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Man threatens wife with divorce after she quit her job to be a 'tradwife.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Man threatens wife with divorce after she quit her job to be a 'tradwife.' AITA? UPDATED 2X


"AITA for threatening my wife with divorce after she quit her job to be a 'tradwife?'"

Me 34M and my Wife 33F have 2 Kids together 11M and 9F. Me and my Wife have been together for 12 years and married for 8. Around a year ago I noticed my wife increasingly sending me these Tradwife or traditional housewife tiktoks. I have nothing against that type of relationship but I don't think it makes sense for our current family situation.

I do earn earn quite a bit more than my wife and enough to sustain our family on my own but I don't see the need to do so. I work 80% and my wife 50% and besides Wednesdays where the both of us are working, either one of us is always home for the kids. I could work a 100% and let my Wife be SAHM but again, both of my kids are attending school and in my mind there is no need for my wife to be at home 24/7.

She got increasingly pushy about it over the past two months and again I just kept on telling her that there wasnt any need for that and If we did decide to go down that route, what would she do during the hours my kids attended school? I know damn well our house doesent need to be cleaned for 6 hours a day.

She would constantly try to butter me up with "You would have dinner ready every day when coming home from work" and something about unlimited intimacy or some bs like that. Again in the nicest way possible I would remind her that our kids werent toddlers and our current work-life schedule allowed us to function perfectly fine.

We got into a pretty heated argument two weeks ago about it and my wife completely stopped being intimate with me to "show me what I would be missing out on." She's basically been treating me like a roommate since. I just thought she would get over it and this was just a phase but god was I wrong. I came home from work yesterday and saw a bunch of presents on the dining table.

At first I thought they were all for me since my birthday was in a week but I then I saw the labels on them addressed to my wife. I read one of the letters attached to one of the presents. The last sentence on it was literally "It was so a pleasure working along side you and I wish you all the best moving forwards."

I thought this was some sick prank. A few minutes later my wife just casually strolled into the living room acting like nothing was wrong. I guess she saw my mad expression and had the audacity to tell me that "You'll get over it." I just lost it.

I just left without saying another word and went to my parents house. I feel absolutely disrespected. Why the f-k would my wife think it was okay to just quit her job without telling me and just expect me to be fine with it. My wife has been bombarding me with texts and calls demanding to know where I am and that the kids miss me. I just told her to go find a lawyer and that I was done with her and then proceeded to block her.

My son just sent me a voicemail crying and asking why I was divorcing mom and if I was leaving the family and I guess that kind of broke my heart. I haven't responded and honestly dont know what to say to him. My mother in law has also been demanding that I return home and apologize to my wife. My parents also seem to be siding with wife since they are traditional muslims. My mom also used to a SAHM.

I feel like im wrong for immediately jumping to divorce without hearing her out and besides this whole job drama, love my wife too much for this to be the end of our otherwise perfect marriage but on the other hand I feel like i've lost complete trust in her. Should I just swallow my pride and let my wife stay at home from now on or should I follow through on divorcing her? How should I navigate this situation? AITA here?

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

aeroeagleAC said:

Nothing wrong with being a SAHP, but your partner has to agree to it and you don't get to strong arm them into it. This level of blatant manipulation would be a deal breaker for me. NTA.

rilakkuma1 said:

NTA for divorcing her but dude call your kids back. You seriously left without speaking to them and have been ignoring them since?

avatarjulius said:

NTA. Don't just threaten divorce. Actually, divorce her. I'd leave. Absolutely get a lawyer and contest everything. She quit her job despite your objections.

Boeing367-80 said:

The issue is disrespect and unilateral action on the part of your wife. One way or the other, this has to stop, has to be rolled back, in fact. If all you do is go along with this, basically you're telling her she can do as she pleases and you will suck it up. She will have established that precedent. She's making you her b-h.

But you made some big mistakes. You moved out of the home which any divorce lawyer would tell you is unwise. Just as important, makes you look like an asshole in the eyes of your kid and others. Go home and sleep in the guest room. For a start. Resume being a parent. But do not resume the relationship. It will be awkward as hell. But if you backslide on that, she will have established that precedent.

