Post # 1
Not sure why I felt the need to go anon on this, but I did..
I want to keep this as neutral as possible so I will ask 2 general questions and add a poll.
1. If Spouse A is employed and Spouse B is unemployed and looking for a job (not in school either), how would you split the household chores? When both A+B were employed, they were split 50/50. Now that B is unemployed, A feels like B should do 100% of the chores until B gets a job to make things on A easier. A even bought household cleaning groupons for B so that will be less for B to do. But, B feels like A should still contribute by doing small things around the house like folding laundry because it’s unfair that everything falls on B.
2. If Spouse A purchased a dog for Spouse B as an engagement gift when A didn’t even want a dog (but admits to loving the dog), what sort of responsibilities should A have in regards to taking care of the dog? That is, B has sleeping problems and can’t get to bed early and thus sleeps in late, should A pick up the slack and get up and take the dog out in the morning? B thinks A should get up and get dressed and go out, but A thinks B has the whole week to sleep in because A takes the puppy to doggy daycare a few days a week and that B should get up on B’s own by setting an alarm and take the puppy out on the weekends.
These are essentially the 2 main issues in the relationship right now:(1) B is unemployed and A is getting resentful of that and that B isn’t offering to do ALL the household work while A works full time. (2) B sleeps very late when A gets up usually 2-3 hours earlier and by the time B gets up, A is tired and cranky and feels like the day is over and the weekend is ruined and A thinks B should get up to take the dog out; instead the dog ends up going inside the house on weewee pads or elsewhere and then A waits until B wakes up to clean it.
How do you think these issues should be resolved? I added a poll.
I left it gender neutral but please let me know if you think gender would have an effect on this. Does it matter if B were female and unemployed or male? There are no kids – just a cat, a dog a 3 bedroom apartment and the engaged couple (called them spouses because we’re not breaking up over this – we want a resolution, hopefully..)
Post # 3
If you guys have some advice, please go ahead and respond. Thanks!
ETA: For those saying A should help out with a small percentage of the chores – what? and why?
Post # 4
I’m just going to address the second issue – the dog. It doesn’t matter who originally wanted the dog. There is now a dog and you are BOTH responsible for taking care of that dog. Forcing the dog to hold it, or going in the house on pads, is NOT a good plan. You have the dog. Take care of the dog. Put on a pair of yoga pants and walk to the corner and back. You are just punishing the puppy and setting up a world of trouble in regards to house breaking the puppy and keeping it accident free.
Post # 5
I asked my husband what he thinks. He said that if Spouse B is actively looking for a job then Spouse B shouldn’t have to do ALL the chores, but may 80/20 or 90/10 split since he does have more free time.
As far as the dog, he said that if Spouse B was the one who really wanted to the dog then Spouse B should get up and take care of it. This is coming from a man that desperately wants a dog and knows that when he gets one he’ll definitely have to be the primary caretaker, even though I will agree to having the dog and may even surprise him with it if the time is right. I can actually really relate on that one.
My opinion is that I agree with my husband about the chores, and I think that a schedule needs to be written up between the two of you about the dog. You both have to try hard to train the dog, and I think you should write up a schedule. It was a little unclear about whether Spouse A is walking the dog weekday mornings AND weekend mornings, in which case Spouse B should take weekend if Spouse A is doing all the weekday mornings.
Post # 6
I think A should still help with some small chores. And I think A and B should take the dog out on weekends…one on Saturday, one on Sunday.
EDIT: Because I don’t think it is fair to have one person take care of the chores 100%. Folding laundry or putting away the dishes takes 10 minutes, it is a nice gesture, and you should want to help out your spouse.
Post # 7
I think it’s entirely unfair to put all chores on one person, You dirty the clothes, you should wash them. Same with dishes, etc. It doesn’t matter if he’s unemployed, you shouldn’t expect him to do every chore. Gender makes no difference to me, by the way.
As for the dog, I think he needs to get up more on the weekends to help out, but you also agreed to the dog when you bought it, so you have to accept the responsibility.
Post # 8
I agree with @Glasgowbound. If you own a dog, you both own a dog. It’s petty to go, “Well you wanted the dog, you take care of it!” It’s a life and it depends on you. Both of you need equal responsibilities with the animal. If it you cannot deal with that, find the dog a new home. Don’t pound it, rehome it. As simple as that. Lives cannot be shoved off on one person or another. Either you’re in it all the way or you’re not in it at all. Don’t punish the dog because you can’t agree who should do what chore.
