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'AITA for expecting physical intimacy on a date night with my wife?' UPDATED 3X

'AITA for expecting physical intimacy on a date night with my wife?' UPDATED 3X


Setting up regular date nights is a great way to keep the flame alive in a relationship, but sometimes, it's not enough.

"AITA for expecting physical intimacy on a date night with my wife?"

My wife and I generally have a great relationship. Last night, however, I learned from my wife that she has been on a# strike for most of the last month due to some comments I made following our last date night (which was about a month ago). As background, I arrange a date night each month for the two of us.

I plan a dinner somewhere nice, arrange a babysitter, feed our three kids dinner, and otherwise handle all of the logistics so that all she has to do is show up. Typically, we will grab drinks somewhere after dinner (sometimes meeting up with friends for the drinks portion, and other times going just the two of us). Earlier this month, I planned an evening out and we had a fantastic dinner together.

After dinner, I proposed that we go to a nearby wine bar, my wife (who had been texting with the wife of a couple we are close friends with), asked if we could go meet up with them for drinks instead. I was fine with that, so we headed towards a nearby bar that they had proposed.

However, the other couple's dinner ran later than ours, and by the time it ended, the wife was tired and decided she wanted to go to bed. As such, her husband ended up taking her home and then joining us at the local bar they had proposed. Around 11:45 we had to leave to relieve our babysitter. My wife was having fun and didn't want the evening to end, so she invited our friend over for another drink.

I told her I was fine with that, but that I was hoping to be in bed by 1:00 a.m. (as background, I do the morning shift with our three kids every day and they get up early). My wife promised that we'd be in bed by then. Our friend came over, we opened a bottle of wine, put on some music, and we're all having a good time.

1:00 comes around and he gets up to go, but my wife tells us we can't leave, as she is vibing. I stick around for another 10 minutes or so and then decide to call it, as I was getting pretty tired. My wife tells me she will be up in another 10 minutes. I get ready for bed (which takes about that long) and don't hear her coming, so I go to bed.

Around 3:00, I get woken up by her coming into our bedroom (she was drunk at this point and made a lot of noise). I'm now wide awake, and if that happens, it usually takes me a while to go back to sleep (in this case, it took me until around 5:00, which was fun when the kids woke up at 6:30).

Anyways, at this point, since I'm now wide awake, I ask her if she'd want to have s#x (probably not the most romantic, I know). She declines, as she is tired and wants to go to sleep. Fair enough, I don't push the issue, and and she immediately falls asleep.

However, I can't sleep now due to being woken up, and sit there and stew for a few hours (mostly frustrated at being woken up but also annoyed at how the evening went overall).

My first mistake was sending her a text (while she is asleep) saying that her actions that evening were hurtful and that it felt like I planned this nice evening, only for her to end up spending the later part of it with someone else (and not like that - I am 100% confident they were just listening to music and chatting). The next morning, she came downstairs apologetic.

However, I made the mistake of mentioning that her actions made me not really want to plan these extravagant date nights anymore, as she had broken her promise about going to bed at a reasonable hour and then ruined my sleep (not the first time this has happened on a date night).

Then (and this is where I may be the AH), I added that this was at least the fourth date night in a row where the night had ended with us not having s#x, and that in my mind, a good date night ends in s#x. I also added that this one was particularly offensive because it felt like she abandoned me at the end of the night.

These comments really upset her, and she said they made her feel like I only appreciate her for s#x. She added that date nights should be about having fun and enjoying her company, and that I should assume we won't have s#x on date nights.

Honestly, I have some sympathy for her perspective about enjoying each other's company being the most important part of a date night, but I also don't think it is unreasonable to feel a little let down after planning a romantic evening, especially since it had become a pattern, and particularly where she effectively choose to do something else rather than have s#x with me. So Reddit, what do we think? AITA?

Not long after posting, OP shared an update.

Updates: Well, this surprisingly took off. A few responses to commonly asked questions:

Why involve friends on date night? Because she asked - it wasn't what I had planned, but I do try to make her happy.

2. How often do we normally have sex? 2-3 times a week, which is honestly pretty good for having three young children, although the distribution tends to be a little uneven (i.e. we might have it 5 times one week and then only once the next). I also try to be a generous partner, and almost always try to get her off first (unless she just asks for a quickie).

3. How did I not notice the s#x strike that was going on for almost a month? I intentionally took a week off from initiating in an effort to show I wasn't just about s#x, and then I caught a severe case of COVID at the end of that week, and then she got her period, and then we went on a trip (where s#x is hard with small kids).

So even if she hadn't been intentionally withholding, there wouldn't really have been an opportunity for it. Just a really unfortunate series of events that happened one after the other.

We also did slip in a couple of sessions in there where she initiated (in what she called "moments of weakness") - frankly, we both like s#x, but she is sometimes willing to hurt/penalize herself to prove a point. Also, we've had 4 or 5 stretches in the past where we have gone many months without s#x due to childbirth / major surgery / depression. I do truly care for my wife, and I'm willing to play the long game.

