“He Says I’m Not Responsible Enough to Marry”

My boyfriend and I met each other 10 years ago, and we got together a couple times then. Four years ago he finally asked me to be his girlfriend. We have now been living together for three years.

The problem here is that he says he doesn’t want to marry me until I am responsible enough. The thing is, I do everything in our house: I get up an hour early to make his lunch for work that day, run his bath, make him coffee and then wake him up for work. Then I start getting myself ready. I make dinner every night, and it is ready when he walks through the door. If I don’t cook, I organize take-aways. I clean the house as well — everyday — and spend one day of the weekend doing a full-house clean-up. I go and watch his cricket matches on the weekends, which last from 7am to 7pm. I wash his clothes, iron them and hang them in his cupboard. His ONLY 2 jobs are: feed the animals and take out the rubbish bag every morning (which he doesn’t always do).

What am I missing here? He says I’m not ready to be a wife or a mother because I don’t have any responsibility. What should I be doing? Is the problem me or him? — Wife Material

He’s probably afraid that, once your chase is over and you’ve got what you want (marriage, in this case), you’ll stop making such an effort to “win the prize,” so to speak. The thing is, YOU sound like the prize and he sounds like… well, he sounds like a dick, to be quite frank. Are you really happy being his work horse? Or, ARE you doing everything you’re doing in an effort to convince him you’re marriage material? Either way, unless you change your behavior — as in STOP RUNNING HIS BATHS AND STOP MAKING HIS LUNCHES AND COOKING HIS EVERY DINNER AND CLEANING THE HOUSE EVERY SINGLE DAY AND WASHING AND IRONING HIS CLOTHES AND WATCHING HIS LONG-ASS (AND PROBABLY BORING) CRICKET MATCHES EVERY WEEKEND, he will not change his behavior.

Get a life beyond being your boyfriend’s servant, and maybe he’ll want to be part of it, like, officially and long-term. But right now he probably only sees you as, like, a glorified housekeeper he gets to sleep with. It’s time to remind him — and probably yourself, too — who you really are. I also urge you to think long and hard about whether you want to spend your life with someone who seems to have such little respect and appreciation for that person.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. Avatar photo call-me-hobo says:

    OK, maybe this is a culture thing, but what grown man A). regularly takes baths and B). needs another adult to run said bath for him?

    1. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

      Exactly what I was thinking, but then I remembered how hard it is to turn the tap myself when I take a bath. In all seriousness though, LW what are you getting out of this relationship? This dude sounds like an ass.

      1. How on earth can anyone expect him to get the temperature right??? That early in the morning??

    2. honeybeenicki says:

      My husband loves baths and takes them at least once or twice a week. He works in a labor intensive job and sometimes a hot bath is about all he can do to ease his achy muscles. But… I don’t run his bath for him. First off, he’s a grown man and can do it his damn self. And secondly, he claims I make baths too hot and try to burn his skin off.

    3. I greatly prefer baths. What’s wrong with baths? But yes, I run them myself. But the missus always cleans between my toes when they are not clean to my satisfaction.

      Also, Wendy, not everyone thinks cricket is boring. True, I’ve never even met a Brit who liked cricket, but surely some people must think it’s the height of adrenaline-rush…

      1. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        I’ll tell you what’s wrong with baths. You’re “cleaning” yourself if your own filth.

      2. I’ve read that you get cleanest if you take a bath first and then take a quick shower to rinse.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yes to this. I always take a quick rinse off shower after a bath…since I’ve just sat in my own funk for oh 30 minutes or so.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        I think I’d do a before and after. Or just a before because at least the before cleans you, so then you are bathing in your own cleanliness? Idk, not a bath person unfortunately because they do seem relaxing.

      5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yeah, they kinda freak me out a little too, but some times it really helps me relax (and they work wonders when I’m sick). I usually put Epsom salts or like bubble bath in there so being clean before doesn’t matter?

      6. IWTTS, exactly how dirty ARE you? And what do you mean by clean? You are covered in bacteria all day everyday. As are we all. So let’s not split hairs here.

      7. Bwahaa. I’ve had almost this exact discussion with a bather-friend of mine. She wanted to know how I get clean without “soaking” and I wanted to know how dirty she is that she needs to soak like pots and pans. I guess, for me, I just like to get in and out and not make a big spa day out of every shower. Also, the tub hurts my bony backside. 😛

      8. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        I’m a total hypocrite because I go hot tubing at least once a week after long runs and loooooove it. But I guess I’m not trying to get clean – just relax, and there is chlorine in that sucker…so maybe only slightly hypocritical? I’m okay with sitting in my own filth and other’s filth as long as it is for short periods of time to relax and there’s chlorine.

