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Boyfriend doesn't treat me like an equal partner and expects me to slog at home

Tagged as: Big Questions, Dating, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (5 January 2018) 10 Answers - (Newest, 7 January 2018)
A female United Kingdom age 26-29, *iami2691 writes:

My partner and I have been together for seven years, engaged for two. It’ll be two years this coming April since we bought a house together, he is in the military and I work full time in banking. Unfortunately, I’m starting to resent him with regards to house hold chores. He earns more so pays the larger bills such as mortgage and tax (which he said he would do and he has recently been promoted so earning even more), however as stated I work full time, I pay the gas, electric, water and shopping bills but rather than support each other like a partnership he expects me to cook, clean, do the laundry, wash the dishes etc to (in his words) “make up for the fact” that I can’t pay as much as him alough when he is on base he only works 4 days out the week and is always home before me but never lifts a finger round the house, even as I’m writing this I have the flu and he still expected me to make dinner.

Really starting to feel miserable, he doesn’t listen and feels like he doesn’t see me as a partner. What do I do?

View related questions: engaged, military

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A female reader, YouWish United States +, writes (7 January 2018):

YouWish agony auntAlso, food for thought:

If he's paying a Mortgage and tax, I would question whether or not he's paying more than you are. Grocery/Food bills can easily match or even overtake a mortgage, especially if someone is a big eater. Unless you live in an expensive house in a rich neighborhood, The split is closer to 50/50 than he's willing to admit. He pays one big bill vs. your BUNCH of smaller bills. It's like the ants swarming the single fly.

That guy is full of shit.

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A female reader, YouWish United States +, writes (7 January 2018):

YouWish agony auntWOW. What a complete shitheel he is.

He isn't the only one paying bills in that household, and if he's the sole owner to the house, he's really paying HIMSELF and using you to prop the rest of his income. He's shafting you in more ways than one. (Sorry!)

Call your parents, friends, relatives, and get out of there now. Separate ALL of your funds from his, shut down any joint bills (i.e. cell phone, Netflix, gym membership), and exit out of there.

I am telling you this -- even if he looks for you and cries and promises change and all of that, he has SHOWN his true colors to you. Any change he pantomimes will be temporary, and he will revert back to type because this was how he was raised.

He does NOT see you as a partner, but as a servant. Forcing you to cook while you have the flu? That's outrageous! If he's like men I have met, they turn into babies when they're sick, wanting to be fed, tucked in, and ultra-pampered!

You can support yourself. You have a job that allows for independence. Don't give your best years to this asshat.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (7 January 2018):

Honeypie agony auntWell, I guess it's better you find this out now before marriage and kids.

If I were you I'd start looking to get all my ducks in a row and move out.

That he think he can compare cooking to paying bills is just beyond me, it's stupid "logic" that suits HIS narrative nothing more.

Him cooking a couple a night a week or SHARING the house chores are NOT the same as not wanting to pay bills. What a load of BS.

Sorry, OP It must suck to have been with this guy for this long only to find out that he doesn't believe you have as much "value" as he does.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (7 January 2018):

N91 agony auntI don't blame you.

Get all your things in order and get out of there. Spend some time working on yourself and getting where you want to be before putting yourself back into the dating pool and finding someone who isn't a lazy, disrespectful asshat.

Good luck for the future

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A female reader, Miami2691 United Kingdom +, writes (7 January 2018):

Miami2691 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you for the responses, I just tried to talk to him again about it saying it would be nice if he could even do some cooking a couple days a week or help out somehow and the response I got from him was as follows:”You don’t want to cook sometimes? So what I don’t want to pay bills sometimes doesn’t mean I can phone the bank and tell them I want a couple days off from it.”

So in conclusion I’ve come to realise he will always have this attitude and not see me as an equal partner, so I will not be marrying him.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2018):

Woah! That's awful. I work full time my husband less, he looks after our son. we split housework chores as we both make the mess. I earn more so more bills come out of my bank but that's not a factor in housework, that's just common sense. It's our money, not mine and his.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (7 January 2018):

Honeypie agony auntLet's look at it this way.

The house is in HIS name, right? So IF you two split it would be his? Correct? (yes, I know common law marriage exist and the common law system provides that property acquired by one member of a married couple is owned completely and solely by that person.) It also depends on which state you reside in and which state you are registered in (as AD military he can reside in one state and be registered in another)

So all these HUGE mortgage payments he is making is for HIS benefit SOLELY (until you marry).

