We might not want to think about it or admit it, but we’ve all been late to something important at some point. Some people are simply late more frequently than others.
For some, time management and time blindness are a constant struggle, and the best thing their loved ones can do is try to be understanding and find a way to work around these obstacles, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
But Redditor ForwardClock9113 was sick of how often their wife was late. They blamed her for always making them late and for doing “dumb” things like not realizing what time it was.
To teach her a lesson, the Original Poster (OP) decided to leave for an event at the scheduled time even though she wasn’t ready, and they left without warning her about it.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for driving away without my wife because she can’t plan?”
The OP was really looking forward to attending a baseball game with their wife.
“For the past week, my wife and I had been anticipating a baseball game for which we had purchased tickets. We like baseball, but we don’t attend many games, so traveling into the city to see games is a rare treat.”
“I know, though, that it would take time to drive there and find parking, due to traffic.”
“Because the game started at 7:00 PM, and we live about 45 minutes from the stadium, I told her this morning that she needed to be ready to get in the car and go by 6:00 PM.”
But as was typical of their wife, she wasn’t ready when it was time to leave for the game.
“Well, my wife is an avid gamer, so she was engrossed in her latest video game when the clock struck 5:45 PM.”
“She has struggled to plan in the past, and I get tired of reminding her that she needs to budget time to get ready. It’s as if she has no concept of time at all, similar to a young child.”
“I was ready to go by 6:00 PM, and she was in the bathroom.”
The OP decided to teach her some responsibility.
“I saw this as an opportunity to teach her personal responsibility, so I simply left the house without saying a word, got in the car, and started driving to the game.”
“It took my wife a few minutes to figure out what I had done, but when she called me, she was absolutely furious.”
“She said that it was a completely unacceptable move for me to leave without telling her and that she now had no way to get to the game without paying for parking.”
“I told her that I got tired of constantly waiting for her and that she would plan better next time if she didn’t want to get left behind. I also reminded her that I had told her that morning when I expected her to be ready to leave.”
“Absolutely none of this seemed to matter, though, and she rudely hung up on me after yelling out more insults.”
The OP felt it was their wife’s own fault.
“Frankly, I think it’s completely insane that a grown woman is unable to budget her time, and I’m starting to suspect that she is doing this on purpose because she’s a narcissist who expects me to accommodate her.”
“After all, she’s not a dumb woman. She has a science degree.”
“Well, she never showed up to the stadium, and I didn’t hear from her the whole game, but when I got home, there was a note on the door. She told me that I wasn’t welcome in the bedroom and that I should sleep on the couch.”
“I can’t believe she wants to be this much of a pill. If I had waited for her, I would have missed the first pitch. I made my expectations clear, and she couldn’t be bothered to meet them.”
“I feel like she should be apologizing to me.”
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 were really bothered by the OP’s use of the term “narcissist.”
“The only narcissist I see in this post is OP. YTA.” – BosiPaolo
“My dad has undiagnosed ADHD and he’s always late. My poor mom has put up with it for years. She would get all six of us kids ready and in the car before my dad would come sauntering out at least 10 minutes later, completely oblivious to how late we were.”
“He’s not an id**t or a narcissist, he’s just really bad at managing his time. And we love him anyway and do what we can to help him.”
“OP, you are 1000% the AH for leaving without a single word AND for calling your wife a narcissist simply because she struggles with being on time. A simple, ‘Hey, I’m leaving in the next five minutes whether you’re ready or not,’ would have sufficed.” – AnyStick2180
“Contempt is normally the nail in the coffin for marriages. He comes off as much more of a Narcissist by his choice of words!” – angelwarrior_
“Gods forbid we expect adults to COMMUNICATE about their frustrations before they escalate to grand gestures of pettiness and delivering ‘punishments’ to other grown-a** adults.”
“Like, has OP actually talked to his wife about why this keeps happening? Or is he just jumping to the most malicious possible explanation (she’s a narcissist doing this to manipulate me) without trying to put on his big boy pants and talk to her first? Because that’s sure what it looks like to me.” – JadeLynKaia
“Pulling the narcissist card for being chronically late had me rolling my eyeballs HARD.” – No_Station270
“You know who likes to accuse people of being narcissists? Narcissists.”
“I had an ex that, during our exit fights as we were breaking up, kept accusing me of being a narcissist. I didn’t know much about it, so after it was over I was like, ‘Maybe I AM a narcissist.'”
