1,145 thoughts on “You should’ve asked

  1. In totally relate to this so I love it, but also makes me depressed as I know my husband would be defensive if he read this!
    We have 3 kids and so I have been working on and off since they were born. Whether I am working part-time, full time or not at all one thing remains the same… I carry all the mental load at home.
    I have many examples but one springs to mind: I was going with the kids to my parents for 2 nights, my husband stayed home as he needed to work. Knowing the bin collection happens Thursday morning when I would be away and that all our rubbish was over flowing, knowing he would never remember himself i reminded him firmly before I left that he must remember to put bins/ recycling out. Knowing he would probably still forget I put 2 post-it notes in places he couldn’t miss saying “BINS”! I then also text him from my parents at 6:30am Thursday saying “remember bins”….
    He then left the house, walked past all neighbours’ bins out and… forgot to put our bins out!
    It’s just the mental load of this sort of thing everyday; the fact that I know I am the only person who ever remembers it is bin day, that he never just remembers and does it on his own. The fact that if I want him to put them out at least half the time, I have to ask. And because I ask half the time for him to do chores, it becomes that I am nagging. So usually I just do everything myself…
    I could go on strike and not do anything but we would live in utter chaos.
    It’s hard!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. If your husband was distracted thinking about beer and football, then he was being a selfish douche.
      If he was thinking about work, or family, or a different household issue, or someone’s health, then he clearly has is own equally legitimate mental load, and you’re being self-centered.
      Until you know which it is, it seems like it would be good to withhold judgment.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. She didn’t call him a selfish douche, Rob. You did. You’re being defensive and and she’s not even talking about you. Your response is actually pathetic.

        Liked by 7 people

      2. That’s honestly the entire point of the comic, Rob. A high (and, it seems, ever-increasing) number of households require both parents to work in order to make ends meet. My own household is that way; my husband and I both have full time jobs (doing, actually, the exact same job, just with different employers, and I have to spend a much greater amount of time traveling).

        Do I think about work any less than he does just because I’m a woman? Am I less likely to have an ill family member? No, of course not. However, I still find myself the household manager. My husband is a good man, always willing to help when I ask him, but I literally cannot delegate every task that has to be done. Even if I could, I would STILL be in charge of remembering the literally hundreds of weekly tasks to delegate!

        There is a good reason that being a manager is a completely separate position. Keeping track of what needs to be done when and in what order and for whom and what’s on the horizon and what you have to plan for and everything else that keeps a group (whether it be a household or a team of employees) running smoothly is literally a full time task. Is it really fair to push that full time job onto one person (in a supposedly equal relationship) and then also ask them to perform at least 50% of the work involved as well?

        If you have a genuinely open mind about this and are interested in learning more, here’s another good article about it. If you’re just commenting to argue, well… you may want to ask your significant other whether or not she/he thinks you’re actually doing your half of the household mental load.


        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ha! Women have stresses and worries all the time, yet we still do all the house chores and soldier on. If we wallowed in our own misery and just sat there because we’re stressed from work, nothing would ever get done! Sorry but what you’re saying is just a poor excuse.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I agree with Rob on that one. Men have their own mental load that few (if any) women acknowledge. My wife detests having to fill the car with gas (forget about going to lube place to change oil), taking care of the lawn, dealing with bills or insurance claims (or any sort of financial planing and re-evaluation), and a whole slew of things that I do by default. And I would never expect her to lift a finger to fix the thousands of things that get broken around the house. A woman is expected (by the very same society they blame for their “mental load”) to take off work between pregnancies – for her to change jobs is like changing gloves (especially if the other income can sustain their expenses); and if she can’t get a job, no biggie, that’s what the man (or child support) is for. A real man can’t possibly afford to even contemplate in that direction, and most men put more (a LOT more) into excelling at work to make sure they are not on the chopping block. I agree that generalizing is not appropriate for all, but in my workplace, women are given a LOT more leeway than men. And guess what, most of them end up doing “mental” and “managerial” (PM) role, while men do the engineering tasks. And then those very same women complained to executives as to “how come there is no equality and few women engineers are being hired” (Stupid question, considering that over 90% of STEM majors happen to be men), blaming executives for being sexist/paternalistic in nature. No one wants to say it outloud (a google guy got canned just for writing an extensive (almost PhD-like) paper, but, especially as of late, women do get hired and promoted just because they happen to be of the right sex (to keep things “equal”). So, now in addition to having the mental worry about exploding influx of cheap workforce from third world countries (where, at least hypothetically, you husband’s own skill level could help stay above water), now they have to compete against hypocritical company policies that put sex equality over competence? You know what the mental load is like for real men (not the a**hole on welfare) to lose a job that sustains his family? the closest analogy for women would be to loose fertility in their prime, and having it publicly known around the neighborhood. And then most of the neighborhood would quietly blame you for not doing more, while the rest would look down with pity. How do you like them apples? But I digress… If women want equality at home, then they have to let go of the reins. Stop getting pissed when the things we do are not to your satisfaction / standards. You want me to do take care of the clothes? Fine, then let me decide whether you need those 40 sweaters, and 80 pairs of panties. You want me to do the dishes, then let me decide whether we need that insane arsenal of dishware, which could easily accommodate a party of 75, while there’s only the 4 of us. You want me to shop for food? Then let me decide whether we need to overbuy groceries, and then see some of them get spoiled unopened in the fridge. You want me to prepare food? then be ready for the type of dishes I’ll prepare, not the one you necessarily think are appropriate. Obviously, I’m being a bit sarcastic in my remarks, but this comic oversimplified everything towards the feministic prospective. It does NOT take into account the men’s load, and makes it look like we’re just sitting around and drinking beer / hoarding food / scratching our butt, while off work. I wonder what would happen if a man were to write a comic about how women tell a man how they want it, while telling him to take more charge (oxymoron). Check Chris Rock’s stand up on his advice to both men and women. In all seriousness, I do agree with one concept the above comic presented: you want to change something, start with yourself. And if you want him to take over a task, let go of the reins. You want to see him change *how* he does something, “listen” to your partner in bed, as much as you’d like him to listen to your suggestions in whatever you offload to him… one-to-one ratio would work nicely 🙂


    2. Uhhm I´m sorry for you. But is it so bad to ask? He can not read in your mind how, you want to have everything be done. If he is not participating by himself, it is perhaps, that he do not know what he can do. Just leave some jobs for him, or even better make things together. We used to tidy up all together until everything is tidy up…and everybody chose what he wants to do….


