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Husband Called Out For Secretly Unplugging Wifi So Pregnant Lawyer Wife Would Stop Working

Pregnant woman working from home on a couch with laptop
Emilija Manevska / Getty Images

Self-care has become a mantra of sorts.

The idea that we need to be kind and generous with ourselves is a beautiful and correct concept, one that not everyone shares.

Sometimes, people feel better when they’re working hard.

So, what happens when your loved one falls into his category, and you’re afraid it’s doing more harm than good?

That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) SeaMethod9837 when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.

He asked:

“AITA for shutting off the home wifi so that my wife would stop working?”

First, the relevant background.

“I (35) have been married to my wife Jen (30) for three years, and before that we dated for six years… she is also 32 weeks (eight months) pregnant with twins.”

“She’s my best friend, and I absolutely adore her, with one minor flaw, she is a huge workaholic/perfectionist.”

“While we both have very well-paying jobs, Jen’s job is way more stressful and time-demanding.”

“Even though she is brilliant and amazing at what she does, she often works around the clock (on average, 60-hour weeks) at home and in the office.”

A doctor’s mandate changed things.

“This wasn’t a problem before, but about two weeks ago, her doctor told her to take a step back from work (i.e., go on leave early) because the stress was starting to cause her a couple of health issues, even though the babies are fine.”

“However, being the workaholic that she is, she has still been working from her laptop 6-8 hours every day.”

“Which, fine, I understand that she had a couple of cases that she needed to finish.”

“But most days she was so focused on work that she was forgetting to eat meals and falling asleep at her desk.”

“So, yesterday, when I got home, I realized that she had done the same thing again.”

“I woke her up and told her that she needed to go rest in bed.”

“She insisted she was fine and said there was an emergency with a client of hers, and she just needed to finalize some things for a coworker.”

“I asked her just to take a break first and take a nap/eat, but she said that she would once she was done and that it wouldn’t take her more than an hour.”

“I told her fine, but no longer than an hour, even though I was pretty annoyed.”

OP took matters into his own hands.

“So, two hours later, when she was still working, I became frustrated and unplugged the Wi-Fi and put the cable out of sight.”

“The only purpose of this was to cut her off from work on her laptop because she clearly had no intention of stopping.”

“Once she realized, she yelled at me, called me an AH, and she said that I was treating her like a child and accused me of being controlling, condescending, and ‘borderline abusive.”‘

“I told her that she is being stupid and just to let the coworker that asked for her help to handle it.”

“I said that she was free to use the mobile hotspot on her phone or figure out the router herself, but otherwise, I would plug it back in when I woke up (which I did).”

“She was so mad that she slept in the guest room, and when I went to apologize the next morning for calling her stupid (not for cutting the internet) she said that she can’t even look at me.”

“She hasn’t said another word to me yet.”

“I’m starting to feel like I might have been a bit extreme, even if I only did it out of concern.”

“But honestly, overdoing it by trying to meet deadlines that she’s not even supposed to be responsible for.”

He was left to wonder,


Having explained the situation, OP turned 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: YTA

Commenters didn’t hold back.


“‘She said that I was treating her like a child.'”

“You are.”

“‘[She] accused me of being controlling, condescending, and ‘borderline abusive”.’

“If the shoe fits?”

“To a certain extent, I get your concern, especially if her doctor said to limit stress.”

“Does she need a better work/life balance? Probably.”

“But the way you deal with that concern is NOT by taking away your wife’s autonomy.”

“That’s just unacceptable in a relationship.”

“And frankly, given that your wife IS a perfectionist and worried about work deadlines, you probably caused her a lot more stress by cutting her off from the WiFi.”

“Hiding the cable and demanding that she go take a nap like she’s a naughty five-year-old.” ~ anthony___fell


“‘I told her fine, but no longer than an hour even though I was pretty annoyed.'”

“This right here is controlling and condescending before we even get to the ridiculous wifi stunt.”

