Up-and-coming food blogger Denise is thrilled when she’s invited to an international conference. She could never have known her husband would uncover her dirty secret while she was out of town.

Denise couldn’t wipe the grin off her face. Her culinary blog had gained a ton of new followers and subscribers that week. She’d also received emails from potential sponsors who wanted her to feature their products in her videos. Things were looking up!

On days like this, she couldn’t believe how quickly her hobby had turned into an income. She sipped her coffee and started answering comments.

“Hi, honey.” Denise’s husband, Arnold, entered the kitchen and smiled at her. “Are you still busy with your blog stuff?”

“Yeah, it’s really taken off since I started recording videos and hosting guests.”

“That’s nice. What’s for dinner?”

Denise rolled her eyes at Arnold. Sometimes she wondered if he only supported her blog because he got to eat the recipes she prepared. She shut her laptop and warmed the vegetarian lasagna she had made earlier.

A few days later, Denise’s video about cooking fails went viral. Suddenly, everyone wanted to speak to her. She was even invited to appear on a local cooking show! When she received a special invitation to attend the International Food Bloggers Conference, Denise knew she couldn’t pass it up.

“You want me to take a week’s vacation leave to look after the kids so you can attend a conference?”

Arnold frowned in confusion. “People actually have conferences for blogging?”

Denise nodded. “It’s a big business, babe, and my blog is in the spotlight right now. I need to maintain this momentum.”

Arnold chuckled. “My wife, the rock star…I mean blog star. Sure, honey.” Arnold shrugged. “I’ve been meaning to take a break anyway. It’s a slow time of year for event planning so I’m sure they can do without me for a week.”

Denise hugged Arnold and kissed his cheek. She ignored the hint of condescension in his words. Arnold might not understand the blogging world, but he was still willing to support her. That counted for something.

Soon, Denise kissed her son, Trent, and daughter, Lisa, goodbye. She’d made a week’s worth of food, pinned a list of emergency numbers to the fridge, and showed Arnold how to work the washing machine. She drove to the airport with a feeling that this conference would change everything for her.

It took one day for Arnold to realize he had big problems at home. It started when he got the kids off to school and sat down to watch TV. While searching for the remote, he found a veritable nest of dust bunnies under the coffee table.

“Eeww.” Arnold grimaced and covered the dust bunnies up again. He noticed more dust when he searched the TV stand. There was even a spider web hidden in the corner of one of the shelves. How had he never noticed the dirt lurking in his house?

“Stop making excuses, Denise. This ends now. Either you quit blogging, or I’m leaving.”
Arnold walked from room to room. There were dirty footprints on the living room carpet and a pile of old newspapers collected in the bottom of the closet in the hall. Arnold thought he heard something moving amongst the papers and quickly slammed the door shut.

There was a funky smell in one of the bathrooms, and the area behind the buffet table had developed its own ecosystem. Arnold was disgusted. When last did Denise clean the house properly? The only room that wasn’t horrifying was the kitchen.

But the worst shock was still to come. That evening, when Arnold sat down with Lisa and Trent to help them with homework, he discovered Denise was neglecting the kids too.

“You’re on the verge of failing English Literature and Social Sciences?” Arnold stared in horror at Trent’s school books. “But why? You were always an A-student.”

Trent shrugged. “Mom used to help me with my homework every day, but she doesn’t always have time anymore.”

“We even missed the Fall Festival because she was busy making videos,” little Lisa said. She was coloring shapes at the other end of the table.

Arnold couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He’d gladly supported Denise’s blogging hobby as a way for her to occupy her free time, but this was unacceptable!

How could she let her home get into such a state? Never mind what she was doing to the children!

He had to stop this madness. The next day, Arnold sat on the cleanest corner of the loveseat and played a video game while he thought about his dilemma. He’d located the vacuum cleaner earlier and turned it on, so he knew it worked, and there were plenty of cleaning supplies in the closet.

Arnold had wanted to give Denise the benefit of the doubt, but it was clear to him now: his wife had to stop blogging before it ruined their lives.

Denise was in a great mood when she arrived home from the conference, but it faded when she saw the look on Arnold’s face.

“Baby, what’s wrong?” Denise rushed to her husband. “Did something happen while I was away?”

“Yes, I discovered the truth.” Arnold crossed his arms. “You’ve been neglecting our home and family because you’re obsessed with blogging!”

“What! Blogging is my business, Arnie. I put just as much time and effort into it as you put into your job, but then I need to switch to housewife mode and do all the cleaning too. It’s exhausting, and I don’t have time for everything.” Denise set her hands on her hips. “It’s not like anyone’s stopping you from picking up a mop.”

Arnold shook his head. “Stop making excuses, Denise. This ends now. Either you quit blogging, or I’m leaving.”

That’s when Denise noticed Arnold’s suitcases stacked near the door. Her jaw dropped, and she stared at her husband in shock.

“But…I have good news. I even brought you a gift.” Denise couldn’t stop staring at the suitcases.

