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I've become a wifeworker

(225 Posts)
homhumherewego Thu 19-Oct-17 12:31:53

I am 29 years old. I am educated to postgraduate level. I earn four times his salary working half the hours which is why I feel so guilty about this argument we had over wifework.

I pay the bills because he has his own place but spends 90% of his time at mine.

I plan and cook the meals. And then wash up afterwards.

I do and pay for the food shop.

I do the laundry.

I clean (rarely tbh).

I feel like such a bitch but yesterday I exploded at him.

He said I should ask if I needed help.

I was furious it would be described as help.

I feel guilty as fuck because I earn more for much less hours but I just dont like this dynamic.

Its been going on for a year now.

None of the DIY stuff around the house has been done.

He has experienced some traumatic stuff this past year.

He also works really long hours.

So I feel guilty but....

At the same time I am not a fucking mother substitute.

I dont think this is fair and now I feel angry that I feel guilty.

Im confused.

I was an independent, well educated and intelligent woman.

Now I just feel like a nagging wifeworker.

I never thought I would be like this.

Im angry at what I perceive as him having turned me into this when I know I need to take responsibility.

He's a gentle and kind man otherwise.

But he essentially has to worry about nothing other than his work.

I need guidance and reassurance.

MaximumVolume Thu 19-Oct-17 12:43:50

Some initial thoughts: It's more complicated than normal as you technically don't live together. In the first instance I'd suggest perhaps asking him to spend more nights at his own place both on his own & the two of you. Do you ever go there? Any reason why not?

Are you working 20hrs & him 40, or are you nearer full-time with him working a ridiculous week?

If it's the former, he needs to pull his weight much more & not see your fewer hours as accommodating his lifestyle. If the latter, he needs to appreciate he can't just pass the burden on. How would he manage without you to cook & do laundry?

Aquamarine1029 Thu 19-Oct-17 12:48:00

End it. Now.

ThymeLord Thu 19-Oct-17 12:48:11

Why would you feel like "a bitch" for losing your temper with somebody who is completely taking the piss out of you? I would also be furious at him describing pulling his weight as help. It isn't help because it isn't your job so therefore he cannot help with it. Is this the life you want for yourself?

Calvinlookingforhobbs Thu 19-Oct-17 12:49:33

End it.

upperlimit Thu 19-Oct-17 12:51:44

Don't have kids with this guy.

I was an independent, well educated and intelligent woman.

Nothing about him being incapable/ unwilling to look after himself changes the above ^^

Hermagsjesty Thu 19-Oct-17 12:54:57

You should be furious. His behaviour is completely unacceptable.

lionsleepstonight Thu 19-Oct-17 12:55:02

Why has he 90% moved in but then not paying his share in terms of money and household jobs?

He either moves back to his and you see each other equally at each others houses or he moves in and you split bills and tasks accordingly.

Butterymuffin Thu 19-Oct-17 12:57:21

Have you been planning ever to move in together? Or get married? Because it strikes me that on threads with this situation and the sexes reversed, the advice would generally go 'share your money; the higher earner pays proportionally more into the shared pot; but housework and other domestic tasks should be shared equally'. In your current situation you're doing too much of the organising and housework, for sure. But you also need to look at the overall financial situation, and what your longer term plans are.

homhumherewego Thu 19-Oct-17 12:58:11

Thank you so much for your replies.

I've spent the morning feeling like I'm going mad.

He seemed shocked at my outburst which made me feel mean.

He then immediately did the washing up which is good but I just dont feel I should have even had to express this.

He comes from a family where his mum babied him.

He works 40 hours and I work about 20.

upperlimit Thu 19-Oct-17 13:00:08

So he works normal hours not really long hours?

Akire Thu 19-Oct-17 13:00:21

He should be paying at least half the food bills and do half food cleaning work. You are not his maid.

homhumherewego Thu 19-Oct-17 13:00:40


Yes, we want to move in but I want this to all be crystal clear and a new dynamic in place before we do.

The money isn't an issue, I just threw that in because to me it enhances the injustice of it, but of course I believe that when the time comes it's only right I pay proportionately more.

I suppose I was just wondering if time spent on household stuff should also be divvied up proportionately, like with money.

MaximumVolume Thu 19-Oct-17 13:03:52

That's what I was thinking, @Lionsleepstonight but I'm not sure it's a good idea to move in together at this point. On the info presented it's clear the situation isn't at all fair but not clear how they've got into it.

He's running his own place & paying bills. I guess the majority of those will require paying however many nights he's there.

He's eating your food most days; why? Is he really hard-up? Has the trauma you mentioned put him in a position where he's just not pro-active in any way? Does he buy random stuff and maybe think that's his contribution?

At this point I don't think it's a complete no-hope situation. If I were you I'd make sure he knows exactly what's what. If he's at yours he isn't a guest & needs to pull his weight physically & financially. Set some outcomes you'd like to see in six months time & reassess then.

I've seen people get into ruts, especially after trauma. What will make the difference is how he responds long-term when you try to alter course to a fairer situation.

Motoko Thu 19-Oct-17 13:06:02

Stop doing his washing. You should be paying the bills, as it is your place, he will still be paying the bills at his place. Groceries should be split between you, although you should pay a larger share as you will still be eating the food and using the loo roll/soap/washing powder etc when he's not there.

Go and stay at his more often, or have him over at yours less.

