It is never easy to lose someone, but particularly so to cancer.
The loss affects everyone differently, of course, and no two people are ever really on the same page in expressing that pain.
What happens, though, when your partner’s reaction to the news isn’t anywhere near what you thought it would be?
This was the question posed by Redittor and Original Poster (OP) AITA-34054 to the “Am I the A**hole” subreddit.
“AITA for my reaction when my husband asked about dinner after I gave him the news of my mother’s death?”
She started with the terrible news,
“I lost my mom days ago to cancer.”
Before moving into the backstory.
“I had a good relationship with her and my sisters. I took part of her care and my husband helped a lot in the past few months. He loved mom or so I thought.”
She explained why she was so confused.
“He helped me take care of her home, he’d visit daily when I stayed with her and he cleaned her yard, walked her dogs, handled her financial issues (he’s an accountant) brought her stuff she needed before she went to the hospital.”
“He never complained about the efforts he made or time he took to help her out.”
Then she got to the issue at hand.
“I received the news of her passing from my sister at 6pm. My husband got home within 30 minutes.”
“He was resting on the couch in the living room when I came downstairs and my face was very telling but he didn’t notice somehow.”
Observational skills tend to dip after extended efforts.
“He casually talked about how long and hard his day was and didn’t notice that I didn’t say a word.”
Apparently, they dip a lot.
“I spoke up and told him my mother just passed. He asked when and I told him about an hour ago. He leaned back and stared at me for a long minute Then said ‘so, what’s for dinner?’. “
An unexpected reaction, perhaps shock?
“I froze in my place I looked at him and he said ‘what? You don’t need me to take you to the hospital? We gotta eat first.’ “
“I blew up at him and called him unbelievable for his response to the news of my mom’s death.”
“He argued back talking about how he was working nonstop all day without having time to eat anything.”
Accounting is hard.
“Then basically talked about all the things he’s done for mom and how he owes nobody nothing.”
“He said he was sorry for needing to eat after coming home hungry after working for hours and said that my reaction and lashing out was MISPLACED and unfair.”
Man need food.
“I stormed off upstairs and got ready to go meet my sister. He wanted me to wait til he ate something but I refused to speak and left.”
Man need food!
“I stayed with my sister after the funeral.”
OP decided to separate herself from the issue.
“He came to try to talk to me but I felt I wasn’t ready.”
“My sister was confused saying no matter what his response was to the news, my husband doesn’t deserve this treatment from me after he helped out and I should just try to work it out with him but I told her to stay out of it.”
Having detailed the issue, OP offered up the case to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some seemed to be just as offended as OP had been.
“The first thing he said wasn’t even ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘are you alright’. It was to ask you what you were going to make him for dinner…an hour after you learned your mother died.”
“He didn’t even acknowledge her passing at all before he asked you for food.”
“And then he didn’t even apologize for it, he gave you non-apologies and told you why you shouldn’t be angry at him and how unfair it was…all while STILL never offering the bare minimum level of condolences for you losing your mother.”~maggienetism
Some took time to look deeper into Husband’s motivations.
“I’m so curious about the long pause. He was thinking about what to say. It wasn’t a knee jerk comment, which is what he was implying.”
“He also doubled down on blaming her. And hello, he can’t make himself a sandwich?”
“I get the impression that he was thinking that OP could go back to being his maid now that her mom was dead. Cold? Yes. But I can’t think of anything else.”
“He made the decision to offend her. He thought about what he was saying.”
While others were deeply concerned for OP.
“Yeah. OP, this is…..disturbing, to say the least.”
“When a significant other loses a parent, it’s not like a minor traffic incident. It’s a major, life-changing event that (for the most part) we only go through ONCE.”
“Your husband doesn’t get to change how he responds to your loss the next time your mother dies.
The fact he could be this cold, heartless, and completely lacking in ANY empathy is a f*cking parade of red flags. Is this genuinely the first or only time he has pulled this sh*t on you?”
“Because I read this, and get the feeling this isn’t the first time he’s done this to you—you just couldn’t sweep it under the rug this time, because it goes beyond the pale.”
“Obviously could be wrong, I don’t know either of you. But this raises SO many alarm klaxons in my head for you OP.”
“NTA, but I would be seriously re-examining my relationship with this dude if I were you. The fact he could be so callous to someone he claims to love is…. Well, that’s not love.”
“That’s entitled contempt (how DARE you not think of HIS NEEDS when you just suffered the greatest loss and pain of your life thus far? That’s his perspective on this.) In other words, he figured, ‘Well she’s dead, nothing I can do about it, what about my needs?’ “
“And not only is he not remorseful about that line of thinking, he thinks YOU need to apologize to HIM for….letting him down???”
“OP, I understand how traumatic losing a parent (I lost my mother in 2017) is.”
“But you need to ask yourself, seriously….: do you deserve to be with someone this self-centered and selfish?”
“Can you even STAY with someone (physically, emotionally, mentally, romantically) who treats your suffering as secondary to being his live-in servant?”~SmolOracle
Responses were sometimes succinct.
“What about a f*cking hug??? NTA”~caitiejbb
And others were just stunned.
“Um. Wow. NTA. He’s a grown a** adult. He can make himself a damn sandwich. I can’t even imagine my husband reacting like that if my mother died.”~FuriousPI314
Losing someone is never easy.
It is made infinitely harder when the person you rely on for support tells you to cook them dinner instead.
Remember to take care of each other out there and to always give others the support they need.
We are, after all, in this together.