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Woman's Refusal To Compromise With Boyfriend Over Home Habits Has People Torn

Amy Pilkington 20 Nov 2020

What is it with people and refusing to compromise on basic things?

I'm not talking about politics, religion, or other more serious issues that could simply be beyond reconciling, but small day-to-day things. Especially in romantic relationships.

Is a tiny pet peeve really the hill you want your relationship to die on? Can't you just calmly discuss your issue and decide how best to tackle it together?

Just skimming through Reddit's r/AmItheAsshole community tells me that compromise is less common than I'd hope.

Reddit | anniversaryx

Take this issue shared by Redditor anniversaryx.

When I first saw the title of the post, I thought it would be a pretty clear-cut case.

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However, the whole issue is more nuanced — and frankly, pettier — than that.

Unsplash | Tierra Mallorca

Anniversaryx explains: "basically I bought a house by myself and my boyfriend moved in with me after I bought it."

It's not an inexpensive home either. The house cost $500,000, and she paid a $100,000 down payment upfront.

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Which, considering the state of the world right now, is an awesome personal accomplishment!

Giphy | Friends

She says that it didn't take long for her boyfriend to begin to refer to the home collectively as "our house."

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And indeed, that part of the situation didn't bother her too much.

Reddit | P1kachu_assassin

After all, many of us will say things like "Come over to our place!" to friends even if we don't strictly own the building we live in.

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What she did mind was when he started complaining about her habits.

Giphy | Sunnyside

This is also the point where my — and many commenters' — eyebrows raised, because the things complained about seem...slight.

"He will say things like I shouldn’t put my shoes in the front by the door, or I shouldn’t leave clothes in the closet for a long time ect. [sic]"

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Aren't shoes always near the door and clothes in the closet?


In the comments, she clarified a bit more.

The "clothes in the closet" are her pajamas, which in her hurry to get ready for work in the morning, she'll often leave piled on the closet floor until after work, when she tidies up.

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The "shoes by the door" are really just two pairs: her work shoes and her slippers.

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In a comment, she mentions that it's a cultural thing she's learned from her Chinese family. So she's just swapping her slippers for her shoes and vice-versa when coming and going from the house.

It's not clear where exactly the unworn pair sits, but presumably she's not intentionally leaving them where they'd be a trip hazard.

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So yeah, neither of these things seem like serious issues that he needs to be upset over.

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Then again, the way she describes her response doesn't do her any favors either:

"I keep telling him it’s my house & Ima do what I want in it and he seems to be butt hurt about it."

He pays her rent, but the mortgage and rest of the bills are hers.

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Many of the commenters were on the same wavelength as me: this is a communication issue.


"Having read the OP's comments below clarifying the boyfriend's complaints, these seem like ridiculously easy situations to fix," noted 0biterdicta.

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In general, it seemed hard to appreciate how this ballooned into the problem it did.

Reddit | szimplicity

Sure, she could put a basket in the closet to drop her PJs directly into, but why is he worried about a couple of items on the floor in a closet for a few hours? It's not out in the open anyway.

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Since these threads are always one-sided, it's hard to know the full context of both parties.

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If he's constantly berating her over small things, then that's one thing, but if he's making suggestions in a shared space, then her just shutting him down entirely isn't helping either of them.

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And that response seemed to suggest to one commenter that the homeowner may be at fault.

Reddit | sabriyurga, Lionsgate

"OP is the one shutting down those conversations," said ihateherds, "If my BF said 'I think you should keep our shoes over here' and I disagreed, we would talk about it until we were on the same page. I wouldn't just say 'MY HOUSE MY RULES.' She doesn't say anywhere that he's being aggressive or rude, but she IS."

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So a calm discussion about the expectations of sharing a space and where compromises can and can't be made is needed here.


It's her firm refusal to compromise and the tone of her story that tipped the verdict into "You're The Asshole," but "Not The Asshole" was a close second.

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But what do you think?

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It's amazing how many of these threads about relationships come down to: "Have you actually talked to each other about this, or just yelled at each other?"

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Like this similar issue I saw recently where a woman was concerned about her partner's ability to help out if they moved in together.

