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A man's face | Source: Freepik
A man's face | Source: Freepik

Am I a Bad Husband for My Reaction to My Wife’s Father’s Day Gift to Me?

Sonali Pandey
Jun 19, 2024
06:15 A.M.

Jackson's marriage feels strained after his wife, Savannah, expresses her dissatisfaction with Mother's Day. As Father's Day approaches, Jackson hopes for a peaceful day to unwind. But Savannah has other plans. When she presents her unexpected gift, Jackson is left questioning his role as a husband, feeling more unsettled than ever.

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I pulled into the driveway and killed the engine. It was 8 p.m., and I knew I was late.

A man inside a car | Source: Pexels

A man inside a car | Source: Pexels

I had been working long hours for two weeks straight, barely seeing Savannah and our four children: Madison,10, Olivia, 5, Ethan, 4, and our baby Lily, just 9 months old.

As I walked up to the house, I hoped the gift I bought would make up for not being there on such a special day for Savannah. It was a designer purse she'd wanted for months, and I was just wishing it would bring a smile to her face.

A woman holding a leather bag | Source: Pexels

A woman holding a leather bag | Source: Pexels

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I rang the doorbell and waited.

Moments later, the door swung open, and on the doorstep stood Savannah with Lily in her arms, looking exhausted.

A woman with a baby in her arms | Source: Midjourney

A woman with a baby in her arms | Source: Midjourney

"Happy Mother's Day," I said, handing her the gift.

"Really, you didn't need to. Thank you, Jackson," she replied, taking the gift. She led me to the dining table, where she carefully placed the box.

A gift box | Source: Unsplash

A gift box | Source: Unsplash

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"Aren't you going to see what it is?"

"All I wanted was some alone time today, honey," she sighed. "I needed a break from being needed every minute."

Her words hit me hard. "I'm really sorry, Savannah. I had to work, and I couldn't get out of it until like 6:30. And then, I went shopping for your gift."

A couple having a conversation at home | Source: Pexels

A couple having a conversation at home | Source: Pexels

She sighed, putting the gift aside. "I get it. But you could have given me this gift any other day. Today, I needed rest."

I saw the exhaustion in her eyes and heard it in her voice. The kids had been demanding all day, and she hadn't had a moment to herself. I wanted to make it better, but I was so tired myself.

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A couple having an argument | Source: Pexels

A couple having an argument | Source: Pexels

"I'll make it up to you," I promised. "Maybe this weekend, I can take the kids out, and you can have some time to yourself."

Savannah nodded, though she didn't seem entirely convinced.

A woman lost in thought | Source: Pexels

A woman lost in thought | Source: Pexels

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We went through the motions of the evening, getting the kids ready for bed.

By the time they were all asleep, it was nearly 10 p.m.

A sleeping child | Source: Pexels

A sleeping child | Source: Pexels

As we climbed into bed, Savannah looked at me with a hopeful expression. "Could you give me a back rub, babe? My shoulders are killing me."

"Of course," I said, eager to do something to help.

A man tending to a woman's back pain | Source: Pexels

A man tending to a woman's back pain | Source: Pexels

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I started rubbing her shoulders, but I was so tired. The exhaustion from the long weeks of work hit me all at once. I fought to stay awake, but my eyes grew heavy, and before I knew it, I had fallen asleep.

Savannah's disappointed sigh was the last thing I heard before sleep took over.

A man sleeping | Source: Pexels

A man sleeping | Source: Pexels

The memory of Mother's Day still lingered in my mind when Father's Day arrived.

I decided to leave work early, not because I had planned anything special, but because there wasn't much work to do. I wrapped up my tasks quickly and clocked out at noon.

A man at work | Source: Unsplash

A man at work | Source: Unsplash

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At the office, my coworker, Bob, noticed my pace. "Jackson, you're flying through those reports today. What's the rush?"

"It's Father's Day," I said, grabbing my coat. "Figured I'd take advantage of the light workload and head home early."

Bob chuckled. "Lucky you. Enjoy it, man. Make the most of it."

A man sitting at a table with a laptop | Source: Unsplash

A man sitting at a table with a laptop | Source: Unsplash

With everything done, I headed home. I walked in through the door at around 12:30 p.m., feeling pleased with my decision.

Savannah greeted me with a warm smile.

A couple embracing | Source: Midjourney

A couple embracing | Source: Midjourney

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"Happy Father's Day," she said, giving me a hug. "What do you want for dinner tonight?"

I shrugged. "I don't know, whatever you want is fine with me."

Food and wine | Source: Unsplash

Food and wine | Source: Unsplash

Savannah nodded. "Okay. What do you want to do today? We could go fishing or swimming with the kids."

I hesitated for a moment, picturing a peaceful afternoon in the garage. "Honestly… all I want is to relax and work on my truck uninterrupted," I said. "You know, I was hoping I could have some time for myself."

A couple arguing at home | Source: Midjourney

A couple arguing at home | Source: Midjourney

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Savannah's expression changed instantly. "No, you can hang out with the kids for Father's Day."

