As important as bringing in an income is for a family, sometimes honoring our mental health needs is more important.
As long as we’re with a supportive partner, we generally can figure out a way to do both, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Available-Mushroom29’s current partner encouraged her to leave her job to help with her mental health, since he was getting a promotion at work and could afford to support them.
But when the Original Poster (OP)’s ex-husband found out, he was furious she wouldn’t be working anymore, even though their daughter was in daycare.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for choosing not to go back to work and still sending my child to daycare?”
The OP and her ex-husband wanted different things in their relationship.
“My ex-husband and I got divorced back in October due to polyamorous relationship issues.”
“Before I even go into the issue at hand, I will say he asked for the opening of our marriage, and the normal thing happened. He had a string of partners, nothing really steady.”
“I met one man, and I had the same partner for two years. They actually became good friends until we got divorced.”
“After a long dry spell he had, he asked for a divorce after giving me the ultimatum of dropping my partner or we separate.”
“I chose to separate because my partner treated me better than my husband. I was all he wanted (unlike my husband wanting to open the marriage just ‘to see what was out there’), he made me feel like I was enough for him, and he took care of my daughter like she was his own.”
The ex-couple had agreements about their home, custody, and childcare in place.
“After the divorce, I moved out of the marital house and rented it to him with no strings attached at a well below-market rate.”
“I moved in with my partner, and we’ve been pretty well off since.”
“We share custody of our daughter one week on and one week off, and we have a rotating pick-up schedule from daycare.”
“According to our divorce decree, we are both required to pay for 26 weeks of daycare throughout the year. So that means we are paying literally half and half. So that means even if I took her out of daycare for any reason, he would still have to pay for half of the daycare due to him still working.”
The OP’s work situation changed after moving in with her partner.
“After I moved in with my partner, he proposed to me that for mental health reasons, if I do not want to work, I don’t have to. I have passive income from military compensation, so any money I get outside the house is just extra.”
“So I took his suggestion. I haven’t had a job since January of this year, and all I do is take care of the house. I clean, mind the veggie garden, run errands, etc.”
“He’s been content with our arrangement and so have I.”
“I feel like I have more mental bandwidth to properly give my daughter the attention she wants/needs because I’m not burned out at the end of the day like I had been when I was working.”
The OP’s ex-husband was endlessly critical of her choices.
“My ex-husband on the other hand doesn’t like this at all.”
“We had a meeting where I offered to sell him my house because I felt my being his landlord was going to cause issues within our co-parenting relationship later on down the road, so to head it off, I gave him the first offer to buy it before I would put it on the general market.”
“He snuck in asking when I was planning on going back to work.”
“I answered him honestly, saying with my partner getting a promotion which came with a raise, I probably wouldn’t be unless I really had to.”
“He said that was kinda f**ked, considering that I’m basically a stay-at-home parent but our child still goes to daycare every day.”
“I explained as briefly as possible that I chose not to go back to work for mental health reasons and that having our daughter at home full-time would be counteractive to me not working.”
“He said outright that ‘some would think [I’m] an unfit parent for making that decision.'”
“So AITA for still sending my kid to daycare even though I’m not working anymore?”
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 her ex was jealous and lashing out.
“NTA. He’s just jealous you have a better life than he does. Hahahaha. I wish you all the happiness.” – donname10
“I find it interesting how many times this happens when one partner wants to open up the marriage. A thinks they will get to go out and have fun, while B sits at home and waits for them.”
“Then, whether A gets to have fun or not, B usually finds someone that treats B better than A ever did. B realizes what it feels like to be loved and appreciated.”
“A then realizes that B can do better and wants to do damage control before B realizes it, too. All of a sudden, A wants to close up the relationship again…”
“NTA, OP. Your ex realized too late you could do better, even if he couldn’t.” – Maleficent_Amoeba_39
“NTA, OP. Even if you don’t need it, I’d still send the kid for at least the main part of the day depending on the age.”
“A very young child like an infant, I might keep home but keep the schedule like at daycare so they don’t have to adjust every week. But if they’re at least two years old, I’d send them. I probably wouldn’t use any extended day like before/after school hours if you don’t need that.”
