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Dad Called Out For Planning Week-Long Guys’ Trip During Mother-In-Law’s Month-Long Visit

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Whether we’re comfortable admitting it or not, some of us don’t get along especially well with our in-laws.

That can really become obvious if someone comes over for an extended visit, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor notgonnastayaita was absolutely dreading the month-long visit his wife had arranged for his in-laws to come to stay in their home.

So much so, that when his wife recommended taking some time for himself during the visit, the Original Poster (OP) made plans to get himself out of the house.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for planning a guys’ trip for when my in-laws are visiting?”

The OP’s in-laws were coming to stay in their home for a month.

“My wife’s parents live far away from us. We used to only see them 2-3 times a year.”

“Because of the health situation the past couple of years, we haven’t seen them since Christmas 2019.”

“My wife has been planning with MIL (Mother-in-Law) to have them come visit. I was told it was going to be 1-2 weeks.”

“Turns out, MIL wants to stay longer and she is going to stay for a month, while FIL (Father-in-Law) will stay for 2 weeks.”

“MIL wants to spend more time with our 2 kids (ages 6 and 8) since they are her only grandkids and she hasn’t seen them in a few years.”

“I was not asked about this, I was told. They are set to visit 6 weeks from now.”

The OP was not looking forward to the visit. 

“Now, I don’t hate my in-laws, but 1-2 weeks is about my extreme limit for time with them.”

“They tend to be very needy house guests and very much treat their visits with us as vacations for themselves.”

“They aren’t here to help us with anything, they are here to enjoy their grandkids and daughter.”

“When my wife told me her mom would be staying for a month, I admit I didn’t handle it well.”

“I kind of snapped at her that she should have discussed that with me before agreeing to it and that I am not happy about it.”

“She said that it will mean a lot to her mom to have that much time with the kids. And since the kids won’t be in school, MIL can help watch them.”

“But we already pay to have our kids in daycare during the week, so it’s not like MIL’s help is needed.”

The OP’s wife suggested he find some “me time” during the visit. 

“I told my wife that I am going to struggle with her mom here that long, and she told me to plan things for myself to get out of the house, so that I don’t feel so smothered with MIL here.”

“So, that’s exactly what I did.”

“I got in touch with a few friends, and we threw together a week-long fishing and golfing trip a couple of hours away.”

“It is scheduled for the week after FIL leaves.”

The OP’s wife did not like his trip plans. 

“I told my wife about my plan, and she flipped out on me. She said it is unreasonable of me to think leaving her alone with the kids for an entire week is acceptable.”

“I told her that her mom is going to be there, so she won’t be alone.”

“And I pointed out that she literally told me to plan something for myself.”

“She said that when she told me to schedule things for myself, she meant like 1-2 rounds of golf. Or go fishing for an afternoon on a Saturday. Definitely not leave for an entire week.”

The OP didn’t see what the big deal was.

“We haven’t booked or paid for anything for the trip yet, so technically, I could still try to change things. But I don’t really want to.”

“I know that after 2 weeks of my in-laws visiting, I am going to need a break. And MIL is definitely not visiting to spend time with me. The way I look at it, now they get all the bonding time they want.”

“My wife is pretty much telling me I can’t go on the trip because it’s too long and not fair to leave her like that.”

“Now, I haven’t been gone for a trip like this since before the kids were born. The longest I’ve been on a trip with friends was a 4-day weekend trip to Vegas 4 years ago.”

“My wife even went on a 5-day trip with friends earlier this year so it’s not like she hasn’t had this kind of break.”

The OP clarified this final point in a comment.

“She already got a long trip with friends earlier this year and I stayed home with the kids. They were in school at the time, and I had no help at home.”

“So I would argue my wife will have it much easier than I did while she was gone.”

“AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

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

Some thought the OP was just as much in the wrong as his wife was.

“ESH. Yes, she should have consulted you before agreeing to a visit of that length. You’re also an a**hole for bailing for a full week without talking to her first.”

“You know that isn’t what she meant and it’s very much not fair to her. If you want to book a trip like this, you should do so, but with agreement and notice for your wife.”

