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Part-time SAHM To 3 kids at the end of her rope; begs husband, 'You need to quit your job.' AITA? UPDATED 3X

Part-time SAHM To 3 kids at the end of her rope; begs husband, 'You need to quit your job.' AITA? UPDATED 3X


When this part time SAHM begs her husband to quit his job, she asks the internet:

"My life is in shambles and I need my husband to change his job. AITA? "

A year ago my husband got a really great job. He loves it. It over doubled our income. The problem is he's never here. It requires a lot of travel and he's gone more of the month than he's home.

We have three kids. 8, 6, 3. We have two dogs. I am run ragged. I don't have any family to help me. I don't have time for friends. It's never ending. Cleaning, kids, cooking, kids, dogs, dogs, school, kids, cleaning cleaning kids CLEANING COOKING CLEANING. No time for me whatsoever.

Before my husband got this job we worked opposite schedules. I worked in a restaurant/bar in the evenings. Didn't pay great but a couple really good friends worked there with me.

It was how I socialized. Now that he's gone, I couldn't work that job since nobody watches kids at night. Now I work a part time retail job I hate with what are essentially children (in comparison to me). I don't get to socialize like I used to. I only work the hours my kids are in school.

But we have after school activities, homework, dogs, dinner, never ending chores, etc. THERE IS NO TIME FOR ME. I don't even get to sleep alone since my 6 year old has night terrors.

When my husband was here, things felt more divided. I still did a lot during the day, but it wasn't never ending. There would still be days I didn't have to worry about lunches or bath time or homework because my husband would pick up the slack. I could go out with friends from time to time.

Don't even get me started on what it's like when the kids get sick and then I inevitably get sick. It's absolute misery and he's not around to see it. I'm left drowning.

But he doesn't want to quit. He loves his job and that's fair. I can see he's way happier now, but what about me? Don't I matter? I don't know how I'm supposed to get through this. I demanded for the sake of my sanity he quit his job, but he exploded. He thinks we're doing better than ever.

We could get a bigger house soon (we live in 2 bedroom rancher but I like it). That the kids will have so many more opportunities, etc, and he's not wrong, but what about me?!?!?! AITA?

Verdict: No A-holes Here (per post flair, but most of the top comments are either NTA or outraged on OP's behalf)

Someone suggested I add additional context OOP gives in the comments: [Re: the nanny/cleaner suggestions]

I personally don't have any extra money at the end of the month. I use it all on food, gas, pre school which is $40 a day etc. My husband pays the mortgage, hydro, etc, and also paying off our debts (almost done yay!).

After that he wants to look into getting a bigger house. He is saying we don't have enough extra for luxuries like that.

He's never allowed me access to his money and he's never asked for access to mine. He likes things split.

They aren't my kids. They are his sisters kids (she's an addict and in my opinion a lost cause, always in and out of jail), but we've had the oldest since they were a little over a year. I am very attached to them. They call me mom.

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

newline75 writes:

NTA. This is going to be hard to hear but you need to hear and you need to start taking steps to separate yourself from the kids and husband. Those kids are not yours, regardless of whether or not you love them. They're not yours and not your responsibility.

Husband doesn't love you and doesn't care about you. He most likely wanted to get a divorce but found a way out of it by picking his job so that he wouldn't have to take care of the kids or pay you alimony. You will pass from a heartatack if you keep going at the rate your going.

Your husband has thousands of dollars in the bank, he also probably like 99% sure he's having an affair, a gf or another family wherever he spends most of his time. Your husband is most likely getting paid to house the kids, which is why he doesn't want them in foster care.

Your husband has a full bank account with thousands while your left with nothing. These are not your kids so he should be paying you to take care of them.

I'm sorry but nothing is going to change for you unless you leave him and the kids. You can't take the kids with you because he would never allow it and it would be the same as right now.

Look at the way he talks to you. Your paying for kids that aren't yours when he should be paying for them. Your running yourself into the ground for his happiness. It's great you love the kids, but you need to save yourself and leave him and the kids.

You need to get yourself in order, get your things and important papers and make plans to move out WITHOUT the kids.

Next time he's home, tell him your divorcing him and you've made arrangements to leave. He is now responsible for the kids. If he refuses then let him know youll call cps to take the kids.

They're not yours and as much as you love them and it will hurt, he chose the responsibility of being a parent and he needs to be a parent, not you.

Your going to burn out and pass rom exhaustion, and then what? He'll either find a new wife to take care of the kids and still live this great life with another family or the kids will go to foster care.

He doesn't care about you, and is keeping you so poor and dependent on him whe he gives you nothing.

I'm so sorry your in this place, but need to leave the kids and him before it's too late. Put yourself first and leave. Because he will never make you a priority and you need to.

sleepingtrough writes:

ESH - Your husband is an unimaginable AH. If you’re doing 100% of caring for the home and the children that you stepped up to provide for after HIS sister was unable to, he should be paying for daycare, food, and basically ALL the family expenses.

