Young couple quarreling jealous fighting

Exhausted Mother Begged Her Husband for a Week Off, But She Couldn’t Believe What He Said in Response.

In a struggle for appreciation and longing for respite, the Original Poster (OP) pitches a solo birthday vacation to her partner, inciting a conflict that threatens to disrupt their 12-year relationship. The climax ensues when, amidst escalating tensions, an unexpected proposal from a counselor forces OP into a decision that could redefine their family dynamic.

The Life of an Overworked Mom

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OP, a self-employed stay-at-home mom, is exhausted from balancing her work, housework, and caring for their three children. Her partner’s primary responsibilities involve his full-time IT job and morning dog walks, but OP manages everything else. Yearning for a break, she thinks of a plan.

The Birthday Wish

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As her birthday approaches, OP proposes a week-long solo vacation. The timing would coincide with her birthday and serve as her gift to herself. She asks her partner to use his Paid Time Off (PTO) to step in and handle the household.

The Backlash

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Her partner, shocked by the proposition, labels it as selfish. This leaves OP puzzled and hurt as she struggles to understand his viewpoint. The disagreement casts a shadow over her birthday plans.

The Lack of Assistance

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Recalling their history, OP notes her partner has rarely contributed to household chores. He occasionally cooks dinner, yet hasn’t done laundry in a decade. This imbalance of responsibility fuels OP’s desire for respite.

The Appreciation Gap

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Despite her partner’s full-time job, OP argues that she works equally hard. Her work is seemingly invisible, as her efforts go unappreciated by her partner. This lack of recognition amplifies her longing for a vacation.

The Elusive Break

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OP realizes her last break was for her partner’s birthday dinner and, before that, her pap smear appointment. The constant demands of her life have prevented her from having time for herself. She cherishes the idea of a week’s break more and more.

The Financial Independence

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OP declares that she will cover the entire cost of her holiday, further arguing against her partner’s “selfishness” claim. This would be her birthday gift to herself, not causing any financial stress on the family. Her autonomy in this regard solidifies her resolve.

The Unused PTO

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Despite having 28 days of PTO, her partner lost 12 days last year due to non-use. OP believes these days could be used for her proposed break without affecting his work schedule. She uses this as further reasoning in her argument.

The Intensified Conflict

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Their disagreement escalates, shaking the foundation of their 12-year-long relationship. The unresolved conflict looms large, creating tension in their daily interactions. It becomes apparent that a resolution is crucial for both their relationship and OP’s mental well-being.

The Communication Barrier

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Despite numerous attempts, OP struggles to convey her exhaustion and need for a break to her partner. The importance of his understanding of her perspective becomes increasingly clear. This serves as a major obstacle in their ongoing dispute.

The Unexpected Ultimatum

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In an attempt to resolve the situation, OP gives her partner an ultimatum: either he takes over her responsibilities for a week or risks further escalating their disagreement. She’s determined to find a way to make her holiday happen. The ultimatum adds a new twist to their conflict.

The Friend’s Involvement

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OP confides in a close friend about her predicament, who offers to talk to her partner. Despite some hesitation, she agrees, hoping a third-party perspective might help.

OP’s friend speaks to her partner, leading to a surprising revelation. The partner, it turns out, has been feeling overwhelmed and unappreciated in his job, unknowingly mirroring OP’s own feelings. This new insight adds complexity to their situation.

The Counselor’s Entry

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After a few more days of strained conversations, they decide to involve a professional counselor. Their aim is to mediate their dispute and help them communicate more effectively. This new approach offers a glimmer of hope.

In counseling sessions, both OP and her partner begin to unravel their feelings. Each session uncovers another layer of misunderstandings and unexpressed emotions.

In one of the sessions, the counselor proposes an alternate solution: the partner would not only look after the children for a week but also take them for a short vacation. This way, both parties get a change of routine, easing the pressure on their relationship.

The Difficult Decision

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OP grapples with the idea of her family going on a vacation without her. She battles feelings of guilt and worries but also a sense of relief at the prospect of solitude.

After much consideration, OP decides to agree with the counselor’s proposal. She sees this as an opportunity for her partner to understand her daily struggles and for herself to finally have her much-needed break.

Was The Couple’s Behavior Appropriate?

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The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responded

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One reader said, “It sounds like you have multiple full-time jobs while he has one. Consider pricing out what it would cost to have someone do your work full-time as an experiment. How much would it cost to hire a nanny for three children of those ages full-time? How much would it cost to hire a maid to complete the house chores you do? How much would hire a lawn service cost? How much would having a home cook or having meals delivered every day cost? Do you walk the dogs outside of the time he does in the morning? If so, add it to the list.”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder wrote: “Of course, your husband refuses to let you take a holiday; he’d have to actually lift a finger to parent his own children if you did.

Please, for your own sake, book that holiday and inform him you will be going. Perhaps if he had to do a fraction of everything you’d done for years, he’d finally see how unfair he’s been to you.”

A Third View on The Story

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A different person states, “I know this hurts to hear, but I’d recommend you seek out counseling on your own to decide whether this is a healthy relationship for you to stay in and whether he’s capable of making the changes needed to make your marriage into a partnership instead of you doing all the child-rearing and house labor while he is free to work without even doing the basic amount of housework he’d do if he were a single man with no kids.”

A Final Perspective on the Matter

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Another viewpoint on the story: “Why is a parent with THREE small kids not taking all their leave?

Either he has a very toxic work environment, or he’s deliberately avoiding you and the children.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

This story is inspired by a Reddit thread.

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