When a couple decides to move in together, they have to come to some kind of agreement about how to divide up the responsibilities of their home.
This becomes even more important if the couple takes on other responsibilities, like having children, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor One-Weakness6175 was looking forward to Father’s Day, specifically because he and his wife agreed to give each other breaks on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, as well as birthdays.
When his wife canceled his plans and didn’t give him his break, the Original Poster (OP) began to feel like he was being treated equally in their relationship.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for expecting my wife to prioritize me for Father’s Day instead of going to a funeral?”
The OP and his wife both needed to be able to take breaks.
“My wife and I have two children, a four-year-old and a six-year-old. Our six-year-old is on the Autism spectrum.”
“It goes without saying that this is a very stressful position, and neither of us gets very much of a break from this. My wife is a SAHM (Stay-At-Home-Mom), and I have a full-time job.”
“As happy as our children make us, I don’t think it’s selfish for us to both desire breaks. We get them every here and there, but we made a deal to have two guaranteed breaks in a year. Our birthdays, and Mother’s/Father’s Day.”
“Of course, we get other breaks. I am not locking my wife in the house aside from two days a year. These holidays and birthdays are supposed to be guaranteed off. Other random weekends that one of us decides to take on the brunt of child care just happen randomly.”
The OP was struggling with feeling like their breaks were not equal.
“On those days, one parent takes on the brunt of the burden so the other can get a day to relax. Since our youngest was about two, we practiced this.”
“I have never failed to give my wife the day off she deserves. I’ll schedule her a spa day or something she really wants to do and get her out of the house, so she can relax while I’m on daddy duty.”
“Then when she gets back, our kids give her cards and gifts, and we get a meal from her favorite place after they go to bed.”
“My wife has been less consistent and doesn’t really do as much as I do for her. The last year she hasn’t really done anything.”
“I typically try not to hold it against her as it is undoubtedly hard, but it does feel kind of unfair.”
“This Father’s Day, I planned something for myself as she made no indication of doing something for me. I warned her a week in advance, and she said it was okay.”
Then his wife canceled his Father’s Day break altogether.
“This was until about three days ago. My wife’s old boss’s dad passed away. She was invited to the funeral by the boss, and she chose to attend the funeral, which was about two hours away.”
“As a result, I had to cancel all of my plans and take care of the kids.”
“She was supposed to be home at around five o’clock in the evening but didn’t arrive until around ten o’clock.”
“The kids were already asleep, and my wife neglected to help them get even Father’s Day cards for me.”
The OP had had enough.
“We got into a huge argument when she got back. I told her that I felt like she really dropped the ball on this and didn’t give me a break like I usually do for her.”
“She told me that she’s home with the kids all day just about every day, and I only have to help out after work, and as far as she’s concerned, I regularly get a break, and she doesn’t.”
“I told her work isn’t a break and that I really was looking forward to today.”
“She said that someone died, and I was being completely selfish to make it about me.”
“I said that it was someone she didn’t know who was the parent of someone she hasn’t seen in over a year, and I didn’t think I was being selfish in asking her to prioritize my needs just as a gesture as I do hers.”
“She’s been p**sed at me since, and we’re not talking.”
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 completely understood why the OP was so upset.
“Your wife could have easily gone to the funeral and come home at five o’clock. Perhaps, brought dinner, did baths, and put the kids to bed while you relaxed. She also absolutely should have helped the kids make or do something special for you.”
“‘Old boss’s Dad,’ in my funeral book, does not really justify leaving the family for an entire day, driving four hours, and ignoring Father’s Day. The funeral was just an excuse to get out of the house. You may have bigger issues than missing Father’s Day.”
“Also, tell your wife you would like a re-do. Pick another Sunday for Father’s Day. Maybe she will actually help the kids do something fun for you.” – Alarming_Reply_6286
“From the title, I was totally expecting that this was the funeral of someone really close to OP’s wife… but her ‘old boss’s Dad’?? Nope, that doesn’t justify forcing your husband to cancel his Father’s Day plans.”
“She could have sent her condolences in a nice card a flower arrangement, and surely the old boss would have understood that she couldn’t just leave her family on Father’s Day. That is a day that most people devote to family. NTA.” – flooperdooper4
“I’ve had my job for twenty-odd years. Lots of us are good friends, not just friendly. Not to mention the ones married to coworkers in other departments.”
“My old boss’ husband passed away this week. I haven’t worked for her in fifteen years. I’d definitely be attending his funeral if it wasn’t an eight-hour plane flight away.”
“I do not understand why OP’s wife didn’t just arrange a different day soon for OP to have a real break.”
“And they should BOTH be doing that more often, especially with a special needs kid. Caregivers exist.” – Meghanshadow
“I was expecting it to be like a family member or a close friend. I understand it is a funeral but ‘Old boss’s dad’ just seemed so far down the line of people I would leave my family and completely ignore Father’s Day for.”
“This just seems bizarre on her part. NTA.” – MidnightLemon
“Especially when you consider that even she mentions that he helps when he gets home. So it’s not even like he’s working and then putting it all on her.”
“He goes to work, she works at home (SAHM), and then he gets home from work and joins her in ‘working’ at home as a parent. Neither of them gets a break until the kids are in bed or until the weekend.”
“So she’s getting a break once a week, but he… never gets one?”
“That’s selfish and lacks any kind of empathy.”
“If he’s also spending money to send her to spas, etc, and she’s not doing anything in return, they need to sit down and have a conversation about the inequality of that, as well.”
