Hax: Unbalanced wife is more like it

The Washington PostAugust 29, 2013 

Are there letter-writers you wonder about to this day? While I’m away, readers nominate some who stayed in mind.

Adapted from an online discussion:

Carolyn: I’ve finally put my foot down and told my husband he needs to increase his share of the work, or else. We each estimated the hours we put toward housework and kids. I do almost 60 percent of the work. I excluded things on his side that I don’t really call work, because he enjoys the solitude (lawn care, weeding, finances, cooking, etc.). He doesn’t think that’s right.

I also don’t buy his argument that he works 10-15 hours more than I do at his job each week. That is a career choice, and while it enables him to earn far more money than I do, it doesn’t excuse him from his share of housework.

Short of threatening divorce, how do I convince him he is wrong? I threw this out to friends and family; everyone agrees with me.

VA.

If you’re softening your hands while you do dishes, then you can’t count that toward your workload, either.

Here’s a definition that works on Earth: Anything you wouldn’t already be doing for leisure counts as housework. Period.

And if your husband carries 40 percent of the load after you’ve excluded yard work, cooking and finances — and if he’s carrying that underrated load while working longer hours (for more money) — then you owe him one of the fattest apologies ever owed a spouse. Not just for being disrespectful and you-centric, but also for dragging his domestically generous self through the mud of everyone you know in a quest for approbation.

Carolyn: I probably should have included this: I don’t want to say I did him a favor by marrying him, but that’s not far from the truth. I’m much better-looking than he is, much smarter and have a much better personality. We have an unbalanced marriage, and I expect him to compensate for that. So even if he is doing slightly more work, I don’t think that comes close to what he really owes this marriage. VA.

You officially can’t be real.

Email tellme@washpost.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

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