Carolyn Hax: Can they balance the chores during their busy boyfriend season?


I fully support his business and understand that this situation is temporary. Still, I’m a little wary that the first few months of living together, I do all the cooking, cleaning, chores, etc.

Any suggestions on how I end this precedent? I don’t mind stepping in during unusual times, but I’m also wary of how to change a trend that starts when I move in.

Create a precedent : What did he do last year during this time when you were still living apart?

The way to end a precedent is not to set it in the first place. Tell him that you would like to stay close to your normal approach to tasks that each of you had while living separately. put a capital X on your calendar marking the end of this stretch; and if necessary, treat this as a time when less work is done.

If you still find yourself with a major and persistent home workload imbalance when it’s all over, then break up and move on. Ultimately, the problem would be a partner willing to let you do all the work, and the solution would be a better person for a partner.

Carolina: It’s his new job. There is no “last year”. I ask, is there a good way to invent or implement a “reset” button that I can press in three months?

Setting again: Agreed. I always think the fewer resets the better. If you didn’t move in, then he’d run this and his house on his own. He would, because he had to.

It’s essential not to lose sight of this – or, to put it more clearly on the other side, to keep firmly in mind that you are not moving in to be his unpaid servant. Talk to him about a fair distribution of work for regular hours, then adjusting to that for crazy hours, then decide if that sounds doable to you. Weigh his attitude well. And:

Don’t accept anything you don’t want to live with.

Don’t do more than you think is right.

Do not continue to do anything after the date when he can very well start doing it for himself.

Don’t do anything he wouldn’t do for you.

Don’t do anything you wouldn’t be comfortable asking.

You do not have to. Period.

Dear Caroline: About a month ago, my husband and I moved to a new neighborhood. Today, when I went out to get our trash cans, I saw our next door neighbor for the first time. I smiled and said hello. She frowned and turned away without answering. I can not. We pick up after our dog. He never went out alone or off leash. He doesn’t bark. We keep our house and yard well maintained. We are silent. What should we do?

New neighbor: Invite them – or for a pandemic-approved walk. If the cold persists, just ask if you’ve done anything to offend her.

Maybe your dog barks madly when you go out? However, this is no reason for a snub.


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