A mother on Reddit who couldn't stand her husband's laziness took an unannounced four-day vacation without him to get some much-needed R and R and to teach him a lesson. When she asked the online forum if she did the right thing, they overwhelmingly agreed.
The mother and her husband have been together for eight years and were recently married 15 months ago. They share a four-year-old son. The parents have a hard time coordinating household chores because she works from home and he's on the night shift 'til 1 am every day and doesn't go to bed 'til 4 am.
"It's a struggle," she writes, adding that he "sleeps basically all day until he has to leave for work."
Recently she's noticed that he does whatever he can to get himself out of housework.
"Before this he would make dinner on his days off, take care of ALL of sons needs and do basic cleaning so that I could have a breather. Now he doesnt make dinner at all, falls asleep on the couch by 7 so I have son duty 24/7 and hasnt lifted a finger to clean in weeks. So on my 3 days off a week, I end up having to deep clean my entire house because I dont have time to do anything on my work days aside from the bare minimum."
Two weeks before leaving on her vacation she hit her limit.
"2 weeks ago I asked him for some help. He happily obliged for all of 30 minutes before taking off to go help a buddy with his car and didnt do jack squat after returning home because he 'was tired'. I needed a break. I told him this. His way of comforting me was by hugging me and saying 'You're doing such a good joby'. Didn't offer to help or anything."
His condescension would send anyone on a four-day holiday. So she did just that.
"So, I made a plan. Asked my mom to take my son for 4 days and planned a vacation for myself with work. I dropped my son off yesterday with my mom (i only did this because my husband obviously works) and took off to our cabin 58 miles away to relax."
Her husband couldn't understand why she went on a vacation without telling him. But she had let him know that she needed more support for months.
"My husband started texting me last night asking where I was. I told him the cabin. He asked where our son was so I told him. He then started going off about how this is selfish of me and that if he had realized I wasnt merely stressed out that he would have helped out more. Used the argument that he too is stressed out and tired. He claims my communication on the issue was terrible and that I could have been more open and laid it out."
Then, he had the nerve to say that he could use a vacation, too. This guy clearly doesn't get what's happening in his own home.
"[He] says that I'm an [a**hole] for taking a vacation without him because he "could have used it too". But the thing is, I straight out told him I needed a break. I asked him for help. He disregarded it all."
The responses to her sudden vacation were almost 100% positive.
"Does husband not have eyes? Can he not see what needs to be cleaned, tidied or cooked? Does he not know his child's needs? If he didn't before maybe his 'four day vacation' without a child to care for or a wife to clean up after him opened his eyes," ToTwoTooToo wrote.
"Same with my ex," Minkiemink wrote. "I quietly told him over and over again. Finally realized that if I had to do everything alone, I'd rather be doing it alone with less dishes, less laundry, less mess. Never looked back."
The post resonated with a lot of people because it's a very common problem. According to Gallup, in heterosexual relationships, women are working a lot harder than men.
"Although women comprise nearly half of the U.S. workforce, they still fulfill a larger share of household responsibilities," Gallup said. "Married or partnered heterosexual couples in the U.S. continue to divide household chores along largely traditional lines, with the woman in the relationship shouldering primary responsibility for doing the laundry (58%), cleaning the house (51%) and preparing meals (51%)."
The reason that many men just don't put forth the effort to do housework is that they assume that it's a woman's job and that when a man participates, he deserves a cookie.
"In many marriages, housework for women is assumed, whereas men believe that taking care of their home is optional. When they do something, they see it as helping out their wives and being a good husband, but don't regard it as their actual responsibility," Rob Pascale and Lou Primavera Ph.D. write in Psychology Today. "Instead, they often expect what they do to be noticed and praiseworthy, and sometimes a basis for negotiating other goods and services from their wives."
It's unclear what happened after the mother returned from her much-needed four-day vacation but one should hope that she got her point across. "I need more help," means exactly that.
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