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Man ditches wife at mall due to her 'chronic' problem; 'After years of patience, I am broken and want a divorce.' AITA? UPDATED

Man ditches wife at mall due to her 'chronic' problem; 'After years of patience, I am broken and want a divorce.' AITA? UPDATED


When this man abandons his wife due to her chronic problem, he asks the internet:

"AITA for ditching my wife at the mall because of her chronic issue?"

I'm a 34-year-old man, and my wife is 29. We have been married for five years. Since we started dating, she has always taken her sweet time doing everything. Getting dressed, doing her makeup, eating, whatever it is, she takes forever.

I'm generally a patient person, but I get extremely anxious when I'm late for something with a scheduled starting time. Alone, I have never been late for anything. With her in tow, I'm late for everything.

The most frustrating thing about this is that she seemingly has no ability to comprehend that she's making people wait. If I even suggest that she move a little faster, she gets really defensive. A few years ago one of her best friends dumped her because she was tired of her chronic lateness.

Last night, we went out to see a movie. Getting to the mall before the movie started was a battle itself, but miraculously with the prospect of doing some shopping before it, she was able to gather her necessary belongings and get there with time to spare.

She started shopping while I more or less followed her, until it was about time to get to the theater. When I told her this, she was talking to a sales clerk about the clothes that she wanted to buy, and she told me to "hang on" for a second.

As usual, "hang on" meant "I have absolutely no concern about your needs because I'm doing my own thing right now and anything other than what I want to do is out of the question."

I waited around for a couple more minutes until she started taking jeans off the shelves to try on new combinations. The previews had already started. I told her again, and she said we can just skip the previews.

At this point I just walked away, which she naturally didn't notice, turned off my phone, and enjoyed the movie myself. As a side note, I missed the first few minutes of it waiting for her, standing in line, and making my way to the theater.

On my way out of the theater I saw her on a bench in the lobby beside herself because I ditched her. I honestly didn't feel bad at all and told her that I'd do it again. This made her more upset, and finally we had an awkward quiet drive home.

Apparently she was actually looking forward to the movie too. Was I the asshole in this situation? I felt it was supposed to be tough love, but she seems really hurt.

Before we give you OP's update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

favv writes:

I think because I'm really anxious about being late, people who are chronically late kind of rub me the wrong way as it demonstrates a certain lack of regard for other people or their time.

Your wife sounds really inconsiderate of other people's time and I don't blame you for leaving. You didn't leave her in a crisis situation, you left her while she was shopping despite your deadline to go see a movie.

She didn't give two scoops that you were going to be late because she wanted to do her own activity, which would be fine except she's angry that you didn't wait around for her.

You said that your wife had already had a friend ditch her, but had she experienced any other consequences for her lack of respect towards other people's time? Is there anything going on that affects her ability to be on time? It sounds like she's defensive about it but unwilling to work on it, and that may change if people stop making allowances for her. NTA.

apprehensiv writes:

I'm going with ESH. If you had told her what you were doing then I would say NTA, but she didn't know if you went to the movie or left her at the mall and gone home. She us way more TA for not respecting everyone's time, especially STARTING to try on clothes when you should be leaving for the movie. But all you had to do was say "I'll meet you inside".

agreeablepr writes:

Before you guys do anything else you need to sit down and have a talk. I think your NTA you gave her plenty of warnings and she just ignored them. If shes hurt thats on her.

Now what needs to happen in a respectful not blaming way tell her how you feel about what shes doing. Don't plan any activities until the conversation is fully had until she understands that she

Needs to get ready earlier. I do 4 hours early and i dont even do makeup. I have a kid so im not only getting me ready but him and making sure hes okay too. If its just for shopping then 1 1/2 hours. She needs to learn how to time things properly

She needs to learn shes not the only person on the planet and that if there is a plan with a start time, that she agreed to she has to respect it no matter what she can go back to the store after. Its not all about her there are other people.

She needs to stick to her word. If she agrees to something she needs to set 5 minute alarms telling her how much time has passed until she has to leave the house. She needs to figure out something.

Start of with as bad as it sounds hey we are doing this at this time we are laving at this time at the very latest. If not in vehicle by then then you go by yourself. She wont come. Anything to help her start building that good habit. But ask her what will help dont just assume

You guys need a long probably going to be hard talk and its important you dont sound condescending or like you are blaming her for being late. Just say hey i know how sometimes you have a little trouble knowing when to start getting ready or when we need to leave lets talk about it.

Ask if its cause she has too much on her mind that she actually has time blindness, her mind wont shut off thus forgetting time and things planned. Or if something else is going on that you can help with.

After that if all goes well hopefully when you make plans you guys can sit down and discuss departure times and get ready times and let her know that they are solid concrete cant negotiate.

If you want to go but forgot makeup oh well we leave in 2 minutes go get in the car. That kind of thing. You are NTA right now but ask her if something is bothering her or if you can suggest someways that can help her stay on time.

bluewitch writes:

Nta. Your wife did not care to be on time of multiple warnings that the movie was starting and choose to not just check out but keep shopping.

Absolutely not okay. Plus sitting outside and making you feel guilty was manipulative, if she had wanted so could’ve bought a ticket and watched the remaining half movie she was late for. No excuse honestly.

I lose track of time and become distracted very easily (I have an appt to be tested for adhd next month) but I try to check time repeatedly when I have something scheduled or set alarms for when to get dressed, when to put on shoes...

when my make up should be done, five min buffer alarm, leave house, and absolutely must leave alarm.

Also when my husband, or someone else, points out we have to leave to be on time, I go. I don’t lollygag, I just go drop everything else and do the bare minimum to leave with all required accessories/ clothes, because I never want people to be waiting on me I just kind of get distracted/ don’t realize.

cagrrr writes:

this is my ex-wife in a nutshell. She was an adult woman, and yet was 100% surprised by how long it took her to get prepared for anything, every time.

