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'AITA for telling my wife to never volunteer me to help her family again?'

'AITA for telling my wife to never volunteer me to help her family again?'


We all have our boundaries when it comes to providing free labor, yes - even for family.

"AITA for telling my wife to never volunteer me to help her family again?"

My wife (38F) and I (39M) have been married for 8 years and have a 4-year-old son. My wife's younger brother (Joe) and his GF are moving into an apartment together at the beginning of June. But GF's lease is up at the end of April so she needed to move out of her place. But Joe currently lives in a studio apartment so he doesn't have room for all her stuff.

So they were going to move all of GF's stuff into a storage unit for a month until they get their new place together. A little over a month ago Joe had asked my wife if we would be able to help them move GF's stuff and she agreed. My MIL was supposed to watch our son so we could both help, but she fell ill and had to cancel.

My wife suggested trying to get a babysitter for that day but I didn't want to spend hundreds on a babysitter to help someone move, that's dumb. And bringing a 4-year-old with us would not be helpful to anyone. This turned into an argument between us because she said I should help them move while she watches our son since I'm stronger than she is and I know how to drive our truck with a trailer.

I told her that she should help them and have them rent a U-Haul for the day. We "compromised" by telling Joe that I would help them but they need to get a U-Haul instead of using our truck and trailer. Then, the morning of the move (this past Saturday), my wife told me that a friend of hers got suite tickets through work to a hockey game for that day and invited them.

Yes, suite tickets to a playoff hockey game. She said she would be bringing our son since her friend was bringing her kids too. Great, so not only do I get stuck helping someone move, but my wife and son get to go have an amazing experience together that I miss out on. And yes, this was my son's first major sporting event and I was missing it.

And wouldn't you know it, Joe never got a U-Haul. And his GF wasn't even close to packed up and ready when I got there. I spent 7-8 hours and multiple trips back and forth helping them move. All the while my wife is sending pictures to our family group chat of how much fun they're having at the hockey game.

When everyone was home that night, my wife was surprised that I wasn't in a good mood. She said that I acted like I barely cared when our son was telling us about the hockey game and how much fun it was. I asked her if she was seriously confused about why I was upset and she told me to tell her.

So, I started railing off all the reasons I had to be pissed off. She volunteered me to help, she got to spend the day doing something very special with our son that I missed out on, her brother and his GF were not prepared, and I had spent the entire day doing manual labor.

I ended my little rant by telling her that she is never going to volunteer me to help her family ever again.

She told me I was overreacting and I can't hold it against her that her friend invited them to the game. She also said I'm not being fair by blaming her for Joe and his GF.

The internet had plenty to say about the situation.

ashleighbuck wrote:

Jeeeeeez NTA.

"She told me I was overreacting and I can't hold it against her that her friend invited them to the game."

You're not holding it against her that her friend invited them to the game, that's ridiculous. You're upset that while she volunteered and strong-armed you into doing this favor, she apparently was having a grand old time.

How callous do you have to be to not only continuously send pictures of their good time while you're stuck doing something SHE made you do, but then to pretend you're upset because she was invited by a friend? I'm guessing you couldn't care less that she was invited. I'm guessing what actually hurts is her blatant disregard for your time & energy. On top of that, missing your son's first like that.

"She also said I'm not being fair by blaming her for Joe and his GF."

Remind me who volunteered you for the job?

Peony_Pony wrote:

NTA If your brother in law and his girlfriend weren't packed when you arrived, you should have left and told them to call you when they were done packing. If someone asks for assistance moving it implies they are packed.

C_Majuscula wrote:

NTA. I've helped a lot of people move and NOT A SINGLE ONE was totally ready to move. It's a spectrum and most are on the "not totally packed and definitely haven't cleaned" end. Then he didn't even bother with the UHaul. She knew she was setting you up for a s#$t day as soon as she said she was staying home to watch your son. Going to the hockey game was just the cherry on your s#$t sundae.

BaileyTheNerd wrote:

NTA. OP, I'm someone who compulsively helps basically anyone and everyone I am in a position to help- what I hate, however, is being volun*-told* that I'm going to help someone. Especially, when that person I'm going to help hasn't even done the bare minimum to help themselves.

If hockey is your thing, then that's a double dick move on the part of your wife. Either she needed to be with you, helping, or her brother could find someone else to help.

JohnStalvern wrote:

NTA- It's deeply inconsiderate of your wife to volunteer you without asking your permission first, and doubly so of her for accusing you of "blaming her for Joe and his GF" when she was the one that volunteered you to clean up their mess. Next time they need help in any way that is a meaningful time or energy commitment, if your wife thinks they need the help that bad she can go.

extinct_diplodocus wrote:

NTA. She never should have agreed in the first place without your input. With no babysitter, she should have called and postponed the move.

An aside: When there was no trailer and they hadn't packed, you should have said, "Okay, we'll try for another day after you're actually ready and prepared to move."

Sources: Reddit
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