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'AITA for 'making' my grieving husband attend a black-tie work event?'

'AITA for 'making' my grieving husband attend a black-tie work event?'

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"AITA for 'making' my grieving husband attend a black-tie work event?"

My husband (39M) and I (40F) have been married for 12 years and have 3 kids (10, 8, & 5). I was a SAHM for most of our kids' lives and only re-entered the workforce 2 years ago when our middle child reached kindergarten so we didn't have to pay an arm and a leg for daycare. I have worked my way up the ladder in my chosen field of work and finally feel like I am more than just a SAHM.

The company I work for holds a big black-tie gala for an Xmas/Holiday party every year. Last year we were unable to attend due to me being sick so I was really looking forward to it this year. My sister even agreed to drive 3 hours to spend the night with the kids so we didn't have to worry about a babysitter. I bought a nice fancy dress and my husband rented a tux in preparation for the event last Friday.

Then, the week of Thanksgiving, my husband's favorite uncle passed away. My husband didn't have a relationship with his dad growing up and his uncle didn't have kids of his own, so his uncle was definitely a father-figure for my husband even if it was in more of a "funcle" way.

The funeral was held the week before my work event, but because it was held in another state that required a flight, only my husband attended.

When he got back, I talked to him about it and he said he was sad and grieving, but also said he was fine. Nothing about his day-to-day stuff was out of the ordinary and he did take a couple days off work after he got back to have some time for himself to process things.

My sister arrived the day before my work event and that night my husband told me that he didn't feel up to attending the event. His reasons were that he was socially and emotionally exhausted and the last thing he felt like doing was making more small-talk with a bunch of strangers like he had to do at his uncle's funeral.

I reminded him that my sister had just driven hours to watch the kids, I had already bought a new dress, he had rented a tux, and most importantly, this was something I was really looking forward to. He said that I could still attend by myself, but I told him that it is also important to me that he comes with and that we hadn't had a "date night" in almost 6 months.

He agreed to go but he sulked about it the entire time. He dragged his feet getting ready, he didn't socialize, he didn't want to dance, etc. At one point, I lost track of him and found him sitting at the bar by himself.

When I went to talk to him to try and get him to come socialize with me, he told me that he already told me he has no energy for that and that he only came because I "made" him. I told him that if he was going to just sulk and drink alone, we might as well leave and he said "great, lets go."

I told him how disappointed I was that he acted that way at an event that he knew was extremely important to me and he got defensive and told me it was my fault for dragging him there when he didn't want to go. He's barely spoken to me since unless it's about the kids.

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

Angus_Espinoza004 said:

Unfortunately I think YTA. While I can certainly understand the excitement of attending an event, and the disappointment of it falling apart (with your sister driving and all), your husband deserved to grieve. Additionally, while he may not have been social, YOU still had the opportunity to be. I think the jab about him sulking was a bit much.

Weirdly for me, the thing that bothers me the most about this story? You guys haven’t had a date night in 6 months? And you made all this effort for a work event? Including having babysitters drive in? I think you need to prioritize your relationship more. Work events are not a “date night," imo.

And maybe if you guys spent more time together, the communication would be better and you’d have talked it out by now.

edgarallanhoeeee said:

YTA. Your husband just experienced a monumental loss and is grieving, you come across as extremely insensitive. He didn’t pressure you to go to his father figure’s funeral, though I’m sure he probably would have appreciated the support- why did you have to pressure him to come to your work event? And then criticize him for not socializing? He already told you he didn’t feel up to it, what did you expect?

Hippy_Dippy_Gypsy said:

YTA - for not going by yourself. Know you were proud of being in the work force, haven’t had a date night in six months and had gone to a lot of trouble to prepare to go. I get it because I have been in your same situation and my husband has had other needs too…it’s a bummer.

Your husband just lost his de facto father. He’s grieving. He told you he was mentally and emotionally exhausted which is valid given what he had just been through and just didn’t feel like socializing. Ie - he said his cup was empty.

You ignored your husband’s needs and pressed him to go even though he didn’t feel like it. So - he went. But he didn’t feel like being there, didn’t enjoy himself and sat at the bar just wishing he was home.

Your partner’s circumstances trumped yours in this case. You could have gone solo and enjoyed yourself and let your husband stay home - and relax - while your sister was kind enough to watch the kids anyway - while he had a break to restore himself.

Discount_Mithral said:

Could your sister not have gone as your date? He was honest, and it was beyond just "I've had a busy week and I'm burnt out." His father figure passed away and he needed to travel by plane to attend.

I know there were a lot of factors here in you wanting to go, but this was no normal circumstance that led to him being off. YTA on this one. You should have had your sister come with you if you didn't want to take someone in mourning.

SadderButNoWiser said:

YTA. Your husband experienced a major loss in the family. Yes, this eas a work event and potentially a date night and you were looking forward to it. But HE JUST LOST A CLOSE FAMILY MEMBER. His need to grieve, IMNSHO, completely outweighs your desire for a fancy social event.

And, for f's sake, the man TOLD you he was in no condition to socialize. But you hauled him out anyway, and you are pissed with him because he was in no condition to socialize. What, exactly, prevented you from going alone? And what, exactly, prevented you from letting your husband sit quietly at the bar while you hobnobbed with coworkers?

deshi_mi said:

YTA. You wanted your husband to pretend that he was having fun while he was grieving. If this event was so important for you you should have gone alone.

OP added:

"Maybe couples counseling could help."

Been suggesting that for months, too. He refuses. I've also suggested individual therapy for him since his uncle passed away. He refuses.

I've put so much energy and effort into this family and sometimes feel like I get nothing in return. Not even a "thank you" because it's just expected of me. This event was something for ME for the first time in literal years. Something special. I get to put on a pretty dress, my husband looks sharp in a tux, we get out of the house together for the first time in forever.

What's your advice for this couple?

Sources: Reddit
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