      9. I’m with you, IWTTS, hot tubs are awesome, baths are gross!

      10. Seconded, I don’t get baths, I just feel awkward in them and get bored. But I’ve been trying to convince my parents to get a hot tub since they moved near a ski town!

      11. I always finish my bath with a shower. It’s awesome.

      12. I usually take a short shower, and then fill the tub.

    4. lets_be_honest says:

      Wait, is this NOT a thing? I thought everyone went home at night and their partner had the water temp warmed nicely with this waiting in the tub…

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Also, you’re welcome Addie.

      2. zombeyonce says:

        That looks fantastic, but it’s not as awesome as this:

        I’ve got one and it holds a glass of wine securely AND has a bookshelf so I don’t have to hold my damned book up with wet hands. And the metal pieces on the side are adjustable for different sized tubs. It’s heavenly.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        One upper!
        haha, that is AWESOME! I need to start taking baths!

    5. hmmmm… The Cockney likes a bath, some English people are still not ready to embrace the American shower. I’ll run him on the weekend but then, he’ll run me one in the evening sometimes as well? Fairs fair.

  2. I was told once that I was wife material, not girlfriend material….by a guy who then refused to marry me because I was too “wifey”….Your bf’s issue doesn’t seem to be your responsibility level so much as you have become the mother figure/housekeeper as opposed to the girlfriend. Wendy is right…you have to change your behavior/actions before he will change his.

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      wise, insightful, you know it.

  3. Lily in NYC says:

    Uh, the real question here should be why you want to be with such a controlling asshole. You run his bath every morning? Are you fucking kidding me? This guy is one giant red flag who is making you feel worthless so you won’t leave him for someone better. What does he do for you? Why are you accepting a life where you are nothing but a cook and a maid? Add kids to the mix and you are going to lose your mind trying to take care of him and a baby. And you know he will not lift a finger to help with a kid.

    1. And the poor LWers has been basically pining for this winner for 10 years… picking up crumbs. Took 6 years before “he finally asked me to be his girlfriend”

      Seriously, this is so sad and pathetic.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I really hope this is the gut punch she needed to hear, because you’re so right about this.

    2. Yeah, really. What does he bring to the table? LW, there is a difference between being a good girlfriend and being a doormat. Right now, you’ve got “Welcome” written all over you.

    3. I was asking this same thing… LW, you are so fixated on the fact that he doesn’t want to marry you. But why in the world would you want to marry him? So you can do everything for him for the rest of your life? He is bringing nothing to the table. He says you’re not “wife material” (which is complete and utter B.S. and just an excuse… bottom line is he doesn’t want to marry you, no matter what you do). But have you ever stopped to think that he is definitely not quality “husband material”? Or even quality “boyfriend material” for that matter. I understand wanting to take care of the person you care about, but they need to reciprocate and you can’t be doing everything for them to the point it is like you’re his mother. So, really, stop and ask yourself this question: Why would you even want to marry someone like this? You don’t sound happy, and I am thinking that really you aren’t. You’re worth more than this.

      1. If this guy told me I am not wife material, I would say, “Sure I am. Just not your kind of wife.”

      2. Oooooooh snap!

  4. I wish someone would run the bath for me.

    1. Lemongrass says:

      Clearly you should have vetted your husbands “wife material” more carefully.

      1. True that!!

    2. For real. My husband once bought me bath salts and I thought that was amazing.

  5. My bet is this isn’t in the US. Take-away and rubbish are both British English. So maybe baths are more common.

    And LW, you need to dump him. He doesn’t want to marry you. That’s all there is. And honestly, you shouldn’t want to marry him.

    1. Baths may be more common, but is calling your maid “girlfriend” instead of paying her common in England? I think they call that slavery…

      1. LW – is your man / master from India? Such a level of sheer laziness and entitlement, constant emotional shaming, is a characteristic often seen on Indian mommies boys. Most probably you’re not a fellow indian? Even more probably dude will not marry you and deal with the hassle of declaring to his (most probably) very traditional Indian family that LW – is your man / master from India? Such a level of sheer laziness and entitlement, constant emotional shaming, is a characteristic often seen on Indian mommies boys. Most probably you’re not a fellow indian? Even more probably dude will not marry you and deal with the hassle of declaring to his (most probably) very traditional Indian family that he’s bringing home a non Indian wife. Most probably they’re already picking out eligible good little Indian brides for him to go back home and marry. Give up all hope LW. Cut your losses and walk. He’s just with you for the free domestic help and s3x you provide. It’s not that he doesn’t want to get married. It’s just that he doesn’t want to marry YOU. bringing home a non Indian wife. Most probably they’re already picking out eligible good little Indian brides for him to go back home and marry. Give up all hope LW. Cut your losses and walk. He’s just with you for the free domestic help and s3x you provide. Tim baths indeed!!! It’s not that he doesn’t want to get married. It’s just that he doesn’t want to marry YOU.

