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Wife goes to her birthday dinner without husband when he isn't ready on time. AITA? UPDATED 3X

Wife goes to her birthday dinner without husband when he isn't ready on time. AITA? UPDATED 3X


When this woman is fed up with her husband's time management skills and fully bails on him, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for going to my birthday dinner without my husband when he wasn't ready on time?"

It was my (40 F) 40th birthday a few days ago and we had a reservation for a table at a nice restaurant for 7pm. It takes about 20 minutes to drive to the restaurant so I planned to leave the house at 6:30pm to build in time for traffic and picking up my father.

My husband (43 M) had decided to do a bit of work on his car about half an hour before we needed to leave. At 6:30 when the kids and I were waiting by the door, he was still doing it.

He hadn't changed and hadn't showered. I told him to quickly get ready, but it got to 6:50 and he still wasn't ready yet so I decided to just leave without him.

He has a habit of always running late when we go out and he is always the last one to be ready.

Normally I can tolerate it since it only sets things back by ten minutes at the most, but my birthday dinner was important to me and I had been looking forward to it for weeks.

Making us wait for 20 minutes was taking the mick, so I yelled out that we were leaving and left, because I didn't want to lose the table, since we would have arrived about 7:20.

I called the restaurant to let them know we would be late and we luckily still had our table, but my husband didn't show up at the restaurant and when we got home he was mad at me.

I told him that I was tired of him not respecting my time and always making people wait for him, and that he could have made his own way to the restaurant.

My father agreed with my decision to leave without him, but my kids were a little upset that he wasn't there to have dinner with us. So, AITA?

Before we provide OP's MAJOR updates about her history with her husband, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

extinctdipolocus writes:

NTA. You were already late when you left. If you waited any longer, you wouldn't have a table and thus no birthday party.

When you got home, you should have torn him a new one for deliberately trying to sabotage your birthday party. Put him on the defensive, where he should be, for his behavior.

Really, though, when your husband decided to do some work on his car, you should have said, "No, you're not doing that. You're going upstairs and getting ready to leave with us." This was a totally predictable problem.

In general, you should stop tolerating his lateness. When you do that, it gets worse, not better. ETA @ 20 hours: further information from Op's later comments...

Husband used to be on time. Op was a SAHM and this started when she went back to work. Husband is still never late to work or to any of his own events.

MY CONCLUSION: This behaviour is not related to ADHD or anything similar. This lateness is deliberate enemy action.

effectiveseveral writes:

NTA. Tell him clearly that from now on, you are going to tell him when you plan to leave. And you don’t care what he’s doing at that point, because if he isn’t ready to leave you are leaving without him.

And then do exactly that. And if he gets upset, tell him that he was well aware of what was going to happen.

And then the next time the two of you plan to go anywhere, tell him exactly when he needs to be ready by and that you are going to leave at that time. And then whether he’s ready or not, leave. After a few experiences like that, he is sure to catch on that you mean what you say.

By the way, how does it work when HE has an important event to go to? Is he somehow magically able to figure out how to get out of the door on time when it’s an event that is important to HIM?

skikilll8 writes:

NTA. Not only NTA but my hero. Your husband disrespectful to not keep an eye on the time to attend a fortieth birthday party for his wife that other people would be attending.. I don't know how you put up with it.

I would make it a habit to remind him half an hour before you have to leave and tell him we are leaving at x time whether you're ready or not. Because who has time for this crap?

And please teach your children being late is being rude. It shows a total lack of respect for the other person's time. It causes all kinds of anxiety throughout your life if you are unable to manage your time.

curiosity60 writes:

NTA. He made his usual power play to make everyone wait for him, on your birthday. Rather than lightening your load getting the family ready, he left all that for you to do.

He didn't HAVE free time to putter with the car. Yet he used that as his excuse to make yet another event all about him. When you went on ahead, he pouted and waited to attack you when you got home.

The whole thing was his creating frustration and delay for you. Then he had to steal any joy you got from your birthday celebration by unloading his anger that you didn't let him steal MORE of everyone's time as soon as you got home.

He sounds abusive. Controlling events by frustrating others. Punishing your bit of autonomy and valuing your event by refusing to participate, then attacking at home.

Now, let's take a look at OP's first lengthy update about her husband:

It really upset me but I kept it inside because of the kids. I suppose it wasn't a huge surprise but I've come to terms with it since then. I talked to my dad about a bit which helped. I was a stay-at-home-mum until a few years ago.

He changed when I went back to work, although I don't understand how that would affect his time management, unless there's a different reason for him being late. It's normally things like he hasn't gotten changed or found his keys by the time I want to leave.

There was a time a few weeks ago where he decided to walk the dog and wasn't home in time. The kids are 13 and 11 so they can get ready by themselves, although the youngest needs help with tying his shoelaces.

However, I have to make sure the alarm is on, the doors are locked, the dog is fed and shut in his room, and get ready myself. It's a pattern regarding family plans. He's on time for work and his own plans like meeting his friends. Up until a few years ago though he was normally on time for everything.

Now, OP's second update:

I've brought it up multiple times before but nothing has changed. I do admit that I can be a pushover when it comes to waiting for him, but I'm sick of having to put other things on hold in order to check if he is ready and being late to family plans.

He was late for my mother's funeral last year, and after this birthday incident I've decided not to give him anymore leeway and start standing up for myself. Him being late for things only really started a few years ago and it's rarely this bad.

Normally, we only have to wait for 10 minutes max so it was something I could live with. I don't think he has ADHD. He was on time for things until a few years ago, with the occasional exception, and he is on time for work and his own plans that don't include the family.

And now, OP's third update:

My husband likes my dad, but the feeling isn't really mutual. My husband likes the restaurant, we went there for his birthday too (which he wasn't late for). Yes, the kids were upset because my husband wasn't ready and because I was stressing.

They thought he didn't want to spend any time with us. They have personally been let down by him when it comes to things like him picking them up from a friend's house.

Looks like OP is NTA here. Any advice for her in dealing with her husband?

Sources: Reddit
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