in , ,

Mom Of Two Livid After Hospice Nurse Husband Needs Time To Relax After Work Before Helping

stressed nurse relaxes at home
StockBird/Getty Images

Some jobs are more stressful than others.

True, a poor work environment can make any job a nightmare, but some careers are naturally more upsetting.

For example, providing hospice care—to children.

Hospice helps people with a terminal illness die comfortably while surrounded by family and friends in a less clinical environment than a hospital.

Anyone whose profession involves dying, suffering children definitely has daily stress to process. But a hospice nurse who specializes in caring for children found himself in his wife’s crosshairs over his after-work decompression routine.

After a confrontation with his wife, he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

VegetableMenu1505 asked:

“AITA for snapping at my wife to get out of my room and calling her a brat?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“For context, I (34, male) work as a hospice nurse in my country, specifically for children. This job means a lot to me, but it can get very overwhelming and hard to function, especially seeing small children suffer.”

“And it is a good fit for me. This job lets me help kids in the most vulnerable position and provide well for my family.”

“A lot of jobs have one without the other.”

“I am a very calm person, and my friend who is a therapist recommended meditation after work. We get monthly assessments at work to see if we can cope with job.”

“It sounds morbid, but I love my job because it helps innocent souls pass away in a comforting and loving situation.”

We also live in a nice house, and my kids go to private school, so it’s a very comfortable living situation because of my job.”

“My wife (37, female) is a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) to our kids (10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter). After work, I need to spend 30 minutes to1 hour by myself just to let go of all the negativity and sadness and stress I have.”

“I say ‘hi’ and give them a kiss and hug before going to my room. My kids are very sweet and calm, and they don’t get overexcited when I come home.”

“And before you jump to conclusions, after this time to myself I give my wife a break. I take the kids to school and prepare breakfast so she can sleep in.”

“After meditation, I take over the cooking of dinner if she started it, make snacks for the kids for the next day, help with homework and washing dishes and any other pending housework.”

“I take the kids to school and make breakfast.”

“So from 8:00-3:30 she is alone without the kids. Then when I finish work at 7 pm and meditation, she has about another 3-ish hours by herself.”

“The kids go to bed at 10:30-11:00, and before you yell at me, they wake up at 6:30, which is 7 hours of sleep plus a nap when they come back from school.”

“I think it’s a cultural thing because it’s a norm here to go to bed late and wake up early. We take naps in our culture, so I guess it depends on the country you raise your kids.”

“I meal prep on Sunday night for dinners, snacks, and breakfast, so I need to take it out to let it thaw, then I meditate, then I cook it.”

“Then I help with homework, put them to bed, and then wash dishes or do odd housework and talk to my wife until we feel sleepy.”

“After I come out she doesn’t help with the kids. She can chill, watch a movie, anything.”

“She just needs to come for dinner and bedtime.”

“On Saturday, the kids go to have fun with both sets of grandparents so we can chill by ourselves. I take my wife on date night every Saturday. We do laundry together three times a week.”

“My wife has recently just been slamming into my room—it’s just a tiny room with a mattress and a mini fridge with Coca-Cola in it—and demanding I take over or do something instead of just ‘sulking’ in my room.”

“She doesn’t want a job—she likes staying home—so I can’t cut down my hours because it’s a set schedule.”

“It’s especially annoying when you’re meditating and someone just starts screaming at you nonstop.”

“I have talked to her, but she says it’s selfish that she has take care of the kids while I ‘act like a kid and cry and get drunk over my job’.”

“I told her that it is hard for me and that I don’t drink.”

“It is emotionally draining, so I don’t want to bring that negativity into my family.”

“Before we dated and my kids were born, I was an alcoholic. But I haven’t drunk alcohol in 13 years. I turned sober because my sister died because of drunk driving.”

“She likes to throw this in my face every time we get into an argument about anything. I don’t know why because it actually does hurt my feelings, and I have asked her to knock it off, but she doesn’t listen.”

“I try talking to her about why she’s upset, but she blows up at me. And I asked several times as gently as possible for marriage counseling but she doesn’t want it.”

“Recently, she just started to scream at me while I was meditating, so I snapped at her to just get out because she’s acting like a brat.”