“I don’t want to hear anything more about blogging!” Arnold pointed at Denise. “Now, make your choice: me or your stupid hobby.”

A few days later, Arnold stepped into his new apartment. He still couldn’t believe Denise had chosen blogging over him. Maybe she needed psychological help.

Arnold sighed as he took in the filthy state of his new home. He immediately took out the cleaning supplies he’d bought and set to work.

An hour later, he paused to catch his breath and survey his progress. Panting and sweat pouring down his face, Arnold couldn’t believe how little he’d accomplished.

Arnold started on the kitchen next but soon retired to the sofa. He was exhausted, and his hands were sore from scrubbing. How did he never realize that cleaning was so exhausting? Probably because he’d never cleaned a house so thoroughly before.

Arnold’s stomach grumbled then. He ordered takeout for dinner and ate it in front of the TV. After a few days of takeout, however, he missed Denise’s home-cooked meals.

“Cooking can’t be that hard,” he muttered.

He decided to look up a recipe for pasta Carbonara so he could buy the ingredients and make it. When he saw the search results, Arnold nearly fell off the sofa in shock.

“…and remember, the key ingredient in every recipe is love.”

Arnold paused the video and stared at Denise. She grinned at the camera, and there was a light in her eyes that he hadn’t seen in a long time. Then he noticed the number of likes and shares on her video.

“Holy moly!” Arnold checked out her channel next and dropped his phone when he saw how well her videos were doing.

“I can quit my job in event planning and work on publicity for you instead and have plenty of time to clean the house and help the kids with their homework.”
After an hour on the internet, Arnold had to admit his wife was a highly successful blogger. How had he not noticed the kitchen utensils and appliances she’d received from sponsors? How did he not realize he was married to an almost famous woman? Denise had been interviewed on TV!

He remembered what Denise said about how hard she worked and how little time she had for household chores afterward. It all made sense now, and she was right. During the week he’d looked after Trent and Lisa, it never even occurred to him to clean any of the dirt he’d found.

“I’ve been an idiot.” Arnold stood and hurried out to his car.

“I’m so sorry!” Arnold sank to his knees on the front step when Denise answered the door. “I realize now how selfish and unreasonable I’ve been about your blog. Please forgive me.”

Denise put a hand on her chest. “Of course! I’m sorry too, Arnie. I should’ve spoken to you about my difficulty keeping up with chores and asked for help.”

Arnold rose and hugged Denise.

“From now on, I promise I’ll help you. We can even make a list of chores, whatever you want.”

“What I want is to give you the gift I got for you at the conference.” Denise smiled as she took Arnold’s hand and led him inside.

Denise retrieved a gift box and presented it to Arnold. When he opened it, he found a very expensive watch.

“Are you kidding? I’ve always wanted a Rolex, but how could you afford it?”

Denise smirked. “Well, I also have some good news to share with you, baby.”

“This…this is…” Arnold paused to count the zeros on Denise’s contract with a major kitchen appliance company again. “It’s more than I make in half a year!”

“Which is precisely why I need to work so hard,” Denise said. “It’s not just filming the videos, you know; I also have to edit them and promote them on social media. I’m thinking of hiring an assistant.”

Arnold stared at Denise. He’d thought he had his finger on the pulse of modern trends, but his wife had become a trendsetter without him noticing. More than a trendsetter, she was on track to become a national sensation.

“Let me help you. With this,” Arnold lifted the contract, “we’ll be set for the next few months. I can quit my job in event planning and work on publicity for you instead and have plenty of time to clean the house and help the kids with their homework.”

“What?” Denise gaped at him. “You mean it, you’d do that for me?”

Arnold grinned. “I’ve always known a good thing when I see it, honey.”

In the following months, Denise and Arnold’s life underwent radical changes. Denise was featured in a cooking segment on national TV and invited to be a judge at a state cooking competition. Her following went through the roof.

One night, after the kids went to bed, Arnold and Denise studied an advert in the local paper.

“It’s the next logical step, honey,” Arnold said.

“I get why you say that, but it’s a big move to make! So much could go wrong.”

Denise frowned at the newspaper.

Arnold took his wife’s hand. “You’re right; there is some risk, but I’m confident we can make it work. And the timing is perfect.”

“Alright then.” Denise grinned. “What are we going to call this restaurant?”

“Same as your blog?” Arnold shrugged. “We have to keep it on brand so your loyal followers can beat down the doors.”

Denise laughed. “Consider me convinced.”

Three months later, Denise and Arnold hosted the grand opening of their new restaurant. It was a huge success and drew visitors from across the country. When the couple was interviewed about the secret to their success, they smiled at each other.

“Unconditional love and support,” Denise replied.

“With a good helping of communication on the side,” Arnold added.

What can we learn from this story?

It’s hard work to maintain a household. Everyone should help with household chores to ensure they live in a healthy home rather than expect one person to do everything.
Great relationships are built on good communication. Arnold and Denise faced difficulties in their marriage because they didn’t communicate clearly.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

By admin

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