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Is it fair to outsource your half of the household chores?

One Reddit user sparked a debate on the platform after admitting to hiring outside help.
Hand in pink glove with cleaning rag on yellow background
the_burtons / Getty Images

If you hire a cleaner to complete your half of the household chores, are you really pulling your weight in a relationship?

One Reddit user seems to think so — and the internet has mixed opinions.

Last week, a Reddit user posted on the advice subreddit titled "Am I The A**hole," (known among Reddit users as AITA) about a conflict with their girlfriend.

The Reddit user, who didn't specify their age or gender, asked others on the forum to determine whether they were in the wrong for hiring a professional cleaner to do their share of the household work.

Other Reddit users were divided in their responses to the post. While many agreed with the original poster, some felt that outsourcing chores can contribute to an unhealthy relationship dynamic over time.

Though the user has since deleted their query, a copy of the post is still available in the comments due to the Reddit forum's automated process.

Is it fair to hire a cleaner to do my chores?

The original poster (OP) provided some background: "My girlfriend moved to my house 6 months ago, despite me paying 3/4 of the rent (she is a student) we still agreed that we would split the chores of the house 50/50."

However, the couple clashed over their differing standards of cleanliness.

"My [girlfriend] doesn’t have OCD but she borderline can be sometimes when it comes to cleaning, everything must be done her way," the Reddit user explained.

They then decided to bring in some outside help.

"Since she wasn’t happy about my cleaning and it was a constant problem I decided to hire a professional cleaner to come once a week and do all of the chores that are assigned to me: cleaning the bathroom, living room, kitchen, windows, doing laundry, etc," the user wrote.

Aside from hiring a cleaner, they noted that they still completed other household tasks: "I still take the trash out and clean dishes if the cleaner won’t come in the next three days."

However, the Reddit user's girlfriend objected to outsourcing the chores.

"After continuing with this arrangement for 5 months she now says this isn’t fair because while she is cleaning and using her free time to do her chores I just sit on my computer playing games. I told her that her chores were her own responsibility and that we agreed to split 50/50, I just offloaded my work to another person."

She disagreed with that stance.

"She told me that being in a relationship is about helping each other and not being petty about things. I told her that she should have applied the same mindset when I was doing the chores myself and she was complaining all the time," the user wrote, before asking the forum for advice.

As required by the subreddit, the user provided an explanation for why they think they might be in the wrong:

"I might be an a**hole because splitting chores could be something that is expected from a person living in a home and offloading this to a professional cleaner whilst your S.O is still doing her part is insensitive. I guess."

Responses to the post were divided.

While the results of the post's poll, which closed online after 1.5 hours, determined that the user was not in the wrong (in AITA parlance, "Not The A**hole or "NTA"), commenters had mixed reactions.

A user who voted in favor of the original poster wrote, "It makes zero difference to her. The house gets tidy, she doesn’t have to pick up extra slack, and it’s cleaned to a standard she likes. Win win."

Another Reddit user voted that the original poster’s stance was correct, but asked whether they had considered the impact on their relationship.

"But what is the end goal here? How do you see this relationship playing out? Right now, you’re on a clear path to breaking up," they wrote in the comments. "If you two are serious about each other, you both need to work on communication."

Others raised the question of power dynamics.

"The problem with this is that basically you are saying 'I make more money than you so I don’t have to clean, but you do,'" a Reddit user wrote in the comment section. "I don’t think this going to lead to a happy relationship going forward."

What do you think? Should both partners physically complete their own chores, or is it okay to outsource?