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Dad Expects To Be Paid To Babysit Kids While Wife Goes To Movies With Single-Father Neighbor

movie theatre popcorn
Tobias Weber / EyeEm/Getty Images

As the saying goes, opposites attract.

Indeed, many married couples don’t see eye to eye on many things.

These differences range from fairly menial, such as taste in food, to fundamental, such as political or religious beliefs.

Redditor AliveLeg61‘s taste in movies veered considerably from those of his wife.

Luckily for her, their neighbor shared her love of a certain genre of films, making it possible for them to enjoy an outing every now and then.

Unlucky for the original poster (OP), these outings meant he was saddled with watching his and his neighbor’s daughters while his wife and neighbor were away.

Leading the OP to feel he was entitled to some compensation.

Wondering if he was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for wanting to be paid for babysitting my own daughter?”

The OP explained why they became a bit annoyed watching his and his neighbor’s daughters for free while his wife and neighbor continued to have fun outings together.

“My (39 M[ale]) wife (34 F[emale]) and I live in a suburban house with our daughter (10 F, Emily).”

“Our neighbor next door (48M, Walter) is a single father with two daughters (14F and 12F).”

“We have been living here for a little more than two years.”

“My wife really likes watching scary movies, but I have never enjoyed them.”

“I get too scared and end up having a bad time, so I prefer to avoid them.”

“Her friends sometimes go with her to the more popular ones, but she also likes older, indies, and foreign horror movies.”

“She has always had a hard time finding people that have this niche interest and that is why it was such a big deal when we met Walter and found out he also shares this tendency.”

“They very quickly started to make plans to watch movies together.”

“I was invited to be a part of this but refused.”

“I prefer to just stay at home babysitting Emily and Walter’s daughter while they are in their cinephile reunions.”

“Sometimes they go to movie theaters, but other times they just stay at Walter’s place watching stuff at his home cinema.”

“They usually have to go to another town in order to catch a specific function of some weird movie, so it is normal for them to come back very late.”

“They eventually started doing stuff outside of watching movies, like going out for dinner.”

“Walter invited all of us, including the kids, to go with him to a restaurant that a friend of his owned but I said no because it was too expensive.”

“I don’t like that kind of place because I feel they are a waste of money and didn’t think the kids would enjoy it either.”

“I insisted on staying with the kids and let the two of them go be themselves.”

“This has become a regular thing, and it is in a way a good deal for me because Walter pays for my wife’s dinner and she can’t no longer complain about me not taking her to fancy restaurants.”

“As both their movie and dinner nights had become so common, I have grown a little tired of the burden of constantly babysitting the girls.”

“I talk to my wife and Walter about it, and he explained that he usually does not like leaving his daughters with babysitters.”

“He says he is really comfortable knowing that they are being watched by an experienced father like me instead of some teenage girl.”

“He nevertheless agreed that it was too much of a load for me and offered to start paying me a standard babysitter fee each time he goes out with my wife.”

“I thought that was a fair approach to the issue, but my wife was fully against it.”

“She says I should not be paid for babysitting my own daughter nor the daughters of a close friend of our family like Walter.”

“We have been arguing about this, but she insists on this notion and it is not open to change.”

“She even gets mad every time I talk to her about this.”

“Walter promised me that he will convince her, but he does not seem to have been able to do so either.”

“Am I the A-hole?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The OP found little to no sympathy from the Reddit community, who all but unanimously agreed he was the a**hole for wanting to be paid for watching his and Walter’s daughters.

Everyone agreed that the OP encouraged his wife to spend time away from home, and thus shouldn’t complain about watching the girls, with many feeling like he pushed his wife right into having an affair.

“YTA for several reasons, two of which are calling taking care of your own kid ‘babysitting’ and not really caring about your marriage.”

“Don’t be surprised if your wife ends up leaving you for Walter if they’re not already having an affair.”- Primary-Criticism929

“Your wife is dating your neighbor, and you think he should pay you?”- sarpon6

“Oh, man YTA.”

“Walter and your wife might have a common interest, but they’ve tried to involve you in things outside of that like going out to eat and you refused, and now you’re complaining about sitting at home and moping and ‘babysitting’ which you CHOSE to do.”

“Also, ticking the box of taking your wife out for a nice dinner by letting someone else do it?”

“So so YTA.”- stirfly93

“YTA For basically outsourcing your wife to the neighbor, you don’t like scary movies ok, but to then say that its great that another man is taking your wife to what is basically dates so you don’t have to?”

“The answer is to try to engage in your wife’s interests and find stuff you two can do together, not to start taking a salary to watch the kids.”- OkDragonfruit9943

“YTA, it’s not babysitting, it’s being a parent.”

“Also, are you aware you’re pushing your wife into the arms of another man?”- elfishpreslley


“Whether, or not you should get paid for babysitting is entirely between you, and your wife’s boyfriend.”-idcpicksmn

“Umm…Walter could leave his daughter home alone.”

“They’re 12 and 14.”

“Assuming they’re not special needs.”

“Either way, YTA, and you’ve got other problems, my friend.”

“Your wife isn’t necessarily having an affair, (especially since they are constantly inviting you and the kids, which you are stupidly refusing) but you are basically just hoping Walter will fulfill all the emotional needs of your wife and you won’t have to put anything into the relationship ever again.”

“It’s a mess.”

“You aren’t babysitting your daughter, you’re parenting.”

“You wanted to do this. It’s just a mess, my friend.”- SwimmingCritical


“I am so glad your wife found her soulmate!”

“Walter and your ex-wife will have a beautiful life together.”-windsofwinterplease


“Worrying when even her future husband can’t persuade her.”- ReviewOk929

“YTA for saying you’re babysitting your own daughter.”

“Also…you don’t find the fact another man is taking your wife out to fancy dinners, having movie nights at HIS place, coming back late, all while leaving the kids with you during that isn’t concerning?”- quackcake

“YTA but it ok because I’m absolutely certain Walter is usually screwing in your wife when they’re ‘watching movies’.”- LN107_SR5


“Walter pays for your wife’s dinner.”

“If you want Walter to also pay you to babysit, then Wife pays for her own dinner.”

“Expecting both makes you the a**hole.”

“It seems you are more into being cheap than spending time with your own wife.”

“You should have accepted that invitation to dinner nights, but you were too cheap.”

“And now you are demanding babysitting money from a fella who treats your wife to a night out.”

“Ouch.”- Sparkle__M0tion

“I can’t wait for the BORU post on this in a couple months ‘AITA for being angry my wife left me for the neighbor’.”-berriiwitch

“YTA and you’re basically asking your wife’s boyfriend to pay you so he can date her lmao.”-Significant_Hat2281

There were a select few, however, who felt that the OP wasn’t exactly in the wrong for wanting to be paid, since Walter offered it, even if they still agreed he was responsible for the situation.

“YTA for referring to watching your own daughter as ‘babysitting’.”

“It‘s called parenting.”

“NTA for watching your neighbor‘s children.”

“He offered to pay for it, that‘s on him.”

“You don‘t get to get paid for watching your OWN daughter as well though.”- realstareyes

It is a bit surprising that the OP would even think of being annoyed by watching the girls when he was the one who encouraged his wife and Walter to go on outings.

Not only that, but even declined their invites to join them, multiple times.

Sadly, it’s hard not to wonder if the Reddit community is right, and Walter and the OP’s wife are, indeed, more than friends.

Or, for that matter, if she might be better off with Walter?

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.