His income more than doubled, but his contribution in other ways reduced significantly. You should not tolerate him keeping that entire increase and making the decisions about how it is spent.

How is none of that going directly to you in exchange for you taking care of HIS responsibilities (50% of household chores, childcare, etc.)?

YTA to yourself for absolutely insisting on being a doormat… and then for proposing a ridiculous solution like him taking a 50%+ pay cut… that math doesn’t work.

Even if he was only making $2k/month, that’s $1k ADDITIONAL that he could be splitting with you to allow for a house cleaner, extra day care, the occasional babysitter, etc.

YOU are the one making it possible for this extra money to come in. YOU are absolutely entitled to some of it to make the burden manageable.

He’s also an AH to those kids. If you cannot afford 3BRs or to pay for food for all of them or for reasonable childcare, you’re not actually helping them as much as your husband thinks.

The first thing he should’ve done was look into being designated foster parents yourselves so that you could actually get some financial assistance. And after not taking care of them financially, he takes a job with 75% travel and doesn’t actually take care emotionally or physically either.

And refuses to help the only person who actually is so that you can be emotionally and mentally there for them as opposed to falling apart and crying all day.

plasticplatypus writes:

There’s just something not adding up about the financial situation. He said there’s not enough money but he wants to get a new house. Even tho he’s doubled his income. He covers none of the childcare costs. None of the groceries. What does he pay for? Why are you having to skip meals if he makes more money?

Why even be married when you’re basically being a single mom. At this point, he’s completely absent.

My boyfriend’s best friend had to rehome their dogs because they didn’t have the time to dedicate to them anymore. That’s with both parents involved, 4 kids(on top of all of their extracurricular activities and school work) and help from their family.

At this point, I would just rehome the dogs. It’ll suck but if you’re getting worn down and your husband refuses to help. Something has to change.

You’re pretty much hitting your breaking point if you’re not there already. Honestly you need to consider divorce or tell him flat out. If things keep going as they are now, you will divorce him.

And make sure all of your ducks are in row before you start throwing around the words ‘divorce’. Ngl with how often he’s gone and there’s a bunch of money totally unaccounted for. I hate to say it, but I would be wondering if he’s hiding a whole other family.

At this point your husband is a complete stranger to you. Unless you’re telling me he’s talking to you every day and those 3 weeks in the month he’s gone. You’re aware of what his day to day looks like.

The fact you don’t even know what his financials look like. This man could have accrued debt and you wouldn’t know. There’s a severe lack of communication and it bothers me that he heard you saying you were struggling and having a hard time. And he basically went, so what. I’m happy. That’s all that matters to me right now.

Honestly NTA. He seems to be severely neglecting you. Ngl I feel like he’s hiding something by saying don’t worry about finances for awhile. While it’s great he’s offering to change.

You have this great opportunity to get him to talk about what he’s been spending this extra money that he does have. But wasn’t available previously. Seems sus. I feel like he’s hiding something huge.

By giving you immediate relief, he’s trying to get you to stop asking questions. This would have been a great opportunity for him to be more open and honest with you about the financials. There’s something he doesn’t want to come clean about.

davegdg writes:

NTA. Scrolling through the comments all I can say is, this marriage you're in is fucked up. I work a job where I'm away from home a lot, we got 3 kids, but I couldn't even imagine being as selfish as your husband is.

Him not helping at all at home. Him keeping all his extra income for himself. You say he's paying off debts but let me guess...all those debts are only in his name. Him taking in three kids that the two of you couldn't realistically take adequate care of.

This marriage is not working. It's not even marriage. This is a fucked up business arrangement that only benefits him and him alone. You're not benefiting and those kids are definitely not benefiting.

This is the only picture they have on what a marriage should be. Imagine them in 20 years treating their wives/husbands like this. Find a way to get out this. It's not going to get better for you if you don't.

And now, OP's first update:

I sent this to my husband. A lot of people are saying he abuses me. I know in my heart this is NOT his intention.

He is NOT a bad man. I want him to read through everything and really think about it and how much I'm struggling and how desperately I need his help. So many of you agree with me that I can't do it all and I'm very thankful I'm not alone in those thoughts.

Update 2:

I just got off the phone with my husband. We talked for awhile. Naturally he's quite upset and is feeling rather defensive, but he is very sorry. That is not an easy thing for him to say yet he said it very clearly multiple times.

He is going to try to catch a flight home tomorrow. He going to take a week or two off work to help me get some things set up in place for me. Hiring some housecleaning and some baby sitting.

He encouraged me to take time off work as well and to just stop thinking about finances for right now. He said he'll deal with it for awhile. He says whenever I go back to work it won't be like it was. He will help me. He'll make sure I have some extra money and extra time. I could cry with relief. I am crying with relief.

Update 3:

Don’t know if anyone will read this, but he’s home. THANK GOD. He’s not angry. He’s not yelling. He’s been very affectionate and worried about me.

