A person’s disability can greatly transform or impact their quality of life.
And it can do the same for the people in their immediate circle.
The “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit pointed this out to a 31-year-old man who had called out his wife for making a poor judgment.
Redditor AITAquestion11 was arguably upset for a justifiable reason.
But there was more waiting for him when the Original Poster (OP) reached out to the subReddit.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for how I reacted when my wife made me spend the night at my in-laws’ house when I wanted to go home?”
The OP’s and his wife’s relationship recently changed.
“I became wheelchair-bound 16 [months] ago due to a spinal cord injury.”
“I’ve struggled a lot during those difficult times. I went to therapy and that’s when things started getting easier.”
“I started learning to adapt and function like anybody else. I try to be independent.”
“My wife supports me a lot. She helps with heavy work that I’m incapable of handling.”
Then the OP’s wife said she wanted to have a girls’ night.
“We’d visit her family from time to time only for a few hours.”
“Yesterday she wanted us to go visit her family. And asked if I could spend the night there because she had friends come over for something like a girl’s night in.”
“I told her it’s okay, I’d just be in my room sleeping, since I go to bed at 10.”
“But she tried to convince me to stay with her family so the girls could have more privacy and might be loud. [She said] that her friends have done the same thing by getting their husbands out of their houses on GNIs (girls nights in).”
“I already told her I can’t sleep anywhere else other than my room. She dropped it and we went to visit her family.”
But apparently, that wasn’t the end of the conversation.
“At my in-laws, she was with her mom in the backyard while I was taking a nap in the living room.”
“She left while I was sleeping. My brother-in-law told me she wanted me to spend the night with them.”
“I was mad. I just wanted to go home and sleep in my room.”
“I don’t like spending time away from home and sleeping in another place. I literally lose sleep if I’m not home.”
“I kept calling her and sent her a text telling her to come to pick me up.”
“My mother-in-law convinced me to stay eventually, but I couldn’t help but feel mad.”
“I stayed up all night till she showed up in the morning. We didn’t talk till we got home.”
The wife didn’t think it was a big deal.
“I asked her why she ignored my opinion and made me spend the night away from home, causing me to stay up all night, knowing I wasn’t comfortable.”
“And she started arguing with me, saying it was not a big deal and that I’m overreacting. Her friends wanted some space, and it was unreasonable of me to be mad.”
“I lashed out at her because I felt like she made the decision despite hearing my opinion and being inconsiderate of my feelings.”
Others sided against the OP as well.
“She called me unbelievable and called my parents to try to explain to me that I overreacted.”
“My parents said I was being pushy and overdramatic. That it wasn’t like she left me at the store or the park.”
“They said I was being annoying and whiny and have no appreciation and respect for my wife’s wishes.”
“My sister said my wife probably was tired of looking after me and wanted me out of the house, so she could relax and enjoy her time without looking after me.”
“[My wife is] not talking to me and wants me to apologize for reacting this way.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some Redditors were concerned about red flags.
“NTA, yikes. Those are some massive red flags from both your wife and the rest of your family.”
“I know the stakes were fairly low in this particular scenario, but the fact that they used your inability to drive to physically trap you in a situation you didn’t want to be in… that’s every disabled person’s worst nightmare.”
“What’s worse is that it seems premeditated; your wife couldn’t convince you to do what she wanted willingly, so she manipulated the situation to where you no longer had a choice. That’s terrifying.”
“There are plenty of other red flags, like your wife calling your parents to bring them into a disagreement that’s none of their business, your wife/parents invalidating your feelings by calling you ‘overreacting’ and ‘overdramatic’, and your sister implying that you are a burden.”
“As bad as these all are, I can’t get over the concept that they would use your disability to manipulate and control you.”
