Where I got stuck Bee, was in your opening statement. You described your situation as one in which either you would end up winning or your husband would end up winning.
I don’t see that as an ideal mindset for negotiating within the context of a marriage. If one partner wins, by definition, the other must lose. I suspect that is not your conscious intent at all. But, words have enormous power. I wonder if the win/lose beliefs are seeping out and manifesting in subtle ways of which you are unaware. These things can come through loud and clear via body language and tone. The other partner senses the cues and goes into defense drive. Once one partner goes on the defensive, all hope of a positive, healthy resolution are gone.
Just a thought.
As to the laundry. The Bees are coming up with some great suggestions. Allow me to throw in another, coming in from a different angle of approach. Is a “chore trade” a possibility? Maybe just taking him off of laundry detail and giving him a different assignment? It sounds as if his resistance to the remarkably simple task of sorting reflects a bit of passive aggression. If the Bees’ wonderfully creative ideas fail, I’d consider swapping out laundry for something else. It’s really ok. We all hate or suck at something. For me, it’s folding. I’ll happily put anything away that does not require folding. It’s too tedious for me. I can’t stand it. Fortunately, Dh doesn’t mind it at all. Problem solved. No square peg/round hole war.
Blowing off thousands of dollars? Yeah, I’d fight to the death. I’d probably fight to the death over hundreds of dollars. Throwing good money down a rabbit hole does not set well with me and it has potential implications below the surface.
Is there any possibility that he’s being dogged about his expense reports and just hasn’t told you? Is there the slightest chance there’s something he does not want his employer to know? There is absolutely no other rational explanation for throwing thousands away. It’s lovely that he feels that you two can afford it. He should have checked in with you on that. Life can throw some amazing curve balls at you; hard and fast. And, if he’s got money to burn, how about donating it to a deserving organization rather than his (presumably) for profit employer?
And that’s a perfectly reasonable way to reframe it. Your husband is making cash donations to his employer without benefit of the tax deductions.
Again, there could be a bit of passive aggressive behavior rearing up in his resistance on this issue as well. If it were me, I’d call him out on it. My Dh could teach a course on P/A resistance. He will never admit/acknowledge/agree/confess to anything in the moment. It matters not if the evidence is overwhelming; including sworn video testimony from five Superior Court judges. Fortunately, he ultimately goes through some sort of cleansing process in his head and ends up doing the rational thing.
Just some random musings. As they say in AA: Take what you need, leave the rest.