The key to a strong family dynamic is support for one another.
And support can be shown in many different ways, such as being present for your loved ones when they need you, and offering simple gestures every now and then which might seem small but could make a world of difference.
And sometimes, the way to show support is taking a few steps back, and giving people the space they need.
Reddtior Dopemaster865 thought that he was offering the support his wife needed when he offered to stay home with the kids and give her the day to go out and enjoy herself.
But his wife felt quite the opposite, even going on to call him “unsupportive” to his face.
Wondering if his wife spoke the truth, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA Am I an unsupportive husband?”
The OP shared how his wife wanted the whole family to accompany her on an upcoming day trip, and did not take kindly to when the OP offered what he thought was a more practical solution.
“My wife wants to drag me and the kids on a 2 hour drive, each direction, so she can go meet up with some high school friends.”
“Neither our kids nor I were invited to join them so we are just along for the ride and then the ‘fun’ of finding something to do in a town that has nothing but box stores for the 4 hours that she is hanging out.”
“Keep in mind it’ll be roughly 95-100 degrees outside as well or else I’d take the kids to a park.”
“I am all for her hanging out with her old friends, but I offered to watch the kids at home instead.”
“This way I can get the kids together with other friends or take them swimming or to the beach etc.”
“They have way more options and my wife can take all the time she wants with her friends.”
“I am being told I’m a selfish a**hole and not supporting her.”
“The only difference is I can do something more fun with the kids and we aren’t stuck in a car for 4 hours when we have nothing to do there anyway.”
“In my mind, that is being supportive.”
“I’m happy to spend time with the kids and to let her have fun with her friends for as long as she wants.”
“The only thing I’d rather not do is get dragged on multiple hours of car rides plus the task of finding something to do in a boring town while I can stay home and have more to do here with the kids.”
“Can someone tell me if I’m being selfish and unsupportive for not being told exactly what and how to do with the time that she won’t be around anyway?”
“Thanks, a totally unsupportive 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
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community firmly stood with the OP and agreed he wasn’t the a**hole for offering to stay home with the kids.
Pretty much everyone agreed that if anyone was at fault in this situation, it was the OP’s wife, for demanding that the OP and the kids tag along for a four hour road trip and then left to their own devices while she had fun with her friends, the logic of which no one could understand.
“Who in their right mind would voluntarily take 2 kids on a 4 hour car ride with no payoff for them?”
“How would you even try to sell that to the kids?”
“Does she need a designated driver and she’s dragging you all along so she can tie one on with her friends?”- cassowary32
“Ask her point blank to describe 1.) Specifically how does she expect you to support her, what form of support does she want, & 2.) What exactly does she think the kids can do, again push for specifics.”
“If she can’t be specific, she is being unfair to you and the kids and making unreasonable demands of both groups.”- GaHistProf
“Why is she so adamant on you and your children coming along, if she isn’t going to be spending time with you lot anyways?”
“Did she give a reason why she want you to come along?”
“I don’t understand the logic there.”- Smellius-Sockus
“I don’t know why your wife wants you to come along, unless it’s because she’s afraid you and the kids will have too much fun without her.”
“But no, you are not being unsupportive by not driving her.”
“Did she say why she wants you to drive her and bring the kids along?”- ChapSteve711
“Maybe your wife has her reasons, but if she does, you deserve to know what they are.”
“Can you ask her why she needs ‘support’ in the form of an escort by her whole family to an event to which they are not invited?”
“Maybe you could show her this post, and that hundreds of people are just as flummoxed as you are.”
“But the bottom line – why on earth is she so dead set on the family making the pain-in-the-a** trip?”
“It’s mind boggling.”- Intrepid_Pay_4798
“Who heck wants to tag along to a place you’re uninvited?”
“Sounds like she just wants a chauffeur for the day.”
“I would put my foot down on this.”
“Compromise and fill the gas tank up before she hits the road or maybe have the house clean when she gets back.”
“It’s too hot for all of that traveling.”-ToothFairy1942
“Your argument is both practical and considerate given the situation.”
“You are doing her and the kids a favor.”
“You have a plan laid out to keep the kids entertained while she’s away.”
“It should be a win win situation.”
“I hazard a guess here she might have taken your argument as ‘whining’ at the time when you started raising key points of the trip being hot, long trip, small town with nothing much to do etc.”
“Just my two cents.”- JTVPreach
“Your wife isn’t an AH for wanting to see her friends, but is an AH for not seeing what a pain you and the kids going would be for you.”
“I can’t understand why she can’t just go by herself?”
“So much easier for everyone that way.”- bokatan778
“She’s being unreasonable.”- Deathispositive
“Soooo, curious what your wife and her friends will be doing?”
“Does she perhaps want a DD but doesn’t want to come out and say it because she knows that would be an AH reason to put you and your kids through that?”- Ok_Year5200
“If she really wants you there for the ride or to show her friends her husband and children in person, is there someone in the area with a home where you and the kids would enjoy spending the day?”
“If not, tell her you’ll do it if you make it a mini-break.”
“Get a hotel with a pool, and you and the kids can hang out there, as well as have it as an air conditioned base.”
“Even the most boring town has fun things you can do there with kids.”
“If there isn’t a science museum, art museum, or local historical or natural interest/beauty spot, find amusements like mini golf, water park, easy hikes, arcade, or just go to the movies.”
“You can have a fun vacation time anywhere.”
“While it would be nice if she could tell you why she doesn’t want to go alone, maybe it’s not something she understands herself.”
“Staying home with the kids would be simpler, but you can make it fun.”
“You’re NTA, and she may not be either, though without knowing her side of the story it’s hard to know.”- Moulin-Rougelach
“Why in the world does she want you along?”
“That sounds rude but, you’d think she’d jump at the chance to have a solo trip to see friends.”-OhLizaLittleLizaJane
“NTA, I really don’t get her logic.”
“I would rather my husband do his own thing with the kids so I could relax and have fun and not worry about rushing in case they got bored.”
“She’s being a little selfish imo.”
“Unless maybe she has some type of surprise planned you don’t know about?”- magicspacehippie
It’s hard not to be confused by any parent who doesn’t see their spouse offering to watch the kids for the day so they could go off and have fun as a sign of “support”.
It’s equally confusing to understand why the OP’s wife thinks it would be a better idea for her children to go on a significant road trip to a place where there’s not much to do rather than stay home and have fun.
Maybe if she just takes a moment and thinks about this, she might come round to a different conclusion, and realize maybe going on a four hour road trip without children isn’t such a bad idea after all.