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Woman shocked when husband issues ultimatum; 'Become a SAHM or we get divorced.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Woman shocked when husband issues ultimatum; 'Become a SAHM or we get divorced.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

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When this woman is upset with her husband for disturbing her lifestyle, she asks the internet:

"My husband want me to be a SAHM. I don't know if I can do this. AITA?"

For anonymity I can’t go into details but My husband (34m) has developed something in IT that’s well known and it made him rich. I(38f) am a chef and I make probably 1/100 of what he does.

It doesn’t matter for me however because I love my job. we have a great life together. We had our first child, a baby girl 3years ago and our twin boys are 9months old.

I have a few months left of my maternity leave, and with the country closing up again because of the new omicron variant, I started getting worried that my workplace won’t take me back.

I voiced my worries to my husband a couple of days ago and he just shrugged and said it’s not like we needed the money. I was confused and told him that I knew that. It wasn’t about the money. He just shrugged. I was a bit annoyed tbh because I thought he didn’t think it a big deal that I became out of work.

Yesterday, I was still thinking about it so I decided to talk to him again. He was confused and told me that I should instead be happy that I could spend more time with my babies. And he asked me why I insisted on working when we have 3 small children and he made enough money for both of us.

He didn’t like me working 4-5 evenings a week including 1-2 weekends a month. I told him that I love my job and that I’m good at it. I have been doing it for almost 20 years now and that just the thought of not doing anything for the rest of my life is suffocating.

He was visibly upset by then and he accused me of loving my job more than my babies and him. I could always cook at home for the family and If I was worried I would lose my independence he could transfer the same amount I earned from my job to my private account monthly.

I started crying and he kissed and hugged me and told me that he loved me but he has been thinking of this since our girl was born and he didn’t like me coming home late at night. So I needed to choose between my job or being a family. I was startled. Did he mean it as an ultimatum? He did. He actually wants me to be a housewife or we go our separate ways.

I went to my mom’s place first thing this morning. She listened to me talking and crying but when I finished she wasn’t indignant on my behalf, like I expected. She was silent for a while and then she asked me to think carefully about my next move. If we got divorced I need to think about my babies.

I will never be able to give them the life their dad is giving them and I might lose them because of it. Is it worth it to change their lives so drastically and have them live in two separate houses? All that for a job. I have worked my whole adult life and I just could see this as an early retirement. Many dreamed of this why couldn’t I enjoy it?

I wasn’t expecting my mom saying these things. She’s always been this strong independent woman who raised us to be independent and taught me to never rely 100% on anyone other than myself. Hearing her say all that made me question my feelings.

Before I met her I was totally sure I was right being hurt and angry but now I think maybe I’m overreacting and that my husband request wasn’t that unreasonable. But if that’s the case why do I feel like my heart is swollen in my throat?

Why does it feel like he made this ultimatum because he knew he has power and he’s using it? Throw any suggestion or advice my way and please be honest (not rude, honest) because I feel I’m wronged here and I’m having a hard time thinking from my husband’s perspective.

My mom’s reaction caught me off guard tbh. She’s always the be independent kind of person. And always proud of my carrier. I don’t know why she isn’t doing this now.

I think anyone that gives their SO an ultimatum like this has serious control issues. You're allowed to have your own life and be a Spouse/mother. I'm sorry your mom didn't support you and your legitimate emotions. This sounds like a ploy to control to me. Only Dictators give ultimatums. I'd leave because if you give in on this then that is setting a very bad precedent.

This is one of the things I’ve been pondering. If he can make an ultimatum once what will stop him from doing it again? I’m shocked by my mom’s reaction. I thought she would say bring your kids and suitcase and come live with me

I mean, if he became wealthy while you were married, that's your money too...By law He did not. He’s much wealthier now yes but he started his business a year or so before we got married. We have a prenup.

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

gaga09 writes:

OP. I retired from my career early to be a SAHM temporarily and to keep our family together as my ex (yup you read that right) and I were in different branches of the military. However, every time I would get a job after that, we would move and it would take me months to find another one.

The last time we moved, he did his usual fg up and our marriage ended. I had had a job interview but was currently unemployed with no savings. So I was basically fucked. I was lucky I landed that job, but if I hadn’t, I don’t know where I would’ve ended up. In a shitty marriage because I have three kids and nowhere to go probably.

If he’s issuing this kind of ultimatum it’s either because he doesn’t want to have to bother with the kids while you’re working or he doesn’t love you and just wants to control you.

Either way, saying he’s going to leave you because you want some fg independence is ridiculous. The decision is ultimately up to you, but do you really want to be married to this asshat if he’s going to leave you over this? He sounds like an asshole. Your mom too. Wtf.

quirkyyak writes:

I understand that the thought of giving up your independence is terrifying & I don't agree with your husband giving you an ultimatum - that wasn't fair. So at minimum, some counseling on how to better communicate with each other would be helpful.

May I also give you 2 additional things to think about? You have a 3 year old & 9 mth old twins & you've been on maternity leave for almost a year. I'm not sure you have any idea how very, very hard it is to work full-time and be a mother.

We act like we can do it all & have it all & its just not true. I worked part time when my oldest two were babies and I would be so exhausted at night that I could barely function.

Also, give it a few years & you may regret not spending this time with your kids. I've worked FT (50 hrs / wk ave) since my kids were 7, 5 & 12 weeks. Financially I had no choice. I'm thankful that I had marketable skills & could find a good job.

