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Husband Asks If He Was Wrong To Take 'Much-Needed Vacation' From Grieving Wife

When you're in a serious relationship, there is a general unspoken understanding that you will stand by the other person's side and help them through whatever comes their way, no matter what.

And if that relationship just happens to be a marriage...well, there's a good chance you made a vow to do that anyway.

But judging from today's AITA story, it would seem that not everyone is capable of fulfilling their half of the "for better or worse" bargain.

A man recently posted about his "much-needed" vacation to the subreddit r/AmITheAsshole in an effort to find out whether he was wrong for taking it.

Oh, and it's very important to mention here that he decided to jet off somewhere else while his wife was grieving her dying mother.

I'm sure you already have your verdict in your head at this point, but we still have to talk about how this man is trying to defend his actions. So let's just dive right in here.

About five months ago, doctors determined that the man's mother-in-law had an inoperable brain tumor.

Unsplash | Daan Stevens

Given that there wasn't much they could do to save her, the prognosis wasn't very good, and the family was forced to accept the difficult fact that their beloved matriarch wouldn't be around for much longer.

After she was placed in a hospice facility, the man noticed his wife went into what he referred to as "total zombie mode."

As he explained, the last five months have been filled with "non-stop work" on his part, and a lack of "affection or appreciation" from his wife.

Unsplash | Kristina Tripkovic

"My wife does nothing but eat pre packaged microwave meals so I have to cook dinner for our 15 year old daughter," he wrote in his post. "She never makes an effort, to the point of wearing sweats even to work, and worst of all, she went from showering every day to maybe twice a week."

Man, it's almost like she's depressed about the inevitable loss of her mother or something.

The man has been having a really difficult time dealing with the fact that he isn't the center of his wife's world while her mother is dying.

Things really came to a head when his 45th birthday was only a week away, and he came to the sad realization that there probably wasn't going to be a surprise party for him.

You know, on account of his mother-in-law dying in a hospice room somewhere.

And that just didn't sit right with this birthday boy.

With the big day looming and his mother-in-law not getting any better, the man called up some friends for advice.

Interestingly, rather than talk some sense into him and tell him he needs to be more sympathetic of the grief his wife is feeling during such a heartbreaking chapter in her life, they did the exact opposite.

They actually encouraged the man to ditch the missus and instead go down to his home state of Arizona to party with them.

Well, even if his friends suggested it, that doesn't mean the man would actually *do it*, right?

Wrong.

He was more than happy to leave in the middle of all this misery and go commemorate the truly unmissable milestone of turning 45 in Arizona: "I agreed to go back home for the week to celebrate and catch up."

Of course, when his wife found out about his b-day bash, she wasn't too impressed.

In fact, she was actually devastated by the news, which makes this story all the more heartbreaking.

As the man recalled online, "She started begging and crying that she would control her outward expressions of depression and grief if I stayed and said that she felt it was true this time even though we have had like four false alarms regarding her mother before."

She pleaded with her husband, promising she would make a real effort to be "less distant" from him while dealing with her mother dying.

However, this loving hubby refused to budge. As he saw it, there was no real reason for him to stay, and he certainly didn't think he had a place at his dying mother-in-law's bedside.

"Her mother and I have never been close and I know I don’t land anywhere close to the top people she wants to see before she passes," he reasoned.

In the end, he told his wife that she is "grieving in a way [he's] never grieved before," so he knows he'll be absolutely no help to her.

As he explained, he's been feeling so emotionally fatigued from the last five months of having to pick up the slack around his own house while his wife mourns her mom that he simply couldn't stick around any longer.

He needed to go party in Arizona. So that's exactly what he did.

A few days into the trip, he got a text from his daughter — his mother-in-law had died.

So to sum up, this husband decided that after months of having to make meals for their daughter, clean up a bit around the house, and "deal with" an emotionally distant wife, he deserved a vacation. And as soon as he left, his MIL died, which means his wife had to deal with that devastating loss all by herself.

Since he was in Arizona.

To make this whole situation even more appalling, the man called his wife and asked *if* he should maybe come home now.

It should be mentioned that this certainly seemed like more of a courtesy call than a genuine one.

He wasn't even that willing to leave the great state of Arizona sooner than expected, since he still had some birthday festivities to attend.

From how he described the phone call, it seems like his wife was also able to sense his reluctance to return home to his family.

In her response, she made one thing very clear: whatever he decides to do, he should know that things certainly aren't going to be the same when he gets home, and not in the way he might be hoping.

"My wife says to do whatever I want and that if I’m expecting my old, work out every day and dresses up every day wife back when I come home, I will be disappointed," he wrote.

In the end, the man ultimately decided to wait until his original return flight...in five days' time.

He got the text on Tuesday about his dead mother-in-law, and his return flight was scheduled for Sunday. Rather than go home immediately, or maybe even at least try to schedule some sort of flight for the middle of the week, he decided to stay all the way to Sunday.

In the meantime, he's turned to Reddit to find out whether he was an asshole for ever leaving in the first place.

It should come as absolutely no surprise that the Reddit jury agreed this man is most definitely the asshole of this entire situation.

"All you do is complain," this user pointed out. "It's exhausting to cook dinner for a child who is perfectly capable of cooking dinner for herself? You are upset that your wife isn't wearing makeup and nice clothes? This is exhausting for you? Too bad. It's not about you."

"I am fairly certain you have ended your marriage with your actions," they added.

Other people pointed out how the husband maintained a very selfish attitude while his wife had so very clearly fallen into a deep, dark depression.

Unsplash | Dmitry Schemelev

"His wife is depressed, mourning, in the middle of a global pandemic when everything is already hard," this person commented. "I feel awful for this woman."

"This has only been going on for FIVE months, not years," someone else added. "Yes, it is emotionally draining but you can manage to put your wife first for a few months."

Many users agreed the man's wife shouldn't put up with him any longer, and expressed hopes of a divorce in the man's near future.

"You've hopefully got a divorce on your hands because no one decent would behave the way you did," this person commented. "You definitely betrayed your marriage."

Indeed, Reddit determined the man is an asshole, not just for abandoning his wife when she needed him most, but also for leaving the state at all.

As this person so accurately pointed out, "We’re in the middle of a global pandemic and he 1) flew across the country unnecessarily and 2) will be seeing a 'lot' of old family friends? What the hell?"

In fact, when he *does* finally return home, many users think he shouldn't even be allowed to attend the funeral.

This user put it perfectly when they wrote, "He absolutely needs to be barred from the funeral, and frankly should sleep in a hotel for 10 days to avoid risking his wife’s and daughter’s health..."

Ultimately, the people of Reddit had just one message for the birthday boy: you are the epitome of an *asshole*.

This comment truly says it best:

"You're the asshole for going in the first place. You're the asshole for not going back immediately and prioritizing a birthday party over a death. You're the asshole for not emotionally supporting your wife the last five months and getting annoyed that she's depressed and not dressing up when her mother was terminally ill. You're the asshole for caring more about not getting attention and a birthday cake than your wife who was just told her mother is at the end. You're the asshole for everything. I honestly don't know if your marriage will survive this."

What do you think about this story? Make sure to let us know in the comments!

h/t: Reddit