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Dad Livid After Wife Asks Him Not To Serve Dinner Right Away When She Gets Home From Work

A man setting the table.
svetikd/Getty Images

While everyone dreams of finding a soulmate, people often find themselves surprised at the compromises that need to be made when becoming a couple.

These include sharing a living space and having to partake in some things your partner enjoys, which you might find tedious yourself.

Then, of course, there is possibly having to forego some of your own personal daily routine.

Those few moments of quiet “me time” are no longer possible.

“Me time” was something a recent Redditor looked forward to every day when coming home from work.

Something the original poster (OP) frequently found unable to do owing to the rather strict schedule her husband kept for her and their child.

However, the OP’s husband did not take kindly to her complaints, specifically owing to the fact that he was performing what he thought was an extremely generous gesture.

Wondering if she was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for telling my husband I DON’T want dinner on the table as soon as I walk in?”

The OP explained why her husband’s efforts left her feeling frustrated, above all else:

“Listen, I know this may sound crazy, and I should be so entirely grateful that he even cooks.”

“But he’s gone so far as to make my plate and have it on the table when I walk in the door.”

“I work 10-hour days, bring my lunch, and pack snacks so I have healthy options AND save money.”

“I have a 45 minute commute and work in a professional setting: I wear heels, a blazer most days and dress nicely.”

“I’d like to come home, use the bathroom (bc the long drive), and change/decompress before we sit down as a family.”

“He finds that it’s rude to not sit at the table immediately and eat-blaming that the kids are hungry.”

“I’ve told him that I’d like to wait a little after getting home and then we could sit and eat as a family, that part is important to us both.”

“Also, if he has dinner on the table at x time and says traffic, stopping for gas, or anything delays me, he gets mad and makes it seem like I inconvenienced the entire family.”

“So, after telling him I don’t like the food on the table immediately, he blew up and said he just won’t cook anymore.”

“That wasn’t what I was saying as I AM grateful he cooks and all, but is it too much to ask that we wait 30 minutes or so AFTER I’m home to sit and eat?”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

While the Reddit community was fairly divided, they largely agreed that the OP was the not a**hole for telling her husband she didn’t want dinner ready the minute she got home.

Some felt the OP’s frustrations were justified, agreeing that she had the right to decompress after a long day of work, and her family could wait so they could all eat together, even if some wondered if having dinner ready was really the biggest problem the OP and her husband were facing.


“5:15 is not late at all.”

“And I understand the 30-minute decompress time.”

“Give the kids a snack when they get home from school.”

“He can prepare it so it’s ready by 5:45. 30 minutes won’t make much of a difference.”-Far_Calendar5015


“But I have a feeling this is about something else besides the timing of dinner.”

“Seems like there is some resentment built up, and this happens to be the issue that is bringing it to the surface.”- chiguy307


“5:15 pm is pretty early.”

“I don’t see why you couldn’t eat at 5:45 pm as a family.”

“It would give you some grace time upon getting home, and your children and husband could have a light healthy snack (fruit, yogurt, crackers) to stave off major hunger while he cooks.”

“Your husband escalated this to almost ultimatum level, which makes him closer to an AH.”

“Surely, he can manage a little transition time-maybe have a glass of wine with you while you decompress and change, and then you all eat together.”

“He also needs to demonstrate a fair and respectful attitude toward you, esp. in front of your children, and not make you the bad guy.”

“My dad always had a drink with my mum before dinner after a long day of work.”

“I think it helped them reconnect, catch up and breathe before resuming parental roles and duties for the rest of the night.”- Euphoric_Travel2541


“If the children are predictably hungry at a particular time, healthy snacks exist for them, too.”

“It’s perfectly reasonable to want to use the restroom and change out of dress clothes before eating.”

“It’s wildly unreasonable that he is insisting on a dinner time so rigid that stopping for gas or getting stuck in traffic constitutes an actual problem.”- Melificent40


“If you’re working 10-hour days, it’s the least he can do.”

“It happens.”

“You can’t help it.”

“You aren’t doing it on purpose.”

“That’s perfectly reasonable.”

“10 hour shifts must be grueling.”

“Ah, the good old fashioned ‘you don’t praise me and do exactly what I want because I pull my weight around the house, so I’m just going to not do anything anymore.'”

“Husband is the AH here.”- Wikipendotia


“Needing time to go to the bathroom, change, and re-orient after coming home is not unreasonable.”

