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Dad Divorced His Wife Because She ‘Refused’ To Get A Job So She Could Be A Stay-At-Home Mom

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couple with baby arguing

Being a working parent is incredibly difficult even under the best of circumstances, but being a stay-at-home parent is not an option for many couples today. 

For one man on Reddit, this struggle came to blows between him and his wife — and ultimately ended up ruining their relationship.

The dad divorced his wife because she refused to get a job in order to be a stay-at-home mom.

Despite the fact that it's probably the hardest job a person can ever have, stay-at-home moms are on the rise in the U.S. A 2023 survey found that nearly a quarter of moms had chosen to leave their careers, a 9 percent increase since 2022. 

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Be that as it may, most households nowadays simply can't afford it. The dad and his now-former wife are a perfect example. They'd agreed they'd be a two-income household, but once the baby arrived and those biological imperatives kicked in, everything changed. 

They'd agreed the mom would stay home for six months, but when that time was up, she refused to go back to work.

"Her argument was if I picked up more work, we can afford a single-income household," he wrote. "And she will be saving us money being a stay-at-home parent. That it was better for our child as well."

But he refused to go along with her new plan. "If it was only me working, I would have to work way more hours, be exhausted, and not spend as much time with my child," he explained.

   

   

"My marriage was based on equality," he continued. "I never wanted to be the sole breadwinner."

The dad offered instead to come up with a system where they work different shifts so that they could "tag team" being home with the baby. She refused this, saying that she needed to be home with her baby full-time.

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The burden on his time became unmanageable, and after their relationship quickly deteriorated he filed for divorce.

The fight began when his wife officially quit her job. This resulted in him working 80-hour weeks that left him unable to spend time with his baby. He also resented his wife's requests that he handle cooking and cleaning because "stay-at-home moms deserve breaks too."

He ended up filing for divorce and receiving 50/50 custody. He claimed that because he could prove it was his wife's choice to leave her job, the court did not grant her alimony or child support. 

   

   

He then moved in with his parents, who help with childcare. They've offered to do the same for his ex-wife, but he says she's refused because she is so angry about the situation. She has chosen daycare instead, which he has refused to pay for. 

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The dad's Reddit post generated some furious backlash, and some even accused him of lying about the situation.

There are aspects of this dad's post that are hard to believe — particularly his claim that he was able to get out of paying child support. As several Redditors pointed out, that is not at all how family court typically operates. The money in question is supposed to be for the child, not the parent. 

His complaints of reverse sexism, related to his ex-wife's demands he take on a bigger burden than her, also did him no favors in many Redditors' eyes. And for many, this story boiled down to one simple issue: His wife wanted to be the best mother she could

"Is marriage a joke to you?" one commenter wrote. "This is the mother of your child and you dumped her like a piece of trash because she wanted to be a good mother? … And you seem self-satisfied that you put her in a position where she’s living paycheck to paycheck?"

But for many others — even some stay-at-home moms themselves — the bottom line was that his wife reneged on their agreement. 

Especially since the arrangement his ex-wife insisted on resulted in him not having any time to spend with his baby, many applauded him for what they saw as him putting his role as father first, even if it meant torching his marriage. 

"I have never agreed with a man in this argument … until now," one woman on TikTok wrote. "80 hours a week is BRUTAL."

   

   

This is just one writer's opinion, but the holes in the story like the child support claim, coupled with the gleefully sexist responses from several male commenters, make it seem like this post was probably a ginned-up honeypot for misogynists. 

Be that as it may, one thing is inarguable, and it stuck in many Redditors' craws: These issues need to be worked out before having children. And in this couple's case, they had been, until one partner reneged.

"Here’s the thing: you discussed this before having your child. You were in agreement on a course of action. She changed the rules," one stay-at-home mom wrote. "I understand the overwhelming urge to be with your child, but she went about meeting her needs by completely ignoring and invalidating yours."

   

   

Not being on the same page about issues far less important than child-rearing can be damaging to a marriage. Being at odds on something like this? The relationship was likely doomed.

Hopefully, in time, this couple can move forward, forgive each other, and focus on what's best for their child.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.