    2. It MIGHT even be Downton Abbey. “Running a bath” sounds very old-fashioned to me.

    3. Anonymous says:

      The cricket games didn’t give it away?

  6. Thank goodness I wasn’t the only DWer who lost it at “run his bath” 🙂 Seriously, the only situation I can think of where that has happened when the bather involved wasn’t a todller… IRL or in movies/TV was the scene in Trading Spaces where Eddie Murphy’s character first gets access to the fancy house and butler and the butler runs a bath for him.

    1. Aaaand that right there sums it up. The BUTLER ran the bath.

      1. I repeat. This was sent from Downton Abbey. One of the lady’s maids is trying to jump rank.

    2. Fidget_Eep says:

      I will only say that when I was in college, I would visit my grandfather every week to take a bath (I have a skin condition and baths really help). He would insist on running the bath for me, that included breaking up all the oatmeal that would clump from the packet. I could and do it for myself (I had been for YEARS) but he insisted and it was really really sweet. I got to see him weekly during the school semesters and it was a lot of bonding time that I will NEVER regret since he passed away Aug. 2012.
      LW, everyday is too much and just wow. I feel so sad that you WANT this to be your everyday, every week, every year. Do you ever get a weekend for yourself? So far you say you clean the house one full day and go to his day long cricket games the other….
      Please look at taking care of yourself first.

    3. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

      not true! My dad runs a bath for my mom often, when she is stressed or tired, or just when he is feeling romantic. He puts bubbles in it and bath salts and lights candles. He has done it for as long as I can remember.

      1. My first husband did this when he wanted to get laid…but it was still a sweet gesture!

    4. kerrycontrary says:

      My fiance runs baths for me when I want a relaxing bath on a Friday night. It’s just a nice thing to do for someone, like making them a cocktail. Then he sits in the bathroom and talks to me. Yeh, we’re cute.

      1. OK, I will give you all the romantic gesture / stress reducing bath moment between couples… but I draw the line at daily maintenance in the morning (before making his coffee, etc.)

        Maybe she really is the butler and just doesn’t know it…

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Can we draw the line after coffee making too? Because its physically not possible for me to get out of bed without coffee.

      3. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Nope, not okay. Keurig on the nightstand or bust.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        See, now TA here has proven she is undeniably the smartest woman to live, ever. GENIUS! Now I know how I’ll survive should Peter leave me.

      5. Avatar photo theattack says:


  7. First of all – I LOVE the letters with an accent that have been posted lately!

    Second of all – Do YOU really want to marry this guy? I think it is so easy to decide what you want and work hard to get it – that sometimes you might miss the fact that this guy isn’t actually the thing you were wanting in the first place. I’ve seen it in myself in my early 20s and I’ve seen it in friends before – the guy you’ve been dating for a few years becomes this prize that you have to win – and you focus on winning the prize – and forget to focus on how you are interacting with each other and being treated. It didn’t end well for me, or anybody I know that got caught up in that dysfunctional way of looking at a relationship – and I’m afraid it might not end well for you either.

    I think if you want to get married, it would be a better use of your time to find a relationship with someone who treats you really well and doesn’t make you question your own contributions. Being married to someone who doesn’t think you are “responsible enough” is not going to be as fulfilling and enjoyable as you hope for your marriage.

    Perhaps spend some time fostering your own interests and hobbies… this will make you feel better about yourself – and will hopefully help you to realize what an interesting person you are, and that you deserve someone who things you are interesting and special. And life has a way of drawing those people to you when you are working on yourself.

    I’m sorry this guy is being a jerk.

  8. Oh, goodness. Please oh please oh please don’t marry this guy. A man who wants to marry you wouldn’t make you feel small or like his mom or housekeeper. I know that is a really hard thing to admit to yourself – that the person you’re with is a complete turd and isn’t actually nice to or respectful of you. But he’s not. And you deserve way more than this, even if it’s being on your own for some time. You really need to break it off with him and work on you before committing to anyone. I promise it will be worth it in the long run, even if it’s desperately scary and lonely at first. Also, if you pined over him for years before getting together, you don’t even know who else is out there! And the first person you should be looking for is wonderful you.