But also consult a lawyer right away. ASAP. None of that is irreversible, but she needs to know she f-d up big-time and a formal separation agreement might be the shock she needs. She will be relentless with the kids, by the way, trying to use them as leverage against you.

You just found out that your wife has an agenda and it is that you work for her. If you don't stop it now, that will be your life going forward. Ignore your in-laws. They don't get a say. Frankly neither do your parents. Your instincts, other than to leave the house, are fine.


I just want to add a few crucial details that I missed to mention in my original Post. I suffer from a genetic heart condition that puts me at risk to stress induced cardiac arrest. I used to work full time but was forced to cut down on my work after suffering a silent heart attack. This was nearly a decade ago but since then ive worked my own physical and mental wellbeing.

Some people didnt understand me constantly mentioning why it was such an issue working the extra 20%. I honestly dont know how much time I have left and my kids are the most important things in my life. For my own mental health its essential that I get to spend time with my kids throughout the week. Besides my Wife and kids I have nothing. I hate my job and purely continue for the sake of my kids and wife.

Well after spending a day at my parents house, eventually I felt enough time had passed for me to gather my thoughts on everything. What she did seemed like the ultimate slap in the face but I went back with the intention to resolve this and didnt want to escalate this fucking nightmare.

My wife seemed happy I returned but wasn't apologetic at all. The kids ,especially my son, were ecstatic. That sort of made me ignore the lack of remorse for the time being. That same night after putting my kids to bed I told her we need to have a serious discussion.

I told her how I felt about everything she did. The fact that she knows about my health condition and still went through with it. The fact that I set clear boundaries and she still chose to quit her job without my consent. How the fact that she told my son that I was going to abandon the family really felt like a stab in the back. How throughout all of this, she didn't even seem remorseful once.

The fact that she chose her own happiness to the detriment of mine. The fact I sacrificed so much for the family and I got repaid like this. The fact that we now as a family have to make major lifestyle changes, since a third of our family income vanished. For a split second I saw an ounce of sadness in her eyes before she went right back to being annoyed with me.

I then simply told her to lay out her half of the story. Here is a summary of what she said. She felt ignored by me constantly rejecting her proposal. She had worked long enough and this was finally the time for her to enjoy her life as a "true wife". She also said that I was being a baby about the whole spending extra time with the kids thing. That really pissed me off and we ended up getting into a heated argument. I coudnt bare any of it anymore and just ended up sleeping in the guest room.

Until yesterday nothing changed. She constantly tried to play everything off and wanted to "embrace her new role" by constantly trying to sleep with me and by making me my favorite dishes. It just felt like she was trying to manipulate me again I wasnt having any of it. I just kept on sleeping in the guest room.

Well my birthday was yesterday. And after work my wife and kids picked me up and we ate dinner together. This was probably the first time I genuinely had a smile on my face in a week. Well that smile vanished because she tried to seduce me again later that night.

I rejected her and to my surprise she had a full on mental breakdown. I just held her as she started apologizing for what she did. She claimed she didnt understand how much she hurt me, she was sorry for making me feel like an afterthought etc. We ended up sleeping in the same bed yesterday. I felt like things were finally moving in the right direction and I again asked her about searching for a new job today. Instead of getting mad she just replied with a "I need to think about it." Yeah that's where things are as of today.

It feels like progress is being made but idk this just might be another manipulation tactic of hers. I'll probably make a final update in a month or so. Reddit isnt doing my mental health any favors. How would you guys move forward in this situation? Could I have done something better? Is she being genuine?

Here's what top commenters had to say about the update:

SugarBaconBits said:

DO NOT take any more hours at work or change your schedule at all. Keep doing what’s best for you and make other changes around the house as needed to make up for the lack of income. If you pick up more hours she will see that you can and in her mind will further justify her actions where ok.

She for sure won’t make any effort to find a job after that. Instead cut out frivolous things she does with money since she’s the one who gave up her part of the income. Like getting her nails done, hair done, buying extra clothing and accessories that aren’t a necessity. She can cut costs and do some of those at home for a fraction of the price.