I frowned. "Why? It's Father's Day. Shouldn't I get to do what I want?"

An upset man | Source: Freepik

An upset man | Source: Freepik

Savannah looked at me firmly. "Why should you get a stress-free, kid-free, relaxing day when you couldn't give me even a sliver of that on Mother's Day? You can hang out with the kids for Father's Day."

Her words took me by surprise. I opened my mouth to respond, but she continued, "It's my gift to you. Since you work so much and don't have time to bond with your kids, I'm giving you this chance! Enjoy!"

A woman with two kids | Source: Freepik

A woman with two kids | Source: Freepik

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She handed me Lily, making it clear that I was on parenting duty for the day.

"Dad, can we watch a movie?" Olivia asked, holding up a DVD.

A smiling girl | Source: Freepik

A smiling girl | Source: Freepik

I sighed, feeling the weight of the day. "Sure, let's put it on."

We popped the DVD in, and I settled down on the couch, hoping for a moment of peace. But peace was not in the cards. No sooner had the movie started than Madison asked, "Dad, can you get me some popcorn?"

A bowl of popcorn | Source: Unsplash

A bowl of popcorn | Source: Unsplash

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I got up and went to the kitchen, quickly making a bowl of popcorn. As soon as I sat back down, Ethan said, "Dad, I need a drink."

Suppressing another sigh, I headed back to the kitchen for drinks.

A mini-fridge with drinks | Source: Unsplash

A mini-fridge with drinks | Source: Unsplash

By the time I returned, Lily was fussing. I tried to rock her gently, but she started to cry louder. I felt my frustration rising. I had just wanted one day to relax and work on my truck. Was that too much to ask?

Olivia, meanwhile, couldn't sit still. "Dad, can you sit with me?" she asked, tugging at my sleeve.

Close-up shot of a smiling girl | Source: Freepik

Close-up shot of a smiling girl | Source: Freepik

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"Sure, sweetie," I said, shifting Lily to one arm and putting the other around Olivia. Just as I thought things were settling down, Madison decided to argue with Ethan over which character was the best.

"Batman is better than Superman!" Madison declared.

Two kids arguing | Source: Freepik

Two kids arguing | Source: Freepik

"No way! Superman is the strongest!" Ethan shot back.

"Kids, keep it down," I said, trying to keep my voice calm. "Let's just watch the movie!"

A tired man | Source: Unsplash

A tired man | Source: Unsplash

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But they continued to bicker, and I found myself playing referee. All the while, Lily kept fussing, and Olivia wriggled in her seat.

My frustration grew. I had hoped for a relaxing day, but instead, I was dealing with all this chaos.

A frustrated man | Source: Unsplash

A frustrated man | Source: Unsplash

It felt unfair. On Mother's Day, Savannah had made it clear she needed rest, and I hadn't been able to give her that. Now, on Father's Day, she was taking revenge, and I couldn't even get a moment to myself. I just wanted one day, and I couldn't have that, huh?

After putting the kids to bed, I sat alone in the living room, the house finally quiet.

A tired man | Source: Midjourney

A tired man | Source: Midjourney

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Savannah's words kept replaying in my mind: "Why should you get a stress-free, kid-free, relaxing day when you couldn't give me even a sliver of that on Mother's Day?"

I thought back to her frustrated expression earlier in the day. It wasn't just about today.

"You know, Jackson," she had said earlier, "for the past several Mother's Days and my birthdays, you've always been at work. I've never been able to do anything I wanted."

A woman talking to her husband | Source: Pexels

A woman talking to her husband | Source: Pexels

I tried to explain, "Savannah, you know my job doesn't give days off for those holidays. I can't help it."

"But my job does," she said. "My employer gives all moms Mother's Day off and all dads Father's Day off, as well as all birthdays. I always have the day off, but you never do. It's hard to do anything special for myself when I'm alone with the kids."

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A woman complaining to her husband | Source: Pexels

A woman complaining to her husband | Source: Pexels

I felt a pang of guilt. She was right. She always had the day off, but I was never there to help her make it special. It was difficult for her, and I didn't truly understand until now.

I leaned back on the couch, running my hand through my hair. "Am I wrong for being upset about the Father's Day gift?" I wondered aloud.

A frustrated man leaning back on the couch | Source: Freepik

A frustrated man leaning back on the couch | Source: Freepik

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I knew I had no ground to stand on. Savannah had a point. For years, she had been sacrificing her special days because of my work schedule. I wanted to feel justified in my frustration, but her reasoning was clear.

I still didn't feel what she did was fair, though. I had hoped for a break today, a chance to unwind and do something I enjoyed. She could have been the bigger person and let me have my break!

Am I a bad husband for reacting like that?

A depressed man | Source: Pexels

A depressed man | Source: Pexels

If you enjoyed this story, here's another one: Tom works hard every day and takes great pride in his job as a construction worker. So naturally, his heart breaks when he discovers that his kids are ashamed of his profession. Determined to change their minds, Tom comes up with a plan to teach them a valuable lesson.

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A construction worker | Source: Unsplash

A construction worker | Source: Unsplash

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided "as is," and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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