      1. Having to ask is the problem here. Why should he have to “read her mind” to know that these things need to be done. Its not HER garbage its everyones. So he could do it without having to be asked.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. yes, he would have made it surely if he knew that the garbage had to be brought down. Everyone has his / her areas in the household, which he / she can better control. If the woman always carry down the garbage, the man never saw an overflowing trash can. If he is a week alone at home he will learn it. The other way round , the same thing counts. If the woman always has a full tank in the car, she may not even know how to refuel …


      3. She didn’t expect him to read her mind. She told him. “i reminded him firmly before I left that he must remember to put bins/ recycling out. Knowing he would probably still forget I put 2 post-it notes in places he couldn’t miss saying “BINS”! I then also text him from my parents at 6:30am Thursday saying “remember bins”.

        How much more should she have done?

        Liked by 4 people

      4. Marvel, Yes, it is so bad to ask. Why? Because if we don’t, it doesn’t get done. But even when we do, sometimes repeatedly, things still don’t get done and then we become the hated ‘nagger”. So we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. The point is, there should be no NEED to ask. Why does she remember that it’s garbage day, even with her own, probably much larger, mental load, yet when the man is “thinking about work, or family or a different household issue” as Rob put it, then he’s excused. This is the whole crux of this issue. This is what I run into in my household. My husband DOES remember the garbage days, but his memory extends ONLY to doing the main bin in the kitchen and the one in the upstairs bathroom. There are also other garbage bins throughout the house and if I don’t remind him or collect them myself, I get the “oh, I didn’t know there was garbage there!”. Really? Because you haven’t literally lived in this same house for the past 65 years????

        Liked by 2 people

      5. yes, yes, there should be no need, you are right, if you can stay most of time together, this can be easily be practised…because you just make all things together. But in reality, I think it is always a sharing, I will use the toilettpaper, which my husband bought, and he will lay in the bed where I put new bedsheets on. I really do not understand the whole discussion. I DO NOT COUNT what I´m doing and what he is doing, because there will always be well-adjusted. If you respect and love each other you are always in a mood to do a little bit more, than the other. The same in friendship, it is a pleasure to give, to make presents as long as you do not feel exploited and you feel something is coming back.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I totally agree there should be giving in a relationship and it should be a pleasure to do so. And there should be no “counting” of what one does and what the other does. But that is true only when both parties give more or less equally. Guess what, when you give, give give, give and give and then give some more, at some point you are gonna come up empty and eventually burn out.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. o.k. you are absolutely right if it is just one side who cares it´s depressing and not good. Than it depends what the one who does not care doing the whole day ( job, other liabilities) ?


      8. Noone needs to be psychic. Bin day is the same day all the time. When he uses a bin any other time and it seems quite full, he can see it’s quite full. He can probably spare a moment to empty the bin at that point. If not, then when he sees it’s really full. If not, then when he sees it’s overfull. Sure there are jobs where one partner may be overly picky about how things are done but you honestly believe getting rid of the trash is one ? Or that any grown adult has no idea how the process might work ? She even asked him plenty and he still failed to get it done


    3. You should delegate this task completly to him. He might forget the first time while bringen responsible, but then never again. 😉 Doing all yourself will not solve the main problem.


    4. Those anecdotes have counterexamples. For our entire married life of 23 years so far I’ve always put out all 3 refuse containers the night before pickup day with very few exceptions. About a year ago we moved back into my house which had been rented out for years, (her house is now being rented out). Now I keep getting instructions on when and which cans should go out. It’s driving me nuts. I can’t please her by doing it my way. Is she being slightly controlling? Or am I waiting for her to micromanage?


    5. I just sent this to my boyfriend. We don’t even have kids but we’ve been living together for a while now and this comic rings very true. Anyway, I prefaced it that I wasn’t trying to guilt trip him or shame him with a comic, but that this did a good job of illustrating my frustrations with our home life since we’ve started living together (which I have mentioned to him before). Anyway he was very responsive to it! Change isn’t going to happen overnight but I think I was at least able to drive home the point that managing and organizing the housework is, by itself, a lot of work.

      Obviously the patriarchal overtones of our society make it very hard to assert ourselves as women or, heaven forbid, feminists, without seeming “bitchy” or “nagging.” But if we can lay it out like this, as a presentation of facts and calm arguments, in a relatively non-confrontational way, some men might listen more than we expect.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I live in chaos two thirds of the time. I live with two men, my partner and son. There are jobs they choose to do and jobs I choose to do and I pick up the slack for one incidence of three and live with a filthy house for two times longer than is comfortable. It is a solution, not an ideal solution. However no-one nags and we are generous to each other when we need to be. I don’t like the feeling when people visit, I feel people think I am messy. I live with that. They live with it too, – my partner has a messy wife, my mother is messy. A scapegoat. I know that one third of the time this isn’t true and two thirds of the time it isn’t relevant. None the less if I lived alone my house would be less messy and take far less time to clean. And I would be lonely and have no one to help fix technology when I get stuck. Sometimes one of them will do a house job because they notice needs doing, like cleaning the oven. I however don’t mow the lawn or clean the gutters. My men understand. There is a line, a point of view, it may not always be fair but it is what we can abide with. I resonate with the article because I see house jobs. However my innate fairness doesn’t see the article show gender jobs evenly represented in it. Asking works if I need help, I count myself lucky to live with my two men. I don’t know that they feel that way, how much easier it would be for them to live in an always clean house like most people. But on some level they abide with me.


    6. You’re neglecting that there are other domestic domains that men traditionally own and which carry their own burdens–managing automotive maintenance, yard work, home improvement, finances, electronics (device/wifi maintenance), etc. This is all in addition to working longer hours at jobs with more responsibilities (read “planning and organization”) and less flexibility.

      It’s juvenile to complain about what others have without counting your own blessings.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. seriously?
        “finances, electronics (device/wifi maintenance), etc. This is all in addition to working longer hours at jobs with more responsibilities (read “planning and organization”)”
        so you’re a CEO of a company while your wife works part time at McDonalds?
        in a lot of households the wife takes care of the finances, helps with the planning of home improvements (which is not a daily chore for any man!) as well as holds down a well paying job that comes with a lot of responsibilities!!
        crawl back into your cave, Neanderthal!!


      2. I think it’s funny, when men say “but we do the car maitenance” and so on. In our household, I (female) am the one, who drives and has the car, so it’s my chores to keep it running. Also we share the maintenance for the electronics (it’s also not that hard to set up a wifi and keep it running), but I also have to think about everything else that needs to be done. The vet appointments, buying the food for the dog or it would literally just run out without my dear fiancé ever mentioning, that there is none left. I have to organize the grocery shopping and all the household. He helps, but says, that I nag too much. When I don’t remind him, nothing will be done by him. Last week he actually realized it himself for the first time, but didn’t change his behavior. It obviously takes him more time than me to adjust. We both work full time, but I am the one always in stress about all that has to be done at home. So I can totally relate to this comic.


      3. >automotive maintenance
        Okay, that’s his job, because I don’t own a car.

        >yard work
        Shared job. I dig up weeds and plant stuff, he mows the lawn.

