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Man bails on niece's birthday fifteen minutes before, turns off phone, family blames wife. UPDATED

Man bails on niece's birthday fifteen minutes before, turns off phone, family blames wife. UPDATED

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Birthday parties for grade school kids are core memories, and as an aunt or uncle, they provide one of the key moments to show up.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for choosing his wife over his niece's birthday. He wrote.

"AITA for choosing my wife instead of my niece?"

I (M25) have a niece (F6), I'm her godfather, she's the only kid in the family for now so she's quite spoiled. Her birthday party was last Saturday, my sister said that my niece wanted a Disney themed birthday (Encanto), so my sister asked me to dress up as one of the characters. This is something that we usually do for my niece, since she likes it and it's fun.

I said yes like three weeks ago, so please have that in mind. My wife (F25) is pregnant, she's nine weeks along, but she's already having a lot of symptoms and she doesn't feel great. She has a lot of nausea, some smells get her very sick and she's just feeling tired/ moody since she's not getting a lot of sleep either. The day before the party she had been sick most of the night, so we didn't sleep well.

The party was at 2pm, my wife actually told me to go to the party *** because she could stay alone, she was tired and feeling quite needy but she was mostly "fine" (no nausea at the moment, she was able to eat something and was a bit more comfortable) but I felt terribly leaving her alone. So I decided to stay with her so we could cuddle and rest.

I texted my sister to let her know that I'm not coming to the party at around 1:45 or so. Now, I know my sister, I know that she and our family would've called me and send me texts to try to get me to go, so my wife and I turned our phones off so we could have a peaceful nap. Just as I thought, hours later when I turned on my phone again I had tons of calls and missed texts.

I read the texts and it seems like at some point my niece made a big tantrum because I wasn't there (because I promised her to go as one of the characters of the movie and play with her/ the kids. She refused to do anything and listen to her parents, so long story short they had to end the party early. My whole family is absolutely blaming me for ruining the party.

My sister said I'm an AH because I promised her daughter to be there dressed up and then didn't show up, I remind her that I said yes three weeks ago, so a lot of stuff can change in those three weeks. I told them what my wife was going through and why I wanted to stay with her.

They called me off and said that she (my wife) is somehow trying to get me away from them, they said that she's an adult and doesn't need to be pampered all the time, she could be a couple hours alone.

I told them off for acting and talking like that about her, and said that I can do whatever I want with my time and I told my sister that if she would've raised her daughter better than she wouldn't have made that scene. We had a big argument which ended in insults. Now almost everyone is on their side and not mine, am I really wrong here?

I feel like they're not trying to understand the reason why I didn't go to the party, like I'd rather have my wife feel great and go to the birthday party than this. They say that I'm acting selfish but to me they're the selfish ones. Please give your opinions and I'll answer any questions if there's any.

*** My wife told me to go to the party if I wanted, but she preferred me to stay since she wanted cuddles. She wasn't feeling very sick physically at the moment, but she mostly wanted emotional support.

Redditors had a lot to say in response.

dishonestgandalf wrote:

Close to N T A, but you f#$ked up just enough to move this to ESH territory. Your wife is pregnant, so she auto-wins; if she's feeling sh#$ty, then you can automatically bail on any commitment.

BUT – you committed to this party and the birthday girl was informed of your commitment and you only gave 15 minutes notice and you didn't explain why you wouldn't be reachable for several hours in your first message. You could have given much more advance notice and you could have either responded to their texts or told them that you wouldn't be at your phone until later.

And it doesn't sound like you apologized to your niece, which you should have, instead of basically telling her that it's okay that you pulled out 15 minutes before the event because you committed all the way back 3 weeks ago.

CanIStopAdultingNow wrote:

YTA. Telling them 15 minutes before the party begins suggests that they live close. So that means that you weren't going to be a long distance away from your wife. And I'm assuming that there is somebody who could have stayed with her for an hour. So you go and visit your niece on her birthday. Something you promised her.

And It's not unreasonable for a young girl to be upset when somebody special to them doesn't show up for their special day. You basically told her she wasn't important to you. And you suck for using your wife is an excuse not to go to a party. You should have made it very clear that she insisted you go, but you are choosing not to.

And if you couldn't go to the party, You could have FaceTimed. You could have talked to your niece rather than ignore their calls. You have basically made your wife the villain when she wasn't. And you wanted to take a nap. Admit it. I wasn't about your wife. It's about what you wanted to do.