  9. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    So are you his maid/personal assistant or girlfriend? Because I’m definitely getting the first out of this letter.

    Why do you want to marry a man who thinks so little of you?

    1. Honestly, my first thought was that she didn’t have a boyfriend, she had a son. Providing for his every need at home while cheering him on at every sporting event and having to occasionally remind him to do his few chores would be great with a kid. With a partner, not so much.

      1. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Right? It’s just such a turn off. I find nothing sexier than a guy that does his own laundry, cleans up the house, and cooks me dinner, haha.

      2. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        I am assuming she is in England but a lot of places in Europe (Italy and Spain most prominently) the role of the wife is basically like the take over being the mom who does EVERYTHING for their son (this is more traditional but still pretty common) I lived with a Spanish guy and it was like having a 24 year old 4 year old roommate. He did nothing around the house and was sick, it was his first time ever living alone and didn’t understand that we weren’t responsible for wiping his ass.

      3. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        I think there are some places in the south like that too. My pseudo brother moved to the south to play on a division A hockey team and was so confused when his friends’ girlfriends started doing his laundry. He would come home everyday and they would have dinner ready on the table. Very strange. Like Fabelle, I too am curious about what they’re doing with THEIR lives that they have so much time to devote to someone else.

      4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        My mom basically does this for my dad, and it drives me bonkers when I’m at their house. He works, and then comes home and sits. Other than yard maintenance, he doesn’t have a household responsibility. Surprisingly he’s gotten more involved as the kids have moved out of the house, but I still don’t think he knows how to turn the washer on. I couldn’t do it.

  10. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    LW, you’re definitely mother material – except you’re mother material for HIM. It sounds like he does not want a mother. Do you work or stay home all day and clean up after him? I’d definitely branch out – get a job, get a hobby, let him wake himself up for work, etc.

  11. zanderbomb25 says:

    So question…the LW never said anything about her outside-the-house responsibilities. She doesn’t mention kids, so I assume she isn’t a stay-at-home girlfriend/mother. I know personally, it would frustrate me to be with someone who didn’t appear to have any ambitions aside from marriage. How do the finances work in their household? If you have a steady job and contribute, I’m sorry for my assumptions, I just didn’t see them addressed in your letter. If you don’t, maybe that issue is part of what your boyfriend is trying to refer to when he says he wants you to be more responsible, as in can you support yourself independently if you were not living with him.

    1. Yeah, I thought that might be possible too. Maybe he says she’s not responsible and she’s inferring that that means in terms of house work when he really means something else. But I’m not sure someone without a job would be getting up really early in the morning, getting someone else ready, then getting themselves ready, if they didn’t have a job or something.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Hey now! I know tons of people like that. I call them parents. 🙂

      2. Ha, touche! But isn’t being a stay-at-home parent a job? 😉 Anyway, I was going on the assumption that this LW was not a stay-at-home parent (“not ready to be a wife or a mother”).

      3. Hm, can’t edit, I meant that it sounds like she’s not a parent at all, which would also mean not a stay-at-home parent.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        No, she’s not. I just laughed reading your description of like, every parent every morning before work. 🙂

      5. Dude, I don’t know how y’all do it. I joke with my boyfriend that I would be the worst housewife or primary parent. After like a few days of doing that I’d be like, nope that’s all I have the patience for, I’m just gonna sit here and drink my coffee, you all figure out what to do!

    2. This. Maybe the LW does have a job, but she doesn’t say anything about it. And I don’t know how she’d have time to do all that other stuff if she did have one. So if she has no job and he’s supporting her, all the stuff she does for him makes a little more sense. (Although it’s still kind of gross. I’d rather have a job than be a grown man’s mommy.)

    3. thirding this too. again, i wouldnt want to marry someone who only wanted to take care of me as their primary goal in life. thats awkward to me.

    4. I was thinking the exact same thing. I think he means she is bad with money.

      1. I was thinking this too. There are a million ways you can be irresponsible while you’re still being responsible at the (over)management of the home.

    5. Not this one says:

      Yeah that was my thought. It has nothing to do with housework but finance and ambition. Did he ASK for those things?

  12. iseeshiny says:

    Have you tried making him 300 sandwiches? I hear that’s the best way to get a man down the aisle.

  13. This guy has clearly figured out that if he ~pretends~ you’re not being “wife material enough”, you’ll pick up more chores to do for him. LW, what are you doing with your life?