Before you move in together, you need to have a chat about how things will be shared out. You absolutely MUST do this.

MerryMarigold Thu 19-Oct-17 13:07:00

I suppose I was just wondering if time spent on household stuff should also be divvied up proportionately, like with money.

Yes, I think it should. I work p/t and dh works full time, long hours and long commute. I still get a lot more 'free' time than him as he does quite a lot but I do end up doing more than him so it's not 50:50 and it shouldn't be. Just wait till there are kids in the mix!

Finola1step Thu 19-Oct-17 13:07:17

He's got it made. A woman who earns decent money, who cooks, cleans, shops, does the laundry etc. And the icing on the cake? His own bolt hole that he can escape to every now and then. He has fallen on his feet and then some.

Do you really expect him to change? Why would he when he has such a cushy number? Yes, you will see temporary improvements but he will soon slip back to his preferred ways. The fact that he has sat back and watched this happen over a period of time speaks volumes about the man.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Thu 19-Oct-17 13:09:03

Fair enough to expect him to undertake some housework or diy and absolutely he should be contributing to bills.

I think he should just commit to moving in or getting your own place. What a waste of money for him to have a property (and bills) yet very rarely be there. confused

However, I'd be happy to undertake the bulk of housework in your position because you work much fewer hours. That's nothing to do with being a woman, just that you have way more free time.

LewisThere Thu 19-Oct-17 13:10:15

Two positions
- he is at your house s a guest. Therefore I would expect him to step ask what he can do, propose to do xxx, to pay for the food, to cook dinner. Because as a guest, you do just live at someone else house for months wo proposing to pay some of the food and giving some help. That would be just plain rude.


- he his there as your BF, and you are basically sharing a house together (even if he still has his own flat). In this case, I would expect him to do all the above wo even asking.

There is no need to feel guilty (the fact you earn more has nothing to do with it. You could be earning 100x more or a 100x less that it would make no difference at all on how involve he should be in the running fo the house).
You are not being mean by stating what yur expectations and boundaries are. Not dong so would mean a life time of being resentful.

I would have a chat with him and set out ground rules as to what you expect. If you are to live together, then this is wahtbis going to happen. Incl the fact this is a shared RESPPONSIBILITY and he is NOT HELPING.
I would review the idea of the DIY. Please don't let off the hook for doing nothing at all on the ground he uses a screwdriver once or twice in the year!
Then review whether he can actually raise up to that.

Leomonnaise Thu 19-Oct-17 13:10:57

He seemed shocked at my outburst which made me feel mean

Yeah my OH always looks shocked when I lose it....even though the same request may have been asked of him 10-15 times.

scootinFun Thu 19-Oct-17 13:11:21

You need to set boundaries split shopping costs he does laundry etc

whiskyowl Thu 19-Oct-17 13:11:50

It's completely unreasonable for him to do nothing around the house. It's also unreasonable for him to offload all of the mental work of figuring out what needs to be done and communicating it onto you.

You say he's been "babied" (gah, why do mothers make their own sons unmarriageable? WHY?). Does he have the attitude that he's willing to change for this relationship? Or is he the type of man who will turn around and say "Well, dirt doesn't bother ME, therefore it's YOUR work".

If the latter, get rid and save yourself years of toil, pain and heartache. If the former, you will still need to teach him what needs to be done and when, but it is doable if he is prepared to listen and adjust - and that means remembering to do things the next day, and the next so you only have to go through it once.

RatRolyPoly Thu 19-Oct-17 13:16:16

For me this would be a dealbreaker, over and above the million other MN scenarios that see the majority baying "LTB!"; for me, I could not be with this man.

Saying you should ask for help if you needed it?? Jesus, I'd boil over. I'd be so conflicted and so angry inside, no matter his personal qualities I would forever be tearing my hair out over whether I loved myself for being so strong and capable as to be "providing" so adeptly, or hated myself for being such a doormat! Nope, it's a non starter for me. Life doesn't have to be like this. You can have kind and gentle and knows how to function as part of a domestic partnership. Christ, it's not rocket science to not treat your partner like a skivvy!

Halfdrankbrew Thu 19-Oct-17 13:16:25

I've been in a similar position, I'm also post grad educated and was earning more etc. I was working longer hours though and still doing all the household tasks!!! We are now married and have 2 children and I literally do everything around the house (I'm on maternity leave), he does nothing. You really need to lay down some ground rules now unless you want to fall into the trap I have. My husband has also had EVERYTHING done for him by his mother so I guess he just takes it for granted I've picked up where she left off. If I had a pound for every time I say "I'm not your mother" I'd be very rich indeed.

Get your partner to do his fair share, if he wasn't with you he'd have to do these things for himself, do it now before the bad habits are formed!!

Jackiebrambles Thu 19-Oct-17 13:17:05

This is a slightly odd dynamic because you don't live together. But you are acting like you do.

The fact that you don't have kids but that you already have this dynamic is also a bit strange to me. What i mean is there has been no maternity leave to pitch you into the 'you have more time at home therefore you do all the wife work'. I can only imagine it has happened because you work half the hours he does (good for you btw, sounds ace).

I don't think I did very much house work at my boyfriends before we moved in together - I had my own place to look after! We'd of course cook/tidy up together and that would be 50/50.

I think you really need to spend more time at his! Not sure why he would do DIY at your place?? Surely you would do it if it's your place?

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