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Woman Balks After Boyfriend Calls Her Out For Not Waking Him Up To Leave For Work On Time

Person turning off an alarm clock
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We’ve all had those days when it was exceptionally hard getting out of bed.

No alarm, snooze button, or buzzer louder than a tornado drill could get us out from under the covers.

But it’s still our responsibility to get ready for the day and do what we need to do, whatever our responsibilities might be, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Play_Tachi had noticed that her boyfriend always used the snooze button and would be angry with her when she attempted to wake him up.

Because she knew it was technically his responsibility to get up in the morning, the Original Poster (OP) decided not to act as a secondary alarm anymore.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not waking up my boyfriend for work in time, even though I could?”

The OP’s boyfriend struggled to get out of bed in the morning. 

“My (29 Female) boyfriend (35 Male) has been living with me since he landed his first engineering job two months ago.”

“I have been the one to wake him up several times when I notice he’s sleeping in. He has his first alarm at 7:00 AM, then one at 7:10 AM, and he has to leave at 7:45 AM at the latest if he wants to get to his workplace by 8:00 AM.”

“I work from home, I’m a freelancer, so I have no need to wake up that early. On the times I realized he hasn’t moved from bed and it was past 7:30, he would get really mad when I woke him up, yelling, ‘Why didn’t you wake me up sooner?'”

Recently, the couple had their toughest incident yet.

“Today, I woke up at 7:00 AM with his alarm clock, as we sleep together.”

“He woke up, turned it off, and went back to sleep like he usually does until the 7:10 alarm. Then he turned off the 7:10 alarm and went back to sleep again.”

“I wasn’t really paying attention to the time, but I was using my phone as some clients were texting me already.”

“I kept looking at my boyfriend from time to time, and he would open his eyes at me, smile, and nod, then close his eyes again.”

The OP’s boyfriend was soon furious with her.

“Here’s where I might be the a**hole… I checked the time, and it was already 7:37 AM.”

“I looked at him calmly, he smiled, and I asked, ‘Do you know what time is it?'”

“To this, he answered, ‘Probably 7:25 or so,’ but then he took his phone and saw it was 7:37 AM and rushed off to the bathroom, slamming the door.”

“As he was putting his clothes on, he was arguing, ‘It’s an a**hole move of yours not to tell me the time earlier. Because of that, I’m going to be late and will leave without even brushing my teeth!'”

“I told him that I didn’t mean to make him p**sed off, but that being on time for HIS work isn’t MY responsibility.”

“To this, he said, ‘If you are awake and capable of helping out, but you decide not to, then you are an a**hole.'”

“I get that we are a couple and should help each other, and he’s the one paying for all the food and half the bills, so the last thing I want is for him to lose his job because of tardiness.”

The OP’s boyfriend then retaliated in an unexpected way.

“I was not troubled about being an a**hole until the moment he retaliated back at me in a pretty nasty way.”

“Before leaving for work in a rush, he blew his nose on my favorite towel (leaving boogers on it) and said, ‘You have that white towel on the bathroom to make it look pretty, right?'”

“He’s in general a very good partner, so I was appalled that he would retaliate like that, which made me rethink if I should just keep waking him up if he sleeps in, as I’m already awake and I’m capable of doing it.”

“AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some reassured the OP that she wasn’t responsible for “mothering” her boyfriend.

“NTA. He is an adult and is capable of getting out of bed on time.”

“I would tell him if he ever retaliates in such a disgusting manner again that, he will be packing his bags and leaving. That is not acceptable behavior under any circumstances.”

“He is punishing you for his inability to get himself up on time. This type of abusive behavior will escalate.” – squirrelsareevil2479

“This is definitely a hill I would die on. I ain’t nobody’s momma. If you can’t manage to hold down a job without me holding your hand, we’d be done. NTA.” – Tough_Crazy_8362

“NTA. He’s snapping at you and blaming you for his childish behavior. You didn’t sign up to be his mommy.”

