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Edit to change from information needed to YTA Why did you promise you'd be back by Christmas? The dad was dying, right? But you thought you'd just leave, spend a day flying home, a day with your buddy, a day flying back, and that was enough? Honestly it sounds implausible that you'd fly out a week before the 25th, spend 2 days, then a day of travel there and a day back and anticipate you'd have the perfect flight available for returning without checking. Did you honestly think you could make this work?


Does it matter in the end he passed so obviously that changes the game. He didn't intentionally lie.


Well he did. See his comment below. OP knew he wasn't coming back.


I think this is a distinction people are struggling with. Prioritizing your grieving friend over a holiday with your in-laws is the right thing to do. But OP does say that he knowingly lied about his plan to return, and, meanwhile, assumed his wife was insincere in her offer to come with him. So it may be safe to say he’s an unreliable narrator, and that if his wife is resentful, that may be because of his dishonest style of communication, rather than prioritizing a friend’s crisis. The fact that he’s muddying that distinction in this post, and presenting it as though she’s mad about the holiday rather than the lying, may corroborate that this is about dishonesty.


Ok, am I the only one who has seen Home Alone??? You CAN'T book flights on Christmas.


you just gotta find a fun little jam band lookin’ for a fun road trip! Easy peasy!


>I didn't want her to be at home alone during the holidays You think this is out of niceness, but he was clearly worried about Harry and Marv rocking up.


He lied and acknowledged he lied. I think you should amend your judgement to YTA.


YTA You didn't want to spend Christmas with your wife's family and used the aftermath as an excuse (if it was really because of flights, you wouldn't have added the rest) I hope you're spending this Christmas with your wife's family to make up for it? Editing because some people have 0 reading comprehension: aftermath means /after/. Going was fine, but lying to his wife about coming back and knowingly choosing to skip coming back afterwards using the aftermath as an excuse is not. Read the top comment thread.


Yes exactly. In fact, I'm sure he was behind his best friend's father's death just to get out of spending Christmas with her family. /s This is really reaching. Nowhere is it stated that he has any issues with, or wants to get away from, her family


He literally said he didn't want to use his time off or spend Christmas visiting them


No he said it wasn't his "dream way" to spend it I highly doubt dealing with his best friend's father's death would have been preferable to that, though.


It’s blowing my mind people are calling him an asshole for sticking around for the after death arrangements of a father figure he’s been close with since 16. I cannot imagine ever expecting my partner to choose some frivolous holiday activities over dealing with that. And I honestly cant ever imagine wanting to take part in holiday celebrations after a close family like friend’s death.


Exactly! In fact, if it were my partner who went through that, I would be asking her what I could do to help. If she wanted me back, I would have been back, if she wanted me to stay I would have stayed, and it would not be begrudgingly. And I certainly would not be mad about it a year later


It’s like “sorry my best friend’s father died at an inconvenient time for you to celebrate Christmas”. Imagine how best friend felt, loosing his father literally right before Christmas.


Yeah, I'm glad OP was able to be there for him at least. And imagine the kind of narcissism it takes to be angry that your perfect little Christmas was ruined because of someone's death


My pops died on Christmas Eve and the whole holiday now has a pall over it for me. My wife and friends being there for me was about the only thing that kept me together. The only slight grace I will give to OP’s wife is that if she hasn’t lost a parent there’s just no way for her to understand how awful it is, you have to have it happen to get it.


I totally agree!! I’m amazed at these YTA comments.


She might be mad about it a year later because OP is planning to also spend THIS Christmas with the same friend's family instead of hers. (stated in OP's other comments here.)


I am with you here. I have always felt that the way my partner treats others is indicative of how he will treat me when the chips are down.


She did ask to go with him... But he didn't Accept it.


I think it’s because the story has multiple layers. He’s not an asshole for prioritizing his friend, and I think basically everone agrees on that. He’s an asshole for the way he handled it. And tbh I think he just doesn’t come across as totally believable/telling the full story, but that’s a whole other thing again


Yeah, I think it proves just how many toxic teenagers are in this chat who don't know any nuance in long term relationships or even life. Like boohoo you made a promise to be home by Christmas, who cares if someone died, my needs are more important /s


Yeah, I'd take issue if my husband *didn't* make the same decision for a close friend. NTA


Hold on, he doesn't say this man was a father figure. He barely sees his inlaws, we know that. And he states he is closer to this friend and his family than his own inlaws. That's not a father figure.


