A frustrated woman has detailed the drastic action she took to combat her boyfriend’s work-shy attitude around the house—and it would appear she’s not alone in taking such extreme steps.
While the disparity may have reduced in recent decades, research indicates that women have always done more around the house.
In 2015, the University of Maryland found that in 1965, women did an astonishing 6.8 times more housework than their male partners. The gap may have reduced but the study indicated modern women still do 1.7 times more chores.
However, it’s clear that women are increasingly rejecting what was once the societal norm when it comes to housework. One such example recently arose on Reddit, where a woman detailed the unique approach she took to help her boyfriend get out of his bad habits around the house.
According to the post, her partner, who is now her fiancé, used to be “terrible at picking up after himself.” A self-confessed “mama’s boy,” he moved straight from his parents’ to their shared home with little to no experience of fending for himself.
It took just a couple of weeks before the arguments began, with the girlfriend accusing him of treating her like “his maid.” The boyfriend, however, insisted they “both clean up equally” and suggested they “split the house” with him taking care of one half and her the other.
Sensing an opportunity to prove her point, the woman said she took his suggestion “literally” by getting out a painter’s tape and dividing “every single room in half.” Though they initially agreed on splitting things for a month, she said that it took “not even a week” before his half of the house was “a pigsty.”
Worse still, her boyfriend ended up with no food in the house because she “stopped grocery shopping and cooking for him” to further prove her point. The message got through.
“He bought me flowers and chocolate, apologized for his behavior and started learning how to be an adult,” she said. “We are eight years into this relationship and he is an amazing man, we are about to get married.”
Responding to the story on social media, one self-proclaimed “ex-mommas boy” was appreciative of the woman for taking this approach. “Thank you so much for doing this for him,” he wrote. “I didn’t figure this out until I was forced to live on my own for the first time…You gave him the opportunity to learn and he took it with both hands.”
Others shared stories about how they took similar steps, though it didn’t always work out quite so well. Affectionate_Let8218 recalled how “after three years of living with a very messy and dirty man,” she one day just “stopped cleaning up after him.” She wrote: “A month later he informed me we should end things. I took pictures of our home to ensure I’d never go back to him.”
Strayanddanger shared a similar story, writing: “I basically tried this and he didn’t give a s*** about the mess, my feelings, or fairness and so we got divorced eight years into our relationship.”
Themoonmarsandme took a “less extreme” approach and “suggested we keep a household labor timesheet.” It did the trick. “Either I was misjudging the disparity from the start (unlikely but not impossible) or he shifted into high gear as soon as he saw my 10+ hours/week in a spreadsheet.”
For some women responding to the post, living with a messy partner was simply unacceptable.
Devilsphilanthropist recalled how she took photos of her “filthy unhygienic” ex’s home and kept them for reference any time she ever began to even think about taking him back. “Every day coming back to a clean house fills me with a certainty that I made the right decision,” she said.
But despite everything, a selection of Redditors like Illustrious_Safety25 praised the man for ultimately taking “accountability” for his actions. “Now look, a wonderful relationship and marriage will soon foster!! If only everyone could swallow their pride.”
Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.
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