She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink

(Image/jerrywilliamsmedia.com)

(Image/jerrywilliamsmedia.com)

It seems so unreasonable when you put it that way: My wife left me because sometimes I leave dishes by the sink.

It makes her seem ridiculous; and makes me seem like a victim of unfair expectations.

We like to point fingers at other things to explain why something went wrong, like when Biff Tannen crashed George McFly’s car and spilled beer on his clothes, but it was all George’s fault for not telling him the car had a blind spot.

This bad thing happened because of this, that, and the other thing. Not because of anything I did!

Sometimes I leave used drinking glasses by the kitchen sink, just inches away from the dishwasher.

It isn’t a big deal to me now. It wasn’t a big deal to me when I was married. But it WAS a big deal to her.

Every time she’d walk into the kitchen and find a drinking glass by the sink, she moved incrementally closer to moving out and ending our marriage. I just didn’t know it yet. But even if I had, I fear I wouldn’t have worked as hard to change my behavior as I would have stubbornly tried to get her to see things my way.

The idiom “to cut off your nose to spite your face” was created for such occasions.

Men Are Not Children, Even Though We Behave Like Them

Feeling respected by others is important to men.

Feeling respected by one’s wife is essential to living a purposeful and meaningful life. Maybe I thought my wife should respect me simply because I exchanged vows with her. It wouldn’t be the first time I acted entitled. One thing I know for sure is that I never connected putting a dish in the dishwasher with earning my wife’s respect.

Yesterday I responded to a comment by @insanitybytes22, in which she suggested things wives and mothers can do to help men as an olive branch instead of blaming men for every marital breakdown. I appreciated her saying so.

But I remember my wife often saying how exhausting it was for her to have to tell me what to do all the time. It’s why the sexiest thing a man can say to his partner is “I got this,” and then take care of whatever needs taken care of.

I always reasoned: “If you just tell me what you want me to do, I’ll gladly do it.”

But she didn’t want to be my mother. She wanted to be my partner, and she wanted me to apply all of my intelligence and learning capabilities to the logistics of managing our lives and household.

She wanted me to figure out all of the things that need done, and devise my own method of task management.

I wish I could remember what seemed so unreasonable to me about that at the time.

Men Can Do Things

Men invented heavy machines that can fly in the air reliably and safely. Men proved the heliocentric model of the solar system, establishing that the Earth orbits the Sun. Men design and build skyscrapers, and take hearts and other human organs from dead people and replace the corresponding failing organs inside of living people, and then those people stay alive afterward. Which is insane.

Men are totally good at stuff.

Men are perfectly capable of doing a lot of these things our wives complain about. What we are not good at is being psychic, or accurately predicting how our wives might feel about any given thing because male and female emotional responses tend to differ pretty dramatically.

‘Hey Matt! Why would you leave a glass by the sink instead of putting it in the dishwasher?’

Several reasons.

  1. I may want to use it again.
  2. I don’t care if a glass is sitting by the sink unless guests are coming over.
  3. I will never care about a glass sitting by the sink. Ever. It’s impossible. It’s like asking me to make myself interested in crocheting, or to enjoy yardwork. I don’t want to crochet things. And it’s hard for me to imagine a scenario in which doing a bunch of work in my yard sounds more appealing than ANY of several thousand less-sucky things which could be done.

There is only ONE reason I will ever stop leaving that glass by the sink. A lesson I learned much too late: Because I love and respect my partner, and it REALLY matters to her. I understand that when I leave that glass there, it hurts her— literally causes her pain—because it feels to her like I just said: “Hey. I don’t respect you or value your thoughts and opinions. Not taking four seconds to put my glass in the dishwasher is more important to me than you are.”

All the sudden, it’s not about something as benign and meaningless as a (quasi) dirty dish.

Now, it’s a meaningful act of love and sacrifice, and really? Four seconds? That doesn’t seem like the kind of thing too big to do for the person who sacrifices daily for me.

I don’t have to understand WHY she cares so much about that stupid glass.

I just have to understand and respect that she DOES. Then caring about her = putting glass in dishwasher.

Caring about her = keeping your laundry off the floor.

Caring about her = thoughtfully not tracking dirt or whatever on the floor she worked hard to clean.

Caring about her = taking care of kid-related things so she can just chill out for a little bit and not worry about anything.

Caring about her = “Hey babe. Is there anything I can do today or pick up on my way home that will make your day better?”

Caring about her = a million little things that say “I love you” more than speaking the words ever can.

[NOTE: I felt like I cracked a secret life code when I grasped this idea for the first time. I have to credit the book “How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It” for putting me on the right path. Maybe it can help you or your partner, too.]

Yes, It’s That Simple

The man capable of that behavioral change—even when he doesn’t understand her or agree with her thought-process—can have a great relationship.

Men want to fight for their right to leave that glass there. It might look like this:

“Eat shit, wife,” we think. “I sacrifice a lot for you, and you’re going to get on me about ONE glass by the sink? THAT little bullshit glass that takes a few seconds to put in the dishwasher, which I’ll gladly do when I know I’m done with it, is so important to you that you want to give me crap about it? You want to take an otherwise peaceful evening and have an argument with me, and tell me how I’m getting something wrong and failing you, over this glass? After all of the big things I do to make our life possible—things I never hear a “thank you” for (and don’t ask for)—you’re going to elevate a glass by the sink into a marriage problem? I couldn’t be THAT petty if I tried. And I need to dig my heels in on this one. If you want that glass in the dishwasher, put it in there yourself without telling me about it. Otherwise, I’ll put it away when people are coming over, or when I’m done with it. This is a bullshit fight that feels unfair and I’m not just going to bend over for you.”

The man DOES NOT want to divorce his wife because she’s nagging him about the glass thing which he thinks is totally irrational. He wants her to agree with him that when you put life in perspective, a glass being by the sink when no one is going to see it anyway, and the solution takes four seconds, is just not a big problem. She should recognize how petty and meaningless it is in the grand scheme of life, he thinks, and he keeps waiting for her to agree with him.

She will never agree with him, because it’s not about the glass for her. The glass situation could be ANY situation in which she feels unappreciated and disrespected by her husband.

The wife doesn’t want to divorce her husband because he leaves used drinking glasses by the sink.

She wants to divorce him because she feels like he doesn’t respect or appreciate her, which suggests he doesn’t love her, and she can’t count on him to be her lifelong partner. She can’t trust him. She can’t be safe with him. Thus, she must leave and find a new situation in which she can feel content and secure.

In theory, the man wants to fight this fight, because he thinks he’s right (and I agree with him): The dirty glass is not more important than marital peace.

If his wife thought and felt like him, he’d be right to defend himself. Unfortunately, most guys don’t know that she’s NOT fighting about the glass. She’s fighting for acknowledgment, respect, validation, and his love.

If he KNEW that—if he fully understood this secret she has never explained to him in a way that doesn’t make her sound crazy to him (causing him to dismiss it as an inconsequential passing moment of emo-ness), and that this drinking glass situation and all similar arguments will eventually end his marriage, I believe he WOULD rethink which battles he chose to fight, and would be more apt to take action doing things he understands to make his wife feel loved and safe.

I think a lot of times, wives don’t agree with me. They don’t think it’s possible that their husbands don’t know how their actions make her feel because she has told him, sometimes with tears in her eyes, over and over and over and over again how upset it makes her and how much it hurts.

And this is important: Telling a man something that doesn’t make sense to him once, or a million times, doesn’t make him “know” something. Right or wrong, he would never feel hurt if the same situation were reversed so he doesn’t think his wife SHOULD hurt. It’s like, he doesn’t think she has the right to (and then use it as a weapon against him) because it feels unfair.

“I never get upset with you about things you do that I don’t like!” men reason, as if their wives are INTENTIONALLY choosing to feel hurt and miserable.

When you choose to love someone, it becomes your pleasure to do things that enhance their lives and bring you closer together, rather than a chore.

It’s not: Sonofabitch, I have to do this bullshit thing for my wife again. It’s: I’m grateful for another opportunity to demonstrate to my wife that she comes first and that I can be counted on to be there for her, and needn’t look elsewhere for happiness and fulfillment.

Once someone figures out how to help a man equate the glass situation (which does not, and will never, affect him emotionally) with DEEPLY wounding his wife and making her feel sad, alone, unloved, abandoned, disrespected, afraid, etc. …  Once men really grasp that and accept it as true even though it doesn’t make sense to them?

Everything changes forever.

…..

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4,398 thoughts on “She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink

  1. Katie says:

    Thank you for your words, openness & ability to give us the words to help us all understand.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lisa says:

      Ironically, neither my husband or I feel very strongly about keeping a super-tidy house in practice, but it’s definitely still hurting our marriage. My husband likes the IDEA of having a super-tidy house, but he’s not willing to put the work in to keeping it clean. We are in couples’ counseling and he brought up being stressed-out by having such a messy house, so I spent a full evening while he was away doing a huge toss-and-tidy of the main floor of our house. Not only did he only notice a small part of the work I did rather than the *entire freaking thing*, he immediately set to work wrecking the work that I did by leaving his mess all over as per usual, while I was making an effort to clean up as I went to maintain that tidy state for HIS mental health. (We both work full time so let’s head-off any of the usual assumptions for this kind of crappy behavior — I am NOT a homemaker or a maid and I made that clear from the start of the relationship.)

      He also said he would vacuum up the carpets in the rest of the house, and never did it. When I asked him about it later, he said he was just going to hire a cleaner to do it for us, even though he has also been complaining lately that we aren’t saving enough money. This is compounded by the fact that he is constantly giving large sums to his relatives, who aren’t needy so much as they are putting on unearned airs about their lifestyles — his brother’s household earns twice our income and has a house three times as expensive, yet we are regularly “lending” him thousands of dollars without my consent, and my husband nor his brother are keeping track of the amounts. They are solidly upper-middle class but want to believe they are wealthy, and for some reason we pay the price. Last time we were over, brother was bragging about all the home renos he was going to do; while he initially was planning on putting in ~one~ patio, now he’ll be putting in ~two~, because putting the hot tub on his main patio would ruin the view. Meanwhile we’ve yet to fix up our own deck, which has actual structural issues, not to mention our aging septic.

      On top of this, he is sexually and socially selfish; I haven’t had an orgasm from partnered sex in years despite being multiorgasmic by myself, and while I brought up social isolation as one of my #1 pain points during counseling, he turned down an invitation to a low-key party with many potential new friends in our new neighborhood because he was “kind of tired”.

      The couples’ counseling was his idea but how is this supposed to work when he’s not willing to put in any work at all? I think he expected that the therapist would pin all our problems on me. Mostly she just seems to feel sorry for me and has suggested I get additional counseling on an individual basis for my obvious state of depression. Three guesses what the main contributor to my depression is, and the first two guesses don’t count.

      Agree 100% with everything you’ve written. I am pretty sure this relationship is over, and while I’m not going to “throw the match” on couples’ counseling or saving the relationship if there’s a chance, there is definitely a part of me trying to figure out an exit plan.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jennbb33 says:

        I’ve been where you are, Lisa. I’m sorry to see you there. My recommendation: he will never, ever change. His words mean nothing, the road to hell is paved with good intention. I should have gotten divorced 5 years ago or more; it was finalized this past September and I am still trying to get him gone. I was the financial winner and he is trying to get me for $20k which I don’t have because I do have the kids. We’ve come a long way; my soul is exhausted and there is still mountains to climb. My narcissist is still looking for a free ride. I am learning, at long last, how powerful it is to say NO. And still, he persists. :(

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lazy Father says:

        Hi there
        If you don’t have a kids. Just move on.
        However, before that last move, you can give him last wake up call.
        Go to your friends place for a week or month.
        If that doesn’t wake him up you know why to do.

        Like

  2. ShortOfCynicism says:

    This post seems to miss the mark. The couple needed to agree on what is and isn’t tolerated, and actively work to meet each other’s needs. Some people simply aren’t compatible, but more often it’s just poor communication. Most of this post reads like a defensive justification under the guise of “seeing the light”. If you knew when you set the glass down near the sink you weren’t meeting your end of the deal, then you aren’t even trying. If it was instead an absent minded error, which is a more typical problem, the person who is being bothered needs to communicate. I can’t tell if these errors were contemptuous.
    i.e. the dude is very verbosely admitting he was a passive aggressive shitty roommate. Something tells me the cup was a very minor problem in a sea of incompatibilities.

    Like

    • Lisa says:

      I am really tired of men using “poor communication” as an excuse. My husband uses it often, and it’s usually just an excuse. Most humans are capable of picking up on strong context clues and most information is not relayed 100% explicitly; if you actually respect and care about the other person’s opinion, you WILL pick up on these cues regardless of whether it’s a romantic, friendship, family, work or even acquaintanceship relationship, and pretending otherwise is just feigning ignorance about how humans actually communicate with each other. For example, I’m in couples counseling and the counselor said that I should walk the dog with my husband 3x a week (doesn’t matter why for the example). Usually, we both get up around 8am, and he walks the dog while I go to work. My husband said he would walk the dog every day at 7:30am so that I would be able to go with him before my work shift started. At 7am, I got up and got dressed; husband was awake but still in bed. At 7:15am I asked him if he was still planning on walking the dog at 7:30 and he said yes. At 7:45 I said, if we don’t walk the dog soon, I won’t be able to come with you before I have to go to work. And he said, but I didn’t know that you were intending to come with me; why didn’t you say anything? No way, Jose, I don’t buy this bullshit from men who say that their partners are poor communicators. Most of the time the men are simply not listening or being intentionally stupid.

      Even if you explicitly tell this sort of man what you want and need, he will simply “forget”. Then it’s also your fault for not reminding him loudly and often enough, unless you do remind him loudly and often, in which case he’s naturally rebelling against you for being a nag. Fuck off with all that, honestly.

