In a now-viral post, one husband is asking the internet for support after his wife returned to work after 47 years leaving him tasked with housework. The internet had little sympathy.
On the Reddit thread, Am I The A**Hole, user @Ashamed_To_Say_ wrote that three years ago he retired and his wife returned to work as a nurse creating an “awkward dynamic.” He said he has “0 experience” doing chores since he and his wife got married and moved in together at age 18 and prior to that he lived with his mother.
“So I legitimately have never had to lift a finger at home til recently,” he wrote.
In 2016, dads made up 17 percent of all stay-at-home parents, up from 10 percent in 1989, according to a 2019 report from Pew Research Center. In a survey from 2017, 76 percent of adults said that men feel a lot of pressure to financially support their families and 49 percent said men felt pressure to be an involved parent. On the flip side, 77 percent said women face a lot of pressure to be an involved parent, and 40 percent said women face a lot of pressure to support their family financially.
The Redditor said that for 47 years his wife packed his lunch and kissed him goodbye as he left for work.
“She was a bit shocked to discover I won’t be doing the same,” he wrote. “She’s had to teach me how to cook, since I had very little experience doing it [none actually], now the only thing I can do well is clean. So that is not an issue. But everything else that she used to do I’m just not capable of.”
He said he thinks the chores should be split evenly.
“In 47 years, he never once paid attention to what she was doing and how she did it. This level of entitlement may have been prevalent among men of this generation, but it’s still absolutely wild,” one commenter chimed in.
“YTA. Are you not capable of learning new things? Who do you think taught your wife?? Hint: us adults usually just figure these things out on our own…,” another Redditor said.
The husband clarified that throughout their 55-year relationship, his wife did work outside the home at some points and before her recent return to work he was not expected to help around the house.
“She didn’t outright ask me to help with chores at first, I just felt awkward sitting there all day and leaving messes. So I cleaned them, and now all of a sudden she expects me to attempt to play housewife,” he wrote.
He said even now, his wife does still clean, cook and grocery shop when needed and revealed that to this day he still hasn’t grocery shopped.
“I have a [newfound] respect for housewives,” he wrote at the end of his post. “I always appreciated my wife, and was impressed by the way she juggles everything. But now that I’m on the other end, it isn’t as easy as it seemed.”
Newsweek reached out to @Ashamed_To_Say_ for comment.