I'm warning you. Reading this post from Reddit's "Am I the A-hole?" literally gave me a headache. You know when women say, "Men are trash!" and then men are like, "But you don't really mean that. All men can't be trash!"?
Well, the man in this story is trash enough to cover all men. His behavior is beyond infuriating, and the fact that he thought he was doing the "right thing" is just the cherry on top of this crap cake.
He explains that, three days ago, his wife gave birth to their first child after two miscarriages and a stillbirth at 37 weeks. Obviously, his wife was terrified throughout the whole pregnancy and he should have done everything in his power to be with her when she went to the hospital in labor. Obviously, obviously, obviously. I don't need to hear the rest of the story. Obviously, he should have been there. But there are more details to fan the flames of this already awful mess.
He is a firefighter and was on duty when his wife went into labor. The doctor said it would "be a while" so he opted to stay at work because "we're never enough people anyway." Listen to that. He decided to stay at work. Which means he was given the option to leave to go be with his wife while she pushes a baby out of her body, and he decided to wait a bit. Put this man in jail.
Against all odds, this story gets even worse. While he was at work, one of his coworkers got a call that her grandfather had a heart attack and would probably not make it. Devastating, for sure. Because it was so busy, the boss said only one of them could leave.
The woman with the dying grandfather she has known and loved and spent time with her entire life, or the man whose frightened wife was about to give birth to their first child after years of harrowing experiences. And the dude basically said, "Go, female coworker of mine. Spend time with your grandfather. I'll stay here and ruin my marriage."
He literally told her "not to worry." He got to the hospital two hours after his daughter was born. He felt bad and "apologized profusely" to his wife, but this strong-as-hell woman wasn't having it. She yelled at him, said he "let her down in the scariest moment of her life," and then told him to leave. So he left and waited in the hallway. Over the next three days, she would only speak to him if it related to the baby.
When she leaves the hospital, she plans to stay with her sister "until she 'knows what to do about our relationship or what's left of it.''" I want to buy this woman a vacation.
This maggot then writes, "I understand that it must have been scary for her but my reasoning is that only one of us could leave and I will have a whole life to be with my child whereas my mate only had a few hours with her loved one left." Classic "good guy" move. Thinks he was doing the right thing, fails to realize that it was his wife he should have taken into consideration and been there for, not his coworker.
It's clear that even after nine months, he has no idea what pregnancy does to a woman, let alone a woman who has dealt with complete tragedy three times before. He thought he was being a "standup guy" by letting his coworker go be with her grandfather when he was really being a complete monster to the woman he supposedly loves.
It doesn't matter how courteous to others you feel like you "should" be when your wife is about to experience the most pain she's ever been in. He should have fought and begged to leave work, and if his boss told him to stay, he should have left anyway. That's how important his wife should have been to him.
Men and their priorities, man. So messed up. The silver lining of this story is that Reddit not only told him he was the a-hole, but they tore him a new one, too. Someone pointed out that if he left when he was supposed to, he never would have been in this situation! He had the chance to get out before his coworker got the call about her grandfather, and he just decided to dilly-dally when he knew his wife was terrified. He's a bad person! Case closed!
"Is this the hill you're willing to die on?" one incredulous person asked. "Is it seriously worth throwing your relationship away to justify your actions? Stop making excuses and apologize, grovel, ask how to make it better. Apologize more. You left your wife alone in one of the scariest moments of her life.
She gave birth to a stillborn baby — a baby she felt move and kick, a baby she had to deliver. You don't think that was on her mind every single second she was in labor? Did you think about the fear she faced at that moment only to be abandoned by you when she needed you?
"You prioritized a 'mate' over your wife and you're still trying to justify it. You're so far beyond YTA, I don't even know what to call you. If she doesn't take you back, you deserve it. If she does take you back, you'd darn well better be grateful that you have an amazing wife who loves you more than you can fathom.
"She needed her partner, her husband, the father of her child and this is what she will remember."
Another commenter wrote, "OP needs to consider the likely possibility that his wife will never, ever forgive him for this, and she would be completely justified in doing so... OP, you are framing this in your head as being about you and you alone making the sacrifice of not being present for your child's birth in order to do a favor for a friend but I want you to listen to me: You abandoned your wife. You abandoned her."
Eventually, OP popped up in the comments to say, "From all the responses I can see that clearly I screwed up. I'll try to apologize again and if she forgives me I'll try to be a better husband in the future." He doesn't sound devastated enough to me. I hope she never forgives him. I hope she divorces him over this, and I hope she and her beautiful baby girl live happily ever after.