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Dad Called ‘Controlling’ For Refusing To Let Wife Take Baby To Asia For Four Months To Meet Family

Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

For families who live far away from each other, sometimes even countries away, arrangements to be able to see them can be difficult to make.

Not to mention costly, stressed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Throwra_twc was at a loss when his wife insisted on taking their newborn overseas to meet her family, but at a tremendous cost.

When she was furious with him for sharing his concerns, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he wasn’t being supportive of his wife and in-laws.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for not agreeing to let my wife travel internationally with our baby daughter?”

The OP’s wife’s family wanted to make their newborn daughter.

“We have a 10-month-old daughter, our first child. I am born and raised in the US while my wife’s family is from Asia.”

“After our daughter was born, my wife’s family has not had the chance to see her. My wife hasn’t seen her family in about 2 years as well.”

“Except for her sister and brother who live in the same city like us, the rest of her family is in Asia.”

His wife wanted to make arrangements to go visit them.

“She wanted to plan a trip to visit them with the baby. She wanted to leave around the end of April initially.”

“Initially, I was 100% on board with it. We are not financially well-off, so in order to pay for her trip, I have been working close to 60 hours for the past 3 months. I was putting my money and actions where my mouth is.”

“Things got complicated when she wanted to celebrate our daughter’s first birthday away from me.”

“She now wants to leave 1 week before her initial plan so our daughter can celebrate her birthday with her parents and family back home, while I would still be in the US.”

“She also wants to now go for about 4 months.”

The OP wasn’t so sure about these new plans.

“I had multiple discussions with her. I explained to her that I want to be with my daughter for her 1st birthday. I also do not want to spend such a long time away from her.”

“I want to watch my daughter grow up. I don’t want to miss her first moments.”

“I cannot make this trip with her due to finances. We both cannot afford to stop working at the same time.”

“We are barely keeping afloat, especially with how expensive the trip will be. Her taking such a long time off work is also not financially feasible.”

His wife wanted to find a way to make it work.

“Her response was that I should come for a week with her, celebrate our daughter’s birthday, and then go back.”

“Her family lives on a remote island between Asia mainland and Australia.”

“It’s a 2-day trip each way, costing more than $4000 dollars in tickets, not counting pandemic shenanigans.”

“So her expectation is that I travel for 4 days, stay for 3 days, and spend $4,000, rather than her delaying her trip by a week.”

“She is now calling me a controlling, misogynic a**hole who is not supportive of her.”


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 completely understood the OP’s concerns regarding the family’s finances.

“My parents emigrated to a country 8000 miles away then had us kids. They had so many family members in their country of origin who were desperate to meet us but they couldn’t afford to go so that was that. And this was in the days before Skype and WhatsApp.”

“The OP’s wife needs to just accept that she needs to hold off on these plans until their finances are better.” – Dashcamkitty

“This will sound harsh, but you can’t afford this. You can’t afford the initial trip, and certainly not the proposed extended version.”

“You have a kid now. You need an emergency fund. You need life insurance. If something happens to you, your family is effed. My family sure was when my dad died unexpectedly.”

“It sucks to be away from family for so long, but these days, it’s at least a shared agonizing experience worldwide. Your wife needs to wait until you have savings and you can all go together.”

“Draining your savings is not an option, you both need to put your daughter first and yourselves second.” – icecreamp*nis

“It honestly sounds like none of you should go. Blowing through savings for a trip is pretty much never the right thing to do.”

“You’re barely getting by, you have a new child. You absolutely will encounter random large costs.”

“If you can’t cover them, bad things will happen. Either you won’t have a car or won’t have heat or something. Your child’s well-being and financial security is not worth this trip.” – taybay462

“As the family has money issues, they could guilt her to stay back with your daughter to ensure steady money comes in via support. Say ‘NO’ to this trip.”

“You’re working 50+ hours a week, have depleted your savings, and won’t see your daughter for months… that’s not normal. If your wife wants to go for months at a time, let her. By herself.” – SkittlesNPumps

Others agreed and empathized with the OP for not wanting to be away from his baby.

“NTA. There is nothing controlling or misogynistic about not wanting to be separated from your baby for 4 months.”

“The issue isn’t the travel itself, it’s the length of time you’d be separated and the emotional and financial strain that will put on you and the family. That puts your wife in major AH territory.” – Sk111W

“When I was 1, my mom left a month to go to another state to look for housing and a job. When she came back, I did not recognize her at all and was aloof towards her.”

“It broke her heart that I seemingly didn’t care about her anymore, but I was just a 1-year-old and long-term memory hasn’t set in yet.”

“Can’t imagine not seeing your little baby for 4 months and then when you finally do see her you’re a total stranger to them.”

“That’s if OP ever sees her again. The short trip suddenly turned into a long trip is very suspicious.” – GoodQueenFluffenChop

“Can we also talk about the fact that there’s still a pandemic going on and there aren’t currently any vaccines approved for 1-year-olds?”

“Traveling internationally is a bad idea during the pandemic for many many reasons, but what if in those 4 months, there are more travel restrictions?”

