My Husband Wasn’t Ready on Time for My Birthday Dinner — I Left Without Him and Now He’s Mad at Me

Relationships
month ago

Navigating relationships can sometimes feel like walking on eggshells, especially when unexpected conflicts appear. Such was the case when the woman in today’s story found herself at odds with her husband over a seemingly simple event: her own birthday dinner. Her decision to leave without him left the entire family split in half.

She shared her side of the story.

It was my 40th birthday a few days ago, and we had a reservation for a table at a nice restaurant for 7 pm. It takes about 20 minutes to drive to the restaurant, so I planned to leave the house at 6:30 pm to build in time for traffic and picking up my father.

My husband had decided to do a bit of work on his car about half an hour before we needed to leave. At 6:30 when the kids and I were waiting by the door, he was still doing it. He hadn’t changed and hadn’t showered. I told him to quickly get ready, but it got to 6:50, and he still wasn’t ready yet, so I decided to just leave without him.

He has a habit of always running late when we go out, and he is always the last one to be ready. Normally I can tolerate it since it only sets things back by ten minutes at the most, but my birthday dinner was important to me and I had been looking forward to it for weeks. Making us wait for 20 minutes was taking the mick, so I yelled out that we were leaving and left because I didn’t want to lose the table since we would have arrived about 7:20.

I called the restaurant to let them know we would be late, and we luckily still had our table, but my husband didn’t show up at the restaurant and when we got home he was mad at me. I told him that I was tired of him not respecting my time and always making people wait for him, and that he could have made his own way to the restaurant. My father agreed with my decision to leave without him, but my kids were a little upset that he wasn’t there to have dinner with us. Was my decision wrong?

She then added eye-opening information.

I’ve brought it up multiple times before, but nothing has changed. I do admit that I can be a pushover when it comes to waiting for him, but I’m sick of having to put other things on hold in order to check if he is ready and being late for family plans. He was late for my mother’s funeral last year, and after this birthday incident, I’ve decided not to give him any more leeway and start standing up for myself.

People went to her defense.

  • «You were already late when you left. If you waited any longer, you wouldn’t have a table and thus no birthday party. When you got home, you should have torn him a new one for deliberately trying to sabotage your birthday party. Put him on the defensive, where he should be, for his behavior.» extinct_diplodocus / Reddit
  • «Your husband decided to work on the car 30 minutes before he needed to be out the door for your birthday. He did this deliberately, he wanted to make everyone late or maybe make sure you didn’t have your planned celebration at all. You did the right thing.» Internal_Home_9483 / Reddit
  • «Tell him clearly that from now on, you are going to tell him when you plan to leave. And you don’t care what he’s doing at that point, because if he isn’t ready to leave you are leaving without him. And then do exactly that. And if he gets upset, tell him that he was well aware of what was going to happen.» Effective-Several / Reddit
  • «Is his wife’s birthday celebration NOT important to him? That’s what I’d like to know. She should’ve left at 6:30 on the dot. He’s horrible.» madpeachiepie / Reddit
  • «It was rude towards you and rude towards the restaurant. Many places will only hold a table for at most 15 minutes. I do hope that, when you say the kids were upset, they were upset with their father for not being ready/following you to the restaurant and not with you for not waiting.» Ok-Status-9627 / Reddit
  • «He knew what time was Go time, and he chose to ignore it. By saying ’yes’ to car repairs, he chose to say ’no’ to your birthday dinner. He had the same information you had, and he prioritized what was important to him. You did the same.» FairyCompetent / Reddit
  • «Your tolerating his thoughtlessness and disrespect for others’ time has only exacerbated the problem. It is also sending the message to your children that their behaviors are acceptable ways of treating others. It’s way past time that you stop, even if it was for your birthday.» Individual_Ad_9213 / Reddit
  • «Is he late to things he wants to do? If the answer is no, then he is not respecting you and your plans that he agreed to. He got what he deserved. If he is late to everything, maybe start lying to him about the time to leave by an hour so he will be ready on time and maybe have to wait for you for a change.» ConfusedAt63 / Reddit
  • «It is rude to make people wait, and be late, every day of the year, but ESPECIALLY rude when it’s a special occasion. I think you did the right thing, and hopefully, he’ll remember this for next time. Your kids need to understand that respecting people’s time is important and holding people up more than 5–10 minutes is unacceptable unless it was an emergency or truly unforeseen reason.» elsie78 / Reddit

The story above served as a reminder of the importance of clear communication and mutual understanding in any relationship. While the situation initially caused tension between husband and wife, it can lead to constructive conversations about expectations, responsibilities, and the value of respecting each other’s time. Challenges are inevitable, but with patience, empathy, and a commitment to growth, every couple can overcome them, emerging stronger and more connected than before.

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