      Like

      • Lazy Father says:

        Lisa, it might be hard for you to be with a man. I don’t know you.
        He might not be right for you. Or you might not be right for him.
        As for guys, yes we do forget important dates, things, anniversary….
        But we don’t forget why we are with you – girls, partners.
        Assuming and cue and clues in communication doesn’t help at all.
        Have you heard of Non violent communication ?
        That might be a start for you.
        ;)

        Like

        • Amanda Zakraysek says:

          Stop passive-aggressively mansplaining other people’s problems to them. You admitted you don’t know anything about Lisa, but you still put forward the idea that she might have difficulty being with a man. You’re speaking when a spokesman for all men when you are literally incapable of speaking to anyone’s thoughts or motivations but your own, because you don’t know them…although you were quick to jump on a woman upthread for assuming to know how other people feel. How do you know what other men feel about their partners, friend? Oh, you don’t? You’re just here to defend your gender by regaling women who’ve had bad experiences with your bountiful “we’re not all like that” wisdom?

          You’re being condescending and passive-aggressive to women, and I strongly suspect it’s because this article, and women’s legitimate grievances toward men, make you uncomfortable. I can only assume that because otherwise, you’d have no reason to be arguing. I can’t say WHY you’d be so upset by those subjects, or women being allowed to speak their minds. but the fact that you are does suggest some obvious possibilities. :)

          You’re being argumentative and unhelpful. In case you missed the point of this article, dismissing, diminishing, or distracting from women’s feelings and concerns is a BAD thing to do. Please stop.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lazy Father says:

            Amanda, not sure what are you talking about, and why are you trying to pick up a fight here? (No need to answer this, not going to argue ;) )
            I have a strange feeling that you probably didn’t understand my reply correctly and completely (or not at all). But that’s ok. No one is perfect.
            My apologies to you, that I didn’t write my reply the way you would understand.
            And the happy life goes on.

            Like

  3. […] get comments from people who read She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes By The Sink and then accuse my son’s mother of being a control-freak nag because she was making a big deal […]

    Like

  4. Michael says:

    In the book of Matthew the only acceptable reason for divorce is in the service to the lord. Not over a dirty dish. This article is liberal bullshit. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was written by a feminist with a male pen name. Grow up. Yes put your dishes in the dishwasher. But to write a whole blog over your poor marriage is ridiculous. Get a life. Do your own shit and be responsible for it. Sorry your marriage failed over you ex wife’s selfishness. This is total liberal snowflake bullshit

    Like

    • Jim says:

      I think you need to reread whole thing, Youre missing something…. idiot.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      I’d like you to consider the possibility that you’re missing the point, Michael.

      I’d also like to offer the suggestion that there is nothing political happening here. It’s a true story.

      And the underlying message about what it means to actually love your spouse is the difference between healthy, lasting relationships (of all kinds—not just marriage) and the kind that make people miserable and/or fail.

      I’m sorry you dislike it so much and think I wasted my time writing for the past five years to shed light on a subject not enough people are discussing nor living out effectively.

      Just maybe, if you eliminate sexism and politics from clouding the conversation, and home in on the idea that one person can experience pain from an incident while another person is unfazed and/or oblivious of that pain, you might discover why approximately half of several thousand marriages, and an even larger number of unwed couples, or friends, or families, and even professional relationships are breaking every day—which for the people in those moments—is the No. 1 thing affecting their life experience. It’s the thing determining whether every day, in simple terms, is good or bad.

      That’s not a trivial thing. Life ceases to be a desirable activity when you get to about two or three years straight of EVERYDAY being painful and miserable.

      Color me presumptuous, Michael, but it seems like—just maybe—you struggle with finding common ground with anyone you disagree with. That you are right, therefore they are wrong, and by God, they can all eat shit and die for being so stupid and incorrect.

      One wonders whether, while you’re always being right and letting everyone around you know it, bad things are happening within the hearts and minds of the people around you who are trusting you to love/protect/respect them.

      Nahhhhhhhhhhhhh. That couldn’t be it.

      I’m sure you’re right that it’s all a bunch of liberal snowflake bullshit. Carry on.

      Liked by 2 people

    • ana says:

      this begs the question: why don’t you get a life and stop reading things that are a waste of your time. it’s humorous that you find the fact that someone devoted time to writing this blog is stupid, yet you took the time to read it! typical conservative hypocrisy. your anger is out of proportion to reading a single article and disagreeing with the viewpoint. maybe women have left your stupid, bible misquoting, self righteous ass and you are bitter because clearly you have trouble comprehending human emotions.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jennbb33 says:

      Keep your rosary off my ovaries. And out of the relationship. God has nothing to do with this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Matt says:

        I should leave well enough alone here, Jenn, but I just wanted to add this because I’m insufferably defensive:

        As a kid who grew up in a tiny conservative town in Ohio attending Catholic school and Catholic mass, the significant majority of every politically conservative church-goer I’ve ever interacted with has been positive.

        They have been fundamentally kind and decent people who don’t spend one minute quoting the bible and preaching about Christian living only to turn around and be fucking shitbags and the polar-opposite of what Christians are taught to be when there are no ulterior motives besides teaching children values and how to love and treat other people.

        Please don’t let the super-loud assholes on TV, and the people foolish and ignorant enough to spew hate online poison the entire well.

        Just as painting all of Islam as a group of people who want to harm others is wrong…

        Or being racist, bigoted, sexist dickbags is wrong…

        I think it’s a mistake to think or assume or say things that indicate that people who practice a certain faith, or align politically with an opposing ideology, that they are automatically evil or bad, simply because there’s evidence of a loud minority of those groups ruining it for everyone else.

        Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Be good to those who hurt you. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. LOVE people. Be humble. Forgive. Be an instrument of peace. Light up the darkness.

        These are the fundamental tenets taught by a guy who lived 2,000 years ago. Supernaturally divine or not, it’s hard to find much to argue with among those teachings.

        I fall short every day of living up to those principles, but they seem to be worthy things to strive for.

        When people like Michael take their social/cultural/political bullshit and use it to poison what should be a 100% non-divisive thing, I get pretty worked up.

        Michael’s comment represents the worst of the group of people who claim to be Christian while never actually behaving as one.

        I hope people can see and appreciate the difference. Because the difference is everything.

        Liked by 5 people

        • jennbb33 says:

          I can see the difference. I am not a christian, nor do I subscribe to any organized religion. But I believe in the kindness that the Christ prescribed. I do not believe the majority of people who call themselves Christians would feed the poor, or house the homeless. They are, overall, greedy bastards that you see on tv, judging the poor, the unfortunate. They do not do unto others. They do not follow the golden rule. I do.

          So I apologize for generalizing. And any time someone starts by quoting scripture, I’m going to react by saying GET OFF MY DOORSTEP I AM NOT INTERESTED.

          Thanks, Matt. Peace.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Matt says:

            I agree that Michael exposed himself right from the get-go. I 100% agree with you.

            I’m not advocating for organized religion (I am in a highly uncomfortable state of ambivalence about what I should or shouldn’t do, and what I should or shouldn’t teach my son), nor am I advocating for right-leaning political views.

            Neither Right nor Left = Good or Evil for me. There are bad seeds on all sides perverting and misrepresenting the core principles which are, in theory, ideas designed to improve the quality of life for a citizenry.

            I didn’t mean to sidetrack us or detract from the actual conversation.

            I probably should have just said “I hate it when assholes wear their identity labels, act like assholes, and thereby cause others to believe that everyone who wears that same identity label is also an asshole.”

            THAT phenomenon causes countless problems and horrors in our world. And the people I blame the most are all of the people who do despicable things in the name of their particular faith’s “God”, which virtually guarantees that every smart, decent human will begin to question ANYTHING done in the name of that same faith’s “God.”

            What’s worse than blatant hypocrisy?

            Almost nothing. (Right, Michael?)

            Appreciate you, Jenn. I hope my unnecessary response to your earlier comment didn’t annoy you too much.

            Liked by 1 person

            • jennbb33 says:

              Not at all. Thanks…. As far as organized religion and kids go, let them be curious, and foster that curiosity. EDUCATE THEM and teach them to see that religion comes from Bardic tale, written down, and edited by man. It is the word of man, interpreted and continually edited and twisted to suit their own needs and desires and greed. Teach them the golden rule: to treat others the way they would like to be treated. We are aligned, methinks.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Matt says:

                Me too. :)

                Wanted to make sure I wasn’t coming off like I thought you were out of line. I didn’t. I just wanted to soapbox about people being dicks.

                I don’t have any choice but to foster curiosity and tell the most truth I know how to my son.

                You don’t need to be a psychology expert to know how internally uncomfortable and challenging it is to not simply parrot all of the things I was taught as a child and accepted on blind faith for many years.

                There are elements to my upbringing I perceive as extremely positive, and then there are elements I believe accidentally put me at a disadvantage or outright damaged me.

                No one’s fault. Life just happens and everyone’s mostly trying their best. Except for the religious hypocrites. They are decidedly not trying their best, which is why they can go ahead and eat a fat one.

                (Note to the young and impressionable: Using the term “eat a fat one” in a derogatory way as I just did falls outside of the behaviors I perceive to be “Good.” I just like using juvenile language to communicate my disdain for certain things, even though I know it’s probably “Bad.” I don’t always do what I’m supposed to or what I should.)

                Like

        • Lisa says:

          Matt, you may want to consider that your experience with tiny conservative towns and the Catholic Church, as a heterosexual man, might be quite different from someone who isn’t heterosexual or a man. I was raised very seriously Christian and I’m quite familiar with Biblical doctrine, and while Jesus himself was mostly a decent dude, he was also quite clear that his appearance on Earth did not wipe out the teachings of the Old Testament (which are quite brutal in places), and even aside from that, there is plenty of homophobia and sexism to be found in the New Testament. I believe it was Saint Peter who said that women should remain in silence and never attempt to teach or exercise authority over a man.

          Like

    • Kyle says:

      Have you ever actually read the Bible? Lol

      Like

    • Margaret says:

      Dear Michael,
      I respectfully invite you to go a little deeper
      here .
      Partners never divorce because of a glass in the sink. Partners divorce because,”You’re not hearing me, you don’t listen to me, you don’t have my back, it is lonely living with you, it feels like I have another child instead of a loving supportive partner, my needs don’t matter to you etc etc…” All those critical attachment emotions being stomped on over and over are excellant reasons to consider divorce. Just like the author here beautifully says.
      You might also consider reading Hold Me Tight, by Sue Johnson PhD for her 30 years of research on this very topic. It is an easy and wonderfully researched read! Warmly, margaret

      Liked by 5 people

    • Marie says:

      You’re missing a serious piece of reality. No one needs to be preached at in this situation. Take a step off your high horse and be human.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rivkadr says:

      You are so exactly the kind of guy who needs to be reading this kind of article – and of course, you got nothing out of it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Pat says:

      This is not a very Christian-like response. Maybe consult your priest or pastor. They may have insight on how to be a more caring and empathetic individual.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Francine says:

    I know how thw wife felt. I straight up told my family that I needed help keeping the house clean. The support I got from my ex husband was him telling the kids to help me out more. I married I thought a life partner. When he wasn’t working he was also doing nothing to help out in the house. He was also not listening to my reaponses. He’d ask a simple question like what was for supper and I’d answer him and 5 or 10 minutes later he would ask the same question. So I stopped communicating because I felt that it was a useless thing to do because I wasn’t listened to. Now that we’ve been separated and he quit drinking he appreciates more what I did and sacrificed for the family. I burned myself out. Another example was he’d ask me to sit down and watch tv with him and I’d refuse and tell him I was too busy cleaning after him and the kids or I had to do dishes or I was just plain tired. I could’ve fought harder for my marriage but I was too tired to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Michael says:

    Ok let’s start over. To be fair I am bipolar and was in an episode last night. Hence my whacked out comment. So hears the thing…
    I understand the underlying issue. Your wife needed to feel validated and feel like she was being put first. Did she ever put you first? Honest question. My marriage ended in November. We are now dating again. We both learned that we both have needs. My ex wife said she learned something from this article. We went through 16 years of marriage that was hell. We both cheated on one and other. Neither of us understood that if we both and always put each other first, we would never have a need. She also had trouble dealing with my illness. Through scores of doctors and poor medical treatment. But here is the thing. My wife never validated my needs for intimacy. So for her to expect me to do the dishes and yard work and then just roll over in bed wasn’t fair either. Neither of us were validating each other. But to the author, did you have children old enough to do chores? Because my ex wife puts dishes in the sink and then expects my son to rinse them and put them in the dishwasher. Where is his validation? Or is it fair for him to do chores? Thank goodness my ex wife and I are dating again and relearning what it’s like to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Things are getting better. She realizes I have an illness and that I have needs too. The other night I took her a pint of ice cream just to be nice. Her and my daughter enjoyed it. I plan on learning her needs the bed I can. But I have needs that need validated as well. It goes both ways. So now that I have reread your article and have made a reasonable post, I welcome reasonable replies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennbb33 says:

      Now that, right there, is a post from an individual who gets it (if it was your meds, I understand. Am also medicated for my mental illness). That is what it’s all about. VALIDATION. Here is my situation: I got married. Immediately all of the planning falls on me (not a problem; I like to plan). But there is never a thank you, never a “wow, my mom will love that for a holiday/birthday gift, thanks for being so thoughtful” acknowledgement.

      Two months into the marriage, his dad is killed in a car accident. So we go from celebratory to mourning, immediately. He stuffs his feelings and doesn’t mourn (so, we’ve been eeking out the mourning for years….).

