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Man asks for advice about causing wife extreme anxiety by forgetting to lock the door.

Man asks for advice about causing wife extreme anxiety by forgetting to lock the door.


AITA for forgetting to lock the door a few times a month?

Boy I was hoping never to have an issue to put here, but I really need some perspective on this one.

I come from a family that only sometimes locked our doors, so it was never really ingrained in me to keep the door locked at all times. My wife on the other hand came from a family where the norm was to lock everything, get a camera, be suspicious of everyone coming to the door- just hyper concerned about safety in all ways.

As a result, in the beginning of our relationship, I rarely locked our doors and she always did. It gave her a lot of anxiety, especially since we were living in a rough neighborhood at the time.

Since then, I have done my best to keep up with locking the doors. We have since moved to a great apartment in a very safe neighborhood. And though I’m a forgetful person, I have been remembering I lock our door about 8-9 times out of ten. Still working on it though.

Unfortunately, my wife’s anxiety about our safety has just been getting worse. She says she has night terrors and can’t handle worrying if the door is locked. It’s awful that she feels this way and I want to help her out. I’m just struggling to see and understand why this situation is provoking such a huge emotional response.

Extra info: My wife and I live in a newly developed, gated community on the third floor of our apartment building in the very back. Zero crime since we have been living here. I take out the dogs every night so I am the one locking the door. We have a new puppy that needs to go out every 4 hours, and it’s the 4AM walks where I am most likely to forget to lock the door (8/10) vs regularly (9+/10).

My wife is very upset at me and has told me she is going to buy an expensive camera and another device and leave notes everywhere for me to lock the door. AITH for causing this situation?

Info from OP:

I do indeed think locking doors is important. It’s not hard. I definitely have no argument for those things and I tried to write the post to show that. The post was about me working to get better at locking consistently but not quite understanding my wife’s lower tolerance for risk.

We’ve been together for 5 years but her new job requires her to not work from home anymore. So this has been a last 6 months kind of thing, where it has only boiled over right now. Before this it was just a comment here and there and it was getting way better, so I was a bit blindsided when it came to a head.

I just have a different risk tolerance than my wife it seems. I made this post to see if my view was unreasonable.

I am often forgetful due to low grade ADHD. Even then, I almost never forget during the day too when I’m “on”- it’s mostly waking up at night to take the puppy out that I forget. So I guess I just want to clarify it’s not an attitude issue here- I love my wife and want to be sensitive to her anxiety. I just do slip up sometimes and want to know if that makes me an AH for not buying expensive tech to do the job for me

Here's what people had to say:

lihzee writes:

YTA. Just lock the f**king door, dude. Putting notes up as a reminder sounds like a good idea, if it gives your wife peace of mind and it ensures you lock the door.

ICWhatsNUrP writes:

YTA. My wife also has terrible anxiety about the door being locked, so much so that she physically touches the lock at night to be sure. I grew up in the country where we never locked the doors. It didn't even take me a month to get used to locking the door. Why does it matter if your wife feels safer with the door locked? It takes less than a second for you to lock the thing, just do it.

starsandmath writes:

I came here to watch you get absolutely pilloried. I will literally never forget the first time I saw some version of this question get posted by another confused significant other and everyone jumped on the person screaming that they would get their entire family murdered by their own carelessness. I had no idea I was so out of step with the rest of the world on the every door must be locked every moment always.

Like you, I do my best to lock my doors, but occasionally, as humans do, I forget. My success rate is a bit higher than yours, but I'm not going to lie and say I am 100% perfect every time. I'm going to say NTA for forgetting, but Y-T-A if you don't find a way to compromise.

Get an automatic lock. Or your wife can start taking the dog out at 4AM. Figure something out that doesn't require you to be perfect but still allows her to have peace of mind.

Response from OP:

Hi everyone! I’d like to thank everyone for commenting no matter what judgement you made. I am seeing generally 3 types of YTA justifications and I would like to respond to them:

1. Hardline “Just f**king lock the door”. I totally agree, and that’s my mentality about it too. The problem is that sometimes I forget a couple times a week. I hate it too. Which is why I want to get a perspective on how bad that is. No matter what the determination here is, I’m still going to try to improve. The sticky note method seems like a great idea.

2. Treating my wife poorly. This is the one that hurts the most. I did not make this post to say that she is unreasonable or that I’m trying to tell her that her anxious response is wrong. I will always support her no matter what she feels. In fact, we completely agree that in an ideal world the door is locked every time

I just wanted an outside perspective on if my actions up until now made me an AH. Since the whole issue is about safety, I thought it was relevant to give some data points about the safety of the environment we live in

3. The ADHD. I am very sorry if that came of as an excuse. It certainly is not one, rather an explanation. I feel that an excuse would be using it to take no further action. I simply mentioned it to explain why it has been happening at all and why I want to continue to take steps to mitigate the resulting forgetfulness

Sources: Reddit
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