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Husband denied trip to see brother as SAHM demands two-week vacation. AITA? UPDATED

Husband denied trip to see brother as SAHM demands two-week vacation. AITA? UPDATED

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"I 37 M told my wife 36F that our roles are far from equal in our relationship and that I'm not missing seeing my brother so she can go on a 2 week vacation with her friends. how do I get through to her? been together for 17 years."

polly_throwaway3

Hi, I’ll try to keep this short. Both in our 30’s and have been together 17 years. I Male 30’s am the sole provider for my family of 6. (Partner and 4 kids. 2 high energy dogs.) I work five days a week and sometimes work on weekends if we need a little more cash.

My partner is a SAHM and hasn’t worked since our eldest was born. (By her own choice) I wake up at 5am and take the dogs out. Prepare kids lunches/snacks, ensure all school essentials such as bags etc are at front door then head to work in a physically demanding job.

Kids are picked up for day care / school at 7.. due to after school activities and clubs etc they’re not home until 6. I come home at 7 and make dinner most nights. Help with homework, do Beth time for the little ones, do dishes, take dogs out for longer walk again, put little ones in bed if the house is a mess, I will of course clean it.

I pay for everything, mortgage, bills, insurance , groceries, clothes, toys, technology, after school activities, dates, a woman to deep clean the house once a month. My partner wants to go on a two week long vacation with her friends which will overlap with the weekend away I had planned with my brother who I rarely get to see as we live so far away.

She wants me to cancel my trip as “she’s tired and needs a break.” We got into an argument over it in which unkind things were said on both sides but I am unwilling to budge on this.n How do I get through to her that I need some rest?

Edit / additional info:

Hello all, sorry I haven’t replied to many comments, but I have read most of them. I’ve seen a couple questions I’d like to answer and figured that making a post would be better then replying to individual comments.

My children are between 16. And 6. My wife doesn’t take anyone to their clubs / activities. Younger children’s school finishes at 3pm. Their clubs are in the school. Older kids school finishes at 3.30.

They stay in a club until 4.30 and then go to a youth group with their cousins until they come home. My eldest make their way to and from school on their own while my youngest are picked up and dropped off.

Kids are of course able to eat breakfast at home, but often enjoy eating with their friends before school starts at 8. My wife doesn’t walk the dogs because she doesn’t like to, and frankly, they don’t like her.

I enjoy my time walking the dogs because it allows me some time to think. We have a large yard with dog houses, toys and some agility equipment for them to use while I’m gone.

They also get mental stimulation through kongs and puzzle toys which have been prepared and stored in the freezer. What does my wife do all day? Honestly; she’s not isolated.

She often tells me of things she’s done with her friends, sister, mother etc. she goes to the gym, does and enjoys hobbies such as embroidery, knitting and some jewlerry design. She changes what she likes to do, says it keeps things fresh.

House work wise she does the laundry, (I fold and distribute later) she will give dogs water and prepared meals / enrichment. We have those robot vacuums and air purifiers to deal with the dog hair but my wife will vacuum if heeded.

I wipe countertops, put dishes in dish washer after meals. Older kids take care of their own rooms / bathrooms for an allowance. Have you ever not truly noticed something until it’s right in front of your face?

I was so mad because I wanted to go see my brother and she wanted to go on vacation with her friends (yes, she wants me to pay for it) and things have been like this for so long that I didn’t see how unfair and imbalanced things were until I truly started to look at how our duties were distributed.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's initial post:

gruntbuggly

Your wife isn’t tired. She’s bored. Which is its own kind of fatigue.

And you sound more like a single father of 5, than a married father of 4.

PermaThrowaway111

I think at this point you should ask her what she does on a daily basis. If your kids are out of the house from 7am to 6pm most days, what is she doing? It may seem petty, but what you need to is to chart down every responsibility you have and what you do in the household for the next week or so.

Everything from going to work, to cleaning, cooking and putting the kids to bed. Everything. Then you compare notes with her week and why she thinks you should do more around the house.

SupermarketOk9538

So she basiaclly do nothing and want a break while you working your ass 24 off for like everything... I think the "trip" is not the only problem here...

Three days later, the OP returned with an update.

"Update: I 37 M told my wife 36F that our roles are far from equal in our relationship and that I'm not missing seeing my brother so she can go on a 2 week vacation with her friends. how do I get through to her? been together for 17 years."

polly_throwaway3

Some of you have suggested that I enable her behaviour and I’d like to address it, to explain how things got this way to begin with. My wife worked from age 18 to 20, but I’d often come home after work during the early stages of her pregnancy and she would tell me of how bad the morning sickness had been and how she was getting in trouble at work for being late.