Bunchofbooks1 wrote:

The texting 15 minutes prior and then turning the phones off because you knew they would be upset makes you TA. An apology is in order admitting OP messed up and avoided conflict.

Pixiegirl128 wrote:

This isn't really just a case of picking your wife over your niece. It's commendable you wanted to stay home and take care of her. but, this is a case of YTA.

Your wife is an adult. I understand she wasn't feeling great, and that neither of you slept great. But she's an adult and could have stayed home and napped on her own and you could have gone to the party and come home and care for her after. She's an adult capable of taking care of herself.

You weren't just a guest at your niece's party. You made a promise to her to play a big part in it. She's 6. You're the adult. She's allowed to throw a tantrum because she couldn't trust an adult to keep a promise for something she was probably very excited for.

That's just how kids process big emotions until they're able to process them other ways. It has little to do with how she's being raised. She's 6 and her uncle promised her. Then broke that promise.

And this is your biggest crime in this. You gave them 15 minutes notice. They couldn't even attempt to see if anyone else could be that character for them. They didn't have time to tell her and let her feel those feelings.

That's inconsiderate notice right there. You say it like it matters that you made it 3 weeks prior but it doesn't. That excuse is for emergencies, things that are outside of your control.

After receiving lots of comments and criticism, OP jumped on with a small update.

UPDATE:

My family knows that my wife is pregnant for those who were wondering. My niece is six years old, not sixteen!! I told them I wasn't going fifteen minutes before because I was debating weather to go or not.

My wife said to go but she wanted me to stay since she needed emotional support, she's needy and emotional for now... I know that turning off the phone is rude, sorry, I'm just used to doing it since my family is too much sometimes and they can't take a no when I do something they don't like, so I wanted to prevent that or at least postpone it.

Also this was my niece's birthday party but her actual birthday was another day, that's why I didn't mention telling her happy birthday or something like that, I greeted her on her birthday day (last Wednesday).

Ultimately, OP's update didn't change how commenters felt about his choice.

Competitive-Week-935 wrote:

YTA- wanted to stay home so we could cuddle and rest..you didn't stay home because your wife was sick you stayed home because you were tired. Calling 15 min before hand is the cherry on top. She's 6 of course she was disappointed and crying. It made it even worse that you didn't even answer the phone to talk to her.

Fooftato wrote:

ESH except for your wife who is sick and your niece who is six. You are an AH for being mean to your sister about your niece and expecting so much of her. Of course she cried and freaked out and was upset because she was disappointed. Saying she should have raised her better and being mean about her was really cruel of you. She is a little kid and that absolutely sucked of you.

Boy is parenting going to wake your a$$ up. Your sister sucked and so does the rest of your family for not realizing that your wife is pregnant and ill and that yes, she does come first and that sometimes plans have to change because of sickness. Then blaming your wife for separating you from the family is histrionic and absolutely vile. Unacceptable.

Your niece is not an AH because she is 6 years old and you are being a jerk about her. Your wife is not an AH because she is pregnant and sick. And even if she had asked you to stay behind, she has every right to do so. Everyone else here is an absolute jerk.

ChipEnvironmental09 wrote:

YTA for this one thing - party is at 2pm and you texted your sister at 1:45pm, which gave her no time to deal with it as party was about to start...it would be one thing if you were about to leave for party and something happened, but you should have texted your sister sooner.

Moreover, you knew that your wife is having hard pregnancy and there was big chance that she would feel that way on the day of party, so why didn't you try to arrange for someone staying with your wife?

Or at least telling your niece that you are not sure you will make it, but that you will definitely make it up to her. Sure, your sister is taking it too far, but I just feel for her as she was there to see the debacle of you not showing for her daughter's party and your comment about your sister not raising her daughter better?

Wow, you really went there...your niece could be the most behaved kid and she would probably still throw tantrum as she is was celebrating her 6th birthday and expected you there to play with her in costume and you weren't there, which she learned about only few minutes before the party or during party.

There is not really much your sister could have said to excuse you as I doubt your niece would understand why you stayed with your wife.

Fit_Squirrel_4604 wrote:

YTA. You promised a child something for their birthday and you bailed on her. She was probably so excited. Got her little friends all excited about it too. Your wife didn't need you to nap with her. She's pregnant, not dying and she even told you to go. So yes, YTA uncle that ruined his 6 year old niece's birthday.

This clearly lands between OP being TA and an ESH situation.

Sources: Reddit
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