AITA for greatly increasing my husband's chores and dismissing his complaints after he called me a homemaker?
EDIT: I have been reading through your comments for hours. Sorry if my replies dried up, today has been emotionally hard; but I promise I read and pondered every thoughtful comment you shared with me. Thank you!
I have come to the conclusion that I was right to stand up for myself when John repeatedly belittled my work and achievements, and I think we all agree that his attitude reeked of machismo. A lot of very kind people have told me I am not the asshole, thank you, but I am now convinced I was an asshole as well. For years, I felt like our relationship was somewhat unequal, but I was choosing to overlook the flaws because of a myriad of reasons. I let frustrations and resentment build up and explode, and while I think John acted very poorly in the first place, I overreacted in self-righteous rage. I treated John very poorly in return. Isn't that how wars start? Petty disagreements and skirmishes, mounting anger on both sides until both fighters believe that they are righteous.
I had been stewing in anger for days, and that is horribly unhealthy. And that anger is years of bottled feelings spilling up over something not worth that sort of reaction. I will sit John down tonight and have a long talk. I will show him this thread and we will decide how we want to proceed. The people that we are now are so different from the people we were when we got married and we started dating.
Thank you for your input. It has been difficult, but therapeutic to process all this.
Context: I work in my own start-up, husband John works in a movie theater. Before I started my company, we both had similar income, but now I earn ~5 times as much as him. The chore dynamic at home was always heavily skewed; I'm very neat and like cooking, so I handled the lion's share of chores on top of my job. After the company started growing, John invested himself more in chores because he was staying at home due to movie theaters being closed. His workplace reopened a few months ago and he immediately stopped doing most chores.
I have been lenient and doing more than my share, since he comes home every day exhausted and complaining. After work, he does nothing but leisure, totally overlooking the fact manage our household ON TOP OF running my company. I'm kind of a doormat sometimes, so I let it go because I wanted to be kind to John.
Last weekend, he crossed a line. I work 7 days a week, John has weekends off, and he was playing video games all day while I was working - and he came to ask me when lunch would be ready. I told him that I am very busy with work and can he cook, for once? He declined, then complained that it was so much easier in his grandfather's time, when the "homemaker" didn't do anything other than "her duties".
I exploded. We had the biggest screaming match in our lives, with him calling himself the breadwinner of the household, repeatedly hiding behind the claim that he "goes out" to work (as opposed to me working from home, which means I'm a housewife uh?). I steamrolled his claims by pointing out that I earn much more money than him, I work longer hours and still do all the chores. I told him to quit his job and dedicate all of his time to chores, since he is so enamored with the simpler times of homemakers and breadwinners - even if he became unemployed, our financial situation wouldn't change. He acted appalled.
Monday, I gave him a list of chores to do, about 2-3 hours of chores daily. He constantly complains, and I just reply with "Quit your job." I spent years doing ALL the chores on top of my job, but he whines at the prospect of doing just half. Tuesday night, he told me he refused to do the chores and I couldn't force him. I shouted him down into submission, telling him that I spent our entire common life picking up the ball that he keeps dropping, and that his choice to work an unskilled job for pocket change does not preclude him from helping me, the breadwinner, keep this household in shape. Yesterday, I locked up his PS5 in our safe and changed the combination.
This is not in my nature - I am usually polite and soft spoken, and I feel like an asshole when he see him looking like a sad puppy and whining that he is tired. But I just... snapped. I feel like I don't have a choice: If I let John do nothing and consider himself the breadwinner who deserves to come home to a clean house and warm meal through no effort of his own, I would lock myself into a life of servitude. Am I an AH?