      Three years into the marriage, he loses his job. Takes over the in-house company that I started. So I am working outside of the home full time. Every night I get home and there’s the question: “What’s for dinner” and there is laundry, housecleaning, etc waiting for me.

      Seven years into that, the economy tanks, he loses our 2 largest clients, we have another baby (#2) and his drinking kicks into high gear. I’m still working outside the home. Kids are in daycare. I still come home to have to make dinner, and do the normal Second Shift things that women have continued to shoulder since we got the right to work outside of the home and have a family. Lucky me.

      This goes on for EIGHT years. There is never validation, except by my growing kids, that I am working two jobs to keep our family fed, clothed and sheltered. When I’m home, I’m cleaning. Cooking has pretty much gone by the wayside, unless it’s something I’m craving. When he does something, he wants praise, thanks, and if I don’t notice, there is pouting and sometimes a fight. He sometimes would work on weekends “when he felt like it.” He got a part time job, because there is nothing in his industry. And he refuses to go for training to do something else.

      I finally filed for divorce in February of this year. I have realized that I’m raising three kids, and I need to focus on the two that I actually gave birth to. Now I’m waiting for him to find his own place. He’s forgotten how to be an adult, at age 49. Get me out of this relationship. NOW.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Alex's Mom says:

      Michael, perhaps your wife would have “validated your need for intimacy” if she wasn’t exhausted from doing everything you wouldn’t do. To expect her to teach, discipline, and monitor the children, cook, clean, do laundry, grocery shop, do the banking, bathe the kids, put them to bed, make their lunches for the next day, and then come to bed ready for a romp so you can sleep better is going to get you divorced again. Or perhaps you just feel like sex-on-demand is the price women pay for getting their husbands to care for their own children, houses, and yards (which they will still have to do once they are single men again)?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fruitopia says:

        Yep. “Validate my need for intimacy” = “acquiesce to my entitlement to sex”.

        Not only does he want a house slave, he wants her to be a breathing fleshlight too, and be happy about it. He will only do the slightest thing for her if she burns herself out doing everything for him.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa says:

      I wish it was as easy as putting my husband first in order to have him put me first too. So far it seems to be a lot of a sucker’s game. He complained that all his clothes were dirty so I washed and dried them while working @ home, and he complained that I forgot to close the washer door (it’s a top-loader) because he thought the cats would jump in and poop in it (????). I never got a thank-you. Believing that people give what they get is called the just-world fallacy and it has never worked out for me so far, only gotten me taken advantage of in both personal and professional relationships.

      As for what you say about yard work and intimacy, it is honestly a bit gross to me. You are doing yard work and dishes, your wife does presumably much of the rest of the work since you didn’t mention it, and then you are entitled to sex even if she doesn’t want it? I do all of the yard work in my 0.75 acre property and to be honest, it’s a lot easier than the inside-of-the-house work unless you run an actual farm or at least keep poultry. So if the only thing you are doing inside the house is dishes, then to be very generous to you, the chores are at best being split evenly. You, as an adult, are responsible for contributing to the maintenance of the household, so why does she now owe you sex? My husband’s idea that I owed him regular sex was probably the #1 death-knell for our sex life since it took sex (from my perspective) from a fun thing we enjoyed together to just another chore I was expected to perform for him. The fact that you have kids but you still need to learn her “needs of the bed” is very sad to me. She learned yours much earlier on almost certainly. Contributing your fair share to the household doesn’t earn you sex, it just prevents you from being disqualified on that basis. Women still want to have physical nonsexual intimacy (cuddling without boner-pokes and groping) and enjoyable-for-them sexual intimacy. Not doing chores may disqualify you from sex, since being a dysfunctional adult is really unattractive, but meeting the bare minimum of adulthood doesn’t then entitle you to someone else’s body. There are men who think having a car (in an area w/no public transit) and being employed for once in their lives are huge achievements too, but these things don’t make them entitled to sex either. These are basic things that everyone is supposed to be doing, man or woman (counting SAHM/SAHD as jobs if they are agreed on).

      The idea that chores = sex is also pretty gross since you then bring up your son doing the same chores that you think earn you sex. Not to put too fine a point on it, but what are you thinking he’s owed here? I’m pretty sure it’s not sex since that would be disgusting, but it does reveal a certain cognitive dissonance.

      Like

  7. Kyle says:

    Well, while I may agree with your point.. its also quite common for a wife to become obessively anal and controlling. Thats a case of misdirected internal strife, expecting others to be perfect. Some people will always see and sometimes only see others as a list of faults rather than a flawed human being such as theirselves. If a dish on the counter is a deal breaker, that means your dealing with someone who is not well equipped to deal with life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      So… divorce your wife because you didn’t enforce your anti-anal-retentive boundary prior to proposing to her?

      Sorry Kyle. You may be right on a case-by-case basis here, but are you suggesting that all husbands who agree with you file divorce papers and subject their children to broken homes on account of that psychological diagnosis about their wives?

      Like

      • Kyle says:

        Lol, i didnt say divorice. How many cases was some bull crap thing was an out for the wife? And SHE was the one filing?

        Like

        • Kyle says:

          The fact of the matter is, its common, for the wife to desire to change and control her man. Some things are important, others are not. Some spend their entire lives feeling that the red carpet needs to be rolled out for them, but are the last to lend a hand for anything. Case by case, of course but its common. Everyone reading probably knows a couple like this.. wife always giving him crap etc.

          Like

    • Kyle says:

      Also, how often have you seen a wife that acts like she thinks her husband is an idiot..and he acts like he is stressed out by her very presence? Thats a sign, plenty of female bullies out there in sheeps clothing. Hint….they are always the victim.

      Liked by 1 person

      • meridda says:

        there are always different examples that do not fit with matt’s experience. all women are not always right, and all men are not always wrong. if you can benefit from him experience, as many of us can, take what he has to offer. if it doesn’t fit with your experience, that’s ok too.

        Like

      • Matt says:

        Now THIS I agree with.

        However, it’s also not what we’re talking about. Bullies and assholes of any gender — people who are INTENTIONALLY harming their spouse — do not get to be part of this conversation. They’re the worst and beyond any help these kinds of conversations can provide.

        What we’re talking about here are pains being caused by spouses who didn’t know better. This is what destroys and ends MOST marriages that end. This isn’t about blaming anyone.

        It’s about the people who this applies to potentially asking themselves: “Is it possible that I really am hurting my partner without realizing it, and that a few simple changes could make the pain stop? I guess it totally makes sense that my spouse would be unhappy if they’re feeling hurt every day by something I do, and every time they ask for help, I tell them they’re wrong or crazy or the real problem. I guess it totally makes sense that someone would feel betrayed by that behavior and after several years of enduring it, seek a better life. I sure hope I have the opportunity to prove to the person I promised to love forever that they are worth the effort to NOT hurt them every day now that I realize what I’m doing is hurting them.”

        The more people who have that experience, the better. I don’t feel sorry for assholes who get divorced.

        I feel sorry for all of the well-intentioned people who didn’t know better and lose their lives and families and friends and time with their children all because of a nuanced misunderstanding.

        THEY are who this is for.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mickisue says:

      May I ask if you believe that it’s only women who become controlling? Having been married, long ago, to a man who once got angry when I agreed with the POV of a newscaster instead of him, I would say that particular trait is gender neutral.

      Like

      • Kyle says:

        It can go both ways, of course. I just happen to have known a hell of a lot more women that were like that.

        Like

        • Kyle says:

          We all need to be aware of our own faults, and be able to forgive others of their shortcomings to have any kind of a healthy relationship imo.

          Like

          • Matt says:

            True that. I have several. And have since developed a personal policy to clean up my own messes before I start pointing fingers at others’.

            I wasn’t trying to be a dick with my replies. I appreciate you taking a minute to comment. Your opinions are not unusual. And they might not even be wrong.

            BUT. They’re not the same conversation, and I want people to be clear about that.

            Once you introduce INTENTIONAL assholery to the equation, all bets are off.

            The conversation that needs to be had is how to keep all of the people trying their best from ACCIDENTALLY making correctable mistakes that can prevent the worst thing that will ever happen to them or their children.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Eileen says:

    Matt, I found this post because I literally looked up “my boyfriend left me dishes to clean up” out of frustration. Several times before, I have looked up issues that similarly bothered me. Each time, Google directed me to your blog. So I have read many of your entries at different times, and I have found your words to be hugely validating and a source of deep comfort. Thank you for taking the time and effort to put your thoughts out there for the world to see. I would never have the courage to do so – it’s too scary to make myself vulnerable to strangers and trolls. So thank you also for your bravery.

    Question: how *do* I approach a male significant other about an issue like this in a constructive way? I have a tendency to approach topics directly – like “I can’t believe you did this, how unthoughtful” I am now with someone with whom I’d like to engage in a positive way – I really want this relationship to work out. I know the “when you do x I feel like y” approach. But when is a good time? Nip it in the bud on the first or second occasion? Wait for a bunch of incidences so I have evidence of a consistent trend? When is it “significant enough” (ie “not too petty” for me to bring up? (You are absolutely right, it’s the feeling of being completely taken for granted and disrespected that is so hurtful to me)

    Many thanks and please keep clicking that keyboard. You are doing a huge service to the world.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lisa says:

      I’m going to disclaim this by saying that my own relationship is a mess… but my husband-chosen couples therapist seems to think I’m the better communicator so maybe this advice is useful anyway.

      My first step would be a casual, non-incriminating-voice heads-up in passing. “Hey, can you remember to XYZ when you 123?” This would be something I would say when I am NOT angry about it and when I’m generally puttering around the house and he’s not so engrossed in something else that he’d be made angry with an interruption. You can repeat this once or twice (spread out over a few weeks/months) if the behavior is not too excessive.

      If it gets to a stage where you think it’s provably moderate or worse, and not being taken seriously, I would suggest a sit-down to talk about the XYZ: “Hey, after dinner today, I would like to talk about XYZ”. I think the typical advice is to try and frame things around yourself rather than the other person. You can think, “I can’t believe you did this, how unthoughtful”, but maybe you want to say, “when you do XYZ, I feel like you’re not thinking of me and it makes me feel ABC”.

      Again, I’m in therapy so I’m not 100% sure if this advice leans towards too spineless, too aggressive, or just generally dysfunctional but I would suspect it’s on the soft side if anything.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eileen says:

        Lisa, just wanted to thank you for taking the time and energy to respond so thoroughly to my post. I have since broken up with this individual, but it’s an issue I face in any relationship (in fact, the newest beau and I will likely be having this conversation later on this evening or tomorrow). I see that you were quite active on this site earlier today – I send you much good energy as you continue along your journey. Eileen

        Like

  9. Mr. Smarty Pants says:

    What? A simple solution is for the wife to tell the husband that she’ll charge him $100 every time she sees a dish but the sink. Write it up, get husband to sign it and then we’ll see how many more times a glass gets left by the sink.

    Geezus…we need to fix real problems in the world(hunger, war, pollution) and people are getting hung up on these simple problems. Step up yo game peeps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      I submit that writing off the seemingly inconsequential is ACTUALLY what causes most of the world’s problems.

      Things that are trivial to you can seem monumentally important to someone else.

      The lack of respect for that fact is why more than half of all committed relationships fail, why friendships end, why countries go to war, and why pretty much all human conflict of any kind begins.

      That said, your pragmatic solution to the dish situation is excellent and sounds effective to me.

      Maybe people will try it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa says:

      I’m pretty sure human cohabitation patterns are a real issue, unless you want the human race to go extinct, and I’m all for VHEMT but I would hope if we went that way, we could at least have some non-dysfunctional company as we went down. :)

      If we can’t build a society where most people can be happy in their own homes then what is the point of this whole exercise of humanity, exactly? The author already explained that dishes in the sink are not really about dishes in the sink. If both partners are fine with dishes in the sink then it’s fine to leave dishes in the sink. The problem is a lot more primal and essential than this. Our current culture is one of monogamy, and traditionally/ideally lifelong monogamy. Some people have been able to make it work happily, others have made it “work” unhappily, and a lot more have just gotten divorced and moved onto other partners. This is not a small issue at all; it’s probably one of the biggest issues in the developed world. If anything I’d suggest that YOU need to step up your game, because I don’t think you’re looking at the big picture. We either have to find ways to make this work, or we need to change the culture.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jellybellybeanodip says:

    I’ve googled “ my husband is lazy” in many forms. From “why doesn’t my husband care” to “is it normal for my husband to never do any ‘chores’” even “if we both work then why am I always doing everything and he’s allowed to be lazy”

    I noticed a pattern. I’m finding reasons to stay with him. A reason or excuse when there is NO excuse for me to work just as hard as him at a paying job to come home to HIS mess. I leave the house clean come back to chaos. I am the one who cares for our kids. Yes he loves hem showers then with kisses but he’s NOT HELPING ME AT ALL!!!

    so long story short.

    THIS. THIS is the link I’m sending him. If he can see a male point of view. If he can see when I say I’m leaving over a dirty dish I probably will. Because I’m running out of excuses. I’m running out of time and patience. Because if he can’t care for what I do… then he doesn’t care for me.

    (Ps. Been together 18 years. Kids are 4 and 3… and my husband has NEVER cleaned a flippin dish since the kids were born. Children DIDNT CHANGE HIS PRIORITES Actually I don’t remember him doing them before either… and never ever swept the floor or done laundry… because. I LET HIM HAVE EXCUSES!!!! *end rant)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Drasticwoman says:

    It kind of irritates me that you reasoned all the things you have to do in the house FOR YOURSELF as housechores as that you need to be caring for her. Do you still think the same after 2 years of writing this piece?

