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Pregnant wife says husband abandoned family, won't leave his bunker. AITA? UPDATE

Pregnant wife says husband abandoned family, won't leave his bunker. AITA? UPDATE


He's not a doomsday prepper, but he's definitely not helping to prep for his child's birth.

One man was excited when he found his grandfather's old bunker. He thought it was just a myth, but there it was. He set it up as sort of a man cave and was loving spending time there. He loved it so much that he started spending more and more time there. So much so, that his wife threatened to seal it off. She felt completely abandoned unsupported at home with their son and unborn child. He says he should be able to have time to him self, but he's wondering if he is losing touch with reality.

'AITA for spending a lot of time in my bunker away from my family?'


My grandfather was an incredibly talented man who also suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, and he was convinced that the nuclear apocalypse was going to end the human race at some point, so he built his own bunker and then buried the entrance because he was convinced that both the KGB and the CIA were watching him and wanted to keep the bunker a secret.

Yes, he was a crazy man. My dad inherited his house but never lived there, so when I had my first child in 2018 and got married in 2019, my dad made me an incredibly generous offer for the house. I bought computers that were more expensive than the house.

The bunker became kind of an urban legend, mostly because my old grandpa used to tell a lot of crazy stories, but out of curiosity I went looking for it and found the entrance. THE OLD MAN REALLY DID IT!

So, thanks to being stuck at home during the uneventful 2020 and 2021, I started remodeling the bunker to look less like a Fallout Vault and more like my own man cave. Everyone loves it, especially the kids (My nephews and friend's children).

So the house is decorated to my wife's taste, while I can do whatever I want in the bunker, play gaming, fix computers, set up a whole home server, work from home, etc.

However, lately she has been complaining about me being distant and spending a lot of time there and less time with her and our child. She is pregnant again, so she said she was worried, but I just promised to spend more time at the house. After a few weeks that wasn't enough for her and she accuses me of abandoning her.

I'm asking for judgment here because I'm trying to be there for my family, but this bunker feels like it's the only thing that's really mine and where I can actually have a break, but my wife has said she's going to seal the entrance otherwise I might miss the birth and not even notice.

Should I just move all my stuff into the house and forget about it? Am I really being neglectful, or is this just her pregnancy hormones talking?

To be clear, I do help with the house chores and spend time with my son when I'm there and I have an intercom in the bunker so my wife can just call me if she needs anything and I'll go up there immediately.

I spend at least 6 hours at the Bunker on week days. I work there so I think is reasonable, and at least 4 hours on weekends. But yeah, ur right, I need to make arrangements.

I forgot to mention: Our son goes to kindergarten so my wife has time to work and sometimes be alone at home.

I'm just trying to understand what I should change about myself and how to talk to my wife about this. Remember that I spend at least 6 hours WORKING, not scratching my belly. My manager allows me to log out early if I finished my work for the day but can't log out if I've been working for less than 6 hours. I also spend time talking with my team on Slack.

The OP quickly provided a small update as comments began flooding in.


Mini-Update: I had a talk with my wife. Overall I think it went well since she told me everything, but there are so many raw emotions right now and I was sent to sleep in the spare room. She had no mercy on me but we needed this talk so we can have a clear path for our future together.

Here were the top responses from readers after this initial post:


YTA. Where is your wife’s bunker equivalent and how many hours per week does she get in that space vs. you in your bunker? Way to go putting 100% of the mental load on your wife in no uncertain terms.


ETA: It is absolutely valid for OP to spend his work hours in the bunker. I believe the problems of balance exist outside the working hours.


Exactly this. Why doesn’t your wife also get a space for herself to disappear to for hours on end? And to add to that, it sounds like OP alienated himself with this bunker. He made it his “man cave” right off the bat, then made the separation even more so by saying “this is my space to decorate how I like, and my wife gets to decorate the house”. Smh. YTA.


And then complains that there’s no space that represents him in his house. Ya dude, that was by your arrangement…YTA

The OP then returned the next day with and update on the same post for everyone.


I talked to my wife. I asked her to be very honest and I promised to let her talk until she was done.

First of all, it's not just about the time I spend in the bunker now, but she felt completely alone taking care of our little baby while I spent almost all of my free time remodeling and building and when it's done I'm just down there.

I explained to her that it was basically my office now, she understood and apologized and then continued to explain herself. I'll just quote the gist of it because we talked for hours.

I haven't been my own person since my first pregnancy, I feel like a doll, every day is the same, I'm bored, frustrated, angry, just when I thought it might get easier, I get pregnant again, how many years until I can just be me again'.

'You have a big hole underground where you can play and not care about the word, I haven't read a book in years, I can't read 2 pages without falling asleep'.

'Yes, the house looks nice, but what about a place for me? I don't want a Kindle, I don't want audiobooks to listen to while cooking or driving, I want a PHYSICAL collection, where do I put them? When was the last time I went to a library? When was the last time you gave me something made of real paper?'

(For context, she's always been a bookworm, loves books and the aesthetic of having shelves full of them, but it's true she hasn't read in a long time, I gave her a Kindle for our anniversary and I pay for her audible subscription, I thought those would be good substitutes, but they're not)

'Stop thinking that a screen can solve everything, I need you with me, I married a human, not a sim, download some emotions.'

