Clean the House

A TikTok caught my eye the other day. It was of a woman explaining to viewers that she had asked her husband to help pick up around the house assuming that was a self-explanatory statement, only to find him tightening the bed frame.

Check out the video here:

This prompted me to run to the comments. Turns out this is a very common occurrence. There were more comments than I could count of people noting the times they asked their partner to help clean up and they did something that seemed completely out of left field. More often than not these comments came from women about men. Some men instead of cleaning, built a dog house, a chicken coop, cleaned the garage, and more.

I share some of the highlights here.

As someone that has always been interested in the psychology behind relationships, I wanted to have a discussion. Is this simply an example of men being from Mars, and women being from Venus? Does it venture into the abusive side of things under weaponized incompetence? Or is it something else?

Me taking on the entire mental load to accommodate someone else’s failure to be an adult? Nah, it’s not for me

Just Write a List

Many comments pointed to wanting a list from their partner that specifically outlines what needs to be done. This struck me as odd for several reasons. First, this is adding to your partner’s mental load. Second, assuming you have working eyes, you can see what needs to be done. Third, making a list of basic tasks would make me feel like your mother, and let me tell you there is no bigger turn-off in a relationship than feeling like a parent to your partner. And fourth, assuming you lived on your own prior to entering into this partnership within a home, I would assume no one made a list for you then and things got done.

I found several videos from user @_stronger_than_before_ addressing this particular thought process of wanting a list and pointing toward weaponized incompetence. I particularly enjoyed her quote, “Me taking on the entire mental load to accommodate someone else’s failure to be an adult? Nah, it’s not for me."

Another user, offered a unique perspective that this issue can break down to acts of service as it relates to love and that many men don’t operate in that manner.

Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus

This conversation continued on my personal page for several videos and overall I don’t think it’s a men vs women thing. I had a bunch of men say they experience the same thing with their female partners and a lot of other men saying this kind of behavior is abhorrent and they couldn’t imagine needing something like a step-by-step list to care for the home.

So, what is the underlying issue here? I can’t say for sure but for many (not all) of these situations, a healthy dose of communication can go a long way. If you’re not sure about expectations, ask follow-up questions. There are dozens of other points that could be addressed but I’m curious if you’ve ever been on either side of this. How did you handle it? Why do you think things so often get lost in translation in relationships?

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