    Like

  12. Whit says:

    I’m a stay-at-home moms point of view, you have hit it completely on the nail. I don’t know how many times I tell my husband to do something, and he just doesn’t do it. I realize that I probably need to work on my own things, because you cannot just shift the blame to one person, but honestly if he understood what that glass stood for, then I think things would be so much different. I think in my head, from a woman’s point of view, that he does understand how much he hurts me when he does it. Which, must not be the case?

    Like

    • Matt says:

      If he loves you (and I can’t know it, but I always default to the position that no one other than con artists who are already planning their escape before the wedding day ever marry without truly loving their spouse the best way they know how), then I don’t believe he has ANY idea how much it hurts you.

      I would encourage you to, just once, assume that he has no idea, like the first time your child did something she or he couldn’t have possibly known was the wrong thing.

      And then, with all of the kindness, patience and empathy you can manufacture (because this has been hurting you for YEARS), you must attempt something that’s VERY, very, very, very, very hard to communicate effectively.

      And that is that you are HURT very badly, and feel actual pain — the kind that is unhealthy and unsustainable — whenever these incidents happen.

      I don’t believe he knows it hurts, because he’s never felt pain from something like a dish or perhaps some other housework-related situation before.

      And because that seems like such a foreign concept to him, he’s never stopped to consider the possibility that this “harmless,” “painless” thing DOES legitimately hurt you.

      You’re not whining about it just to whine. You’re not feigning weakness for dramatic effect.

      It HURTS. Legit.

      And when things hurt, we should be able to trust those we love the most to help us not hurt, and certainly to make a mindful effort to not cause the pain.

      There’s a good chance he’ll be defensive and/or continue to act as if what you’re saying is unimportant. THAT is the dangerous part, because if you’re loving and patient and vulnerable about this after all this time, and it’s met with scorn or contempt, it just might push you over the edge. I can understand that.

      The irony is, it’s when you go over the edge that many men reportedly demonstrate the: “Holy shit. She was totally serious about that” realization, and then promise all of these changes their wives or girlfriends can no longer legitimately trust them to make or follow through on.

      He doesn’t know it hurts. And he currently trusts his judgment more than he trusts yours.

      It’s not a pleasant truth, but it IS true.

      So, one of two things needs to happen (or hopefully both).

      1. He must be convinced that things he is doing accidentally and unknowingly are causing you severe pain. Maybe he’s experienced a great personal loss. Maybe he gets really upset after his favorite team loses, and people who root for other teams, or just don’t care, are unfazed.

      There must be an example in his life of him giving a shit about something and/or hurting because of something that didn’t affect others — possibly you, even.

      Maybe he really cares about something, and you think it’s stupid or silly.

      It’s okay to have differences.

      It’s not okay to negligently damage your partner even after REPEATED requests to stop.

      The favor I’m asking on his behalf is that you go into that conversation on blind faith that he has NO IDEA that you’ve felt legitimate pain because of his choices, and that if he truly–TRULY–understood what that experience was like for you, that he would make it a huge priority to do and be more, because he would never intentionally do something to hurt you or your family.

      I think, if you approach him as a good man who simply doesn’t know better (even if it takes a boat-load of pride swallowing to get there), you’ll have as positive of results as is possible in these situations.

      Thank you for reading and taking a minute to comment. Wishing you well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Samantha says:

        Thanks so much for this article. Your last comment really resonated with me. I actually have completely lost it, and it was in relation to being sleep deprived and not having any help to get rest while after birth. I lost my sh*t twice. It even scared ME. I went to the doctor and a therapist, thinking something was wrong with me. To my surprise, they thought my husband needed a good talking to, and my doctor requested to speak to him about letting me sleep and helping out more. Anyway, all the things you mention happen all the time in our home, and I continually tell him how much it hurts me, how disrespected I feel, how unappreciated I feel… I’ve tried to convey the message in so many different ways…crying, pleading, writing emails, strategizing solutions with him. I’ve even straight up asked him what the best method to fix this problem would be and to please please help me figure it out. I am at my wits’ end. And reading your last comment makes me think that he really must know that it hurts me at this point, and so he falls more into the “assholery” category. I sent him this article, he just said, “weird”. He just continuously says I’m too critical of him if I dare say anything about wanting help or wanting him to pick up after himself, even though I shower him with compliments when he does good things with the house or family. I am tired of feeling like a mother. I’m tired of dragging myself out of bed after being up nursing all night while he lays like a log in bed and I get two kids ready in the morning. I have been at the brink so many times. A week ago I had enough and I said I was ready to divorce. And he promised to change, but it’s just a few days of change, and then it’s gone. A cycle that repeats itself over and over again. It’s lonely to be in this situation. I’d rather raise my kids alone than feel this constant rejection from someone who can’t be bothered to care about me. I am rambling now but just wanted to say thank you for the perspective. I’m not quite sure what I’m doing with it but I have pretty much decided that I can’t continue this way. Even beyond the sleep deprivation and feeling mentally exhausted because I’m in charge of everything, it’s just too freaking hurtful to live every day like this, feeling like I don’t have a partner.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Eileen says:

          Amen sister. The logistics won’t necessarily improve with your getting a divorce, and the divorce process itself will absolutely suck, but to free yourself of the utter loneliness – the isolation, aloneness and sadness that comes from standing next to a fake “partner” – getting rid of *that* will priceless. Empower yourself and stay the course – you *will* be terrified of whether you’re doing the right thing or not throughout the entire journey. But don’t let that terror derail you. Trust me, on the other end it will be worth it. You will feel as light as a feather. Best wishes.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Matt says:

          You’re not rambling, Samantha.

          You’re experiencing and articulating effectively the most-common divorce story there is.

          You’re NOT weird or broken or wrong. You’ve been extended beyond your limits and are now living a day-to-day life that you never imagined or thought possible. It’s because we just don’t know what we don’t know.

          Please don’t feel alone in the context of your emotions and headspace. Because it’s NORMAL to freak out when everything around you is unsustainable and totally screwed.

          I want to be clear that I am not advocating divorce nor blaming your husband for the state of things. Because I’ll go to my grave believing that we — collectively; societally — are failing young men by not giving them the knowlege and training necessary to succeed as husbands and fathers in modern society.

          He ALSO doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and now he’s learning the hard way, and it will only get worse.

          The man loves you and doesn’t want you to leave. If you’re experiencing responsiveness in short cycles, then I think two things are probably present:

          1. Undiagnosed adult ADHD is a strong possibility and worth looking into.

          https://www.additudemag.com/category/understand-conditions/adhd-in-adults/diagnosis-add/

          2. You’re lightening up and “acting” like your old self again after a few days, so he thinks whatever was “wrong” with you isn’t wrong anymore and he relaxes. He thinks it’s a temporary problem requiring temporary solutions.

          Again, he just doesn’t see the invisible pains he causes, and until he learns how, the situation will continue to be unsustainable.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Samantha says:

            You’re very perceptive, Matt. We have both wondered aloud of the possibility of ADD for him. He definitely lacks a lot of focus/concentration, doesn’t follow through or finish projects, and seems to forget so many things that I sometimes suspect he’s playing a game or pretending. He has excuses for everything. But he does very excellent at work! Which is another sore point – if he gave me and our relationship half the courtesy and consideration he gives his employer/coworkers and job performance, I’d likely be a very happy camper. Even with the ADD suspicion, he refuses to do anything about it, even homeopathic remedies like exercise or meditation or learning tools to cope. If he won’t treat it, what can I do?

            I’m feel very much alone in this relationship. “Emotional negligence” is the term that comes to mind. In small ways like leaving things around, but also in extremely big ways. After seeing that talking never helps, no matter how I approached it, I sent a short concise email, pretty much begging that we figure something out. I was so careful how I worded it; it was crafted so that it was vulnerable and soft and non-accusatory, just coming from a place of “please help me/help us” and “I am hurting”. He didn’t acknowledge receiving it. A week later I asked, and he said he didn’t have time to write back. I told him it really hurt me that I wrote such a painful email basically asking him to care, and he says nothing. Doesn’t he see that that can be painful? “I was busy, so we’ll talk about it now,” he responded. But then said he had no thoughts and nothing to say about it. It’s like constant rejection, constant messages that I and my needs don’t matter.

            We are currently discussing divorce. He doesn’t want to work on anything, he immediately shut down and says he is empty and depressed and has no energy. (And because he’s so empty and depressed, that means sleeping in and then going out with friends.) More of the same behavior but now if I say anything about it, I’m mean, right? I have to be understanding and give him space. I have to respect his needs. I’m saying this with a slight hint of sarcasm because it makes me so bitter that I am expected to respect his needs while mine aren’t acknowledged for years.

            I always thought that in a good relationship you learn from another person. You become a better person because of the arguments, because you learn about yourself and your faults and how to better them. The arguments become cathartic. You fight, you figure it out, you make up, and sometimes you have a good lesson about yourself from it. But I feel like all I have learned in this relationship is how to have self-preservation and be more selfish.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Julia says:

              Honey: NO. He doesn’t have ADD if he can manage putting the effort into other aspects of his life. That was my refrain with my ex too: “If you could put as much effort into helping me as you do … xyz… things could be better”

              Look; it might not be his fault he wasn’t raised to prioritize you or your needs. Maybe he came from a household where there were very traditional gender roles. But to shut down when you bring them up? That’s not cool, nor a good sign. He isn’t going to change.

              There is no “too early” or “too late” to tell him what you need. There is no “right time” and there is no magic algorithm to ask him without hurting his feelings. There is nothing you can do to fix this, and he cannot hide behind ADD or depression any more. Lord knows: my mental health never allowed me to check out of important relationships or stop doing emotional and physical labour.

              My heart hurts for you because I’ve been there and I know how soul-killing it is. I encourage you to leave him. You don’t need permission. He doesn’t have to be mean or hit you for you to know you need something different. Since leaving my (very nice, but clueless) ex, I have been SO much happier. The work I do for myself is SO much more fulfulling. Your spouse is not a support to you: he is dead weight (I’m sorry). Please, search for your happiness: it is out there within your grasp. Don’t waste time with someone who can’t be what you need.

              (FWIW my ex even reached out to Matt, the author of this article. Matt gave him really good advice. It still wasn’t enough. <3)

              Liked by 2 people

              • Matt says:

                It’s hard to read this Julia, but I understand that you’ve been there, and I can’t possibly know your experiences or why you feel so much conviction about how positive ending a marriage can be.

                I like optimistically believing there’s hope, but I’ve seen VERY FEW examples of husbands in this scenario changing behavior patterns so much that the marriage recovers and thrives.

                I really appreciate you mentioning that your husband reached out and that you felt my response to him was useful and helpful.

                I’ve had so many of those email exchanges, I have no way of knowing which it was, but I think it’s safe to say it didn’t produce its intended goal. :(

                You nevertheless sound as if you’re doing well, and I’m grateful for that.

                Thank you for sharing here, Julia.

                Liked by 2 people

        • jennbb33 says:

          I’m so sorry, Samantha. I’ve been there. I’m still there and finally getting OUT. It took me years of mostly the same thing. I married a man child. I love him and I love our kids but I have to get out. I can’t raise three kids. I stopped at two for a reason. I have filed for divorce, and for the first month all he said was “I don’t understand why.” To which I said, silently, “that’s why: you stopped understanding what my needs are.”
          This is a great community.
          I, personally, say: get out while you can. He’s not gonna change. The writing is on the wall. You are smart. Don’t waste your life and your energy. Raise your kids right. We got you.

          Like

          • Samantha says:

            Hey Jenn,

            It’s sad he asked that question too late. Did you try to explain to him again? Did he ever finally understand?
            I explain so much and it feels similar to banging my head against the wall – it hurts and gets me nowhere.
            Kudos to you for having strength to leave. This is my 2nd marriage. My first was terribly abusive and it was much easier to decide to leave because it was so obvious to me and everyone around me. It hardly felt like a decision. This time is hard because the damage is much more under the radar and begs the question, “is it bad enough to leave?” He doesn’t drink, he does go to work, he is not physically abusive…but is that enough to stay?

            I probably won’t marry again. It just isn’t worth it. All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl.

            Liked by 1 person

            • jennbb33 says:

              I’m so sorry…. Emotional abuse counts, too. And if you feel abused, or undervalued over a period of time that just isn’t going away, then I sincerely hope you ask yourself what is right for you. Banging your head against the wall is only going to hurt you. Not him. Do right by you, grrrrrl.

              I am done explaining. He is finally telling me “he’s glad” I came to this decision “for me” because he’s going to be happier too. He’s already dating even though we still live together. His obtuseness and selfishness is out of hand. He’d be going crazy if I was dating already. But whatever. Just get me out of this marriage!! We should be there soon!

              Like

              • Eileen says:

                I have heard that many times men will immediately start dating because 1) they can’t handle the blow to their self-esteem 2) they can’t stand being alone and 3) they need to distract themselves from the loneliness. So don’t think necessarily that he has already “moved on”. He is simply kicking the can (ie introspection) down the road. You’re doing great – focus on yourself and what you need!

                Liked by 1 person

                • jennbb33 says:

                  Thank you, Eileen… it all makes 100% sense. And honestly, I am so over this marriage, nothing he does – except for yelling at the kids and/or me – bothers me any more. I just want out. House goes on the market next month. I’m looking for a place for me and the kids. And waiting for all the pieces to fall into place. He’s losing his sugar mama. I know what’ he’s doing. He was told years ago by a mutual boss of ours that, without me, he would be naked and starving. And although I was shocked that someone told him that, I know it’s true. Even his mother called me and told me that she’s worried he’ll end up on the streets. Guess what? NOT MY EFFING PROBLEM ANY MORE. I WILL NOT MANAGE HIM ANY MORE. SEE YA.

