I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusting things husbands do, I thought I was accepting a challenge. I thought to myself: "Wives aren't going to want to talk about or even admit to the gross things their husbands do. I doubt I'll get very many people to participate. No. Damn. Way."
Still, liking a good challenge the way I do, I put the question to some friends and a couple of online mom groups I'm a part of, just to see what I could scrounge up. I quickly discovered how wrong my assumption had been. Within three hours I received about 100 answers. Each answer would often include a lengthy follow-up conversation, too. This is, by far the most commented upon question of all the very many questions I have asked moms. Women were all-too eager to pour their hearts out over this one and commiserate with one another.
And after reading all these answers, there's really only one thing to say: Sirs? Husbands? Dudes? You're all nasty and now you're busted.
Gentlemen (if I can even call you that), these are good women. And after learning all the horrible things they put up with for the love of you? Unbelievable. They're not just good women, they're saints. The farting! The boogers! The supremely unhygienic personal hygiene! The weird eating rituals. What is wrong with you? I'm not one to throw stones from my glass house or anything (I'll openly admit to no small amount of nose-picking because it just feels so good sometimes) but there's a goddamn limit.
Because these good, saintly women love you (or because they're simply too embarrassed to admit that they are married to a man who regularly sticks his ass against the wall in the shower, lets out a massive fart, and giggles) many of them wanted to remain anonymous. So I bestowed them with notable alibis: the names of various sainted martyrs. Because, frankly, the arrows, decapitations, and various tortures those ladies went through seem like child's play compared to the following:
"Chews his toenails. He can put his foot in his mouth, he wipes his nose with the palm of his hand, and he clears his throat with a noise that sounds like a cat hacking up a hairball. Oh, and he constantly fondles his junk. His hands down the pants all the time."
"Sniff his fingers after itching his bum or balls. Like why? If you feel the need to maybe sniff, go wash yourself!"
Writer's note: This, by the way, was an extremely common answer. When I told Jill she expressed relief at not being alone. You're not, Jill. None of us are is alone.
"Farts and pauses and farts and pauses to make it musical. [He also] performs 'surgeries' on pimples/ingrowns/growths."
"He cuts his toe nails with a pocket knife... in our living room."
Writer's note: Dude. When you are behaving exactly like Frank Reynolds from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, it's time for you to seriously examine your life and the choices you make.
"He is incapable of farting without some sort of antic. It ranges from a simple bend at the waist to push the fart out, all the way to an exaggerated leg kick while laying or a trombone motion to seduce the gas out."
Writer's note: Apparently "Euphemia" told her husband she answered this question, to which he responded "Did you tell them about the trombone?" You guys! They know exactly what they do to us! They don't even care!
"My ex used to eat Doritos by licking off the seasoning of each chip and creating a small pile on his chest (as he reclined on the couch.) Then at some point he'd consume the pile of soggy chips."
"My ex-husband (let’s emphasize that: ex-husband) never brushed his teeth. Like ever. I hated kissing him. I have no idea how his teeth haven’t rotted. You could smell his breath from feet away. This alone was cause for divorce, among all of the other crap."
"He leaves the most disgusting used Q-tips on the bathroom sink and I have to pick them up and throw them in the trash can.... which is two feet away. I’m talking CHUNKS of wax."
"[He] used to clip toenails in the living room, no trash can, just let them launch into the wind. That stopped under threat of divorce."
"I don’t understand the total bathroom grossness factor. Pee everywhere. The pubes on the toilet seat, just the pure laziness that comes with cleanliness. And we won't even talk about the crusty socks from 'alone time.'"
"My husband is constantly hacking snot. He works outside in [a cold weather state] and I think that makes it worse. If he’s in bed? He will spit the snot into a water bottle and f*cking leave it there on the floor next to the bed. He always brings a water to bed and never picks up the bottles. Nasty."
"My husband picks skin off his feet and leaves it on the windowsill next to our bed. Or, in our bed."
"My husband stands up to wipe his ass after he takes a crap. He must have some bizarre technique because we forever have little rice sized rolls of toilet paper on the floor that have shit on them. I have nearly filed for divorce over it in the past and for the life of me I can’t understand why he is not more grossed out by this himself."