“I would be fuming if I were you. And if my wife/family continued to push back and deny that this was a horrifying thing to do, I would question whether I feel safe around these people.” ~ blahdefreakinblah
“As a disabled person myself, (currently wheelchair bound and have to use a stairlift), it is my worst nightmare to be stuck anywhere else. Add the fact that many disabled people have anxiety about staying other places because of their disability and this woman (OP’s wife) is a disrespectful and discriminative wife.”
“I can’t imagine staying anywhere other than home because everywhere else feels like everything is 10x more difficult.”
“The fact that OP’s family is agreeing with how the wife acted is making me so angry. If my family acted like that (which they never would), I would be so so so so mad at them that I wouldn’t be able to look at them never mind speak to them.”
“They used his disability to their advantage to get what they want because he wouldn’t agree. She could be arrested for negligence and abuse of a disabled person not to mention all the civil lawsuits going around because people discriminate against the disabled.” ~ Blue_icecream88
“‘That it wasn’t like she left me at the store or the park’.”
“No, it IS like she left you at a store or a park.”
“It doesn’t matter where she left you, she intentionally used your disability against you for her own gain. And barring some extreme circumstances, that is completely unacceptable.”
“Any validity she may or may not have had about your unwillingness to leave for girls’ night (and I don’t think she has much, it’s your home too) is completely lost by the fact that she abandoned you somewhere and used your limited mobility against you.”
“She failed to treat you like a person. What she did is out and out abusive.”
“NTA.” – RedoubtableSouth
“Exactly. I don’t see why OP’s wife and her friends couldn’t get some adjoining hotel rooms and have girls’ night at a hotel? Then OP could have stayed in his home with the things he needs to manage for himself, and his wife could have her fun too.”
“Instead, she snuck out while OP was sleeping, which shows that she intended to abandon him there against his will.” – AmenaTM
“She did abuse him. In the best case, she infantilized him due to his disability by deciding she knew best and is weaponizing his parents against him to convince him that she knows best.”
“In the worst case, she used his disability to hold him hostage in a place he’s not comfortable in order to shove him off her plate for a night.”
“Yeah, I might be being a bit extreme in my phrasing, but you know what? If something doesn’t change in her, this will happen again and OP could be left in a worse situation next time. I have too many friends with disabilities to take this any way other than seriously.” – ChaosofaMadHatter
“You’re not being extreme. OP’s post made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.”
“He isn’t being treated like an autonomous adult deserving of respect or even of having his basic needs all met.”
“That line has now been crossed and the fact so many people in his life are down with that? The conditions for abuse are all present. I am concerned for his future.” – NoHandBananaNo
“If that was the case, that the wife needed some time off, wouldn’t it have been better for her to be honest and admit it?”
“I think OP would have been able to handle it better if she said what she felt rather than have her lie and abandon him.”
“OP is definitely NTA.” – WaldoJeffers65
“‘But while OP has experienced a traumatic event, he also needs to try to be empathetic to his wife and recognize that these changes have been super hard on her, too.'”
“Full stop… struggling with mental health issues is never a reason to abuse another person, which is what his wife did here. This is emotional abuse, straight up.”
“Yes, it’s obvious his wife is struggling with carer’s fatigue, but it was totally not okay to go behind his back to get the relief she sought. She screwed him over, made him suffer, and is now demanding that HE apologize to HER for her violating HIS boundaries.”
“It is completely inappropriate and harmful to ask the victim of abuse to empathize with their abuser, which is exactly what you’re doing here.” – chelonioidea
“OP sounds like he is totally aware that his wife is impacted. He does not seem to have any issue with his wife having a GNI. He wants, and I will say still needs at this point, the comfort of his home.”
“His wife is TA, she betrayed OP, and I will say that it sounds like the plan was to ditch him at the in-laws no matter what.”
“This betrayal is not something OP should just let go of.”
“His wife deserves a break, I am sure everyone agrees to that. OP even said he will stay out of their way so they can enjoy their time, so even he agrees.”
“The wife is horribly selfish, though, for ditching OP, and OP does not need to be empathetic to that. HE is not trying to stop her from having downtime.”