Or not turning up due to the issues she was having, one night, after a long discussion about things, she suggested that it would be easier; and better for her and the baby if she stayed home during the pregnancy.

I was reluctant at first because we weren’t exactly swimming in cash, but ultimately the health of my wife and child were more important than a few months of added stress. To save money, we moved in with my wife’s older sister and her husband. (We split rent and utilities, but were still saving some money.)

The pregnancy wasn’t easy on her, she was often cranky and uncomfortable and as a result could be quite mean, rude and a bit handsy. So after further discussions with my wife and her sisters, I took on more of the house hold duties such as cooking etc.

When my eldest was born, my wife’s sister helped with child care while I was at work for the first year, but after she and my wife had a fight when he was about a year old, we moved into our own place: but my wife struggled during the day when I wasn’t there to help so we ultimately decided to put him in another daycare facility.

I would drop him off on my way to work and would pick him up on my way back home when I finished. Once home, one of us would cook dinner while the other watched the baby. Back then we had no pets, so household duties weren’t too much and could be handled by a couple hours cleaning on Saturday or Sunday when we could split it between us both.

When my son was 3. My wife’s sister offered to get her a job where she worked. My wife had to do an interview, but my SIL was confident she’d get the position. My wife was reluctant and nervous (about returning to work, but attended the interview and was offered the job.

I don’t remember much of our celebrations that night, but it ended in the conception of our second child. My wife told me when she’d been at her new job for just over a month . She stuck it out for a couple more weeks, but was fired due to not turning up for shifts.

I asked one of her doctors about the issues she was having so early in the pregnancy, back pain, leg pain, nausea etc but my wife cut me off before I could finish and asked me to leave the room.

When we got home; she berated me for speaking to her doctor like she was a child and told me that if she wants something brought up to her doctor regarding her pregnancy, that she‘d do it herself.

I had embarrassed her because she knew her body, and knew what was normal and what wasn’t. I still thought the issues had to be addressed with her doctor, but whenever I brought it up her mood swings would get worse.

My MiL came to live with us when my second was born for a short while when I returned to work after my paternity leave. When my daughter was about 4 months old my wife expressed she was having difficulty looking after her by herself during the day but my MIL, who had her own life and responsibilities couldn’t come back and stay indefinitely.

We had a 2. Bedroom apartment then and having her sleep on the couch didn’t seem fair to me. So we enrolled my daughter in day care while my son was at nursery. My son went to day care after nursery as well, so I’d pick them both up around 6pm and head home.

My wife promised she would speak to her doctor about the possibility of depression etc and her mood did improve with the additional help with the children. My wife took on cooking and cleaning duties then, but struggled as well.

I would often come home to burned / ruined food, and would need to make something else anyway. So I ended up cooking dinner most nights so we wouldn’t be wasting food. M During a weekend away for a friends wedding.

When my daughter was five, I suggested that my wife go back to work. Both kids were in school now, and I thought we could improve our lifestyle with two incomes. We had recently bought a house because the apartment was too small for us and the children needed their own rooms.

She seemed hesitant which I understood after being out of work for so long, but she agreed . She applied for several positions but had no luck with interviews or call backs, we found out she was pregnant with our third not long after that and returning to work was put on hold again.

The pregnancy was difficult as expected but again my Mil came to stay when I had to return to work. She stayed for a while but had to return to her own home eventually. Before she left, my wife told me that she feared she would struggle with our second daughter just as she had the first too.

I tried to reassure her, but she seemed to become insanely depressed the second her mother left. I would return home with the 8 and 5 year old to a screaming baby and nothing done around the house.

Her mood and actions effected the entire house; so reluctantly I put her second daughter in day care as well, but I told my wife she had to talk to her doctor, and that we’d no longer be having anymore children. She was and, and we had a huge fight about it. But I got a vasectomy and she accepted it.

We’ve always used protection, my wife is on birth control and I always use condoms, but given that it had already failed twice for us, (when my first was conceived after my 21st I was so drunk I don’t think I wore one, our second after celebrating her new job, and our third at our friends wedding).

I didn’t want it to happen again. But obviously, the universe had other plans for us and our third daughter was born two years after our second when we were celebrating a promotion I’d gotten at work.

Obviously, this is a brief summary of events and there have been several other moments through the years when I’ve suggested she go back to work, but I thought I’d try to provide further background for those who’re curious about how we got to where we are.

Someone asked if my wife has had a break recently. She has never taken two weeks away before, but she goes away a couple of times every year for weekend trips with family and friends. The longest she has been gone is a week.

In regards to the dogs and why they don’t like her, she doesn’t like them. She thinks the mental stimulation I provide through kong toys, games, puzzles etc is unnecessary but freaks out if their energy levels are too high.

