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Woman Irate After Husband ‘Abandons’ Her During Emergency Surgery To Go To Work At New Job

A woman in a hospital bed stares out of the widow
Portra Images/Getty Images

It’s unfortunate when people are stuck in a position where they must choose between work and health.

But… here we are.

Everyone can’t be everywhere… all at once.

Unless you’re Michelle Yeoh, that is.

Case in point…

Redditor LongjumpingEffort116 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 going to work while my wife was having her appendix out?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My (31 M[ale] ) wife (32 F[emale]) was having a ton of really bad abdominal pain last weekend.”

“I drove her to urgent care Saturday morning–she didn’t want to go, but I basically made her.”

“Urgent care made her go to the E[emergency] R[oom] where they determined that her appendix needed to come out that day.”

“She called her mom before surgery.”

“Her mom must have told both of my parents as well because all three (her mom and my mom and dad) ended up at the hospital to be with her during her surgery.”

“Now, here’s where the conflict lies… I was scheduled for work at 5 pm that night.”

“I’ve just started a new job that pays well.”

“I only started it a couple of weeks ago, so I am brand new at it.”

“I didn’t want to call in.”

“They probably would have been cool with it given the circumstances, but I still didn’t want to do it.”

“I didn’t even have the P[ersonal] T[ime] O[ff] for it; I would have either had to take the day unpaid or gone negative on my PTO.”

“So, while my wife was having the surgery, I went into work and pulled my shift.”

“My wife is upset with me.”

“She is accusing me of ‘abandoning’ her.”

“But I think that is unfair.”

“She was having a completely routine surgery, and she had plenty of company and support.”

“It was unfortunate that I couldn’t be there, and I feel bad about it, but it’s not as if I’m a surgeon and could have made a difference.

“I had to work, period, and I’m too new there to call in.”

“The timing sucked, but my wife’s health outcomes were the same either way.”

“Her mother gets it, and so does my father.”

“But my mom thinks I should have called in.”

“So AITA?”

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

Most Redditors declared OP WAS, in fact, the A-hole. 

“YTA. It was important to her that you be there.”

“That’s your wife having surgery, man.”

“You could have taken off work – all but the absolute worst workplaces would understand ‘my wife is having an urgent surgery’ – but you prioritized your job over your wife.” ~ hellolittlebears

“He also said he would have gone into negative PTO.”

“There is absolutely nothing to do while someone is in surgery and recovery other than sit and wait, so he might as well have been at work.”

“Personally, I’ve found I prefer that people not wait as it stresses me out.”

“Where it really matters is post-op those first couple days back home.”

“If she really needed post-op help and he wouldn’t take a couple of days off to help her after her release, then I’d say he was an AH.” ~ cakivalue

“The thing is though that it is NOT just waiting in the waiting room at moral support.”

“Emergency abdominal surgery always has the potential that things will come up that have gone badly and need decisions made immediately by the family while the person is out.”

“The wife probably wanted her husband as the person making those decisions.”

“Doctors often want answers QUICK when things go bad in a hospital.”

“I have been there making those choices and will ask whoever is immediate family right there… they aren’t going to want to mess around trying to contact someone who isn’t if it is an urgent thing.” ~ Front_Focus1605

“I’m going to assume the dude is in America.”

“Where a good portion of jobs has that weird probation period where showing up late, calling out, leaving early, f**king up can ruin your chances at keeping that job.”

“Not every job in America is okay with their corporate slave missing work, and OP is not that AH for going to work at a job he started a few weeks ago.”

“No matter the situation, his job probably wouldn’t have cared.”

“Let’s not even get into the amazing health care system we have over here and the bill that’s probably headed his way.”

“All the YTAs, is it safe to assume you’re in a real financial position to miss work at a freshly started job?”

“Afford a hospital bill without it breaking your bank?” ~ CheesyBreadBrain

“This was my exact thought. It sounds like OP landed a job that he wants to keep and doesn’t want to rock the boat right after starting.”

