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Dad Of Two Wants To Skip Thanksgiving With In-Laws For ‘Me Time’ After Taking Care Of Sick Wife

Man lying on sofa.
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Coming to the aid and rescue of loved ones is usually a selfless act, where our only thought is making life easier for the person in need.

Even so, there’s nothing innately wrong with being offered a prize or reward for being helpful.

Though more often than not, those offering the compensation don’t always expect the intended recipients to say yes.

When the wife of Redditor tgivingbreakaita fell ill, he made sure to be at her beck and call till she recovered.

Grateful for his help, the original poster (OP)’s wife decided there was no better reward for him than offering him some personal time to himself.

An offer the OP gladly accepted.

When the OP told his wife the day he hoped to take her up on this offer, however, the OP’s wife quickly regretted her decision.

Wondering if he was being unreasonable, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA For wanting to skip my wife’s family Thanksgiving because I need a break?”

The OP explained why his wife was anything but pleased with the day he selected to take her up on his “me time” reward:

“My wife (38 F[emale]) and I (38 M[ale]) have 2 kids (6 & 4).”

“A little over a week ago, my wife came down with a virus that won’t be named.”

“No one else in the family has gotten sick (we’ve tested multiple times) and we’ve pretty much secluded my wife to our bedroom.”

“I’ve been doing my best to keep things in order and I like to think I’ve been doing OK.”

“My wife has told me multiple times during the past week how grateful she is for me taking care of everything while she’s sick and how I deserve a break to do something for myself once she starts to feel better.”

“Yesterday morning, my wife woke up feeling much better and finally tested negative and by the end of the day she had no symptoms.”

“She still kept herself in our room most of the day just to be safe, but she did not require me to take care of her like I had been the previous few days.”

“Last night, she thanked me again for all that I did and again said that I deserve to take some time for myself.”

“I told her that I had been thinking about that and said that I would like to stay home by myself this coming Saturday to have some peace and quiet.”

“The issue is that Saturday is her family’s Thanksgiving gathering because people have other plans for Thanksgiving Day.”

“She did not like my idea one bit and told me that I can’t skip her family Thanksgiving just because I want to have a quiet day at home.”

“I told her that she told me multiple times to take some time for myself and due to our schedule and other family commitments, this Saturday is the best chance for me to have time for myself until after the new year.”

“Her issues are that it’s a long drive to her parent’s house (3 hours) and they don’t have space for us to stay overnight.”

“She doesn’t want to make that drive with both kids by herself.”

“She also doesn’t like the idea of me skipping a family gathering for no real reason other than wanting a break.”

“We kind of argued about it and I told her that I don’t like that she told me to find time for myself, only to go back on that and make it seem like I have to find time that is convenient and acceptable to her.”

“I told her I don’t want to wait another 6 weeks to get time for myself.”

“She asked me what I was going to do if I stayed home and I told her I would probably just stay at home in pajamas, watch college football, play video games, and maybe pop a couple of edibles.”

“That set her off even more and she told me that if that’s how I’m going to spend that time, then I need to come to her family Thanksgiving and find a more suitable time to do that sort of thing.”

“She feels it isn’t ‘fair’ to stick her with the full stress of taking the kids on a long drive to a family gathering without me there to help.”

“I told her that if I’m only allowed to take time for myself when it’s convenient for her, then she shouldn’t tell me multiple times that I deserve a break.”

“I know if I just stay home, she’s going to be pissed.”

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

Interestingly, while most of the Reddit community initially felt the OP was very much the a**hole for deciding to skip his wife’s family Thanksgiving, just about all of them changed their minds when the OP revealed in the comments that his in-laws have been racist towards him in the past and that his wife has in the past skipped out on family gatherings hosted by his family for being too tired.

The OP clarified for commenters: 

“I am Indian.”

“For a little context, my FIL insisted on giving a toast at our wedding and thought making a joke about how his daughter married ‘the only Indian who isn’t a doctor’ would be funny.”

Upon learning this newfound information, just about everyone agreed that the OP more than deserved a day away from his racist in-laws, while more than a few felt he was worthy of a day off after being there for his wife, even if his in-laws weren’t racist.

“OP in the comments said her family is racist towards him for being Indian.”

“I wouldn’t want to be around them either.”

“Changing to NTA.”- carbinePRO

“Interesting group here.”

“OP wanted to stay home to recoup from a tiring week plus of caring for kids and a sick wife and household ( so dishes, garbage, clothes, laundry, food, meals,m etc).”

“He didn’t bring up the racism card, but most of you called him AH till it was mentioned.”

“I don’t know about you, but when I’m exhausted, I can’t postpone my recovery for a more convenient time.”

“And adding a social event, even a good one without racist family, would be too much.”

“Why does it have to be tit for tat?”

“She got to take time off from a family event; therefore, he gets to?”

“Why can’t the man just take a break?”


“A week of a spouse in isolation, kids needing entertainment and care, and I’m fried thinking of it.”-Daktari2018


“From what you’ve said in the comments, I’m now leaning towards NTA.”

“There is clearly a toxic dynamic surrounding your extended family involving racial issues, and your wife is not respecting the fact that you need time to rest.”

“There are far too many YTA’s here that stem from toxic masculine ideals.”

“If you need a break cause you’re burnt out, you need a break.”

“The nail in the coffin however, is that your wife has skipped out on YOUR family gatherings due to HER being burnt out or mentally unwell.”

“So why are you not able to do the same?”- Mogglen

“Why can’t you all stay home together?”

“She’s just coming off being sick. It’s perfectly understandable to skip a holiday meal, not drive 6 hours, and be stressed after her being sick and you having to handle everything.”

“NTA.”- Lisa_Knows_Best


“Taking time isn’t the same as skipping a family holiday.”

“If you don’t want to go to Thanksgiving, just say as much.”

“Don’t put it under the guise of taking time for yourself.”

“When you’re sick, does your wife get to take a holiday off?”

“This is kind of disingenuous, and I think you know that.”- WielderOfAphorisms


“I don’t understand everyone acting like 3 hours each way is an impossible road trip to do with your own kids.”

“You mentioned in a comment that her family is racist, and there are definite tensions, so the only reason you’d go is to help your wife.”

‘”But she’ll be in a house full of her family, so except for the drive, you shouldn’t be necessary anyway.”

“You need to focus on your mental health if you’re feeling burnt out and overwhelmed.”-EquivalentWise2780


“If she, understandably, can’t make that drive to Thanksgiving with her family with your kids, then she can stay at home too.”

“Covid isn’t easy, but taking care of everything, including kids, while she recovered, also isn’t, and she acknowledged that.”

“So, that being said, she knows you are burnout. She should let you decompress as promised.”-boredportuguese77

Some would say that the OP doesn’t need any excuse to stay away from his racist in-laws.

And no doubt, the OP’s wife probably didn’t expect him to choose her family’s Thanksgiving party as the day he got to take to himself.

Even so, it seems like there are bigger family issues than skipping a Thanksgiving party, which the OP and his wife should waste no time addressing.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.