Tell her that she needs to start clipping coupons and buying things on sale and not at full price. If she wants to not contribute financially then she will need to contribute more than just making food, cleaning the house, and trying to have sex with you all the time. She will have to sacrifice living at the level of comfort she has grown accustomed to because the money for it isn’t there anymore.

AwkwardFortuneCookie said:

She’s still manipulating you. Throwing her body at you didn’t work so she resorted to a pity party of tears and empty apologies. (See? I can get his attention one way or the other.) Adding your health issues to the story brings another layer of complexity that just makes your wife look like an awful, terrible, heartless woman. Her, her, her…sounds like a narcissist, honestly. She will literally drive you into the ground and hold the shovel waiting. Do you have life insurance policies, by chance?

I-Own-Blackacre said:

Divorce attorney here: Bro, your marriage is toast. I'm sorry to tell you this, but you will feel much better once you accept that. She is the ultimate gaslighter, really of epic proportions. Her level of manipulation is not something that anyone should tolerate. I suggest you go to an attorney right away to plan things to get actual legal advice.

This is NOT legal advice, but if it were me, I would take her off of every bank account and credit card with your name on it, file for divorce ASAP before she goes on a spending rampage and tries to claim that it's all marital debt that needs to be divided, and make a plan about what you want to do about the house and kids. In my state, you cannot lock her out of the house, but you can legally take the kids and move out, if that's what you want to do. Don't tell her any of your plans before you execute because she will definitely try to manipulate you. Good luck!

Odd_Task8211 said:

Sorry to see that you are going thru this mess. Your wife is being completely selfish. She wants to goof off and be supported. She also doesn't appear to take your health issues seriously. I suggest couples therapy and making it clear to her that you will not be increasing your work hours and the family will have to adjust to a much smaller budget. She may be able to sit on her butt at home all day, but she won't have a lot of extra money to spend. NTA.


Again. I'm beyond grateful for the all the love and support you guys have shown me. If I'm being honest with everyone I've been drinking a lot to get through this mess. I felt like a zombie just wandering around with no purpose. My wife's actions completely broke me.

Thankfully I've managed to cut most of it out over the past week. You guys seriously helped me keep my mind busy with something else besides alcohol. Being reminded that have two smaller versions of myself, looking up to me and learning from the things I do, really helped me snap out of it. I've been at my lowest since making my first post and I think ive just hit a new low.

Until last week nothing changed since my last Post. My Wife still pranced around enjoying her new lifestyle while I suffered in silence. After Posting my update I did realize that my Wife 100% was trying to manipulate me into submitting to her demands. I asked her if she actually started looking for a job and she hesitated and told me no and she needs more time.

If I'm being honest thats all I needed to know from her. I tried making this work but honest to god, I couldn't keep living like that. Everyday that past felt like a part of my soul vanished. My wife kept on trying to "please me" but It didnt seem genuine at all. Ive also started noticing her getting lazy and starting to neglect my kids.

My wife stopped cooking and after working 9 hours of hell, I now was the one to help my son with his homework and the one to play Barbie with my daughter. Im not complaining about spending time with my kids but I could seiously see this becoming worse as time goes on. I dont know where the woman I once fell in love with went but that thing that lives with me wasnt her.

I know a lot of you are going to smile hearing this but I did tell my wife that I want a divorce last week. I came home from work and I saw my wife sitting on the couch watching TV while my daughter was crying in her room. I just snapped at that moment. I told we need to have a serious discussion after the kids go to sleep.

After I put my kids to sleep I sat down with her and told her our marriage was over and that Ill be contacting my lawyer tomorrow. Divorce was never something I ever planned on doing in my life but I just felt like something needed to change or my kids would be visiting my gravesite in a few years. Our culture frowns upon it and I knew I was about to get serious backlash for it but at this point I couldn't care less.

I don't know why, but she thought I was joking and started laughing. I told her I was being serious this time and her manipulation methods weren't going to work on me anymore and her face just went pale. She then went from screaming at me to crying to then blaming me for every issue in the family to then begging for another chance.