        >home improvement
        Shared job. I first put up wallpaper on my own aged 14 and god knows painting isn’t hard. We haven’t had to do structural stuff here, but I’ve done bricklaying and the like before.

        I do the research into utility switching, mortgages etc and we then make joint decisions. All bills are paid automatically.

        >electronics (device/wifi maintenance)
        Shared job. Yes, I can sort out the router myself and troubleshoot wifi issues, because I had to do that before I lived with him.

        >This is all in addition to working longer hours at jobs with more responsibilities (read “planning and organization”) and less flexibility.
        He has flexitime and I have strict hours. We’re both in professional jobs, and mine involves making sure people aren’t harmed by impending medical mistakes, so I don’t have some responsibility-free job.

        In this day and age it’s extremely old-fashioned to assume women aren’t also sharing (or even entirely taking on) these household tasks.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Whoa there. I am a woman, and I am responsible for ensuring our car is well maintained and our internet functions. I also manage all of the home improvement tasks, keep our budget and pay all of our bills, and work more hours at a more mentally demanding job than my partner (who is a cook at a diner). Thankfully, my husband does not need reminders to do chores (for everything but the kitchen. Why is he so bad at washing the counters off after cooking??). Just commenting to point out that these are not stereotypical male tasks anymore because women are fighting for equality in every way. Men seem content to largely remain uninvolved in household planning and caring for children, however. Not all of them, but many. Maybe it is time for these men to choose equality too, and step up.


      5. I, am my families primary income earner, which seems to be more and more common today.
        I do all of the things mentioned here in this article along with the traditional male jobs such as the family’s financial management, scheduling automotive maintenance for family vehicles, all of the yard work, the execution or scheduling of all home maintenance needs including the families electronic needs.
        My husband works very long hours (like me). He makes me a hot drink in the morning and brings it to me in bed and 90% of the time does the rubbish/trash/recycling each week. The rest is up to me to remember.
        It shouldn’t be one persons responsibility to make sure the family unit runs as well as it can. Being an adult in a partnership (married or cohabitating) should be exactly that, a partnership where both people think to do what needs to be done.
        Imagine going to do something to find it has already been done. It’s a lovely feeling and gives you the opportunity and time do whatever ‘other thing’ needs tending to.
        I often say I need a wife. Not to do the chores but to help reduce the burden of remembering what needs to be done.


  2. *Crying with laughter so hard because I know if I get slammed by any man on this post it will only make the point stronger*

    Almost every man who’s commented has said some variation of “Not ALL men – especially not me” instead of accepting that this is a reflection of our society at large – not a personal affront to any one person. Even my husband thinks this is true and tries to be present and thoughtful about as much as he can for the days when I get sick or need to be away, as I do the same for him. What I don’t understand is why everything comment needs to make it personal when it’s clearly a discussion on the Post-modern paradox.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh, that is certainly true that this problem is an education thing and anchored in society. But this is getting better from generation to generation, I think. My grandpa has never helped anything and asked my grandma to serve him. My father helps, but rather the “men’s work” like to empty the bin, going to shop the beverage … I believe that this problem will solve itself soon, since the men also want to participate in everyday life at home. They notice that it is also an enrichment with children to clean the dishwasher, to cook etc.


      1. “They notice that it is also an enrichment with children to clean the dishwasher, to cook etc.”

        Yes, as long as the child is all bubbly and happy, but as soon as the babies are stubborn, frustrated, throwing a tantrum or are smelly, it’s all mamas baby again.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. ” I believe that this problem will solve itself soon”

        No. It’s not solving itself. WE are solving it, by bringing attention to it, by talking about it, by trying to change how people think about household tasks and male and female responsibilities and pushing each other to be better. Your father is only better than your grandfather because of people like the author who try to educate others and empower women to demand better treatment than their mothers. This isn’t just something that naturally happened. Your comment is like looking at a carefully cultivated garden and saying to the gardener, “Look how beautiful this is getting naturally!”

        Liked by 1 person

    2. This is somewhat insightful and relatable, I am doing the “2h cleaning of the table” much more often in my household. I managed grocery for a long time, but my girlfriend didn’t like having food for a month ahead, so I just pay now and we skipped the planning, which saves some time, but some things fall through the cracks. I would say the trash/car/flat/repairs/commodity costs vs. cooking part to be in balance. I cannot cook and my girlfriend can’t service the car/household, it’s an obvious deal.

      *if I get slammed [..] on this post it will only make the point stronger* is called solipsism.


      1. To be honest, I do not understand the whole discussion here. Two loving people will probably get a household together? Is the problem the discussion essentially? Argue for such trifles, which are self-evident? Probably. Just do not ask but simply make … hmmm?


    3. I just feel depleted if I begin to buy into these accusations and feel empathy and guilt. Have at it. If you really want to reach men think about inviting them to join you rather than belittling them for their lack of management skills.


      1. Why don’t men OFFER to join women in their work? For the record, this issue can also happen in reverse, it’s just way less frequent for the reasons given in the article (women are conditioned to think about the household from a young age). If you are not proactively seeing what needs to be done at the office and doing it, then you are not a good employee at work. If you are not proactively seeing what needs to be done at home and doing it, then you are not a good partner. It is that simple.


  3. I recognize this problem in my relationship. I’ve tried to fix it. But literally every time I’ve ever offered to take some of the load off my wife’s back, it’s been met with one of two responses:

    1.) It’s fine
    2.) I don’t have time to show you so it’s easier for me to just do it

    And every time I’ve ever done something that was “hers” to do, I get met with:

    1.) You did it wrong
    2.) Her fixing it when I’m not looking

    I don’t intentionally do a bad or half assed job of things to get out of doing chores. I’m a competent human being. But when I can never do right in my wife’s eyes or she doesn’t “trust me” to do things, what can I do? I don’t want my wife to resent me (I’m sure she does though she’d never admit it). I don’t think it’s fair that she does way more of the work than me. I just don’t know what I can do to get her to give up control of these things and treat me like an actual partner.

    This shit weighs on us. It affects our relationship, our love life, our day to day interactions. But she has an iron grip on the house- and baby-related work that she refuses to loosen. I’d love to get some honest answers as to how we fix this.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ohh, yes, I know this behavior, too. Especially if it is to go quickly, women want to do things by their own. This is a big mistake. They should let the children (and also the men) work in household and only “help” them, if they ask for. They have to accept, that things may be not so perfect, because they have to learn, but it does not matter. Also women should not only let them do “stupid” work, which are boring but also cook, bakery … that is fun and they learn something. Yes and how do you teach this to women, who want to do all by themselves? You do not ask, can I help something, but tell them that you want to cook, clean up … and asked what can be done … you have to make it clear that you want to do so, so that there is more time together afterwords.


      1. (disclaimer: Old white male speaking).
        Before individuals get personally upset about particular points I feel that the broad truth of this article should not be disputed and both men and women would be happier if we could work together to balance things better.

