OP and his wife have two children, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old on the autism spectrum. Taking care of the kids has been stressful, and they never get a break. The wife is a stay-at-home mum, while OP has a full-time job.
Everyone Needs a Break
It is understandable for parents to want a break from work and parenting, especially when things are not smooth. For this reason, OP and his wife agreed to take breaks twice a year, each on their birthday and Mother’s/Father’s Day. If it is Father’s Day, it is guaranteed that OP will have a day off; if it is Mother’s Day, his wife will have her time off parenting.
This arrangement allows one parent to take the mantle as the other relaxes. They also randomly get childcare on some weekends.
The Perfect Arrangement
This arrangement has worked effectively for two years. OP says he has always been dedicated to doing this and has never failed to step in so his wife can take her day off.
He ensured to give her a treat on her off day, such as scheduling her a spa day or any activity that would get her to unwind out of their house. He would then ensure to have his children ready with gifts for her when she returned, followed by her favorite meal before calling it a day.
Now, here is the thing, OP’s wife never reciprocates any of this treatment when it is his husband’s birthday or when it is fathers’ day. OP says he tries not to hold it against her but still feels it is unfair.
So this past Father’s Day, OP told his wife in advance, but it was clear that she had no plans for Father’s Day. OP, therefore, decided to prepare something to celebrate himself.
Then, about three days before Father’s Day, his wife’s old boss’s dad passed away. Her old boss invited her to the funeral about two hours away on Father’s Day. This meant OP had to cancel all the plans he had for himself to take care of the kids.
Voicing Out the Frustration
She was supposed to be home around 5 pm but did not arrive until around 10 pm when the kids were asleep.
OP was so mad he did not get anything to celebrate Father’s Day, even cards his wife could have helped the kids get their father.
They got into a huge fight when she got back. He told her how he felt about not getting celebrated on Father’s Day when he always did something for her.
She was not having any of that and said OP was at work all day and got to help with the kids only in the evening. She added that OP gets more breaks than she does. He expressed how much he was looking forward to Father’s Day and how working to provide for the family is not a break.
She was pissed off, saying OP was selfish in making it about himself, yet someone had died. In OP’s defense, his wife had never met the deceased and had not met her bereaved boss for over a year.
OP thinks he was not being selfish for asking her to prioritize his needs just like he does. She disagreed and had not been talking to him since the confrontation.
Is OP justified, or is he being selfish?
The Masses Weigh In
Many commenters considered OP not the ***hole, and many thought that his wife could have done better, for example juggling between the funeral and organizing something for his husband.
One commenter said, “I’m going against the grain here — NTA. Your wife could have easily gone to the funeral & come home at 5. Perhaps, brought dinner, made baths & bed while you relaxed. She should have also helped the kids make/do something special for you.”
Not a Close Relative
Some commenters added that the relationship between the deceased and OP’s wife was not close enough to have her completely abandon Father’s Day. One user said, “Old boss’s Dad” — in my funeral book, that does not justify leaving the family for an entire day, driving 4 hours & ignoring Father’s Day. The funeral was just an excuse to get out of the house.”
Another added, “From the title, I was expecting this was the funeral of someone close to OP’s wife…but her “old boss’s Dad”????? That doesn’t justify forcing your husband to cancel his Father’s Day plans. She could have sent her condolences in a nice card, a flower arrangement, and surely the old boss would have understood that she couldn’t just leave her family on Father’s Day – that is a day that most people devote to family. NTA.”
It Is Never Too Late
One commenter added that OP should request a redo on a selected weekend. They said, “Tell your wife you would like a redo. Pick another Sunday for Father’s Day. Maybe she will help the kids do something fun for you.”
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.