Oh, Jaynee, your response made me think. I always find it fascinating when someone tells me their partner is awesome, in every other way, expect where we spend the majority of our time: in the house.

So….you two never fight about anything other than the household responsibilities? He never gets irritated if you are running late? He never harps you about your spending habits? He is brilliant to all of your friends and family all of the time? He dotes on you and lavishes you with gifts and kind words, day in and day out?

If he is so (bloody) awesome, why can he not (let alone want to) change this terrible trait, which causes you so much stress, sadness and difficulty in your day to day living? Positive change sounds like exactly what an ‘awesome’ partner would do, for the love of their life.

I do not understand this concept that there can be this amazing person, who is complete and utter bullshit to their partner, when it comes to running their shared house together, but they are also ‘the dream’ everywhere else. I don’t buy what you are selling my friend.

Letting someone off of the hook from doing domestic duties because they are a ‘slob’ is not a valid excuse; that simply does not make sense to me. What I hear, from your response, is that your partner simply does not respect you enough to do their fair share of work around the house. They deem their time and energy more important than yours and will not put in the work required for a fair, respectful relationship. They also do not seem concerned about your mental health and how much strain they are putting on you daily — that’s not an awesome person.

I think they might also be using the word ‘nag’ to shame you, every time you try to bring this issue up to them, which has so many other control issues associated with it. I do not allow the word nag in my relationship for this very reason: asking for appropriate requests from your partner shows you have self-respect, not that you are a nag.

The options you outlined missed one very fundamental option: respect. If your partner respects you, they will respect your needs, period. They will not say that your only choices are to: do the work for them, ignore it or keep nagging them. There is another, much more powerful option, the decision to wake up every day and be a better version of yourself, for yourself, your partner and the well-being of your household.

And you are right, you are both very clear about what you are choosing, but with the choices you two have made, you are losing and your partner is winning.

My partner, before we moved in together, did not regularly cook, clean or expend energy into his house, but this all changed when we moved in together. He respected the fact that my expectations for how a house should look and run were different and he leveled up. I also respected things he valued and leveled up when he has asked me to.

He also supported me for three and a half year, while I was completing my Masters, by cleaning the bathrooms, buying the groceries and cooking most of the meals, for three years. No one can make me believe that straight men are ‘slobs’ because they are not. They are not some defective form of a human that does not compute common sense, so we cannot degrade them like that.

You are creating justifications and excuses for your partner’s actions and that’s totally understandable. Denial is one hell of an existence and one can live with their amazing, awesome partner their whole lives, because the outside world does not see you refilling empty toilet paper rolls, picking up his dirty clothes or cleaning around him, like the hired help, while he ignores you and is watching television, we just hear about how awesome he is from you. No one knows the inner workings and joy (or lack thereof) of a relationship, except for the two individuals in said relationship.

You are right; you both have made a choice, but I would challenge you on the options you think you have because life is what we allow and expect for ourselves and so many people limit their life by thinking this is as good as it can get, so they will just deal with it (not me, not ever).

Life is amazing and each day can be brilliant, when you are clear with boundaries, respect yourself enough to know how you should be treated and are not scared of calling someone out on their bullshit.

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I write about issues that are near and dear to my heart, with the hope that my stories, experiences, and struggles may empower others: amanlitt.ca