“If they are old enough that during some of the day, they have lessons or learning time, they should attend that bare minimum so they aren’t frustrated if they don’t know what’s going on when they do attend.” – Griffinej5
“As a poly person, I love stuff like this. I just sit back, pop my popcorn, and watch the s**t show, hoping that the wife realizes her self-worth and finds someone who treats her like a queen… and then watch the husband implode when she inevitably does.”
“NTA, OP. Someone is big Big BIG mad that you found another supportive partner when he just wanted to f**k around. He is lashing out and upset that he is going to be losing the below-market rental.”
“His emotional health and well-being is his own doing; you do what you need to do to keep your mental health in check.”
“Do not give this man anything. You have an income that was hard-earned, you are caring for yourself and your family; and your current partner is happy with this arrangement. Keep doing what you are doing and let him be mad. You are not responsible for his mental health anymore.” – Technical-Soup1595
“The ex is probably realizing that the grass was never greener on the other side. His value on the dating market is in the gutter, while she found the partner she always deserved.”
“Not uncommon in these kinds of scenarios (i.e., the man wants to open the relationship to find something better and gets big mad when the woman who was supposed to wait in the wings blossoms out of his control).” – Latvian_Goatherd
“Not really the point of the post, but I think OP should get a jump on getting proof of how these last few years went before anyone says anything to their kid.”
“I could totally see this turning into ‘and she left me for her affair partner!’ down the road. She’s going to want to have that s**t handy in case anyone tries to turn their kids against her.” – someonespetmongoose
Others encouraged the OP to move forward with selling the house.
“He was awful to the OP, AND he managed to distract OP from the conversation about selling the house. NTA, OP. Time to pick up that house conversation from where you left off.” – solo_throwaway254247
“It’s time to drop the conversation about the house (as he wanted), and just put the house on the market. He can buy it, or he can watch it be sold, then he’s the next owner’s problem.” – mwenechanga
“He’s your ex, you owe him no explanation about how you spend your time, and it’s time you stop feeling like you should. You are not responsible for him anymore.”
“As for the house: Give him a notice and put the house on the market. He can buy the house for the highest bid. Don’t give him a deal that’ll effectively cost you money because you feel guilty/obligated. It’s noble, but not financially smart.” – Twinmomwineaddict
“Take the conversation about the house sale into the realm of formal letters, so he can’t derail the conversation again.”
“Write something like: ‘Dear Ex, as we discussed on [date] I am intending to sell the house. Our realtor has assessed the value of the house at [$$$] or near offers. If you would like to buy the house from me, let me know by [date]; otherwise, I will have it listed on the open market…'” – Normal-Height-8577
“My husband is a stay-at-home dad. We put both our kids into daycare early on for a few days a week to give him a break and to let the kids learn new things and make new friends. It worked well for everyone.”
“Sell the house for the best price, and don’t worry about your ex at this point. Clearly, he does not care about you.” – Ancient-Ad-7142
“He is just salty that his wanting to find something better failed twice. It failed when he didn’t find better and then failed when she did and he ‘lost’ her to another, and better, man than him.”
“So now he is doing everything he can to stay in her life more than necessary to make her miserable too.”
“NTA, OP, and good on you for finding someone who loves you and wants what’s best for you. Be civil with co-parenting but don’t go out of your way to make his life better. Put the house on the market, and if he wants it, he can buy it at market value.”
“As for the childcare issue, if he brings it up again, say, ‘Sure, let’s go back to court to get the child support adjusted since I will have our daughter almost full-time.’ I guarantee you he won’t because it will most likely cost him more in child support than what he is paying for in daycare.”
“Also as a mum myself, kids need daycare any way for social interactions with peers, to heading off separation anxiety when they are older and starting normal schooling just to name two reasons.” – Environmental_Art591
The subReddit was supportive of the OP’s recent decisions and was grateful that she had found happiness in her new partner and living situation. It was clear the ex-husband was experiencing some regret and lashing out at the OP, but it was unclear how far he would take those feelings.