College is a big investment.
Two to Four years of tests, books, essays, and everything else is a tremendous amount to commit to, and that’s even before the costs get involved.
What happens, though, when the college commitment falters and you’re the one left holding the bag?
This was the question which brought Redditor and Original Poster (OP) HocusFocusBogus to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for guidance.
“AITA for not doing my wife’s assignments for her anymore?”
First, a quick background and introduction.
“My wife is 23, I’m 25, we were married last November.”
“She did not go to college after high school.”
“She just really did not enjoy school and didn’t want to, at that time, take on the 4-year degree.”
“She got the itch though, to at least get an associate’s degree, she felt like it would give her a sense of fulfillment.”
Then he got right to the issue at hand.
“The problem, more and more frequently, was that I was doing the work for her.”
“She’d have a paper due, for example, and rather than take it on herself, she’d beg me, guilt trip me really, do a whole cutesy puppy dog pout, sad eyes, ‘Baby, c’mon please, I love you’ thing, top it off with hugs and kisses, until I cracked.”
“I’d type up a paper and she’d go in, keep most of it, but would change it a bit so it sounded like her.”
“I felt guilty from the start because A) it’s dishonest and B) if I’m doing the work then she’s not learning anything and it’s just me going to college again.”
“The guilt became too much, I told her I was done, and that her work was going to have to be hers.”
“She feels that I’m abandoning her and not fulfilling the role of being a helpful partner.”
“She wants to find a happier medium wherein, I’m still doing a chunk of the work, but, not so much that guilt comes in, which, I don’t think can be done.”
“She says if and when her grades tank, I’ll be the one to blame.”
He was left wondering:
Having laid out the problem, OP was left to seek guidance from Reddit.
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 responses were very pragmatic.
“NTA aside from the fact that you shouldn’t have to be doing college again instead of her when it was her decision to go, how does she expect to get a sense of fulfillment from something she is not even doing?”
“If her grades tank it’s not your fault, the only thing that’s your fault is that she wasn’t tanking in the first place.”
“If you’re going to be doing all the work, then the fancy piece of paper at the end should have your name on it.” ~BazTheBaptist
Others had a more nuanced view of the situation.
“The sense of fulfillment comes from the degree itself.”
“It’s a pretty common narrative that without some kind of degree, we’re not worthwhile as employees (even for jobs that don’t actually require degrees), and since our work is all wrapped up with our self-worth, then we can feel that we’re also not worthwhile as people.”
“Lots of us get fed that narrative.”
“Probably therapy from someone who doesn’t equate job titles/salaries/degrees with human worth would be more useful to her than an associate’s degree.”
“OP, you can always offer to help her write her own papers if she really wants to go on with this.”
“Lots of people just don’t know where to start, or get overwhelmed by things like formatting or citing sources which are relatively simple if you know what you’re doing but confusing as hell if you don’t.”
“Depending on how she’s doing it, her college might also offer some type of writing resource that she can check out, and you may be able to help her find it or figure out how to use it.”
“There are lots of ways to help someone do the work without doing it for them.”
“OTOH, does she really need this?”
“An AA degree, if that’s what she’s doing, doesn’t usually do much beyond allowing you to transfer to a 4-year program, and from the way you describe it, it doesn’t really sound like she’s up for that.”
“Does she work? Does she need this to move up to a particular position? Does she have goals that depend on getting a certain degree?”
“Or does she just want to have one so that she can say she has one?”
“Do all the people around her have degrees? If so, she may be feeling inferior — but a college degree is not something everyone needs, and not having one doesn’t make a person less valuable or competent.”
“It may keep them out of some fields and jobs, but it doesn’t mean they can’t excel in others.”
“NTA for not doing the work for her, but I think you guys need to talk about why she’s doing this and whether she really needs to.”
“It’s really OK if writing a bunch of college papers is not her thing. It doesn’t mean someone else needs to do that for her, but it may mean that she needs to find a way to be happy and productive without a degree.”
“Which is doable.” ~Old-Elderberry-9946
Responses were critical of OP’s wife.
“NTA.. she sounds manipulative af.”
“She needs to do her own work.”
“Why did she even go back to school if she can’t do the homework herself?”
“Don’t let her guilt trip you.”
“If an instructor ever found out, she would be in trouble.”~juicydreamer
While concern was shown for OP’s career.
“Are you required to hold any professional registrations for your job?”
“If so, if found out this could well lose your registration due to honesty and integrity regulations.”
“It’s certainly the case with my registration that ‘committing or aiding qualification fraud’ is specifically listed on reasons to lose it and thus my job.”~Cookyy2k
Though, not everyone let OP off the hook.
“You for doing her work and her for guilting you.”
“You need to flip it. She does her work, then you go over it.”~FussyBritchesMama
College is a big commitment
The commitment though isn’t just to get the fancy piece of paper at the end, the promise is to work and learn and better yourself along the way.