I don't think we want to waste any time on an intro here — you know Reddit and you know this one is gonna be juicy so, let's dive in.
47-year-old Reddit user u/anguy1284 starts off with a little backstory about his wife, stating that traveling with her is "not a great experience." He goes on to say, "I am very type A, I like to have everything organized and make sure we get where we need to be early, especially when traveling. My wife is the opposite, very 'go with the flow,' and 'we will get there when we get there.' I do my best to meet in the middle, but not when traveling by plane."
He has a 21-year-old daughter from a previous marriage but his current 43-year-old wife has raised her with him since she was six (the biological mother unfortunately passed away). The daughter now attends college in a different state and last year when they went to visit her, he told his wife they needed to be at the airport 90 minutes early. On the day of the flight, he got up early to make sure everything was packed and accounted for while his wife slept in. "It took me attempting to wake her up five times before she eventually got up. She then wanted to make coffee, shower, and eat a bowl of cereal. The airport ended up being busier than normal and it took so long to get through security that we missed our flight. Rightly so, the airline refused to refund our tickets. We were able to get new tickets but not until the next day and missed Friday afternoon and Saturday morning with our daughter. She was disappointed, to say the least."
Fast forward to now — his daughter is currently moving out of her college dorms and into an apartment. On the day of the flight, u/anguy1284 said it was another long morning of him pushing his wife to get ready so they could leave. "Due to the last airport mishap, I wanted to make sure I told her we needed to leave extra early so as to not miss the flight again."
However, when they got to the airport early, his wife was annoyed. "She kept going on about how now we just have to sit and wait for 45 minutes for them to start boarding. We took our first flight and landed in the connecting city, at a much larger airport. We only had about a one-hour layover. We had to take multiple rails to get from where we landed to our terminal. We got to our terminal and had about 15 minutes until our plane was set to board."
It was then that his wife told him that she wanted to get coffee. "There was a little market next to our terminal that sold hot food and coffee. I asked if she wanted me to go grab it for her. 'No I want Starbucks,' she said. Well, Starbucks was a rail ride away and a little bit of a walk. I told her we didn’t have enough time. She stated that we had enough time and if I wouldn’t go with her she would go by herself. I tried to discourage her but she was determined. She walked away, at a brisk pace for her, and said she would be back in time."
After 15 minutes, his wife was still not back and the airline had started calling boarding groups. "I called my wife hoping she was nearby but she didn’t answer. They called a few groups, then called ours. In a panic, I called my wife again, three times, on the last call she answered and said she was on her way. I told her they were almost done with boarding and she needed to hurry up."
So, u/anguy1284 waited by the gate until the attendant informed him they were shutting the doors in two minutes. "I waited and waited, but she didn’t show up. The attendant asked if I wanted to board, otherwise, she was closing the gate. I tried to plead with her to wait a couple of minutes but she insisted that she couldn’t. So, I boarded the plane."
A few minutes later, his wife finally showed up at the gate. She calls to tell him they won't let her board because they already removed the boarding ramp. "She told me I needed to tell them to let me off the plane to be with her and I said no. It is not fair to do this again to our daughter. I said I told you we didn’t have time but you decided to go anyway. I told her to go purchase a new ticket for the next flight and I would see her when she arrived."
Well, when his wife did and when she finally arrived, she seemed unbothered and didn’t acknowledge the situation. "I thought maybe she realized it was her fault and just wanted to drop it... Boy was I wrong. We are now home and she hasn’t talked to me since the trip, over a week ago, and is insisting that I am an asshole. So, am I the asshole?"
Here's what people had to say...
"Your wife is very selfish. Imagine missing time with your child because you thought coffee was more important. During a move no less. The only option is to stop coddling your wife as apparently people have been doing all her life. Leave on the dot, every time. Eventually, she'll learn to be on time or be left behind. The world doesn't revolve around her and it's high time for her to grow up."
"You're not an asshole and she knows it. The silent treatment is a way of forcing you to act like you are. Just pretend not to notice."
"She's the asshole. Also, what good would it do for you to ask to deboard? The whole flight would be delayed and you could get into some sort of trouble even."
"Your wife is acting like an entitled child. No, we’re not holding the plane up so she can get coffee. I used to have to travel a lot for work and was always booked with tight layovers and people lallygagging at the airport made me crazy. Natural consequences are the best teacher. Maybe she’ll learn she’s less important than literally everybody else on the plane."
"Enough of the commenters have covered your wife and her issues, so I’ll just say this: Your daughter should have been the main priority for both trips. Serious question: Does your wife do this to your daughter often? Does she regularly miss/arrive late/ruin big events for your daughter? Because doing this twice in a row seems...intentional. And cruel. Do not apologize. Do not back down. You were not in the wrong. If I was your daughter, I’d be furious."
"You need to make a line in the sand. Sit down and tell your wife that you love her and you cherish her but the way she disrespects your desire to be punctual is just too much. Tell her that from now on you're going to make separate arrangements when traveling. You are not responsible for waking her up. You are not responsible for getting her out the door. She's an adult and she can do what she wants. The first time she completely misses an event I suspect things will change. But you've been accommodating her to such a high degree that she can act like an infant."
"I stopped being the caretaker for my partner after the first time we missed a flight. Told him nope never again. Next two flights he missed and the man he bitched. Explained again he’s a damn adult and has choices to make. The third time he missed a 10-day cruise. He’s never been late again. He’s pissed about it but listens to me and gets up and ready and out the door on time."
"I say — as someone more like your wife — the difference is that I recognize I have these issues and do my best not to disrespect other people’s time/effort/schedules because I’m an adult."
"I realized years ago that I 'idealize' time. As in, if it were a perfect world, I think I can be at place X in 10 minutes or 20 or whatever. The world doesn’t work that way, however. It doesn’t take traffic into account or parking or any other variables that can affect your travel time. In order to circumvent this perception, I automatically triple the amount of time I think it will take me to get where I need to be. If in my head I think it’s going to take 10 minutes, I triple it to 30, for example. This method has helped me a lot and I haven’t had any major issues in years, so maybe she can try that. Expecting the world to bend to accommodate your inability to act like a responsible adult is egocentric. She can continue to run late for everything or she can take some responsibility. Blaming you for her ineptitude is absurd."