When a couple makes a decision to expand their family, and bring children into the world, one hopes that they will both step up to the plate when it comes to parenting.
Which not only entails both of them being abundantly active in their child’s life, but equally dividing who gets up in the middle of the night, changing diapers, feeding, and all other responsibilities.
Otherwise, there is a guarantee for unrest in the household.
Redditor throwaway_platinum was growing increasingly frustrated when she saw her parenting responsibilities grow while her husband’s shrank.
Nor was she remotely pleased by his excuse for not being a more active parent, and wasn’t afraid to tell him so.
Concerned that she may have been insensitive, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my husband he can’t use ‘cultural differences’ as an excuse to not be a parent.”
The OP explained that neither she nor her husband were born in their current country of residence, but had trouble accepting her husband’s reluctance to fulfill certain parenting duties owing to his upbringing.
“I (23 F[emale]) have a 1yr old with my husband (34 M[ale]) and we’re considering having more kids soon.”
“My husband is from Belarus and I am a Russian/Latvian that spent 99% of my life in Canada.”
“Some things are culturally similar, but a lot is different.”
“Put simply, I’m a lot more assimilated, but I don’t hold it against him because most of the quirks are cute or harmless.”
“There are clearly defined roles in our house, which is fine.”
“Before I had our son, it was fairly equal.”
“We both worked, because you have to in this economy.”
“I still did the cooking and cleaning while he repaired things and took care of the car.”
“I can’t install a shelf and he doesn’t know how to turn on the oven.”
“Everything gets done so there wasn’t a problem.”
“I thought we would keep up this attitude when we had kids, but no.”
“My husband is there for our son, but it’s just physically most of the time.”
“He’ll put him in bed or give him a bottle, but everything else I’m expected to do because it’s ‘mother’s work’.”
“Meaning he won’t play with the baby, read to him, or do anything like that.”
“It pisses me off for obvious reasons, and I’ve asked him about it, and he just shrugs me off and says it’s ‘cultural differences’.”
“I rolled my eyes and went along with it for a few months but every time I asked him to do a little more than usual because I’m sick or tired, he either doesn’t do it or does but complains.”
“A few days ago I snapped and told him he can’t keep using cultural differences as an excuse to not be a parent.”
“He acted all offended and left to go spend time with a friend.”
“My family says I should be more understanding and tolerant because he just ‘grew up different’ and how I should just suck it up and apologize.”
“I feel if anyone deserves an apology, it’s me because he’s actively avoiding a lot of parenting responsibilities.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
While the Reddit community were generally left somewhat befuddled by this situation, most generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for calling her husband out.
Many agreed that her husband’s excuses had nothing to do with his culture, but were entirely owing to laziness, and that the OP needed to call him out on that.
“Russian here, sorry to break it to you, he is just an a**hole.”
“I know a bunch of men, ranging between 25 and 90, so not a generation thing either, from eastern Europe / Siberia who are great parents and play with their offspring.”
“It’s not about the culture.”- tatasz
“Weird that he doesn’t even want to do any of the fun stuff of being a parent.”
“Doesn’t want to play with the baby? “
“Seeing your own baby giggle and wiggle because of you is like way better than making their bottle.”- my_chaffed_legs
“’Cultural differences’ is an excuse for being a misogynistic jerk.”
“He needs to get over his gender role crap and be a proper partner.”
“You aren’t wrong and he needs to step up.”
“Don’t give in here or you’ll be stepped on forever.”- babycatcher2001
“He’s using ‘cultural’ BS to justify shoving the workload on to you.”
“He is an AH.”- PilotEnvironmental46
“The child deserves a father who is a parent not just a sperm donor.”- MML2815
“That’s a weak excuse.”
“Definitely do not have more children if he can’t be bothered to parent the one you have already.”-Knittingfairy09113
“NTA dudes a sexist joke of a parent.”
“You know who he is so if you have more kids, you know you’ll be doing all the work while still working and doing the house work on top.”
“Personally I wouldn’t settle for that shit when there are so many decent men out there.”- Glittering-War-5748
“NTA some people here saying 34 is too old to change their ways?”
“My husband is 33 and we’ve had plenty of discussions in our 6+ years that have resulted in changed behavior to deviate from ‘old-school’ ways.”-ouatedephoq
:NTA sit and around and watch TV all day, when he complains state ‘cultural differences’.”
“You could really use this to your advantage.”- Affectionate_Ice_658
“NTA, sounds like he’s neglecting his responsibilities as a parent.”- SweetAngel_Pinay
Others, however, were flummoxed by the fact that the OP expressed how she wanted to have more children with her husband when he’s proven to be such an indifferent parent, urging the OP to have a serious conversation with her husband about this, if not leave him completely.
“YWBTA if you have more kids with this man.”
“It’s bad enough that you will be raising the kid you have to view you as a second-class citizen in your own home.”
“Why in the world didn’t you discuss expectations before you had kids?”
“Obviously your husband is an AH but in my experience men this misogynistic can’t be changed.”
“You’re stuck being a single parent unless you divorce him and find someone better.”-CalamityClambake.
“You married a man 11 years older than you that doesn’t know how to turn on an oven and then proceeded to have a child with him?”
“Don’t have more kids, divorce him, and find someone who doesn’t use the excuse of ‘cultural differences’ to be fucking lazy, smh.”
“He’s just a misogynistic asshole.”- Kyraphim
“You’re not tired or exhausted enough yet?”
“Those poor kids will grow up without a dad.”
“Even if he’s in the same room, he is far away and the kids will sense his disinterest and it will hurt them.”
“So yeah YTA for even thinking of having more kids by this man.”- Anything4Selenaaas
“Cultural differences may genuinely be something that is a ‘blocker’ for him, but it’s nothing that ‘inhibits’ his ability to co-parent.”
“I think if you continually experience these types of issues with your partner, it’s time to have an open conversation about what is or is not ok from your perspective.”
“I’d further recommend that you consider having a hard conversation about the likelihood of having more children as this is not something that is going to get easier for you with more children to deal with.”
“Additionally, it’s not just your mental health that should be taken into consideration.”
“The children will also suffer as well if they don’t have a strong father or image of what being a father is like.”
“I mean someone helping with the load.”
“I don’t want to tell you how to do your job or how to manage your relationships, but most marriages dissolve as a result of ‘conflict, arguing and breakdown in the relationship’, and everything you described can be attributed to those things.”
“I believe in supporting community.”
“That’s why I’m giving this advice, so please don’t interpret this as talking down or anything like that.”
“In short, no, you are definitely not an asshole.”
“But, I don’t know your partners background either, and this may be a norm for his culture, so he may not be either.”- Jarvin13
“If you have more kids with him he will ‘pass on’ his cultural differences to your kids people with sexist views an raising kids should not be giving kids.”- Sea-Ad9057
“I wouldn’t have anymore kids with this man.”
“It’s not a culture difference issue, he’s just lazy.”- NickelPickle2018
One should always be proud of their culture and their upbringing.
But when two people make the decision to bring children into this world, then parenting should not be a two-person job.
Something the OP should definitely consider before bringing another child into this world.