This user was stunned when his wife waylaid him with plans to quit her high-paying job so that she could instead stay home all day and indulge in expensive hobbies. What should he do?
A Perfect Life
OP (Original Poster) is a 32-year-old man who has been married to his 30-year-old wife for five years and together with her for nine. They attended the same university where she was a computer science major, and he was into data.
They’re a child-free couple, and they agreed to split the chores and finances evenly since they both earn roughly the same.
All Work and No Play
His wife now works as an engineer, where she has to do a lot of coding, which can be “stressful.” OP has seen her “get lost by herself” when she’s trying to figure out what went “wrong with her code” and ultimately being unable to solve it.
Her job often entails having to work long hours, and she also has to go into the office three days a week.
Sudden Change in Lifestyle
Recently, his wife “suddenly announced” that she intended to quit her job and transition into a “softer feminine lifestyle.”
OP didn’t understand what she meant initially and asked her to clarify.
Leaving Money on the Table
So, OP’s wife explained that she wanted to set up a freelancer account that “aligns with her field” but is more straightforward in scope. He quickly realized that her income would be “slashed to a tenth” of what she currently earns.
She wanted to avoid taking on too many assignments, and OP felt he was detecting “antiwork vibes” from the “soft life trend” she described.
Over It All
His wife continued explaining that she felt “burnt out” and didn’t want to be a part of the “hustle culture” any longer. Instead, she wanted to “enjoy the finer things in life.”
She added that she’d never had “even a moment” to stop and think about “relishing” such things, and she no longer wanted to spend her life in “misery.”
Going Down the Rabbit Hole
It seemed she had been watching a “lot of TikToks” lately. Still, he’d never thought much anything of it.
He said his wife was now suddenly into “getting massages and nails done, doing a 10-step skincare routine day and night, exploring different home scents, exploring color theory to change her wardrobe, investing in wine tasting, baking and knitting, and a host of low effort yet luxurious tastes.”
Returning to Traditional Gender Roles
OP couldn’t believe that his wife was being so “delusional.” He was stunned at her explanation of how she wanted to “be the one taken care of” and how he, as a “provider, should take on the masculine role.”
His wife was also “okay with downgrading” their lifestyle and spending “more time with the chores” and deep cleaning since she found it “therapeutic.”
Not What You Said
They currently live in an “upscale apartment in the city.” But as OP’s wife continued laying out her plan, he discovered that her idea of a “downgrade” was to move to an “equally plush suburban home.”
She explained that since OP worked remotely, he would be okay with their change in residence.
Hold Your Horses
However, OP was not “okay with being the sole financial provider” and didn’t want to move places. He was also against changing their current lifestyle.
Talk to a Professional
OP brought up that maybe she should attend therapy, only to be told that she had already “secretly attended some online sessions.” She hadn’t involved him because she wanted to make a judgment without being influenced by him.
Dagger in the Back
Now, OP feels like he’s been “betrayed” by his wife. He doesn’t understand how she could decide not to include him in the decision-making process of something that’d be a “massive change” to the life they’d built together.
He “sternly” told his wife that he didn’t support this plan “under any circumstance.” OP felt she could easily find a job that wasn’t so stressful without uprooting their whole life.
He also told her she needed to “figure herself out” and that “TikTok isn’t reality.”
What the Community Has to Say
Redditors were on OP’s side and agreed it wasn’t fair to him for his wife to assume she could quit her job and have him fully support her while she contributed nothing.
One user said, “Big yikes. I understand the desire for an easier life, but I will never comprehend how some people feel entitled to live an easier life at the expense of their nearest and dearest. I just don’t get it at all. In my opinion, if we’re in the same boat, we’re all rowing together. To answer your question, I don’t know how you work through this. I would, however, take steps—like maybe talk to a lawyer—about protecting yourself should she quit and then ask for spousal support. Not to go straight to a worst-case scenario, but better to be safe than sorry. Good luck to you. Not the a**hole.”
“I agree that she’s the a**hole, but burnout is real. It can take a few months to a few years to recover. But in the meantime, bills still need to be paid. Groceries still need to be bought. Putting all the stress on your partner is a great way to ensure they burn out, too. It would be so super cool if we lived in a society that let us prioritize our mental and physical health while still being able to feed and house ourselves, but we don’t,” added another Redditor.
Preparing for the Worst
Many in the community also advised OP on how to protect himself in case things turned sour.
One Redditor said, “OP, please get a separate bank account from her that she doesn’t have access to, so you can start saving up just in case, in addition to the lawyer.”
Another user commented, “If she goes through with it and it won’t work out, file for divorce as soon as possible—especially if she starts saying anything about liquidating her retirement account. If you start the process early, then you may be able to base everything on her working income and original retirement and keep your actual half of the finances instead of half of what remains after she wasted half of it. I wasted years trying to work things out with my ex when it was not ever going to work out. All it did was cost me $100,000 in additional household value.”
Do you think OP was right not to want to change their lifestyle and suddenly have to be the sole provider? Or should his wife be able to quit her job and be cared for by him?
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This post first appeared as He Refused to Let His Wife Become “Lazy” and Quit Her High-Paying Job, Just to Live Out TikTok’s “Soft Life.” It’s “Not Reality,” and She Needs to “Figure Herself Out!” on Quote Ambition.