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'AITA for telling my wife I do not want to be sole earner in our household?'

'AITA for telling my wife I do not want to be sole earner in our household?'


"AITA for telling my wife I do not want to be sole earner in our household?

I am in a bit of a bind, early in the month I found out I am in the running for a promotion since someone is retiring next month. Last Friday it was confirmed if I wanted the position it was mine. It comes with a sizable raise and a bonus. I agreed and told my wife on Valentine's Day the good news.

My wife said congratulations and here is where sh%t went downhill very fast. She asked if I would get a raise and stuff, and I said yeah. This is where she asked, "So, I can stop working now?" I thought she was joking so I said No.

Instant tone shift, and dumb me said, 'Wait you were not joking?" This is where she accused me of always playing around. I did apologize and explained I do love her, but I have no desire to be the sole earner in our marriage. I did say if you want to reduce hours or take on a less stressful role or job that is a conversation we can have, but I will entertain the possibility of being the sole earner in our marriage.

My wife was upset and asked why is it such a big deal since my new position's income would be more than what we are currently making together. I tried to explain we could re-look at how the bills are split and stuff, but I kindly asked her to respect that I do not want to be the only person who brings in income.

She asked do I even love her? She mentioned how her other friends have husbands who let their wives stay home. I got annoyed by this question and told her that maybe she should have married one of those guys.

I do know my final comment was out of line, and I did apologize for it. She would not accept it and has been giving me the cold shoulder since. She asked if I even love her comment did sting and I did act like a jackass by saying what I did.

This has always been something I have felt strongly towards. She was also aware of how I felt, but honestly, I don't think neither of us thought either would be in a position to do so. I know I never thought I would be.

She did explain the benefits of her staying home. The problem is I enjoy meal prep, cooking, and cleaning. I listen to podcasts during that time, little moments of zen. I like the current setup where we split the chores. I do not want or need her to take on a larger load.

I get her job is frustrating, and stressful that is why I said she can explore options to reduce her stress or find a less stressful job. She wants out, I get it working sucks, I fully get it, but I tried to tell her what she is feeling is normal but at the same time adults work cause we need to. This is what she told me, but in this case, both of us don't need to work.

Technically speaking she is right with my new income she would not have to work, but on the other hand, I just don't want to be the sole earner. I don't think this makes me a failure or a husband or a man. She made jabs that made it feel as such.

Even if we had kids I probably would be against it, just the way I was raised. Both my parents worked, and they shared the load across the board. Just how I feel. Idk maybe I am wrong or have a dated view. Idk I have tried everything to get her to talk to me, but I am at a loss. Did I f up?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Icy_Coyote9622 said:

NTA. Just because you’re getting promoted doesn’t mean she should quit. Both of you working will allow you to achieve your long term financial goals faster, allowing you BOTH to retire. Anyone who uses “don’t you love me” or any of that BS…well, that’s classic manipulation tactics. Good luck brother.

Limabean4ever said:

NTA. She has an opportunity to change careers and make a change and she won’t take it. Instead she wants to stay home and do what? Wait around for you and get mad because she is bored and you’re late? Hell no. Now I won’t be surprised if she gets prego but if she does it will not be all fun at home.

pineboxwaiting said:

NTA Good grief. You can save your raise and retire early. You guys need a long term financial plan. She can’t just dip out of the workforce. Look at how much you can make year over year by just investing your extra money. Also? You didn’t say anything mean.

throwawtphone said:

NTA. Someone being voluntarily unemployed in a relationship requires both individuals to agree. Doesn't matter the gender who it is, both have to be ok with it, or there will be some major resentment down the road.

Personally, if the person isn't staying home to raise kids or care for a family member with an infirmity or infirmed themselves, I wouldn't do, and for the record, I am a woman. You never know sh$t can happen and then you are screwed with only one income.

throwitaway3857 said:

NTA. And her manipulation attempts are pathetic and hurtful. She’s mad bc she’s not getting her way, so she took jabs at you. Then is turning it around when you counter them, she doesn’t get a right to be hurt when she threw the punches first. You are absolutely a man. Wanting her to work does not make you less of one. But her not wanting to work makes her entitled and the asshole. Stand your ground OP.

superflex said:

NTA. You're supposed to be partners. "Stay at home wife" is an anachronism. The expectation that she should be entitled to not work is simply unfair.

murphy2345678 said:

NTA. Your comment about her marrying one of her friend’s husbands was completely appropriate. After she compared you to them you had every right to defend yourself. She was telling you that she doesn’t think you are as good as them. That you are a lesser man than them.

She doesn’t get to make this decision by herself. Your view isn’t dated. You both came into this knowing each of you would work. You need to be prepared for her to quit her job when she gets pregnant. She is planning to do it.

Ann-von-Beaverhausen said:

NTA. Your wife is very manipulative. It’s gross.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this couple?

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