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Surgeon Calls Out Wife For Refusing To Listen To Him Recap His Work Day In Gory Detail

Male surgeon
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Understanding a person’s love language has become a popular form of intensifying and deepening relationships with those we love the most.

This also applies to how loved ones speak to one another and what they need from various conversations, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor asleepalive enjoyed catching up with her husband but not so much after he developed a habit of sharing every little gory detail about his work as a surgeon.

But when she attempted to talk about her needs with her husband, the Original Poster (OP) was surprised by how he accused her of creating an unsafe space for him to speak.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not wanting to listen to my husband recap his day?”

The OP wasn’t the biggest fan of catching up with her husband at the end of the day.

“My husband and I are both in our early thirties. The moment he gets home, he starts talking about his day. He’s a surgeon and he starts to talk about his surgery in detail, and it’s pretty technical.”

“I’m here trying to destress from my day and deal with our one-year-old boy, and he just basically describes his entire day in detail.”

“It sounds like, ‘Then I opened the right arm, harvested the radial flap by myself, and the nerves were hard to identify, so that took an extra 30 minutes there, and then I had to suture the vessels under the microscope, and it kept fogging up…’ (except in even more detail).”

She just didn’t want to hear all of those details.

“He doesn’t talk about his day like, ‘Oh, this crazy thing happened.’ He talks about it as if he’s giving me a lecture and I’m a med student.”

“If I did it, it would sound like this: ‘Today, I went to see my patient at 7:00 AM. But she wasn’t in her gown yet, so I had to wait 10 minutes for her to get dressed. Then the nurse had trouble drawing her blood and placing an IV, so that slowed my start of the day, and I had to place the IV myself. Then I had to use a translator because she only spoke Spanish, and that meant we started the case 15 minutes later than expected.'”

“‘Then I rolled the patient into the OR (operating room), and then I placed the pulse ox, EKG, and BP on the patient. Then I had her breathe five deep breaths, and then I started to give two milligrams of Versed, followed by 70 milligrams of Lidocaine and 75 micrograms of Fentanyl, but when I pushed Propofol, she still had pain.'”

“‘After she went to sleep, I checked to make sure she could be masked. Then I gave 50 milligrams of ROC, then I bagged some more, then I used a Miller-2 blade to get a view of the vocal cords, and then I intubated the patient…'”

“That would only describe the first 30 minutes of his day. Then he would continue to describe the remaining nine and a half hours of his day in detail as if he is teaching a med student.”

“I’m not a surgeon for a reason. And even if I was, I don’t want to mentally do surgery when I am off work for the day.”

“It’s not like, ‘Oh, a bunch of my cases got delayed so I’m back late. Oh, that nurse was on my nerves. Oh, by the way, I did a crazy surgery case today, here are the quick highlights.’ It’s everything!”

The OP had heard enough about her husband’s day.

“This time, I got annoyed and I told him I don’t really want to listen to his medical cases and it stresses me out because then I feel like I’m back at work.”

“When I’m done with work, I want to be done with work and not feel like I’m in the OR still.”

“I have told him this multiple times before. He continues to do it. So about once a week, he forgets and will go on and on about his surgery for 30 or more minutes until I get fed up and I tell him to stop talking about surgery.”

“(He recaps daily but usually under 30 minutes, but once a week, he decided to recite his ‘surgical textbook.’)”

The latest argument may have hurt the relationship.

“After this argument, he says he doesn’t feel supported and feels like he can’t talk to me.”

“I feel like an AH as well because I don’t have the mental capacity to listen to him recap his entire day in detail without being mentally draining on me.”

“I feel like a horrible person but I don’t know if this is normal or if I’m just being an AH.”


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 understood the OP’s need for fewer details, especially the gory ones.

“The husband is the one overstepping boundaries. There’s a difference between catching up with your SO after a long day of work, but recapping in great (and graphic) detail after your wife has told you over and over again that it’s too much for her? It’s a clear-as-day NTA situation here.” – mythrowaway282020

“Correct me if I’m wrong, OP, but it sounds like he’s talking at you while you take care of the kid (or any other domestic task). Meaning that you are on job number two (taking care of the home and child) while getting reminded of job number one…”


“He needs to pick a better time to vent as well as have a better way to vent about it (Why the blow-by-blow? Sounds aggravating).”

