I do a weekly combing through the Am I the Asshole? subreddit, and most recently, there was a very interesting post that had commenters criticizing a woman's husband for his "fragile" masculinity.
Basically, this woman recently had a baby, and chose to go back into the office after working remotely, which her husband was not too happy about. Here's the full story, as told by the woman, u/Life_Detail4527:
"I work for a tech company. My husband is an aspiring author. He has had some success, and we hope for more in the future."
"In return for the accommodation I made with my employer, I got a month of completely uninterrupted time with my new baby. Then, I started taking on tasks from home on my own schedule. On average, it was 15 hours or so a week."
"My husband writes at home, so we decided that he would be the stay-at-home parent, and when I was working, he would care for our baby. It was a pretty good arrangement I thought."
"And it was for about a month. Then, he would start ignoring the baby crying, or claiming that the baby wanted me. That sort of thing. It started to interfere with my deal with my boss. I told my husband in no uncertain terms that if he kept interrupting me while I was working, I would hire a nanny for help, but take the funds out of our fun budget — the budget that pays for dinners out, vacations, and hobbies. He got the point, and I got my one to two hours of uninterrupted time every day."
"Until recently. It is almost time for me to return to work full time. Once again, my employer was very accommodating. They were impressed with my ability to contribute meaningfully to my group during my maternity leave. So, they offered me a choice of WFH, work in the office, or a hybrid schedule. I discussed it with my husband, and he said that I should chose to WFH so I could help more with the baby. I chose to return to the office."
"My husband is saying that I'm being cruel and that my baby needs me. I said I would WFH if he got a job to pay for the nanny so it didn't affect our budget. He said it didn't make sense. I almost said, 'No shit, Sherlock.'"
"We just saw his family for Thanksgiving, and he was complaining to his mom about me choosing to leave him at home with the baby and returning to work. She started in on me for my choice. I was embarrassed until his dad spoke up and reminded her that when my husband was born, she was a stay-at-home mom and housewife. He said that was what my husband signed up for if he didn't want a job. It just became a big argument."
After the post went up, the woman then added this context about her husband: "When I say he has had success, I mean it. He wrote a novel that he self-published."
Now, I don't know about you, but I definitely had some thoughts about the husband.
And it looks like most people in the comments section of the thread did, too. One user who goes by u/SecretJealous4342 told the woman that she definitely was not the asshole in this instance.
"Not the asshole," they said.
"You have given him options. He is the one making it difficult for you to continue funding your home."
Another person who goes by u/mangogetter concurred.
"My feeling is that if he'd like to be part of a household in which he contributes nothing of value, he can move back in with his folks."
Someone else who goes by u/ItsAllALot agreed with the first two commenters, and offered the woman some advice.
"Not the asshole. He feels emasculated? Apart from the fact that that's just an attempt at manipulation, if his masculinity is that fragile, he can fix it by getting a job," they said.
"This is absurd. He is beyond entitled and selfish. You HAVE to work, because nobody else is. If I were you, I'd be telling him I will 'compromise' by giving him two options — he stays home and takes care of baby, or you hire a nanny and he can GTFO because he's deadweight at this point."
And finally, someone with the username u/purpleprose78, who claims to be a writer, gave their perspective on the matter.
"As a writer who has been doing this for 15 years and is finally getting published next fall, I've never had the illusion that I could do this full-time. And if I'm honest, I wouldn't want to. Lots of writers have day jobs," they said.
"OP's husband is fortunate to have a spouse that supports him. He needs to do what the rest of us do and find the pockets of time that work for him. Maybe he only gets to write while the kid naps. Maybe he has to do it while the wife is home and can take care of the baby. Like, my dude, join the club."