When dealing with addictions, it’s important to acknowledge the effect it has on your life. Whether it’s your job, your family, or other aspects of your life, the addiction is going to cause problems.
Redditor flamebluesky seems to be more than aware of the issue he has, but there is still a problem. The original poster (OP) doesn’t seem to be doing enough for his wife.
OP thinks his wife is overreacting, and harming his ability to cope. But he isn’t sure if he’s wrong, and decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
OP decided to not go to therapy.
“AITA for refusing therapy solely based on my wife’s actions?”
But did the wife go too far?
“I have a non-substance addiction. I’m addicted to drawing. I recognize it for what it is.”
“I’m aware it’s interfering with everyday life, work, and family time. It is a coping mechanism I developed as a child and it’s only worsened into adulthood.”
“It’s my escape from reality, not that my current life is bad. It just blocks out triggers, which only causes me depression, irritability, and fatigue.”
“At first, this didn’t bother my wife much. Probably because I wasn’t as consumed with it like I am now.”
“My drawings are often extremely detailed and elaborate. Some single drawings I’ll put over 80 hours in.”
“For the last few months, every time I’m at home and in my workspace drawing, my wife makes me lose focus by nagging me to stop. So I started doing it at work to be left alone.”
“Our 5 year old daughter doodled over one my work in progress drawings, I accidentally flipped my lid on her. My wife in return destroyed nearly all my completed drawings.”
“My wife sat me down and told me I’m going to get professional help whether I like it or not. I actually agreed to go this time cause emotionally hurting our child in the moment of things surprised myself and I felt horrible.”
“I missed the first appointment, I had an absolute reasonable excuse. I had to stay over at work. Because I missed my appointment, my wife decided to take matters into her own hands.”
“She threw out my entire collection of colored pencils. These weren’t just Walmart child quality pencils. They were professional grade, I had over $400 invested in them.”
“She also tossed all my heavyweight drawing paper. Probably another $200+ in the trash.”
“I told my wife due to her actions, I won’t be going to therapy now. Especially one she’s secured and spoke to prior to me even going.”
“I’ve suggested couples therapy, she blew up at me saying she’s not the one that needs help. She says I’m being extremely childish with my childish addiction and I need to get my mind out of my ‘f*cked up’ childhood.”
“Am I the AH for not going to therapy unless she goes too?”
OP admits that he messed up by unloading on his daughter, but thinks his wife has an issue after throwing out his things. He just refuses to go to therapy until she does.
Is that so wrong?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for refusing to go to therapy because his wife threw out his art supplies by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
OP’s wife may have reacted poorly, but she was pushed there by her husband’s refusal to improve. OP came up with excuses to avoid going to therapy and his wife responded accordingly.
The commenters were surprised the wife was still willing to work with him.
“Your wife has been putting up with you neglecting your household duties, your romantic and emotional duties to her, and your fatherly duties to your child for how many years? And that’s all ok because you can justify it to yourself?”
“But the minute you push her to the edge and she finally snaps, you punish her by refusing to get help, thereby condemning both her and your child to a lifetime of enduring more of your emotional abuse and your absence? But you’re not sure if you’re TA?”
“Put another way, you’ve abused them, doesn’t matter that the abuse is unintentional because it’s still what’s happening here, but you’re mad your wife is finally reacting to being abused all these years, and you’re punishing her for it, and you’re asking if you’re TA?”
“Yes. YTA” – neeksknowsbest
“As I was reading this my first thought was ‘If he has a kid he is definitely the asshole’ and then I got to the part with the 5 year old.”
“Probably about 90% of my free time goes to taking care of my kid and bonding with him when I’m not at work and he’s awake (to be fair he’s 3) but I seriously wonder how much of her dad’s attention that poor kid gets.”
“If you are ignoring your kid for most of the time you are in the same house and both awake, you are doing something wrong. Hobbies come after children, not before. Addictions certainly don’t come first.” – Music_withRocks_in
“You acknowledge that you have a problem. You acknowledge that it is getting worse. You acknowledge that you have harmed your kid because of your problem (not abuse yet, but creeping there.) That’s a great start to the healing process.”
“Why you are: you equate your wife’s moment of anger over a conveniently placed overtime moment (without knowing your work, I can’t say beyond that, but somehow I doubt it would have been world ending of you went to the doctor instead of overtime) is the same as your acknowledged increasing and borderline abusive and potentially child-harming addiction and reactions? No, it’s not.”
“Go get help, and then approach couples counseling. You both have problems. Your problems are yours, her problem is you.” – ivanthemute
Though not everyone agreed. While OP was clearly wrong to keep refusing to go to therapy, they didn’t think OP’s wife was right to throw out his stuff.
This led to a lot of discussion on whether or not different aspects of the situation were wrong.
“The biggest victim here is your kid. She’s just trying to be her dad and you blow a gasket at her?”
“That and your complete unwillingness to get help for what you know is a problem… that kid is going to have some serious challenges.”
“ESH, but you’re the worst of the bunch because you are letting your own child suffer the consequences of your actions.”
“Go get help and step up as a father before you lose the chance.” – teeterleeter
“You two need way more help than reddit can possibly provide. Her destroying your stuff is awful. You neglecting your responsibilities and refusing to get help is awful.” – madelinegumbo
“She effectively poured your liquor out/flushed the drugs you abuse down the toilet.”
“You yelled at you kid for being a kid.”
“You are an addict. Stamping your feet and throwing a tantrum about therapy is not productive.”
“YTA” – GloomyComfort
“This is a really good point. People are saying E S H because the wife threw away ‘his things’ which is ‘abusive’ – but if it was a nice bottle of whiskey, would people be concerned with the monetary cost?”
“EDIT: I completely missed the part where she threw out OP’s COMPLETED DRAWINGS. I just saw the paper and pencils. There’s no way she thought that was ‘helping.’ Definitely ESH.” – Blooming_Heather
OP came back with an update, his sister having helped mediate between him and his wife.
“Just a little update:”
“My sister came over for dinner last night. Honestly was the best person to act as a mediator between my wife and I because she of course lived through our childhood too and understands my drawings. This was pretty much the topic the entire night.”
“As my sister put it: ‘You’re attacking his hobby. Taking his hobby away will only make things worse for his mental health.’”
“‘It’s like if you have a plant that has wilting leaves, you don’t pluck all the leaves off and hope for change. It’s going to die.’”
“‘You figure the root cause of what’s making the plant sick, you treat the issue. You need to be attacking the underlying cause that’s making him regress.’”
“So with that being said, my sister is setting me up with her counselor. She gave me the info this morning and I’ve already called and have an appointment for Monday.”
“My wife apologized to me last night in front of my sister for throwing away my things and ruining my drawings. I apologized for my behavior.”
“But I still think my wife needs therapy, even after my sister talking to her she still says she’s fine. So we’ll see.”
“But I still have an issue with my wife, even though she apologized I still feel like I can’t really trust her and I still feel tension from her.”
“Also, some of you asked me so I put a few pics of my work on my profile.”
OP is going to try counseling, but is still insistent that his wife needs therapy. It may not happen, but hopefully OP’s therapy will improve his relationship with his wife.