"We have four bathrooms and my husband feels the need to take a giant poop in the one bathroom that’s next to the kitchen every damn morning."
"I went into the bathroom once after my husband and found pee EVERYWHERE. I asked what the hell happened, and he said he saw a spider. Hide the evidence, buddy."
"My husband chews on everything. The worst is toenails. He will chew on a toenail for days. (He gums it at night... I know... barf.) He usually keeps it in his mouth until I finally see it and essentially become hysterical and fight him until he spits it out. He sees absolutely no problem with this whatsoever."
"Spits his dip in my Rae Dunn cups, and then when he barely misses the rim a string of it is attached to his mouth and my cup which then lands all in his beard. He leaves it there."
"Blows his nose at the dinner table, at home, in a restaurant, literally anywhere food is being served. I told him the moment one of our boys starts doing this we’re getting divorced."
"The farts. Oh Lord, the farts. The worst part is if he is gassy he pulls his ass cheeks apart to fart (he says it’s easier) I die a little inside every time I see him do it."
Writer's note: How, exactly, does pulling your cheeks apart make farting easier, you liar?!
"Mine has his early morning pre-shower shit. Every day, he starts the shower, then he plays a game on his phone. He then DOES. NOT. WIPE. and will stand in the bathroom finishing his game then gets in the shower, crappy butt and all."
Writer's note: I am terrified to be raising my children in a world where this happens.
"Pulls out his eyebrow hair and chews on it. F*cking disgusting!"
"The idea of flicking plaque and the sound of it is gross."
Writer's note: This answer was also all too common. Guys! Bathroom! Come on now!
"Once we were flipping our mattress and I discovered nail clippings under his side. I don't know if they were fingernails or toenails or clipped or bitten but he was completely clueless so I think he was doing whatever he was doing in his sleep. W.T.F."
Writer's note: Girl, you have a more generous heart than I do because I'd be like, "Oh yeah, you have no idea. Right..."
"He’s obsessed with using toothpicks, which isn’t a problem. The problem is he leaves used toothpicks all over the house."
"Skid marks in the toilet. All the time. And no embarrassment at all. Like leaves them there for all to find. And not small skid marks. Like double or triple flush if you need to."
"He hocks giant throat boogers in the sink every morning."
"He leaves his fungus toenails wherever he has cut them off. ... He [also] moves closer to me when he lets one rip and he sighs so contentedly after a smelly fart."
"My husband sneezes without covering his face and snot shoots out everywhere as well as whatever spit is added to the ginormous over-exaggerated sneeze. So gross."
"Every time we get in the car, he finds the need to pick his nose! Every single time! He freaking keeps his right pinky nail longer so it’s easier to pick his nose. He gets so upset when he breaks that nail."
Writer's note: I'm an unabashed nose picker, but I draw the line at having a designated booger nail. That brings it from "habit" to "hobby."
"Honestly, it’s the endless farting. Endless. He just farts all over the house constantly. He crop dusts me as he passes."
Writer's note: Girl, same life.
"When my husband pees he “lets everything lose,” as he would say. So he usually farts disgusting farts. I am still amazed that he doesn’t sh*t himself every single f*cking time he pees. I do not understand. It is the f*cking grossest."
"The farting at the table and the noises of relief! For f*ck sake! At least let it be silent and deadly! I should add he couldn't smell a bucket of sh*t if you hung it under his nose, so he doesn't care about letting it go anywhere anytime."
"Shaving and not cleaning it all off the bathroom counter, floor, mat. Claims he can’t see it all when the counter is wet!"
"SNOT ROCKETS. I cannot deal with the snot rockets."
"Sticks his finger in my buttcrack when I’m bent over doing household chores, then sticks his finger under my nose. "
Writer's note: My response to this was to exhale a long and horrified "Nooo!" very softly. It's all I could manage. Bryanna and I discussed this at length and when she expressed her embarrassment I reminded her that she could remain anonymous to which she said, "No, let's out his ass." I cannot recall a time when I've ever respected someone more.
OK, seriously: where is my Pulitzer for this? Because I have suffered untold mental distress putting this together and I feel like I need some sort of major award to make it all worth it.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.