“Your wife messed up, but playing petty games to get back at her will destroy your marriage.” – Temporary_Badger

“ESH. He complained about her making plans without his approval and then does the same thing. They’re going tit-for-tat, and those never end well in relationships.” – Sea_Physics_7371

“Ooh, I’m really leaning NTA here, but barely. Should you have talked about your week-long trip before pretty much planning it entirely? Yes, definitely.”

“Just because you were blindsided with plans you didn’t have any knowledge of does not mean you should do the same thing back. But sounds like you could try to shorten it as a compromise if you haven’t paid for anything yet.”

“But WOW, I would lose my absolute s**t if my ILs were going to stay in my house for a month without me myself agreeing to it. I don’t understand how a person could think that was ok to do without a discussion first.”

“Also!! Don’t see why your wife gets to ‘pretty much tell you you can’t go on the trip’ when you can’t ‘pretty much tell her to tell her mom to leave after 2 weeks with FIL.'” – EmAyBee99

“Leaning towards NTA, she should have asked you first about her parents visiting, and you should have spoken to her about your trip.”

“I would have said ESH, however, she can’t claim it’s unfair for you to leave her ‘alone’ for a week if she’s previously left you alone for 5 days.”

“If it was acceptable for her, it is for you too. I wonder if she’s embarrassed she’s going to have to explain your absence to her parents.” – No-Crew-1641

“You and your wife need to communicate more rather than ‘tell’ each other things. That’s the biggest flag here.”

“She TOLD you her mom will be in your home for a month. You TOLD her you will be gone for a week. She TOLD you that you can’t go for a week-long trip.”

“NTA. I’d go on the fishing and golf trip. She has help, and you deserve it honestly after she forced her mother on you.” – Mlady_gemstone

But others completely understood where the OP was coming from.

“Let’s get this straight:”

“1. he accommodated her taking a 5-day vacation for herself earlier this year.”

“2. he’s accommodating her for a month-long MIL visit that he had zero input on.”

“3. he’s telling her about his trip BEFORE it has been booked, leaving the possibility that it can still be canceled.”

“4. she refuses to give him even a single full day off for himself. 1-2 rounds of golf, or a Saturday afternoon ONLY.”

“Honestly, the guy has the patience of a saint for not walking out already.” – Hyo1010

“She put him in an unwinnable position because if his wife tells her mom you can’t stay a month, she knows it’s because of him. If she stays the month, he will be miserable.” – Cowboys82288

“I can’t believe anyone could say ESH or YTA. A MONTH visit from MIL without even asking him?!”

“If genders were reversed, everyone would be telling her to go to stay with her family, let him deal with his own mother, etc. But since he’s a man, he’s supposed to suck it up for a month with unwanted house guests? Sorry, but no.”

“The wife made these plans, she thinks her mother will ‘help,’ when he says the in-laws are actually needy guests, so she can handle him leaving for a week.”

“My guess is she doesn’t want her mother to realize her husband doesn’t want to be around her that long. But seriously, who can blame him? No one wants houseguests, especially in-laws that whom it sounds like he has a bit of a contentious relationship with, around for a month.”

“He’s NTA. His wife should have asked first. Now she can deal with her own mother.” – TA122278

“He had her approval. She told him to find something else to do, and he did.”

“If he had taken more than a week, sure, then he’d be the AH but not in this case. He took a week with the guys when she explicitly said her mom was going to help her.”

“If that’s not the case, then not only did she not discuss the visit with him, but she outright lied to him.” – fainora

“She took 5 days earlier this year and left him alone with the kids, so how is him taking 7 days, when her mom is around to help, unreasonable? NTA.” – dpdragonfly

The subReddit was divided on how the OP handled this one, but everyone could agree that the OP’s wife was in the wrong, no matter what. Inviting anyone to stay for an entire month, whether it’s in-laws or a total emergency situation, is never okay if it hasn’t been fully discussed with a partner first.

However, the sub was divided on the OP’s reaction. Some thought the OP took advantage of what his wife had said about taking some time for himself, while others found it to be completely warranted.

Because once again, the subReddit could totally agree, a month is a really long time, especially with guests you’d rather not invite.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.