Seriously. I can't believe people are calling him an AH


Which usually means "I would have rather spend my week off on a beautiful beach in Maui", not "I have my IL so much I want to spend time in the hospital and the funerary home instead of their place". ETA which doesn't mean op is not YTA for lying to his wife. But you are making a hell of an assumption here nonetheless.


Yeah dude clearly his dream idea for PTO was helping his friend plan a funeral. Are you high?


But he spent it at a hospital and with a grieving friend?? I really do not understand all the YTA, in my culture wife is the AH.


One of his comments is that they are not. This us why he definitely the AH.


This is such a horrible take. Why should OP stay with family in this case? Christmas happens every single year. Your best friend’s father dying happens once. If he hadn’t been there for his best friend, he would have been a horrible friend. But he went out of his way to support someone that needed it, and his wife is throwing it in his face.


..... wtf ? At what point did you write that and have it make any type of sense to you?


You can't be serious. This has got to be the goofiest crap I've read today.


This. I wonder if he would have dropped everything if he was with HIS family for Christmas.


...yes? Is it that surprising that there are people willing to drop most things for their loved ones?


That friend and his dying dad sound very close to his *chosen* family, so very clearly he is dropping everything for family.


INFO: when you say your wife 'begrudgingly offered to come with me', does that mean that she 1. would've rather spent Christmas with her folks than follow you to the hospital, and was actually grateful that you gave her permission to stay there or 2) would've rather come with you and spent Christmas with you in the less-than-ideal circumstances, and you didn't want her to be there


Yta, Not for going but for not talking with her first before going, then telling her you would be back and not coming back. It sounded like you didn't want to go to start with. And so we're not trying to get back.


OP also says he knew he wouldn’t be back and lied to his wife to keep the peace.


And this is where my issue is. It’s understandable that he went. Lying is what made him the asshole.


Lying, and acting like he’s done “his time” at the in-laws even though he missed last year. He should have offered to go back this year to make up for missing last year.


And now his comments show they didn't go this year either.


Yup- because his friend needs him, since it’s the holidays. It shows who he loves and where his priorities are, and it’s not his wife.


I wonder if this gives OP "permission" to spend every Christmas from now on w/ his friend, since it will always be a difficult time for his family. (or if not forever- for how many years is this a valid reason to not visit her parents for Christmas, which he'd rather not do?)


Oh Lort he’s still not going with his wife? What an AH.


It’s being brought back up because it’s Xmas time and you think because last year was technically her family’s that you don’t have to see them this year. It sounds like excuses bc you don’t wanna see them, YTA for making an already hard situation harder with your purposeful ignorance of her feeings


The very least he could do it go back to her family this year and make it up. Be extra gracious and extra generous.


He says it's been thrown in his face a lot since then and considering this was just last Christmas, it's safe to say it's been brought up at non Xmas times as well. I don't think any of that is entirely relevant to the question.


INFO: Did you apologize to her and her family for missing the holiday? ​ I generally lean toward you're not the asshole, because I don't think she should throw this in your face, but if you only "begrudgingly" apologized or made a bunch of excuses about flights, I can see why it is unresolved for her.


It sounds like they don’t spend holidays with her family very often. Info: Did Op sincerely apologize and offer (or actually make plans) to make it up another time? Does Op regularly act like it’s a chore to attend her family events? Op had a very good reason to miss Christmas, but if his wife is still upset about it then she’s pretty selfish, or this is a recurring problem and one time Op had a good excuse to dip out early and wife is upset bc it’s a long standing issue.


Honestly, YTA. It is completely understandable that when your best friend's father is dying, you change plans to go and comfort them. Even if it means you are away from your spouse on a holiday, unless your spouse is also sick or dying, I think most people would have the empathy to understand the situation. If your spouse was refusing to let you go, that'd be one thing but: 1. She offered to go with you. IDC if you think it wasn't a genuine offer, because she offered to go. That's a supportive spouse. 2. You said, "No, because I will be back in time." Which you have admitted was just to placate your spouse. So you lied. 3. After your spouse offered to go, and you lied and promised you'd be back on the 25th, you didn't return. I understand emotions impact our decision making, but you need to take responsibility for, as you have said, "lying just to placate her." It's not about the not being there on Christmas, it's about the lies you told along the way. And if it was a genuine mistake, you have to admit that to her and yourself.