                  Like

                • jennbb33 says:

                  Also “he needs sex because I’m aesexual to him” because I cut him off. Yeah, ok. Just don’t find my tumblr account, bub.

                  Like

          • Julia says:

            My ex, after 2 years of marital counselling and tons of books about marriage, tried to chastize my wanting to leave by saying “Now is where the hard work [in marriage] starts” – um no. I’ve been doing the work. I’m out. (and goddamn it now I’m happy!)

            Liked by 1 person

  13. Jim says:

    My wife sent this blog to me via e-mail and said that this epitomizes her view of our 27-year marriage. I have been providing very well financially for our family for the past 15 years following financial struggles for decades prior. My wife earns more than the median household income at her job and yet pays for absolutely nothing. She does whatever she wants with her money and this has never been an issue for me.

    Travel is her passion. She takes at least three grand vacations every year and she pays for nothing. She has traveled the world courtesy of being married to me but she considers me to be an emotionally abusive asshat who doesn’t give a damn about her. What she fails to see in the big picture is how deeply I have loved her and made it possible for her to pursue her passion for travel. All I have ever wanted was for her to be happy. Traveling makes her happy.

    As a direct result of this article and my wife’s reaction to it, I have decided that if she wants a roommate type of arrangement where we split everything up equally in terms of housework, then this will also extend to the financial aspect of our household. This will require more than her entire paycheck every month. She will either be handing over her entire paycheck as well as dipping into her savings every month in order to pay her share of the household bills or we will be moving to a more affordable house. Travel will be substantially curtailed and will have to be mutually agreed upon and fall within our new budget. Either that or she can divorce me because of my “emotional abuse”.

    Ladies, be careful what you ask for; you may get it.

    Like

    • Jimmy says:

      Yes. Women don’t appreciate things and are mostly blind to their own shortcomings. Make her spend her own money and then send her an article about how happy women are with broke husbands that clean well.

      Like

      • Lisa says:

        At this point it would be a joy to cleanly separate assets and spend my own money. I likely wouldn’t get a broke husband who could clean well unless he brought something else to the table, since I already do most of the cleaning. But I pull about 20k gross less than my husband and he spends well over 20k net more than I would spend if he weren’t around, largely on supporting our deadbeat in-laws and shiny toys that he wants to have. You live in your reality and I live in mine; I definitely have flaws and I can own up to them, but if my husband can’t do the same then this relationship will be over.

        Like

    • Dave says:

      It sounds like your wife wants respect, not equal chores.

      Throwing money at someone does not equal love. It sounds like you’re controlling her because you give her everything she wants. Not necessarily everything she needs. (I.E: emotional connection)

      “As a direct result of this article and my wife’s reaction to it, I have decided..” there it is. “*I* have decided.” It shows your wife has no say. You both are not equals nor are you partners. Your ability to toss feelings aside so quickly to say, “Be careful what you ask for; you may get it.” shows that you are controlling and do not hold respect for her. No relationship is ever 50/50%. To believe that is childish. Sometimes it’s 30/70, other times 80/20. It’s a partnership where you both understand that you both have to do everything you can for each other even when all you can offer at times is 20%.

      You two need counselling, because what you have is not a relationship.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jim says:

        Hi Dave. Thanks for your comments. I will not argue with your analysis. We have tried counseling half a dozen times. She loves counseling as long as the counselor is pointing out what I am doing wrong. In every case, the first time the counselor points to things she could improve, that is the last time we see that counselor. She spends the drive home telling me how that counselor clearly doesn’t understand anything. She insists that she is faultless and the epitome of a great wife. While I will not air dirty laundry about my wife, I will tell you that her position on this is delusional. I know that I am flawed, particularly where it comes to being a husband and father.

        She sees me as everything that is wrong with our family. Perhaps she is correct. In that case, after 3 decades together, maybe it is time for me to admit that I am simply not cut out for a relationship.

        Like

        • Dave says:

          Jim, I have to apologize for assuming things about you such as previous counselling endeavors and can understand your bitterness. As someone who has gone through multiple therapists, I understand it can be difficult to find one worth their salt that doesn’t just pick sides one way or the other. It was unfair of me to judge so harshly. It sounds like your wife has her fair share of issues she needs to sort. She sounds like my own mother who is bipolar. If she is of a similar brain, trying to convince her she has a problem will be incredibly difficult or downright impossible.. which stinks. With help, a lot of people with those types of personality disorders and their partners can lead a much more fulfilling life. If that is the case, there is only so much you can do on your end. It does not make you less or unworthy of love or a relationship. I am sorry you both are going through such rough times for so long, and I am doubly sorry for passing undeserved judgement.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jim says:

            No apologies necessary at all. I even appreciated Mickisue’s post despite being called “clueless”. I cannot learn from posts which completely agree with me. They do “feel” much better but will not move me forward from where I am now. I don’t know where this will go but it seems it may be time to “Move out and draw fire.”

            Like

  14. Mickisue says:

    The answer to one question will let me know if you really are as clueless as you seem. Here it is: Do you clean up after yourself?

    So far as I have seen, what the author’s ex wife and your wife were/are asking for is not to be treated like a servant. Even servants get to travel when their masters allow it, you know. But a servant/master relationship is not a good model for a marriage.

    The fact that you believe that you have “given” her the benefits of your higher earning potential, rather than having it be part of what you bring to the marriage, says a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for your enlightened perspective on my post. As you may have noticed, cleaning up after ones self is subject to individual interpretation and the expectations – either explicit or implicit – of each party to the conversation. It is, in fact, the basic premise of the original post. In my opinion, I clean up after myself. My wife clearly feels differently about the subject.

      I completely agree with your assertion that a servant/master relationship is not a good model for a marriage. Would you agree that it takes a myriad of things to run a household? Grocery shopping, general housecleaning, yard work, repair work, meal preparation, meal cleanup, taking care of pets, helping kids with homework, running kids around, keeping the family physically healthy, planning family vacations and executing them are just a few. None of that is even possible without the financial component. What percentage of the entire puzzle would you say is composed of the financial component? All I am saying is that if we are going to split duties that make a household operate, we must also include the financial component.

      I have not so much “given” her the benefit of my higher earning potential as I am suggesting it must be considered as part of what I bring to the relationship and our household. She has to this point considered the entire financial component of our household and my financial contribution to it negligible. Her complaint about me is that I consider it part of what I contribute to the running of our household. To be fair, without it, we wouldn’t have the household we have. I don’t think it is unreasonable to consider the financial component of a household a real contribution to what it takes to make things work.

      Like

      • Lisa says:

        That’s a lot of words to say that you don’t actually clean up after yourself, Jimmy. It should be pretty obvious if you’ve cleaned up after yourself; the spot that you just used will be as clean or cleaner than you left it. That is basic boy-scout rules and any kid should know it.

        TBH it sounds like you think a cash injection replaces any active involvement in the maintenance of the household. You earn a big income, maybe, but it sounds like she earns a pretty decent one too. If you’re spending close to your full income on things that you want personally, or things that are more important to you than her and the rest of the family, then maybe you’re not contributing as much as you think. The ONLY reason my family goes on vacations to fancy places each year is because my husband demands it, so these trips don’t factor into the contribution calculus. Nobody else in the household cares; it’s a treat for him only.

        Everything else in your list is best contributed with actual presence and personal effort. If you’re spending money to help your kids with homework instead of doing it yourself, that’s a major loss in bonding opportunity and probably counts against you if your partner is holding out hope for you to play a strong father figure role.

        Like

  15. Patrick Langston says:

    I hear what your saying but I think thsi is way extreme. It hurts her so much that the glass is left there. A physical action. Yet she may say things that are extremely condescending and belitlling and actually emotionally hurtful in reaction to a physical circumstance because she thinks it means something that it doesnt mean at all.

    There is definitely a balance to be met and in this circumstance it just sounds completely unbalanced. Just as much as you are to understand your wife point of view YOUR WIFR SHOULD BE WILLING TO UNDERSTAND YOIR POINT OF VIEW.

    She should be able to suck it up just like you arr recommending the husband do in this circumstance. She shouod be able to let it go just like the husband is able to let go of the million things she might do that he doesnt like. Yet he doesnt read into them to assume they mean ans say things about his intentions that are completely untrue.

    For someone to assume that you dont care a out them because they have a dish habit that is completely perfect and to end a marriage for it is completely unrrasonable. Again this just sounds completely unbalanced. Its abvious you were able to see things from her point of view in this circumstance, why is it mandatory for you to see things her way and not the other way around?

    Why is it necessary for you to be perfect in every way for yoir wife to understand that you do love her, regardless of the cup here or there left oj the side of the sink. Its apparent that she cares more about controlling your actions and you being perfect AND THEN she will love you.

    You leaving a dish by thr sink is a physical mistake, physical things can be hard to control, but emotionally its not hard to not let yourself be dependent on every physical thing about your partner being perfect to still understand that they care. This doesnt sound like unconditional love at all. I would be happy to leave this marriage or have the spouse do it for me if the marriage is so fragile that its balances on whether a you remember to put a dish away or not.

    Like

    • Jimmy says:

      Women are like that. It’s in their DNA. You must not be married. My big problem with Matt is that he never talks about his ex’s problems and takes all the blame.

      Like

    • Liz says:

      Yes, I agree with you! I am a woman and I’m married to a man who leaves dishes by the sink. Does it annoy me? Yes! But do I think it means he doesn’t love me or respect me? NOOOOO!

      I recognize that my husband is just not wired like I am. It doesn’t matter to him if dirty dishes are next to the sink – and that is okay. I am an adult and as an adult, I understand that people are different. I am not going to ascribe meaning to something meaningless. It would be illogical for me to believe my husband’s failure to put dishes in the sink means that he doesn’t respect me. Because where he leaves dishes has NOTHING to do with how much he loves me, it just has to do with how he’s wired! And because I love him, I have chosen not to get worked up over a tiny habit. My marriage and my love for my husband is much stronger than my desire to have dirty dishes in the “right” place.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lisa says:

        Liz, I think you might be half-right. Every relationship has its friction points, and if a relationship is otherwise going swimmingly, the glasses in the sink will never be a deal-breaker issue except maybe if someone is suffering from an extreme case of OCD.

        But I think the point here is that most relationships where one partner thinks it’s okay to do this, and the other hates it, are NOT otherwise-healthy relationships. More likely, what you have is a case where one partner is obliviously or intentionally ignoring the wishes of the other partner because it’s the easy route. A hundred little issues, spread across the topics of household chores, parenting, finance, time-allocation or sex, makes for a pretty big difference of opinion in the end, and if it’s always one partner being smothered for the other, it can be a big problem.

        Like

    • Fruitopia says:

      It’s not just one glass though. If leaving dirty glasses by the sink was the only problem – there wouldn’t be a problem.

      The problem is husbands behaving like entitled manchildren who leave a trail of mess and expect their wives to be their servant, and their mothers, as well as a sex servant.

      The glass is representative of a much wider problem of men behaving like lazy children and not listening to their wives/servants. If you think that a wife would divorce a husband JUST for leaving dirty glasses on the sink you’ve missed the entire point of the article.

      Liked by 3 people

  16. Gustavo says:

    wow great, you’re teaching men how to be submissive just to not get divorced. Look at how many women comments over here cheering you because you figured what they really want: men who follow their rules; men who avoid discussion; men who prefer to trash out their reasoning just to not lose a no-rational wife.
    Thanks for the job, buddy.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Not sure your reading comprehension is up to snuff. But I have a solution if the truth is too difficult for you: Don’t get married. OR. Only marry a “rational” woman.

      Then all of your problems will be solved, right?

      Understand what your marriage partner needs and deliver it. It’s not about submissiveness. It’s about not being a cockbag. Good luck with that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jimmy says:

        What about your needs. What did your ex do for you. We only hear about what you didn’t do but was she a good wife to you?

        Like

        • Matt says:

          Forgive me for answering your question with a question, but it must be asked:

          If you KNOW you made errors in judgment and accidentally damaged your partner in a way that they experienced as intentional, at worst, and grossly negligent at best, how can you objectively evaluate THEIR actions?

          Just maybe, all of the stuff that she did that upset me wouldn’t have happened if I’d understood back then what I do now instead of telling her she was crazy and overreacting and that her expressed experiences were fundamentally flawed.

          Maybe if every time we had a disagreement, she didn’t hear me essentially say that I would NEVER stop hurting her because I disagreed that I did something hurtful, she would have been much different.

          Statistically speaking, she made several mistakes too. She’s a human being.

          But I don’t know how to fairly evaluate her without knowing what she may or may not have done had she not felt perpetually hurt by things I said and did.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Jimmy says:

            I hear you and I appreciate you ability to self-reflect because a lot of people can’t do that. You mentioned in other posts about how society is not preparing young men and boys to be good husbands. I think there is some truth to that but if a young man reads this blog he will be left with the impression that marriage is a one way street where a husband can only not be shitty if he doesn’t expect much from his wife and does everything he can to make her happy and not feel great emotional pain from things that make him happy i.e. leaving the glass out. You have some good points Matt but both men and women read this and the lack of balance gives people the wrong idea about marriage. This is why you get some of the negative responses. The glass thing could have been a bigger issue for you as well. You could have rightfully viewed it as an attempt by her to disregard your feelings as an adult because she knows better. If she respected you then maybe there could have been some sort of compromise. Keep being open and honest because some of us need to hear it but please be mindful of the fact that a lot of women on here would be well served by getting some advice on how to be better wives because I don’t think society does a good job of preparing little girls to be good wives either.

            Like

            • Matt says:

              I don’t disagree with much, if any, of what you said, minus the part where I think young men should be left with the impression that I advocate submission.