“If he does it again, immediately give him the task you were performing. He needs to get his mind off of things long enough to let you decompress. Then maybe you will have the brain space to handle him venting a little.” – mecegirl

“NTA. I agree. I had to ask my husband to stop, too! He describes his day minute by minute.”

“Not even like a specific surgery, I mean, ‘I showered for six minutes, then changed and got into the car five minutes later, it took me 22 minutes to drive to work… blah blah, every single meeting, coffee, snack, blah blah, every minute conversation.’ It is really stressful listening to this!”

“I felt horrible asking him to stop, but it was so worth it. Now we speak about important things or joke about really unimportant things. I can breathe again!” – uninhibitedmonkey


“It sounds like he’s unwinding by rehashing the day’s events with you, which is fine in and of itself, but in the process of that, he’s basically using you as a deflation device.”

“He doesn’t really need your support as much as he simply needs someone to unload onto. That’s not fair to you, you’re already carrying your own weight of the day, so asking you to carry his on top is inconsiderate.”

“Furthermore, he’s not really talking to you, he’s talking at you. Which is entirely different. A conversation is a two-way street, if it only goes one way, then it’s a speech. And speeches are always an awful drag.”

“No wonder you feel like he’s pulling you down, on top of which you feel like an AH because you don’t want to be rude or make him feel bad by telling him you don’t want to hear about his day.”

“I don’t know what you can do other than try to talk to him about it. But you are definitely not the AH for feeling this way. He might be a little, though. He’s definitely inconsiderate.” – CapriSun87

“NTA. I get it, my husband used to do the same thing all the time, and I worked a stressful job that I really needed to decompress from when I’d get home.”

“We agreed that we would not talk at length about things when we first get home, we would hug and say, ‘I missed you,’ and then do our own thing for a bit.”

“Then later, we would hang out together and talk about our day. It worked beautifully. Maybe there’s a good compromise to be found?” – CoxinelletheWarrior

But others also understood the husband’s desire to share his daily life with his wife.

“This is how relationships break down. Being able to talk about your day with an SO is a staple in any healthy relationship. If he doesn’t feel he can talk to you, he’ll find someone who is interested. YTA.” – Midnight7000

“Girl, I’m married to a ceramics engineer. Try hearing about dust every day. YTA.”

“I’m a family law lawyer. My stories are either absolutely traumatizing to hear or just… shocking. My husband’s stories… Have you ever met a ceramics engineer?”

“But I listen and take an interest because it’s my husband’s day. And he at least feigns an interest in my horror stories. That’s what marriage is about.” – jepeplin

“YTA. If you only have to listen to a 30-minute lecture once a week. This is what a partner does. Can you have him talk while you make dinner or do something with your baby so you don’t have to give him 100% attention?”

“I listen to my husband every single day while he goes on about work. He has a stressful job, too, and needs to offload so I don’t mind, too much. If the spouse doesn’t listen, they might find someone else will.” – Juanitaplatano

“YTA. I used to talk about my stressful day at work and was told by my partner that they didn’t want to hear about it and that nobody cared.”

“So I just told my partner the same thing when they talked about their day at work.”

“It led to a long life of silence and suppressed anger always just bubbling under the top because we were not allowed to talk about our s**tty days and that nobody cared.”

“Have fun when your husband doesn’t give a s**t about your crappy, stressful day anymore.” – BrightRedMud

“This is literally why my parents got divorced. My mom needed to talk about her day, every day, it was part of her own mental well-being and sorting through her thoughts.”

“My dad hated it and would either just smile and nod, change the subject, or ignore her altogether. He refused to engage with her ever on this and eventually, she couldn’t stand to be with someone who did not want to listen to what she wanted to share with her life partner.”

“She wasn’t looking for him to solve her problems or do anything other than listen, and he was completely unwilling, so she left.”

“That said, as someone also married to a medical professional, I get it, it’s difficult to relate and engage in that kind of discussion, and I’m the same type of person, after work is done for the day, the last thing I want to do is talk about work.”

