After seeing how his wife’s job was taking an emotional toll on her, Redditor “RockSquap” took matters into his own hands and addressed the issue with her boss behind her back.
As a result, changes at work were implemented and she was convinced she was demoted. The Original Poster (OP) insisted that is not the case since her salary was unaffected.
He wondered AITA (Am I the A**hole) for instigating changes he thought would be to her benefit.
The OP would soon discover on Reddit that he was not going to get the consolation he was looking for.
“So here’s the situation—my wife is in a high-level corporate position at her job.”
“What she does is extremely stressful and I don’t blame it for taking a toll on her.”
“Recently though, she’s been having a really rough time with work and is clearly stressed out about it.”
The OP described how her workload affected life at home.
“She’s visibly upset much of the time, but she doesn’t seem to want to discuss the specifics with me.”
“She’s even become forgetful and somewhat unuseful around the house recently – she seems to always be thinking about work.”
When she wasn’t being communicative, he made the unilateral decision to contact her superior.
“She wouldn’t talk to me directly about it and I knew I had to do something, so I found her boss’s phone number and reached out.”
“I simply told him that she has been listless and despondent recently and that I worried about her performance at work as well as what it’s’ done to our home life.”
Fortunately, the boss was understanding.
“Basically her boss corroborated everything I was saying, and it seemed clear he felt the same way about her behavior.”
“After some time talking, we both came to the conclusion that a reassignment was necessary – not really a demotion, but the decision was made for her to be reassigned to a less high stakes, less stressful position.”
“We didn’t state it verbally, but I think we both had an understanding that this was in her best interest and our conversation wouldn’t need to be brought up to her.”
Unfortunately, she didn’t take the news about the changes at work well.
“After the news came down to her she became hysterically upset—she thought she was being demoted essentially and she didn’t understand why.”
“The thing is it really isn’t a demotion, there’s no pay-cut involved, just an executive decision that was made for her own benefit.”
“I’m really not comfortable telling her that I was involved with this because I suspect she’ll freak out at me, but I do feel what I did was correct, and I believe her boss was reasonable enough to understand that also.”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked to weigh in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
The consensus was definitely not in his favor.
This Redditor coined a new acronym to reflect how wrong the OP was for betraying his wife.
“YTA Oh. My. God. What did you do?”
“You just DESTROYED your wife’s career. Annihilated it. She will have just lost any legitimacy she had earned because her husband went behind her back to her boss and basically said she’s not performing at home and is stressed she can’t do this job.”
“Holy sh*t x 1000. You better hope she never finds out, but I guarantee she will because office rumor mills are vicious especially in high-impact jobs.”
“Someone will lord this over her when she goes to make a huge judgement call.”
“Again holy sh*t! YATGA (G = giant or ginormous; both fit) times a million.” – haremgirl6
“This. God forbid he be a supportive partner and just do more around the house while she’s clearly dealing with something.” – BootsieBunny
“Going on the post, it doesn’t sound like OP has a job anywhere NEAR as time-consuming or stressful as his wife.”
“If he had time to search for her boss and talk to them, he had time to be useful. Sounds like someone just doesn’t like that his wife is successful. Jeez.” – Ghost-Titty
“Holy Mother of Baby Jesus- this is bad! YTA dude.”
“You undermine your wife’s entire career because she wasn’t doing enough HOUSEWORK. Like, literally that is the reason you did this.”
“You treated her like she was a toddler, incapable of speaking for herself or of working through her own problems. If she wanted you to butt in, she would have asked. She didn’t. You f’ked up and owe her and her boss an apology. Such an a**hole.” – noonenottoday
This person is cognizant of respecting boundaries.
“My wife stayed home to raise our kids. They are grown now. She is now on a career track and working insane hours in an essential capacity.”
“I am honored to cook every night and do laundry because she is getting to live out a dream. When work issues come up I give input then leave it up to her.”
“If a problem were to ever come up I would have enough respect for her to bring it up and we’d hopefully work through it. LIKE ADULTS!” – poi_dog78
This person took issue with the line “We both came to the conclusion that reassignment was necessary.”
“HE SHOULD HAVE NO PART IN THIS.”
“If the wife’s work was really not up to par, her boss would have brought it up to her. If the wife really needed to be reassigned, she would have asked.”
“In neither of those situations is the husband involved. BECAUSE HE SHOULDN’T BE.”
“I can only imagine the snide comments she’ll get now and how this will be used to demote her further, even if there’s no ‘pay cut’, because that’s apparently the only way OP knows if there’s a demotion or not.”
“When you’re not a straight White man, it’s amazing how companies can demote you without actually saying it.” – terrible-aardvark
“Agreed. A lateral move is still a demotion.”
“It is what bosses and HR do when they want you to quit voluntarily because they don’t have enough just cause to write you up for termination.”
“In this case we can’t write you up because we are secretly demoting you based on input from your husband. I am so angry for her I want to vomit.” – haremgirl6
This person was furious about how the OP undermined his wife’s credibility in this manner.
“Did you at any point have a heart to heart with your wife? Did you talk to her and say you were worried about her because she’s been looking so stressed recently? Nope.”
“Just completely bypassed her, like she’s a 5 year old having a tantrum and you were talking to the parents. It does not bode well for your marriage that you can’t communicate with her when things aren’t going well.”
“Also you went straight to her boss, who demoted her (the fact that she still gets paid the same means nothing; if her work responsibilities were cut it’s a demotion) AND will most likely not promote her in the future even if she’s the most qualified for it because ‘it didn’t go well last time’.”
“How much work has she put into this career to get this far, only for you to f’k it up?”
“And she was ‘unuseful’ around the house? Dude. Pick up a mop. Do the dishes. Help her get through it, then divide labor 50/50. Jesus f’king Christ.”
“I hope she finds out. She deserves to know you stabbed her in the back.” – fizzy_lime
This is what the OP really meant to say, according to this Redditor.
“Hey Honey, I’ve noticed you haven’t been very excited about mowing the lawn lately, so I called your boss and we agreed that it would be better if you side-stepped into a menial desk job with no chance of upward mobility.”
“Now you’ll have plenty of energy for taking out the trash! Isn’t that great?!” – angelcat00
Hopefully this husband sees the error of his ways.
Whether or not his wife forgives him will probably depend on whether he torpedoed her career temporarily or permanently with his selfishness. Most Redditors agreed she should keep the career and ditch the husband.
The book Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men is available here.