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Wife demands husband choose between SAHD role or divorce, he brings in his mom. AITA? + Husband's Defense

Wife demands husband choose between SAHD role or divorce, he brings in his mom. AITA? + Husband's Defense

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"AITA forcing my husband to choose between divorce and being a househusband while I work full-time to support the family?"

Joanna_Queen_772

Long story short, my husband (37M) used to work to support the family while I (36F) stayed home taking care of our 2yo daughter. Last month, he lost his job and told me he felt exhausted and wasn't eager to do anything. I said okay and offered to work so he could look after our daughter at home and get some rest until he feels better.

By the way, our daughter goes to daycare, so it's mainly some housework and picking her up. But he said no, he needs his time to be completely free. I got furious because this means either I work while also taking care of our daughter, or our family will face significant financial pressure.

But I stepped back anyway and had a hell of a month doing everything while he hung out with his friends and played PS5. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and told him he had to choose between being a househusband or divorce. He chose the first, but it felt forced. I keep questioning myself: was I too harsh? Any good advice would be appreciated.

Update: I never thought this would draw so much attention. I'm trying to read as many comments as I can and I really appreciate your opinions, especially those pointing out things I should have told him and I didn't. I've decided to show him the post after work and see if we can have a real talk based on that. Again, thank you all.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:

somethingstrange87

NTA adults with children don't get to have their time "complete free".

bored-panda55

This. NTA. It’s is one thing to not jump back in a job it’s another to ignore your family completely. OP your husband can spend some time your daughter is in daycare to seek out therapy as well.

Antique_Wafer8605

She's a saint for lasting a month.

Dipshitistan

NTA. Johnny doesn't get to re-live being 13 on the back of his spouse's labor.

FoggyDaze415

NTA. You were very reasonable. Bluntly, you don't get to "rest" the way he is when you have a kid. You have to take care of said child.

Four days later, the OP returned with an update.

"Update: I (36F) showed my husband (37M) the last post, and we had a talk. Then, without asking me, he invited my mother-in-law to come, even though he knows I’ve never gotten along well with her."

Joanna_Queen_772

So, I got off work, picked up my daughter, and showed my husband the post after she fell asleep. I told him that millions had seen it and made various points. I admitted that my ultimatum was an impulsive reaction and that I preferred having a calm discussion to work through this.

He said he was surprised I shared family matters on Reddit and that he wouldn't have done it. He said he wasn't feeling depressed, just tired and exhausted after years of working, and he just wanted to be childish for a bit and really enjoyed the month off.

I kind of understood because we used to travel a lot before our daughter was born, and life has been harder since then. I told him I wouldn't force him to work and that he could take his time as long as he could pick up our daughter and do the housework. He hesitated but told me not to worry.

I thought this was the end of it. Then, the next day, I came home from work to find his mother there. I was shocked because he hadn't told me anything. She started picking up our daughter and doing the housework.

This is driving me crazy because I have never gotten along with her well, and my husband knows this. I feel like he asked her to come so he could continue being childish, disregarding how I feel.

His mother raised him as a single mom, and according to my husband, she was very protective and planned to live with him for his whole life. He felt suffocated, so he went to a university far from home and reduced contact with her.

I remember one time she came and got sick, vomited, and I cleaned up her mess. Suddenly, she asked her son to come and told him that her underwear was dirty and needed to be washed by hand that very night, even though we had a washing machine.

My husband and I had agreed that our marriage was ours and that she wouldn't come and live with us. He broke his promise. I'm considering divorce, but I'm worried our daughter is too young to understand it.

I've thought about holding on for a while, but these days of living with her are already driving me crazy, and I don't see a quick end. I've thought about being an AH and forcing her to leave, but that might lead to divorce. I really need some advice. Thank you all.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's update:

Open-Incident-3601

The best news is that your daughter is so young that once you get through the transition she will just grow up with you two being divorced. My bio parents divorced when I was two. I have no memories of them ever being together.

The OP responded:

Joanna_Queen_772

This helps me a lot, thank you for your words.

13surgeries

It's far better for your daughter that you get her out of that unhealthy dynamic. I stayed in my nightmare marriage for the sake of my daughter, and sticking around for the crazy did more damage than taking her and getting the hell out would have. She's grown up now and is in therapy. She's also gone NC with her father. Please don't make my mistake.

Glittering-Bat353

So... you tell him he needs to pull his weight as an adult, and his answer is to literally call his mommy to do the work for him?! If he wants to be a child so badly, you really need to pack him up and send him back home with his mommy so she can baby him the way you will (and should) not.