  14. Dear Lord, LW. I’m sorry, but this is horrifying. I am the Queen of A Thousand Chances with Dudes and this makes my skin crawl.

    Please, please value yourself and stop letting yourself be enslaved to this boy (I typed “man” but deleted it). A woman as giving as you are is a prize indeed. And PS, I lived in England for 2 years, I know not all the men there are like this!

    The LEAST he can do, the VERY LEAST, is be appreciative of all you do for him rather than make you feel small or worthless. In my opinion, he should be appreciative of you from far away after he realizes what he lost. UGH.

  15. Why the heck are you getting up an hour early to do all this crap for him? Sounds miserable.
    And beyond responsible. Something is not computing. Unless you’re also going out every night partying or you have some sort of career that he doesn’t think is “responsible,” although I can’t imagine what that would be (call girl? anything that gets paid in cash under the table? are you Paris Hilton?), I agree with everyone else, sounds like you’re the one with a guy who’s just making excuses for not wanting to marry you. He’s holding the marriage reins and assumes that once you know he doesn’t want to marry you, you’ll want out. I wouldn’t wait that long, MOA.

  16. well, in this guy’s defense i wouldnt want to marry someone whos hobbies include cleaning, waking me up in the morning for work, and coming to my all day events every weekend.
    you sound boring. what do you even have to offer? cooking and cleaning is not all that life is about, even -and i know this is going to come as a shocker- for women. cooking (the regular basis, everyday boring cooking, not fun cooking obviously) and cleaning is the bullshit that gets in the way of you doing cool stuff you want to do, like hang out with people and go to festivals and go outside and volunteer and accomplish things and make things and hang out with cats.

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      i was thinking the same thing! I would NOT want to marry a guy who only just looked after me – cleaned up after me, drew my bath, fed me, etc. Barf.

    2. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

      sadly the majority of relationships I see fall in to this pattern. I don’t get how people stay interesting to one another anymore. One of my best friend’s works, has school and has her boyfriend. She doesn’t have a single hobby or even many friends since they started dating. She gets home from work and is already on the phone with him, goes to bed goes to work and then travels every weekend to see him or on her days off or vice versa. He is the same way, basically all of his hobbies dropped since he met her. Its just…idk…boring? I guess couple’s like this develop couple-hobbies over time or something.

      1. Their hobby is gazing into each others’ eyes.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Work and school? I’m surprised she has time for a boyfriend, let alone hobbies.

      3. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        part-time each. but yeah it is still a lot.

    3. Avatar photo Guy Friday says:

      I’m glad you and a few other people mentioned this, because if you didn’t I was going to. “Responsibility” doesn’t just mean care-taking. Setting aside the cultural differences people have mentioned (i.e., drawing baths), while I would be flattered if my significant other did all those things for me I wouldn’t automatically consider her “responsible.” Can she balance our finances? Does she spend too much money? Does she REFUSE to do anything other than those things and demands that I be the sole bread-winner? Is that even financially viable? Would she be able to handle it if the water heater breaks? Or is she, in fact, simply a maid who gives benefits?.
      Look, I love my wife specifically because she’s my equal; were I not around she could still be “responsible” enough to survive, so to speak. But when she says things like “I don’t want to go to the grocery store without you to pick up stuff. Can’t we just go together when you get home?” I’ll admit that I get annoyed too, because who can’t go to a grocery store? And if she was doing that regularly when we were dating, I’d have been concerned about wanting to marry her too, because marriage isn’t carrying the other person; it’s walking hand in hand. So, LW, maybe stop doing some of the chores you do and start focusing on other things. Ask him what he means by “responsible.” If it’s something you never do, take a shot at doing that. And IF at that point he still refuses to elaborate, then, yeah, assume he’s just making excuses.

      1. No offense to your wife (or to my husband), but I get more done when he’s not at the grocery store… And I don’t have to argue about super-expensive cereal. Although, I have to admit the last few times we’ve been able to get out, it’s to the store, and that’s our “date night”!

  17. This sounds like all the bullshit of being married without any of the benefits. Yuck. Go read The Giving Tree.

  18. So exactly what “responsibility” does this guy model for you? Because it sounds like this is all backwards, he can’t marry you until HE learns some fucking responsibility, not you.
    Are you basically a stay-at-home girlfriend? Do you have a life outside of the home (not including his cricket matches)? Because if you don’t, I kinda want to encourage you to get a job or a volunteering gig outside of the home and start being responsible for something other than him. And then you can gleefully dump him because your other responsibilities are more important, muahaha.
    But yeah, pretty much WEES on this one, this made my hackles stand up for more than one reason. “Do your own damn chores” is definitely high on my list of necessary traits in a partner. His total dependence on you is a turn-off and a red flag so big you can see it from space.

