One husband on Reddit asked the AITA thread if he is the a*hole for writing his wife, a SAHM, a performance review. And we can’t decide which is more shocking: his actions, or the fact that he doesn’t know the answer to that question.
The man in question and his wife have three children: a 6-year-old they share, the wife’s 13-year-old daughter, and a 15-year-old niece they share custody of. Dad says the household dynamic is “pretty much” mom and the 6-year old versus the teens, and he considers himself the referee.
“My wife has taught the youngest she can blame others for her actions to avoid consequences,” he wrote in the original post. “She just says the word, and one of the teens will get punished without question. There’s no doubt, she is my wife’s favorite. I love her, but she’s becoming nothing more than an entitled brat.”
As a “mere example,” he shares a story of his 6-year-old swimming in their pool while he and his wife were out. As you can probably guess, the family has a household rule that no one is allowed to swim without an adult present. Their daughter was quick to say she spent the time coloring and never went swimming, but the teens said that was a lie.
“I later found her wet swimming suit hidden in the garage,” he said. “My wife and I argued, I felt strongly she needed to not only be punished for swimming, but also for lying. After a relentless disagreement, I was silenced as she gave the youngest a very minimal consequence.”
Meanwhile, the teens were punished (either for “lying” about their sister’s actions or for letting her swim — it’s not exactly clear). Needless to say, the blatant favoritism causes problems in the house among the kids and between the parents. The OP said he and his wife have “countless, tiring arguments” when his wife “doesn’t see [the daughter’s] faults” or when they “agree to do this and that, but it is never actually done.”
“I decided to write her a performance review, as a SAHM,” he said.
To which we said, “WTF?!” Whether he has beef with his spouse’s parenting choices or not — who writes their wife a performance review, and why is he bringing the fact that she is a stay-at-home mom into it?
“Her areas in need of improvement, well it was a lot,” he said. “But I touched on how she needs to listen better, stop being biased. Be fair in all her decisions, stop making rash decisions without taking all three kids into consideration. I recommended her to give each child the same amount of one-on-one alone time to speak, or just be with one another.”
“So it wouldn’t be an entirely slap to her face, I gave her accolades on her strong points for other areas aside from parenting.”
HA. HA. HA.
Well isn’t that condescending! He’s saying, “I didn’t want to hurt your feelings, so here are some things you are decent at.” And as if that isn’t enough of a jerk move, he only uses examples outside of parenting because, let’s not forget, she has “a lot” of parenting areas “in need of improvement.”
“I guess I felt this would work best, because I could organize my thoughts on paper without her interjecting,” he said. “However, it quickly backfired in my face.”
Color us SHOCKED.
“[S]he completely exploded on me,” he said. “She further said the review was abusive, and a manipulative sexist move. AITA?”
He later added extra context to the post, saying, “I gave my SAHM wife a performance review solely based on her parenting efforts … or lack thereof.”
Dude! You’re just digging yourself a bigger hole!
He said he suggested his wife write one to him in return. To which she ripped the review up and “told [him] to shove it.”
Yeah she did!
“I think I might be the AH because I should have just made it be a letter, and not a performance review.”
Exactly! It is not unheard of for people to go into difficult conversations with their thoughts written out to help them clearly communicate their feelings. But the fact that it was a literal performance review? WOW.
More than two thousand comments poured in, and while a lot focus on the parenting and favoritism (we get it! The mom didn’t handle the pool situation well!), we simply cannot get over the performance review aspect. And as many rightfully pointed out, performance reviews come from employers, educators, and people in positions of power — not partners.
“The concerns you have are legitimate and it needs an urgent solution,” a top comment said. “But, the way you went about it is really unhealthy. The parenting of your children is not a project. You are not her boss, you are her husband and the father of her kid. Giving her a performance review comes across as really condescending and as she said, manipulative.”
The masses were horrified by the husband’s communication skills and the unbelievably misogynistic nature of it all. Does he consider himself her boss since she is a SAHM? (Psst: This isn’t the first time SAHMs have been hated on by husbands on Reddit). And what is he going to do after handing over this poor performance evaluation? Fire her?
“What happens if she starts working and isn’t a SAHM – does her sh*tty parenting not matter if she isn’t a SAHM?” one commenter asked.
And if he does consider his wife to be his employee as a SAHM, commenters stand with his wife who requested a private bank account and half of his income.
“Can she bill you for hours worked (as you’re her employer), all communication and contact after 6pm (overtime pay, of course) and back pay, sick pay, maternity pay and performance bonus for birthing your child?”
And while he prepares her paycheck, commenters want to remind OP that he is a parent too. If he thinks there should be consequences, he should enforce them. And if the situation doesn’t change and warrants another performance review, he should look into couples’ therapy.
Until that appointment is set, one commenter took it upon themself to write a performance review of this man:
“OBSERVATION: You’re good at observing interpersonal activities and identifying relevant areas of concern. 4/5
PARENTING: You are underperforming in your role as father. You have handed off all decision making authority to your spouse and are not actively participating with her or your children. 1/5
COMMUNICATION: You have chosen – as a way to share your concerns with your spouse – the most demeaning, humiliating, and condescending format for communication. 0/5
MARRIAGE: 1) You and your spouse are not acting as a single, integrated parental unit. While you recognize the lack, you did not approach the issue as an equal partner. If conversation with your spouse cannot help achieve this cohesiveness, then perhaps you two should consider finding an objective advisor to help. 2) Rather than showing that you care for or about your wife, you showed that you regard her as subservient. 0/5
Before you go, check out these unbelievable stories about Reddit’s worst dads.
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