Chances are you probably have someone in your life who has poor time management skills.
You invite that person to something, and you can count on the fact that they will always be late, without fail.
But is it wrong to lie to someone about what time an important event actually starts in anticipation that they will arrive to it late?
Redditor Chewychew5150 recently encountered this situation with his chronically tardy wife, so he turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if he was in the wrong for his actions.
“AITA for telling my wife that she needed to be at my graduation an hour before she needed to because she is always late for things?”
The original poster (OP) started by laying out the stark differences between his and his wife’s relationships with time.
“I (27m[ale]) have been with my wife (27f[emale]) for 8 years. For 5 of those years I was in the military and I developed the habit of being early for everything I do.”
“It is a huge pet peeve of mine if people are late for things when they could have been on time. If something happens out of your control and you are late then I totally understand.”
“My wife is the type of person who is always late. Throughout our relationship she has made us late for events and it has been embarrassing.”
But there was one incident that left the OP reeling.
“One of the worst incidents was when I was home on leave. We were planning on meeting my mom for breakfast ( I haven’t seen in two years) at 9:00am.”
“I told my wife the day before that I want to leave our place at 8:30 so we can get there by 8:50. We both wake up at 7:00 and I’m ready by 8:00.”
“At that point she hasn’t even started to get ready. I remind her multiple times that we need to leave by 8:30 but she kept saying ‘we have time and I’ll be fast’.”
“She didn’t start getting ready until 8:30. Long story short we were a hour late and we lost our reservation because of it.”
“I was pissed but kept it to myself until we got home. I told her that I hated that she always made us late and it can be embarrassing sometimes.”
“She apologized and said she would work on it. It never got any better. If anything she would get short with me if I mention the time.”
When the OP’s graduation from the police academy came around, he came up with a secret plan.
“Fast forward 3 years and I was graduating the police academy. The graduation was set to begin at 10:00am and people could start showing up at 9:15.”
“Well…knowing my wife and not wanting her to be walking in as the ceremony was beginning, I told her that the graduation started at 9:15 and she needed to be there at 8:30 to find parking.”
“Well sure enough I see her driving in AT 9:15!!! Of course I was a little pissed but glad that my plan worked. The rest of the graduation went as planned and I was happy.”
The plan backfired, however, when his wife learned what time the ceremony was actually scheduled to begin.
“Afterwards a group of us and our spouses went out to celebrate. At one point my wife mentions that she was lucky that the ceremony got pushed back or she was going to be late.”
“My friends were confused and told her that they saw her car and that she showed up right on time. My wife then asked what time was the ceremony supposed to start?”
“They all said 10:00am. At that point my wife just stared at me and I knew she was pissed.”
The OP’s wife felt manipulated.
“When we got home my wife blew up on me! She said she was pissed that I lied to her and didn’t understand why I did.”
“I told her that I knew that she would be late and so I told her a slightly earlier time to be safe. She said she was hurt and felt that I had manipulated her.”
But when the OP pointed out that his plan worked, his wife shut down.
“This is where I might be the a**hole.”
“I said ‘how do you think I feel? I told you that the graduation started at 9:15 and you were still late! You knew how hard I worked throughout the academy and you couldn’t even be on time for this one occasion.'”
“She got quiet and just said she’s going to bed. She has barely spoken to me over the last couple days and I don’t know if I was too harsh.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
They confirmed that the OP was NTA for doing what he needed to do, but warned him that he should be prepared to let her learn her lesson the hard way in the future.
“NTA. I wouldn’t bother tricking her anymore, but I also certainly wouldn’t wait for her. Next time you tell her that you need to leave by 8.30, then you leave at 8.30.”
“If she is not ready, she gets left behind. If she is meeting you somewhere and she is late, leave.”
“Every time she is so late, she is telling everyone that her time is more valuable than theirs. It is rude and inconsiderate.”—Nothanksimallgood
“This the right take. My mother did this to us as children (probably not the best idea really) but it only took being left behind once or twice for you to be ready when she said you had to be ready.”
“As an upside, as an adult it never takes me more than five minutes to be ready to leave the house.”—eliraetherock
“NTA, but you need to stop letting her make you late for events. With the breakfast with your mom, you should have left in time to meet your mom when you said you would.”
“Wife can drive herself, take an Uber or stay home. You accommodating her gives her no incentive to change and she does not respect other people enough to do it out of courtesy.”
“So hold to your own standards and she can reap the consequences of doing as she pleases. I know you really wanted her at the graduation so I don’t blame you for what you did but that trick won’t work as a regular thing.”—NotThisAgain234
“I agree. When you let her make you late to meet your mom, that meant your mom had to wait an hour by herself at a restaurant she didn’t even get to eat at.”
“When I’m sure she was so excited to see her child after months apart! You prioritized your wife’s lack of respect over your MOTHER’s time and love.”—Calmandwise
It wasn’t long before other Redditors weighed in with their own lateness horror stories.
“NTA. I literally had to lie to my mom about doctor’s appointments, school events, games, anything that involved a time because she is always late.”
“I still to this day have to lie to her about what time events start. It never occurred to her that being late affected everyone around us.”
“I’d constantly get punished at practice if I was late. We’ve missed doctors appointments that I needed for being late and she’d raise hell but it was her fault. It was embarrassing.”
“I may have an unpopular opinion and hurt some feelings but it is not cute to be ‘fashionably late’. It’s not cool to always be late showing up to dates, appointments, whatever, etc etc.”
“To me personally, you’re telling me that you don’t value my time or me at all because if you did you’d make the effort to show up accordingly. Your wife should take some personal accountability and apologize in my opinion.”—pdaddyfire
“The date thing – I used to make exceptions for people, but if you can’t be on time for a first date, it’s a bad sign for how seriously you take things later.”—dftaylor
“I had an ex-boyfriend who was always late for everything. It’s one of the main reasons that he is an ex.”
“It’s so disrespectful. I recognize some people genuinely do have a problem processing time, but usually it’s just the person caring enough to make an effort to be on time.”—Far_Administration41
One Redditor who admitted to having poor time management even weighed in to blast the OP’s wife.
“I am one of said people who has no concept of time passing. 10 minutes, 30 minutes, and an hour can all feel the same to me.”
“I also am very aware of this problem and actively try to ‘lie to myself’ about the time so that I won’t be late because I really hate doing this to people.”
“Maybe I’m not upset by this tactic because I do it myself, and because I learned it from my parents who did it to try and help, but I genuinely don’t understand why OP’s wife is upset *with him* instead of *herself*.”—JeSuisSortie522
Perhaps the OP’s wife should take the criticism to heart and realize that her lack of consideration for others’ time is doing some real damage to those she cares about.
If she doesn’t, she’s bound to eventually get left behind.