I’ve seen his bank account and it’s been going exactly where I’ve been saying debt (heloc and line of credit if it matters) and savings (for moving). He’s paid off over $40,000 of debt this past year. He’s not cheating.

There’s no other family or whatever. He’s just had tunnel vision. He wants to sell our place and have all our finances in order before our mortgage is up for renewal in 6 months since the rates have gone way up and our mortgage will be very high.

He never meant to hurt me or make me suffer. He just desperately wants out of our house and needs all the finances in order to make the transition smooth. He never realized how much I was struggling. He’s been hyper focused on what he thought was a family goal. He thought I was on the same page as him.

Before he got his new job I was not paying for everything for the kids. Somehow it just transitioned since I was with them and he wasn’t.

He was paying all the household bills while away and never really thought about how I was managing. In his mind he was paying all the bills and nothing was really left to me. Obviously that wasn’t the case. He is going to help me a lot more going forward.

Readers continued to weigh in on OP's updates:

cicciii writes:

NTA. Your husband is definitely an AH. Other people have offered more than I could possibly, so I'll just pick up on one thing you said in your update which is that your husband is NOT a bad man. I get that you feel the need to defend him, so it's somewhat a response to what people are writing.

BUT even if you insist he's not a bad man, can you say he's a GOOD man? Don't you deserve a good man?

And before you answer that to yourself, define what a good man is. Because it's not enough to say that his intentions or heart is good. Firstly, you can't really know his intentions or heart. It's the ACTIONS you need to look at.

You've told him that you're desperately struggling (and he exploded), but from your message it is clear that you've been struggling for a while. I believe that if you had a brief 3-4 minute exchange with a stranger at a supermarket,

THEY would even be able to tell you're desperately struggling. You write "I'm left drowning". That's bad. You are really struggling, and a GOOD man and a GOOD person would have not only noticed that of their own accord, but they would also be ASKING you how you are doing.

Checking up on you the way people on our team are supposed to do. We're supposed to be protected and loved by those we love and protect.

I can't say he's a bad man for sure because I haven't met the man, but I can't see any signs whatsoever of him being a good man, not by my definitions. I think you have to recognise that your definition of 'not bad' might be skewed.

Recognise that people in abusive relationships (and I'm not saying that's you) often/always defend their partners, in public and to themselves. Your judgement is not sufficient. That's why you've come to this forum. Listen to what you're being told.

singsingsowmna writes:

Everything - and I mean, EVERYTHING about this pisses me off. First, the reason you left out SO MUCH information in your original post is either because you knew intuitively relaying the whole truth would mean you being told to RUN

(and it's scary starting over) or because you've been so isolated for so long you don't understand you are a SLAVE, literally, or BOTH. And those children, that are HIS blood, but only YOUR responsibility? Holy crap.

I don't believe anything your husband has done here is innocent. Leaving you with no money but expecting you to take responsibility for HIS family, while he's playing the single guy (but paying the bills, in case anyone dare lob accusations). If Cinderella had an evil stepbrother...

The reason he's gone all the time is because he KNOWS taking care of THREE KIDS is Hell and hey, that's what he has YOU for. He doesn't want to hire help he has to pay for because YOU'RE "the help" he gets for free! Get it? Fishing? The gym?

Everything was going soooo good. Do you see, the bills he pays are a drop in the bucket next to the price you've paid for all YOU'VE given up and all you've done for "the family, including having to lug laundry to a laundrmat and NOT having food?

When you read what I'm saying, read it out loud. Do you hear how crazy that sounds?

I've read through to Update 3 and I'm still not seeing what's in this situation for YOU. Do you even love this guy anymore and, if so, HOW? WHY? You are roped and tied. He had you gagged, too, until you ruined everything by going on Reddit where your story spread.

I read it on my SmartNews app. You've become attached to those kids because you're all his hostages. Stockholm Syndrome.. You're all trapped and have bonded. His shock at having been unmasked, resulting in promises to do better, like an abusive husband (hellooooo?) which, if I read correctly....

involve you working a "paying" job STILL(!), on top of all your unpaid work, raising HIS three kids, I assure you, will dissipate. In a year nothing will have changed, and the excuses/explanations for why things HAVE TO to be/stayas they are, while he grabs his gym bag, will continue. But you already know this.

You're situation is intollerable, will not change in any meaningful way, only far enough to placate you, and until interest in your story has died off. And he knows if you're still tollerating his bs in a year you ain't going anywhere.

So, what will it hurt to pick up the phone and arrange a consultation with a winning divorce attorney. Imagine.

You could be going to school, learning new skills, and getting everything you need and want (like health benefits and a 401k) so you don't need to ever rely on anyone else ever again. Take that first step toeards untangling yourself.

Btw, don't think we all missed the tells... like when you told us that when you told him about your Reddit post he didn't yell or get mad, just defensive... THIS time. Don't still be HERE this time next year. But be careful.

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

Sources: Reddit
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