4. Why are you not worried about your wife being with a male friend late at night? We're very close to this couple, and they are probably over at our house at least once a week. The husband in particular is close friends with both me and my wife. His wife works very early in the morning, so she pretty much always goes to bed very early.

As such, he is often left alone at night, and he frequently ends up at our place (where we play drink, play board games or cards, listen to music, play guitars, etc.). It is not at all unusual for him to come over and stay late at our place, as my wife and I stay up much later than his wife. It was only weird (and frustrating) because my wife invited him over on a date night.

Our friend is also a really solid guy - he's probably the safest person I could think of to hang out with my wife who is a guy. I know the optics aren't great and that if I were a third party I'd probably think something shady is going on - just knowing the people involved, it's not something I am concerned about.

I'm confident our friend intended to come over for just a drink - he did in fact try to leave, and he had even called an uber - my wife grabbed his phone and cancelled it. And I do think they did just lose track of time. We had a brief power outage the day before so our living room clock was not working.

5. What happened on the other three dates? On one, we had met up with a large group of friends at a bar after dinner and we were all having fun. Unfortunately, one of us had to relieve the babysitter. I kindly offered to go home and let her stay out with the crew (many of our friends stay out late - most have family or a full-time nanny that can do overnights).

She ended up staying out until after 3:00 and was blackout when she got back, so I helped her get into bed and called it a night. On another, we got into an argument over something stupid at dinner and it k**led the mood.

On the third, she just was very tired by the time we got home and wanted to go to sleep (which is totally valid - I didn't complain or push it). This wasn't really a pattern of any specific behavior on her part - I was more just frustrated that circumstances seemed to always conspire to prevent the ideal date night from occurring, and this one being foiled was definitely her fault.

6. Why did your wife stay up so late? My wife is a bit of a night owl. Her ideal schedule is probably to stay up until 12 or 1 and then sleep in until 9. And on the weekend when she is having fun, she would easily stay up until 2 or 3.

This is something that we have argued about in the past, as once she gets going she doesn't like to stop (which she admits isn't the best), which always leaves me needing to be the responsible one. I've told her in the past that I'd gladly stay up until 3:00 with her if she agrees to do the morning shift the next day, but she has always declined on the basis of that not being enough sleep.

7. How is your division of labor? I work a high pay, long hours job, and my wife is a SAHM. When I'm at work I'm obviously gone and she takes care of the kids. When I'm not working, I probably do 60% of the household labor and she does 40% - I try to do the heavy lifting with the kids when I'm home because taking care of three young kids is exhausting, and I know she appreciates the break.

In particular, I do the morning shift, which we both view as the worst one. She is definitely appreciative of all the household labor I do, and has stated she recognizes that I do more than any of our male friends.

8. Is your wife a good mom? She's a fantastic mom - really, truly fantastic. She puts in a ton of effort making our kids' lives fun and full of whimsy. She's all their friends' favorite mom since she's fun and cares about them.

She goes 100% when taking care of the kids, which I think is why she sometimes parties perhaps too late and doesn't want the night to end, as taking care of kids really is draining, especially if you go max effort.

9. How is your relationship otherwise? We both do thoughtful things for one another. I make her coffee every morning and leave a note for her next to the mug. She helps my mom with tech support (which is a true act of love - I did it for years and hated it). I buy her flowers about once a week and will randomly surprise her with small gifts.

She will buy me less frequent (but larger and more thoughtful) gifts. If you take s#x out of the equation, the relationship is great (and until a few weeks ago I would have told you that was great too).

10. Are you an unreliable narrator? I hope not? I think if you asked my wife what happened, she would agree with essentially everything I've said.

I think she would probably just add some additional background information, the big one being that we have had arguments about sex in the past. We had a bad argument about 9 months ago that led to about a month-long hiatus after I complained to her that we never had s#x while on vacation (and we probably take 10 or so trips a year, although many of them are just for long weekends).

Her view was that we usually have kids in a room directly adjacent to us (and often other adults, since we typically do an AirBnB with friends or go to a friends' vacation home), and that she would be mortified if our kids or friends heard us.

It's honestly a valid point, and she convinced me of it (I stopped trying on vacation unless she initiates (which she still does periodically)), but she did feel that I was ungrateful in light of all the normal s#x we were having, and that she needed to reset expectations so that s#x was special rather than a usual occurrence. I get the sense that her current s#x strike is essentially the same thing.

11. Is this fake? Unfortunately, no. I'm very much a real human. Beep boop beep boop.

And soon after that, he added yet another update.

Update: We had a great discussion last night (and some great s#x) and are fully reconciled. I apologized for making her feel like I was primarily valuing her for providing sex (it's not true, but my comments made her feel that way) and not appreciating how much s#x we were already having.

She apologized for ruining the last date night. She spoke to her sister about it yesterday and her sister told her inviting someone else over on your date night was really stupid. So in the future, she said she wants date nights to be just the two of us - we can do meet ups with others on other days.

This was what I was going to ask for but she beat me to it. I also promised not to complain about s#x (even where, like in this case, it was not the primary complaint but part of a larger complaint) and not to send grumpy texts while she is sleeping (and instead just talk to her in the morning). So communication wins again!

