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Guy Balks When Wife Threatens To Stop Paying For His Therapy Unless He Looks For A Job

Nik Shuliahin/Unsplash

When someone we love is struggling, whether it’s financially or physically or emotionally, we tend to do what we can to help them out.

But like any other situation, there are people who might take advantage of our kindness, confided the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Seven_Lands127 was fed up when her husband repeatedly stated that he was unable to go back to work yet, despite his otherwise expensive lifestyle.

When the in-laws got involved, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she had been too harsh.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my husband that I’ll stop paying for everything, including his therapy, if he doesn’t start looking for a job?”

The OP’s husband struggled with his mental health.

“My husband (32 [MaleG) and I (33 [Female]) have been together for a total of 4 years.”

“He’s dealt with depression and anxiety since 2019. He completely shut down, quit his job, sold his car, emptied his savings and stopped seeing friends and family, and started spending his day doing nothing. Not a thing, none.”

“It took months before realizing he was dealing with a mental health issue and I’ve arranged for him to see a therapist. He was against it at first but then agreed to give it a try.”

“He got better and his quality of life improved. He regained his quality of life, he started going out and became sociable, he bought a new car and did a 180% makeover from hair, clothes, and working out, and even adopted 2 dogs.”

When he started getting better, the OP hoped he would get a job.

“It was miraculous and I was happy that he got his life back.”

“Except that he still doesn’t work, and not only that, but he used my money to get this transformation done.”

“When I tried to talk to him about finding a job since he’s now doing well, he’d try to put the idea off and say he needs more therapy to be ready to start committing to a job and start working.”

“This went on for months and he jumped from a therapist to therapist and still said he is not ready to look for a job yet goes out with friends, eats out, buys new Gadgets and a now a screen to watch his fav shows.”

The OP had enough.

“Last night we had a huge argument after I found out he bought a $200 wrist watch for himself using my credit card.”

“I couldn’t handle it and I shouted at him that it was time for him to find a job.”

“He tried to use the ‘I’m still not ready for this kind of commitment yet’ line, but I blocked his attempt and told him I’d stop paying for everything including his therapy.”

“He got mad and replied that threatening to stop paying for everything, even his therapy, will set him back and we both won’t get where we want to be.”

“I told him he was a hypocrite for saying he’s not ready to look for a job since he’s living completely normal and, may I say, lavish life?”

“He called me unbelievable and walked out.”

The in-laws got involved.

“He called his mom, telling her I was losing it, and she got in the middle, telling me off about what I said and told me to have some sympathy for him as he’s still struggling to regain his strength.”

“I told her to stay out of it, which caused more rage from my inlaws.”

“They’re arranging for a meeting with me but I don’t plan on going which might make matters worse.”

“I just think at this point he’s milking it.”

“AITA for my stance?”

“What is worse is that now I’m the bad guy in my in-law’s eyes. They accused me of trying to hold his progress back when I said I won’t pay for therapy anymore and financially keep controlling him and claimed that I’m preventing him from getting better.”

The OP also added a few more details about the depth of the situation in the comments:

“He has access to them and lately has spent so much money that I’d need a second job to make up for everything I’ve lost from those cards.” 

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 said the husband was using the OP.

“He’s taking advantage of poor OP. He’s conveniently ‘not ready’ for all the stuff he just doesn’t want to do and then runs to mommy when OP puts her foot down?”

“She deserves a partner, not an adult-sized child.” – enjoyyouryak

“They’ve been together for four years and he’s been like this for three? I can’t believe they even got married.”

“I’m not one to knock mental issues (got a few, here!) but the moment it becomes someone else’s problem, you can’t expect special treatment.”

“Being depressed sucks. Blaming being depressed in order to use your partner’s credit card for luxury items and not get a job is being a bad person.”

“I’m also suspicious of the therapist-hopping. It can take a while to find a good one, but the way he’s going from person to person, it seems he’s only meeting with them until they point out that depression isn’t his only issue.” – mr_trick

“The kicker for me is – I understand long bouts of depression, I’ve had them – but he’s now acting like he’s no longer depressed. He just doesn’t want to work and as such has decided OP is going to fund his new lifestyle.”

“I’d divorce him at this point, but I’m not OP.”

“So OP, you need to decide what you want, but please don’t feel like you have to be trapped in this nonsense.”

“It sounds like he at the very least doesn’t have respect for you and more likely – is a gold digger.” – EllasEnchanting

Others said the in-laws should take over.

“How can you be ready for the commitment of a relationship/marriage when you can’t commit to going to work for a few hours?”

“His parents should be homing him and helping him if he’s that needy and they’re so concerned for his recovery on your dollar.”

“He is riding the gravy train hard. Don’t let this continue OP; this is ridiculous.” – coconutville

“OP, send his mom the credit card bills, the going-out-with-friends bills, the hair/clothing bills, etc., and tell her she can pay for his not-ready-to-work lifestyle.” – teachprof

“If she (mother-in-law) wants him to continue therapy, she can pay for it.”

“NTA OP, and I would seriously question my marriage at this point if I were you.” – child_of_air

After she was criticized by her husband and his family, the OP felt conflicted, but the subReddit was certain she was in the right. She had spoken up about an issue that can be difficult in any household, finances, and it sounds like her husband has far larger issues to attend to than just paying bills.

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.