An advice columnist's response to a wife asking for help with her marriage is raising eyebrows.

An agony aunt has dished out some unexpected advice to a wife at a loss at what to do about her husband’s laziness with chores – and just about everyone disagrees with her.

The woman, who wrote into the Washington Post’s columnist Carolyn Hax, explained that she does much more housework than her husband, estimating it to be a 70-30 split.

“When I complain, he says he doesn’t mind grimy bathtubs or piled-up paper, and since I do mind, then I should do the cleaning,” she said.

“He says it’s unfair for me to unilaterally set house standards and then force him to live up to them.”

This, of course, frustrated the woman, who was only asking for “a weekly vacuum, bathroom cleaning and laundry”.

But rather than just suggest ways the woman might convince her husband to pull his weight, Ms Hax advised the couple to invest in a cleaner.

“Hire a cleaning service for the weekly vacuum and bathroom cleaning, and split the remaining jobs 50-50, or as close to it as you can get.”

“Do this even if you have to cut other expenses to afford it.”

This solution was teamed with the advice to make sure if he didn’t do his remaining chores that they affected him directly – but it was the first suggestion that had fellow readers flabbergasted.

“Hire a cleaning service? Sure! That’ll teach him!” one reader sarcastically remarked.

“My experience: a man who is too lazy to help with the chores is also too lazy to help with paying someone else to do them, too. Just one more thing I would have to pay for while he gets off scot-free.”


Another commenter agreed that the husband probably wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice anything of his own to pay for the cleaning service, leading to more arguments.

Meanwhile, others thought the simplest solution of all would be to ditch the husband.

“It’s a major reason I left my ex-boyfriend,” one explained. “If [your husband is] like my ex, who literally would do nothing, to the point where there were cockroaches running around the floor, just leave. It’s not worth it!”

Another added: “The answer is simple; find someone like you and start over.”

However, the columnist explained her solution was about saving their marriage – even if it did defy logic just a little bit.

“If you’re wondering why I didn’t address his attitude or logic: It is suspiciously convenient for him and bad for you, yes, which no cleaning service can fix,” she said.

She added that listing his standards to hers was an argument she couldn’t win, and it was better that she end it as soon as she could to prevent more marital strain.

At least one reader agreed with the agony aunt, labelling her response the “best advice ever”.

“Anecdotal, but a guy I know said (most) guys do pick up around the house, however just not as often or as thoroughly as (most) women,” she offered.

“Which just builds up resentment if the woman does his share because he can’t get to it on her schedule. So, best advice ever, Ms Hax!”

What do you think? Is hiring a cleaner the answer when one partner won’t clean their fair share?