Most of us would love to do something special to celebrate our birthday, no matter what age we are.
But the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit had to ask, how much celebrating is too much?
Redditor Suspicious_Light_190 was looking forward to her birthday, if only for the possibility of taking a break from her responsibilities during a mini-vacation.
But when her partner accused her of being selfish for wanting to take a break, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong to be looking forward to this vacation.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for wanting a week’s vacation, alone, away from my partner and children?”
The OP was in the middle of a disagreement.
“Me (32 Female) and my partner (37 Male) are in a disagreement. He thinks I’m selfish for considering this. I don’t think I am. He suggested I post here to see what you all say.”
The longer they were together, the less supportive the OP’s partner was.
“We have been together for 12 years.”
“My partner has two responsibilities in terms of the house. He walks the dogs in the morning and he goes to work full-time (8:00 AM to 6:00 PM). More often than not, he falls asleep at 8:00 PM. He works in IT.”
“We have three children (7, 4, 2) and I am fully responsible for their care, as well as every household duty, laundry, cooking, and cleaning.”
“I am a SAHM (Stay-at-Home Mom), but I am also self-employed, so after I look after the children all day, I then work for a couple of hours on my laptop.”
“Strangely enough, after my first child was born, he was absolutely amazing. He would take the baby and let me sleep, the bottles would always be clean, and he would be out and about with the baby, changing nappies and just being really involved.”
“The moment I had my second child and I got home with the baby, he said, ‘You’re a mum of two now, figure it out,’ and it’s been downhill from there.”
For her birthday, the OP wanted to take a vacation.
“My birthday is coming up. I asked my partner what he would think if I booked myself a vacation, for a week, on my birthday and went on my own.”
“If he could use his PTO to take time off to look after and spend the week with our three children, taking them to school and taking care of the house.”
“He told me I was selfish.”
“I clarified, ‘It’s selfish to want to go on holiday for a week for my birthday?'”
“He said yes.”
The OP was shocked by his attitude.
“My partner hasn’t done a load of laundry in the last ten years. He cooks dinner ‘occasionally’ (two times per month). He doesn’t hoover, mop, or mow lawns.”
“I get it, he’s tired and he works full-time, but I work too, and I don’t feel appreciated.”
“I just want a week where I don’t have to placate a crying child, or stop the toddler from running into traffic, or worry about everyone else’s good time while sacrificing my own.”
The OP also wasn’t expecting anything in addition to the vacation.
“The last time I spent time away from the children or house was when we went out for dinner for his birthday in March (after they were asleep. I organized the babysitter).”
“Oh, and my pap smear, which he tried to make me take the children to, even though he was home.”
“The holiday would be paid for entirely by me.”
“He gets 28 days of PTO, not including bank holidays. Last year, he lost 12 PTO days because he didn’t take them. (We’re in the UK.)”
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 reassured the OP that she needed the vacation more than she thought.
“Wow! I’ve been married for 38 years had three kids and I’ve always had a week’s holiday away from them all. In fact, back in 1996, I left hubby with nine-, four-, and 3-year-old sons, in order to take a fortnight’s hold in the USA. He paid for me to go!”
“I was a SAHM and took on all household tasks and supported hubby with his fledgling business. He valued me and and I, him. We’ve always had a lovely, supportive, relationship.”
“Please take this holiday, reevaluate what you really need and want out of this relationship and enjoy yourself!” – Gornalannie
“Wow, your husband is TA. DO. NOT. COMPROMISE. for your vacation!”
“Your husband reminds me so much of my ex. There is a reason he’s an ex! He had no job, didn’t contribute anything to our family, and I paid all the bills and rent.”
“He would be gone for days partying with his friends like he was single. He didn’t have a phone, so I would harass his friends to try to find him to beg him to come home to take care of the kids.”
“When I tried to go to school for the physical therapy assistant program (where I could have easily increased 50k/year in addition to the amount of money I was making), he was upset that he had to take care of the kids, to the point where I felt that I need to drop out of school to take care of the kids.”
“I was so upset and felt like a failure. He was actually happy that I dropped out. That lasted for another two years until I said I’m done. We were together for six years. Now I’m in school trying to get my bachelor’s to find a job to provide a better life for my kids. I’m almost done!”
“F**k that guy. I’m so much happier now. Let your husband handle his children! Go on your vacation and enjoy yourself!” – RandomGirl9921
“NTA. Leave. Just leave.”
“Maybe you leave (short term) on your planned solo vacation. Maybe you decide to plan for it and leave him for good. But just get out of the crunch for a little while so you have some time and mental energy to reflect on this relationship and whether it’s what’s right for you.” – ImMxWorld
“I’m with my husband for 16 years, and we have a beautiful daughter that’s six, we both work full times jobs and he helps me a lot with my daughter and in the house. Guess who spent one month alone (well, two weeks with my daughter because I ended up missing her like crazy) last summer on the beach? Me.”
“And guess who’s gonna go on a city trip next month with her sisters for five days? Also me.”
“And my husband is free to do the same if he wants to (he usually does but not for long because he likes being home and he’s uncomfortable with hotels).” – Inevitable_Block_144
Others agreed and were certain the OP was being taken advantage of.
“OP, you’re NTA, but you’re basically a slave. Last I checked, slavery is illegal in the UK. Take that one-week vacation for yourself, and let your AH husband walk a few miles in your shoes.”
“When you get back, insist on a fair division of labor, or speak to a lawyer and free yourself.” – SunShineShady
“It’s interesting that you phrased it as ‘my second child.’ It really shows how little this man does that you don’t even consider them truly his. Does he say he’s babysitting when he watches them?” – meeps1142
“NTA. So you do 100% of childcare and household chores, you work a part-time job and financially support your household, and he what? Types and figures out people’s computer problems?”
“I understand some jobs are mentally draining but physically he does next to nothing all day and then is asleep by 8:00 PM.”
“Why stay married to this dude at all? He doesn’t appreciate you. He isn’t a father, he isn’t even a partner, he’s a bum living off you.”
“I’d take my vacation, OP, and I’d file for divorce on my last day. You’re already a single mom, so you might as well also get the child support that comes with it and find a partner who actually wants to be one. Not this sorry excuse for a man.” – Psychological_Way500
“Oh, honey. He’s nothing more than the roommate/sperm donor trying to make you the bang maid.”
“He works from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM for five days a week. Without counting your part-time job, you work 24/7 with no time off. The house is in his name and you pay the bills, including what the kids need. What does he offer other than walking the dogs and the occasional bedtime?” – bynwho
“He’s a dad of three now. He can figure it out.”
“Seriously, you haven’t had a vacation from your all-day jobs in 12 years? You must be exhausted. (Family vacations don’t count; any time when you’re the planner and administrator and caregiver and keeper-of-things isn’t a vacation.)”
“My partner and I had some imbalance develop over the years, and it took us a while before he understood. He resisted a bit (because he was tired, too), but he cared about me, so he figured it out. He was willing to see it from my point of view and adjust. He could see I was exhausted.”
“He grew up surrounded by housewife culture (as did I), but he’s been willing to make our division of labor as equal as possible. He just needed a mindset shift.”
“And our boys will grow up expecting to look after their houses and children. If a person lives in the house, they contribute to the household upkeep.”
“I hope your husband proves willing. It’s time.” – QueenPetrichordelia
The subReddit was disgusted by how the OP had been treated, and especially for how long this had been going on. Not only did the OP need and deserve that vacation, but she needed to take some quiet time to reflect on what she really wanted from the rest of her life.