AITA for making wife step down from her promotion?
My wife (F26) and I (M26) have been married for 2 years. We met at our current workplace, where we both worked as colleagues.
Around 2 months ago, our manager left to focus on a different career path, as the position needed filling my wife decided to apply for the role (I decided not to just to avoid any conflict). She deservingly got the position and technically became my ‘boss’
She was over the moon with her new position, excited for the change and looking forward to her new role.
Let me mention at this point that I was and still am super happy for her but I didn’t think things would change this drastically between us.
She’s started to confide in me less and less regarding work stress as she thinks I’m not capable to understand what she’s going through making me feel like I’m beneath her and has spent next to no time with me during work (lunch, breaks). She’s been extremely hard on me at work aswell as always being on my case.
Without doubt her new position requires more commitment and so she does work more than I do, but apparently this gives her the right to always be ‘exhausted’ to put any effort in our relationship. We used to have weekly date nights yet since her promotion, we’ve not been on single one, when I try to organise something special for us she always makes some excuse, either she’s busy with work or something else comes up.
I’ve tried talking to her, telling her how I feel but I always get the response ‘well you’re not in my position, you don’t know how hard I’m trying’.
Things were getting stressful at work so I talked to a different team manager and got transferred onto his team. When she found out, she immediately came to talk to me and was pretty mad that I did that without telling her, saying how it makes her look bad and incapable of her new role.
Since then she’s been avoiding me at work and not been her normal self at home. I saw her crying, when I went to try and comfort her she just said it was nothing.
The next couple of days go by and I find out from my team manager that she’s going to be stepping down back to her normal position, effectively demoting herself. I know im responsible for this situation
Going from a situation where a husband and wife are co-workers to a situation where the wife is her husband’s boss is a recipe for disaster.
You can see that right from the start when he says she “technically became my ‘boss.'” I don’t think she was “technically” his boss. It sounds like she was his boss with no quotation marks needed and he didn’t particularly like it. Meanwhile, the boss wasn’t fraternizing or being as open with her “employee” as she had before. Also, being his boss, she had to criticize him, which he naturally didn’t like. On top of all this, she’s stressed and exhausted from her new position and isn’t as much fun at home. His way of getting out of this mess was getting transferred to another team without telling her. At this point, it probably hit home for her that it was impacting her marriage, so she got upset and demoted herself.
So, was the husband wrong?
In actuality, it sounds like they both screwed up by allowing themselves to get into a situation that was destined to create conflict. Once they got into that position, neither one of them handled it particularly well and it all blew up. That’s understandable to an extent because I certainly couldn’t work for a woman I was dating in a job where she was expected to order me around and criticize me.
What her husband did near the end, getting transferred to a different team, is what they both should have agreed to do at the beginning when she got the promotion. It would have saved them a lot of headaches, she might still have that promotion and they’d both probably be a lot happier.