They are spending Christmas this year “with local family like they usually do” So he doesn’t even care to make it right


INFO: What are your plans for Christmas this year? Edit: If you’re spending it with your family then definitely YTA.


In another comment he said they were spending it with “local family” (aka his family) like they “usually do.”


Soon my guess isnhe won't have to worry about splitting holidays.


Actually it’s with the friend’s family, and no his friend didn’t request he be there, he just assumed since it’s being held in the dad’s honour? That part was confusing.


Don’t worry though, his pesky wife isn’t invited.


He also said he's hoping that his family and his friend's start doing a joint holiday together in future years....so never going to the in-laws again.


Soon, my guess is he won't have to worry about splitting holidays.


You going wasn't a mistake, not taking her with you was. Even if you're just sat in a hospital waiting room you should spend Christmas with your wife. So to her you're asshole yes. Sit down apologise, no excuses just gotta sit down and make amends. Offer to take a day out whatever she wants, book the time off and do it.


INFO: are you spending this Christmas with her family?


Lol didn’t you hear, it’s not exactly his ideal use of his PTO (eye roll).


I get this. We live overseas from my family in one direction and husband's family in the other direction. All our annual leave is spent going to see one side or the other, or having them come over to us. And we're in Europe, so we have good amounts of annual leave. Seeing family isn't a holiday. Spending some time just us somewhere nice, where we can relax and de-stress would be lovely instead of listening to Auntie Dot's ongoing haemorrhoid saga.


but this sounds like you share time seeing each others family. OP says they rarely see them, and when they do OP acts put upon. i live 12 hours from my family and rarely see them, but when we do my wife is excited. even if only for me. OP isn’t even going back to see them this year.


They spend EVERY Christmas toghether. They made a trip and saved time off to see her family. It's lógico that she should enjoy her Christmas with the family she see very rarely instead of drop everything to be with the husband she lives with.


Honestly don't get this take. My in laws are a lot further than my parents so we don't spend Christmas there that often and my SO really enjoys and cherishes the time she is able to spend there, Christmas or not. If I had to leave for an emergency, I think everyone would prefer her staying with her parents. We see each other 365 days a year and being apart for Christmas is not going to kill us


INFO: where is this Christmas being spent?


Must be tough liking your friend more than your wife, and his family more than yours.


I'm gonna bet that they're going to be painting the guest bedroom together soon too


The friend is SO gonna have his own room in their house. Lol.




Nah, those are just excuses. He very clearly cares and loves his friend way more. So far, he lied to his wife about being able to make it on Christmas, lied about the trip, and used this trip as an excuse to stay with his friend for longer because his precious PTO couldn't be wasted with his actual family. HIS dad didn't die, it's not the death of a parent.


From what is presented, I would really like to hear the wife’s side of this story. For that it will go with ESH because I get the sense that there is more to the situation than you are sharing or understand. If it is being brought up over an over again, this is a situation you should discuss again when you are not in a fight because it is clearly something not resolved for your wife and there is clearly hurt feeling in how it was handled. Also, in the comments to you seem to make assumptions about how your wife is feeling and how genuine you think she is instead of actually asking her, this maybe what is causing more arguments than the actual situation, don’t assume thing have actually discussion and communicate.


Yeah I don’t feel like we have the information needed to make an AITA judgement, in large part because we have so little insight into the processes by which decisions were made or communicated. As you point out, that’s likely because there doesn’t seem to be good communication happening in the relationship (why is this STILL coming up a year later?) but it might just be that important info is missing. For example, did OP talk to his wife before booking the ticket? Etc. With so much info about communication missing, it’s hard to know who was being an AH or even if anyone was. I don’t think the OPs actions in and of themselves were wrong, and was actually a bit surprised by all the Y T A comments. If I were in OP’s wife’s shoes I would have wanted my spouse to go be with his friend/ say goodbye to Friend’s dad and I probably would have wanted to stay with my family. Maybe I would have been annoyed about the unfulfilled “I’ll be back by Xmas” promise, but I also know that when my spouse is stressed he can be hilariously unrealistic about how logistics will pan out. However, my spouse and I also work our butts off at communicating clearly, and we don’t operate according to the expectation that being married means we always put each other first even to the detriment of other relationships or our own basic needs. Basically I think the OP is posing the problem to the wrong audience. Was he an AH? Eh, maybe, maybe not. The behavior wasn’t so egregious that it should still be coming up a year later. OP, maybe seek advice (preferably professional if that’s accessible to you) on how to improve communication within your relationship and have more productive arguments? And on how to set clear expectations about how, when, and in what ways you and your wife prioritize each other?