Not to mention that you're the breadwinner and can't stand this woman. Put your foot down and get both out of the house. You gave him an ultimatum. He woefully failed it. Now, you need to follow through with the other half of it and bring out the consequences.

Open-Incident-3601

And if you stay, you will teach your daughter to also choose a man who mistreats her. Imagine your daughter married to a man just like her Dad with a MIL just like yours and then make your decision.

As the OP mentioned, her husband was now aware of her post online. A week later, he returned with his own post.

"AITA for asking my mother to live with us to call my wife's bluff after she posted our family matters online?"

dsteven88

I found out my wife posted about our situation on Reddit, so I thought I should share my side too. I lost my job in May and wanted some free time because life after having a baby feels suffocating.

I've always been a free spirit, working and traveling, and then I met my wife, J. This lifestyle continued, and we traveled a lot, from Tibet to Antarctica. I was a seller, and she had a great business selling replica bags, making enough for us to enjoy our lives.

We hit it off, got married, and had a great time together. We even considered being child-free and consulted an older couple on an Antarctic cruise, whose happiness convinced me this could be our future.

The thing is, my mom really wanted a grandchild. At the time, I didn't think much of it and felt it wasn't a big deal, so I discussed it with my wife, and we decided to go ahead. Her pregnancy was tough; she had severe morning sickness, and I felt really sorry for her.

After the baby was born, she wanted to focus on the baby, and I agreed to hold the family burden alone. Life then became all about work, with no more traveling or other interesting stuff.

So last month, I had enough. No more working, no more baby duties, and we agreed to give me a trial break. The past month was quite healing until one day she got mad and suddenly gave me an ultimatum of divorce.

I didn't want a divorce, so I started doing housework, which I wasn't prepared for. Then last week, my wife came home and asked me to talk, showing me her post about us in this sub.

She said millions of people had read it and called me an immature AH. I was pretty upset and asked my mother to help with the housework so my wife would be relieved and, to be honest, to call her bluff.

She's not happy, of course, and neither am I. We've barely talked since then, kind of a cold fight. These days, I've caught her several times watching her phone for a long time and sometimes crying.

I believe she posted about us again, and I've been waiting for her to talk even though I wanted to start the conversation but got cold feet feeling the tension in the family.

Writing this is easier. So here I am, internet people. This is my first and last post about it. I just want to share my side of the story. And J, if you see this, I'm ready to talk anytime.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after hearing from the OP and her husband:

Alienz_Cat

YTA. I read your wife’s post earlier today. After you stopped working, you both sat down and she agreed to you taking a month off. No housekeeping, no baby duties. She did all of that on top of working full time.

At the end of that time, you are still not ready to go back to work, but she can’t do it all and keep carrying that load so she asks you to be a stay at home dad (kid goes to daycare) and take care of some of the household stuff. You say no.

She’s exhausted. Remember she has carried your baby for 9 months and is now back at work full time, plus taking in all household and family responsibilities. I believe you are playing games online and hanging with friends?

Now you claim you brought you mum, whom you’ve both been very LC with into the home, to do all the day care and household chores and you wonder why she is upset? Seriously???

Get off you bum and step up to the plate. Being home and caring for a child plus household tasks is still work, but it’s not deadlines and traffic jams. She’s asking you to step up for her like she did for you.

If you can’t see that and still think she needs to learn a lesson, your marriage is over. If you came here thinking we’d back you like you did her, you are mistaken. You really need to go for a long walk and consider this from an emotionally mature perspective. You are so far off track, you’re about to walk off a cliff and can’t see it.

bythebrook88

"So last month, I had enough. No more working, no more baby duties, and we agreed to give me a trial break."

You expected your wife to be happy working full time, earning all the money for the household, doing childcare and all the housework so you could have a break? Do you even LIKE your wife (you obviously don't love her)? Would you like your wife to do the same to you?

If you couldn't manage even half of the load, why do you think it's fair that your wife has to do the lot? And when your wife burns out from trying to do it all, what is your plan then? To put all the load on your mother?

The last month has shown your wife that you are expendable. She CAN manage without you, because you are failing to take any role in the house, and making her life harder. YTA.

SmartQuokka

Husband wants to retire while his wife and mom take care of him...

Nope, get that divorce yesterday.

Alternative_Year_340

I have a feeling “lost his job” is probably an understatement about what happened. OP already doesn’t have a husband and her kid already doesn’t have a father. Divorce is just putting it on paper — and getting him to be enough of an adult to pay child support.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit,Reddit,Reddit
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