        While my parents were more ‘modern’ than some I experienced basically this situation in my childhood. Fortunately my mother raised my brother and I to cook, clean and look after ourselves so that by the time I was a young man I was completely self-sufficient.

        My relationship with my wife has evolved steadily, from dating, to living together, to marriage, to parenting and ‘work’ was pretty equally divided (spider catching excepted) until kids turned up. Things have been much harder since then.

        What I need to do more of:
        – Do more regardless of whether I ‘get it wrong’. (If I feel unjustly convicted then we need to discuss it to agree on what the ‘right’ way of doing something is.)
        – Do not allow her to ‘fix’ things I have done, (either I ‘fix’ it or we agree it is not broken)
        – Try first but be prepared to make an effort to seek advice or help in case there is a better way of doing things.
        – Be prepared to explain without being defensive

        What she needs to do more of:
        – Delegate without judgement
        – Accept that ‘different’ is not wrong (aka, how is less important than what)
        – Accept that not everything than can be done must be done
        – Let me kill the really big spiders rather than try to catch them

        Liked by 5 people

      2. hahaha … this is a well thought-out plan. But I think it is good, except for the matter of the spider, which I would,as a woman rather take over before there is murder and manslaughter …; )


    2. I can understand some people like things done a “certain way”. She may be feeling judged by friends/family/even herself because women have been ingrained that the household is her responsibility. Many start to feel resentment toward husbands or partners because they don’t know how to fix this for themselves. Start with smaller things, if she’s folding the laundry join her. Match up socks, hold the other end of the bed sheet to be folded, watch how she folds shirts and fold a shirt or two. If she doesn’t object continue doing this every time laundry comes around, and start doing more. Turn on music or talk while you’re doing what ever task it is. If she does object explain that you want to do your share, that you don’t feel it’s fair she does it all. Ask her why it bothers her that you are there doing the same thing she is. If she’s adamant that you NOT do whatever small chore you’re trying to do, then tell her you’ll be making diner tonight. Plan something you know you can make and know you will have time to clean up after. (That’s a personal hot topic in my house, clean it up!!)
      I think the real key to this whole thing is talking to your partner. Every relationship has a different dynamic so it’s hard to say what is or isn’t going to work. If kids are involved they need to be assigned chores suitable for their age, mine currently rotate through dish duty and pet duty. It lasts a week with a grouping of chores that take approx. 10 to 30 minutes a day depending on how slow they want to move.
      Some people ultimately just need to have control of every aspect of their life, and that may never change. If this i effecting your life in so many ways you may want to seek counselling together. It may help her realize why she needs to be in control, and might help her verbalize how you can help her with all the things she does daily.
      Good luck to you and don’t give up trying to do your part in the family and in the household.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Look, I can’t speak to your wife’s experience, but I have to admit I have a lot of the same reactions to my husband, so I can at least explain my own rationale behind them.

      And that rationale is this: He does not know how to do simple cleaning tasks, and he feels hurt and gets defensive when I try to point out how to do them correctly.

      Dishes I will use as an example, although I could use nearly any household task, from vacuuming and sweeping to trash and cleaning the toilet.

      I have tried so damn many times to explain to him how to load a dishwasher properly. I have tried to show it to him when it is loaded, I have loaded it alongside him while explaining where everything goes, I have moved dishes to their correct places when he was putting them in (this annoys him for some reason? WHY?)

      I’m not crazy or OCD about the dishes, I don’t give a damn what they look like, I just want them to be clean. There are only a few simple rules. Small cups in the corners, where the water doesn’t get high enough to wash tall ones. Small plates in the center, big plates on the edges – again, this is just so the small plates don’t get blocked. No food particles that can’t be dissolved in water within a couple minutes. That’s it. When these simple rules are followed, all dishes get cleaned. Screw it up though, and the little plates are still dirty, the tall cups have rings of grime, and the dishwasher gets clogged with food particles and breaks. These aren’t some arcane rituals I pulled out of my ass. There’s literally only one right way to do this that keeps our old dishwasher running and produces clean dishes.

      Today, he offered to do the dishes and then I would cook dinner. Swell! I head in there to start some homemade shrimp alfredo and brusselsprouts with bacon, a delicious but rather intensive meal that involves watching four different pans to make sure everything gets stirred and doesn’t burn and cooks to be finished at the same time. I go ahead and bring in some dishes from my desk to add to the dishwasher.

      In the dishwasher that my husband has just loaded, the tall cups are all on one side of the rack, where the corner ones won’t get clean. Three large plates sit in the center, where they will block water flow to the small plates scattered around them. Two spatulas are crusted with food – noodles and rice, which will DEFINITELY clog the dishwasher, and there are bits of chicken still on the plates.

      So now I have a choice. Do I delay dinner by calling him in and asking him to do it right, probably prompting a defensive ‘It’s fine! Just run it!’ and souring the evening with a spat? Do I run it as is, knowing the chicken and rice will clog it and nothing will get cleaned and I will just have to do all the same dishes, plus tonight’s dishes, tomorrow? Or do I just fill the damn thing up correctly in between stirring four hot pots, peeling shrimp, chopping sprouts, and grating cheese?

      I opted for the last option, because it was the fastest, and we need clean dishes, and I was hungry, and I was not in the mood to have a fight over bits of rice.

      My husband isn’t an idiot. He’s college-educated, has a full-time-job, and does many complicated things competently. He just never learned how to do household tasks, and for some reason still can’t wrap his brain around them.

      You said,

      “And every time I’ve ever done something that was “hers” to do, I get met with:

      1.) You did it wrong
      2.) Her fixing it when I’m not looking”

      Here’s my radical assessment:

      1.) You ARE doing it wrong, and she has gotten tired of trying to show you how to do it right
      2.) After you’ve done it wrong, she has to fix it because it’s wrong, and she fixes it when you’re not looking because she does not want to invite the drama of ‘Honey I already did that! Why do you always have to re-do everything?’

      And when you get these responses:

      1.) It’s fine
      2.) I don’t have time to show you so it’s easier for me to just do it”


      1.) It’s not fine, it’s just less of a hassle to do the work myself than to argue with you about how it should be done.
      2.) This has to be done right the first time, I won’t have time to re-do it later when you’re not looking

      Suggested solution: Watch what she does, and mimic it EXACTLY. You may think you’re not doing a half-assed job, but if you never learned how to put your full ass into a particular task, how would you even know? Maybe it’s not that she has an iron grip on the house, but that she has figured out the nuances of How Things Work (our ancient dishwasher took a lot of trial and error to figure out, before we were finally able to coax clean dishes out of it regularly), and when things are not done properly, they are not actually done at all.

      Start small. Watch how she sweeps a room, how she holds the broom, how she gets the corners. You may think, ‘Oh, I know how to sweep!’, but so does my husband, and yet whenever a glass gets broken I can guarantee that I’ll find shards of it later if he’s the one who sweeps it up.