“While it’s probable that they would have let him take the day off unpaid or go negative PTO ‘officially,’ it’s naive to think that it couldn’t affect his job going forward in terms of raises, promotions, future leave, etc.”

“Two weeks on the job is not nearly enough time to build up the equity to call at the last minute or to truly understand the dynamics of calling off like this.”

“OP doesn’t come across as uncaring to me, just put in a pickle and made a practical choice.”

“It’s unclear to me if he told his wife beforehand that he was leaving, which I think he should have done.”

“I can understand his wife’s reaction if she had no idea he was leaving before surgery, then wakes up and he’s gone.” ~ blazinfiend

“I had my appendix out, and it’s a pretty minor surgery.”

“My fiancè had to go to work (she was a resident at a different hospital at the time).”

“I didn’t even have anyone there when I woke up and had to get a cab home.”

“It’s not a big deal.” ~ lepp240

“As someone who had surgery recently and had a whole lot more than my appendix taken out, I agree.”

“I knew my partner would have to go to work that evening, so I made sure that I would have other support around when I woke up (my mom and a really good friend).”

“Yeah, medical crap is really f**king scary for me, and my partner is really good at comforting me with that.”

“But I knew her schedule wouldn’t accommodate me being there at certain hours, so I made sure that I had enough support spread between all of my loved ones during my hospital stay.”

“And current recovery that nobody got burnt out or felt pressured to skip things they couldn’t.”

“If she’d been alone at the hospital, OP would’ve been TA, but she wasn’t.”  ~ localdisastergay

“YTA. People can die during appendix surgery.”

“There can be so many complications.”

“How would you have felt if she died and you were at work?” ~ 7dayweekendgirl

“Surgeon who does lots of appendectomies.”

“Dying during an appy would be exceedingly rare.”

“Even so, there is nothing that he would have been able to do if she had died.”

“Most hospitals these days are still severely limiting the number of visitors.”

“If more than one person was there for her, she should be fine.”

“It’s just important that you TALK to your wife about it, and she understands your reasoning. NTA.” ~ Gabrovi

“I think everyone here has valid arguments, and it was just a bad situation.”

“Fortunately, it was a routine surgery, and she came out ok.”

“Congrats on the new job and all. I think the best thing here is not to try and decide who was right.”

“Emphasize that it was a rough situation, and you thought you were making the right call.”

“Come to terms with future situations.”

“Above all else, please leave your family out of it. Lol.” ~ Witty_Rich2100

“This this this!”

“We cannot make a ruling until I hear what the conversation was.”

“Dude knew he had a shift, and she would have been coherent for quite a while before going under. There is no reason not to communicate beforehand.”

“If he didn’t mention it, and she was expecting him to be there when she woke up, YTA.”

“If she ASKED him to stay, MASSIVE YTA.”

“If she said it’s fine but then got pissed later, NAH because I also have a wife, ha.” ~ NotLostintheWoods

“YTA. Did you have a conversation about it before she went into surgery?”

“Did you ask her if she wanted you there?”

“Because if she said yes, she wanted you there, and you said sorry, I have to work… man, that’s cold.”

“People don’t go to their family’s hospital beds because they can affect the health outcome.”

“You go to support the person you love.” ~ manaliabrid

“YTA. ‘Routine’ surgeries have complications.”

“You’re the next of kin.”

“I am incredibly self-sufficient and don’t like people waiting around for me, but I made the mistake of scheduling surgery for a time when my husband would be working and then be home when I was released.”

“There were complications that required brain surgery, and then he was in the dark.”

“I didn’t make that mistake again.”

“This is part of the vows.”

“Having parents there is great, but YOU are her primary support.”

“I understand your point of view, but this is a textbook emergency call out.”

“YTA because you should have asked what she wanted and then been there.”

“Better yet, just assume that if your spouse is going under general anesthesia for an emergency procedure, you’re needed.”  ~ facemesouth

Well, OP, Reddit has some issues with your choice.

Though many people are on your side.

It’s a tough call.

Hopefully, y’all can talk it out.

Glad she made it through in full health.