“When your alarm goes off, you get up. You don’t put the burden of waking up on your partner. Your boyfriend is an AH.” – KronkLaSworda

“This crossed the border into a potential abuser when he retaliated. ‘If you don’t do what I want, I will ruin a thing you love.’ And it really is just what he wants since he was surely capable of waking himself up before OP moved in. At least it was just a towel this time. I could see it escalating to OP’s clothes, then violence toward OP or a child or pet.”

“NTA, but OP, please kick him out now and dump this piece of trash. Imagine moving in with someone and then intentionally ruining their nice things.” – furtivespork

“NTA. You’re his partner, not his mother. If it happened on occasion, I’d be fine with a gentle poke and telling him the time. But it sounds like this happens all the time, and he genuinely thinks it’s your job to wake him up if he’s sleeping in too late. His response was also super childish and petty.”

“I’d have a calm conversation with him about this and let him know you won’t be responsible for him getting up on time. Also, pay attention to his reactions to irritations in the future because if he makes a habit of “retaliating” when he gets upset, I’d be reconsidering my relationship.” – Ok-Context1168

“NTA. Your boyfriend is being an AH. He is an adult, and he is responsible for getting himself out of bed in time to get to work. It is not your job to wake him up. That is what alarms are for.”

“What if you decide to sleep in one morning? What if you are awake but busy with your own job and not paying attention to the time? Is he just going to be late? Will it be your fault for not being awake to wake him up?”

“If he had accidentally forgotten to set an alarm and you noticed and didn’t wake him up, that would be an AH move. But he seems to have unilaterally decided that making sure he gets up on time is now your responsibility, and he doesn’t have to worry about hitting snooze on his alarms or keeping an eye on the clock in the morning.”

“Yes, couples should help each other, but that does not mean that he can just decide that you are responsible for something without your agreement and then get p**sy when you don’t do it.”

“And him using your nice towel as a snot rag in ‘retaliation’ is beyond petty and a pretty serious red flag.” – Forward_Squirrel8879

Others agreed with the boyfriend and said it would be easy enough to wake him up.

“YTA, just to give you some food for thought since I don’t see people mentioning one thing. He did react very poorly, yeah. That’s on him, and it’s not defendable. Childish behavior, definitely.”

“However, what he said was not wrong. If you can help out and you choose not to, you’re not a saint in this story. You were childish too. Consider that. You’re not his mom, true, but as his partner, it should be in your best interest not to cause him problems. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

“Anyway, this is an issue that can be very easily remedied, and you shouldn’t blow this out of proportion because crazed Redditors tell you essentially dump his a**. One good talk is all you both need. Ultimately, it should be primarily his job to be on time at work, not yours.” – michajlo

“I think YTA.”

“He has a hard time waking up. It’s not just a matter of willpower; it’s how his body is wired.”

“His job is important to both of you. Don’t let him sleep in. Help him out.”

“But also, the towel thing was a total a**hole move on his part.” – PaulMall71

“YTA. You are right, it isn’t your responsibility to wake him up. But do you want a boyfriend who says ‘Not my responsibility’ when you are sick, have a flat tire, or even do something as simple as oversleep?” – BreadMaker-42

“YTA. You lay and watched him be late for work.”

“If you love him you’d want to help to make him a better person, not by aiding in getting him sacked. Find a way that works for both of you. More alarms, a vibrating wristband alarm, etc.”

“Sure, he’s also the AH for snapping at you. He probably wasn’t in a loving state of mind having just woken up, and being late for work.” – PixelatedBrad

“YTA.”

“This is part of being a good partner. If you were already awake, it doesn’t hurt you at all to help him out. You’re just being petty. The only lesson he’s learning is that he can’t depend on you to be a life partner.”

“I work from home. My husband has a hybrid job. Our kids go to school, one in middle school and the other in high school. I am NOT a morning person. I’m the only one of the three of us who can wake up to an alarm.”

“Every morning, alarms go off in each person’s room (my husband and I sleep in separate rooms because he snores and twitches). Everyone else’s alarm is set to the loudest setting, and I can hear them all from my room. No one else stirs until I come into their room and wake them.”

“While I would love to sleep in for an extra two and a half hours every day, it’s my duty to wake them as their mom and as a loving wife. I go back to bed after they leave the house.” – patentmom

Some thought the OP and her boyfriend both had to work on themselves in the relationship.

