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Dad Of Two Threatens Divorce After Wife Quits Her Job To Become ‘Traditional’ Housewife

Woman enjoying being a 'traditional wife at home'
Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd/Getty Images

Though we all have to make enough money to pay the bills and get the groceries, some people have very strong opinions about whether or not they would like to continue working.

Couples have to agree on this sort of thing, or the relationship could very quickly spiral out of control, warned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.

Redditor Organic_Let_5948 was against his wife becoming a Stay-At-Home Wife, as their children were already of school-going age and their house didn’t need that much attention.

But when his wife quit her job to try to force him into accepting her new role as a SAHW, the Original Poster (OP) worried he could no longer trust her enough to even be married to her.

He asked the sub:

“AITAH for threatening my wife with divorce after she quit her job to be a ‘Trad Wife’?”

The OP noticed his wife developing an interest in a new lifestyle.

“My wife (33 Female) and I (34 Male) have two kids together (11 Male and 9 Female). We have been together for 12 years and married for eight.”

“Around a year ago, I noticed my wife increasingly sending me these ‘Trad Wife’ or traditional housewife TikTok videos.”

“I have nothing against that type of relationship, but I don’t think it makes sense for our current family situation. I do earn earn quite a bit more than my wife and enough to sustain our family on my own but I don’t see the need to do so.”

“I work 80% and my wife 50%, and besides Wednesdays where the both of us are working, either one of us is always home for the kids. I could work a 100% and let my wife be SAHM but again, both of my kids are attending school and in my mind, there is no need for my wife to be at home 24/7.”

But then the OP’s wife started pushing the idea on him.

“She got increasingly pushy about it over the past two months, and again, I just kept on telling her that there wasn’t any need for that, and if we did decide to go down that route, what would she do during the hours my kids attended school? I know d**n well our house doesn’t need to be cleaned for six hours a day.”

“She would constantly try to butter me up with, ‘You would have dinner ready every day when coming home from work,’ and something about unlimited bjs or some bulls**t like that.”

“Again in the nicest way possible, I would remind her that our kids weren’t toddlers and our current work-life schedule allowed us to function perfectly fine.”

“We got into a pretty heated argument two weeks ago about it and my wife completely stopped having sex with me to ‘show me what I would be missing out on.’ She’s basically been treating me like a roommate since.”

Then, the OP’s wife changed her approach.

“I just thought she would get over it and this was just a phase, but god, was I wrong.”

“I came home from work yesterday and saw a bunch of presents on the dining table. At first, I thought they were all for me since my birthday was in a week but I then I saw the labels on them addressed to my wife.”

“I read one of the letters attached to one of the presents. The last sentence on it was literally, ‘It was so a pleasure working alongside you and I wish you all the best moving forward.'”

“I thought this was some sick prank. A few minutes later, my wife just casually strolled into the living room, acting like nothing was wrong. I guess she saw my mad expression and had the audacity to tell me, ‘You’ll get over it.'”

“I just lost it. I just left without saying another word and went to my parents’ house. I feel absolutely disrespected. Why the f**k would my wife think it was okay to just quit her job without telling me and just expect me to be fine with it?”

The relationship quickly dissolved after that.

“My wife has been bombarding me with texts and calls demanding to know where I am and that the kids miss me.”

“I just told her to go find a lawyer and that I was done with her and then proceeded to block her.”

“My son just sent me a voicemail crying and asking why I was divorcing Mom and if I was leaving the family.”

“I guess that kind of broke my heart. I haven’t responded and honestly don’t know what to say to him.”

“My mother-in-law has also been demanding that I return home and apologize to my wife. My parents also seem to be siding with my wife since they are traditional Muslims.”

The OP felt conflicted.

“I feel like I’m wrong for immediately jumping to divorce without hearing her out, and besides this whole job drama, I love my wife too much for this to be the end of our otherwise perfect marriage, but on the other hand, I feel like I’ve lost complete trust in her.”