One is a German Shepard which I was gifted for my birthday and the other is a German Shepard Malinois mix my wife brought home because she thought our GSD needed a friend. Yes they have been to training and were originally in doggy day care for the first couple years. Onto the update suppose.

——- UPDATE ——

polly_throwaway3

So, as one of you suggested, I took a day off of work. I genuinely wasn’t feeling to good either, but I intended to speak to my wife about the situation nqwhile the children were at school.

M Kids all left for school by 7 ish, my wife came down stairs at 11.45 and seemed very shocked to see me. She asked what I was doing at home and I explained I took a sick day as I wasn’t feeling well. The first words out of her mouth were “but we need the money, you don’t look that bad.”

I made a face, and she quickly asked what was wrong and asked if she could get me anything. I asked for a water and we sat on the couch, but soon her phone rang, and she went off into the kitchen to talk.

She came back a while later and asked if I wanted to get something to eat, and I said we could make something from the kitchen. She said she wanted to go out and I said we could order take out, but I wasn’t in the mood to go out. The dogs had been sitting by the chest freezer waiting the pantry for their lunch time enrichment for ten minutes now, and I asked if she was going to feed them.

She flopped onto the couch and asked me to get it. I said no, she asked again, and I said no, again. She glared at me, but eventually got up and gave it to them. M She asked me to take her out again several times, and I kept saying no.

I was starting to get a migraine, which I told her, but she kept asking, suggesting we could go shopping, she could get her nails done and we could enjoy the day together.

I refused, said we had something to talk about and she said we would then went upstairs. She came back down 40 minutes later dressed up and said if I wasn’t going to take her out, she’d go herself.

I tried to get her to sit down so we could talk, but she blew me a kiss at the door and rushed outside without even locking it. M While she was out, I took some of your advice and cancelled the cleaning lady we have.

I apologised to her, as I really did like her but she was very understanding and I think we parted on good terms. M She returned home at 8pm and immediately asked where dinner was. I told her the kids and I had already ate.

She asked where her dinner was and I told her she’d have to make something for herself. She said she’d just order something, and I told her no. This gave her pause and she looked at me like I’d just told her she had to starve.

She said she couldn’t cook, and I told her I know she’s perfectly capable of making something. We have plenty of foods, it’s not like she has to be Gordon Ramsey to stick a tin of soup or something on the stove.

She left again; and returned 30 minutes later with McDonald’s for herself which set the younger kids off. Yes, they’d already ate but she walked in the door finishing her burger and drink with an empty bag and McFlurry tub.

M Our youngest asked why she didn’t bring her any ice cream and my wife said “daddy said I wasn’t allowed to.” I did not say this, and I swear it took more strength than I’d like to admit not to yell at her in front of our daughter.

When the kids were in bed, I asked her to sit and talk about the situation regarding our trips. She asked if I’d rescheduled with my brother and I firmly told her no, and that I wouldn’t be.

I tried to have a conversation, I explained I felt our duties were incredibly uneven and that I’d like for her to take on more responsibilities with the children and the house. She argued that she does enough and I asked her to make a list. She put laundry down, feeding the dogs, making doctors appointments and grocery shopping.

And I brought out my own list with everything I’ve told you guys so far and added that I created the dogs meals, she simply has to give it to them, I fold and distribute laundry, take kids to doctors appointments and that the groceries are ordered through an app on her phone, delivered to the house and I put them away.

M She got up then, I asked what she was doing and she said she was going upstairs. I didn’t argue, I didn’t want it to resolve to an argument and wake the kids up. She was visibly shaking with anger.

A while later I went upstairs as well. She was on the phone to someone and when I entered the room she demanded I leave and go sleep on the couch, I refused and climbed into bed: she hung up the phone and demanded again that I sleep on the couch and again, I refused.

She grabbed me and physically tried to drag me out. That resulted in a fight and I ended up sleeping on the couch because she was going to wake the kids up again. The following days were much of the same.

I have stoped folding and putting away her laundry, I do it for myself and the younger kids and my two oldest take their piles and put them away themselves. I still cook for the kids, but have told my wife that she has to make her own meals. Petty, I know.

I think my eldest heard us arguing because he asked if he could take the dogs out for a couple walks with his friend during during the week. He hazes, and he says he’s enjoying it but I think he and my wife had an argument the other day because he’s been very very distance with her and things just feel.. off.

He’s asked me about three times if I love him, or course I’ve told him there is nothing he could ever do to make me not. Yes I’ve tried to talk him about it, but he doesn’t want to talk yet and I need to respect that. I think pushing him could be a mistake.

