AIBU Household chore rebalancing

So this is an AIBU by proxy. I had a beer with an old roommate last night and he was having a disagreement with his long term gf and asked my advice. I dont think hes being unreasonable but I also recognize that he is my friend and I dont know her well so Im biased in his favor.

Here is the situation. His gf and him live together and share a number of expenses such as rent and utilities. They also split household work in a way they believe is 50/50. He cooks and does dishes, she does laundry and vacuuming etc.

His gf is now changing jobs. But due to some scheduling issues her old job ended Jan 1 and the new job doesnt start until March 1st (first pay check mid March). So its created a scenario where shes not working or looking for work for a couple of months.

To make up for the financial difference in their situation my former roommate has been picking up extra shifts and overtime. Because of this extra workload he then asked his gf to take over some more of the household workload. This…did not go well. It led to a very large disagreement between them. Now granted Im getting this information from him and not her side of the story but as it was presented by him it does not see unreasonable to ask her to take on more of the household work during the period he is needing to take on my work shifts and overtime.

But again I knoe Im biased so Im curious what peoples thoughts are.

On the surface of it, he’s not being unreasonable. But I do have to wonder whether the chores are genuinely being divided equally, or whether the gf is picking up slack that he isn’t even noticing. I’m wondering that purely because that’s a common pattern in relationships.

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At face value it doesn’t sound unreasonable but I think getting his GF’s opinion on it would be really informative. If the extent of his previous support to house hold maintenance was cooking and doing the dishes and she was doing everything else then it feels like a lot of work might have been hiding in the ‘etc’ in the summary of their respective tasks.

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That might be an error in my writing. By the “etc” i meant there were additional chores on both their lists not just hers. I was just giving two examples each not meaning that he does 2 and she does everything else.

Granted I dont know how it is at their house now but when we lived together way back when he was always good about chores.

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Ah ok, sorry I took you a bit too literally there! Did your friend tell you what his GF actually said?

Nothing really verbatim but the general idea seemed to be that she did not want to be a housewife and would not be asked to do the majority of the housework. He said when he brought up his extended hours and lack of time he was told to “suck it up its only a couple of months”

I don’t think we can really make a determination without the GF’s input. Maybe she’s being completely unreasonable, or maybe the BF is glossing over some important points she made that he didn’t fully understand/omitted to get the advice he wanted (maybe even unconsciously).

Some possibilities that would make the GF not unreasonable:

  • This situation has happened in the past the other way around (BF out of work for a while) and he refused to take on extra chores when she took on extra work

  • Similarly, there was a time when she was unable to work due to medical issues and she still had to do her share of the work

  • The BF was already neglecting chores and she feels this is a way to permanently saddle her with more of the housework

  • The household bills are already covered and the extra work he’s taking on is mainly for his own use, like his own entertainment budget

  • She was working more shifts/overtime than he was before the job switch and they still maintained a 50/50 split even though she had less time for chores than he did

And there are some scenarios where she’s a little more justified, but still not really in the right.

  • A previous partner dumped all the housework on her during a similar scenario and refused to go back to an even split when she went back to work (or this happened in a relationship she witnessed, like a parent relationship), so she doesn’t want that to happen again

  • One criteria of the household chores was that she’d never have to do X chore because she absolutely hates it and now she’s being asked to do it

  • Some of the things BF does involves cleaning up after himself (e.g. cleaning up after his hobby) and while she’s fine with doing things that benefit everyone, she cleans up after her own solo activities and wants him to do the same

These could all be rampant speculation, but we really don’t know. All we have is a secondhand, one-sided account of what’s been happening in the relationship. She could be completely unreasonable, or she could be fully in the right.

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My thoughts too. In plenty of these situations, the gf is doing extra things that maybe aren’t considered ‘work’ or ‘chores.’

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