  19. Bittergaymark says:

    The answer is right there in your letter. If only…if only you also fed the animals and then (of course!) took out the rubbish, too… Oh, and created a cheap and sustainable method of cold fusion to solve the current global energy crisis.

  20. Yikes LW, this guy is gaslighting the hell out of you. Why do you allow him to treat you so disrespectfully? Moreover, why do you want to marry this person? What attributes do you think will make him a good husband and father? Make a list. If this list contains more than two items: 1) he’s alive and 2) he’s male, then you are lying to yourself.

    This guy is not marriage or father material for three main reasons:

    1) He doesn’t respect you

    2) He is controlling–>by telling you that you are not responsible enough to marry, he doesn’t have to make any commitment to marriage because the problem is you. But LW, you must recognize that this is a lie. He doesn’t want to marry you, but he wants to keep you around because you do everything for him.

    3) As a new parent, I must tell you how crucial it is to have an equal parent in your spouse. I know that single parents make it work which I find absolutely amazing, but life changes dramatically once you have a child. Your workload easily doubles and you get much less sleep. It is difficult for anyone to manage, but it would be so much worse if your partner did nothing to help with childcare. You have no indication that this man will be an equal parent.

    If you want to settle for relationship scraps from this man for the rest of your life, then that is truly sad. I hope that you will dump his ass, which will allow you to begin searching for a man worthy of a long term relationship with you built on mutual love and respect.

    In summary, the problem is definitely him LW and you should MOA today!

    1. People treat us the way we allow them to treat us. At the risk of sounding like an article in Cosmopolitan magazine, men don’t respect people they can walk all over. A man I know recently summed up what he is looking for in a woman: “Someone who won’t put up with my crap.” And he is not the only one I’ve heard say this. So, grow a backbone and don’t put up with his crap. Teach him to respect you. Or, just walk, which is what I would do. Better yet, do both.

      1. “People treat us the way we allow them to treat us.”

        I don’t like when people say that. Or, I don’t like how frequently it’s thrown around and what that implies. It’s true in a sense, of course. But I feel like it puts the onus for bad behavior too much on the victim of the bad behavior. I mean yes, don’t take shit from people, have a backbone, etc. All good advice. But if someone is just treating you as badly as they can possibly get away with, they are a humongous asshole and in my opinion, that is the bigger problem. Good people don’t push limits and trample whoever lets them.

      2. I’m not deflecting blame onto the victim. People who treat people badly are assholes. Good people do not treat people badly. But, ultimately, I do believe that it is our responsibillity to get ourselves out of a bad situation and/or demand respect. Some people may need help to do that. But once you give someone the tools, they are responsible for using them.

      3. Sadly, not everyone has the tools they need to recognize that they’re in a bad relationship, they just have tools for partners.

      4. You referred to men being attracted to women who don’t put up with their “crap”, and that sounds like an asshole way to describe what you’re attracted to. Maybe if you’re putting out massive amounts of crap you need to examine yourself instead of expecting women to straighten you out like your mother. I don’t mean to pick on your comment and I do believe I know what you mean (people should stick up for themselves, very true). I’m just so tired of hearing that people treat you how you teach them to treat you because I feel like it takes responsibility off of people being assholes.

      5. Avatar photo Guy Friday says:

        Eh, I don’t know that I totally agree with your saying it’s an “asshole way to describe [it]” It’s definitely not an eloquent way to say it, but I think it still makes the point. I’m attracted to smart women who disagree with me and can hold their own. If I do something wrong or hurtful — because I’m human, and I make mistakes — I want someone who will tell me “You’re out of line.” I want someone who has opinions on things and isn’t afraid to say them and tell me why. And because we’re human, we’re not always going to realize when we’re crossing a line or hurting the ones we love, even if we’re good people who would never do it intentionally and who would change their behavior upon realizing they were doing something wrong. I mean, it’d be great to be constantly self-aware, but it’s not easy, and few of us can pull it off.
        It’s not victim blaming. It’s victim speaking. It’s saying “no,” I know not everyone can do that, and that’s not something they should be punished for, but it’s also not always easy to know the difference between someone not caring about a comment and letting things roll off their back and someone who is hurt but trying not to show it.