Methinks you missed [this comment from OP](https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/comments/zqwl1j/aita_for_abandoning_my_wife_on_christmas_to_be/j10mlqk?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share&context=3). Want to change your mind?


YTA. For not giving your wife the option to join you after you knew you couldn't go back home. EDIT: spelling errors


I'm going against the grain and saying NTA. This sub really puts the spouse on a pedestal and insists they should always come first no matter what. On the flipside why can't your wife understand how much not just your friend was grieving but you too? And that she's still "throwing it in \[your\] face?" Did she really expect you to play happy family while all this shitty stuff was happening?


Which she absolutely should do. They never spend Christmas with her family and the first time they do, he leaves? Not even taking his wife with him? And now, lo and behold, this year, they are spending Christmas with his family AGAIN. he is most definitely the A


It's pretty wild to me too, if my wife's best friend was going through that and she wanted to go support them I (and my family) would be telling her to absolutely go. I can't imagine my wife or her family would respond differently to me. Being a partnership means supporting eachother and their loved ones, even if it means you'll be apart for one holiday one time. Sure he shouldn't have suggested he would definitely be back for the 25th, but he also shouldn't have been put into a position where he felt he needed to promise that. You can absolutely spend a holiday apart, I would argue especially when the spouse is with their family.


I don't think anyone thinks OP is a jerk for going out to support a close friend with a dying parent. However, they admitted they didn't have any true intentions of flying back on Xmas but let them think that. And also declined to go to the in-laws this year despite usually spending time with his side on the holidays. If you zoom out and look and everything within its context, he comes off as a jerk here.


Honestly? I’m with you in the NTA court. These comments are leaving a sour taste in my mouth. She’s bringing up being “abandoned” at Christmastime while…. His closest friend got the wonderful gift of having to bury his father. It’s not good that he lied to placate his wife and she deserved a conversation, but she’s also not showing very much compassion or maturity by throwing that loss in his face. Because it’s OP’s loss, too.


This sub is so weird when it comes to this. Marriage is a unit and it's about taking yourself back in times of need, when your partner needs you and that counts for both sides! Why is nobody saying that the wife should also understand what a nerve-wracking situation that probably was and should have supported him. People aren't perfect that doesn't mean things are black and white.


How did his wife \*not\* support him by offering to come with, only to be shot down by him and then lied to about, "Oh, there's no need, I'll be back in time for Christmas for sure!"


My reasoning for the YTA is the lying. He never had any intention of coming back for Christmas, but he gave her the hope that he would. This is a stressful situation for everyone, and he made it worse for his wife, himself, and no doubt the friend who is probably now going to have to deal with OPs wife resenting him.


Check his comments, this year instead of making it up to her and her family they are spending Christmas with “local family” like they “usually do” He also admitted to knowing he would not be back for Christmas so he lied. He clearly doesn’t prioritize spending time with her family since he made it clear he didn’t even want to be there. That’s awful and I’m sure it really hurts her


YTA yes, a friend was grieving and needed support but the truth is - he'd have managed with his other family members. you didn't need to be there physically. if this was a christmas spent the same way as others, i could've understood there's not much to miss out on but it was special to your wife who doesn't see her parents often. you may love your in-laws less than friend's family but you should have loved your wife more than your friend and prioritized her. you could have taken her with you when she offered. you could have came back on time. you could have visited the friend after christmas but you didn't. you had plenty other choices but decided to make one that hurt your wife most.


I agree. YTA. Your friend is a friend and even if you’re closer to that friend’s family than your own in laws, you admit you guys rarely see your in laws. It sounds like you just found the perfect excuse to not see your in laws. Adding to that your lies, I would as your wife, insist on spending time with my own family, with or without you. You suck as a person, partner, and family member.




YTA. You knew you weren't going to make it back by Christmas, but you were too cowardly to tell your wife and her family that, so you lied to them and made things worse. Grow up.


YTA. You admit in your comments you knew you wouldn't be back for Christmas and just said it to placate your wife so you could leave. You lied.




sounds like you have a lot of disdain for your wife's family and used the first thing that happened as an excuse to leave, I can understand you tried to be there for a long time friend but the way you wrote about your wife's family says a lot. YTA, you're married now, you're supposed to put your wife first instead of ditching her and her family at the first opportunity you had.


