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'AITA for telling my wife she'd be more useful cooking and cleaning than chasing her dream?'

'AITA for telling my wife she'd be more useful cooking and cleaning than chasing her dream?'


We all snap sometimes, it's only human, but that doesn't mean snapping can't go too far.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for telling his wife it'd be more useful if she cooked and cleaned. He wrote:

"AITA for telling my wife that she would be infinitely more useful cooking and cleaning than chasing her dream?"

I’m 39 and male. My wife is 36. We have two sons, 5 and 3. Two years ago, my wife approached me one day and told me that she was interested in making some money off of Instagram. I thought it was a fine idea, as she was home during the day and couldn’t work because our younger son was still too small.

We’re fortunate that I make enough money to support our lifestyle comfortably, and I encouraged her to go for it. Unfortunately, in the past two years as a hopeful Instagram influencer, she has not made a single cent. Her earlier attempts at gaining followers were for post-partum fitness, and since she knows nothing about fitness, that went nowhere.

She tried to make exercise guides where she would do these bizarre mobility movements, and these would only get a few views. She moved on to doing makeup tutorials, which similarly fell flat, likely because there are a billion such channels out there.

Then she jumped onto this slice of life train, where she would make videos talking about her day, but to be frank they all were pretty boring, and she failed to attract any attention. The issue isn’t that she’s trying. The issue is that she spends the overwhelming majority of her waking hours on Instagram and skirts her household responsibilities.

I wake up at 5am, go for a run, come home, make breakfast for everyone, then make lunch for our older child and myself, and take him to kindergarten. I go to work until about 5pm, get home around 5:30, make dinner for everyone, wash most of the dishes, tidy up a bit, bathe our sons, play with them, and go to bed.

She wakes up at 7:45, usually later because she was up late on Instagram, lies down on the sofa as I do everything, and while I’m at work she works on her Instagram more. Any attempt to get her to do something is met with complaining.

The other day I finally got fed up with her because I walked in the door to a complete disaster zone of things strewn everywhere, the laundry not done, and a sink full of dirty dishes. I asked what she had done all day, to which she responded she was “busy.”

I snapped at her and told her that her Instagram is going nowhere and that I’ve put up with it for two years longer than I should have, and that she would be infinitely more useful cooking and cleaning. She got this horrified look on her face and walked away. She went into the bedroom (naturally looking at her phone) and left me to deal with everything that night. AITA for how I reacted to her?

The internet had a lot to say in response.

RedLight0516 wrote:

There's a reason that these things are usually side hustles until they go big. It's hard to make it. Having no job, bringing in no income and contributing nothing to the household is not a realistic way to be a good partner. Could you have worded it better or been more tactful? Sure, but I get how you would just kind of snap in the moment. NTA.

Hyperfixmum wrote:


I think your reaction is a normal breaking point. She tried. You should be encouraging around that.

She even pivoted. It’s not that you don’t believe in her. But, it hasn’t worked even a little bit. The children are still so young and she’s missing out on time connecting with them and with you. It’s not healthy. Her continuing this, is at the detriment of your families rhythm and routines and not what you imagined family life would look like. Ask if it’s what she pictured either?

What does she picture an average day to look like? I feel now that she’s so detached and staying up late, it all feels like she has an addiction to her phone and social media. Which is why social media is so nefarious, it’s changed her priorities which started out so innocent (to be creative and bring in extra money) to where her family is a burden. It’s turned her brain to mush.

Sometimes this happens because as moms we are in sensory overload during those early years and it’s so easy to soothe with dopamine from the phone. I’d approach it like an addiction, that it’s not about being supportive of dreams or pigeonholing her into a SAHM role, but rather that she isn’t balancing her “career” and neglecting connecting with her family and pulling her weight with household responsibilities.

I would say that it’s to the point to draw a hard line. A year of getting off social media and just focusing on the family and your marriage. That no adult phones can be out around your children (and you both will step into another room if you need to look up a recipe or take a call), and both phones get put in a drawer at dinner time and at bedtime.

Breakdown the household tasks again, commit to reading books together (Fair Play Method), and if necessary there are digital detox getaways. Be ready to support new growth, such as gym membership, share skill classes, hiking moms groups. Just…not MLM or coaching schemes. But, she does need an identity outside motherhood.

-_BitterSweet_- wrote:

NTA, even if she was making money she would still be neglecting your kids and her whole job as a stay at home mom. You should have centered the conversation around that, she can be an influencer wannabe but she should still do her tasks.

I'm sure with having the kids at kindergarten she would still have the time to be an influencer, many of them center their content around cleaning the house or preparing meals.

mifflewhat wrote:

NTA. She thought being an influencer would be easy, but she was wrong. Whatever it takes to be an influencer, she isn't a good fit. As your kids grow older, she's going to need to figure out what she can do with her life. At the same time, she's going to need to pick up more of the household tasks.

IrrelevantManatee wrote:

ESH. Sure, her "career" is going nowhere and is making her neglect her family.

But snapping at her?'s not like she started yesterday. You had plenty of time to sit down with her and TALK like adults about the issue instead of yelling insults.

Top_Put1541 wrote:

The truth is, she's not useful to her partner or her kids as-is. And that's not sustainable. When she's ready to talk, tell her that you want to see a business plan for identifying a market that's not being served, and building her audience, and a timeline for becoming profitable.

Tell her if she's going to treat social media like a job, then she has to perform like a manager with quarterly goals, projections for growth and revenue, and action items. It is 2024.

There is an abundance of material out there for her to use to get started. And if that's too big an ask -- then she either has to get a jobby-job (even if the salary is eaten by daycare, at least she's on the rolls for social security) or she has to up her game on the domestic front to prove she's still willing to be a viable marital/family team. You're NTA, in my opinion.

PsychologicalPlum961 wrote:

NTA and frankly you should tell her that unless she gets her head out of her ass (aka social media) and starts pulling her weight around the house, you will divorce her. And mean it. It's like social media has truly rotten some people's brains and taken over their lives ffs!

Remarkable_Pie_1353 wrote:

ESH. Your post is overflowing with contempt for your wife. That will cause you two to divorce if you don't replace the feeling with concern and healthy problem solving regarding this conflict. She might be depressed, addicted, longing for attention, whatever. She needs to see a therapist.

You two should also go to couples' therapy bc your growing anger over 2 years ending with your recent explosion is dysfunctional. You need therapy to learn how to work as a team and work out conflict in healthy ways.

Stinkadore11 wrote:

This makes me incredibly sad that your very young children are second fiddle to Instagram. NTA, you have been more patient then most people would have been, I’m sure! While I understand that your wife has ambitions, it is clearly not working out the way that she hoped. I would just want to shake her and scream that her children are being neglected by her for what?!? A fake life.

It is alarming to me that she doesn’t feel bad watching you do all household chores while she sits there. This makes me think this is an entirely deeper issue. I would give an ultimatum, get rid of the phone or I’m leaving. It sounds drastic but there’s no way my spouse would be scrolling Instagram all day while I cared for 2 young children. She is missing out on her own life!

Clearly, the internet

Sources: Reddit
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