      6. So when someone asks you to describe the type of woman you’re attracted to, your response is “someone who won’t put up with my crap”? No, your response is the long nuanced answer you just gave.

        It’s not that I think there’s no merit behind the idea of being with someone who asserts themselves when necessary, and yes everyone’s human and needs to be stood up to on occasion. I’m just sick of the platitude “people treat you how you allow them”. It’s not that simple and it’s not all your fault if someone is an asshole to you.

        Anyway I think I’ve made and beaten to death my minor offshoot point here.

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        Eh, a lot of people will actually say “someone who won’t put up with my crap” and mean what GF said. I have, I’ve had people say it to me, etc.
        I think to a degree (meaning not abusive situations), it can be your fault if you continue to allow someone to treat you like a doormat. Sure, it might mean you are a weak person, but its like the saying “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

      8. WGFS and WLBHS. my favorite thing about my partner is that he doesnt put up with my crap (and i do mean it how GF said).

  21. Friend of Beagles says:

    Sorry, I have to go straight past MOA to DTMFA.

  22. Dump his ungrateful ass! DTMFA!

    He has no intention of marrying you, but more importantly, you don’t want to marry someone like that!! Run away!!

  23. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

    Tell him to shove off and marry his mom.

    1. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

      I mean that you should say, “shove off and marry your mom, man child”, not that you should tell him to shove off and then you marry his mom. You definitely shouldn’t marry his mom.

      1. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Really? I bet his mom taught him what to expect – that women do everything – and therefore she would be a GREAT person to marry.

      2. Lily in NYC says:

        Ha, llama, thank you for the laugh!

  24. I don’t mind running a bath for someone now and then. And I like it when someone runs a bath for me. (It’s particularly fun when he joins me in the tub.) But every day? Let’s look at what you do for him:

    Make his lunch
    Make his coffee
    Run his bath
    Wake him up
    Clean the house
    Wash & iron his clothes
    Hang them up
    Make dinner
    Devote one weekend day to cleaning (again)
    Devote the other to cricket, all day

    Now let’s look at what he does:
    Feed the animals
    Takes out the trash when he remembers.

    He’s got two jobs and he can only handle 50% of them less than 100% of the time.

    Does this seem equitable to you?

    1. I do think that the huge puzzle piece we’re missing is whether they both work outside of the home.

      Honestly, if I were a stay-at-home wife, I would do most of this for my working husband (except spend an entire day watching cricket because snore, and run his bath because wtf?).

  25. DreamPlanActLive says:

    This guy is such an ass!Seriously!And you let him walk over you,hoping that you are doormat enough for him to marry you?Dump him!You are not his mother,stop spoiling him like that.He is old enough to take care of his own needs and his own chores.I used to hear this phrase from one of my ex’s mother.She would tell me ever since she found out that I was dating her son,that I am not wife material just because I wanted to -oh,horror – graduate high school and -oh,shameful- go to college,instead of marrying her spoiled son when I was only 17 years old and spend my life hand-washing his shit-stained underwear and worshipping him like a god-I ditched him immediately.Have some self-respect and kick his ass to the curb,you deserve way better.Aim higher and don’t let a jerk tell you what you deserve and what not,or whether you are worth marrying or not.

  26. I don’t even do half of this stuff for my husband. I wouldn’t do almost any of this stuff for a boyfriend. But then again I didn’t live with anyone before I got married. I’m lucky my husband doesn’t expect too much out of me on the domestic front because I’m horrible at it.

  27. Breezy AM says:

    I am guessing he means you need a job and a life. If you are doing all that it is VERY unlikely you have any sort of lucrative income even close to his. He sees you as an overgrown teenager who sucks his dick.

    1. Breezy AM says:

      Also? Just because you and the readers here all think this work is AWESOME? Does not mean he does. He may not give two fucks you do all that. He may be fine doing it himself and frothing you’re not out there with a real job. You need to tailor your shit to what he needs, not what you think he needs.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        tailor to his needs? really?

      2. Breezy AM says:

        Yes. Tailor. If you want to be with someone, you tailor your shit to them, do you not? I do. I expect Mr AM to do so.

        I have gone through many occasions where I thought i was giving Mr AM what he needed only to find out he was all “wtf is this shit?” and not into it. Perhaps her guy is as well. Perhaps he wants a career woman. So should he dump her? Maybe. Probably. But maybe that’s what he means by not responsible. Maybe he likes her face and hands and how they kiss and the sweet personality she has. But thinks of her as a teen who sucks his dick. Is annoyed by her lack of career. Some men would be. THAT SAID… he should tell her. She should ask. Boom. Communciation.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        I would totally watch your reality show, just sayin!