“I would just suggest you try to find a route to compromise and not just shut it down altogether. If you solely prioritize yourself over your husband in this situation, then YTA.” – kinkclong

Some urged the couple to figure out a solution that would work for both of them.

“How you de-stress: Not talking.”

“How he de-stresses: Talking.”

“This isn’t about being an AH, it’s about conflicting personality types. If you want him to destress, you need to give him time to talk. You can ask him to limit that time, adjust how he talks, help with the baby as he talks, and make supper as he talks… but he is right in that just a blanket ‘no talk’ rule is unsupportive.”

“Just like you would be right in saying he is being unsupportive of your needs by over-talking, talking in a lecture style, or bringing up subjects that stress you out.”

“ESH.” – TraumaComedy

“I’m going with NAH.”

“OP also works in the medical field (OR, as well.) They both want to destress in different ways.”

“That would definitely be exhausting to ‘take your work home.’ Maybe allocate a short time for shop talk (i.e., 30 minutes) and then agree with no more for the night and talk about something else positive going on in your lives.” – youpewted

“Yeah, I feel like the husband is dumping his emotional and work stress onto op, and it is okay for OP to say, ‘I can’t handle that.'”

“Maybe the husband would like to journal or something. Or be less graphic. There has to be a better middle ground somewhere. NAH.”

“I don’t think either one of them is really wrong, their needs are just not meshing well.” – blueavole

“ESH. Hear me out.”

“You suck because he obviously needs to share his day with you. It’s a pretty common aspect in many relationships. You’re not supporting him in this, and it’s understandable why he feels like he can’t talk to you. It blows to have the one person you want to talk to the most tell you over and over again they don’t want to listen to what you have to say.”

“He sucks because you’ve articulated how much and why this frustrates you, and he’s not taking you into consideration when he continues to do so. You’re setting a boundary and he’s not being receptive. So he’s also not being supportive of you in this.”

“It sounds like a compromise is the best solution here. He can still talk about his day, but not in so much detail and not for longer than a determined amount of time. He could even ask you if you’d be up for him talking about it.”

“If he begins to go deeper into detail to a point that it’s bothersome for you, have a codeword ready that can neutrally remind him to keep shop talk to a minimum. This way, you are still supporting him and listening to him, but he’s also respecting your boundary of not wanting to feel like you’re back at work.”

“It can be difficult when partners are on opposite sides of a situation like this, but as long as both of you actively practice patience, clear communication, boundary setting and respecting, and the understanding that sometimes even the best-laid plans have hiccups, it’ll work out.” – ClauzzieHowlbrance


“People need to de-stress after their days. It looks different for different people, and when you throw caring for young children into the mix, it can be very frustrating.”

“If his way of de-stressing is to verbally vent his frustrations about work, maybe discuss ways you can be present for him for a specified time (like five to ten minutes?) while you both do some of the housework and childcare activities together.”

“Sometimes, taking a walk on a pre-planned route can give routine time limits to the post-work spewing while getting you all out of the house and giving him some dedicated time to talk about his day. Exercise on his own immediately after work can give him more of a transition time to physically vent frustration as well.”

“You might discuss with him that the extreme details are tedious for you, and while they’re relevant for him, they’re not as important for you to be able to understand his day. Ask him if he can condense the specifics to something that would make sense to a layperson when explained quickly (even though you DO understand the details).”

“For some people, on the other hand, talking out the details can be a way to verbally process and identify specific emotions and sources of frustration, so you might ask him if that’s what he’s doing and have him really think about his answer.”

“If he’s not in therapy, seeing a therapist would give him another person to help him mindfully communicate with you and better identify what he needs when he comes home from work. Likewise, if you’re seeing a therapist, ask them for suggestions on how to honor your boundaries while still meeting his needs and your child’s needs.”

“Asking if he wants to vent, wants advice, or wants support can be really useful as well because it dictates what he wants from you during the exchange.” – CyrianaBights

Hearing an absolute play-by-play, the subReddit could understand, would be a drag, especially when someone has to hear about that every day after already putting in a full work day themselves.

But the subReddit was more divided over how the couple was handling the situation. What it came down to, really, was understanding everyone’s love languages and needs, and if they could not compromise about that at the end of the day, their differences in communication would eventually impact their relationship.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.