“Your wife is an adult and gets to make her own choices.”

“If you disagree so vehemently with those choices, you can choose to make an issue out of it.”

“But just unilaterally making the choice for her, over her objections, about her own health, is everything your wife told you it was, emphasis on the ‘condescending.”‘

“If you think your wife actually has an addiction or a serious problem with her work patterns (which does sound like a thing you wouldn’t be out of line for worrying about).”

“Then you should tell her that and push for therapy, not go behind her back and sabotage her decisions when you don’t agree with them.” ~ coitus_introitus

Some thought everyone was in the wrong here.

“Surprised there isn’t more ESH here. I have no idea why she’s getting a free pass”

“She sucks because her addiction to work is risking her health, the baby’s health and their relationship”

“He sucks because he went about this terribly. Both of them need to learn to communicate” ~ nate4721


“She’s absolutely in the wrong.”

“Even though the doctor stated the babies’ health is currently fine, stress from not eating or sleeping properly will affect their health if it continues.”

“She clearly can’t moderate her own work habits.”

“While his methods suck, OP was right to take control.”

“Sometimes we (all people) need our partner to stop us from hurting ourselves. People get tunnel vision and don’t realize what they’re doing.”

“ESH.” ~ KasLea82

Others shared personal stories to commiserate.

“I’m also an attorney and a workaholic.”

“When I was pregnant, it was a huge adjustment to take a step back towards the end of my pregnancy.”

“I was trying to finish up whatever I could.”

“I also needed the distraction because my whole life was about to change.”

“I’d flip if my husband cut off my internet. It would surely mean that I would be way more stressed.”

“My husband would tell me to take a step back or not work too late but cutting off the internet would have been detrimental.” ~ tealpuppies

“Yeah, the last week before mat leave, I was up til 11 every night finishing up a trial.”

“I skipped meals.”

“I didn’t get enough sleep.”

“I would’ve been way worse off, though, if someone decided to f over my job because they decided they knew better than me.”

“The baby will be fine with a few days of less-than-ideal conditions. Babies have been born healthy for millennia in much worse conditions.”

“ETA: Husband brought me meals and drinks and vitamins. Like an adult.” ~ Disruptorpistol

“As a former Big Law employee, absolutely.”

“Given the billing hour requirements, I would have to average 60-hour work weeks (not all time is billable).”

“Knowing I had a few weeks during which I couldn’t work – would do the arithmetic and see I had to average 80 hrs a week, knowing that any more unexpected days off would increase that 80 hrs.”

“OP YTA” ~ jewishgeneticlottery

OP did return with an update.

“So, uh yeah… I wrote this thinking it would get 20 comments at most.”

“Jen and I had a calm discussion about last night pretty much immediately after I posted.”

“She called me on my sh*t, told me that I only stressed her out more by cutting the internet (something a lot of people pointed out).”

“And we both decided what we would respond if the other person was acting in a way that was harmful to our family so that we both would feel respected.”

“I apologized for calling her stupid, and she apologized for calling me abusive… as it turns out, neither of us meant the name-calling.”

“I promised to trust her judgment. She promised not to overdo it with work.”

“I mentioned that we should go to therapy at least once before the boys are born, and she also thought it was a good idea.”

“We made up, got burgers, and she passed out on the couch.”

“But I do agree that I was in the wrong here, and I accept my YTA judgment. It’s deserved, and I’m going to work on myself.”

“Side note: It is horrifying that so many people were able to able to make out exactly what she does from what little I said about her job.”

“(She is a pretty kick-@ss attorney tho)”

Self-care is a vital part of living a safe and healthy life.

But self-care doesn’t always look like spa days or yet another re-watch of your favorite show.

Sometimes it can look like hard work, intensive focus, or even a fair bit of stress.

While it can be tempting to step in, the effort can do more harm than good and can be seen as controlling or even infantilizing.

Be kind, of course, but remember that kindness doesn’t always look the same to everyone.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.