She literally went to get her laptop and tried to apply for jobs on Indeed while begging. I just told her to cut the bullshit and told her I tried my best but she just kept giving me empty promises. I told her the following: I know her trying to fuck me just was a manipulation tactic and not to show her "devotion" to me as she puts it. If she was truly sorry, why didnt she start applying for jobs immediately instead of waiting until I confronted her.

Her completely disregarding any of my feelings and needs while purely pursuing her own, shows me how selfish she actually is. She knows about my health and still chose to completely f me over.

And now this part pissed me off a lot: Her poisoning my son against me when this all started, was beyond f'd up and looking back was enough of a reason to divorce her. We ended up fighting for another hour or so and her constant screaming ended up waking up our daughter and thats when I told my wife to shut the fuck up and go to bed.

The following day my mom called me during work and asked if I lost my mind or something. My wife told my mom that I was going to divorce her. She claimed that I was bringing serious shame onto the family and she didn't raise me to abandon my kids.

Yep my wife told my mom that I was planning on abandoning my kids and has been feeding my kids the same bs. I explained to my mom the reasons why I wanted divorce but she wont budge. If I divorce my wife, Im a disgrace of a man and my mom wants nothing to do with me.

I know my mom well enough to tell that her words are just empty threats but what hurts me most are the reactions of my kids. My son wont look me in the eyes and wont even let me anywhere near his room. My daughter just tries to hit me whenever I try to talk to her.

I've tried explaining to them that im in fact not going to "give up on them" and me and their mom are just going to separate but they just seem to believe whatever bs my wife tells them. Friends and Inlaws also claim that im a monster for making my wife go through this.

My wife was served with divorce papers two days ago and has been crying nonstop since. My wife told my kids about the divorce papers and they both claim that they will never talk to me again and in my sons words im a bad husband and father. I cried myself to sleep that night. I thought divorce would bring me peace but its only brought me one step closer to taking my life. As I stated in my previous post. I have nothing and am nothing without my kids.

Growing up dead poor as a refugee in Germany, I promised myself that I would give my kids a life that I myself could have only dreamed off but I feel like I've failed. I'm sorry for making this post longer than it has to be. Again I just want to thank everyone for the love and support but this will probably be my last post. Wishing you all a lovely week.

Here's what top commenters had to say about the second update:

changelingcd said:

Good luck, OP. This is going to hurt like hell, but it really had to happen. She started all this with absolute selfishness, and will continue to avoid responsibility and poison everyone she can against you. Hopefully you can get them back by telling the truth, eventually.

No_Outside_3313 said:

NTA. OP, you did the right thing. They can all hate you and speak nonsense about you, even kids. But you know what? Imagine you stay with her and died, because of living like that makes your health problems worse. Believe me, your kids want healthy father in their life for a long time not dead one. You are strong and be stronger for your kids.

kibblet said:

You're NTA and as a SAHM she is the kind that gives us a bad name. So lazy! She COULD have made a lovely home for the family, but she couldn't even do that. She is actively hurting the children. I know you are in pain and suicidal but those kids need you. And need you strong for them.

It will take time but the truth comes out and all will be well with them as long as you are a good dad despite their anger. I've had it happen with my kids when their dad left when they were older, and I waited and just today even my eldest called to complain about my ex. And she wouldn't even speak to me at one point. Truth eventually came out. I had to wait. And it was worth the wait. Completely. Don't give up on them. With a mother like that they NEED you.

BillyShears991 said:

NTA. You’re not the one putting your kids through this, she is. Cut off everyone who expects you to light yourself on fire to keep others warm.

ComparisonFlashy8522 said:

So she really quit her job with the intention to do nothing, not even cook, clean or help the kids with their homework. That's not a Trad wife, it's an entitled lazy a$s who just thinks she can screw you over into submission. Your kids will come around. She's neglecting their needs and manipulating them big time. She'll grow up when she has to get a new job and support herself.

Universe_Reddit said:

NTA - Your (ex) sounds vicious. I have a major problem with anyone that uses kids against the other party. And I know that culture, just ignore everyone and do what you think is right-. With therapy, kids will be ok. Good luck.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one throughout. What's your advice for these hopefully soon-to-be exes?

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