That's why a father came to Reddit after a dispute with his wife, asking if he was overreacting in a pretty low-stakes situation. Here's his post with top comments:
My wife and I are in our 30s. I had a stroke last year, which was stressful, but I am doing well. I had aphasia as a side effect. I pass as normal to most people. Since the stroke our communication is worse. Sometimes when I talk to her, she says I'm mean, and she cries and I have no idea why.
I don’t know if I'm misspeaking, or she's sensitive, or if something I say is actually mean. This didn’t happen much before the stroke, but it happens a lot now. I try to be nice when we talk.
Today, I took my kids to swim class. I got there and realized I had forgotten towels. I texted my wife, and she offered to go home and get towels and bring them to me. I replied thanking her.
I got the kids in the pool, and called her. She was still at work, and said her car was blocked in and she was finding the person who blocked her in. Her coworkers were getting her towels and she would come to the pool when she could. I didn't hear from her for 15 minutes.
I considered asking the front desk for towels, or sun-drying the kids, but I was just stuck because I didn't know if my wife was coming. I know some people would handle the uncertainty better, but it stressed me out.
She showed up with the towels, we talked, and she left. I didn't say much because I was feeling upset and am very careful if I'm upset and talking to my wife.
When she got home, she offered to finish dinner and put down the kids, since she knew I had been with them all afternoon. I said sure, since I still had some work left. I asked if it was ok to talk, and she said ok. I told her I feel like I can't trust her when I ask her to do something because she won’t update me if there are unforeseen circumstances.
I was careful to say I wasn’t criticizing her, just sharing how I felt. I could tell she was upset. I asked her if she understood me, and she repeated it back to me. It sounded like she understood.
I asked her if I said something mean. She said that she didn’t blame me, but that it hurt her feelings that I would complain to her without thanking her or thinking about how hard she worked to get me the towels.
I told her that I DID thank her, I immediately texted “thank you” when she said she would come. She also said something sarcastic like “and you’re welcome for coming home and offering to take the kids!”
What does my gratitude have to do with not trusting her? I appreciate everything she does for me. The offer to do my chores is very nice, but I guess it came with strings. If she does that for me, then I can only feel gratitude.
So I told her not to bother. I also said something like 'don't do me any favors', which I guess is not the nicest choice of words.
I think she’s the AH because she is self absorbed, and can’t be there for me when I have negative emotions.
I think I might be the AH because she’s upset and I know she tries to give me the benefit of the doubt, and if so I'm hoping reddit can explain it to me.
Reddit said YTA (you're the a-hole), but with more nuance than usual.
Your wife dropped EVERYTHING at work to bring you towels that YOU FORGOT. And you are complaining that she didn't communicate enough with you while she was doing this? While she was juggling leaving her workplace where she is supposed to be working, dealing with a double parked situation, and trying to pick up the slack on the basic parenting duties that you are failing at.
I don't know if this is the stroke that is causing you to behave in such an entitled, selfish way, but if it is you need to be in some sort of therapy to work on redeveloping your empathy because right now your brain is on a course to destroy all of your relationships.
YTA. I have sympathy for you because of your condition but that does not make you any less of an AH in this situation.
He realized he forgot the towels BEFORE the kids went into the pool! I have multiple kids and do you know what my thought process would be there? 'Hey kids, we gotta turn around really quick and grab the towels, maybe you guys can pick out some songs while I drive!'
I get that he had a stroke and is not functioning at 100%, but OP, if you see this, your wife did you a favor, whether it took a while or not. Sure, it sucks you had to wait, but the entire situation could have been prevented, by YOU. You sound like you love your wife very much, consider couples therapy to help you guys communicate.
OP YTA in that particular situation, but... I want to point this out for everyone who has not had a stroke.... it literally changes your brain. The first six months are a hell of fatigue beyond fatigue not just whatever cognitive or physical problems it left you with. I have had two, and one of the biggest things now is I have a hair trigger I never had before.
It's like the wiring of your brain has lost any insulation and sparks quicker. I have learned how to deal with it. It sounds like the OP is working on learning how to deal with his own post stroke stuff. It's not easy, fun or pretty and yeah, you're going to get some things very wrong and have to apologize and admit you're not all together there yet.
Right it’s not his fault if the personality change was caused by the stroke. But it IS his responsibility. He’s here asking if he is the AH. Yes, objectively he was. Just like people who are injured re-learn to walk, OP needs to make an effort to (1) recognize his personality changed (2) take steps to not be an AH to his wife.
I don’t like that Reddit jumps to therapy for every little thing but in this case OP needs to talk to his doctor, get a therapist, or (more likely) both. Sorry OP, soft YTA because it’s not your fault you don’t recognize when you’re being an AH, but you see your wife crying and telling you how you are acting and it is your fault you are ignoring/denying that.
Agreed. While he has a valid medical diagnosis, it doesn't make his attitude & behavior acceptable when she's feeling abused, belittled, & unappreciated by him.
Um no. 'Sometimes when I talk to her, she says I'm mean, and she cries and I have no idea why'
'This didn’t happen much before the stroke'
Except for asking the front desk, actually. Good luck out there, everyone!