Liars are AH a so yeah YTA


I've read that most couples have the same fight over and over again. But that is because the underlying issue is unresolved. I think you're NTA, however you don't have to live with me. Maybe will be a good idea if you ask your wife and not in an exasperated or disgusted way- what can I do to make this right? What can I do to make you feel loved and heard? In my mind, it doesn't really matter if you're right or wrong. Unless you are violating a principle, you should be seeking harmony with the person you love most. I'm going to assume that's your wife. So lay down your arms, and tell her that you want to really talk about it when you're not angry and fighting and you want to know how you can soothe her heart. She may be being unfair. But aren't we all unfair sometimes? The whole thing about loving someone is understanding them when they are not the best version of themselves. Good luck


NTA. You rightfully chose to be with your closest friend at one of the worst moments of their life to comfort them and help them get through the passing of their parent. While it sucks that you weren't able to spend Christmas together, being with your friend was more of a priority. You will have many more Christmases together, your friend only loses their father once. Your wife is a huge AH for holding this against you.


YTA it really seemed like you jumped at this chance because you didn't want to spend Christmas with your inlaws.




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Dude its not about friend vs in-laws, its friend vs wife... and when it comes down to it you didn't want to spend Christmas with her. You could've called and said hey this is whats going on if you wanna meet me here for Christmas, so we're together. So yeah YTA


NTA. As someone who has been best friends with the same chick since we were 3 (now 40) I get it. When her dad passed as teenagers I was there every step with a broken heart. When my passed a few months ago she packed up her kids and came home. That's my girl. A lifelong bond and our spouses understand that (are are very supportive of our friendship). It's unfortunate that it's at Christmas time for you but it's not like it was planned.


NTA - honestly I don’t get all the hate on here toward you. How were you supposed to know if you would have been back for Christmas as your rushing out the door to catch a flight. I’ve spent quite a few Christmas’ without my spouse because of his work & my family out of state and while it sucks it’s never been an issue. If I came to him today and said my friend dad was dying he would do everything to help me find a flight including paying for it out of his own pocket. The fact that she keeps throwing it back in your face is a big red flag that either needs to to be confronted or it will just cause resentment and anger and probably eventually destroy your marriage


He said he just told her he would be back to placate her. He lied and he isn’t going this year to her family either.


NTA. He needed you. You were there. Your wife is a big girl and was with her family.




The comments confused me, so I'm going with my initial judgment of NTA. As far as I can tell, you didn't want to spend the holidays with your in-laws, but you were planning on doing so anyway. Unless your friend was creating this ruse to help you get out of it, which I highly doubt, then it was just poor timing (as if there's ever good timing to the death of one's parent.) I think your wife is reading too much into this - I'd miss my partner over the holidays too, but if I knew why they were missing it, and it was for a reason like this, then I'd get over it and be proud of them.


^^^^AUTOMOD ***Thanks for posting! This comment is a copy of your post so readers can see the original text if your post is edited or removed. This comment is NOT accusing you of copying anything. Read [this](https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/wiki/faq#wiki_post_deletion) before [contacting the mod team](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose?to=%2Fr%2FAmItheAsshole)*** This gets brought up in every single argument we have, so I'd like an outside verdict to settle it once and for all. My wife and I (29m) chose to spend Christmas with my in-laws last year. Because they live a few states from us, we don't get around to seeing them in person very often. We both took time off work and flew in the week before the 25th. It wasn't my dream way to use my PTO or spend the holidays, but it was valuable family time for my wife that we hadn't gotten in a while. Two days after we arrived, I got a heart wrenching call from my closest friend (26m) telling me his father likely wasn't going to make it. I knew he had been in the hospital for a while, but now it looked like things were taking a turn for the worst. This is someone I've known since I was 16, whose family I'm closer to than my in-laws. This is also a person who is extremely selfless and rarely asks for anything for himself. When he asked me to come be with him, I dropped everything to make that happen. There’s no limit on what I would did rhim on a good day, so in circumstances like these… coming home felt like the only option. Flights around that time aren't always easy to come by and the one I booked was fairly expensive. In my rush to get home as quickly as possible, I ended up booking the ticket under mine and my wife's shared bank account. Once I realized this mistake, I immediately transferred money from my account to cover it. My wife was not happy about any of it. She begrudgingly offered to come with me, but I declined saying that most of my time would likely be spent in a hospital waiting room. I didn't want her to be at home alone during the holidays, or awkwardly standing by as I comforted Friend. I reassured her that I would be back before the 25th, and that she should continue her family time as usual. That didn't end up happening. Friend's father passed the following day and with grief, funeral preparations, and a lack of viable flights, I didn't end up getting to come back to be with my wife and her family. Me missing Christmas has gotten thrown in my face a lot since then and it always makes me uncomfortable. I know I hurt my wife, but sometimes it's difficult for me to sympathize with her in this situation when my friend was going through the worst time of his life. AITA? *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/AmItheAsshole) if you have any questions or concerns.*