      And: This isn’t really a male/female thing. Really. It’s an education thing. My brothers were raised to do all the same chores I did, and in my one married brother’s relationship, the dynamic is opposite. HE is the one who knows how to do everything properly, while his wife cannot even wash a pot without leaving grease on the inside. The problem is that in many families it was only the girls who were taught these skills, not their brothers. My husband’s brother is similarly useless at chores, but his sister is not. Why weren’t the boys taught the way she was??

      Long-ass post, I apologize, but you *did* ask for an honest answer.

      TLDR: If your wife says you’re doing it wrong, you’re probably doing it wrong. Don’t argue or defend. Listen, pay attention, and try to do it better.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds like your husband needs to do the manly task of buying household electricals. Maybe you don’t have the budget but it seems it’s an extremely expensive device, emotionally and practically. Or sort it yourself. How many hours would you personally save if you could just let him get on with it. And get him to explain to you how to service the filter on the new dishwasher, once he’s done that, you both know so if he clogs it up then you know he knows how to sort it. As the old one is semi-functional, you could at least then pass it on to someone else for whom a sort-of-working one is better than no working one.


  4. Wow, this has got people upset. This comic nails how some people are happy to dump the weight of running a household on others, and pretend the jobs are shared fairly. Some of the comments showing outrage are so funny because whilst they talk about equality, they mention ‘helping’ women with their tasks, clearly showing that in their head, cleaning up is women’s work. Obviously the world isn’t made up of only men who dump on women, and only women who do more than men, but a lot of it is going on, and as this comic shows, women are taking on a role that has in many cases been taught to them since infancy. You only have to look at cleaning product ads to see who in the main is doing the cleaning, aimed at women, cos they in the main are doing the shopping.

    I look forward to the day when this problem is not as linked to gender as it is now, meanwhile, well done Emma for so clearly showing an issue that people are struggling with in such a clear way.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. It has never been my choice that the housework hasn’t been been done to my wife’s standards. Its not that I expect her to do more, it is more that I expect less and because everything isn’t to her satisfaction is annoying. Just what standard is she trying to achieve? because it isn’t mine. Why should I have to share a workload at home that I find excessive after a full work day? She certainly isn’t doing these extra things for me or an expectation I have. Don’t blame gender, blame your own insecurities and expectations and perhaps consider your partners needs and expectations in all this. And don’t blame us for your excesive workload for trying to meet some fictional expectations of yourself. I doubt we put this on you. blame your parents. Perhaps its the idea that children need a safe environment to grow up in but a sterile environment has its own detriments.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The point seems to be that everyone likes to make something “extra” for the other. If I know that my partner likes it more neat and tidier, then I will like to do this work, so that he also feels well and the other way around. If there is a reason or important for me that it is in another way than my partner want it to be, I have to talk with him an d find a way….


    2. Have you tried asking your spouse why she does things the way she does? Perhaps there are reasons that aren’t immediately obvious but would increase your empathy and understanding. For example: I like my underwear folded a particular way. Seems silly, right? Can’t it just be thrown in a drawer and get it over with? But- if it’s folded correctly, it will stand up in the drawer, all in a row, and then I can tell at a glance what pairs I have. It helps me get dressed faster in the morning, because I can easily find whatever pair I need to go under my pants for the day. And it helps me to tell when I’m running low so I know it’s time to do laundry. Those things reduce my feeling of stress. If I didn’t fold my underwear once a week, I’d have to get up five minutes earlier each day, and I’d end up doing things like wearing black underwear under white pants because it was my only clean pair. Those kinds of odds and ends add up. They might only seem stupid because you’re not the one doing the mental load. Perhaps you don’t care if your underwear is folded because none of your pants are transparent, none of your pants are tight enough to cause panty line, and if you run out of clean undies, so what, you can go commando (not always an option for women, what with menstrual cycles and all). Try thinking outside your own box, and if it’s still not clear, ask. And if it *still* seems ridiculous, ask yourself if your wife ever does things for you that aren’t important to her, and whether or not it’s kind to do the same for her. Isn’t that what love is all about?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Re “Why don’t you do it?”
    a) I’m not a cartoonist, and
    b) I’m not the one who put an over-general piece out into the world purporting to describe “How Things Are”.
    I attempted to explain my problems with the comic in words, which are a medium I can work in, above. Does that suffice?

    If someone says “this is a problem for me”, and someone responds with #NOTALLMEN, that is absolutely a non-sequitur, and some man is needlessly making things about himself.
    If someone presents an issue in absolutes (as this comic repeatedly does), then #NOTALLMEN is very relevant.
    Pointing out significant, relevant aspects that are missing from a piece that purports to show “What Is” isn’t NOTALLMEN-ing, it’s adding perspective to the conversation.

    Bottom line, people (including me) are responding out of their own lived experience. The difference between me and the OP (and various commenters here) is that I don’t presume my experience is universal or representative. I contend merely that it is a relevant, legitimate experience that calls into question the incompleteness and the absolutist tone of the comic. From the comments of some others on this thread, it’s an experience/perspective shared by a number of other men as well.

    A couple other issues:
    1. I have a big problem with the “he should just know” aspect of this conversation.

    In response to a man stating that his wife insists on being the manager, one commenter said, “…if you don’t care how she likes things done then you don’t care about her. It’s that simple.” That’s not a relationship, that’s a dictatorship. People should mutually care about how the other person wants things done.

    This is a common problem in relationships stemming from different traditional communication styles. Women are sometimes dumbfounded by how “obtuse” their men are; men OTOH are often puzzled and frustrated by how indirect and unclear women seem about what they want – there is often a presumption that “he must know” something that he simply doesn’t, because that’s not how men tend to communicate and work collaboratively.

    The world is full of problems because of assumptions and poor communication; surely we’re not going to argue *against* clear, authentic dialog? Please tell me we’re not advocating for “More Hints, Fewer Requests”, when communication is such a challenge anyway. If you’re assuming that the reason your partner doesn’t know is that he doesn’t love you or doesn’t care, and if you take the position that for you to speak your needs is just too much of a burden, you’re simply doing it wrong. If you want to date men, I suggest making at least some effort to communicate in a way men understand, rather than expecting them to magically learn to be you, as if your way is “correct” and his way is “wrong”. Your problem might be your husband’s narcissism – men do consistently demonstrate higher levels of narcissism than women. But also you might be surprised how much emotional energy and investment your guy puts into trying to divine your desires and intentions – which you may feel are crystal clear, but to him are confusing or unclear.

    2. There’s an inherent problem in keeping score in a relationship, especially if you don’t make a big effort toward clear communication with your partner.
    We all have the option to keep a little (metaphorical) scorebook, where we put a gold star in the appropriate column every time someone does something generous for their partner or to help the household/relationship. The problem is that we know *everything* we do, but we only know *some* of the things our partner does. So our column is going to be accurate and up to date, and our partner’s column is always going to be short.
    Our partner has a book, too, and his/her book is skewed the other way.
    Waving our books of stars at each other is stupid; it’s a counterproductive and inherently inaccurate way to evaluate the relationship.

