I (28M) have been married to my wife (F30) for two years and together for five. We were planning to start trying for a baby, but that was put on hold and may not happen anymore. My wife and I both work, and we make roughly the same amount and work approximately the same number of hours.

My wife and I used to have a chore system in which we just rock paper scissors-ed the calendar to schedule our days off. I believe we received a fair cut, but she did have more dish days. I got most, if not all, of the laundry.

My wife despises doing dishes. She despises it so much that she occasionally shuts down and cries when she sees them in the sink. Previously, when I noticed her weeping, I went to help her, switched chores for the day, calmed her down, and everything was OK.

But as I was doing this, I realized she was weeping on purpose, so I washed the dishes. I knew she was faking it because the moment I took over, her tears dried up and she’d go do something enjoyable that she enjoyed without a care in the world, laughing and smiling. There is no wind down like before.

As a result, we modified our dishes to “whoever makes the dish washes it” like toddlers, with the exception of cooking. The cook didn’t have to wash the pots and pans because they did all the labor for supper (this was also her recommendation, which I was fine with).

This was working out for a little while until I noticed that my wife made a lot more dishes than me and just didn’t want to wash them. I asked her when she planned on washing dishes after I made dinner at her request, and she blew up on me. I did as she said but left the dishes. The next day, she asked me why the dishes weren’t done, and I told her because she didn’t do them. This started a fight and I washed them, but I was unhappy

I do the most, if not all, of the laundry because she refuses to do it anymore, and I hate to wear unclean clothes. The only thing she needs to do with the laundry is place it in the basket. That is it. We have baskets for darks, colors, and whites. She insists on having her own basket for underwear and other items, so that is its own thing, which I handwash.

She has not been placing her clothing in the basket. At first, I picked up all of her clothes and washed them because it was no big problem, but when I saw her take her clothes off and simply leave them on the floor because “I always pick it up,” I decided to leave them there. She inquired why her clothes weren’t done, and I told her she hadn’t put them away, and she blew out at me. The same story.

Recently, this all came to a head with all the fighting. My wife has been getting lazier and lazier to push back because of our fights and at first I was doing all of her chores on top of working, but I had a little moment of “why am I even doing this?” and just stopped. The dishes were piled, her clothes were dirty, and crumbs were everywhere on her days. On my days, everything was spick and span.

She decided that she was going to just start buying more dishes and clothes to combat not doing her part. I cannot tell you how frustrated this made me. She was buying plastic spoons and forks, paper plates, Walmart t-shirts, and whatever other cheap alternative to the nice ones she had at home. I just decided to start tossing them.

When she noticed that I was tossing her cheap alternatives she blew up at me again and for the first time since we’ve been together, I raised my voice. My voice is deep, and I’m a big man, so this scared her, which I regretted.

I immediately lowered my tone and told her that she just wasn’t doing her part and that she was wasting money buying useless things when all she had to do was clean up after herself and put clothes in a basket. She cried and despite how many times I apologized, she told me that she doesn’t feel safe with me and that maybe we’re better off divorcing. This shattered me.

The yelling was accidental. Nobody wants to hear the whole story, which makes me feel isolated and a little crazy. My female pals are either staying out of it or supporting her. I’ve been losing friendships. I feel like a jerk right now.

Was I wrong? All I wanted was for her to pick up after herself. I had never hurt her, and I had never yelled at her before, which I regret. I didn’t mean to terrify her; I was simply so upset because this had been building for months. I understand that throwing away the disposables was probably immature, and that I should have simply cleaned up after her, but I was frustrated.

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