“Should I just swallow my pride and let my wife stay at home from now on or should I follow through on divorcing her? How should I navigate this situation?”

“AITAH here?”

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 took issue with the wife’s disrespect and unilateral decision-making.

“There is nothing wrong with loving that kind of life, BUT there is something very wrong with one spouse unilaterally making that kind of life-changing decision without discussing it with there partner and explicitly getting the ok to change the family/home dynamic.”

“Op should proceed with a separation at the very least, and don’t let the kids be manipulated against him or used as a bargaining chip for the wife to try and get her way.” – foxy_locksy1704

“OP now should feel free to divorce her conniving a** to live the lifestyle he wants. And he should do it now so when he says in court that he NEVER agreed to her quitting, she can’t take him for everything.”

“The parents on both sides need to shut the f**k up about this. OP’s wife jammed this down his throat, no Bueno. A marriage is between two people who consent and agree to their joined lifestyle. This is mutiny or high jacking of the relationship!” – Sawgwa

“So to be a tradwife he has control of the money, too. And she doesn’t get a credit card if she can’t pay it off herself. She’ll have to get approval for every penny she wants to spend and he can do whatever he likes as well. It’s not so great being a tradwife. They don’t have any control or say.”

“What OP’s wife wants is to stay home without having young children to care for all day. She just doesn’t want to work and she wants her husband to support her.”

“If OP stays in this marriage, he needs a lawyer to write up a postnup detailing that if the wife doesn’t want to work, any debts she incurs are hers, not shared, and OP’s income is his, not shared. When he gets fed up and divorces her, she can’t claim the money he earned after she quit.” – LibraryMouse4321

“You don’t just quit your job and then get presents from everyone. That happens when you hand in your notice and leave like a good employee, meaning she handed in her notice at least a couple of weeks ago and has been quietly failing to mention that fact to her husband.”

“She’s had plenty of time to think about what she’s doing and she decided, ‘F**k it, I just won’t tell him until it’s too late.’ You don’t do that if you care about what your partner thinks.” – BeardManMichael

“The issue is disrespect and unilateral action on the part of your wife.”

“One way or the other, this has to stop, and has to be rolled back, in fact. If all you do is go along with this, basically you’re telling her she can do as she pleases and you will suck it up. She will have established that precedent. She’s making you her b***h.”

“But you made some big mistakes. You moved out of the home which any divorce lawyer would tell you is unwise. It’s just as important and makes you look like an a**hole in the eyes of your kid and others.”

“Go home and sleep in the guest room. For a start. Resume being a parent. But do not resume the relationship. It will be awkward as h**l. But if you backslide on that, she will have established that precedent.”

“But also consult a lawyer right away. ASAP. None of that is irreversible, but she needs to know she f**ked up big-time and a formal separation agreement might be the shock she needs.”

“She will be relentless with the kids, by the way, trying to use them as leverage against you.”

“You just found out that your wife has an agenda and it is that you work for her. If you don’t stop it now, that will be your life going forward.”

“Ignore your in-laws. They don’t get a say. Frankly neither do your parents. Your instincts, other than to leave the house, are fine.” – Boeing367-80

Others agreed but were more concerned about her manipulating the kids.

“Let’s talk about the manipulation of having his kids call and ask why he is divorcing their mother. Bringing your kids into something like this is disgusting and manipulative.” – veilofinca

“If she actually cared about the kids, she would’ve told them that OP went to go help Grandma and Grandpa with something and would be back in a few days.”

“Kids thrive on stability. As parents, you don’t share major changes with little kids until you’ve come to an agreement on what the deal is going to be. But it seems OP’s wife doesn’t really believe in coming to agreements…” – deathbaloney

“Using your children as a weapon is disgusting. We all have a lifetime of sh*t to deal with as adults. Parents should be doing their best to let their kids be kids for as long as possible, as it’s the only time they will ever have to be that carefree.”

