He Didn’t Want My Children Doing Chores

Lynda Claire
4 min readJan 23, 2022
Photo by Jess Zoerb on Unsplash

I was talking with a friend about how my children are being amazing and doing chores each night to help me out. Sure in the beginning it was a bit of a battle as I had to speak about us being a team who helps each other out, but now they just get on with it and then we have fun together afterwards. I tried two years ago to get my children to do chores. They had their list of things to do each day and both were doing them, sometimes with a little insistence. Then my abusive ex came in with his opinion. He didn’t want the children washing the dishes because they are grubby and not only wouldn’t clean the dishes well enough but would make the dishes less sanitary with their unclean hands. He didn’t want the children helping me cook for the same reason “who knows where their hands have been, I don’t want to eat food that could be contaminated”. He didn’t want the children folding the washing because they didn’t do it right or did it in a way that he deemed made the washing dirtier. He didn’t want them to vacuum because they weren’t thorough enough.

My ex described himself as a huge germophobe. He would sing this loud and clear to everyone that knew him. I was mindful of this while we were together but then I started to see that he just used it when he wanted control. His fork wasn’t allowed to touch the table but he’d happily live with rubbish he’d dropped all over the floor. I was always to be cleanly washed so I smelt nice for him but he would go three days, sometimes even a week, without showering. No one was allowed to touch his things or food but he would share drinks or cigarettes with strangers. Food had to be prepared perfectly but he was okay with it being done in a kitchen that was beyond disgusting. He was happy living with piles of dirty washing, dishes and rubbish around the house but no one but me was allowed to touch him, unless sexually, because they’d infect him with something. He was constantly saying he was sick because someone had given him something or done something to him. Every single day of his time with me he complained of a sore stomach, sore lungs, feeling sick, coming down with something or some ache in his body. It was all for attention.

It wasn’t until I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago when I said how amazing it is that the children are helping me with things around the house and that I’d tried…

Lynda Claire

Seeking those moments of magic and trying to capture them with words. Exploring my depths. Living on an island at the bottom of the world.