While exciting, being a new parent is hard, and there are so many fears about things that could go wrong with the baby.
But there’s such a thing as being too careful, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
After suffering multiple losses in his family, Redditor amithea**hole354 knew he had to go to a mass family funeral.
But when his wife accused him of not being there for her and their young baby, the Original Poster (OP) began to question if he was wrong to want to attend the funeral after all.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for leaving my wife and infant to attend a funeral?”
The OP and his wife recently had a baby.
“My wife and I recently had our first baby, and she’s three months old now.”
“My wife and baby are both healthy, there are no big issues. My wife also doesn’t have anxiety from what I can understand (outside of the usual for first-time parents) or indicative of PPD (Post-Partum Depression).”
After the baby was born, there was a tragedy in the family.
“A few weeks ago, my family was hit with a massive, massive tragedy. I’m still struggling to come to terms with it.”
“I wanted to travel to the funeral, but my wife didn’t want to come with the baby.”
“She didn’t want me to go either and said I should be spending the time with her and our daughter, and once she’s a little older, we can all go to visit my family.”
“I tried to explain this is important to me, but she wouldn’t hear it.”
The OP’s wife was furious when he attended the funeral.
“Mind you, I was planning to go for less than three days. I left the night before the funeral and flew back the morning after. The funeral was for my sister, my brother-in-law, and his sister.”
“I went last week and during this time, my SIL came and stayed with my wife.”
“My wife is mad at me and said it was selfish of me to go, and my priority should be them right now. She thinks that my going shows that I do not value them.”
“I really don’t think I did anything wrong here, but my wife and even my SIL said what I did was completely wrong.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some openly questioned the wife’s motivations and selfish behavior.
“What the f**k… this is an unimaginable loss. My god.”
“Maybe I’m just a veteran mom (four kids) so it would seem less overwhelming to me, but I would have started packing the instant I heard about this so we could all go together to be with their family.”
“I would never prevent my husband from going to be with family for almost any reason, but definitely not in the case of such a tragic loss as this. Think of his mother!?”
“Also, I have found over the years, that bringing a baby to people who are grieving, especially when a family is grieving together, can give wonderful (if temporary) relief in a dreadful situation. Especially a newborn who just sleeps all day.”
“I’ve seen a grieving mother find relief holding her sleeping grandbaby. There’s bittersweetness there, but sometimes that’s the only kind of sweetness you can find, and it’s a respite.” – thesnuggyone
“Absolutely NTA. Part of being a good parent is taking care of yourself and your own mental health so that you are in the best place to take care of a child.”
“I cannot imagine what OP would have felt missing the funeral and the even more negative space that could have put him in. OP, so sorry for your loss.” – Working_Mushroom_456
“Wait… THREE PEOPLE died, and his wife won’t let him go?”
“It’s a FUNERAL! Visiting family isn’t going to replace missing that. One person was bad enough, but THREE? Good god, NTA.”
“Sure, his wife needs support, but so does HALF OF HIS FAMILY right now. And so does he.” – elly_996
“He wasn’t going to ‘hang out,’ and he was as accommodating to his wife as possible.”
“She had help from her sister-in-law. He didn’t abandon her.”
“I can’t imagine not understanding why my spouse needed to attend a funeral. He and his family must be heartbroken. No visit in another month (or however long she planned to wait) was going to make up for him missing that.” – vomitthewords
“My husband lost two siblings within a month of each other. We went to the first one’s funeral, saw all his siblings, and spent time with his family. Then a week after we got back, one of the siblings died from a heart attack.”
“I was out of work and we couldn’t afford for all of us to go to the funeral because of how far away it was. You better believe I sent his a** out there, though. There was no way I would have been keeping him from the funeral of a sibling.” – ConsciousExcitement9
“I schlepped my two-week-old to a funeral for my second cousin who had died unexpectedly. I spent most of the funeral feeding her in the bathroom of the church, but it meant so much for my family and I to be there.”
“The baby is three months old. Presumably, that’s enough time to be on some sort of schedule and have at least a little bit of a routine. The wife is TA.” – Independent-Face-959
“To ‘visit’ together with his family would be for people to ‘ooo’ and ‘ahh’ over the baby. This is the death of three people, including a sibling, and she just isn’t getting it.”
“The baby is the center of HER world right now, but the baby isn’t the center of THE world.” – Peaceful-Spirit9
“He also needs that mutual support, and to grieve. He’s not a support automaton for his wife and child, or even for his parents. He’s a person experiencing significant sudden loss.”
“His wife needs him and his parents need him, but also he needs himself. And he needs support from his wife while dealing with his loss, and instead, she’s berating him for having considered his own loss at all.” – calling_water
Others thought they would reconsider their relationship over this.
“There are very few things more significant than childbirth, but funerals, especially one for a close family member is definitely one of them. The wife is not being remotely reasonable here, and if I were OP, I’d always remember that she refused to go and asked me not to.” – emi_lgr
“Even if the baby was three days old, OP’s sister and two other family members died. Unless his wife was in active labor, he’s NTA.”
“OP, the fact you even had to ask this question tells me your wife is potentially controlling and abusive, and that’s coming from someone who thinks Reddit throws those terms around way too loosely.” – Own-Let2789
“My brother died suddenly a year and a half ago, and I can’t imagine not being there for his wake and funeral or not being there to support my parents and sister-in-law. Mourning with my family and seeing all the people that loved him was essential to processing my grief.”
“The idea of a spouse being angry with the other for attending the funeral of a loved one is horrifying to me.” – Alarming-Setting-592
“Unless there are extenuating circumstances regarding the relationships, like no contact or something, I would rethink being with a man who didn’t want to go support his family through such a HUGE loss. OP is NTA, but his wife certainly is and extremely selfish as well.” – unotruejen
“Honestly, if I were OP’s parent, his wife would never darken my door again.”
“If I had just lost a child and I found out one of my remaining children’s spouses gave them s**t about going to the funeral, not to mind staying at home themselves so they have no spousal support, my next move would be to advocate for divorce and split custody.”
“Some things are unforgivable, hormones or not, and I can’t imagine ever wanting to see OP’s wife again after what she did to him in a time of tragedy.” – IdlyBrowsing
“His wife’s reaction is p**sing me off. Obviously, her very first concern is their child. But this is something he needs to do. She probably thinks his reaction is unforgivable, but she’s the one who will forever drive a wedge between them.”
“Obviously, she needs support and she has that. But d**n, she doesn’t own her husband. This is trauma and he needs to put his other family first here for a mere three days. She may be a new mother, but this is one of the few times that she needs to suck it up.”
“They’re both struggling, but if she won’t forgive him for this, what good is she as a wife?” – StraightJacketRacket
“I’m kinda horrified by her behavior. He’s not going to ‘visit’ he’s going to bury three family members. If one of my husband’s siblings died, I’d want to go to the funeral myself so it goes without saying that my husband would be going.”
“If my sister died and I wasn’t at the funeral, there’d be no visiting when the baby’s older because my family would never forgive me.” – rbaltimore
“I would be considering divorce, as would my husband from me, if I tried to have him miss his sibling’s funeral and being there for his mom.” – Professional-Two-403
While the subReddit could understand the pressures of being a new parent and wanting to keep the baby safe at home, especially after the pandemic, they could not forgive the wife demanding the OP stay home after he lost multiple family members.
He may have been her support, but as his wife, she needed to be his, too, which meant being able to go to the funeral.