Thursday night my wife asked if we could have a drink as I had to leave on Friday to see my brother. I had ones but honestly it went right to my head and honestly just wanted to sleep: she kept trying to initiate intimacy, but I wasn’t in the mood. I woke up Friday morning and my wife was gone; so was her suitcase.

I’ve texted and called but there’s been no answer other than a text telling me we’d talk about it when she’s back. She ignored me and went on her trip regardless and I am furious. I have left her some cash in the bank account she has the card too, but have removed everything else into another account.

I had to call my brother why I wouldn’t be coming to see him , and he arrived here on Saturday with my nephew and two nieces. The house is very full, but honestly it feels more open than it has in a long long time. The kids seem relaxed and so do the dogs.

I don’t know what will happen with my wife, but I am done. I can’t afford a lawyer right now and unfortunately I don’t know any who could give me a deal or do me a favour, but this marriage is over. It should’ve been a long time ago.

"Slight... update?"

polly_throwaway3

Please excuse any spelling mistakes as I'm so tired. Thank you all, but I'm not in America. I know a lot of you have suggested I message her telling her I'm going to divorce her etc, but I think I'm gong to play it cool, act like I've accepted her decision so she's not on guard.

I know she's said something to my son, but he won't tell me what it is and I feel like if I push him to he might not ever, but my nephew and him are hanging out a lot,. they're close despite not seeing each other much so I'm hoping he might confide in him and maybe open up. I'm not just letting this go, we will talk but I don't want to pus him too much.

I am not a lightweight, I can drink, but I have been exhausted and I mean very exhausted for some time now and I think that maybe that's why I passed out after having one drink, but I would be lying to myself and to you if I said I wasn't suspicious. I am suspicious of a lot now.

I swear, I'm not an idiot, but I really feel like one now. some of you have suggested that I get the kids DNA tested, especially my youngest and while I know that this is likely something I'll have to do, it breaks my heart to think that they're not mine.

My girls all look the same, just older versions of each other, so if I have to DNA test the youngest, I have to do them all. I never wanted kids, this is why I've always used condoms. I'm not the biggest fan of them, but I love my own, I love these kids. regardless of the DNA test. They are mine, but I fear if it comes back that they're not It could damage our relationship.

My brother has read my posts and spent the last days telling me everything he hates about my wife (obviously not in front of the kids) he's pretty funny and I feel like I haven't been able to laugh like this in a long time. He says he's going to make a reddit account, lord knows what he'll say.

Writing this update has opened my eyes further, I see how the timing of wanting her to go back to work liens up with each pregnancy, but when these things are years apart, and your concentrating on supporting the family and work your brain sometimes pushes these thoughts away.

Until something triggers them again and boom, you're slapped in the face with the realisation that you're entire relationship is potentially built on a mountain of lies.

She has her phone and iPad with her, so I can't check any of that. but I'm going to be going through her stuff, is it in envision of privacy? Likely, do I care right now? No. I feel like I've wasted the majority of my life, the good years and that feels horrible to say when I have four kids. I promise I don't mean that they're a waste.

As I said in the post, this marriage is over, I am done. My kids deserve better but I won't be alone when I confront her, as I said she can get handsy and no, I have never retaliated and I don't want to be put into a position where I need to.

I thank you all for your comments, your insight, your kindness. I know I haven't replied to many comments at all, but don't really have time to do so when there are so many but I am trying to respond etc DM's as that seems like the easier thing to do.

I want to ask my SIL what actually happened with my wife and that job. but I don't want her to know I'm suspicious. my Sil is a kind woman but she is my wife's sister so her loyalties lay with her I suppose and I don't want to alert my soon to be ex. Does anyone have any ideas how I can do this? seems odd to bring up a job my wife had for a very brief time years ago. I wish you all the best.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's many updates:

College_Prestige

OP has to realize she's slowly trying to poison the younger children's minds, right?

JustAsICanBeSoCruel

Well, this is going to get messy.

I think once he starts actually digging, he's going to find out a lot about his wife that he was blind to before.

jikan-desu

I bet she told his son that he has a different father and that if he acts up, she’ll blow their relationship up by telling OP.

Gwynasyn

Oh yes, we will absolutely find out that the trip she is on is to meet her lover, none or only some of the kids are his, the others were baby trapped when she poked holes in the condoms, she has secretly been being bad to the kids and telling them the dad doesn't love them causing the oldest's behaviour... Am I missing anything else?

Similar-Shame7517

That wife is very sus. The timing of the pregnancies are suspicious, and I fear that even if he had gotten a vasectomy earlier, after the 2nd or 3rd kid she'd still get "miraculous vasectomy failure" pregnancies.

EDIT: I missed the fact that HE HAD ALREADY GOTTEN A VASECTOMY.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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