“There is zero defense for her actions or kicking him out of his house.” – InstructionPowerful1
“It sounds like Girls Night In is a thing for her friend group because she says other wives have sent their husbands away. I think she really wanted to do it too and took advantage of a power situation to do it against her husband’s wishes.”
“Personally, I think it is kind of an AH move to ask someone to leave their home so you can have a party. Why not just rent a hotel suite and everyone chip in?”
“I mean, is this really a thing for people to tell their spouses to go sleep somewhere else so they can have a party without them?”
“I would have said no too, honestly.” ~ OldMamaSpeaks
A few speculated the wife hadn’t had a girls’ night, but rather was up to something else.
“This was going through my mind as I read this. This situation is full of red flags.”
“She is just an egotistical person who leaves when needed. She is having an affair because she doesn’t see her husband as a man anymore and it makes me sick to my stomach.”
“My mother was in a wheelchair and my father didn’t even think of doing something like that to her” – Maria2709
“This whole story is beyond sketchy.” – ameliarose2
“The issue is this doesn’t sound like a situation where she wanted time to herself. OP would have been asleep? You don’t need to care for an asleep person.”
“OP clearly stated he’s fine just sleeping while they hang out. This isn’t about caregiving.”
“Whether or not it was about sex, I can’t say, but it seems that way.” – RobertDaulson
But many pointed out the OP’s perspective might be off in regards to his wife and parents.
“‘My sister said my wife probably was tired of looking after me and wanted me out the house so she could relax and enjoy her time without looking after me. She’s not talking to me and wants me to apologize for reacting this way’.”
“Okay, I agree that OP is justified in being pissed about being left/ignored! NTA.”
“AND I was thinking exactly what his sister said—his wife, as much as she loves him and is glad to make his life easier, is probably exhausted and needs a real break.”
“Did she go about it the right way? Not At All.”
“But while OP has experienced a traumatic event, he also needs to try to be empathetic to his wife and recognize that these changes have been super hard on her, too. Being a caregiver is … mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting. 100%.”
“For that reason, I’m voting that she’s NOT TA for wanting time completely off (and tbh, one evening isn’t enough)—even tho she IS TA (definitely, no doubt) for how she did it.”
“If OP wants his marriage to survive this trauma, he needs to recognize that he isn’t the only one whose life and expectations have been upended.”
“He isn’t TA here but assuming he wants to stay married, he needs to initiate communication with his wife about both of their needs and different ways they can work together to meet them! Good luck OP (and wife).” – Fiotes
“Yeah I mean that’s totally bonkers and NOTHING excuses her behavior, I just don’t think she’s cheating, I think she’s been through a tough year, not remotely as tough as his but I can imagine her wanting or needing privacy to vent about him or time away from him and handling it completely wrong.” – Dark_fascination
“This is the real reason his parents are so mad: they don’t want it to be them so they call him whiny for not accepting accommodations that are reasonable for them.” – avcloudy
“But we don’t even know how much caregiving she’s doing. I feel everyone’s assuming she’s taking on this huge role in his disability when… she might not be.”
“Most people I’ve met in wheelchairs were pretty independent; what does she really have to do?”
“She probably has to work. And she’s probably the designated driver.”
“But neither of those things have to do with this particular scenario. So what task would she need to be doing while OP’s asleep that he can’t possibly take care of himself?”
“Unless he’s on a ventilator, that logic doesn’t hold up.”
“If it’s just about feeling like a carer… sorry but that’s ridiculous. We don’t make arguments that married people should be given a chance to feel single, or that parents should be given a chance to feel like they’re child free.”
“If you need to escape your life to that extent, where just remembering that you are a carer is draining, maybe you shouldn’t be one.” ~ LordofFullmetal
There’s clearly more to the story here, either that the OP did not share with the subReddit, or that he still needs to discover himself.
Clearly, he needs to talk to his wife about how their relationship has changed, so they can decide what comes next.