This man never signed up to be the sole breadwinner of his family. So, when he found out his wife didn’t want to return to work, he lost it and tried to “punish” her!
OP (Original Poster) and his wife had been married for almost five years. They have two beautiful children: a 3-year-old son and a daughter who’s already one and a half years old.
Marriage, Work, and Stress
He shared that he and his wife were both working when they got married. But around a year after their wedding, OP’s wife confessed to him that she was miserable at her job and wanted to quit.
OP shared, “She told me that her boss was treating her like garbage and that she woke up every morning wanting to vomit.” To OP, his wife seemed “legitimately dejected,” so he told her to quit and find another job that would treat her better.
Figuring Out Her Next Move
His wife quit, and OP expected she would also start looking for another job immediately. However, it seemed to him that his wife was not too eager to job hunt.
OP said that whenever he would “gently” bring it up, she would say, “I’m just trying to figure out my next move. Stop pressuring me.”
Welcoming Their Baby Boy and Baby Girl
Shortly after his wife quit, he said, “She got pregnant with our son, and then while he was still very young, she got pregnant with our daughter.”
What Are Your Plans
So a few months after their baby girl was born, OP again tried to ask her about her plans job-wise. This time, she finally answered with her honest thoughts.
In his post, OP shared, “She finally just said, ‘I don’t want to go back to work. You make enough for us to get by. Just let me be a wife and mother.’”
The problem was that OP thought he didn’t make enough for them.
OP said, “I told her that I was concerned that I don’t actually make enough to give our family as good of a life as I’d like, but she insisted that we can make it work.”
A Model Homemaker and Mom
Even with OP’s issues with his wife not wanting to find work, he praised her and said she was a model homemaker and mom.
He said that whenever he woke up in the morning, there would already be brewed coffee and breakfast waiting for him. He added, “The house is always clean, and other than yard work and repairs, I basically don’t have to do anything around the house. And she is a great mother to our kids. I am quite lucky in many ways.”
But Money Is Tight!
However, OP feels like money is way tighter for them than he’d like. He shared that they were “living lean” and had to eat beans and rice for some days of the week.
He said, “I’m not even able to meet my employer’s match on my 401(k) in order to have enough for us to get by.”
I Didn’t Sign Up for This
OP said he never signed up to be the sole breadwinner of his family. He reiterated that they were both working when they got married, and he never expected that his family would have to live on his income alone.
Maybe You Can Compromise?
OP brought up his concerns with his wife. He even suggested she could work part-time to help with their financial situation.
He asked several times, but she always refused.
Before OP posted this story, he went through their family’s expenses and discovered that his wife had signed up for five streaming services: Hulu, Netflix, Shudder, HBO, and Discovery Plus.
He canceled the last two because he thought there was primarily adult content there, which was unsuitable for his kids. He kept Hulu and Netflix because there were family-friendly shows, and he kept Shudder because he liked the horror genre.
He told his wife about what he did, and immediately, she got mad.
OP said, “She got angry and said that I should have talked to her first—that she had shows she was watching on both of the services I’d canceled.”
Then You Should Work
After hearing his wife’s argument, OP said, “Well, get a job, and you can pay for them then.”
OP’s wife hated what he just said. Then, he asked the community if he was wrong to do so.
What People Have to Say
There are mixed reviews when it comes to the online community’s opinions. Some say everyone sucks in this scenario, while some either side with OP or his wife.
One said, “Everyone sucks here. Wife sucks for just deciding to perpetually be a stay-at-home parent regardless of what you feel or whether it is in the best interests of the family. You suck for acting like you have sole control of all spending and can use that as leverage to bully her. Both of you need to learn how to make decisions together rather than playing chicken with your lives.”
You Were Wrong to “Punish” Her
Redditors also voted OP as the a**hole, not for the issue about his wife’s job or being a stay-at-home mom, but because of his deliberate actions to punish his wife.
“You took a shot at services that you had a reasonable expectation that she would miss. On purpose. And probably at least a little because you knew or suspected it was important to your wife. You can’t make those kinds of financial decisions alone. You are technically partners, even if you both aren’t acting like it. To be clear, she had no right to push this on you. But again, I’m ruling on your specific actions here that you are asking us to judge,” said one Redditor.
You Could Have Approached Things Differently
Some also called out OP and said that though he was not an a**hole for what he did, he needed to improve his approach.
Someone wrote, “Not the a**hole, but your delivery needs work. Just tell her that expenses need to be cut, and you started with easy ones hoping to avoid drastic ones like food or heat. Make sure she is aware of what your family budget is really like so she has an understanding of what you are doing. Explain that you are one disaster away from financial ruin.”
The Real Issue
A great note from one of the top commenters shed light on the couple’s problem.
He shared, “He doesn’t seem to understand that what she does is a lot of work and makes her happy, but she also doesn’t seem to understand how tight money is. His built-up resentment spilled out over the fact that his wife was unhappy that he canceled some streaming services because she doesn’t financially contribute.”
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This post first appeared as He Canceled His Wife’s Streaming Services to “Punish” Her for Quitting Her Job and Being a Stay-At-Home Mom. He Said, “Get a Job, and You Can Pay For Them.” on Quote Ambition.