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'Personal awakening' leads husband to opt for divorce over household chores. AITA?

'Personal awakening' leads husband to opt for divorce over household chores. AITA?


"AITA for asking my wife for a divorce?"


I (41M) have been married to my wife (36F) for over 4 years now. She has 2 kids, boy (16) and a girl (15) from a previous relationship. We live in a house that is hers. I moved in right after our marriage.

Things were good initially, but the last year I have been feeling misplaced and honestly exhausted by the arrangement that we have. Now I knew she was a package deal when I married her but I didn't realize the amount of time that was required for me to put in.

From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed my wife barks orders at me. It can be anything from garden work, working on the house, going shopping, picking up her kids from their extracurriculars, tutoring them which is a whole another can of worms, its her moms birthday, it just never ends.

I feel like I never have any time for myself, I never get to hangout with my friends anymore or do the things that I'm actually interested in. One of the things that is demanded from me is spending time with her kids tutoring them in math and physics.

This has been extremely frustrating as I don't see them pursuing STEM related career but my wife has convinced them that they should become "research scientists".

I'm also required to tutor them in chemistry even though last time I studied the subject was in high school over 20 years ago and I don't remember much, which requires me to read the textbook, learn the material and then spoon feed them the information.

This takes up at least 6-8 hours of my time a week and when they came back with a C on their test, its automatically my fault because I didn't teach them well enough. They also attend tennis and piano lessons and I am often required to drive them to and from.

I also have no privacy in my own home. There are always people there, either her friends or her sisters she has 3 of them, or the kids brought their friends over.

I feel like the house basically has revolving doors when anyone can come and go as they please. Now this might be my own personal problem as I am an introvert I prefer my own space without any outsiders in it.

The catalyst occurred about last month when I was required to go to IKEA get a desk and assemble it myself while she spent 6 hours making spaghetti for dinner while talking on the phone the entire time, and when we went to bed she told me to tutor her oldest in math.

As I was laying in bed, I had this awakening of why am I putting up with this? I use to spend time with my friends I use to sit home and play video games all day and eat pizza, I use to go on trips. Why am I in a situation that doesn't benefit me? I realized I am basically a supporting cast member in my own life.

Last week I sat her down and we had a mature conversation of me wanting a divorce. To my surprise she didn't scream or yell and she tried convincing me to stay and after back and fourth I told her I was going to give it time but in the mean time I have moved out and staying with my parents.

I do love her, she is basically the woman of my dreams she has a lot of great qualities but I just can't do it anymore. When I finally told her on the phone that my decision is final and that I would be filing for divorce she called me selfish and immature, and told me that I had wasted her time by proposing to her.

I honestly don't know if I'm doing the right decision now, when we are alone together things are great but its the everything else that just exhausts me to the point that I have to leave. AITA?

Someone suggested I should do an Update in the OP and answer FAQ so here it is.


Do you work?

Yes I work, I should have put this in the OP to begin.

I have a masters in mathematics (mathstat) and I work as a statistician, which is why my wife thought it would be a good idea to tutor the kids. I have no problems tutoring the kids in maths and physics but my chemistry is a bit rusty and requires more work from me.

Does she work?

Yes she works full time. She is a dentist. So she is also tired and exhausted when she comes home from work.

Why didn't you set boundaries?

The issue isn't setting boundaries, there is work/chores that need to be done around the house and kids and we are both tired from work and somebody has to do it and I don't think its fair for my wife to do everything so I chip in.

The issue I have is that a lot of it is not streamlined properly, I suggested cutting out tennis and piano but she refuses to do that, I also suggested that we move from this house that requires a lot of work and move in to a big apartment again she has refused to do so. She knows how I feel about tutoring the kids and dealing with an old house that requires a lot of maintenance.

Have you tried marriage counseling?

No and I don't think it will solve anything.

The issue for me is not carving more time for myself or doing less chores the issue is that I do not want to do any chores around the house, I do not want to even spend 5 minutes with her kids. I feel absolutely suffocated in that household and I feel I am becoming more aggressive staying there.

"Why does your English suck?"

English is my third language. We don't live in the US, we live in Europe in an non English speaking country.

There is no alimony here, no child support payments and when we divorce we keep what we had before the marriage and split whatever we bought together after the marriage.

What redeeming qualities does your wife have?

So we have "date night" a few nights a week and when we are alone together things are great, she is very loving, attentive, loyal, smart and overall a great woman.

I am unfortunately not able to articulate what makes her amazing to me, but the way she makes me feel is something I have never had before. For people saying these things are the bare minimum have not dated in the past 10 years probably.

Why don't you hire a tutor?

We did at their school but they failed to show up half the time. These kids not only need a lot of tutoring but they also need to be pushed to study as they will not do it on their own.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


INFO: OP, you say your wife is the woman of your dreams and has a lot of great qualities. I’ve read through your post and fail to see any of the great qualities you are referring to. What makes her the woman of your dreams? What are these great qualities?


Boobs I presume.


It's always boobs.


Sometimes it's a fabulous booty.


You could divorce her. Or you could also just start saying "no" to some of the requests and carving a space out for yourself in your own life. Have you ... tried that? You just seem to talk about all this stuff being "required" as if you don't get a choice. You do. You always did.

If you haven't tried, you maybe should. Not that you should necessarily remain married... but if you don't learn to speak up for what you need in a relationship you're NEVER going to be in one that works.


This struck me as well. Saying no is an option, telling her to hire a tutor is an option. I wouldn't take on all that stuff.


She loves what you do for her, not you.

Get out man. She's turned you into her servant.


Going based off your post and your comments, you list off that she has some good qualities - sexually active, makes her own money, has a house, etc - but most of what you listed off as issues that you're having are things that come with being a Spouse and a parent.

You're using words like "barked" and "demanding", but those can just be your word choice because you're upset. Then you go on to say you miss sitting around with your friends, playing games, and eating pizza - things a childless bachelor does. Something a person with no responsibilities does.

Helping in the yard, helping around the house, helping kids with their homework, and tutoring where they're struggling - these are normal things that homeowners and parents DO. I have 3 kids and own a home - my 'free time/me time' is when the kids go to bed.

The fact that you went straight to the nuclear option of divorce without talking to her about working on the marriage in any way is pretty telling. Have you voiced your concerns at all in the entirety of your marriage? What about when you were engaged or dating? Have you ever brought your issues to her or did you expect her to read your mind?

If there's more you're not telling us, that's one thing - but if this is it? You're throwing away your marriage without doing anything to fix it first? That's an issue. I don't blame her for being mad at you for wasting her time.

Her kids are 16/15? You've been married for 4 years? So at MINIMUM, they've been in your life since they were 12/11, or younger (hopefully) due to dating and engagement.

I would be angry if the person I'd invested that much time into and into my kids lives just up and divorced me without communicating the issues beforehand and gave me a chance to work on things.

So, if you could give the OP any advice in this situation, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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