    This comic is like that, but with Women vs Men instead of individuals, and with the context of the book limited to The Household, and with a very common experience presented as The Experience. I question how much it does to better the lives of humans. I wish Emma had applied her excellent talent to teaching people how to communicate, or to be empathetic, or at least had presented a more balanced analysis instead of such a man-shaming complaint.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Jesus, Rob. You are so sensitive. This is a comic. The author shouldn’t have to describe every nuance of society to you to get her message across. You’re a big boy. You can figure out the nuances for yourself. If you want to complain about my tone too, that’s fine. but from one man to another, I want to make it clear that I think you’re an idiot.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Not sure what you imagine i ought to do about your lack of approval.
        I’m putting forth my POV, just like Emma. I fail to see how that makes me over-sensitive.
        When you present a view of the world, sometimes people say “my experience is different, and i think you’ve overstated your case.”
        that’s what happened here.
        if that’s your criteria for thinking someone’s an idiot, i’m not sure what to say.
        best of luck to you in your life, i guess.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I want to reply to Rob, but I can´t, so I do it here. Everybody has his POV and the right of his POV. And I agree with your POV. I´m sure many people do overstate their case also in other subjects…me too, I think this is kind of human. Respect and the will to understand, at least if you love this person should be the base. And to to call someone an idiot is always a misbehaviour J.


    2. I agree with you in most points. And Emma could of course have drawn a “catalog of behavior”. But this is a comic, a very special point of view, it should provoke and stimulate thought. Nobody should feel personally attacked and everyone should be objective and friendly. If somebody can´t stay calm,it shows that he does have his problems in this regard. And with such problems it is like argueing. At least you need 2 person to argue. Of course, this problem can also occur gender-unspecifically, just as it can not only brown-haired women happen. I think Emma did a great job.


    3. Thanks. I found this really useful. You’re right that having an attitude problem about asking likely doesn’t contribute to healthy communication.


  7. To elaborate a bit on deferring, it’s quite common in households consisting of families, couples and roommates (both single and mixed gender) for one person to take on the primary role essentially running the household and making most “decisions” and plans. An individual who assumes this role in one household may later defer such responsibilities to another individual in a different household. It’s a dynamic that goes far beyond the limited scope that it’s been presented as in this article, and is not specific to one gender or to couples. Unfortunately we can by myopic and quick to point blame all around us, rather than recognizing this is a universal human experience, and that we are responsible for how we manage our own stress and decision making. The next time your out with a group of friends or family besides your household, see if you can recognize who is taking charge or stressing about the time or plans etc., and who is deferring to them. You may see some interesting patterns if you do this on a regular basis, though please don’t get stressed about having one more thing to think about 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. All so true.I was raised in the ’50’s and it was expected that a housewife did it all.
    Then, when I married, it became apparent that I also needed a full time, out of the home job to help with expenses. So much to deal with.
    I am divorced now and only responsible for my self, loving it 😉

    I remember a time my ex-husband called me when he had to extend a business trip. His question? ‘What size underwear do I wear? I need to buy more.”
    Aman in his 40’s and he had no idea what size clothing he wore 😉


    1. My husband is 37 and has still to this day, not bought his own clothes or shoes… He usually gets a new pair of shoes from his mom every christmas. Now we moved away from her, and was spending last christmas elsewhere for a couple of years, and lo and behold, when his shoes needed to be changed, guess who he thought would buy new shoes for him, since his mom was not around? Guess who did not. This is the same guy who said when we moved in together: ” I dont know how to cook, so you have to do it” I told him I did not know either, and that all I knew how to cook was mashed potatoes ( you know the powder kind) with bacon and sausages. 2 month with mashed potatoes and bacon and all, every day, guess who turned out to be a perfect cook? I early learned that guys will come up with every excuse there is to not do any chores around house, and in a country where both needs to work fulltime, to make a living, I aint gonna let him get away with it. I was totally in shock when I learned that tons of other women online said: ” well you cant expect a guy to see that the clothes needs to be washed or the dishes needs to be cleaned, guys cant see that.” Funny since my husband do all these chores today, without me telling him to. Apperently I have tthe only man alive that can see laundry. Maybey because I never washed it for him, before we got kids. I was his girlfriend, not his mom. If he did not see the laundry, he properly noticed it monday morning, when his closet was empty……


  9. I can see the point in the comic very well. Because I’m the one who is taking care of most of the things at our household – but with the little difference that I’m a HETEROSEXUAL MAN.

    I do not know how it has happened but the everyday life has turned that way that I’m the project manager of the household and my wife is the underling. We both equally go to work to save the capitalism and are parents to our kids and fund our living.

    But what makes me really sad is that though I do the most of the running I’m still categorized as a sidekick for the woman, the lady in the house and the mother of the children. I’m thought as the men described in the comic – unable to understand the daily life and do any useful stuff for the household.

    And this perception comes from everywhere, no matter how well people know myself and our family. It comes from our friends, from nurses of the day care, you name it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This reminds me when our kids were younger. When going on vacation my husband would always complain that we never left on time and always run late. It never occurred to him that all he had to do was throw his toiletries bag, a couple of towels, few shirts and pants in his luggage and be ready to go. I had to think of my clothing, toiletries, any special toiletries for the kids, diapers, special food, toys, extra clothing because you know kids, they get into everything and get dirty, etc etc. You bet I was always running behind!


  11. This may be true for some. But reading this, I realize that I hardly ever have to ask.

    I also realize that it seems strange that this post only mentions the traditional “household chores” that WOMEN typically do. What about the chores that MEN traditionally do? I must say that my husband definitely carries the mental load for our finances, the bills, the car, the bikes, yes the trash, the tools, the electronics, maintaining the house, improving the house (a million projects), the weeds, the garden shed, clearing the snow, the chimney, the grass, the leaves…

    And when the man goes to work, he’s just going to “save capitalism”? He’s probably going to work to provide for his family. I’m all for non-traditional gender roles. We’re just not there yet because there’s no way I can fix the washing machine like my husband. And there’s no way he can – wait, he can do pretty much everything that I can do. Huh. Maybe he’s not so useless after all.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. well then it is up to you, to learn how to fix your washing mashine, but that does not mean that the rest of us women can not fix it. Here Both me and the husband do everything: Cut grass, put up lamps, pictures, fix the washing machine etc. We dont have his and hers chores.Whoever is free to do it, do it. Of course if someone wants to have the husband do all the so called “man chores”, because they dont know how to do it, and dont try to learn it, they can not complain about the guy not doing the “women chores” and not wanting to learn it. This goes both ways, you know.


