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Guy Refuses To Sell The Popular Bar He Owns To Appease His Newly-Sober Wife

Viktor Fj / EyeEm/Getty Images

It’s important for our loved ones to support us in our achievements.

But what if our achievements were to somehow hurt them? Should we give up what we’ve built for the sake of those we love?

One man struggled with this on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) where he questioned how best to support his wife after her addiction.

Redditor lfoonnnllkkk wasn’t sure what to do after decades of work.

But the Original Poster (OP) still wanted to do the best for his wife.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for refusing to sell my bar?” 

The OP’s wife recently recovered from an addiction. 

“I have owned and run a very popular bar in our town for over 10 years now.”

“5 years ago, unfortunately, my wife struggled with alcohol issues.”

“As much as I’d like to say my bar didn’t have a part in it, unfortunately, it did. She began spending more and more time at the bar until she was at the bar basically anytime she wasn’t working.”

“She’s now been clean for a year after doing AA and therapy.”

The OP’s wife wanted him to give up the bar.

“Obviously, I avoid talking about the bar at all times and she’s not allowed in the bar (which we both agreed I would enforce quite strictly) unless for special occasions, etc.”

“Now my wife is suggesting I sell the bar. She says it’s making it hard for her for me to be at the bar nearly every night while she’s at home alone.”

Now the OP wasn’t totally sure what to do.

“I sympathize, but unfortunately I simply can’t.”

“The bar is my baby. I have built it up from nothing and it’s my pride and joy.”

“Money isn’t an issue for us, but the bar does provide a nice cozy retirement bonus.”

“My wife will probably retire soon and when she does, I’ll consider spending less time at the bar.”

“So AITA for refusing to sell it?”

Fellow Redditors wrote in declaring: 

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said the OP should keep the achievement he was proud of. 

“I’m going NTA.”

“I know not everyone is this way, but as someone approaching 1.5 years clean of alcohol, my take is that my problem is not anyone else’s problem.”

“And I work as a bartender. Don’t get me wrong I had to quit for a few months at the beginning for me as it was too much at the time, but we keep alcohol in the house and my wife drinks even though she was hesitant at first out of respect for me and I had to reassure her that my issue is not her issue.”

“Granted if I have weak moments, she always has my back. Just my take”FriedDevilishEgg

“NTA. To all the people saying you’re TA:”

“1.) Y’all’ve never built a business from the ground up, so straight up quit trying to give him crap advice like y’all understand the absolute s**t and dedication you have to have for it, in addition to the literal years, that has to go into it for it to be successful, etc.”

“2.) Y’all’ve clearly never managed nor owned a small business if you think hiring a GM is the solution to this. That shit cost money, it’s more than just randomly hiring some manager.”

“3.) And finally they really don’t understand that being in a marriage or any relationship doesn’t mean you have to abandon your passions and that at the slightest upset have to immediately jump to divorce. Like grow up especially that user that told him to marry his bar.”

“It doesn’t seem like you don’t want to spend time with your wife OP, rather it seems you don’t want to be forced to give up your years of hard work, time & dedication over a business you consider your baby.”

“Understandably so, you’ve spent a decade on it and it is a significant part of both y’all’s lives. I understand where your wife is coming from, addiction is hard, it’s isolating and painful but your life doesn’t stop where her decisions lead her.”myukkie

Others suggested he be more empathetic to his wife. 

“I think a large part of the issue though is that the nature of bar work means he’s mostly at the bar evenings and weekends which is when couples with a more standard work pattern spend time together.”

“historically she could go to the bar and spend time with him whilst he worked but now that isn’t possible”

“so it’s not just that he is surrounded by alcohol, but that their differing working patterns mean they can’t spend much time together and now she’s alone every evening.”

“I don’t necessarily think he should sell the bar. but I wonder if changing the staff schedule a bit so he could be home a few evenings a week would be a reasonable compromise.”StripyCardigans

“Let’s not forget, the guy almost certainly comes in the door smelling like her addiction trigger. Gotta be tough for her.”Jorgenstern8

“I think the best compromise would just be taking a step back, handling the upper admin work, and hire a manager to handle the day-to-day stuff, like he is doing at the moment (from what I can tell).”

“Then possibly pick up another less intense job with regular hours to cover the income cut, if that would be an issue.”Blujay12

“Absolutely it. He owns the place and it gotta be hard to trust someone to run the place without you, but he really has to bite the bullet and either start trusting his managers or find a manager he actually can trust, and spend more time with his wife.”Kenichi_Smith

Some were in the middle, rating the OP with a NAH. 

“NAH. Your wife has got a point in that it must be difficult for her due to the nature of her addiction and the knowledge of where you spend your evenings.”

“You’ve got a point because you’ve built yourself a successful business with your bare hands and shouldn’t be made to feel bad or to sell it just because of its industry. Unfortunately in the current climate and depending on where you live, money situations can massively change, almost overnight and one day you might be glad you’ve got a steady stream of income.”

“Honestly addiction sucks and I’m so glad she’s working through it, despite the obvious temptation. So yeah, neither of you is an AH.”Sea_Weather_1427

“NAH, her suggesting it wasn’t wrong, nor was you refusing to do so.”

“If she pushes the issue, she slides into a**hole territory. Her therapist should be able to tell her that her triggers are her responsibility to care for, not the world’s, and she can’t expect you to give up something major like that just because it makes her uncomfortable.”Noltonn

Though the reactions were a little more split with this one, one factor agreed across the board: finding happiness.

Clearly, the OP and his wife need to converse more about this situation to figure out a way to make both of them happy.

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.