“From someone with a long commute, if someone shoved a plate in my face the second I walked in the door, I’d be annoyed.”

“The kids are not going to starve in 30 minutes.”

“Him going to extremes, ‘I’ll never cook anymore’ to upset and guilt you are a childish AH move.”

“His need to control dinner time is weird af.”- Turbulent-Bee-1584


“My dad complained about my mom for this EXACT reason.”

“With one exception…. he never got home until after 6, even though his contracted workday ended at 4:30 and he only had a 30-40 min commute.”

“He f*cked around with his coworkers after work, and then expected to still have time to f*ck around when he got home.”

“If you’re coming right home after work, you deserve time to rest!”

“I don’t like coming home right after work and immediately having something to do, so I can totally empathize. 5:15 is early, as others have said; I can’t imagine that waiting a few minutes to start cooking is that much of an inconvenience.”- ThrowRA3970


“I totally get why you’d need a moment to chill after work before dinner.”

“Your hubby’s doing a solid by cooking, but it’s a bit much to dive straight into mealtime with heels still on, right?”

“A little more chat when things are calm could help.”

“Maybe suggest a flexible dinner time, so there’s no stress if you’re running late.”

“It’s cool to appreciate his cooking, but it’s also totally fair to ask for a half-hour breather after work.”

“Balancing both your needs can make those family dinners even better.”- VixenVerveVoyage


“5:15 is an early dinner for anyone – the kids would probably enjoy spending 5 mins with you between walking in and dinner too.”- Cav-mum

“You mentioned somewhere down below that he works the early shift (6-3); I think that has a pretty big impact, to be honest.”

“Because if his day is starting at 6 and his last set task of the day is to cook dinner, it’s very likely that he cannot decompress until after he made said dinner.”

“Which doesn’t mean I think he gets to blow up at you about moving it, say, 30 min, but it does mean that your decompression time potentially cuts into his.”

“I think compromise, as others said, is the solution for sure.”

“Seeing as he gets up at 6, I’d say soft NTA.”

“He’s in the wrong and should not at got this angry at you, but because you buried the lede here I’m not sure if you appreciate his schedule in your daily life with him.”

“If you don’t it might push it to ESH.”- fghjkuio

“NTA, but feed the three-year-old when they’re hungry.”- SmoochyBooch

There were a few, however, who felt that both the OP and their husband could find some middle ground that would make each of them happy, and neither of them needed to resort to losing their tempers:

“I’m going to say ESH, except for the kids.”

“You: Your post shows zero awareness of what other people’s schedules, rhythms, and needs are — only your own.”

“Because of the way meal and snack times are scheduled in Canadian and US daycares and schools, many kids feel genuinely famished at around 5 pm.”

“Your post makes it sound like the kids’ hunger is an excuse and not a real problem.”

“I think that’s unfair.”

“Him: But gee whiz, if he’s expecting you to eat before going to the bathroom, then he doesn’t understand the human body!”

“It’s not unreasonable to use the bathroom and change into comfy clothes before eating.”

“If you’re really committed to family dinner, then the compromise might be for you to forego the decompression until later on in your evening routine.”

“If the kids are bouncing off the walls, then their need for supper may genuinely be more important to address than your need to decompress.”

“Perhaps you could agree to eat 10 or 15 minutes after getting home.”

“This would allow you to take care of basic needs without forcing the kids to wait for you to decompress.”

“However, more broadly, you and your husband might wish to re-think how your family does togetherness.”

“Yes, there’s all kinds of scholarship, both academic and in the mainstream press, about the alleged benefits of the family dinner.”

“However, there are also growing concerns about what happens to families when they try to force themselves to eat together when it doesn’t actually work for their lives.”

“Your family situation is an example of the problem.”

“Just how much are you all truly benefiting from family dinner if you’re trying to make it happen at a time when you want to decompress and the kids needs to eat, but the more you decompress, and the more they have to wait, the more stressed they get?”

“Not to mention your husband, who’s in the middle trying to balance everyone’s competing needs.”

“I can’t see much good coming out of that.”

“You might want to consider whether your family would be better served by finding different things to do together at a different time.”- cpagali

There are worse things than having dinner ready the instant someone gets home from work.

On the other hand, it’s understandable that the OP might just need a little bit of time to get out of work mode when she gets home, allowing her to shift her focus entirely on her family.

Thankfully, this sounds like something that can be solved with a civil conversation and a little bit of compromise from both sides.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.