              I advocate selfless love IN marriage. If people prefer a more self-centered life, I make no judgments. I just encourage them to not marry, because it’s not likely to work out.

              That’s not a man thing. That’s an everybody thing. Everyone must be selfless. But I write in the first-person. I write about my life and my experiences, and trust that it’s a lot like other people’s because I’m a super-average dude across the board.

              As a first-person storyteller, there just isn’t much room for blame-shifting, finger-pointing and judgment of my ex-wife or any wives.

              Of course women can and should do and be more in marriage. But purely from a statistical standpoint, mostly men are making this critical mistake — this inability to understand that we don’t get to tell other people whether what they experience is valid or “correct.”

              People WILL make their own judgments about what they’ve just been through. If that person is your spouse (or anyone you value), you damn well better respect those experiences, or your relationship will be shitty with them.

              Men frequently demonstrate little interest in compromise because they don’t agree when their wives or girlfriends said something hurt or that something bad happened.

              We don’t deal with their reality. We deny its existence.

              And for anyone who values their marriage or family, the need to stop doing that or it only ends one way.

              Like

            • meridda says:

              Its so hard to have these discussions, because every marriage is different and its natural to feel defensive if you feel attacked. But its so important that we have them, so I certainly appreciate Matt starting this public dialogue. I agree that both boys and girls could be better prepared to be husbands and wives. One of my theories for my generation (I’m Gen X) is that my husband and I were both raised in “traditional” homes, where the dad’s brought home the paycheck and the mom’s took care of the kids and household responsibilities. Today, that is far less likely, as both partners may work and women are even the primary (sometimes sole) breadwinner in many families. However, since we came from families where women were responsible for all of the household duties, we (men and women) have no model for how to share that role. In my own case, I am the primary breadwinner AND I am still responsible for running the household–childcare, shopping, cooking, cleaning, scheduling, etc…my husband will “help”, when asked (sometimes), but he has no role model for a man taking an active role in that way. this comic sums it up well: https://english.emmaclit.com/2017/05/20/you-shouldve-asked/. Not saying this is the situation in your household, Jimmy. If I were in a situation where my husband was the sole breadwinner, I would expect to take on more of the household manager role, and I don’t think I would mind it at all. It all depends on what was agreed upon when a couple decides to get married. Unfortunately, in many cases (mine, for sure) we didn’t even come close to ever discussing ANY of this prior to marriage…so that would be a good place to start. I appreciate you guys continuing the dialogue.

              Liked by 3 people

              • Matt says:

                Love that comic. Nails it.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Mike says:

                Yeah, interesting cartoon about the “thinking work”. As someone who writes, I’m always envious of how much more impact there is to words when accompanied by some cartoons, versus the same words just out there in sans serif.

                And as someone who’s run a (catering) kitchen, the thinking work is harder work than the worky work. It’s one easy thing to get something out the freezer to defrost — it’s another thing to KNOW that that’s what needs to happen next.

                Part of the problem is, the thinking work is hard to share. You can share cleaning, cooking or shopping, but things work much better when ONE person is in charge of thinking about any particular area. Not doing all the work, but like the project manager in the cartoon, doing the planning. It’s tiring and it’s hard to share out.

                Like

                • Mike says:

                  (Replying to myself) …it may be the kitchen work that cured me of this problem. If the guy (and it usually is a guy) leading the previous shift has left HIS mess for ME to clear up, well, it’s not going to be pretty, and we are both armed with sharp knives.

                  Like

              • jennbb33 says:

                Read the Second Shift. I read that in college in 1993 and wish I had paid attention. Nothing has changed. Feminism gave women the right to work out of the home, but did not change the fact that things still need to be run at home. Working outside of the home is the norm for most families, for mere survival now, The Mental Load is a thing. And for some of us, we can’t let things go. For me, if I let my physical environment go, my emotional environment goes to HELL. So, I understand it’s a choice. But it’s also a choice to have food in the house. Or clean clothes. Or clean dishes. So pull together, or be pulled apart.

                Awesome comic. Spot on.

                Like

    • Lisa says:

      “Trash out their reasoning” surely, because women are all irrational creatures and we only get upset because we’re irrational, not because we have rational reasons to be upset that you either don’t understand because YOU are irrational, or because you have a vested reason not to understand!

      I’m pretty sure all you do by posting comments about “no-rational” women is convince women that there’s a high percentage of men who are retarded, since that was never a real phrase in English grammar. I’m married and at this point I’m trying very hard to convince myself that what I want is a man who follows my rules of not molesting me in my sleep and not ignoring everything I say. At this point if I had known about my husband’s traits beforehand, I would have never married him. But we’re now intertwined socially and financially so things are a bit more difficult. Sorry bud but this has nothing to do with the extra 20 cents per dollar that you might make over a woman; I’d rather laugh and eat ramen than cry while eating lobster, and so would most people with a brain in their head.

      Like

  17. Amanda says:

    I recently discovered your blog and am making my way through all your posts. This post is highly validating. I think sometimes it’s hard for me(maybe women in general) to even verbalize how something as silly as a glass left on the sink is a bother. It was never about the glass. For years I’ve questioned what was wrong with me to be so bothered and hurt by these little things. Your blog has really brought a lot of peace of mind to me and my feelings. It unfortunately doesn’t make my situation better but at least I’m able to see that I’m not crazy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Matt says:

      It’s so hard to explain to someone. It’s nuanced. So I try to do it a hundred different ways and occasionally it sticks. This seemed to be one of the times more people got it than usual.

      But it’s two and a half years later, and even today I got three or four comments from people who think it’s bullshit.

      Can’t help everyone. :/

      Like

      • Patrick Langston says:

        If you want a fair and unbiased discussion I reccomend entertaining your guest commenters and their point of view. People like to discuss not argue. Everyone with a different point of view doesnt have a reading comprehension error. They just dont understand or see things or believe in what/the way you do. Maybe we can actually have a discussion.

        Of course some peoples comments are slightly arrogant but that’s what your here for isnt ot? To bring light and help people see the other perspective. Just remember though that the point is to connect the two points of view to understand one another not to say one is wrong and one is right and now that you see things “her way” that everyone else should understand this also without “reading comprehension issues”.

        Maybe the “old you” would understand where these people are coming from in not seeing things perfect in the Sam’s light you do now, again that was the point wasn’t it? To help people see the other perspective like you have? If they have reading comprehension issues then perhaps you could gently explain it differently.

        Like

  18. awhinysoul14 says:

    I think I saved this post almost 2 years ago and I still think about it regularly. Of course people view things differently but at the very least there are some conversation starters here. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Liz says:

    I am a woman and I’m married to a man who leaves dishes by the sink. Does it annoy me? Yes! But do I think it means he doesn’t love me or respect me? NOOOOO!

    I recognize that my husband is just not wired like I am. It doesn’t matter to him if dirty dishes are next to the sink – and that is okay. I am an adult and as an adult, I understand that people are different. I am not going to ascribe meaning to something meaningless. It would be illogical for me to believe my husband’s failure to put dishes in the sink means that he doesn’t respect me. Because where he leaves dishes has NOTHING to do with how much he loves me, it just has to do with how he’s wired! And because I love him, I have chosen not to get worked up over a tiny habit. My marriage and my love for my husband is much stronger than my desire to have dirty dishes in the “right” place.

    Your (ex)wife’s desire to have dishes in the “right” isn’t any more legitimate than your desire to have them in the “right” place in your mind. You do not have to be a doormat. You both failed to communicate and that is at the heart of the problem, not that she should have gotten her way and you were “shitty” for failing to do otherwise.

    I came to read this post after seeing so many people rave about it. All I can say is…I’m disappointed and a little disturbed.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      You want to talk about it Liz?

      It’s not about the dish.

      You don’t care about dishes. I can tell.

      What do you care about? Anything.

      Now exchange the dish metaphor for The Thing You Care About.

      If your husband or boyfriend hypothetically shitted all over The Thing You Care About, you’d feel differently.

      This isn’t an article about dishes.

      This is an article about intentionally caring about things simply because the people we love care about them.

      NOT doing so ends thousands of marriages every day. I’m so glad yours won’t be among them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Patrick Langston says:

        Some people have anxiety. They obsess and care about things to an unhealthy extent and exaggerate and dramatize the severity of certain things. Should we obsess with then because that’s what a good spouse would do? Also people forget, some people are more forgetful than others and may forget to put the dish away. This doesnt mean they dont care.

        To assume someone doesnt care about you because of a dish is giving them very little benefit of the doubt. People also have different interests, some people dont care about dishes and want to focus more on other stuff in life. Maybe these two people are just not compatible, if they care about the dishes and the other person just isnt too crazy about them then maybe the marriage just wont work?

        OR MAYBE THEY COULD MEET HALFWAY?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Matt says:

          I understand, Patrick.

          Everything I write can only focus on one tiny thing.

          Of course wives should (in my opinion) demonstrate loving patience, forgiveness, generous reactions to the mistakes that affect them when they know that they were not intentional acts of harm.

          Of course I believe in loving compromise.

          Of course I believe that, on the surface, an argument about dirty dishes is not a valid reason to divorce.

          I’m simply trying to illustrate the problem that exists in marriage that most often ends them. Please don’t focus on dishes. Because every human feels varying degrees of pain for varying reasons.

          The dish doesn’t cause the pain. Feeling as if one’s husband (or spouse) loves them so little, that they repeatedly refuse to do the tiniest little thing to help their marriage partner for feeling hurt.

          If all you needed to not feel severe pain and anxiety was the person who promised to love you forever putting a glass in the dishwasher after they were done with it, but refused, and then every time you asked them for help so that you wouldn’t feel severe pain and anxiety any more, they not only indicate that they refuse to change, but that they think you’re stupid for feeling as you do.

          That something is wrong with you. That you are sick or mentally imbalanced.

          Wouldn’t that drive you away eventually?

          Wouldn’t that cause you to pull back mentally and emotionally to protect yourself from repeated pain that has morphed into feelings of neglect and abuse after being denied help so many times?

          I’m 100% with you on compatibility. People need to figure this shit out BEFORE getting married.

          But once vows are made, homes are made, and children are counting on their parents to get them to adulthood?

          We need to step up. Big time. And that’s not happening.

          All because of semantics and a nuanced misunderstanding.

          And THAT is tragic.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Patrick Langston says:

            Severe pain and anxiety from dishes is definitely a sign of mental imbalance.

            Like

            • Gillian Gahagan says:

              Once again, not getting the point there, Patrick. As my grandfather used to say, “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

              Like

              • Mickisue says:

                I’m pretty old. And one thing I’ve learned over time is that if people don’t want to understand something, they will contort their minds in whatever way necessary to avoid it.

                Patrick’s comments, and so many others here, are sad cases in point.

                Liked by 3 people

                • Patrick Langston says:

                  Trust me we completely understand his unbalanced point of view. Now if there was a little more balance then I would COMPLETELY agree. I understand that it matters if someone never helps and takes advantage of you which may or may not include never doing their dishes. That’s not what we are talking about. I am saying if you have an otherwise healthy marriage and do everything else to consider the other individual, but the only thing is literally one glass by the sink here or there, it should not be made into a big deal and all of the other effort that person is putting in to the relationship should not be taken for granted or overlooked because they leave a dish here or there.

                  I completely understand that its not my place to tell someone how they are allowed to feel about something and perhaps it truly does cause them so much mental suffering (caused by feeling disrespected). What I am saying is that if the person is doing everything else right(their share of chores etc) besides the dish here or there perhaps the other person really does have an unhealthy obsession of wanting everything to be perfectly their way. It would be unfair for them to assume that person doesnt care when they doing everything else to par.

                  Like

  20. Ana says:

    Wow, after all the comments on this article it still shocks me how individuals still think this article is about dishes and then give sage advice about how it is nuts to care about dirty dishes.

    it’s not about dishes people. for real, get a clue.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Patrick Langston says:

      The article is definitely about his wife leaving him over dirty dishes. He even lists reasons he might leave a dirty dish in the sink. Half the article talks about dirty dishes. Dirty dishes are definitely a big part 9f what its about. Do I need to count the number of times “dish” is mentioned in this article?

      His wife left him because he didnt put away the dish by the sink. Now if animosity was generated by the ordeal then the animosity would be the main problem not the dish at all. Animosity is very bad for a relationship. That’s why I choose not to judge people for habits as long as they dont cause me actual harm (definition of harm does not include psychological dirty dish distess generated by someone’s exaggeration of the severity of dirty dish situations)

      If they were a complete slob and you weren’t compatible divorce is understandable but to get all butt fondled over a stray cup here or there is really a fucking joke and I dont understand how you dont see this as unrealistic expectations.

      Do you not have enough positive qualities that all they can focus on is the occasional fork next to the sink. It’s both of your house. If you want to leave a dish next to the sink for whatever reason you should be granted that freedom.

      What if your freedom to leave a dirty dish by the sink was just important to you as the organization and cleanliness is to her. Why does her desire take precedence over your wants and needs.

      It’s about both of you, you are really portrayinb your wife as the victim and you as the horrible person who couldn’t just do what she asked but now you changed from that horrible person and everyone should see how wrong you were just like you do. Is this how you make yourself feel like a better person? You now understand YOUR mistakes and you are better now.

      How about you see that you were both maybe not handling the situation the best way. Maybe the ordeal created tension and you guys couldn’t handle it properly. What I really seeing here is that your relationship was tested by a dirty dish habit and it couldnt stand up to the test. You guys couldnt figure out how to cope and handle and process it and rather than understanding that you just needed to learn to communicate better you figured “well if we cant even figure the dish situation work how could we possibly make this relationship work”.

      Seems you both saw your flaws as obstacles that you had to deal with and as hindrances and horrible negative things that mean you are a bad person rather than just things you could help eachother work on without judging eachother in the mean time.

