Is my wife right for being mad at me for doing favor for my family?
My wife just got awfully mad because I agreed to babysit my sister's kids on sunday afternoon (4-9pm) while she and her husband are going out to a birthday party. This is the 2nd or 3rd similar request in the last 14 months. Because it's a request from my sister, I tried to help if I was able to help. My wife expressed displeasure on how my sister would go out for fun & ask me to help her out with 2 kids. My wife said if it was emergency situation, then we would certainly help out but not when she's going out for fun. My wife said that she would never put out such a request to burden other people. I can see from my wife's perspective on how my sister's request is not the best. But I felt like it's not my job to argue or teach my sister on how she and her husband should live their lives. If their request for help is too unreasonable or frequent, then I wouldn't be able to help them, especially if I don't have the time to help or my wife needs my help in something else. So when my sister asked me a week ago whether I can help her to babysit, I could have said no (it's not an emergency situation), but my inclination was it should be ok and i should be able to make the time to help her out. So I told my wife about it and asked her if we could do that on Sunday afternoon. My wife got mad at the idea all of the sudden on such a request from my sister. So eventually, I said she didn't have to go. But today, the day before i'm going to help my sister, my wife called me and said she's not happy but then wouldn't tell me anything else on the phone and eventually hang up. When I tried to call back, she wouldn't pick up the phone. When I came home, I asked her what's wrong because I was worrying for the past few hours. but my wife still wouldn't talk to me until more than an hour later. she said that i was supposed to know what's wrong. I said i really don't because you were still fine this morning. Then she said why don't I just go to my sister now. I was still puzzled. then she said why don't you think what's wrong and why I'm so angry. I said if you're talking about babysitting tomorrow, I thought it was settled. I already told my sister that I'll help her out and it would be kind of late to ask her to find someone else to help. My wife said if you step out now, never come back. I said if you really feel that way, then I'll just contact my sister to let her know that I wouldn't be able to help. So I did contact my sister to apologize to her for backing out this late, and she was ok. To me, my family member is important so i'll try to help if i'm capable. but ultimately, my wife is more important to me. so when it comes push & shove, i'll always choose my wife at the end. After this, my wife is still mad because she said that i should have handled this before she had to say something and thus makes her a bad person. I honestly didn't tell my sister that my wife didn't want me to go. i just told her that i got my wife mad so now she wants me to help her at home. My wife is saying that everyone else would have known it's right thing to say no in this situation, but instead, i made a mess in this relationship. Is she right? What should have been the right thing to do?
If YOU want to help your sister by babysitting and it doesn't clash with another event planned with your wife, then do so because your sister is family. Frankly, it's none of your wife's business why your sister goes out.
Your wife is insecure and contolling and she is also manipulative. Insecure people eventually isolate others..including family..from their spouses. Your wife's threat to you about you never coming back if you walked out the door is typical manipulating behaviour.
The right thing to do is stand up to your wife and explain to her that her attitude is out of line..but good luck with that, you'll probably be talking to the wall.
Yes, your wife comes first, but there's also a thing called respect..and it's a thing that needs to go both ways. If your wife doesn't respect your family, and your wishes to assist them when you are able to, then how can you respect her?..and therefore continue to love her and be loyal to her?
For only asking a few times in the past 14 months I don't see how your wife is so upset. There's nothing wrong with helping out a sibling, I watch my sisters kids every chance I get because I love my nieces and nephew so it's a good time to be an aunt. It sounds like your wife is very needy and controlling, she should be supportive if you want to help out family, that's what people do.
Your sister should have called your wife to ask about this. Instead, it sounds like you said YES without discussing this with your wife beforehand.
Your wife seems resentful because someone else is having "fun" Are you two having "fun" too?
Perhaps she is angry because you made sure your sister was taken care of before you took care of your wife's needs.
Apologize to the wife for committing your Sunday without her approval and take her somewhere fun.
Sometimes people (even blood relatives) take us for granted. If your sister is taking help, is she reciprocating it in some way? A relationship (even brother sister) can never be only give or only take. Whats irritating your wife is probably that her husband is being taken for granted and nothing is getting reciprocated. Also she might have planned to relax or have fun which at times must have clashed with your sister's plans. This might have caused an irritation and each time this same kind of request comes up, it could be working out the same emotional hurt.
Thanks for the feedback. my wife did say that she did feel that my sister was taking advantage of me. I didn't feel that way because my sister has been supported of me and had helped me quite a few times before. so i didn't think 3x was too much in more than a year. I probably could have asked my wife in a better way. we have talked much today and we both agreed we didn't handle the situation properly. your feedback was appreciated!
my wife read the post so her feedback word for word:
I am the wife and I would like to add a few background things about the situation.
1, his Mom is taking care of his sister’s two kids full time, Monday to Friday, day and night. His sister does not need to do much house work at all, even no grocery shopping or prepare her own lunch.
And the Mom lives in his only house and we are living in the house I purchased by myself.
2, My husband just started his career and has to work until 9pm at night. He used to work 6 days per week and just changed to 5 days because we really have no time for us at all. Still now, I am the one who is doing most of the housework, without any help from his family side.
You two obviously place great value on your relationship (thumbs-up!).
I'd have thought it impossible for *anyone* to take advantage and encroach into you and your wife's available time together (whether having fun or sharing chores (which is a separate issue)) if, when your sister initially lodged her request you'd simply said, 'I'll have to get back to you on that, sis, because I'm not sure what our social calendar is looking like', thereupon ringing your wife to consult with her.
You're no longer singletons, you're a TEAM. So if you always endeavour to think like one by ensuring all decisions are team-made via prior consultation and discussion, this particular problem can't ever happen again.
That's my 2-penneth-worth, anyway.