'I want to write again, but how? When? Will you read my first crappy drafts or just take a look and say it's okay?'

'Can you have our son in the bunker for a few hours a day? He's bored here, he won't be bored down there.'

It was hard, but I needed it, and she needed it.

I'm going to move my gaming consoles into the house and see if I can set up SteamLink to stream games from my gaming PC to our TV or something. We agreed to go on dates outside the house, and I'm going to take on more responsibilities around the house.

I want to address something. I was told by my parents that I had to 'help' with the house, 'help' with the kids. But then I come to Reddit and it turns out that 'helping' is a problem.

You talked a lot about mental load, this was the first time I heard about it, who was supposed to teach me that? 'Helping', not having addictions, being loyal and always being there seemed like what every good husband does, now I realize it was just the bare minimum.

I feel like I have to relearn everything, and it's hard to realize that I'm a bad husband and father for thinking that the bare minimum was all I needed to have a long and happy marriage. I became a reddit villain by being clueless, but I accept that.

I'll see you again soon, thank you all.

Here were the top comments after this latest update:


Well, you started as the a**hole but if you truly have had the revelations and are going to make the scale of changes you need to, I'd def change my vote!

BTW, I gasped out loud when you wrote 'helped.' I knew Reddit was going to be (justifiably) merciless. 'Helped' is the root of a huge imbalance of chores between men and women, and women are TIRED.


“Who was supposed to teach me that?” Weaponized incompetence strikes again.


Alot of husbands think like this - they do everything they can to escape home life and expects the wife to stay in the home, hold down the fort, and give up all of her hobbies so he can indulge in his.

OP seems to know now that he's TA; but I wonder why men think like this. Why do they want domestic slaves that take care of home and children without a break but they are free to come and go as they please?

Shape up OP. Your wife is tired of being a single married mother.


Huge respect to you for taking this so well. Keep communicating. Good luck in the future.


Well that post was a rollercoaster. I'm glad you seemed to kinda 'get it' by the end.

It seemed this would be the end of the story, but a week after the original post, the OP returned again:

'Things are getting better. Update to Bunker post.'


Hey guys, I hope you remember me. I'm the bunker guy. Not much has happened in terms of big events, but things are getting better.

After the talk I had with my wife, I started taking more responsibility around the house. I've been taking on as much as I can so she can rest.

Except I'm a terrible cook, so I have some frozen and instant food that I just heat up and call it done, but I've been taking our son to school and picking him up, spending more time with him in the Bunker (he loves it), I've been gaming in the living room because I moved my consoles there and successfully set up Steam Link.

So overall, my wife is sleeping more and has a few hours to just do nothing. She is much calmer now. She said she loved being able to just chill on the couch and not have to worry about anything. This pregnancy has been rough on her emotions so I'm glad to see her like this.

She also spent some time with me in the bunker, doing her own work, sleeping, or just hanging out. She even got The Sims and started playing again. The first thing she did was build an almost exact replica of our house.

We also did a lot of cuddling down there and even had s*x. I have to admit, I'm loving every second of this new dynamic, even though there are still a few things that need to be changed and tweaked.

I offered to build a room for her in the bunker, but she says it gets a little claustrophobic after a few hours and she likes sunlight, so that was declined. Then I suggested building a shed for her.

She said nothing, but after a few hours showed me a shed she built on The Sims, a hexagonal brick structure with a U-shaped couch in the middle, a door, and bookshelves on every wall, connected to the main house by a fenced-in path. I think it looks nice, so I will send it this week to the same people who helped me rebuild this bunker so they can convert it to CAD.

Nothing is perfect yet, I have a lot to learn and haven't started couples counseling yet (that will be in about 2 weeks) but I am trying my best, I have been an idiot for way too long and have a lot to make up for. Thank you all again.

Here is what people who remembered the OP's original attitude and followed the story:


It's amazing how much easier this world would be where if instead of being defensive after receiving criticism, we listened with open ears and hearts, and set about making things right. I'm proud of you for listening, learning, and growing from here. I hope that this is the start of a long, wonderful rest of your life.


I hope she gets her shed.


how sad that she had to spell out to the father of her child that he Also has to parent.


I don't even know how to feel about this one, to be honest. I think I'm mostly just baffled. 'I spend 40 hours a week in an underground bunker away from my pregnant wife and already-existing child, what's wrong with my marriage?' Having a private place to work from home is very obviously not the problem, nor is it a problem for a dad to have hobbies.

The problem is that the nature of that private place encouraged him to be less active as a member of his own family–a family he chose to create with his wife–and that place created a physical distancing from responsibilities around the house and within his marriage that encouraged him to mentally distance himself from his responsibilities to his family.

Which was overall reinforcing the idea that he was being a 'good husband' by being the bare minimum of a decent, non-abusive partner who 'helped out' around the house (that he lives in) when he wasn't working or gaming or involved with his other hobbies.


The bar is so low it's in an underground bunker.

So do you think this OP was being selfish and, if so, do you think he has really learned his lesson?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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