Long-term relationships have a way of changing over time, as each person will grow and change.
But major life events, like having a baby or getting a new job, can transform that relationship, too, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor nigerianLlama decided to go back to work after struggling with being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), which occasionally included travel.
But when her husband openly criticized her for how she was fulfilling her role as a mother, the Original Poster (OP) felt conflicted about her life choices.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for ‘bringing up the past’?”
The OP went back to work after being a SAHM.
“My husband and I have been married for 16 years. He always wants me to be a SAHM and I did try for 3 years between 2015 and 2018.”
“But being a SAHM took a toll on my mental health so much that I ended up going back to work.”
“I have to travel for my job (maybe once every 2 months, for 3-4 days). It was not a demanding job otherwise and the schedule is pretty flexible.”
The couple also had assistance in their home.
“We have a 14-year-old and a 5-year-old. On weekdays my mom stays at our house to babysit (we also have a house helper to do housework and help take care of my 5-year-old).”
“My husband doesn’t like the fact that I have to travel and always makes remarks that I don’t fully do my job as a mother.”
“He says that while he ‘tolerates’ that I have a job, I really don’t have to since he can provide for us.”
The OP was angry about her husband’s outlook on her work.
“It really gets on my nerves, because when my first kid was still a newborn, my husband often went on vacations with his friends and left me to take care of the baby.”
“I NEVER told him No back then because I felt that he needed the experience, and I didn’t particularly care to travel back then (we were married pretty young and most of our friends are still single back then).”
It turned into an argument.
“So I told him that he doesn’t get to guilt trip me for my work travel while he basically abandoned me and our baby by vacationing with his friends, and I never made it an issue.”
“He said I was AH to bring up something that happened more than a decade ago.”
“I really didn’t care back then, but I just want him to know that he put me in a hot seat for a ‘sin’ that he also did (maybe even worse because I travel for job, and he traveled for leisure?) but never had the consequences.”
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 husband’s outlook on their relationship was problematic.
“You said, ‘He says that while he ‘tolerates’ that I have a job.’ This is a HUGE red flag, I’m sorry but you are not his property and the fact that he thinks he gets to ‘tolerate’ you having a job is not ok. Also, NTA.” – xInsomniCatx
“NTA. Your husband’s attitude is archaic, controlling, and gross.” – chronicpainprincess
“I saw like 10 huge red flags when I read ‘tolerate.’ He is so condescending and kind to ‘tolerate’ her working. Dear Lord.” – Cold-Sympathy-8054
“I don’t condone violence, but if a man ever told me I wasn’t doing my job as a mother properly, he’d be getting a hard slap to the face.” – bloo_a
“The job of the mother is to ensure the survival of her kids in any shitty situation, including the one where the husband gets killed in a car accident or from the next plague and she’ll need to provide for them all.”
“She is doing the job of the mother. He is blind and controlling.” – Ard_Rhena
“He hates that power dynamic that he can’t come and go as he pleases and that his wife gets to have fun outside the house.”
“Oh, and that he has to pay people when he could just have his wife at his beck and call.”
“He’s a big parade of red flags about how he sees the women in his life and responsibility of his own family.” – marahute85
“Three whole women making sure this man never has to be responsible for his own household and he’s still whining.” – Arc_of_frc
“I honestly question why OP is still with him tbh (to be honest). Sounds like she can afford someone to watch the kids. OP doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.” – Valuable_Stranger642
“He wants a trophy wifey at home. Not a partner on the same level, but a dependent little pet who will do as been told and take good care of him.”
“He should be delighted that he has a partner who lifts the burden to financially provide 100% in these difficult times. He should be proud to have such an awesome role model for his children.”
“And he should be happy for you, that you manage your job and be a good mom… unfortunately he is nothing of them. And this isn’t a huge red flag to you?”
“He doesn’t respect you, he guilt trips you and he doesn’t care about your needs, just about his. That’s not a partnership.” – MasterpieceOk4688
Others agreed with the OP on going back to work, travel or no travel.
“I’m starting to wonder what exactly at home was taking a toll on her mental health…” – The_Angster_Gangster
“Many women find lack of adult conversation, ie being stuck with a kid mentally suffocating. I remember a work event where many SAHMs were invited and quite a few were challenged to have meaningful conversations as they could only talk about their kids and worse two of them had difficulty using adult language, ie baby talk kept entering their responses. Being alone with a child can be very trying even if there are no other factors.” – My3floofs
“Marinara Flags are on the field. It’s okay to be a SAHM if you can afford it and it works for your family. It’s also okay to go to work even if your spouse can support you 100%.”
“Your independence and future retirement income is contingent on you maintaining a career.” – Efficient_Vix
“When I was a SAHM, I was riddled with anxiety over being solely responsible for my child’s development. She was seven months old when we had our first [pandemic] lockdown, and for two months before that, we’d been stuck inside due to local wildfires.”
“I worried a lot about her social development because she’s an only child. And she was slow in learning to crawl because I realized that the way we had furniture arranged gave her no space on the floor.”
“I have a background in early childhood teaching, and it made things worse. I knew all too well what typical development looked like so I worried about every little thing.”
“When I got a part-time job it was half for our financial benefit, half for the benefit of my mental health.” – throwaway798319
“I was a SAHM. I was going nuts. My husband worked ONLY weekends including one 24-hour shift. I eventually got a job working about 15 hours a week on his days off it was GLORIOUS! Just to have adult interaction was great.”
“He is now a SAHD. I have tried to tell him to get a part-time job on my days off but he says he is fine. He isn’t a social guy, but I honestly think it would be good for him. My job and schedule have changed so it won’t work out as well now.” – Pez-Girl5
“I was a SAHM for years. If my husband had not let me go to dancing practice once or twice a week, I would have gone insane. I fight depression already, and PPD (postpartum depression) was rough.”
“That night or two per week absolutely saved my marriage and my children. It was far more stressful than I ever expected.” – CatlinM
“I wish more people understood this.”
“SAHPs live where they work, and their entire lives can get wrapped up in their kids. When the only adult you see more than 1x a week is your spouse, it really messes with you.”
“After her youngest started school, my sister struggled to rediscover her own identity outside of motherhood. She had devoted herself 24/7 to being a mom, neglecting her own friends, career goals, and hobbies. Even though her kids are older now and can take care of themselves, she still struggles to define who she is beyond being their caregiver.” – GFTurnedIntoTheMoon
“You have a sexist for a husband. Don’t let him make you feel like you’re not enough of a mother because you occasionally travel for work. Even if it was for fun you’d be no less of a real mom.”
“NTA but at this point, his views are more than clear. And he’s unlikely to change.” – elistar24
The subReddit was concerned on the OP’s behalf with this one as her husband’s concerns about her working and traveling for work appeared controlling.