Gifts—according to popular convention—are supposed to come from the heart.
But that does that mean someone who doesn't give gifts is heartless?
Struggling with what he considers to be unfair judgment from his 17-year-old son, a 40-year-old father turned to the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor ThrowAwayangryatson asked:
"AITA for being upset with my son for saying I don't appreciate my wife?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"Ok, I don't think I'm in the wrong here, but a few family members have jumped my case about it, so I figured I'd post here on my brother's suggestion."
"I have a son I'll call Jake and a daughter I'll call Annie (15). Their mom died eight years ago, and I remarried my wife Kate (38) five years ago."
"My kids actually really like Kate, so it's not a problem between them. So here's the issue."
"Kate does all the Christmas shopping. I'm very busy as I work a lot of hours usually."
"Kate works full time, but less hours, so she also does the majority of the house stuff. The last few years I haven't gotten Kate anything for Christmas, it just doesn't occur to me since she does all the shopping."
"She mentioned before that it hurts her feelings, and I always apologize, but it isn't something I really think about, so it ends up happening again."
"I saw Jake wrapping a gift yesterday and asked who it was for, assuming it was for a friend. He said he and Annie had pooled some money together and gotten Kate a gift for Christmas this year."
"I told him that was sweet, but they shouldn't waste their money on gifts for adults. He got upset at that and told me that it wasn't wasting money, that he and Annie just wanted to show her some appreciation since I don't."
"I said Kate shouldn't be telling him these things and if she had a problem she needed to deal with me directly, but Jake cut me off and said Kate never said a word, but they had eyes, they could see she was the only one without a gift on Christmas morning and she was the only one whoever cleaned up and did the shopping."
"I got really angry that he said that, but Jake talked over me, saying how despite Kate working full time, I still expected her to take care of them, do all the household stuff, do all the shopping, and even then I wasn't happy."
"I always found something to complain about."
"Said that even though I knew it hurt her to be discarded even though she's the one who put in the all the work, I still couldn't do something as simple as buy something off Amazon or stop by the store and pick out a card."
"It wasn't like Kate was high maintenance or had expensive tastes, she just wanted to be acknowledged and he was surprised she stayed with me with how unappreciative I was. I told him he was being extremely rude to me and left to cool down."
"I spoke to my brother who said that Jake was right. I was an a**hole who didn't appreciate Kate and that it wasn't like Christmas was a surprise, it was the same date every year and I had plenty of time to plan for something."
"I actively chose not to and it was a real a**hole move to try and tell my kids they shouldn't care about her feelings just because I don't. I don't think that judgement is fair at all, of course I care about her, it's just not something I think about."
"He suggested I post on here since I think my son's being an a**hole, and he does think I'm being the a**hole to let you decide."
"Who's the a**hole here?"
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors declared the OP was absolutely the a**hole.
"The fact that you apologize and do NOTHING to change what you acknowledge is hurtful is toxic as f'k. Your children have more emotional awareness than you."
"You ARE the a**hole and I would have dropped your a**—you aren't a partner, she works, she cooks, she cleans, she takes care of the family....exactly wtf do you do????" ~ Salty_Ad642
"I can't stress enough how stupid it was to waste time writing this post instead of buying your wife her first christmas present ever. YTA x infinity." ~ hippolytaShellstrop
"This! The kid is right, it takes next to no time to pick her something from Amazon and have them wrap it. He could literally buy Kate a gift in the time spends on the toilet."
"He could have bought her dozens in the time he spent trying to teach his son not to express his appreciation, arguing his indefensible position with his brother and then bringing his a**holery here for judgement."
"OP has time, his priorities are just all effed up."
"His son, however, is going to make someone a great partner someday. I'm assuming he gets his values from Kate (since his dad takes an active position against kindness)."
"Kate should leave. YTA." ~ mouse_attack
"YTA. 'Of course you care about her, its just not something you think about'? Are you kidding me?"
"You're outright acknowledging everything she does for the house, for YOUR kids that aren't even hers and for you. You allow her to do all of that and then sit by herself without a gift on CHRISTMAS MORNING?!?!"
"And you think that's okay? What the actual f'k. Do you seriously think your son is the a**hole here?"
"She's a person. With feelings. She's told you before that she feels left out and hurt and you admitted that you literally forgot to BUY YOUR WIFE A CHRISTMAS PRESENT."
"But you're sitting here asking us 'uhh what did I do wrong, why am I the a**hole'?"
"She deserves the Christmas of her damn dreams. She took your kids in like her own. She decorates the house."
"Cooks and cleans and buys and wraps gifts for everyone and hasn't f'king divorced you after 5 years without a Christmas present."
"I would give the woman a gold medal."
"Quit being so f'king self absorbed and narcissistic passing it off as cluelessness. You're a grown a** man."
"You know how screwed up this is. Thank GOD for your son standing up to you."
"Go out and spend some of the money you spend so much time away from the house earning. Buy her flowers and something shiny and get down on your f'king knees begging for her to forgive you."
"Then set a f'king reminder on your phone to BUY HER A GIFT. EVERY SINGLE YEAR ON DECEMBER 15TH FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
"Or I promise. You WILL end up alone."
"I don't know a single woman feeling this underappreciated, unacknowledged and disrespected by her husband that would stick around."
"As someone that gives everything to her family and thanks her partner everyday for the amount of appreciation, respect and love he shows me , I've never been more angry. You're such an idiot." ~ queensg28
The OP didn't provide any updates. Hopefully he took the hint and made the time to get his wife a gift this year.