Mopping every few days is normal
Washing yourself before getting into bed is my preference as well.
Washing sheets weekly is standard
Picking up all the toys and putting them completely away at night is incredibly good for your mental health.
Kids are definitely washed every day. Soap is every other day.
The PJ thing tho? There’s definitely one day a week on the weekends where we’re all in pjs all day. Are you doing this EVERY day?
Based on your standards, I am actually wondering if maybe you’re depressed or have ADHD. I have ADH,D and I know that doing the BARE MINIMUM isn’t easy. Maybe talk to someone and see if you can work through this.”
NuclearSky went nuclear, siding completely with the wife, saying
“Every single thing you listed as her cleanliness standards are very reasonable in my book – they are the same standards I have in my home. If I had children, they would likely be stricter since kids touch everything, put stuff in their mouths, roll around on the floor, etc. In my book, I would consider you a slob.
“Right now, your wife is coming home to a place where she doesn’t feel comfortable living in. Regardless of how you feel about cleanliness, SHE ISN’T COMFORTABLE IN HER OWN HOME. That, in my opinion, supersedes your disagreement about cleanliness standards. Think of how you would feel in her place.
“From what I’m reading here, you’re a SAHD, and you’re not keeping up your end of the bargain. If you don’t think you should clean that often, then she’s right – you should go back to work and hire someone to help keep your house clean.”
Overall, hundreds of Redittors urged the OP to reconsider his lazy habits and help out more around the house, even if it is not to the exact standards of his wife.
Ultimately, it’s clear that this couple needs to have a frank and open discussion about their expectations and responsibilities regarding running their household and raising their children. While it’s essential to have a clean and healthy environment for their family, it’s also crucial that they find a way to share the workload in a way that feels fair and sustainable for both partners.
So what do you think? Is the husband justified in his feelings, or is the wife in the right to expect a higher level of cleanliness and hygiene?
Inspired by this thread.
Featured Image Credit: AllaSerebrina /Depositphotos.com.
This article originally appeared on Ash & Pri.