And in some ways, I enjoyed working & all that comes with it. But, I also missed my kids. And now that my youngest is 17, the weight of realizing that that time is gone & I can't get it back is heavy. I desperately wish I could have been home with my kids more over the years.

I'm not saying don't go back to work. You may have infinitely more energy than I and handle it just fine. But know that there can be trade offs & maybe give yourself permission to consider other options?

Can you work part-time as a chef? Would that be a good compromise for both of you? Are there other ways to work & use your skills that would take less evening & weekend hours? What if you worked part-time until your kids were in school?

Also, if you decide to stay home or work PT, counseling could help with some of the issues that may arise. IE - are you afraid that if you are not contributing financially to the family that your husband will then have control over everything? how can you & your husband communicate so that doesn't happen? etc.

And now, OP's 1st update:

So I have posted here about 2 weeks ago about my husband not wanting me to go back to work after maternity leave. I got a lot of real good advice. I just want to clarify some things about my post that many seem to have misinterpreted, I’m sorry my language wasn’t very clear.

I don’t work 4-5 days plus weekends. I work 35-45 h/week in total and sometimes it’s during the weekend.

Staying at home mom isn’t normal in my country. Daycare is free and we don’t have nanny. I’m saying this because I want you to understand why I was taken aback about this whole situation. I’m not trying to be disrespectful to stay at home moms.

He can’t get sole custody just because of his wealth. Or because of my work hours. It doesn’t work like this here (thank god). But I’m thankful for those who expressed worry about that because I know this is the sad reality in other parts of the world.

So to the update, I have had long talks with my husband about all of what happened trying to understand his pov. I have told him that I can’t see myself as a housewife, ever, but that I am willing to start looking for jobs with better hours or that I can finally start my own restaurant.

I could start searching for a location in office buildings and start a lunch spot so then I don’t need to work evenings and weekends. He didn’t seem happy at all with that suggestion. He asked me why I’m so insistent on going back to work.

He said these last months have been the happiest of his life coming home from work every day to his family, and that he thought I am happy too. I am!

I love being with my babies all day but just because I’m enjoying my maternity leave it doesn’t mean I don’t want to go back to work, infact I’m enjoying every minute now because I know it’s not permanent. We had a row.

He said he’s always felt that I’m scared of him making much more money and that I’m scared of being dependent on him so if I’m insisting on working because I don’t want to be dependent, he could pay me 10x what I earn to stay home.

I started crying and told him I’m not going to be a housewife and I don’t accept ultimatums so he should do what he felt fit. He said he’s tired of going around feeling that his wife is intimidated by his success.

He’s doing this for both of us. I have to admit that I’m sometimes scared of him having more power than me. He said it’s all in my head but really would he ever dare to ask me to quit my job if he didn’t feel he had the power to do it?

Could I ask him to quit his job with that same ease? There’s no denying the power dynamics in our relationship and I have all the right to be scared of it.

So there was no progress really and no matter how much I explained myself he doesn’t seem to understand me. And probably he feels the same way with me. It feels like we’re on different levels.

I have suggested counseling. He said he will think about it. Now we’re just civil to each other but we don’t talk much and we haven’t been intimate since I first brought up going back to work. I love him and I miss him. I don’t want it to end but the ball is in his court now.

My mom is very angry with me. We haven’t spoken for a week. I don’t know what to do with her either.

I don’t know what’s going on with him. He NEVER been like this before. When we first met we both told each other how important our careers are and love that about each other. Now he’s telling me “he would feel more at ease if he knew our children are with me and not at daycare.

I have actually asked him why he doesn’t quit. He told me I was being childish. The thing is when I told mom that I asked him to quit she too called me childish. So I don’t know if I’m being in the wrong here. I don’t feel that but literally every one else around me think I’m wrong.

Update 2:

Update 2: Monday jan 31 Thank you everyone for the support. I won’t be able to make any more updates because you’re only allowed one, this is however not a big update so I thought I could just add it here before the post gets lockd.

I will not delete this account in case I need more advice or have another update in the future that I can post as a new subject.

My husband and I talked yesterday, for the first time in 2 weeks and he was the one who initiated the conversation.

I saw my chance to try to find out why he’s behaving like this and at the same time make sure that he KNOWS that I’m not backing up. I told him that while I’m enjoying my maternity leave the thought of it being for the rest of my life suffocated me (I suffer from severe claustrophobia I don’t if it has anything to do with this).

I asked him why he’s doing this. He knew my job was important to me so why was he making this impossible request when he knew it would mean the end of us? “If you are having second thoughts about our marriage and want an out please just tell me the truth”.

He became very upset and accused me of trying to gaslight him. He said his reasons are legit, there’s nothing wrong with wanting his wife to be there for her family, and the children won’t stop needing me just because they went to school.

I started crying (sorry Im a crybaby) and I told him if this is over he should know its is all on him. He started yelling, NO it was because I’m too stubborn and too self-involved to actually take a second and think about his wishes.

I wanted to leave because I couldn’t be with him anymore but he said that it would be more convenient if he did. He’s moved to our city apartment. I feel lost and hurt, I love him so much but I don’t think continuing this relationship is healthy for either of us.

My heart is breaking for my children. I don’t know what to do. For now I will just sit tight and wait for him to send me the divorce papers. Thank you again for the help and advice. It helped a lot.

Ps: mom was here yesterday. We talked alot and she’s finally getting on my side. I knew that when It came to it, she will be on my side and I’m so grateful.

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

Sources: Reddit
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