“What if your wife and child end up quarantined for longer and you miss even more of your child’s formative time? Your wife is being entirely reckless and unreasonable.” – Wynfleue

“That’s your baby’s first birthday too, it isn’t just your wife’s child. Most fathers, the good ones at least, wouldn’t be OK with missing their baby’s first birthday.”

“Your wife is being really selfish and only thinking of her origin family and not the family she’s made with you.”

“I don’t see how she could possibly be serious about you being selfish or controlling, and if you were misogynistic, she wouldn’t be going on this trip solo, or possibly at all for that matter. Misogynistic men don’t take their wives’ feelings into consideration ever, about anything.”

“I think she knew full well she was asking for way too much and was trying to just throw out a bunch of buzzwords to see if she could gaslight you into thinking you’re the one who’s out of line, because selfish, controlling, and misogynistic are literally the 3 qualities that you could not possibly be described as here.”

“NTA” – randomusername71175

A few were worried the OP’s wife had ulterior motives for this trip.

“He worked himself half to death to pay for her original shorter trip, and he said that was with her full-time salary also helping.”

“In other words, his wife expects him to work 100+ hours a week so that she can go on a 4-month-long vacation.”

“And also, which Asian country is this? What are their extradition laws? This is getting fishy, and if I was OP, I’d be worried my wife is planning on taking my child away and staying there.” – TheDerbLerd

“I would be worried about extradition laws. I don’t know anything about this family and their relationship, but there have been numerous court cases like this, where one parent takes the child out of the country and then doesn’t return. Does OP have any recourse if mom extends her trip further?” – redrosehips

“The SECOND that baby lands in a foreign country, the odds of getting her back (if the mother doesn’t want to return with her) are slim to none.”

“Few if any countries will enforce a US custody order. Especially, if the order was not in place when the mother took the child and she gets a contradictory order in her own country.”

“NTA – and your wife’s behavior seems very fishy to me. I would not let her leave the country with your child until you can accompany them for the entire trip (or you and your wife are on much better terms). I’d also recommend you secure baby’s passport.” – beeeeeebee

“Yeah no, I think if she leaves with the baby, he’ll never see either of them again. If I were OP, I’d move that money into an account she can’t access, tell her to get a job to afford to pay for THEM to fly over here, and leave it at that.”

“They can do a Zoom birthday party with her family. NTA.” – crystallz2000

“I don’t think she wants to kidnap the child but I do think she misses her parents especially as she just had a baby and also that she wants to be celebrated and spoiled. Maybe also some competition with her siblings?”

“In any case, it’s a tantrum more than a justified need. She needs to put her family as in your kid and yourself, before her parents.”

“I guess she lacks some maturity so nothing major so far but still careful as there are some ‘spoiled princess’ vibes coming out… Talk and talk some more like grown-ups do.”

“NTA obviously.” – Afraid-Tea-5745

“NTA. Holy sh*t OP, you’re NTA.”

“I was gonna come here and tell you about the additional costs involved due to COVID restrictions (coming from someone living in Asia) but I saw all the comments about extradition and kidnapping which never even crossed my mind.”

“Please do not allow your wife to do this, 4 months is a long time for a visit, that’s practically staying there. Is she planning to work there in the meantime?”

“Have you had a discussion about finances at all? Does she know how much of an extra toll this is going to be on your finances as a family?”

“I hope you have a long conversation about this as $4k for a trip is not cheap, and a huge chunk of your cash flow.”

“Aside from that, as someone living in Asia there are some of the additional COVID costs you can expect. Bear in mind that most of Asia is only JUST starting to open their borders for tourism, and there are so many hoops and obstacles to go through.”

“Pre Departure Tests (US) – Most likely you need to get a PCR test not a rapid test, depending on the country’s requirements. $100”

“On Arrival Tests (Arrival Country) – this would depend on the country, but is usually a PCR – $150”

“Quarantine Costs – some countries allow you to isolate at home, some do not. You mentioned your wife is from a remote island, so I assume she needs to fly into a capital city, quarantine there, before travelling to her hometown.”

“On average let’s take a 10 day quarantine at a hotel — 10 nights * $100 = $1000”

“Transport Costs – Airport to quarantine facility – $50”

“And this doesn’t even include the costs if your baby needs testing. I think this depends on age but it does differ from country to country.”

“Aside from that, all the paperwork you’d need to do — applying for entry into the country, submitting vaccination documents, not to mention visa applications if needed for your child to enter the country, transit requirements if transiting in another country etc…”

“Just my two cents on what to expect travelling to Asia, during a pandemic, AND with a baby. It’s no walk in the park.”

“Good luck OP, I hope you manage to talk some sense into your wife.” – xxkrysiexx

While the OP was more worried about what his wife was accusing him of, the subReddit had much larger concerns.

They were worried about the financial and emotional implications for the family, but they also pondered what was going on behind the surface, things that the OP himself might not know.

Whether or not there was something going on, though, it was hardly the time for a trip if it meant spending every last penny to get there.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.