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Guy Livid After In-Laws Purposely Exclude Him From Secret Birthday Dinner For His Wife

Friends surprising young woman with a birthday cake with burning candles.

It never feels good to be excluded from parties. It can feel downright hurtful.

Automatically it makes a person wonder what they could’ve done or said to get them booted from the “Welcome” list.

And being the odd person out is a feeling that can last.

When everyone else is reminiscing about that one great party, there will always be that one person who can’t share in the memories.

Case in point…

Redditor lightbulbjb-first wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for being upset that my in-laws held a secret Birthday dinner for my wife, with her brothers and her friends, but didn’t tell or invite me (her husband)?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“For some additional context, I put together a Birthday dinner for my wife back on the week of her Birthday.”

“I invited my wife’s parents, who declined with the statement, ‘We are unavailable that night, that is why we brought her present to her on Friday.'”

“I invited both her brothers.”

“One was ill and the other never responded.”

“According to my wife, I should have offered an alternative day, again, AITA for thinking that my M[other]-I[n]-L[aw]’s answer meant ‘We have already celebrated?'”

“I invited her friends – only one came and they showed up almost 45 minutes late.”

“Furthermore, they scheduled this secret celebration on a day they knew I could not participate.”

“I have a long-standing volunteer commitment every Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm.”

“The in-laws know it.”

“I would have had to say ‘no’ to the invite regardless – not enough time to arrange a sub for my shift – but am hurt that I wasn’t even asked or made aware of the event.”

“I told my wife how I felt.”

“She was very defensive of her parents and made a point to tell me all of the things that weren’t good enough about the dinner that I had planned, really made me feel like I shouldn’t have bothered trying to do anything for her.”

The OP was left to wonder:

“AITA for thinking they could have still at least asked?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“I don’t know what else is going on in your marriage, and it’s not the internet’s business, but I can tell you that your wife is pulling away, and she’s got the support of her family (which is to be expected).”

“You, however, DO know why. It’s time to try to sort this out, try to get into counseling, and it’s time to take a good hard look at why she doesn’t feel attached enough to want you around for her birthday.”

“I’m a woman. I can tell you that most women will tell you what they want.”

“More than a few times.”

“If you fail to acknowledge, respond, or engage in a conversation and make an active effort to make her feel like she’s important to you, she will stop trying herself.”

“When a woman pulls away, it’s a sign of a deep problem that you have very little time to fix in a permanent way.”

“Time for some soul searching, time to be honest with yourself, and listen to what she’s been telling you for a long time.” ~ definitelytheA

“Do you work regular hours during the week?”

“Why is this all-day, every-week volunteering thing so important?”

“When do you spend time with your wife?”

“Do you expect her to shuffle her schedule for your family but are unwilling to shuffle for hers?”

“Do you think about her interests while planning things?”

“Regarding her birthday, if you’re planning an event, and you know 90% of the guests won’t attend, you don’t have that event on that day.”

“You look at other options.”

“It seems like you picked a day that was good for you, found out no one could come, then went ahead with it anyway, resulting in a guest-less party where the birthday girl feels like s**t.”

“This screams missing reasons here.” ~ mistressmemory

“She is getting ready to drop a divorce on him or move out with her b[oy]f[riend].”

“’Sitting down to talk’ is too late.”

“Cheaters all have the same tells like poker: Keeping secrets, bizarre isolating behavior, constant complaints but no constructive criticism or help, blaming the spouse or S[ignificant] O[ther] for everything even things beyond their control, financial/verbal/emotional/ physical abuse, etc.”

“Asking the SO to reach standards they never had to before which are immediately unachievable.”

“Accusing the SO of cheating or being unfaithful when they are cheating either emotionally or physically, emotional distance, and the silent treatment.”

“I was 110lbs and 5’7” and my SO at the time started making fun of me during and after sex and demanded I lose 20 lbs.”

“He’d go to parties without me, and I’d find out from his relatives or friends.”

“He kept comparing me to his ex.”

“Then he said my home was dirty even though I had a paid maid and my mother over twice a week cleaning after him.”

“He cleared out my accounts and was with his ex on my 27th birthday at my favorite restaurant.”

