With working long hours, it can be hard to do everything else we need to take care of ourselves.
Add a few kids to the mix, and it becomes that much harder.
But that isn’t a reason to be unfaithful to your partner, as pointed out by the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Apart_Association641 recently made a decision he thought would improve his current situation.
But when his wife didn’t think so, the Original Poster (OP) was confused.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for letting a neighbor make packed lunches for me?”
The OP was frustrated about the lunches he was eating during construction breaks.
“My wife used to pack lunch for me, but I noticed a while back that she stopped making lunch like she used to.”
“Before, she would get creative with it, take her time, try new recipes, put little special touches here and there, etc. Then I felt like it just became, ‘Ok, what are the kids having? I’ll just make an extra one and give that to him.'”
“I would make my own lunch, but for one, it’s not the same as when she makes it, haha.”
“And two, I work in construction, so by the time I come home, all I want to do is hit the sheets.”
“And all the places to get lunch near the construction site are expensive, so I’d rather just bring something from home.”
The OP eventually brought his concerns to his wife.
“So I brought it up to her one day and we talked about it, and she told me that she had so many things to do in a day that she didn’t have as much time to put her energy into making my lunches like she used to.”
“But I could see that she genuinely felt bad because I noticed the next few lunches were more ‘polished’ than the previous ones.”
“And I appreciated her so much for trying that when the quality of the lunches started to go down again, I didn’t even have the heart to complain.”
But then the OP came up with a solution.
“Fast forward, I had a day off so my wife took me to a bible study that was being hosted at a neighbor’s house.”
“The food was so good that I kept going back for more.”
“After my third plate, the woman who had made the food and I started talking.”
“Basically, she told me that she was flattered that I liked her food so much and that she was training to be a chef and that she had more food that she would like me to try out.”
“I told her that would be perfect because I always looking for different things to try and whatever food she had made, I could just pick up in the morning and take with me to lunch.”
“We exchanged information, and the next day she sent me an address to her home, which turned out to be right on my way to work and not too far from the construction site.”
“So that’s where I’ve been getting lunch for the past few days.”
The OP’s wife was upset when she found out.
“I told my wife that she didn’t have to make lunch for me anymore, and she didn’t say anything until today.”
“She said she thought I was getting lunch from the store, and I said that I don’t see why that matters where I’m getting it from.”
“She said she doesn’t want me to pick up lunch from there anymore, and I told her she was being unreasonable for no reason.”
“We had a big argument a few hours ago, and she’s still mad.”
“I really don’t see what the problem is.”
“She doesn’t have to worry about taking time out of her day to make lunch for me, and I’m getting quality lunches again. How is this not a win-win for everybody? I’m confused.”
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 said the OP was getting something from another woman.
“Correct me if I am wrong. But don’t a lot of divorce stories start this way? With one spouse (usually the male) searching for something to fulfill his needs because his lazy a** can’t do it.”
“And then he’ll respond like the surprised Pikachu meme when they get divorced, as if their spouse didn’t ask to go there/stop doing that?”
“He could literally help his wife do a meal prep once a week on a Sunday. Maybe it would take some chores off her plate, as well.” – wearetheawesomes2
“He didn’t tell his wife right away.”
“If I was in OP’s position, it would be one of the first things I said to my wife when we got in the car after the Bible study—’Guess what?! Carol is a professional chef and she needs someone to try out her food! She said I can swing by and get some every day! isn’t that a great deal?’—but he didn’t.”
“He made the arrangements with this woman and still didn’t tell his wife. He started picking up his lunches and still didn’t tell his wife, just told her she ‘didn’t have to anymore’ (which OF COURSE she thought meant he was buying lunch).”
“It went on for days before she found out. It’s unclear how she found out, but I suspect a mutual friend or the woman herself gave her a heads up. Maybe OP let it slip, but if he did it wasn’t on purpose.” – harmcharm77
“Dude. YTA. You are getting things you would normally get from your wife from another woman.”
“I’m sorry your life changed after having kids. Guess what, so did your wife’s. And then you made her feel guilty for not making an extra special lunch just for you, separately from what she was already making for your children.”
“Eat it. Be grateful. Or, conversely, help her meal prep and make your own lunches. The more you take off her plate the more energy she will have for you.” – WhoFearsDeath
Others said the OP needed to take his wife’s feelings into account.
“‘It’s not the same as when she makes it, haha.'”
“Of course not. Because even YOU aren’t willing to put in the level of effort you are expecting out of her.”
“You’re lazy, entitled, and disrespectful to your wife. No wonder she doesn’t put love notes in your lunch anymore. YTA.” – bigbluebridge
“He also didn’t take anything off her plate by getting lunch elsewhere because she still has to make lunch for their kids.”
