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Wife says she is sidelined in childcare decisions; 'you treat me like the hired help.' AITA?

Wife says she is sidelined in childcare decisions; 'you treat me like the hired help.' AITA?


"AITA for accusing my husband of treating me like the hired help instead of his wife in front of his family?"


I (34f) have been married to my husband for 4 years, together for 7.5 years and we have two children (2.5 and 5 months). My husband was married before we met. He and his ex-wife separated during her pregnancy with their daughter (13) and divorced after she turned 1.

To my stepdaughter I am dad's wife. I'm okay with that. We get along fine, mostly. She does struggle to be left with me in charge. My husband knows this. We have discussed this at length.

We have worked together to figure out solutions. We even talked with his ex, who is okay with me being around her daughter (I know some aren't) but did not like the idea of her daughter being with me if she could be with her (they don't have a right of first refusal and didn't get it added after this discussion).

And generally didn't love that I would be in a parent role if alone with her kid. She has a very big dislike of the idea of stepparents becoming just parents and she has never wanted her daughter to view me as any kind of mother figure. So discussions were had and agreements were made.

Onto our issue: My husband always has a very busy period of work in June/July and he's basically just home to sleep and nothing else. In June his ex is having surgery and will be out of commission and in the hospital for some time.

The ex's surgery was not mentioned to me at all. But Saturday night while we were at my ILs house, my husband started venting about his ex's surgery and her not wanting their daughter to be in my care all day and his daughter not wanting to have me in charge of her that much, and how he told them I would be doing it and nothing they said or did would change this.

He was pissed at his ex and his daughter a little for having such a dislike for me being in charge even though we get along fine. I asked him when all this happened and he said it had been a few days.

He told me she would be with "us" from June 6th until July 4th and possibly longer. That he was already told he will need to work most Saturdays in June and July. So he told me I'd need to figure out how to best deal with that.

I asked him why he sprung this on me in front of his family instead of discussing it privately. He waved me off and said he knew I wouldn't say no because I love my stepdaughter and I understand that she needs to be with an adult.

He saw an expression on my face and told me I couldn't be angry about it when I know my stepdaughter is still a kid. I told him I wasn't angry at her. I was angry at him.

He told me he can't help his ex and his daughter being somewhat unreasonable. MIL chimed in and offered to take my stepdaughter during the daytime for June. He told her I would handle it, she should be with "us".

This is when I accused him of treating me like the hired help and not his wife because he wasn't discussing it with me and was making decision for me without asking or discussing things through. It was afterward he told me I shouldn't speak to him like that in front of his family. AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


NTA. His ego is wounded you dared say anything, but you're entirely right have told him it should have been discussed privately. He brought it to family not you. Also, if MIL wants to help out, why isn't he on board? He sounds like a controlling man.

The OP responded here:


That's one of my questions. He's never been like this before. But I think he's getting carried away with his anger and frustration with his ex and maybe even his daughter. But I won't let him tell me what to do like this either.


You're NTA. He is treating you like hired help, just telling you what you are going to do without any prior discussion and agreement.

"It was afterward he told me I shouldn't speak to him like that in front of his family."

Bless his heart. He deliberately brought this up in front of his family so that you would be less likely to call him out on his rude behavior. And he was being a dismissive A-H to you. He deserved a lot more pushback than he got.


NTA. He brought it up in front of his family because he thought if he did that, you'd have no choice but to go along with it. He gambled and lost. This is a custody issue. The first step is your husband and his ex figuring out options of who will care for their daughter while her mom recovers from surgery. If they agree she should come to your house, the next step is asking if you're OK with that.

Having your SD for a month is a big ask when you'll basically be on your own as he'll be working. And even more when the ex and the SD don't even want you "in charge" during that time.

Your husband telling you you shouldn't speak to him like that in front of his family is pretty rich given how he was speaking to you. Is he normally this authoritarian with you?


He shouldn't treat you like the hired help in front of his family if he doesn't want to be called out for it in front of his family. Not once did he ask if it was OK with you. Sadly this situation has come about because of the relationship they have fostered between you and SD.

His ex has been adamant to keep you in your place that she didn't have the foresight to think that this situation might occur where they have to rely on you. Ex needs to get over her insecurities.


NTA...If he was respecting you and communicating with you, you wouldn't have reason to get angry in front of his family. He needs to stop blaming others and improve his own behavior.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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