I would sit him down and tell him that this arrangement of you doing all the work because you EARN less and do not contribute to HIS house payments is no longer working for you. It's simply not fair that you contribute financially AND do the full work load on the house as well.

Unfortunately you AGREED to this and if you stay (and not discuss it) it will continue.

Now, have a chat about it. If he can't SEE your point of view (or isn't WILLING to) then you have to consider your next step.

I would also consider if this is how you see your future, because getting married will NOT change his attitude.

If you moved out on your own, what then? Could he still then pay off that huge amount for the house? Plus the other bills he would have?

While I'm ALL for people paying their share, be it in paying bills or chores - there HAS to be some kind of equality within those "shares".

And honestly? If you are sick with the flu, tell him to go make himself a freaking Sandwich this isn't 1950!

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A female reader, YouWish United States +, writes (6 January 2018):

YouWish agony auntMoney isn't the indicator here. It's TIME. Time is FAR more valuable than money, and you are giving far more of it than he is. Jobs are static, and his military career will not last forever. Will he suddenly pick up 100% of the slack if he's between jobs? My gut says no.

Just because he makes more doesn't entitle him to enslave you as a maid, and you are NOT his wife. You are, in fact, a roommate, and as such, home upkeep is 50/50. Otherwise, you both can move to a place within YOUR price range to pay 50/50 of the expenses.

You divide the chores because there's nothing to "make up for". Unless you're sharing a bank account and he's given you full access to his funds, he's full of shit. I'm guessing not. He may be paying larger house bills, but he's holding back his discretionary income 100% for himself.

Let me ask you this:

If money WAS the score, and he was paying 70/30 on all household expenses (I doubt it, because food and variable expenses add up more than you think, but I'm being generous), then why isn't he doing 30% of the housework? That would be true "making up for the fact" BS, not you doing 100/0, wouldn't you agree?

Tell him that from now on, you are paying ZERO expenses into the house and keeping your money separate for yourself, and not one single penny will be used to pay for anything. That should make up for the fact of him not doing one single thing for this household.

Also, you never mentioned whether or not your name is on the deed to the house. Do you own this house and mortgage JOINTLY?? If the answer is "NO", then you should get out of there because this is nothing but a serious raw deal, and you're his maid/slave who pays for his ability to earn equity in that house. If it's only in his name, and you marry and then divorce, he could in court claim that it was a pre-marriage asset and try to withhold division from you.

I don't know about you, but I would call off the wedding. This doesn't bode well for a happy marriage if he's already showing his true colors like this. You're not a stay-at-home wife. You work full-time, and you both should serve the house as equals in housework. As in, if you cook, he does dishes. If you do laundry, he vacuums. If you dust, he cleans the bathroom, etc. Roommates do that all the time.

Also, if he's expecting YOU to pick up his clothes or towels or junk, that's part of his own hygiene. You're his partner, not his mother. He needs to knock it off because if he loses you, he gets to work and do 100% of the house chores. He needs you more than you need him.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (6 January 2018):

N91 agony auntOkay so where do you go from here?

He doesn't listen to what you're saying and is resistant to changing his ways. He tries to make you feel guilty because he pays more and expects you to make up for it in other ways even though HE offered to pay the larger chunk.

That's a very entitled attitude. As ycbs said, you have only 2 options, continue down this path and grow a further resentment to this man to the point where you can't stand him and break up or stop wasting your time and break up now. This guy doesn't sound like he's going to be changing his ways any time soon and you've tried to get him to do so with no avail already.

I would be very honest about how you're feeling, I'd give it one last chance of basically 'You need to start helping around the house as it's making me feel like a servant. Get up off your backside or I will be leaving for someone who sees me an as equal'.

An ultimatum to either step up or you're gone.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (6 January 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntYou have two options: suck it up or walk away. You have tried talking to him but, in your words, "he doesn't listen".

Ask yourself a question: Do I want to spend the next 5/10/20 years living like this and being treated like this? If the answer is "definitely flaming not!" (as it should be), then try one last time to explain to him how unhappy you are.

You need to have a list of things you need him to do/not do. It is no good making general comments like "I need you to see me as a partner". Tell him straight: I need you to do x, y, z on your days off, or I need you to step up when I am ill. If he refuses then, my friend, you have your answer. What would happen if you had children? Would he expect you to wipe his sorry backside because you were not contributing as much to the household finances?

If he refuses to acknowledge there is a problem with his attitude, you need to draw a line under this relationship, separate as quickly and cleanly as possible, and find yourself someone who treats you better. You are too young to be so unhappy. Don't waste any more time on him.

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