“Those parents who take away their kids’ innocence, especially for the parent’s benefit, are monsters.” – BurdenedMind79

“Making the child send a ‘Why are you leaving Mommy’ message is arguably worse. She has no problem using the children in her manipulation tactics.” – justwalkingalonghere

“Nothing wrong with being a stay-at-home parent, but your partner has to agree to it and you don’t get to strong-arm them into it. This level of blatant manipulation would be a deal breaker for me. NTA.”

“Not to mention, someone is using an 11-year-old boy as emotional blackmail. How else does he know OP has threatened divorce?”

“Wife has absolutely no respect for OP or their partnership. I can’t see how she can recover from this. I’d divorce her and let her work 100% of the time to pay her own bills.” – lazy_goth

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update in another post.

“First of all, I just want to thank you guys for the overwhelming support I have received. I’ve received a ton of messages but please be patient with me, This week has definitely been tough on me. This whole family drama has definitely taken a toll on me physically and mentally.”

“I suffer from a genetic heart condition that puts me at risk of stress-induced cardiac arrest. I used to work full-time but was forced to cut down on my work after suffering a silent heart attack. This was nearly a decade ago but since then I’ve worked my own physical and mental well-being.”

“Some people didn’t understand me constantly mentioning why it was such an issue working the extra 20%. I honestly don’t know how much time I have left and my kids are the most important things in my life.”

“For my own mental health, it’s essential that I get to spend time with my kids throughout the week. Besides my wife and kids, I have nothing. I hate my f**king job and purely continue for the sake of my kids and wife.”

He went back to try to resolve the situation.

“Well, after spending a day at my parents’ house, eventually I felt enough time had passed for me to gather my thoughts on everything. What she did seemed like the ultimate slap in the face, but I went back with the intention to resolve this and didn’t want to escalate this f**king nightmare.”

“My wife seemed happy I returned but wasn’t apologetic at all. The kids, especially my son, were ecstatic. That sort of made me ignore the lack of remorse for the time being.”

“That same night after putting my kids to bed, I told her we needed to have a serious discussion.”

“I told her how I felt about everything she did. The fact that she knows about my health condition and still went through with it. The fact that I set clear boundaries, and she still chose to quit her job without my consent. How the fact that she told my son that I was going to abandon the family really felt like a stab in the back.”

“How throughout all of this, she didn’t even seem remorseful once. The fact that she chose her own happiness to the detriment of mine. The fact I sacrificed so much for the family and I got repaid like this. The fact that we now as a family have to make major lifestyle changes, since a third of our family income vanished.”

“For a split second, I saw an ounce of sadness in her eyes before she went right back to being annoyed with me.”

The OP then listened to his wife’s side of the story.

“I then simply told her to lay out her half of the story. Here is a summary of what she said.”

“She felt ignored by me constantly rejecting her proposal. She had worked long enough, and this was finally the time for her to enjoy her life as a ‘true wife.’ She also said that I was being a baby about the whole spending extra time with the kids thing.”

“That really p**sed me off, and we ended up getting into a heated argument. I couldn’t bear any of it anymore and just ended up sleeping in the guest room.”

“Until yesterday, nothing changed. She constantly tried to play everything off and wanted to ’embrace her new role’ by constantly trying to have sex with me and by making me my favorite dishes. It just felt like she was trying to manipulate me again, and I wasn’t having any of it. I just kept on sleeping in the guest room.”

Progress may have finally been made.

“Well, my birthday was yesterday. And after work, my wife and kids picked me up and we ate dinner together. This was probably the first time I genuinely had a smile on my face in a week. Well, that smile vanished because she tried to seduce me again later that night.”

“I rejected her, and to my surprise, she had a full-on mental breakdown. I just held her as she started apologizing for what she did. She claimed she didn’t understand how much she hurt me; she was sorry for making me feel like an afterthought, etc. We ended up sleeping in the same bed yesterday.”

“I felt like things were finally moving in the right direction and I again asked her about searching for a new job today. Instead of getting mad, she just replied with an, ‘I need to think about it.'”