Reddit | napsandhugs

In her post, napsandhugs explains that she currently has her own apartment, but her older boyfriend still lives with his parents.

They've been talking about getting a place to move into together, but when a casual comment of his revealed that his mom still does everything for him, she got worried.

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It wasn't just occasional laundry or dinners, either. He'd never done laundry, cooked a proper meal, or balanced a budget.

Giphy | Married At First Sight Australia

He said she could teach him when they were living together, but he showed no initiative to start learning himself ahead of time.

"I'm scared of taking on the teacher/mom role in the relationship, and not being able to escape it, if that makes sense," she said.

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Yep, totally makes sense to me.

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She said that she's happy to teach him things like recipes and such, but maybe they should wait to move in together until he'd learned some of the basics.

He said that she obviously didn't love him enough to trust that he would put in the work once they were living together.

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Though Reddit's verdict was that she wasn't the asshole in the situation, it was a mixed result.

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Some commenters, like doobiehunter, accused her of being a bad girlfriend for not seeing the time spent together on chores as a bonding experience.

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While those on napsandhugs' side saw his refusal to show initiative and anger at her request as red flags.

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"NTA. I admire your ability to recognize the importance of this and to stand up for yourself," said Jenn319.

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They need to have an honest discussion about why his lack of initiative worries her and why her worry upsets him.


It may be she does end up helping him learn such basic skills, but just not sign a lease until he's proven that he wants her as a partner and not just another mom.

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Speaking of red flags, can we just take a moment to appreciate how creepy the guy in this other example is being?

Reddit | Throwawaylandlord43

This isn't a romantic relationship, but one of a landlord and tenant, with an added wrinkle of accessibility needs.

The landlord preferred to remain anonymous, but explained that she inherited her house from a great aunt who took her in as a teen.

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The great aunt used a wheelchair later in life, so the main floor was completely renovated for accessibility.

Unsplash | marianne bos

The upper floor, with a bathroom and two bedrooms, became the teen's space, so was never renovated.

After her great aunt passed and COVID-19 made the budget tighter, she decided to rent out the two rooms on the main floor.

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The fact that the rooms were accessible allowed her to feel good about providing a home to someone who might have difficulty finding suitable options.

Giphy | 100% Soft

She admitted that as a young, single woman, the idea of having the staircase as a barrier to a stranger sharing her home was also nice.

A young man with a wheelchair rented both rooms, using one as an office, and he also had access to the common areas: kitchen, living room, and two bathrooms.

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It was all pretty good at first, but then suddenly the tenant asked about installing a chair lift so that he could go upstairs.


She brushed him off, because there's no reason he would need to go up there. It's just her private bathroom (which isn't renovated to fit a wheelchair), her bedroom, and her office.

There's a small landing at the top of the stairs she uses as a seating area, but there's a whole living room downstairs that he can use.

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But he kept on badgering her about wanting a lift and when she would be installing one.

Giphy | Lifetime

Her brother told her that she was being an asshole by refusing, but she was seriously creeped out by the idea that the tenant would have any reason to want to go up there in the first place.

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The fact that he uses a wheelchair and could complain about accessibility rights worried her, but commenters told her it was fine.

Giphy | Matt Crabbs

Those laws don't usually apply to space rented in a private home and since he isn't paying for access upstairs, he has no argument anyway.

GothPenguin also noted, "I feel the need to caution you however. The fact that he is a wheelchair user doesn’t mean he would be incapable of causing you harm."

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It's not about accessibility, but privacy, and if the situation was about a locked door to her space, he couldn't demand a key.

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The best summation came from Janefryer, who said:

"If he persists in trying to get up into her private space; she has the right to evict him. She isn't being discriminatory against him, and has provided him with the ideal rental; so the least he could do is to respect the boundaries that he agreed to, at the time he signed the contract. He doesn't have the right to make his landlord feel uncomfortable and afraid."

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Regardless of his motives and the red flags his request raises, he's being creepy AF.

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Do you agree?

What about these sorts of situations in general? Personally, I think a lot of trouble would be solved if people just communicated honestly with each other.

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