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Husband Works 18 Hour Days to Pay Bills While Wife Sits Around Spending His Money. Her Therapist Says It’s Totally Okay

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Typically, partners in a relationship are exactly that—partners. Couples that live together are expected to pull equal weight, whether it be through financial support or taking on household responsibilities.

What happens when one member of a relationship decides they don’t want to contribute? This husband found himself frustrated when his wife stopped working and doing most basic chores…for five years straight.

When the husband called his wife out on it, he found himself at odds with her therapist, who found her couch potato behavior perfectly acceptable.

Here’s what happened and the harsh opinions the internet had:


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The husband’s, or the original poster’s (OP) wife, has not worked since 2018. She was previously a teacher, but during her fifth year on the job, she had a mental break. OP’s wife has been in therapy ever since and has not been working.

Since OP’s wife has been out of work for five years, OP has had to pick up extra shifts in order to maintain the couple’s savings, pay bills, and continue retirement contributions. OP’s wife has debt, which is now also OP’s because he cosigned, and the couple has a joint account. OP sometimes works over 18 hours a day and averages 84 hours of work a week.

In addition to her private therapy sessions, OP and his wife also go to marriage counseling. They’re in counseling because OP’s wife feels like he pushes her too hard to return to work, which causes tension.

What does OP’s wife do at home all day long?

Lazy wife refuses to go back to work, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab.
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Not the housework, according to OP.

He claims that he often comes home from 12 to 18-hour shifts and then also has to make dinner for the couple. If his wife takes care of dinner, it’s usually a pre-made meal, or she just orders out.

Instead of the housework, she sits at home playing games all day while OP is at work when she’s not in therapy.

What is the couple doing to cut expenses while OP’s wife is not working?

Lazy wife refuses to go back to work, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab.
Image credit: Shutterstock.

When OP’s wife complained about how tired he always is after his lengthy shifts, OP suggested a few things the couple could do to save money and reduce his hours.

These things included his wife trying to cook instead of always ordering out, his wife getting a part-time job, and renting the house to cover their mortgage, downsizing to an apartment instead.

See also: 7 Budgeting and Saving Hacks

How did OP’s wife react to his ideas?

Lazy wife refuses to go back to work, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab.
Image credit: Shutterstock.

OP’s wife was insulted by the idea that she would cook or do things around the house to help. Her counter-suggestions for saving the couple money were for them to cut retirement payments or hold off on debt repayments until she gets better.

She instead pointed fingers at OP, blaming him for mismanaging money as he’s now making slightly more than their previously combined income. In his words, OP’s frustration with the couple’s current situation “has less to do with money per se and more so the amount of hours I have to work to maintain the income.”

Do OP’s wife’s therapy sessions help?

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OP and his wife are also fighting opposite battles when it comes to her therapy and the couple’s marriage counseling. OP’s wife really doesn’t like their marriage counselor because most of what she suggests goes against the recommendations of her therapist.

Meanwhile, OP often feels ganged up on when he attends his wife’s therapy sessions. He says, “More or less, every session became what I could do to help my wife.”

For example, when OP suggested renting out the house to cover the couple’s mortgage, the therapist responded that a “drastic change of environment could have a negative impact on her depression” and that she “advises against such major life-changing events.”

OP’s wife’s therapist was also behind the recommendation for OP to stop contributing to the couple’s retirement fund and pause debt repayment.

See also: Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Deal with Worry

What happened?

Lazy wife refuses to go back to work, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab.
Image credit: Shutterstock.

One day, the couple was once again talking about OP’s wife returning to work. OP brought up the idea of his wife reentering the workforce.

Instead of being open to the suggestion, OP’s wife responded with, “We do not feel it is the right time yet. (My therapist) feels I have made great progress, and if I rush, I run the risk of losing it.”

According to OP, his wife typically responds with this line, “we,” referring to herself and her therapist.

How did OP react?

Lazy wife refuses to go back to work, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab.
Image credit: Shutterstock.

This time, OP snapped. He had an “extremely rough week” and wasn’t in the mood to hear the same excuse. He lashed out, telling his wife that he was tired of her hiding behind the same excuse and didn’t care what her therapist thought.

After OP’s initial outburst, his wife started crying, claiming that he was belittling her mental health issues. He responded, “I do not indeed to belittle you or not take your issues seriously. The problem is that I am running myself ragged. What happens if I have a mental break? Do you think I will have the luxury of not working? No, I will have to push through my demons.”

What was OP’s wife’s response?

Lazy wife refuses to go back to work, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab.
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OP’s wife really wasn’t happy with this answer. OP described that, “She said her therapist warned her this would happen sooner or later. I would try to manipulate her into doing something she was not ready to do.”

This is when OP really let his emotions take over. He expressed how insulted he was by the accusation of manipulation. Among other things, he also ranted about his wife’s failure to learn or improve on any skills while at home, lack of cooking ability, and general unappreciation for all of the extra shifts he’s had to work over the last five years.

At that point, OP’s wife stormed out of the house, yelling about how awful he was and claiming that he would “rather see (himself) comfortable versus her getting better.”

OP was left feeling like an awful person for his harsh words and decided to let the internet weigh in on who was in the wrong.