“So I did a deep dive on narcissism and wouldn’t you know… it was her point-for-point. Baiting arguments, love bombing, gaslighting, never apologizing or taking any sort of personal responsibility for our struggles. All of it throughout the entire relationship was her and my reactions to her mind-f**king me.” – TheDonkeyBomber
“Bet you she just has ADHD or something and this clown pulls out the Narcissist card because it fits his agenda of no respect for this woman.” – bugbugladybug
Others agreed and felt the OP’s wife struggled with time management or undiagnosed ADHD.
“YTA. My partner is CONSTANTLY late and is the furthest from ‘narcissistic’ ever. It’s literally an ADHD symptom.”
“You passive-aggressively leaving, and trying to ‘teach her a lesson’ like that, though? Red flaggy and potentially narcissistic as f**k.”
“Baseball should not be as important as your marriage.” – ohheyaine
“My ADHD got diagnosed when I was 39. I always had trouble being on time, as timeblindness is a thing. It got better with my diagnosis as I was able to find ways to deal with it… alarms and stuff.”
“If my husband would have treated me like this, I would have gone.” – zauberval
“Time blindness is a b***h to deal with, honestly. Everything is Now or Not Now. I have ADHD, but I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 46, and getting medicated has been a huge game changer.”
“But for years, I just thought it was a personal failure for standards I couldn’t live up to. The moral is that time blindness isn’t on purpose, it isn’t to make anyone’s life hard, or that we don’t care. It’s called blindness for a reason.” – kraftypsy
“I have ADHD and autism. As a teen, I was regularly late by an hour or more. It was awful. Time blindness was not the only factor at play by a long shot, so it wasn’t as simple as getting a watch.”
“After 10 years of working very hard on my punctuality, I’m on time half the time and five to fifteen minutes late for the rest. This is a MASSIVE improvement for me, but still unacceptable to most people.”
“I’m not saying it’s acceptable to be chronically late, but a little understanding goes a long way for those of us who are actually working to improve our tardiness.” – soulpulp
“Seriously, my main thought when I started reading was, ‘Ooh, she gets lost in video games, she loses track of time… I bet she’s ADHD.'”
“And then there was this gem: ‘Ooo, she’s a scientist, and her husband says she’s very smart. She needs an evaluation.'” – hazelowl
“He is attempting to DIAGNOSE HER with narcissism for being late.”
“My partner and I both have ADHD. I was offering a different mental health condition that I know has an issue with being late and time management.”
“He didn’t communicate he would leave without her. She was getting ready, maybe only a few minutes behind him. He just left as ‘punishment.’ You don’t ‘punish’ or ‘teach your partner a lesson’ like that. You communicate and make boundaries. ‘I am leaving at 6:00 PM, whether you’re in the car or not, I am not missing the game,’ would be a fair boundary.”
“Leaving while she’s in the bathroom is just rude and immature. He didn’t have a boundary; he had an ‘expectation,’ so he’s the AH. So are a lot of his comments about her in the post. YTA.” – ohheyaine
“I’m so glad someone else mentioned ADHD, I’m a grown-a** woman and I can’t manage my time for love nor money. I have ADHD, diagnosed and medicated.”
“But I (and my family) will still do things to help lessen the effects:”
“Like, if I’m going out later, I’ll get my bags and clothes ready now so I can just get myself ready faster, and I’ll start the getting ready process an hour before.”
“Or I’ll tell myself I need to be here at 6:00 PM, I need X minutes to travel plus extra to account for possible delays, so be mostly ready 15 minutes before that and keep an eye on the time!”
“I also try not to start something I know I’ll get sucked into. If I end up hyperfocusing on said task, forget it, game over.”
“There are also watch alarms. Phone alarms. Actual alarm clocks. I set them all, and then there’s no chance to forget.”
“I think OP’s wife needs an assessment, and OP needs some compassion and to support her.” – snaphappylurker
We can all agree that it’s annoying to arrive somewhere late, and it becomes increasingly infuriating when we are late all the time, especially when it’s because of someone we love.
But instead of ridiculing our loved one, there have to be ways to assist them with their time management. This is where the subReddit believed the OP fell short. Instead of understanding their wife and looking for solutions, they resorted to punishment and writing a Reddit post that contained a concerning amount of scorn.