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Husband upset in-laws plan secret birthday party for wife; readers say, 'she's leaving you.'

Husband upset in-laws plan secret birthday party for wife; readers say, 'she's leaving you.'


"AITA for being upset that my in-laws held a secret Birthday dinner for my wife, with her brothers and her friends, but didn't tell or invite me (her husband)?"


For some additional context, I put together a Birthday dinner for my wife back on the week of her Birthday. I invited my wife's parents, who declined with the statement "we are unavailable that night, that is why we brought her present to her on Friday."

I invited both her brothers. One was ill and the other never responded. According to my wife I should have offered an alternative day (again, AITA for thinking that my mother in law's answer meant "we have already celebrated"?). I invited her friends - only 1 came and they showed up almost 45 minutes late.

Further, they scheduled this secret celebration on a day they knew I could not participate.. I have a long-standing volunteer commitment every Sunday from 8am to 5pm.

The in-laws know it. I would have had to say "no" to the invite regardless - not enough time to arrange a sub for my shift - but am hurt that I wasn't even asked or made aware of the event. AITA for thinking they could have still at least asked?

I told my wife how I felt. She was very defensive of her parents, and made a point to tell me all of the things that weren't good enough about the dinner that I had planned, really made me feel like I shouldn't have bothered trying to do anything for her.

Edit: apparently it was a surprise dinner. She couldn't have told me in advance. I'm still hurt the parents didn't say anything to me, and she continues to defend their behavior and point the blame at me.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


NTA - This is bizarre fucking behaviour.

"and made a point to tell me all of the things that weren't good enough about the dinner that I had planned"

WTF? Is this normal for her?

The OP responded here:


Yes. It wasn't always like that, but lately it's her norm during anything I plan or any plans with my family.


It might be a good idea to sit down and address this behavior with her. Why does she feel that your efforts are not good enough for her expectations?


NTA, but you're blind if you don't see the writing on the wall. It says "better without you".


You're NTA, but she's checked out of your marriage. Time to decide if she's worth it or if you should cut your losses.


Going against the popular grain here, but yeah, YTA. You invited multiple people, that date didn't work for them, the reasonable thing to do is ask if another date works better.

If only 1 person showed up out of ALL the people you invited that should have been a tip off that you screwed up somewhere. As for not being invited, you have a long standing commitment during the time that worked for everyone else, why would they ask?

As for your wife pointing out issues about the dinner you arranged, did she have valid points,? Was it someplace she enjoys or you enjoy? Again, only 1 person showed up and they were late, that's a red flag to me that your plans were in fact not good. It's the thought that counts only works if there really was thought involved for the intended person's enjoyment.


She's leaving you.


Info - can you tell us more about her birthday dinner you planned and what her complaints were? Her parents' response and brother's failure to respond kind of seems like they were irritated about a last-minute plan. Or maybe one they knew she wouldn't like.

Invitations to a casual dinner should be made at least a week in advance. A special dinner (like a birthday celebration) with people who might have wildly different schedules should be further in advance.

Asking important people (like her parents and best friends) for blackout dates a month before would be polite. That would give you time to pick a date most people were free. If she has legitimate complaints, her family might have had good reason to exclude you from their celebration.


Why did you insist on having a birthday dinner on a day you no one in your wife's family could come and which apparently didn't work for any of her friends either? I'd be pretty annoyed and disappointed if I was your wife. YTA.

So, what do you think is happening here? Does the OP have the right to feel that something is off? Did he do something wrong?

Sources: Reddit
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