NTA at all! So sorry for your wife this happened at such an inconvenient time for her, cough, but she should really be proud of you for being such a good friend instead of acting so selfish.


NTA - You supported your friend in one of the most difficult and heartbreaking situations of their life. I really don't see how missing Christmas (or even lying about being back on time - logical reasoning knows days after a passing kinda melts together with so much admin needs doing while grieving) would constitute a betrayal big enough for your wife to constantly bring that up, maybe there's some other resentment or reasoning behind it? Sit down and talk about it before another Christmas gets spoiled. And send a nice Christmas hamper to the in-laws.




NTA. I do not understand any other take. At all.




I'm gonna be the rare NTA. You were there for a pal through their darkest moment. Christmas happens every year.


NTA Life happens. Would wife be happy with you making her stay home while her bestie was going through harrowing times? I think not! You stepped up for a friend that needed you. So you missed one Christmas day. Woopidy Doo, there'll be more, who knows, you might even spend them with someone with more empathy than your wife




INFO: Did you make it up to your wife later? Like maybe doing the next two Christmases with her family? My verdict would be N.T.A. if you made it up to her and Y.T.A. if you didn't. Sometimes life happens and your wife has to be flexible and understanding. But you can't get off the hook that easily either without making up for it.


He replied in other comments that he knowingly lied to her about returning in time for Christmas and that they are spending Christmas this year with his family.


Sorry I missed that. Okay so for the above reason I have to give him the verdict of YTA.


Agree. It's pretty clear he doesn't care about his wife as much as himself or his family...or his friend's family for that matter just by the way he has replied to everyone. Obviously he isn't an AH for being there for his friend in a terrible moment but the way he went about it and the way he is still choosing others over his wife is very telling imho.


NTA I've been the friend reaching out to someone to make a last minute, unexpected trip because my mother died. She went downhill so quickly that there was no time before. I knew I needed someone, and that someone dropped a family vacation to come be with me. I can't imagine what I would have done without them, and I will be moving to be closer to them once the will is all wrapped up. They showed that they were my best friend when I needed it most, and almost everyone else has vanished or been unavailable. I get that it sucked for your wife, but she was with her family and you'll have many holidays together. I, personally, think you did the right thing.


Alright, I’ll go NAH but other commenters here stressing me. This sounds like not only a tragedy for OP’s friend but also for OP himself - sounds like this man who died was someone OP was close with. I think that communication could and should have been better but I tend to give people leeway it times of great stress like this. With that said OP, if you didn’t make the effort to visit wife’s family during another holiday then you ABSOLUTELY should. You might not be close to them but you should make it up to her. I understand this Christmas might be hard as the first holidays after loss usually are, but then find another time and make sure your wife knows that it is important to you that you make this trip to her family. If you haven’t done this, I can see why your wife would feel hurt and keep bringing this up, even if I ultimately think you did what you felt was necessary at a time of grief and stress and I won’t call you an ah for that. One last note: people keep acting like this man found it convenient that he could leave his wife’s family to go be with his friend and his DYING DAD. It wasn’t like “ooh fun plans to ditch the in laws”, the friend’s dad was DYING. Either you’re assuming OP is more than an asshole or you seriously lack empathy.


NTA 20 years from now, in a sane family, no one would bat an eye that you had to miss one Christmas to be with a friend in dire need. But the gesture is something that the friend will cherish forever.


NTA. It's so bizarre that otherwise rational adults will throw reason out the window because it's CHRISTMAS. It's a day, you're all adults, give it up already. Spend time together another day, celebrate the Christmas tradition another day. Don't put so much value on one calendar date that your spouse feels bad for supporting their friend because it happens to be Dec 25 instead of Dec 15.