      Let eachother make mistakes and let it be ok. Let it not mean anything more than that you made a mistake. A dirty dish by the sink means a dirty dish by the sonja and nothing else. Its amazing not to have to worry that one mistake you make can cause someone to change their attitude toward you. Otherwise it’s an uncomfortable always on your toes feeling trying to always do everything right and make everyone happy all the time, it’s not the way a relationship should work in my opinion.

      Like

      • kim says:

        Dude. you have missed the entire point of what he is trying to say. I don’t know what it is you do for a living but if your best friend borrowed one of your tools and then when he brought it back he just tossed it in your garage instead of putting it back where it belonged would you find that irritating? Maybe you don’t say anything, but clearly he does not respect your organization. Your tools. Then he borrows another and does it again. This time you say something. Dude. You clearly know where you found it, put it back when you are done…I mean you WANT to let your buddy use your tools…right?
        Then he does it again. and again and again…and when you finally blow up and say something he blows you off and tells you how stupid it is to want your tools back where you had them. What an idiot you are to get mad over something so dumb! Good grief, just pick it up off the floor and put it back your damn self.
        Do you feel respected? Do you feel like this “friend” does not give a fuck about how you keep things? Do you see? it is not about how your friend feels or thinks or what he thinks is important but about the disrespect he shows you EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. he gets the opportunity and then to top it off blows you off and tells you what a pussy you are for whining like a bitch just because you can’t find that socket set you paid big bucks for.
        Yeah..it’s like that.

        Liked by 4 people

    • kim says:

      It is frustrating isn’t it. I have to say Matt has much more patience in trying to explain it than I would. I feel sorry for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Annette Slaughter says:

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. […] many of you, the symbolism will be evident—in January 2016, I published an article called She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink, and several millions of people read it, and it’s basically the entire reason anyone gives a shit […]

    Like

  23. David says:

    This is just childishly stupid. And there’s more to this marriage than a glass by the sink. Hell we don’t have a dishwasher. We wash our own dishes. Or get the kids to help. Grow people . It’s not all ways about who is right or wrong or looking so deep into something so small …. Live happy. Smile

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mickisue says:

      Yet another person who thinks that a dish is just a dish. Even if multiplied by hundreds. Even when the person who didn’t wash it, or put it in the dishwasher spent the day sitting at a desk, then the evening sitting in the lounger, while the other came home from a job and wrangled kids, housework and dinner making.

      Things grow in significance as they are ignored. As they come to stand for other, more painful things that are harder to verbalize.

      A dish is NOT just a dish, David.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Patrick Langston says:

        A dish is definitely just a dish…. now if someone is not doing their fair share of chores etc and lays around most of the time and wont even wash the one dish then that is understandable to be frustrated. But if someone is in a hurry to work and they end up leaving/forgetting about the one cereal bowl they used in the morning, they should be able to leave it there without being worried itll be interpreted as they dont love their wife anymore.

        Like

        • Patrick Langston says:

          This sounds like sensationalism: A new problem has swept America that is ruining families!! Husbands who leave their dishes by the sink. Do you have one of those? Well thats what we are going to be talking about here today.

          Gotta keep our focus on what matters huh cus woooohh it’s such a biggg dealllll. “Well if you were the one coming home to the cup by the sink after a long day of work you would give yourself a hernia over it too” Actually I would just laugh understanding that some people have habits and tendencies and I can laugh at them and accept them rather than judge them and rescind my love for them over something so nominal.

          But hey if you want to make a thing about it go ahead. Americans seem to care so much about the things that really dont matter and so little about the things that do. If you cared enough for your husband you would be able to look past his cup by the sink habit, then maybe he would see how much you care and decide he cares too.

          But if you judge him over it and show that a cup means more to you than him then maybe he will decide the same and keep leaving them by the sink until you realize what truly matters. Of course there are extremes where the person is overall lazy but I’m talking about only a dish by the sink. ITS JUST A DISH.

          Like

          • Matt says:

            I write for you, Patrick. Very specifically. And I’m failing.

            I’m sorry. I hope you make the connection some day. It will help the people you care about.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Patrick Langston says:

              What you arent understanding is that their are more dynamics to this interpersonal conflict than you might realize. I am sure it feels good to think you now have it all figured out and you are now on the right side of things but realistically there is much more to it than “she cares about the dish I care about her therefore I care about the dish or I’m a bad person” there are many things that people care about that I dont and i should not be made to feel like a bad person because of that.

              Now if they stopped making it an obligation and commandment and rather let me change my habits out of actually wanting to make the other person as comfortable as possible that is different. But for the other person to judge me and assume I’m a bad person and put the ultimatum “it’s me or the dish” that’s a fucking joke and sounds more like a militant approach rather than a couple working out their differences because they care about eachother.

              Perhaps compatibility is the main issue in that circumstance or maybe some people are being a bit inflexible and want everyone to do thing their way to feel content in their relationship. How about you focus on the positive traits of the individual and stop judging them and hawking them over a tiny flaw.

              You are showing disdain for people who have not come to the wonderful light that you have. Disdain does not convince people to change but rather creates aversion. Nobody want to be around someone who judges them and assumes they are a bad person because of a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes and not everybody is scornful about it, some people like to live and let live.

              Like

              • Matt says:

                Patrick. This isn’t for you. That’s okay.

                Let me tell you what this is for, as the person who wrote it.

                I believe the average guy in the average marriage accidentally hurts his wife all of the time.

                Not annoys. Not frustrates. HURTS. Painfully.

                It’s not one thing; one thing that could be easily fixed.

                It’s always a thousand things.

                And what they all have in common is that there was a moment that really mattered to the emotional health of one spouse and played a role in determining their future divorce, but the average guy had NO IDEA.

                None.

                He’s not a bad guy. Most guys aren’t bad guys trying to hurt their wives.

                They’re good guys who accidentally do.

                And because they’re accidentally doing it, the literally DON’T KNOW what is hurting their wives and marriage.

                Do you not see the danger there?

                How can a man succeed in marriage if he doesn’t even know what is or is not harming it?

                The average guy does what you just did.

                What I did in my marriage.

                We minimize. Deflect. Say that something doesn’t matter because we don’t think it does. And we’re certain — totally certain — that we’re right.

                And if we’re right, they must be wrong.

                No one learns anything. Nothing changes.

                Marriages fail. Hard.

                Maybe you don’t care. This isn’t for you, after all.

                But I KNOW that some other guys care because they write and tell me about it.

                Men lose their wives and they never understand how or why. They never could have stopped it because they never even knew what to watch for, or to even ask the question.

                Men, everyone really, must start asking the right questions.

                A story about a dish causing divorce prompts some of those right questions.

                Because it’s not about the dish. It never was. And it never will be.

                Liked by 2 people

                • yes… and the average women also hurts guy, accidentally, unconsciously, or selfishly, all the same time. She is not ME. I am not HER. dish by the sink: what, a metaphor for a much deeper injury? well okay. i think a lot of people are missing the metaphor then. my issue with my girlfirend is that i don’t feel like she actually LISTENS to me, and doesn’t show any sympathy, empathy or understanding of my feelings – even if i’m telling her how deeply i love her and how attractive she is to me. i could turn it into a metaphor and say we always get what she wants when we eat out. if i say “burrito would be nice” she overrides and gets the enchilada she likes for us. and i’m paying. so yeah, i could make that the metaphor for why i’m leaving her. but that’s not authentic…. it would be authentic to say i left because my feelings, interests, ideas, ways were not listened to, accounted for, accepted or received. the dish by the sink, or the dinner choices aren’t even worth bringing in to the discussion, except if asked for examples, small – like dinner..

                  Like

                  • Joseph says:

                    Dude seriously think about whether you ever want to get married or not. We live in a society that tells women that in relationships it’s all about them and that they really don’t have to do anything accept be women. I very rarely see a case where I can honestly say that the woman does a lot for her husband. This guy posts abut him being a shitty husband but his ex sounds like a pretty shitty wife herself. She was probably a real nagging, emasculating, nightmare to be with and Matt should count himself fortunate to be rid of her. He probably should have kicked her to the curb a long time ago and it’s a shame that more men don’t do that. Unfortunately the laws make it hard for us too. I think marriage would be a lot better of men demanded as much from their wives as their wives do of them and fully be prepared to walk if they either can’t or won’t step up.

                    Like

              • kim says:

                ” Everybody makes mistakes and not everybody is scornful about it, some people like to live and let live.”
                Is someone holding a gun to your head and making you read this? Do we need to send help? Can you send us a message if so? I feel as if you are trying to tell us something. I can’t imagine why someone would spend so much time reading and responding to something he feels this way about unless forced….

                Like

            • Patrick Langston says:

              But you go ahead an continue to be self-righteous just like your wife has taught you. Keep up the good behavior ;)

              Like

        • Lisa says:

          You’re being intentionally thick. For the partner who is always the one who has to rinse and put away the dish, it probably seems like nothing, but there are a lot of other petty comparisons to be made that should convey the point. How would you feel if your wife randomly came up and stuck her pinky finger up your nose? Once would be pretty weird. 3x a day every day might be a dealbreaker, because _who the fuck is immature enough to do that?_

          Like

  24. …Wow – what a great post! Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts!

    Like

  25. I don't feel bad anymore says:

    I just don’t care anymore. After 20+ years of marriage, it is just not worth the effort anymore. I am focused on my kids getting through uni and grad school. I focus on my relationship with them: how to tell one another if we have been hurt by an action or careless words. How to make it better, and mean it. They will be much better spouses than my husband could ever be. My husband and I are not always together due to our respective careers. I have always had the majority of time with the kids, which I thought was unfair when they were younger. Now I am grateful, as I had much more influence on how they developed emotionally and intellectually, and how they learned to form their relationships with friends and sig others. They are smart, educated, stable, happy, socially confident near-adults now. It was all worth it. My primary goal in life was for my children to grow into productive, happy, caring, involved people. So, upon reflection, I am glad I had more influence. They have not grown up like their father. I don’t think he is capable of understanding what he missed, and is still missing. So be it. I pity him.
    Which does not make for a great relationship, particularly in the bedroom. Again, i just don’t care enough anymore. For years and years I tried to make it interesting, try new things, buy lingerie, light candles, etc. blah blah blah. After giving up, as I got little interest in what I might want, or discussing what I want. Now, he is vaguely aware something is amiss. He once asked years ago, what he can do to make our sex life better – I responded: Take the garbage out. After preparing him a nice dinner, which he ate in front of the computer, after I cleaned up the dishes, put the kids to bed, answered our our emails (other parents, teachers, dr appointment reminders, birthday party invites, work stuff, etc.) if he had just taken the trash out, it would have helped enormously…but he didn’t, even after I asked with a please. And just before I went up to bed, alone, as he was still sitting by the computer…I saw the dirty beer glass next to the sink. It’s not about the dirty glass, or dirty dish – it represents the tip of a terrible iceberg of unmet needs. And articulating them, over and over again, doesn’t help. He simply is too lazy to care about me or much of anything that doesn’t have an immediate painful consequence. And going up to bed alone, and seeing the toilet seat up, and yellow all over it…well sex is definitely out – for days, maybe more. Garbage in the kitchen and piss on the toilet seat are complete turn-offs. Not only do I not feel cared for, not feel sexy or specifically desired, but I feel less than any unpaid servant. I have taken to photographing the glasses and dishes left by the sink, and I have a Google pic file full of them. I look at them whenever I feel like I should do more to help improve our relationship – these pics help me balance my desire to make things better. I am giving him as much as I get from him now – which is very little. But at least now it is better balanced. I feel free to not care.
    So I take care of the kids, my work, do the laundry, dishes, shopping, meal preparation, etc…I am his mother surrogate…and you don’t f__k your mother. Sex has become (fortunately) rare, and when we do have sex, I am thinking of the dirty beer glass invariably left next to the sink. When he is finished, I am grateful that it is over.
    I have a PhD in a hard science, I pull in as much money as he does, but it still doesn’t matter. Nothing matters except what he feels matters. I am tired of hearing that men are “thinking” about problems – in truth they “feel” all the time what matters to them is more important. If a thought process was involved, my husband would add up all the articulations and demonstrations and conclude that fairness in the doing and the giving in a relationship bring great rewards both downstairs, and in the bedroom. Viewing the relationship through the often narcissistic male lens is about his feelings, his needs, not thinking or problem solving. I call BS on that.
    There is not much that can be done for those with narcissistic tendencies – except pity them to some degree, work around him, and live my own life to the fullest. Now _that_ is thinking and problem solving. And I don’t feel bad about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eileen says:

      I want you to know that I read your entire post, word for word, and I feel your pain, though you may feel like you’ve moved past it. It’s painful to give up your dreams of what could have been and what you deserved as a 50/50 partner/mother of your husband’s children. I wish I could do something to lessen your pain, but I can’t. All I can do is read your submission with open “ears,” full attention, and compassion. You aren’t alone. And please take immense joy in your children. I know mine saves me on a daily basis.

      Liked by 2 people

    • jennbb33 says:

      I think you both have it spot on. I couldn’t wait another 8 years to get my kids through even high school. I served my soon to be ex back in February. It’s amicable, and we are doing it ourselves because we are dirt broke. I have $5 literally to my name, and no gas in my tank until this Thursday because he lost his job, which was still barely carrying us through. He moved out to be with his new girlfriend after two weeks of “how could you do this to me? I don’t understand.” He barely sees the kids. It’s been a blame game extravaganza, and I won’t rise to the bait. My kids and my sanity are my priority. When it came to the point of “who gets the bullet? me or the marriage?” I knew I could not leave my beautiful children with that legacy and this monster. He is gone. He is happier, I am happier, my kids are happier. I will rise again, and fight for everything. I am exhausted, I am broke, I am furious at my life, I am lonely, but ultimately I have faith that the right things will happen for me and my kids.