“I was with him for five years and had two miscarriages.”

“Towards the end, he became more defensive and hostile.”

“He lied about paying bills and wasn’t working and he barely spent time with me.” ~ Goo-mignonette_00

“NTA, but you’re blind if you don’t see the writing on the wall.”

“It says ‘better without you.’” ~ extinct_diplodocus

“It does indeed seem like your wife does not like you.”

“I don’t think this is about a birthday dinner going wrong, this is about your marriage.”

“Curious what this commitment is that is every Sunday from 8-5?”

“Do you also work 40-50 hours a week? Do you have children?”

“Does she feel abandoned by your commitment to your volunteer activity?”

“Do you prioritize everything else above her?”

“This birthday dinner fiasco smells like resentment.” ~ FeelingAnt465

“Not an excuse for her behavior or that of her family, but nine hours on Sunday sounds very excessive.”

“If they have traditional work hours, Saturday is for errands and chores.”

“Do they hang with friends on Saturday night?”

“Sunday might not be a sleeping-in day if they’re Churchgoers, and that’s often the day many people see their families for dinner if they have any living nearby.”

“I don’t know if he’s a sports fan, but Sunday night is huge for meeting buddies at the sports bar/pub or being glued to the TV at home, either your own or someone else’s.”

“Where is his couple and alone time?”

“I don’t think this is sustainable for anyone.” ~ Pale_Cranberry1502

“You’re NTA, but she’s checked out of your marriage.”

‘Time to decide if she’s worth it or if you should cut your losses.” ~ Obi-Juan_Valdez

OP had a little more info…

“Apparently, it was a surprise dinner.”

“She couldn’t have told me in advance.”

“I’m still hurt. The parents didn’t say anything to me, and she continues to defend their behavior and point the blame at me.”

Reddit continued…

“Going against the popular grain here, but yeah, YTA.”

“You invited multiple people, and that date didn’t work for them. The reasonable thing to do is ask if another date works better.”

“If only 1 person showed up out of ALL the people you invited that should have been a tip-off that you screwed up somewhere.”

“As for not being invited, you have a long-standing commitment during the time that worked for everyone else. Why would they ask?”

“As for your wife pointing out issues about the dinner you arranged, did she have valid points?”

“Was it someplace she enjoys or you enjoy?”

“Again, only 1 person showed up and they were late, that’s a red flag to me that your plans were in fact not good.”

“It’s the thought that counts only works if there really was thought involved for the intended person’s enjoyment.” ~ Secret_Werewolf1942

“NTA. It was only a ‘secret’ because your wife did not invite you or insist on you being invited/accommodated.”

“Your wife is IN ON THIS, and frankly, it sounds like either none of them (wife + in-laws + wife’s friends) like you and/or they have inside info from her that the marriage is over.”

“This sounds like ‘quiet quitting.'” ~ No_Glove_1575

“NTA, but it seems to me that there is some kind of war going on between your in-laws and yourself that you are not aware of.”

“It is just very odd why nobody wanted to come to the dinner that you planned and that you weren’t invited to their party, that they even took care to have at a time they knew you weren’t available.” ~ FragrantEconomist386

“I’m a little confused about something- how far in advance did you plan your dinner?”

“Because the parents said they couldn’t come, which is why they brought the present Friday, and that sounds like this was thrown together SUPER last minute and explains why no one could come/came late.”

“It is weird for them not to tell you they were planning something- however it DOES sound like theirs was better planned and planned sooner, not a few days before.” ~ nycbee16

“Maybe that was the only day that worked for them, and they didn’t invite you because they knew of your commitment?”

“They should have told you sooner to see if you could have gotten coverage, but maybe it was last minute?”

“You’re NTA for being upset, but maybe there’s more to it than just trying to exclude you.” ~ No_Recognition_1570

“NTA. You do have issues you need to communicate through.”

“If she is dismissing you, couples counseling might be a good idea.” ~ CinderDroplet

Well, OP, Reddit is a bit scattered, but it seems to be with you for the most part.

Your feelings are hurt.

And you’re entitled to your feelings.

It sounds like you and your wife may need to have some serious therapy.

Family can be complicated, and this sounds like a very complicated situation.