Marriage is a partnership.
Instead of just making your own decisions, as partners you make choices for the best of everyone involved.
What happens when you make a choice that your partner finds offensive?
This was the situation facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Throwaway47074092 which brought him to the “Am I the A**hole”(AITA) subReddit for guidance.
“AITA for cancelling a couple of streaming services and telling my wife to get a job if she wants them back?”
He began by explaining the backstory,
“I (32 male) have been married to my wife (33 female) for close to five years. We have two children (3m, 1.5f).”
“When we got married we both had jobs.”
And the origins of the issue.
“However, maybe about a year after we were married my wife tearfully confessed to me that she was miserable at her job and wanted to quit.”
“She told me that her boss was treating her like garbage and that she woke up every morning wanting to vomit.”
“She legitimately seemed dejected and so I told her to quit and to find another job where she would be treated better.”
“I expected her to go out and start looking for something else but she didn’t seem too eager.”
“Whenever I gently brought it up she responded ‘I’m just trying to figure out my next move. Stop pressuring me.’ “
“Not long after she got pregnant with our son, and then while he was still very young she got pregnant with our daughter.”
“A few months after she was born when I asked my wife what her plans were job-wise she finally just said ‘I don’t want to go back to work. You make enough for us to get by. Just let me be a wife and mother.’ “
He expressed his fears.
“I told her that I was concerned that I *don’t* actually make enough to give our family as good of a life as I’d like but she insisted that we can make it work.”
OP also pointed out how grateful he is.
“I have to admit; she’s probably a model homemaker and mom.”
“When I wake up for work in the morning there is always freshly brewed coffee and breakfast waiting for me.”
“The house is always clean and other than yard work and repairs I basically don’t have to do anything around the house.”
“And she is a great mother to our kids. I am quite lucky in many ways.”
He then got to the issue at hand.
“However, money is WAY tighter than I’d like.”
“We are barely saving anything and I’m not even able to meet my employer’s match on my 401K in order to have enough for us to get by.”
“We are living lean; eating beans and rice for dinner a couple times a week, etc. I don’t feel as if I signed up for this.”
“We were both working when we got married and I never thought we’d have to live on just my income.”
“I’ve tried to talk to her about going back to work—even part-time—to help our financial situation several times but she just won’t hear it.”
“Recently when I was going through our expenses I saw that we were signed up for five streaming services.”
“I kept Hulu and Netflix because they had more child-based programming for our son and our daughter when she gets a little older but canceled HBO and Discovery Plus because they are pretty exclusively for adults.”
“I kept Shudder because it’s cheap and I like horror.”
“When I told my wife about it she got angry and said that I should have talked to her first; that she had shows she was watching on both of the services I’d canceled.”
“I just responded ‘Well, get a job and you can pay for them then.’ “
“She hated that.”
“I think it was fair but she obviously doesn’t see it that way.”
OP was left wondering,
Unsure if he’d been justified, OP brought the situation to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed out the trade-off involved.
“Info – are prepared to step up to all the extra home duties you’ll have to do and childcare if she returns to work? And for the childcare costs?“~Full-Pumpkin2330
“Nta but keep in mind childcare is expensive. If she goes to work chances are one salary will be eaten up by childcare.”~Regular-Landscape-83
Others suggested a compromise.
“OP, just wanted to throw an idea out there.”
“Could you recommend to your wife babysitting 1-2 kids along with your own?”
“Daycare is expensive so many people would be open to a friend watching their child at a lower rate. She’d still be at home but would make some additional income.”~DameSilvestris
“INFO: have y’all sat down and budgeted together?”~android_queen
People pointed out how much would need to change for both of them.
“There really are a LOT of things to consider about this.”
“Have you both really sat down and looked at a budget and come to an agreement on how much to be saving? And how much is ‘fun’ money for either/both of you?”
“If she is doing an excellent job of keeping the house and raising the kids, she might not be able to do all of that and work part time.”
“When you say you can watch the kids while she works, does that include doing whatever house work she does at the same time?”
“Because even just as a ‘dog mom’ I multi-task and am doing laundry, dishes, cleaning in between handling dog training, meals, nap times.”
“When my husband ‘watches the dogs’ because I have a commitment, none of that other stuff gets done.”
“That’s ok, but it does set me back further on my responsibilities.”
“If you expect her to work, that will take a toll on her mentally and physically, so she’s going to need you to do more than just make sure the kids don’t burn the house down.”
“Also, it was an AH move to unilaterally decide which services to cut and when.”
“If y’all need to save $X/month, you should approach her with that, and suggest things you think are ‘extra,’ but she also gets a say.”
“I think overall, NAH, but you two really need to come up with a layered set of plans for ‘right now’ and well into the future – perhaps when the kids are really in school full time, she will have more ability to earn an income to help with the overall financial goals.”
“Good luck, OP.“~kimby_cbfh
Marriage is a partnership.
Partnerships require communication and similar priorities to function.
Remember to share your priorities with your partner, and listen intently to theirs.
Otherwise, a surprise shift can cause far-reaching consequences.