Man Slammed Over Extreme Measures to Stop Pregnant Wife Working

A man's "controlling" approach to getting his pregnant wife to work less has Reddit users enraged.

In a post earlier this March, user u/SeaMethod9837 wrote that he has been with his wife Jen, 30, for six years.

She is eight months pregnant with twins, and he is concerned about her overdoing it at work.

"She is a huge workaholic/perfectionist," the 35-year-old poster wrote. "While we both have very well-paying jobs, Jen's job is way more stressful and time-demanding.

Man and pregnant wife ignoring each other
A stock photo of a man and pregnant wife ignoring each other after an argument. The poster and his wife have been arguing over her long working hours, which are causing her health issues. Akacin Phonsawat/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The National Women's Law Center said in 2019 that fewer than 2 percent of all workers in the U.S. are pregnant each year (1.5 percent in 2017, for example).

"Even though she is brilliant and amazing at what she does, she often works around the clock (on average, 60-hour weeks) at home and in the office," the husband added.

Until she became pregnant, SeaMethod9837 supported her career and had no problem with his wife's "workaholic" tendencies. However, Jen's doctor has told her to rest as the stress is leading to health issues.

"She has still been working from her laptop 6-8 hours every day," SeaMethod9837 explained.

"I understand that she had a couple of cases that she needed to finish, but most days she was so focused on work that she was forgetting to eat meals and falling asleep at her desk."

After returning home from work and realizing that his wife had ignored the doctor's advice again, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

"I woke her up and told her that she needed to go rest in bed. She insisted she was fine and said there was an emergency with a client of hers and she just needed to finalize some things for a coworker," SeaMethod9837 wrote.

"I asked her just to take a break first and take a nap/eat, but she said that she would once she was done and that it wouldn't take her more than an hour.

"I told her fine, but no longer than an hour even though I was pretty annoyed," he added.

Two hours later, and Jen was still busy. In response, SeaMethod9837 unplugged the Wi-Fi and hid the cable.

Stressed pregnant woman working from home
A stock photo of a stressed pregnant woman working at a desk in her home office. After his wife refused to stop working and rest, the poster unplugged the Wi-Fi. dusanpetkovic/iStock/Getty Images Plus

"She clearly had no intention of stopping," he continued. "Once she realized, she yelled at me, called me an [a******].

"She said that I was treating her like a child and accused me of being controlling, condescending, and 'borderline abusive.'

"I told her that she is being stupid and just to let the coworker that asked for her help to handle it," the poster added.

That night, his furious wife slept in the guest room. The next morning, SeaMethod9837 apologized, but his wife said "that she can't even look at me."

"I'm starting to feel like I might have been a bit extreme, even if I only did it out of concern," the poster explained.

"But honestly, [she's] overdoing it by trying to meet deadlines that she's not even supposed to be responsible for."

Fellow Redditors criticized SeaMethod9837, with the post receiving over 9,000 upvotes and more than 3,000 comments.

'Let Them Know That You Are Concerned'

Lee Phillips is a psychotherapist and certified sex and couples therapist. He told Newsweek that unhealthy behaviors are difficult to stop—even if the person is self-aware enough to recognize the problem. Pregnancy doesn't make the situation any easier.

Phillips said the first step is to share your concerns with your partner.

Man and his pregnant wife arguing
A stock photo of a man and his pregnant wife having an argument. The couple have been arguing about his wife's "workaholic" tendencies for weeks. RyanKing999/iStock/Getty Images Plus

"It is important to be direct with them and let them know that you are concerned about the risks that it is causing to their health, the infant's health, and the stress that it is placing on your relationship/marriage," Phillips added.

"This is also respecting their autonomy, and it does not sound controlling."

Phillips said the worst things you can do are to use a harsh tone or to try to force the matter, as it just leads to anger.

"It is best in these situations to use assertive communication where you state how you feel and then ask them how they feel with empathy," Phillips explained.

"The goal is to hear each other and reflect back what the other person is saying."

'Everybody Sucks'

Although many users understood SeaMethod9837's concern, they slammed his tactics, with user anthony___fell calling the poster's behavior "unacceptable."

"Does she need better work/life balance? Probably. But the way you deal with that concern is NOT by taking away your wife's autonomy," he posted.

"All I see is divorce in the very near future and dear [original poster] asking what he did that his now soon to be ex wife is leaving him," wrote Smart_Space_1045.

"I'd flip if my husband cut off my internet, it would surely mean that I would be way more stressed," commented tealpuppies.

A man holding his pregnant wife's hands
A stock photo of a man holding his pregnant wife's hands. The poster apologized to his wife and they agreed to a compromise. nd3000/iStock/Getty Images Plus

"If she's a workaholic it's likely that she has previously derived a significant part of her identity from her work," posted myironlions.

"It's no surprise she might be clinging to the last vestiges of her 'normal.' Try to approach her with empathy, not authoritarian 'I know what's best for you.'"

However, other users felt that "Everybody Sucks" in the situation, with FloMoJoeBlow criticizing Jen for "not prioritizing her (and her child's) health."

Glittering-Score-258 commented: "I don't really blame [the original poster] for being somewhat controlling when it comes to the health of his babies and his wife.

"Someone else commented that [the original poster] is not her parent, but he IS those babies' parent."

In an update, SeaMethod9837 wrote that he'd taken Reddit's advice to heart. He and Jen had a "calm discussion" about her working hours, and had come to a compromise.

"It turns out neither of us meant the name-calling," he explained.

"I promised to trust her judgement, she promised not to overdo it with work. We made up, got burgers, and she passed out on the couch."

Newsweek reached out to u/SeaMethod9837 for comment via Reddit. We could not verify the details of the case.

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