A woman posted a problem on r/AmItheA–hole that has everyone worried about her mental health and safety. Sometimes that happens on Reddit. You think you’re sharing a little anecdote and then you find out in the comments that you’ve exposed your whole life and people think it’s really weird.
The poster, u/ThrowtheKeyRA, titled her story, “WIBTA if I started charging my husband ‘admin fees?'”
She writes she’s a stay-at-home mom and has four kids and her husband is the “breadwinner.”
“This means I take on almost all of the housework, child-raising, and I try to do as much as I can so he can come home and relax as much as possible,” she explains.
I mean, if it works for them, I guess that’s fine, though these days it’s acknowledged that SAHMs are basically working full-time for no pay and need some time to relax themselves.
And the OP’s husband is piling his breadwinner work on his wife’s shoulders:
One of the things I’m in charge of is all his admin. Whether it be updating his resume, booking him into courses/flights/appointments, arranging accommodation, sending off his application to jobs (he tells me which ones) and all the relevant paperwork that goes with it.
If anyone ever gets an email from him, it’s me. Usually I don’t mind this. I worked as a receptionist before we were married, and it’s never really anything over-complicated that needs doing.
Although sometimes it’s difficult to do the tasks as quickly as he wants them done, because I have to wrangle a gaggle of children.
The OP posted because that day her husband called her up “in a huff” and accused her of messing up some paperwork and possibly jeopardizing his chance at a new job.
She told him several times that she had not messed it up and everything was with the recruiter, but he kept being “short and snippy.”
Now I’m thinking, since he expects me to always drop whatever I’m doing and immediately see to his paperwork whenever it comes in, I should start charging him a small fee.
I thought a maximum of $50 a week for these “emergency admin tasks” (never ever an emergency, just him being pushy) just enough to do something nice with the kids (because oftentimes I have to skip out halfway through playing with them, or they get upset that mummy can’t hang out anymore she needs to concentrate and send off these 50 million emails). Would that make me an AH?
He works so hard, and I feel like this is one of those things most wives would be happy to do, maybe? But it also feels like I already do so much, maybe this is just me trying to not be his maid. Am I being petty? Thanks for reading and Iook forward to your judgment (even if it would make me an AH, I’d appreciate the feedback).
I think I could be an AH if I do this because he works long hours, and all he really asks is for me to tap away at a computer sometimes. It’s not like he’s asking me to climb a mountain and wrestle a bear.
The response to the OP was overwhelming: this isn’t about the admin fee. And admin work is NOT “one of those things most wives would be happy to do” at all.
The post made its way to Twitter, where people responded by saying the OP needed to make some big changes in her life ASAP.
It was also noted that she’s posted about her husband a lot and he sucks:
She also seems to be extremely isolated, spending all her time with the kids, and has very little money of her own. Her husband doesn’t even want them to have a joint account, even though she’s responsible for paying all the bills and running the house.
People are worried about OP, and what they see as financial and emotional abuse:
If there is any good news, the OP is reading these comments. In an update, she seems to object to everyone coloring her husband as an abusive monster. On the other hand, she is thinking really hard about what everyone is saying:
UPDATE: wow, what an overwhelming response. Firstly thank you to everyone for taking the time to read and respond. I have read every one. And I appreciate the concern shown by the overwhelming majority. I’m blown away by the concern shown. It brought me to tears to know that so many people care.
A lot of comments have mentioned that they think there’s some abuse at play here (psychological, financial, or emotional), and that’s really made me pause for reflection. I’m looking deeper into WHY I behave this way and why I allow him to treat me this way. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more common than people realise – at least at a surface level.
I know several women who bend over backwards for their husbands and do all the same things that I do, and sometimes more (I thought I was getting off easy by comparison to some of these women). Including his own mother (an amazing woman – shout out to all the fantastic MILs!), and also my mother.
But perhaps their behind the scenes looks different. I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to reach out and ask around some subtle questions.
She also says she spoke to him about backing off on the paper work, and that it felt good to set a boundary. Let’s hope this is the OP’s wake up call that lets her know she deserves way more than that.