An internet user asked, Am I a jerk for telling my wife my job has to come before hers? We want you to give the final verdict. 


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OP (35m), his wife (34f), and their two kids (3 and 5) live in a VHCOL city. OP made about 5x as much as his wife, so they do pretty well. If his income were the same as his wife’s they would not be able to afford to live in their city.

A Bit About OP’s Job 

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OP’s job is pretty low stress, about 35ish hours a week with the only requirement that he has to be “on call” for 1 week out each month. 

What Does OP Say

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OP says, “Normally nothing ever happens, so I do my usual routine with the understanding with my wife that if I am needed I will drop whatever we are doing and work until the work issue is resolved. This only ever happens once every quarter and only lasts a few hours.”

Let’s Now Talk About OP’s Wife’s Job

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OP’s wife, on the other hand, has a much more stressful job, her boss is incredibly demanding and often demands random and inane things just as a power play with her subordinates.

She usually works about 45-50 hours a week. As a result, OP takes care of most home stuff, drops off/picks up kids from daycare, cooks meals, and generally keeps the house clean.

The “Am I A Jerk” Incident

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It was an on-call week after work hours when OP’s wife got a text from her boss about fulfilling an emergency ‘request’ for a client. His wife complained to him that this request really could wait until tomorrow but she would rather get it done so she doesn’t have to listen to her boss scold her in the morning if it’s not done. 

OP had no problem with it, but he reminded her that he is on-call so he might need to switch with her if something came up, she made a grunt of acknowledgment but nothing beyond that.

About 2 Hours Later

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About 2 hours later, OP got an all-hands call to immediately come into the office. Normally, he can resolve issues remotely, but they had an issue that prevented them from remoting in.

OP Rushed Upstairs

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OP rushed upstairs and told his wife he had to leave only for her to turn around and say, “Sorry but my issue came up first, you are going to have to tell your work you can’t.” 

OP was taken aback and told her that no, this issue isn’t something he can skip for anything short of ‘I am physically in the hospital and can’t come in’. 

The Drama

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OP’s wife got increasingly angry and started ranting at OP, but he told her that he didn’t have time for this and that he is leaving, when he gets back, they can discuss this. She started crying, but OP had no more time, so he left for the office. 

On the way, she called OP to continue the argument and in the heat of the moment, OP said, “Look, I respect that you put a lot of time and energy into your work, but we cannot afford our house or lifestyle without my job, so when push comes to shove, my job has to come first. Otherwise, we are going to be on the streets.” She hung up on him after that.

3 Hours Later

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When OP got home about 3 hours later (around 11 pm), the kids were crashed out on the living room couch with several bowls of cereal spilt around them.

OP went upstairs and his wife was locked in the bedroom and refused to talk. In the morning, OP found out from the kids that she spent the night crying in her room and didn’t feed them dinner or tuck them in so they made cereal and had a sleepover in the living room.

Not Feeding The Kids Is A Huge Red Flag

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“Not the jerk and her neglecting to feed your children should be a red flag.” Said one. 

“I mean, if I came home to that I would be LIVID. Kids shouldn’t have to fend for themselves because their mom is having a meltdown.” Another added.

Your Wife Needs Therapy

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“You ain’t the jerk. Your wife, however, needs to talk to a therapist. Her reaction is not normal nor is it healthy. She should also look for a new job as her current job is clearly interfering with not just her life but her emotional state. She knew you were on call- this was a known, pre-arranged agreement.

Her suddenly going back on it & also neglecting your children is not healthy. What if one of the kids choked on the cereal? What if one of them slammed their head into something which gave them a concussion? Not caring for the children is a serious issue & signs of a much larger problem.”

She CANNOT Take It Out On Her Family!

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“I was going to go with “No jerks here” here until the last paragraph. She knew you were on call, her work didn’t have to be done there and then, ergo when your work called she should’ve stopped working and acted like a parent to your children!

Having a childish tantrum in her room and ignoring the kids is unacceptable. If her job is so crappy she should move roles, not take it out on her family. You’re not the jerk.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.

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