  12. I was so excited to show this to my husband because I finally had words for the problem. He read it and said “I empty the dishwasher!!” Sigh.


  13. The trouble with this analysis is it assumes that they both want the same things done and that it only what she notices that is important. Maybe he works 10 hour days and needs to zone out. Without those days the mortgage will fall into arrears, and it will be rental accommodation that they are having a disagreement about.

    It also assumes that she will be happy with the way he does things. He may have given up trying some of those chores because when he did them, she objected, and took over.

    I don’t think the answers here are simple. He should be able to operate in a way that minimises her work, though this picture does not correspond with the marriages I have known. She should also be aware of what matters to him. For some reason that doesn’t enter her mind here. As if the house is fine for him when she is finished. Sometime the woman is so intense on how she wants things done round the house that he doesn’t feel quite at home in his own place.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’d like to retort with “He should have said.” As in. He should have said he had a problem with what she was doing around the house if he didn’t like it. But like “you should have asked.” that’s not right either. They should make decisions like that together. Both parties need to do these things together and decide what they want done and how. And then they would both know what needs to be done and how to do it.

      Additionally, doesn’t the woman deserve to be able to come home and “zone out”? Wouldn’t the finances (or mortgage as you said) fall into disarray from her not working 8, 10, 12 hours a day as well?

      It is not men’s job to merely work and rest and women’s job to work, clean, cook, and care for children.

      It is the couple’s job to work, clean, cook, care and rest. Together. Equally.

      It’s not fair for one person to come home from work and get to sit down and relax while the other has to cook, clean, take care of children, etc. Not matter which person it is. The workload in all senses of the word should be equal. If someone truly wants to do more (and doesn’t just do more because they feel like they have to), or is physically incapable of doing some things then that is the only time it is acceptable for there to be an imbalance.


    2. The point is NOT that some people are happy to leave their partner with all the work. The point is that the mental work of keeping track and remembering and managing is mostly invisible. The other (frequently male, probably well intentioned) partner may see work getting done, but can’t see the mental fatigue. So the (probably innocent) response “you should have asked for help” doesn’t end up feeling supportive at all. It just reinforces that one person is doing all the management.
      Bottom line, it’s not “help”, its simply work.
      This comic asks us simply to notice that this happens. When the mental work isn’t invisible anymore, it’s more likely both partners will take responsibility for making sure it all gets done.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. My heart was filled with remorse and pain for the past 7 months when my husband ended our marriage and went to his EX lover because i was not able to give him a son. I was so devastated and almost committed suicide because of the love and affection i had for my husband. I searched and asked everyone i knew for help but all my efforts were useless not until i was refereed to Doctor Casera by Oliver who i met online that he could be of help to my marriage for he has helped her before. I got in touch with the Doctor and i poured out everything i had in mind to him and he encouraged me and promised to make me smile and make me live a better life by getting my husband back with his powers between just 24 hours. I believed in him and to my very eyes, my husband came on his knees pleading for forgiveness to come back and rectify his mistakes and today we are living with so much Joy and happiness. If anyone out there needs help of any-kind, get in touch with the Doctor now for he will help you out.. E-mail: relationshipsolutionhome@hotmail.com


  15. Speaking as a single woman who REFUSES to do emotional work for a man; the problem is you ladies keep doing it! For millenia men have had the household managerial work done for them. They have no incentive to change; hence they will not.
    No amount of discussions and think pieces will get the average guy to change. They slack off because you allow it. You allow it to stay in a harmonious relationship. Women give up their power for the relationship. Since the majority of women do this you need to accept it and live with it.
    I know for a fact most men are not ‘attracted’ to women who refuse to take up the domestic and emotional labor slack. Everyone on this site will call me a bitter shrew for pointing out the obvious, but I know this is one of the main reasons I’m not married. And I’m ok with it.
    Bottom line ladies, men will not change their collective attititudes in a patriarchial system where they set the conditions for marriage and domestic life. Women are just at fault for de facto agreeing to the setup.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. as someone who is preparing for separation this comic nails exactly what I am worried about and why it needs to happen…

    The mental load is great and not something one should keep to themselves, with (this next part was not mention) or without mental illness or excessive emotional baggage. And a role reversal is often better than a confrontation. Letting them experience the mental load is hard to watch but one that can not be explained to full understanding without actually doing it. Like explaining a sunrise to the blind I suppose. I’m terrified, but we can’t keep doing the same things over and over again and expect different results.


  17. I’m a man, with 3 kids, and I totally get it. My wife does bear this mental load about 90% and I just hadn’t ever thought of it like this before. I do work much longer hours at paid work than her, and half the issue for her now I think about it is lack of appreciation by me and the kids, and also we could just try and carry a bit more of this mental burden together. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. And my wife thought she was getting a good deal while restoring our 1903 Victorian when I agreed to let her make all the design decisions…. I’m a stinker, but I admit it. Our problem is that we both think we know the “best” way to do anything and they are seldom the same way. Still 22 years married and 15 restoring this house and we are still madly in love. Must be doing something right.


  19. The disconnect isn’t laziness. Women act like men would be lost without them. The fact is, men just don’t care about some of the things that need to be done. If the tv room is a mess, men are okay with that. I know that drives women crazy, but men don’t just leave it to be an ass. They leave it because they just don’t think it’s a big deal. That is the reason women are “managing” a household. They want things done a certain way, so if that is the case, they need to take the manager role on. If women were cool leaving things are men saw “fit” it would be a two-way street. This is article nonsensical because women are managing to a way they want things done. If it were up to the man to say “that’s good” it would be a two-way street but the woman would be pissed off because it wasn’t up to her standards. See it from a different lense and don’t be so self-centered!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. not every relationship is the same, but at least in my own it was a perspective problem. it’s hard for male partners to understand what we’re talking about or going through because they’re not experiencing it. it took me leaving our 11mo and him for a few weeks to take care of some family things, and how worried i was about it, for him to really start thinking about all the work that goes in to managing a house and child. and to help me feel better, he promised to keep the rooms clean and tidy and do all the chores i normally take care of (i stay home with our daughter).

    were the tasks done the way i do them? probably not, but at least they were done and he’s doing them and decided to do them on his own time without my prompt. that made me very happy.

    because you really shouldn’t have to ask. if you’re living with a mature adult, they should be actively looking to take care of their home environment, especially if there are children around. i end up taking care of more because i’m at home caring for a baby, but my husband still has areas of the house that he manages on his own. and since my trip away he’s been much more active in taking care of smaller tasks without my involvement at all.


  21. In my experience much of this is a issue of expectation and foresight. When I lived alone I achieved all my household tasks, including caring for pets, elderly neighbors, etc. I wasn’t always great at it- but it got done and my world was functional. Now married for many years my wife mostly manages. Not because I cannot but because she’s better at it and she could not function at the level of managing I provide- she would go nuts. It’s easy to think ‘he should be a better manager’ just as it’s easy to think ‘she shouldn’t care if the trash sits in the garage for an extra week or if there’s clothes on the floor.’ There’s nothing inherently wrong with a disorganized house as long as shit gets done eventually- my opinion but how I honestly feel.