Here’s what the internet had to say (they didn’t hold back):

Five years of recovery seems excessive

Lazy wife refuses to go back to work, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab.
Image credit: Shutterstock.

“I’m currently in recovery from a burnout. I don’t like to make comparisons, but 5 years seems excessive. I’m in therapy, and my therapist has never said any of the things to me that your wife is parroting to you.

“I’ve been encouraged to clean my house, cook meals, even do some volunteer work because the worst thing that you can do is just sit around doing nothing. You do need to rest and let your mind and body recover, but doing nothing can lead to you getting stuck in a rut that you can’t get out of.

“You’re probably burnt out yourself after dealing with all of this for 5 years. Should you have shouted at your wife? Possibly not, but you’re a human being, and you can only take so much. I actually don’t think it would be unreasonable of you to end this relationship if this is what you’re going to have to deal with for the rest of your life. You deserve a decent life as well.”

OP’s wife might not be totally honest with her therapist

Lazy wife refuses to go back to work, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab.
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“It all boils down to what she is telling the therapist.

“Is she telling truthfully that OP works up to 84 hours a week, pays all the bills and every single expense in the house, plus comes home to cook dinner, etc.?

“Or is she feeding the therapist? ‘I tried to cook dinner today, but he was complaining!’ Forgetting to mention it was one of those tiny portions of frozen food that will give no nutrition to a grown man who works his ass off. If she said, ‘I cooked dinner!’ Then, of course, the therapist will see that as progress, but her big bad husband was hindering her.

“She could honestly just be painting the ‘poor me’ picture and nitpicks what the therapist said to get her way.”

OP just needs to decide if he’s okay with his wife not working

Lazy wife refuses to go back to work, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab.
Image credit: Shutterstock.

“You sound like you are almost at the end of your tether. 12 to 18-hour workdays are not sustainable for you, and it sounds like she is doing (nothing) around the house. Certainly, she’s not cooking.

“Therapy or not, for the past five years, she has basically lived a lifestyle where she gets to relax as much as she wants, and it’s all subsidized by you.

“Let’s be clear what your options are here. You cannot force her to work, either in the paid workforce or keeping house for you. You can ask, but you cannot force her.

“All you can do is decide whether you’re prepared to live with someone who does not pull their weight in this relationship.

“If you decide you cannot, then you tell her that (not as a threat, not as an ultimatum—simply stating a fact), and you find yourself a lawyer.”

Is OP approaching his wife’s therapy correctly?

Lazy wife refuses to go back to work, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab.
Image credit: Shutterstock.

“Many men feel ‘ganged up on’ in therapy. It’s a matter of hearing the words as insults versus hearing someone’s feelings. It’s in your nature to fix things. When you cannot, it’s difficult.

“If she is making progress, that is something. Could you try attending a session where instead of hearing insults, someone is sharing something that matters to them?

“You’re right that she needs to generate an income. If it’s so bad that she won’t be able to work, she and her physician should start the process for disability. I don’t know her trauma or if she will qualify. Teaching has been a nasty environment lately. However, there are remote education jobs all over the place.”

OP needs to prioritize his own health

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“There will come a point eventually where you simply won’t have a choice to ‘push through’ a mental break. You will physically become unable to carry on.

“I think you’re at a turning point in your marriage. Your wife has watched you work insane hours for five years and shows no signs of even thinking about returning to work and taking the pressure off you. She is expecting you to continue like this for an indefinite amount of time, and that is not okay. Either she has a really (bad) therapist who isn’t helping her at all, or she is being dishonest with you about about the therapist is saying in order to get out of returning to work.

“Whatever’s going on, you need to prioritize your own health now before it’s too late.”

This husband claimed he could do his wife’s housework just as well, if not better

Unappreciated SAHM's husband claims he could do better, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab.
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This wife had the opposite problem to OP. The stay-at-home mom dropped out of an Ivy League engineering program before completing her bachelor’s degree so her husband could complete his master’s degree and secure a job in finance.

Do stay-at-home parents do hard work?

Her husband didn’t seem to think so, boasting that he could do her job just as well when she proudly displayed what she accomplished that day.

Does her husband have a point? This is how it happened.

This husband wanted to leave his wife at home alone during retirement

Husband retires alone, leaving his wife at home, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab.
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Like OP, this husband was fed up with his wife wanting to stay home. Only for him, it was because he wanted to retire to South America for seven months out of the year, leaving behind their parents, children, and young grandchildren.

Is leaving your spouse at home while you retire in the tropics okay?

This is what people have to say.

Like OP, this man wanted more “me time”

AITA story.
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OP was working extra hours, preventing him from being able to relax, but that wasn’t the case for this boyfriend. Instead, his girlfriend refused to let him have some time for himself.

When on vacation, she woke up in tears because he got up early for some much-needed “me time.”

Whose side are you on? This is how it played out.

This bride wanted her future SIL to pay for her wedding

Maid of honor duties, by lifestyle blogger What the Fab
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Who says family disputes can’t start before you’re actually family? One bride asked her future SIL to be her maid of honor. When she accepted, the bride and her future husband promptly asked his sister to put down her own credit card for the wedding deposits, claiming she’d be paid back.

When she wasn’t, the SIL canceled every single vendor she booked.

Who was wrong? Here’s exactly how it went down.

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