“I should have not snapped at her, but it’s hard to breathe when someone is right in your face screaming about how much you suck.”

“She went silent and is now giving me the silent treatment.”


After some questions, the OP added:

“I meditate in my room—that’s all. This was recommended to me by my therapist friend and my work-appointed therapy sessions. All my friends do it because it helps us unwind.”

“I have explained to my kids that just how they need a nap after school, daddy also needs a little nap before he can come and play and help with homework. They understand, and my daughter frequently gives me her sleep stuffy of the day.”

“I have a 5-minute commute home because my work provides a bus to take us home if we live within 15 miles. In the morning, I walk, but at night, it’s too dark and slippery, so I take the bus.”

“She and I were distant friends while I was an alcoholic. We got together a year after I became sober.”

“She chooses not to go back to a job, and she also isn’t that social, so she mostly stays home.”

“She doesn’t have girlfriends. She doesn’t want to. She is free until 3:30 pm, so I don’t know why she doesn’t socialize or anything.”

“She has refused marriage counseling.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I stay in my room for 30 minutes-1 hour after work. I called my wife a brat and snapped at her to get out of my meditation room.”

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 were divided in their judgment, with some saying OP was the a**hole (YTA).

“YTA. I just lost my mom to cancer in Hospice, so I am especially sensitive to what you do. I am also a SAHM myself so I am sensitive to your wife’s burnout as well.”

“My suggestion is that you find a different place to decompress after work. Your family expects and needs you to be present as soon as you walk in the door.”

“It’s not fair to your wife or kids for you to come home, appear in their lives, and then disappear again for an hour, no matter how much you need it or how noble your intentions.” ~ kelsnuggets

“YTA. You know it. I can’t think of anything more demeaning in the circumstances than ‘brat’. And if I’m not mistaken, you consider this small room yours alone.”

“You and your wife are both 100% responsible for caring for the children 100% of the time. You can’t just pick and choose when parenting is convenient.”

“So, if you come home and your wife can’t do it, then you have to, and if you can’t, then she has to.”

“You can’t assume that she will assume sole responsibility from when you leave in the morning until you come home at night and then while you decompress for an hour.”

“You want to meditate in your own room while she’s tearing her hair out. That’s crazy talk.” ~ NearbyButterfly8785

Others thought everyone sucked (ESH).

“ESH—it’s not ‘helping’, it’s parenting. Does your wife also have her own room?”

“Also, it’s not okay for her to call you a baby.” ~ ProfessionalShoe430

“ESH. Don’t call her names, and she should give you some time alone.” ~ INFPneedshelp

But the majority decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA. Pediatric oncology and veterinary medicine are the two medical professions with the highest stress. OP seems to be oncology-adjacent, so it’s no wonder he’s dealing with a high rate of stress.”

“But those jobs are necessary. If OP needs time to decompress after work, he should have it.”

“The wife screaming at him and throwing accusations of drinking—knowing that he’s a recovering alcoholic—is out of line. I’d say borderline, if not fully, emotionally abusive.”

“I’m not sure under those circumstances him finding a place to meditate before coming home would be useful. She’d just berate him for not coming home immediately.” ~ sheath2

“NTA. If your kids were under 4, I could understand the feeling whether it’s justified or not. But at 10 and 6 they’re old enough to not really need any help for the 1/2-1 hour you need to decompress.”

“Sounds like she also despises you. Calling you a baby for having feelings working with dying, sick kids is a weird level of callous.” ~ PoppaJolas

“Being a SAHM isn’t that busy when the kids are in school every day, and the working spouse cooks their breakfasts and dinners, prepares their snacks, takes them to school in the morning, and helps them with their homework in the evening.”

“OP’s wife has a very large chunk of every weekday to do as she pleases.”

“She reacts to the terrible stress and strain of spending a few hours (like 3‽) supervising her 10- and 6-year-old children every weekday afternoon by verbally abusing her husband for daring to take up to an hour for himself.”

“After she’s had 6-7 hours to herself, don’t forget. OP is absolutely NTA, but his wife is a huge one.” ~ GothicGingerbread

It sounds like some adult conversations need to take place.

But if the wife refuses to participate in counseling and can’t stay calm, the OP will need to make some decisions about his job and his marriage.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.