“ESH. Where’s the communication? Seems like there should have been a conversation, ‘When you yell at me when I wake you up, it makes me angry. So I’m not going to wake you up at all anymore. Don’t rely on me.'”

“But he’s seriously the AH for retaliating. That’s such a move a nine-year-old would do.”

“That said, I’ve been married for 22 years, and my husband knows I can sleep through any alarm imaginable. He’s always had my back to make sure I don’t miss important meetings (since we work for ourselves in a business I run). It seems like you guys, if you’re going to stay together, need to work more like a team. Maybe waking up to an alarm is something your partner will never be good at; can you live with that?”

“Maybe he can learn to not get angry at you for helping him get up. Maybe he can stop throwing tantrums if he’s running late. Maybe you can make sure you’re not deliberately letting him run extra late. But at any rate, communicate.” – everellie

“ESH. I know I’m alone in this, but I see two petty people who need relationship counseling.”

“OP: while waking up her partner isn’t her job or responsibility, sometimes taking on things that aren’t one’s job is part or working in partnership. The internet in general is loathe to this line of thinking, but part of being in partnership means covering for one another where the other lacks. OP’s actions point towards some lingering resentment that isn’t being discussed.”

“OP’s boyfriend: vindictive and lacking in personal accountability. His responsibility to get up and change his morning routine if he’s come to relying on OP to wake him up. Purposefully blowing his nose on a towel was disgusting and childish and even more hostile than OP. There’s no excusing his actions because they came from a desire to punish.” – pragmaticweirdo

“ESH. I think in general partners should support each other. He’s ultimately responsible but intentionally being unhelpful to teach him a lesson is also childish. I think it’s fair to have a conversation with him about his responsibilities to his job (and how they are not your responsibilities) but a morning rush is probably not the best time for that.” – anh86

“I was initially thinking OP was the AH for holding a grudge in silence and then deciding to just get back at him by letting him be late on purpose.”

“He was probably feeling safe to take a nap knowing you had his back. I know a grown man should have a responsibility, but from what you wrote, you never communicated that this was annoying you, and you chose to just be petty instead of having a conversation like adults.”

“However, the towel thing is so disrespectful and a major red flag, so ESH in my opinion (but he is worse, what kind of 35-year-old decides to act like that?).” – NotARaccoon78

“ESH: Part of being a PARTNER is helping them meet their daily needs and goals. It absolutely floors me how many adults are like, ‘He’s not a kid. You don’t have to wake him up! YOU AREN’T HIS MOMMMMM.'”

“Like, grow the f**k up. Everyone has off days. Everyone has late nights. Everyone has moments where their alarm doesn’t get through the fog in their head.”

“You should, 100%, absolutely pay attention to that sort of thing. You should know when your partner needs to head out the door. You should know when things aren’t going as normal. You should have no problem acting, especially when his getting to work benefits everything. You already readily admit that he pays for a disproportionate amount of household costs.”

“It just floors me someone can be like, ‘I benefit from you going through this meatgrinder, but I can’t be a**ed to wake you up or pay attention to the time.'”

“At the same time…? His reaction? Not great. Just like there are so many crazy people going, ‘YOU SHOULDN’T BE EXPECTED TO HELP YOUR PARTNER!”, and there’s a lot claiming this is horrific abuse and some unforgivable sin.”

“It was childish and petty, sure. But it created a non-destructive inconvenience. They’re f**king towels and they can be washed. It’s right up there with a p**sed SO (significant other) not ironing clothes and letting their partner deal with wrinkled outfits.”

“Stupid, super petty, not a huge deal. But honestly, you both sound too immature to live together.” – A-New-World-Fool

The subReddit was thoroughly divided on this one over how the OP handled her boyfriend’s love for the snooze button and, later, her boyfriend’s disrespect for the decorative towel.

While getting up in the morning is each person’s responsibility, some of us have a harder time rising than others, biologically speaking, and we’ve all clicked that snooze button a few times in our lives.

Perhaps having someone there, willing to have our back, would be a game-changer.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.