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Woman Called Out For Reading Books While Her Husband Is At Home Because He Thinks It’s ‘Rude’

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We all enjoy hobbies that we find fun and that help us relax.

But as adults, sometimes it can be really hard to find spare time for our hobbies.

One woman thought she could spend some time reading with her husband on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, but her husband did not appreciate it.

In fact, Redditor WannaBeA_Vata found herself reading significantly less to appease him.

When he rejected her attempts to try to find a middle ground, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to do next.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for reading at home with my husband?”

The OP and her husband didn’t agree about hobby time.

“I enjoy reading books, but my husband feels that it is rude for me to read when we are both home because I am ignoring him.”

“To be clear, this does not happen in excess by anyone’s definition. I have read a maximum of 5 entire books since we got together a decade ago, primarily to avoid upsetting him.”

“We have very similar work schedules.”

The issue recently became more of a problem.

“Recently, I bought a book that was the first in a series of 3, and it started this argument to a higher degree than usual because of the fact that it is a series.”

“I’ve considered going to a café and reading in my car, but that seems like a waste of gas when I could just read at home where it’s more comfortable anyway.”

“But, doing so requires that I tell him I’m about to start reading in the study/bedroom/etc. and that I expect not to be interrupted for the next 30 mins/hour – which is what I intend to do if the results here favor me.”

“Though, this will absolutely upset him, because he approaches me for comment or to tell stories every 10/15 mins on average.”

“So, AITA?”

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 thought this reflected badly on the husband.

“I think it’s more needy and selfish than insecure. The idea that he has to respect her space and not annoy her for 30 mins is too much for him.”

“I just don’t get the idea that people can’t do their own thing in the same house. Like maybe one partner wants to watch a show and the other doesn’t, do they need to wait until one of them has left to do that?”Perspex_Sea

“It sounds like, especially by her ‘he comes up with a comment or to tell stories every 10-15 minutes,’ that would annoy the h**l out of me.”

“It sounds like he cannot stand being alone/the silence/not being attended to and validated constantly. He wants her at his beck and call, to be totally enthralled by all his constant dumb comments and stories.”

“He sounds insecure entitled and controlling. How dare you ignore me and not want to listen to every anecdote that pops into my head every second we spend together??”Nearby_Employment_2943

“NTA.”

“Holy potato, what’s even wrong with your husband? Is he that insecure that he just won’t let you have a few minutes to yourself? Is he that needy?”

“Everyone needs ‘me time.’ If he doesn’t understand it and doesn’t want to change, you may rethink that relationship, OP.”No-Jellyfish-1208

Others agreed and said his behavior sounded like a red flag.

“Your husband does not, or cannot enjoy reading. The reasons for that would be speculative. Regardless, he wishes to limit your access to it, to assuage his own insecurity.”

“This is controlling. It is not acceptable. You are not his hobby helper. You are your own person. As is he.”Excellent_Spot_2631

“What is he, a toddler? I wouldn’t have made it ten minutes with this guy, much less a decade. What a completely strange thing to get hung up on!”

“And oh my god how annoying would it be to be with someone who won’t leave you alone for 15 mins? I don’t even know where my partner is today lol. Haven’t seen him since breakfast.”WithoutDennisNedry

“My eyes actually bugged out of my head when she said she said she’s only read five books in the past TEN YEARS because of this. WTAF (What the Actual F**k)?”

“I would’ve left within three months. I think I probably read five books within the past two weeks – and yeah, I just tell my husband when I want uninterrupted reading time.”

“I’ve been reading a new series all night whilst he quietly watches a couple of films on my laptop.”boudicas_shield

“NTA, depriving you of doing something that you love is notably controlling and restrictive. Doesn’t he have things which he likes to do by himself? If the answer is positive, that is the epitome of hypocrisy.”

“Is there any chance that he’s jealous of you that you can read and comprehend books, and also enjoy them?”

“You have to find the roots of the problem, tell him to tell you precisely what bothers him in your reading so you can solve this. You don’t need to abstain from reading books, that is a wonderful habit and hobby.”Compensate1995

Some also said it’s easy to find things to do on their own.

“It’s like he doesn’t do anything by himself. My husband watches football all day Sunday. I’ll watch one game and I’m done.”

“Guess what I do? Find something else to do! Get a mani-pedi, have coffee with a friend, brunch, reading, binge-watch Netflix by myself. So much I could possibly do and it’s a break for both of us!”

“Something is seriously wrong with this guy.”HuneyBee35

“Seattle has Silent Reading Parties. It’s literally a roomful of strangers in a hotel bar. They hire a piano player, and everyone reads in absolute silence.”

“It’s one of my favorite things in the world.”Groundbreaking_Mess3

“NTA. Husband sounds anti-reading or possibly anti-wife-enjoying-things-that-aren’t-husband-related. Very insecure either way.”

“Makes me appreciate my SO. The first conversation we had was on a bus, him asking me when I looked up from a book if I’ve read other things by that author.”

“If I’m reading, and he wants to talk? He says my name and waits a min (so I’m not mentally whiplashed) – and if I say ‘no, this is a good part of the book,’ guess what? He f**king waits. Or he’ll text a link to the funny headline.”

“Or, if it’s actually important? He’ll comment a moment later, ‘hey, can I talk to you soon?'”

“All for the low low price of me respecting his time enjoying things that aren’t me in return. If I want to talk while he’s listening to a podcast, reading, or playing a game – I say his name, wait a moment for him to look up, and accept it if he says it’s a bad time to stop.”

“Respecting people isn’t hard.”AlexandrinaIsHere

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.

“So, after some of this input, I read for about 90 minutes in the bedroom last night.”

“He was watching some TV, and he did ask, ‘You don’t want to hang out with me?'”

“I said he was welcome to put in headphones and come join me, but he said, ‘nah,’ and continued to watch TV.”

“It has me wondering if maybe he saw some of the responses to this thread because it was unusual.”

“Nevertheless, it went well. I plan to make this part of my Sunday and Wednesday evening routine until I can trust myself to be more casual about it without giving it up again.”

The OP had mixed feelings about whether she was contributing to her husband’s behaviors, but the subReddit suggested she not worry about it. Everyone needs time to themselves, doing things they enjoy,

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.