“When push comes to shove, next time it’s supposed to be his day to relax, he should just book himself a night in a hotel and tell her he’s taking his own much-deserved break and will be back in the morning.” – GreysTavern-TTV
Others agreed the OP deserved a day, but his wife needed much more support, too.
“I’m wondering if it isn’t time to revisit her staying at home. By the most generous interpretation, she is too burned out to see other people’s struggles and is very unhappy with the current setup.”
“If she doesn’t want to be a SAHM anymore, that’s fair; some people are more cut out to stay home with babies and can’t handle the older kids. If she thinks going to work sounds like a heavenly break, it might be time for her to go back to work.” – Music_withRocks_In
“I think she just wanted a break. Her husband gets breaks from the kids. That is his main point. He doesn’t say his job is stressful. He doesn’t ever mention needing a break from that, she only gets breaks from her SAHM job twice a year, and he gets breaks every day.”
“I think ESH. They aren’t dealing with their actual issue. Two breaks a year? Listen, I love my daughter to death, but being a parent is stressful, and everyone deserves a break from it. Going to work for me helps. They need to get down to the root of the problem. They need outside help.” – WishaBwood
“I’ve done both: been a SAHM and worked outside the home. Being a SAHM mom to a young and needy child was the worst experience of my entire life ever. I would choose 14 hours of work plus a two-hour commute before ever being trapped like that again.”
“This is one of those things women are never supposed to admit, but it really is that way. Going to work is far easier than engaging a child all f**king day. There are absolutely some women who thrive in such situations, but most suffer quietly.”
“Imagine a child with extra needs. Having said that, he deserves a day to himself. She is clearly burning out bearing the brunt of child care.” – aitaisadrug
“Women are just expected to be the primary caregiver for the kids; even when both parents work full-time, the woman ends up being the primary caregiver.”
“What sucks is that women just about always make less money than men for doing the same job, so when it comes down to it, the man working will be able to provide more financially. Hmmm, almost seems like a way to keep women out of the workforce and at home.” – bunnymoxie
“Presumably… They’ve kept in touch for years after she quit working. Like years and years and years given the kids’ ages and her being a SAHM.”
“So either OP is heavily downplaying his explanation, and it’s not ex-boss’ dad from years ago… and it’s actually a now very close friend’s dad. Quite different. Or OP doesn’t realize they’ve been being that friendly for years and keeping in touch…”
“Given she’s stopped doing things for OP, not putting in the same level of effort, he does all days for her, and she does nothing all year…”
“Yeah, OP, you’ve got more problems here. Either downplaying, or your wife has kept in touch with her boss for years without you knowing, and they are now close friends… and your relationship and excitement on your wife’s side has heavily fizzled out at a minimum. This really feels like you need to sit down and ask what’s going on.”
“If she thinks working is a break, tell her you can swap roles. She can get a job, and you’ll become a SAHD for a few years.”
“But if this is her full-time job, she doesn’t get multiple weeks’ holiday from it like you do. There’s some open, non-resentful conversation that needs to go on here to find out where everyone is at.” – Kyuthu
“I work all day and I’m the only provider, so I understand that point of view also. All I’m saying is there is more to the story. We need more info like does he help after work? Do they split chores at home? Is she good friends with her boss and his family and that’s why she attended?”
“There are lots of unanswered questions here that would help determine whether or not he is the AH or if she is. That’s why I said ESH. They need to talk this out between themselves. Why does she feel entitled to a break? Why does she feel he isn’t?”
“Being a SAHM, you get absolutely no breaks. He gets a lunch break, and gets to have conversations with other adults. Gets to have a purpose outside of being a caretaker. Another commenter mentioned maybe she misses being a part of the workforce and the outside identity that gave her.”
“Having kids is hard, and yes, it’s a choice, so you have to adjust, but it’s not black and white. You can choose to have kids and still be overwhelmed, you can choose to have kids and still want to be a person outside of that. You can go into something fully expecting it to be one thing and it ends up being another.”
“There are so many nuances to life, that’s why I said ESH. Sounds to me like these issues are deeper than just not getting a Father’s Day off. They both suck for not helping each other and seeing when the other one is overwhelmed and needing a break.” – WishaBwood
After receiving feedback, the OP voiced his frustrations about some Redditors’ theories.
“My wife is not sleeping with her boss. Her boss is a married gay man. We attended his wedding to another man.”
“The people jumping to the conclusion that my wife is cheating on me are being ridiculous and drawing a back story on one glimpse into my life. This is one situation I’m asking for a judgment on. You don’t know the inner workings of my marriage, and I doubt any of you who assume a woman going out for longer than expected means she’s cheating will ever have a marriage of your own.”
“Also, the funeral was real. I dropped her off with some of her old coworkers so they could carpool to the funeral. The funeral was real as I saw multiple pictures of the service from mutual Facebook friends of hers.”
“And she was there for longer because the service went longer than expected and she was asked to go to the repast.”
“Life is not a soap opera.”
The subReddit completely understood why the OP was upset about not getting a break on Father’s Day and even side-eyed his wife about disappearing for the entire day, but they otherwise felt there was much more to the problem than simply missing Father’s Day.
It was clear that the OP’s wife was harboring some feelings that were impacting their relationship. Perhaps there was a deeper relationship with her boss than the OP realized, but it seemed perfectly applicable that she was feeling burned out by being a Stay-At-Home-Mom, and she didn’t see the worth in giving her husband more of a break than she already believed he was getting.