      4. iseeshiny says:


      5. Avatar photo theattack says:

        If you have to tailor your life to meet a partner’s needs, you should find a new partner. Sorry, but no. I can understand where you’re coming from if it’s about a Christmas gift or just showing some extra appreciation, but these are day to day issues. She’s practically living her life in servitude of him, and she absolutely should not be wondering what else she could do to make him happy. People need to think about what makes THEM happy and just do that. Find someone who fits happily into the life you create for yourself. Tailoring your life for someone else is so incredibly dysfunctional.

      6. Preach, TA.

      7. If her doing all the chores around the house means he thinks of her as a “teen who sucks his dick” then he has some pretty serious issues that her getting a job could not even hope to solve.

      8. Breezy AM says:

        I still do not understand how this is different than “do not give someone the gift you want, give them what THEY would like.” Look if XYZ is what one has to offer, don’t assume the partner wants that. ASK. Talk about it! If your partner offers ABC and you want XYZ? ASK. Talk about it! My point is just because she’s runing around being Donna Reed doesn’t mean this does sweet fuck all for him. It may be nothing to him. Do not assume.

      9. Gifts yes. You tailor your gift giving to the person. Your life and who you are? Hell no. If two people are compatible personality wise and relationship wise, those two people will work as a couple. If those two people are NOT compatible, it won’t work. Like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. I tried to “tailor” to my ex’s needs — I sacrificed what I thought I would be ok sacrificing for love and for him. In the end I was just lying to myself and we were never going to work no matter what. It blew up in my face and I learned a very hard lesson.
        As theattack mentioned above, this LW’s life is entirely focused around her boyfriend. That’s not healthy in any situation, ever. Yeah once in a while you have to sacrifice what you want to do in order to make your partner happy, but it shouldn’t be every.single.day.

  28. You know what is super crazy? I have a friend who did this BEFORE moving in. She made his food, cleaned up, ironed his clothes, did gardening work, and also did full house cleaning. In the beginning, he mildly protested and/or made a thin effort to help. How does the story end? She’s miserably married with 2 kids –and he doesn’t life a finger to help with childcare either.

  29. CattyGoLightly says:

    This sounds terrible!!!!!

    I mean, it’s hard to say, but it almost sounds like he is telling you “No matter how much you do, it will never be enough.” as a way to make you try even harder than you already are. It just seems manipulative to me. I think he wants out of garbage duty.

  30. This guy is inventing a very subjective excuse (meaning, only he can determine when you’ve reached the goal) that won’t force him to commit to you, that will also encourage you to continue doing everything for him. Run!

  31. He is truly helpless it would seem. Why would you want him? Does he pay the bills? Make you happy in any way? Sounds like he’s brainwashed you and lowered your self worth and confidence to keep you catering to him. Gtfo now before you have a child with this man-baby and have wasted your prime years on being his house wench.

  32. Texican Ashley says:

    For some perspective, I’m a SAHW, and I don’t do all that for my husband. He’s packs his own lunches, washes clothes, and helps clean up after dinner. When is the last time you hung out with your friends or family? Had an afternoon to just veg and read or whatever you like to do?

  33. Rosacolleti says:

    I wish the LW had first asked him in which ways she isn’t responsible enough. For all we know she has a crippling gambling habit or she can’t hold down a job. The other stuff could all be being done out of guilt – who knows?

  34. HeartsMum says:

    12 hours of cricket sounds quite unreasonable…I wonder if LW’s boyfriend is from Yorkshire? Love Wendy’s blunt advice here.

  35. Wow..
    My grandfather used to teach to his granddaughters that in ANY living species, the male would compete against other male to get the approval of the female, and so that she would let him couple with her and thus she would create descent for the male (during sexual intercourse male leave their sperm with his genetic material which give the male sexual gratification-and orgasm), and in HIS case, he had to marry my grandmother to have his sexual needs met and an inevitable consequence of this was to have children, for which as a man, he should provide (for the mother and the children). MARRIAGE IS a condition for the men to have access to sexual gratification by a woman, and my grandmother was not a servant.
    It’s shameful to be in this ladies situation, downgrading of the woman status, to be humiliated like that by being told that she has to merit to be wife material.
    It’s the man who should apply and merit the tittle of husband and father of your children material.

    Leave this monster who is abusing you, and work on your self-esteem, you’re worth more than that. He’s mistreating you and devaluing you, you’ll end up with a mental illness.

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