“That’s where things are as of today. It feels like progress is being made, but I don’t know, this just might be another manipulation tactic of hers.”

Some pointed out that the OP’s wife had no choice but to take the role seriously now.

“DO NOT take any more hours at work or change your schedule at all. Keep doing what’s best for you and make other changes around the house as needed to make up for the lack of income. If you pick up more hours, she will see that you can and, in her mind, will further justify her actions as ok. She for sure won’t make any effort to find a job after that.”

“Instead, cut out frivolous things she does with money since she’s the one who gave up her part of the income. Like getting her nails done, hair done, buying extra clothing and accessories that aren’t a necessity. She can cut costs and do some of those at home for a fraction of the price.”

“Tell her that she needs to start clipping coupons and buying things on sale and not at full price. If she wants to not contribute financially, then she will need to contribute more than just making food, cleaning the house, and trying to have sex with you all the time. She will have to sacrifice living at the level of comfort she has grown accustomed to because the money for it isn’t there anymore.” – SugarBaconBits

“If she pushes back, point out that a trad wife is not supposed to argue with the man of the house, she is supposed to follow his lead in all things.” – sqwidsqwad

“I’d point out that the husband of a tradwife makes all of the decisions so you will have to decide how to cut one-third of the expenses from the budget.”

“You can begin with no gas in her car. If need be you can sell it. That also saves on car insurance and maintenance. Next, it is spring and time to plant a garden. She needs to get going on it because a tiny garden isn’t going to feed a family.”

“I grew up on a farm and our garden was a half-acre. My mom tried to grow all the produce that would grow locally and she would can and freeze it. Your wife should get to work. It will take a lot of time to till up that much ground and get it planted.”

“She can sew clothes and knit sweaters. You will buy the kid’s shoes and boots but she can do the rest.”

“There is no money in the budget for takeout and no money for restaurants and probably no money for after-school activities. I feel sorry for your kids because it is very hard to make ends meet when you lose one-third of your income.”

“I would not lie to the kids about why there is no money for their activities. Mom quit her job so money is very tight. We are doing the best we can. Don’t denigrate Mom but don’t sugarcoat it either.”

“Ask her what she thought your family would do without when you lost one-third of your income. Tell her that if the kids are going without you won’t be able to respect her. You married a partner who quit. She seems to think that being a tradwife is doing some cooking and having sex.”

“It is a tremendous amount of work trying to garden, raise chickens, sew, cook, and all of the other things that need to be done. I’d ask why she hasn’t started a garden yet. Why isn’t she sewing yet? Has she started knitting the socks and sweater for next winter? When does she think she will get them done.” – BlazingSunflowerland

“Her job is now saving the family the amount of income that is lost by her bit working. That means she has to create a budget and find ways to keep to it. She may need to make huge sacrifices or a large number of small ones.”

“Coupons, sales, reducing car use beyond necessities, meal planning, and reducing the number of times a month she grocery shops. Believe it or not, the less you shop, the less you spend as long as you have a plan and stick to it.”

“I would tell her this and ask her to create her plan in the next week. You will also come up with a few things you can sacrifice as well, then you both sit down and discuss how reasonable these suggestions are. If you both agree on a change you add it to the yes column. Only one is a revisit and neither agree is a no.”

“This can work but she has to dedicate herself to making it work. She may decide this isn’t what she wants and then she needs to own that and figure something else out.” – Minimum_Ad_4120

“Divorces take time. OP should file for divorce now and ask for full custody as she is unemployed. If she changes, goes to couples therapy, and gets a job he can always call it off, but he should not wait.”

“Right now, she has everything she wants and the status quo is in her favor. She will drag her feet on everything and if he waits she could become eligible for alimony as a stay-at-home mother.” – honest86

The subReddit could not stop shaking their heads over this one, and they wanted the OP to understand that there were two ways forward: either his wife could fully embrace the “traditional wife” lifestyle, including raising a farmstead, or he could pursue the divorce he instinctively lept to when he realized she had deceived him.

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.