Woman Urged to 'Ruin Her Marriage' Over Husband's Attitude Towards Chores

A 24-year-old married mother of two sets of twins aged 5 and 3 has been backed by Reddit for wanting some time to herself.

In the post, user Chemical-Mess-8-7883 explained that she works from home as a software developer, and also looks after the house and kids. However, she wrote: "My husband (27) always complains that the house isn't up to his standards and that it's a mess or that I sometimes put on frozen meals instead of cooking a fresh dinner."

The user wrote that her husband's job includes physical labor. When he has time off, "all he wants to do is sleep and says he needs it because he is exhausted from work or he wants to use his break to hang with his friends." He describes her job as "easy work."

Stressed out mother
A stock image of a stressed-out mother trying to work at laptop with two kids around. A work-from-home mother of four has had enough of doing all the childcare and house work. evgenyatamanenko/Getty Images

According to a survey of 2,500 working parents by the Harvard Business Review, nearly 20 percent of working parents had to leave work or reduce their hours due to a lack of childcare.

One user advised the poster: "But honey RUIN THIS MARRIAGE. You work full time, take care of 4 kids under 6, cook and keep the house clean FULL TIME?"

Another user wrote: "What is this, the 60s? Wait, no. Even my grandfather didn't do this. [The original poster]'s husband belongs in the freaking stone age."

It is common for women to feel lonely and isolated after having children. A report from the Harvard Graduate School of Education found that, since the COVID-19 pandemic, 51 percent of mothers with young children feel "serious loneliness."

Laura Wasser, a family law expert and chief of divorce evolution at Divorce.com, told Newsweek: "It sounds like there is a serious imbalance here. The woman is doing all the housework and childcare, while the husband is shirking his responsibilities and belittling her work. I think the mother was right in her actions here, everyone needs time to recharge, and it's not fair for her husband to expect her to be on call 24/7.

"The husband had no right to yell and curse at his wife. This is not the kind of communication adults, and parents of young children, should be exhibiting," Wasser added. "If he was overwhelmed with taking care of the kids, he could have communicated that calmly and asked for help.

"It is important that when communicating with her husband, the original poster doesn't just take him back without any discussion about what is going to change," Wasser said. "It's important for the woman to assert her boundaries and communicate clearly about her needs. She can suggest couples therapy or set up regular check-ins to discuss household responsibilities and parenting duties.

"The fact that the husband left without even trying to clean up the mess he made is pretty telling. It's not just about taking care of the kids. It's about being a responsible adult and partner.

"As a divorce lawyer, I have to say that this situation is a red flag for the health of the marriage. It's crucial for both partners to feel respected and valued. If one partner is constantly belittling and neglecting the other, it can lead to resentment and, ultimately, the end of the relationship," Wasser added.

"That being said, if both partners are willing to work on their communication and make a concerted effort to create a more balanced and respectful dynamic, there is hope for the relationship.

"My personal advice to the woman in this case would be to have an honest conversation with her husband about her feelings and needs, and to set clear boundaries and expectations for their relationship moving forward," Wasser said. "If he is unwilling to listen or make changes, it may be time to consider whether this marriage is truly healthy and sustainable."

Newsweek has reached out to Chemical-Mess-8-7883 via Reddit for comment.

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