More than once we'd have plans to go to a movie, or theater, or some kind of event, at the time it was to start came and went, while I'm sitting on the couch waiting on her to just put some damn clothes on.

the last straw was when she missed an airplane flight. we were at the terminal and the boarding started, but she insisted she just had to have a coffee. so the plane boarded, I got on with our bags and I'm sitting there texting her "where are you? plane is boarded" and she says "I'm waiting on my coffee".

She knew the plane was boarding, she knew the coffee line was long, but in her brain those two things didnt' have any relationship to each other.

So she missed the flight and i had to wait at the airport for two hours for her to arrive on the next one, which was lucky that's all it was.

when she finally did arrive, of course she was mad at me. I should have gotten off the plane when it was clear she wasn't going to make it. She felt no obligation to give up a cup of coffee.

we didnt' divorce immediately after that, but that WAS the moment that I finally accepted that she was not a mature adult, would never take responsibility for her own actions, and my life would be a string of these events with her in it. NTA.

farrei writes:

NTA I see people asking about her having ADHD, but I don’t think that’s a good response in this case. If it were only a matter of chronic lateness, maybe. I tend to have that issue myself, but it you’re already at the mall and you’re telling her it’s time for the movie, she made a conscious decision to keep shopping and ignore you.

If she was really looking forward to the movie, she would’ve wrapped up her shopping and left with you. Sure, you can miss the previews, but I think that means you should already be making your way there, not waiting for the previews to finish in order to head over there.

As I said, I have lateness issues and I always feel horrible whenever I make people wait for me. This issue has already cost her a relationship and it doesn’t seem to matter to her. I think it might be time to figure out if this is a dealbreaker for you.

Have a straightforward conversation with her and let her know you’ve reached the limit of your patience and that’s it’s up to her how things go now. If it’s not a dealbreaker for you then just save yourself the frustration and do your own thing sometimes because she’s obviously not going to change.

facw writes:

NTA. My current gf was like this and to some extent still is. I had to tell her point blank i will not wait anymore.

We go out 2 days a week with a friend group, same starting times 2 days a week but because of her poor time management and sense of time in general she made us late everytime, even with me telling her she had to start getting ready now/ hey we gotta leave in 40 mins.

Eventually i told her i was leaving on time with or without her and again she was late so i left. She was MAD. It took her friend telling her why she was wrong to get her to calm down but even now shes still like this sometimes. Difference is now if i say "you gotta get ready now" she knows im right instead of ignoring me.

Good luck, from my experience with my gf and other people like it these people dont change easily. My advice is to clearly tell her you will NOT wait anymore for anything you dont want to. If she wants to waste time n be late she can do it to herself.

ag33 writes:

NTA - if she really wanted to see the film, she had plenty of opportunities. I would do the same as you.

I don't like to be late for things, I'd be looking forward to the film, I don't want to spend all my time arguing and chivvying someone along - its no more fun for the naggee that the one being nagged. So control what you can and go and see the film!

I REALLY don't like to be controlled, which is what your wife, whether she recognises it or not, is doing here. She obviously does not like being controlled either, so the only way forward is to make clear plans and then separately commit to them.. . or not. Her choice.

When I travel with my dad through airports, which is a masterclass in frustration, we may arrive at the airport together, but that's the last time we'll see each other until we're waiting for baggage on the other side of the flight.

I check in separately (and have been known to ask for a seat at the opposite end of the plane to him), go through security separately and make my way to the gate separately.

This is because he .likes to leave things to the last minute, hates being rushed and has arguments with ALL the staff because he used to work for an airline 20 years ago and is full of ways they could do a better job. Flying is so much less stressful now!

Keep doing this - she may get hurt ( by her own actions) but at least you'll get to do the things you want to do/control your own arrival time.

And now, OP's update 2 months later:

No, I'm not having an affair. No, I'm not having a midlife crisis. No, I'm not looking for a younger woman. No, I'm not hiding anything.

My wife and I have been together for 12 years. During this time, she has not made even the slightest amount of effort to be on time for anything we did. When we were dating, average wait times were 15 minutes to an hour for her to finally fg show up. I waited because I loved her.

After marriage, she somehow got worse, and after childbirth, she got even worse. She used to blame circumstances for being late every time, but now she just blames our son. I put up with it because I loved her.

Example 1: we're currently looking at preschools. We're 15-30 minutes late for each meeting because the thing we need most in our lives is for the teachers to believe our son is chronically going to be late for school. It's always something with her.

Example 2: I wanted to see a movie in theaters a while ago. She wanted to come too. I had to leave her in a clothing shop because I was going to miss the start of the movie. Of course she was livid.

Example 3: a few months ago, we went to see a concert of a group she likes. We were an hour early because of course we were an hour early. It was something that she wanted to do.

I'm so sick and tired of it. Dinner reservations are always a toss-up because restaurants in our area have no chill and will cancel your reservation if you're a minute late.

Growing increasingly anxious as she stares at her fucking phone and trying to ask her in the nicest way possible to hurry up is a horrible feeling, especially since she will flip her lid the second that I try to tell her we're going to be late.

Meeting up with friends, going to a children's event with our son, for fucks sake even trying to take a walk is always an ordeal of trying to get her to put the god damn phone down and get ready so I don't have to stand there like an idiot.

I think my boiling point was last week when I stood at the entrance of our house for 20 minutes with our son, as he grew increasingly impatient, and then seeing she had abruptly decided to start vacuuming the house.

I'm getting spammed with calls from mutual friends and family. She went and told everyone that we're getting divorced. Everyone wants to talk me out of it. I just broke after years of patience. I have no regrets.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for him?

Sources: Reddit
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