    Culture does mold our roles and that isn’t fair. That gets fixed with education and accepting responsibility at a community level. At home it is ultimately critical for us to find a balance that works for each couple/household. We should each get our fair share, pick it up if we’re slacking and relax if it’s small shit that’s slipping.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Sounds very passive aggressive to me. Not asking and expecting someone to be a mind reader, victim mentality by blaming someone for the choices you are making. Seems like a recipe for an unhappy relationship! Stop the blame, start appreciating each other’s differences and what’s great about one another. He doesn’t like that you’re all organised, she doesn’t like that you’re not organised at all. We can all complain, or we can appreciate and embrace the dance of being in an intimate relationship with someone from a different universe! It’s the beauty of life.


  23. It’s all true, but my question is this. Why do we have to ask? Our partner has eyes, ears and sometimes, sits and watches us multitask and most times, do it with a child in our arms. Why can’t they just see what is happening and get up and help out????


  24. Women simply care more about these things and it’s not just socialisation, there are also biological factors at play. If you don’t want to do something don’t do it. You’ve no right to impose it on someone who doesn’t place the same value on these things. If someone (male or female), doesn’t care about the towel on the floor, it’s no one’s (male or female) right to MAKE them care.
    Self-righteous and authoritarian little dictators.


  25. Treading carefully here because I do understand, and it’s well observed and put across…
    When we had kids I (the man) carried on working, because I had a reasonably well-paid job, and because my wife actually did want to be a home-maker, child-raiser, and all those things. It happens.
    At the time, men didn’t get much in the way of parental benefits, but I did my best to put my family before my job. That decision had a real impact on my career, but I don’t regret it.
    I understand the “mental load” thing, the responsibility, and would only add that we all have our mental loads. I worried incessantly about my ability to provide for the family (no, don’t take it like that, having agreed the roles it was my responsibility). I had a load of shit to deal with at work but I didn’t bring it home, except in my mind. We couldn’t afford nannies or decorators or anything like that, so I spent many hours rewiring the house, or fixing the heating, or increasingly driving the kids around to their activities, so I, too, had precious little “me time”.
    Things have changed; most couples want to share the chores and the challenges. But the key, as others have said, is communication. Effective communication, both ways. And however much you may resist the idea, women and men have different mental processes, and they need to understand each other. (I don’t know how much of this applies to same-sex couples. It would be interesting to see!) If it comes down to “ask or tell”, you haven’t yet established that understanding.
    For the record – I know what goes into a baby, and what comes out, and I can deal with both. I can cook, clean, wash, iron and sew. Sometimes I need prompting,but that’s because I’m an introvert, and I’m off saving the world in my head 🙂


  26. My wife sent me this today by “mistake” was intended for her girlfriend who has a child about the same age as our daughter.

    Seems like we were a great team. Never had to “ask” to get it done together until i saw her struggling to breast feed out 4 day old baby. Both crying feeling awful and short on sleep. After that responce and for any man who has been there. It is impatitive that you ask! How could you not after being called so many bad things in such a short amount of time.

    The change is sudden and extreme. For you gentleman out there who opend the door for your wives before they bore your child and picked up flowers every chance possible. Heres to you


  27. Amazing article/comic! I remember Hillary Clinton praising those who coined mental workload, saying that we finally have a term that identifies what women have been doing for who knows how long.

    One note…and this note CANNOT discredit the comic so no one better think that that’s what I’m trying to do. It’s valuable information. I think there was a mistake in translating from French. When I looked at stats from England and America, they were closer to 25 PERCENT more time that women work, compared to men. Not 25 TIMES more. In the US, men were at an average of 2.1 hours/day or just over 10 hours/week (women at 2.6 hours/day). If that was 1/25 of what women do, they’d be at 250 hours/week (there are 168 hours/week total). If men did an hour/week, then a more feasible 25 hours/week by women would be the result. If that were true, I think there’d be A LOT more women up in arms. I believe it’s 25% more…still a lot. Nothing to sneeze at! If that’s true in France, yikes! If someone knows French and can find the French study to compare US and England, please send my way!!!

    Regardless, step up, men! If we do 15 minutes more per day, women could work 15 minutes less and things would be equal. Right!!!???! Difference of 30 minutes (2.6-2.1 hours=.5 hours) split in two….15 minutes…she works less, he works more…equal. But No. Unfortunately. While there are certainly households where women take on the managing role by choice because they are good at it and want things done a certain way, it’s still time in thought. And it seems many women don’t take that on by choice. It’s time in the car driving home thinking about all the things that have to be done. It’s looking at the calendar and creating mental space in planning everything out. It’s the invisible work. It doesn’t get towels folded or dishes clean. It doesn’t result in the lawn getting cut or the bills getting paid. My guess is this invisible time is not counted in any stats (though I could be wrong). The hardest part is that it’s time when men would often be thinking about their long hard day at work and looking forward to crashing on the couch, at least for a little bit. That’s fine and good but a typical woman isn’t looking forward to crashing on the couch. She’s still at a heightened state of thinking about (and planning) what’s next. That is additional stress. And crashing on the couch might happen eventually…just after a longer day than he had. That sucks. Looks like I have work to do.

    Thanks for the great article!


  28. i’m a woman and I can relate to this comic 100%. however all of this behavior is learned by both parties. My parter often does all the dishes and laundry without being asked. I am often too tired from work (he doesnt’ work, and is retired), to think about washing or cleaning when I get home. Often I find the dishes spotty or a bit of food stuck on the underside of a plate, or a red shirt was washed with white towels or my favorite t-shirt was put int he dryer rather than air dried.

    at first these things drove me crazy and I would try to “help him learn” how to wash dishes better. But ultimately that didn[t help either of us. I can have spotless dishes or I can have a relationship with my partner. I love him more than my dishes. I let him wash them the way he wants to, and same with laundry. When I wash them I do it my way.

    Relationships are not 50/50 they are 100/100 and sometimes that’s 110/90 or 150/45 or 30/200.

    I work, pay the bills and eat healthier food sthan he does…it’s frustrating to come home after 12 hours and have him ask me what I watn to do for dinner. That’s the type of mental work I’d rather not do…go out spend money or fix my own meal after workign when he’s been home all day.

    But then I look around and the kitchen is spotless, the pillows are place,d the blankets are folded, teh dog is walked, the fish are fed and he’s organized the incoming mail to make it as easy as possible for me to open and sort it etc etc.

    What seems important to me MAY require me to sk him for help but the opposite is true as well. Every story has three sides as they say…his side, her side and the truth. This is her side (and I can relate t


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