As for the chores, I am a stay at home wife. My husband is in the Navy and works full time and deploys. I take care of all of the chores. Sometimes if I am lucky he will help me, but for the most part he does not do chores anymore. I wish he would help sometimes (Especially with the dishes), but it’s something I keep to myself. If someone is the breadwinner outside the home, the other person needs to tend to the home entirely.
Post # 9
As far as the chores goes, I think that A should help out, depending on what B does with their day. I am currently job hunting, and while, to be fair, I do have 2 part-time jobs, and am studying full-time, plus planning a wedding (so it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day as it is), I’m finding job-hunting extremely time-consuming; and I’m not really actively looking (as I have two jobs so am not ‘desperate’, I would just quite like a different job). My point being that job-hunting can be stressful and time-consuming, so being unemployed does not necessairly = sitting around all day doing nothing. Also, I think that some things are common courtesy eg putting your dirty dishes in the dish-washer, not next to it, or making your own breakfast/lunch, putting your laundry in the laundry basket, and hanging/folding clean laundry, etc. Ie there’s no need to create unnecessary extra work for the other person, as these small things take seconds.
Aa far as the dog goes, I personally believe that if a couple chooses to get a pet, they should share responsibility. For me, the fact A bought it because B wanted it is irrelevant; A still bought it and in doing so, agreed to take on the huge responsibility that that brings with it. To suggest otherwise to me is to suggest that whoever wanted children most should have 100% of responsibilty for the children.
HOWEVER, if B is unemployed, I see zero reason why they cannot take the dog out at weekends. If this means getting up early, tough; in wanting a dog, they chose to accept that responsibility. A should not be sacrificng their weekend lie-in if they’re working all week to walk a dog that B wanted in the first-place, plus B gets a lie-in every other day of the week. However, I see no reason why anyone needs to get up mega early; it should be possible to come up with a routine that works for both A and B as well as the dog eg taking the dog out late at night (if A and B don’t have a garden), then taking it a little later in the morning rather than first thing.
Post # 10
A & B should split the chores and dog care in some way, no matter what. It may not always work out 50/50, but NOBODY should be doing 100% of the chores or dog care. It’s not fair, no matter who is working full-time. Having those sorts of expectation just build resentment…it is completely unfair that A should have no chores. I’m sure B doesn’t enjoy being unemployed…so saying they should do all the chores is like an extra punishment. Chores should only feel that way to a child! Haha. You are both adults, and should both want to take care of your HOME!
I was doing 90% of the housework, and probably 75% of the child care in our home for quite a while…while Fiance was employed, and still after he became unemployed. I have been working part-time throught all of this. I was mad at him about it all the time. Every single day. If I asked him nicely or got snippy with him, it didn’t make a difference.
We finally sat down and made a chore list…things that need to be done each day, twice a week, 3 times, etc…it has made a WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. He actually did more than me the forst week…partly b/c (I’ll admit it) I wanted himto see what it’s like to not have help!
Maybe that will help…write down what needs to be done…schedule it by the day, and figure out who can do what better!
Post # 11
Dogs are not “gifts” to be given. They are 15 year commitments that you make as a family.
What is B doing in the house all day? Yeah, A works all day, but is A working any harder than when B had a job? If not, It’s not fair to push it all on B becuase B might be job hunting. If B is not job hunting, B better start.
A shouldn’t feel so resentful.
B shouldn’t be so lazy.
Post # 12
We spent about a year of our relationship with me working two jobs (about 50 hours a week, plus planning and grading), and him going to university part time and working freelance. He did the bulk of the household things during that time, but I still helped out. I don’t think it’s ever nice for everything to fall on one person.
As for the dog… I think if B really has sleeping problems, A should suck it up and take the dog out, especially since A bought the dog.
Post # 13
Folding the laundry takes up about 2-3 hours a week – that’s how much laundry there is. Usually A helps out by putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher or emptying the dishwasher and putting the dishes away because that really does only take 10 minutes. A also does a majority of the cooking.
ETA: A only takes the dog out on the days that A takes the dog to doggy daycare.
Post # 14
I voted that the unemployed spouse does the houeswork! If they’re home anyway… Why not make life easier for your partner?
As for the dog, I think whoever wakes up earlier should just let the dog out! It’s kind of awful that no one’s letting it out until after it has an accident on weekend mornings!
Post # 15
Does taking the dog out count as a “household chore”?
Post # 16
By the way – THANK YOU everyone for your responses!!! This is really, REALLY helpful. My friends of course will always agree with me, so it’s hard to get unbiased opinions.