      And you know what? He came over to mow the lawn yesterday – he still has some skin in the house selling if he expects 50% of the proceeds after it’s gone – and came in to get a drink of water after. No problem. Still his house. The kids and i keep it tidy, all the time because I want to be ready in case a fucking realtor (another story all together) needs to come and show it. He drank the water, said bye to everyone and left. And the glass? Was right. next. to. the. sink.

      I am making the right choice.

      Like

  26. […] up in an all-consuming relationship, and then after about two years it all falls apart because he left dishes by the sink or whatever and the very idea that your partner is imperfect or that your partner might not adore […]

    Like

  27. BitterPill says:

    So it’s really upsetting to read this. You keep saying things like “it’s not about the glass ***for her***” — something is that is completely fucked up to say.

    The thing is, this isn’t about it being “for her” — this wasn’t a noble sacrifice that you missed out on. It wasn’t a perception difference between you and her.

    What it was is that you were too busy wanting to be right, and it was more important for you to be right than it was for you to not cause her emotional and psychological pain.
    Stop couching it in cute little terms about how you and she “saw things differently” and try some honesty: You willingly continued to be emotionally abusive to her well after you knew how important it was, to the point where you showed her through this and other actions that you did not value her emotional or psychological health as a person at all, not if it meant that you could win a petty argument like a child demanding to have their way.

    It’s real cute that you’re trying to make yourself look like the good guy here, all learned and wiser now, that you “understand” what happened, but really all you’re doing is displaying what a disgusting fuck you still are. Your inability to take true accountability for your actions will always be your downfall as long as you refuse to actually grow as a person and move past it.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I don't feel bad anymore says:

    MBTTTR is absolutely correct when he says it’s a trust and respect thing. Leaving the dirty glass by/in the sink is also making work for the one who does the dishes primarily in the house – typically the woman. Putting it in the sink is absolutely unnecessary in this day and age of the best ever dishwashers – it adds an extra step – makes unnecessary work. My children put their dishes in the dishwasher. What is the logic to adding an unnecessary step to the process of cleaning the dishes? This is highly illogical, and if there is no good intellectual reason for this behavior, then perhaps there is an emotional reason for it. Perhaps it is that not only is the offender forgetting or ignoring the responsibility of cleaning up after himself (ie. putting the dirty dish in the dishwasher directly), but he may have an unspoken need to feel like someone is willing to clean up after him. Ruling our that he sees me as his slave, then this is immaturity. Perhaps the underlying question is why do so many people (many men) need to have someone clean up after them to feel loved/validated/important??

    Like

  29. john says:

    Matt, very interesting article. I feel for you. I think you have it way wrong and will continue a life full of pain and failure with women. It’s like you are doubling down on the exact thinking and behavior that most like pushed your wife way. What books have you read on the subject? I’d love to trade notes sometime as we’ve both went through similar situations but arrived at very different conclusions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      You’re welcome to chat anytime, John. I’m mostly around. Traveling tomorrow evening (EST) so I’ll be MIA for a stretch, but just start a conversation, and we’ll have it.

      Appreciate you reading.

      Like

    • Patrick Langston says:

      I’d like to hear your perspective as well, it seems there are a lot of people who think they have the other perspective all figured out without even giving as much as a second thought to entertain the possible value of that other perspective.

      Like

      • Lisa says:

        Most women give years and years of thought to the male perspective; it’s the default. I remember being 14 and telling my best friend it was OK that her boyfriend was watching weird-as-fuck porn because it’s normal and just what boys did. I regret that deeply now and I wouldn’t give that same advice today. Male supremacy is the default, dude. You’re just mad because women are getting wise to it.

        Like

  30. Paul says:

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. And I read “the art of the deal”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      I don’t believe for a second that this isn’t the dumbest thing you’ve ever read. But I’m super-into hyperbole, so I get it.

      This comment made me laugh all night. I kept repeating it out loud to my friends every hour or so, and then we’d all laugh again.

      So, thanks for that.

      Like

    • Lisa says:

      What sort of idiot reads a business book written by someone who had 6 businesses that went bankrupt?

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Lisa Smith says:

    Maybe you’re just a slob. Sometimes it IS just about the dirty dishes. Men seem to want a another mother, not an equal partner. Why can’t you just clean up after yourself? Were you never taught manners?

    Like

  32. You have so much wisdom to give to others. That is the thing about wisdom, you don’t get it unless you go through experience with something. I am sorry you went through everything you did, but from where I stand, you have come out a stronger and wiser man that will make another woman very happy one day. To me that is a success story, regardless of your divorce. You really have cleansed your soul in a sense, by simply reflecting on your life in such a profound way and figuring out what you did and what you could have. Now I hope you will see you have become a sage for others.

    I shared this to my husband and I hope many more men get a chance to take your gift of knowledge you offer up so freely.

    Thank you for being a lightworker on this planet when others choose to spread darkness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HDoc says:

      No, he hasn’t cleansed his soul, he’s committed to become something he’s not. He’s decided that he has to become a servant to someone else’s will because they won’t bend to accept him for who he is. That’s not love, and even though he may not see it now, in the end it’ll be him that ends up resentful.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. crimi09 says:

    This article is pretty interesting. I do think getting mad about one glass is a little much. But I do not want to be expected to cook, and clean, and work full-time, and have kids, there’s no way. Yes, I will break things off with a person who expects me to do the majority of the chores. I will also test a guy to make sure he tries to help out and doesn’t blame the woman in the relationship if a house is too messy. Because of this, my boyfriend is excellent. I *want* to cook for him and do things for him bc he helps me too. I would urge a woman to test for this exact problem before she marries a man bc it is way too common.

    Like

  34. crimi09 says:

    I think leaving one glass next to a sink is not a big deal. But I have definitely broken up (more than once) with a guy because I knew I would be expected to do the majority of the domestic chores . Women should test men fot this problem before they marry them and don’t be afraid to break things off if someone is acting like a child. I have a great boyfriend who I *want* to cook for and do stuff for.

    Like

  35. HDoc says:

    I’ve read through this article, and I’ve read through these comments, and frankly I can’t believe what I’m reading. There’s a highly feminist angle, backed with commentary saying if you don’t agree with it than you’re a horrible person. Well, I’m sorry, reality sucks and this article is a crock of B.S.

    This whole article has been written from a standpoint of a grieving man who loved a woman unconditionally, and she turned on him because she couldn’t tolerate his failings. It’s a man who’s regretful about not changing who he was, and a woman who has self-esteem issues.

    “I’m grateful for another opportunity to demonstrate to my wife that she comes first and that I can be counted on to be there for her”. This isn’t reality. Being there for someone isn’t changing who you are into what they want you to be. If you love someone you love them for who they are, with all their faults and failings included.

    Let’s get down to reality here. Facing (almost) this same situation as the article I know exactly where this guy is coming from. Yes, maybe I left some dishes on my desk which I would clean up a day or so later. Yea, maybe I put something in the sink instead of the dishwasher because I was tired and not thinking at the time. Yea, maybe I let the grass grow a couple days longer than I should have. Does that mean I’m a bad person? Does that mean I don’t respect women? No, that’s a crock of BS. It means I’m just your average person, flawed and imperfect. I didn’t do these things to spite my fiancée. I didn’t do these things out of disrespect. What’s truly disrespectful is going to someone and saying, “If you really love me you’ll _____”, because you already know you’re asking that person to be something they’re not.

    Women who expect their men to be these infallible creatures of myth, who can work full time labor jobs and then come home and be a superman around the house and a romantic 24/7, really need a reality check. I work a hard job for shit pay and half the time when I get home I want nothing more than to fall apart. My knees hurt from getting down and up from the floor all day. My back aches from lifting 25-50lb loads all day. My feet are sore from walking over 15000 steps between 8 and 5 while wearing work boots. My shoulders hurt from working over my head. Do I stand around and complain about it? No. But when I get home the last thing I want to do is go out to the garage and fire up the lawn mower or grab the vacuum and clean the whole house. I save that stuff for the weekend. She, on the other hand, lets it fester inside her until it finally got done, as if I’m not doing it just to spite. It’s absolute bull.

    What this article really comes down to is tolerance, or rather a lack there-of. THAT is where the failing truly is. There was a book out some time ago that a lot of women once took to heart called, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. Now, I’ve never read this book, but to me a cup on the counter is small stuff. Letting the lawn grow for 2 more days is small stuff. If that stuff drives you crazy then you need to ask yourself why, because it’s not that important. These are not life or death issues. Hell, they’re not even inconveniences. They have absolutely NO control on your life. If you feel disrespected because someone leaves a glass sitting on the counter, you have some self-image issues you need to work on. Your husband isn’t thinking, “Screw her, I’m leaving this here and if she doesn’t like it then she can kiss my ass”. That’s all generated by YOUR psyche, in YOUR head, and it’s YOUR problem. Your man was probably thinking, “I’ll reuse this later and that way there’s less dishes”

    The truth is, if you can’t tolerate someone else’s minor flaws then you shouldn’t be entering into a relationship to begin with. You aren’t ready to share your life with another person because you’re too greedy. You don’t know how to share your life with them. You want them to come into your life and do things your way. It’s not realistic, at all.

    In my recently failed relationship I don’t even think my former fiancee realizes how good she actually had it, and maybe that was part of the issue. I never asked her to have supper ready for me, and she never did. I never asked her to drop everything for me, and she never had to. I never expected or asked her to fulfill any of the typical “woman roles” in the household. Know what? None of those things ever bothered me. I never got upset because I saw a dust bunny on the floor, I just picked it up. I never got upset because I had to make my own dinners, I just made them. I never got upset because I had to help carry in the groceries, I just got up and did it. I never held ANYTHING against her. NOTHING. That said, she fully expected me to fulfill the man’s roles (plus some typical woman roles). I was able to accept her faults, and HER lack of house-chore motivation, but in return she built up resentment for anything I didn’t do or was delayed in doing. I was in it for love, I was in it to be a team, I don’t know what she was in it for.

    When we got together she knew the kind of person I was. When I was a bachelor, I’d let the sink fill to capacity before I considered washing the dishes. I vacuumed maybe once a month. I left stuff in the fridge a little longer than I should have. I wasn’t what you would consider the cleanest person, but I wasn’t a slob. When we moved in together I went through some major changes for her. I took on the role of the man of the house, tending to the yard, building and repairing things, taking out the trash, and also worked to keep my messes to a minimum. I’m the reason she has a beautiful deck on the back of the house. I’m the reason she’s got customized gardening planters. I’m the reason she’s got a proper drainage system down the side of the house, and a fence that’s not falling over, and a garage that hasn’t caved in. I’m the reason she could feel safe at night. I took trips with her and supported her when she went to see doctors over her health. I always supported her when she wasn’t feeling ok. I even got into a routine of mixing up her flavored-water beverages every day, as a sign that I cared. If I happened to create any kind of major messes they were usually restricted to my desk in a room that she didn’t frequent, or the garage where the afore-mentioned building projects would take shape. Even so, she still found faults.

    It was like no matter how much I changed from my bachelor days, it was never good enough. I could mow the lawn, clean the kitchen, and wash my laundry all in one day. Instead of praise she’d fester over something else that still needed done. The beverage making, which I started as a little sign of love and affection, turned into a demand and she’d get annoyed any time she had to do it herself. I was expected to take her out to dinner, and if I didn’t then it meant I didn’t care. In the end, nothing I did mattered because in her inflexibility she kept adding to the pile of “small stuff” until it was an overflowing mountain.

    It came to a point where I just gave up. She had pushed me to a place where I felt that no matter how much I changed, no matter how much I did, it wouldn’t be good enough. She claimed that I would change and then go back to the way I was, but that wasn’t true either. I’d make steps to improve the household situation by trying organize projects and set up chore days, but nothing would happened. She made no attempt to work as a team. It got to a point where I’d wait for her to start doing chores, then I’d join in.

    The colder she got, the more closed in I got. It wasn’t about the glass on the counter. It was about the lack of partnership, the lack of teamwork. One person wanting the other to do everything, and being resentful for anything they had to do themselves. If you have a TRUE partner, you know you’re a team. You do for them, they do for you. The glass on the counter isn’t disrespectful. The grass that should have been cut 2 days ago isn’t an insult. These things are a fact of living, they happen, they’re the small stuff. You should realize they’ll get done, but maybe not right away, and that should be Ok.

    “The man capable of that behavioral change—even when he doesn’t understand her or agree with her thought-process—can have a great relationship.” Expecting someone to change isn’t loving them. Accepting them for who they are, is. If you have to change who you are for her to love you, she will never love you for who you are, and you will never be happy with the person you have to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patrick Langston says:

      Thanks so much for your comment. I’ve been following this thread for a while because of my curiosity in a lot of peoples perspectives on this (most are extremely one sided). I attempted to give some of my perspective but as you mentioned I was just told that I dont know how to read properly and maybe if I did know english as well as him then maybe I would understand and agree with his perspective.

      You are right on point on this one… you express very well the extremely simple point that I also see it from. The intolerance and lack of unconditional love. You should love someone for who they are not what they do for you. The assumption that I dont love someone because I’m not making sure I do everything perfectly the way they expect shows what they think about me, the fact that they think I don’t care about them and that I’m a lazy selfish person who just wants them to do everything is very condescending, offputting and a difficult perspective to work with when you are trying to connect and communicate on a common ground. This belief would have to be the first to go in order to make any real progress in that type of relationship.

      Like

  36. thingscarlaloves says:

    Reblogged this on Things Carla Loves.

    Like

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