"I realized that I was basically being mom and dad around the house and I was so tired of doing this every single day," the man wrote.
When two people come together in the holy union of marriage, they vow to be there for each other through sickness and in health. It is always easy to be with someone during the sunny days of their life. What really matters is that they have a shoulder to lean on during their bad days. And what better than the shoulder of their spouse who vowed to be there no matter what. However, true partnership is not cut out for all as life's difficulties may have them running away from the promises made. Like this Redditor who wanted to know if not being there for an ailing wife qualifies him as being a jerk. Duh.
He took to the AITA subreddit to ask Redditors if he was the bad guy for refusing to take his ailing wife home with him. The man explained his predicament by saying, "My wife now has stage 4 colon cancer. For the past year and a half, I have had to work and then come home and do the majority of the household chores and I was also treated as the nurse. We have two sons (18M, 16M) and a daughter (15F) that help out, but it became expected of me to be their go-to parent on everything." He then narrated how it had been for a year after his wife was unable to do anything by herself.
He wrote that his wife had become rude to him, screaming and crying hysterically all the time. She also let her husband know that he was not being kind to her when he was "putting his entire life on hold." The husband also said that he didn't feel like he even had an identity anymore. He continued: "Over the summer I have talked to doctors and they told me there was a lot of red tape regarding getting my wife into a nursing home. I talked with my dad (74M) and he told me that from his understanding hospitals if you didn't pick up a patient after discharge three days later the hospital social worker would have to place them into a specialized nursing facility."
So when there was an emergency when the wife had to be rushed to the hospital, he took the opportunity to try and get rid of her from his life. He said, "I realized how much of a strain taking care of a barely lucid, and angry when she was a lucid woman had become to me. I realized that I was basically being mom and dad around the house and I was so tired of doing this every single day and then waking up at 6 to go to work." When the hospital let him know that she could be discharged, he refused to go back for his sick wife. He figured the hospital's social workers would take over and send her to a nursing home.
He wrote, "My daughter, in particular, is very upset that her mom is not coming home. My sons screamed at me that they would take care of their mother 24/7 if they had to. However, I knew that the hospital social worker would do his/ her job competently and help my wife into a facility. He wanted to know if this made him an a-hole." Redditor's consensus is that he is, indeed, a jerk.
User JakBurten responded by saying, "YTA. Your wife is dying, in massive pain and you expect her to be Mary Sunshine? Did you even consider getting help or looking into a hospice? Either is cheaper than what you just set yourself up for (because you WILL be getting a bill) and if you think she’ll be in some top-rated care home I have a bridge in NYC to sell you. Being exhausted and overwhelmed isn’t what makes you the AH, btw. Not looking for help at home (there are whole businesses devoted to this) and not asking doctors or social workers for referrals for such help and then dumping her in a facility is what makes you the AH."
A nurse also had something to say about this: YTA. Nurse here. I understand burn out, but you need to properly communicate with the health workers and not just refuse to pick your wife up and expect them to “figure that out”. Your dad is also an AH for throwing such an AH suggestion, I see the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in your family. You have essentially dumped your wife in the hospital. If you would have communicated prior to your carer's stress during your wife’s admission, you could have asked for a social worker to help out and/or seek a nursing home as an option on discharge. By refusing to pick up your wife you have placed that burden on the health workers and, tbh, you are a massive AH! I hope you find your heart again and treat your wife like a human being. Placement into a nursing home should be treated like transferring them to their new home. You SHOULD investigate it properly to find an appropriate nursing home that is close to home and offers adequate activities and facilities that your wife may enjoy.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Mayte Torres