Housework isn’t fun for anyone, but when couples decide to live together, it’s an inevitable part of cohabiting. Although there’s been some progress in societal attitudes to women in the last 50+ years in parts of the world, the home is one area that is often still seen as a woman’s domain. Although some men do help out their partners at home, there are many other stories of men slacking off with housework.

One woman strongly felt this imbalance after she moved in with her boyfriend. It was particularly noticeable to her because she described him as “very competent living alone,” although after moving in together, he’d “started pretending to be bad at basic life (stuff) like dishes and laundry.” This led to her doing more of the tasks, and she became fed up. So she called him out on this, but to her surprise, he claimed to just be bad at chores.

Once again, she didn’t believe this, which led him to defend himself and say that she was wrong for suggesting he was trying to manipulate her. That’s when she decided to try another approach — believing him.

She began to drastically lower her standards of living and pass off mistakes as simple accidents. Well, the shock of not having someone fix things after him must have been too much as he suddenly had higher standards of his own and actually began to pull his weight around the house.

Satisfied that he changed his behavior, the woman then began to feel guilty for her “petty” approach, so she took to Reddit’s popular “Am I the A**hole” subreddit in December 2021 to see if she was in the wrong. On the contrary, people praised her as a “genius.”

For Illustration Purposes Only (With Models) — istockphoto.com/nicoletaionescu

In the post, the woman claimed that her boyfriend had a “purposeful incompetence about chores.” After pretending to be bad at basic life tasks after moving in together, she became “frustrated” and told him she “knew he didn’t forget how to clean since he moved in with (her)” and that she “didn’t appreciate him ‘forgetting’ how to do chores.” She explained the situation as: “he can’t do it so I do it.”

But rather than fess up, the boyfriend “said that he was trying his best and (she) was wrong for saying he was trying to manipulate (her).” He added that she had “impossibly high standards and he couldn’t win” and that he wanted her to “believe him when he says he is trying.”

So she decided to do just that. This led to a few incidents where she drastically lowered her standards, to the dismay of her boyfriend. She explained:

“He had bleach stained my favorite little black dress. Instead of getting mad, next time he had a family event, I put it on. He asked me if I was really going to wear that, it looked messy. I said that I loved that dress and understand accidents happen … I said if he wants he could sharpie on the white spots real quick in the Uber. It ended up looking even worse.”

Another moment happened when she cooked food for a work party of his. She had asked him to put the dish in the fridge after it cooled, but he had forgotten it overnight. She said it would be fine to eat and that “there wasn’t a lot of meat in it.” He became frustrated and said, “You can’t serve meat left out overnight even if it is ‘only a little.'”