“It’s not difficult to make an extra sandwich with veggies/chips/drink, and whatever else she throws together for the kids. But if he’s expecting a completely separate meal, regardless of difficulty, yea, that’s way more work and effort.”
“We get it, based on his comments, OP doesn’t place emotional association with simple acts, but clearly his wife does.”
“Regardless of if he thinks her boundary is stupid, it’s still a boundary she’s made it clear she wants him to respect.”
“He’s chosen not to, and is now sleeping on the couch, but still planning to get lunch from the chef. How many lunches are worth OP’s wife’s feelings?” – LeddyAlready
“OP, you asked I think there are several reasons why your wife is upset and maybe thinking the worst.”
“You didn’t ask your wife and include her in this decision. It’s her task that she does for you, every day. The fact you weren’t upfront immediately makes it look like you’re hiding something.”
“You replaced her in a role she was doing to care for you as part of your relationship. It would be the same if she, without asking, got some guy you didn’t know to do things for her instead of asking you.”
“It probably makes her feel insecure and pushed aside, it probably also makes her feel like you didn’t value that she was making your lunches for you as an act of caring. It’s like throwing out a gift, and accepting a gift from someone else because it’s nicer.”
“That’s quite hurtful. You may feel it was just work for her, but if she has put the effort in the past into it a bet it’s a huge labor of love, yeah, it was extra effort, but she did it because she loves you, and your actions make it seem like you don’t recognize that.”
“You hurt your wife by belittling the thing she did because she cared about you. Not telling her about this the moment it may have been an option also doesn’t respect that she’d taken responsibility for lunches and makes it look like you are hiding something.” – General_Consequence1
Some clarified why the OP was the AH.
“Also, since OP seems so confused here, I’ll point out that making food for another person is seen as an expression of love. It’s one of those weird things that’s intimate, though touching is not involved.” – Lulu_42
“This is why YTA.”
“Your wife is doing a lot, it’s your turn to make lunches for yourself AND the kids AND her, everyday. Make her a packed lunch and put in the effort, leave it in the fridge for her as one less thing to think about.”
“If your food prep is that bad, then pay the chef to make double and bring it home for her lunch the next day.”
“Stop looking to improve your own life, and start working out how to think like a family.” – watchingonsidelines
“OP, stop acting like a whiny little child. Make your own d**n lunches if what your wife makes isn’t good enough. Worked a 50 hour week last week and I still make my own lunches and breakfast on top of taking care of stuff at the house.”
“You noticed how sad it made your wife when you complained about your lunches and then you decide to get lunches from another woman. Aside from the fact that it’s giving your wife the impression you’re cheating, you’ve also told her that she’s completely replaceable.”
“Here’s another example in case you don’t get it yet OP. If something goes wrong at your house, maybe your wife can call someone else to work on it, because you’re obviously not good at what you do, and someone else is more capable and can do it better.”
“It’s ok though, they’re a professional. Again, the focus is you’re not good enough to do the job correctly. In other words, you’re useless.” – rummhamm87
After receiving comments, the OP was critical of the feedback.
“I know what you guys are implying, but it can’t be because she thinks I’m cheating. I told her that she can literally check my hours. When I arrive at work, I have to clock in. If I was going over to her place to cheat, I would be clocking in late.”
“To clarify: I complained [about my lunch] ONCE, but after I saw how bad she felt, I didn’t complain again and quietly kept eating the lunch she made.”
“Stop making it seem like I intentionally went out looking for another woman to make me food. She’s a chef. She saw that I enjoyed her food and came up to me and offered.”
“Again, she’s a chef-in-training. Obviously, she wants people to try out her food. Please stop making it seem like it’s more than that because it’s not. I love my wife.”
The OP was still fairly certain he hadn’t done anything wrong.
“Well, basically, it seems like it’s unanimous that I’m TA, but I really came here hoping to find out why, and no one really explained to me why it’s wrong for me to eat food that a chef offered to me, especially since my wife has already said in that she’s usually too busy to make lunch the way she used to.”
“I thought this would be easier on her and let her have more time in her day to focus on other things, but somehow, I wind up the bad guy. Smh (shaking my head).”
“Thank you for all the responses, but I think I’m going to keep eating at the chef’s house.”
“Wow. She locked the bedroom door so I guess I’ll be here reading responses from time to time until I fall asleep.”
Though the OP couldn’t see how his actions could be wrong, the subReddit disagreed. Some also pointed out that the “unanimous TA” should have been enough of a sign for the OP to apologize to his wife… It’s unclear if he would agree, however, even after that final update with the closed door.