TLDR: I planned a nice date night. We ended up meeting up with friends after dinner, my wife invited one of the friends back to our place to keep partying, and when I tried to end the evening, told me to go to bed and kept partying with the friend before coming up at 3:00 and dr*nkenly waking me up.

We got into a fight over this the next morning, and I told her it was hurtful that on a date night she decided to hang out with a friend to finish the night rather than come to bed with me, and that a date night should ideally end in us having s#x, not hanging out with others.

This did not go over well, as it made her feel that I was only valuing her for s#x, and that I was ungrateful for how much s#x we do have (which is admittedly a lot for a married couple with small children).

The commenters didn't hold back.

Pebbles197053 wrote:

I think you should stop meeting up with friends for drinks after dinner. If it’s a date night it should be about just the two of you.

CuriosityRover12 wrote:

Why involve friends on date nights?

abnormallycliche responded:

The dude still thinks that isn’t one of the big problems. You’re complaining about intimacy yet completely okay that your date night gets sidetracked with other parties involved. How do you expect to reconnect and be romantic when you involve other people?

Hanging out with friends should be its own thing. And this isn’t even mentioning the whole inviting him back and letting him hang with your wife while you go to bed…

SlipperyPickle6969 wrote:

Well here's a crazy idea. How about on your DATE NIGHT WITH YOUR don't meet up with friends???? Wouldn't it be helpful if it's time for just the two of you, or is dinner alone just too much alone time and you need other people to entertain you??? Because obviously your wife enjoyed being entertained by someone else over you.

A month later, OP shared another update.

Whelp, I posted about a month ago about how I was upset my wife invited our friends back over to our house at the end of a date night, and she and the husband ended up hanging out until 3:00 a.m. after I went to bed at 1:00. A lot of people suggested they were having an affair, and that I was blind to not see it.

I swore and swore there was no way, I trust both of them, etc. Turns out, the internet was right. I was unpacking the car and my wife had left her phone in there, and when I picked it up a text from our friend flashed across saying how he wanted to kiss her and asking her to tell me she needed a night out and should go out to the bar with him.

I know its an invasion of privacy, but we know one another's passcodes, so I opened her phone and checked their text chain. She had been deleting his messages but they were still in the deleted messages folder, and it wasn't great.

They've been going on dates during the day when I'm at work, and he has said very suggestive things to her. I confronted my wife about it and she claimed it was purely an emotional affair, that she knew he loved her, and enjoyed the attention, and that she had been dealing with severe depression (which is true) and it was nice to have someone to talk to who wasn't me.

That she still loved me - it was just very flattering to have the attention. I don't know whether that is all true or not, but I honestly do think she is telling the truth - she pretty much argued it wasn't that big of a deal because they didn't do anything physical outside of him kissing her once, and in her defense the suggestive texts all came from him.

So I don't know where we will end up - just reality shattering because I would have never thought either would betray me like this.

TL:DR: Reddit was right - they were having an affair.

The comments kept coming in.

virtualchoirboy wrote:

First, look up "trickle truthing." You have not yet been given the full story. She's also going to continue to cheat on you. A cheater that regrets their actions wouldn't try to minimize them.

Second, tell his wife. She needs to know that her partner is betraying her too. Third, go get a consultation with a divorce lawyer or two. Consultation doesn't mean filing. It means learning what the process is like and what the potential outcomes are. I'm sorry you're going through this.

controvro69 wrote:

the audacity of her to argue that its not a "big deal" and worse, OP giving excuses for her in the comments.

Commercial-Editor807 wrote: are being waaaay too naïve here! I would put good money on the fact that this dude slept with your wife while you were upstairs sleeping. But, ignoring that. This dude was supposed to be your friend? Did you tell his wife who you are also supposed to be friends with?

Feisty-Class-1501 wrote:

Your responses have convinced me that you are one of the most naive and gullible suckers in this world. “Only emotional.” lol. “She still loves you.” lol. “Only kissed once.” Hahhhahahahahah. Bro I bet you think strippers love you too. I also have this Nigerian Prince that just needs you to send him 10k.

Also, I have a sure fire investment opportunity for you with a 1000% profit return. In all seriousness, what you should do: Tell the guy’s wife. Hope you were smart enough to save the evidence for your divorce. Tell your kid before your wife spins a story to make you into the bad guy. Kick her out of the house.

Find someone better that is worth your loyalty and time. What you will do. Be a pushover lowering yourself by forgiving her. Eventually lose her respect and respect for yourself by trying to win her back. Lose your family and friends and become a laughing stock while she continues f#$king him behind your back and probably in your own bed while you’re at work.

theworldisonfire8377 wrote:

Do you really believe that between the hours you went to bed the night of the date, and when she came stumbling to bed drunk (and denied you sex, gee I wonder why) that they didn't do anything? Seems pretty obvious that she wouldn't want to have sex with you right after she just got finished with him.

I wouldn't believe a thing that came out of her mouth anymore. She lied right to your face so many times. I'm sorry she did this to you. But I don't think you have the whole story yet.

Sources: Reddit
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