INFO: Does the friend have other support? His own family, spouse, etc? You say friend doesn't ask for much and when he called you felt like you needed to go..but it's all the after stuff that seems a bit much. Friend needed you to stay for a few days after the death? No one else that was in town could provide support? The family that you are close to wasn't making the preparations with your friend? I've been through the deaths of both of my parents and yes, it's terrible. But this family had each other, and it sounds like you chose them over yours.


If the friend had no one in his life other than OP it surely would have been mentioned as yet another reason he just had to go, because it would obviously tip the scales way in his favour, which he very well knows.


Christmas comes every year. A person loses their father once.


you're not. you made the best decision in a tough spot. hopefully your wife can practice empathy because when her best friend's dad is about to die you won't throw it in her face that she needs to make accomodations for you


NTA IMO the "lie" was to free her from doing something she didn't really want to do, wouldn't have enjoyed/helped, and allowed her to have a better Christmas with her family as she was hoping to. It was a difficult situation and there was no good compromise to be made but you really needed to be with your friend. It sucks she can't see that but not everyone has such a good friend or is such a good friend, or is as close with another family. So, maybe they can never really understand.


Yikes. NTA. I don't get the Y T A comments. My spouse's best friend has been his bff since they were 4. He loves friend's parents like they're family. And as far as I'm concerned, both friend and his friends ARE family. If this happened while we were visiting my folks, I'd freaking push him on the plane. And wholeheartedly offer to go with.


NTA but she is. Going to comfort a grieving friend trumps holiday nonsense. Your wife wasn't alone, she was with family. She should be grateful you are so kind and caring.


This probably wouldn’t have even been an issue if you communicated better with your wife. I’m not gonna say Y T A fully because I 100% believe that if you are as close to this family as you say you are, I would HOPE your wife would be immediately understanding when your best friend calls you saying his dad is about to die. You for sure should have told her “I can’t believe this is happening but my best friends dad is about to die and I need to fly home. I’m not sure when I’ll be home. Of course I want to spend Christmas with you but this is the right thing to do.” Your wife has the right to be upset, but I feel like it isn’t something that needs to be thrown in your face all the time. I just don’t understand how she wasn’t more sympathetic when she knew the situation. BUT you definitely should have been more clear with your intentions. Also I feel like the people saying you should go to your in laws this year is also something I don’t fully believe in. If you rotate every other year or however you do it, you were able to see her family for a couple days before leaving and she was able to stay (obviously not with you). Your parents also have the right to see you during Christmas time and probably didn’t see you last year. A sticky situation but NTA


NTA- I can’t believe all these YTA comments. Seems like your wife cares more about her Christmas activities than she does about you or your friend. And for her to continually bring it up over the past year makes her an AH.


Would that you could be Duplicate Kid able to be in two places at once. I hope your wife does not turn this into a grudge. You made an honorable decision and a necessary one. You are a good friend. This should not be "meat" for every argument you have either. That's unfair. I am pretty sure that you would drop everything for your wife when/if the occasion should happen to arise and I don't doubt that if she had a friend in your situation, even when the timing sucked (like Thanksgiving or Christmas), that you would be supporting HER making that kind of last-minute trip so she could stand by her friend. There is no convenient time for anyone to die - and I reckon your friend & his father are part of your family-of-choice, so to my mind this was a no brainer. I would've been driving my husband to the airport and seeing him off on a trip to sit with a friend and his dying father, no doubt about it. NTA.


NTA, Christmas is every year, not a big thing. Someone passing away ... Not so much


NTA. Your friend desperately needed your help, and you gave it to him. Your wife’s family doesn’t need you to be there to get through Christmas. Your friend needed you to be there to get through his father’s death. Anybody saying you’re the asshole doesn’t care enough about their friends to drop everything for them.


If his parents were the ones out of state, and he left her there with her in-laws, I could see this being a real issue. It was crappy timing that his best friend's father died at that time, but he really needed to be there for his friend, regardless of the time of year. His wife is TA for flinging it in his face for a year. She was with her own family, for Pete's sake and she should have focused on that, enjoying her time with them, instead of being upset he wasn't there with her. I think they need to alternate holidays with their parents, so next year, they need to visit her parents. But they don't have to make it a week long thing if they're going to do it every other year.


NTA. It's not like you knew exactly when your friends father would die. You also gave your friend someone to lean on during this terrible time that was in fact happening during Christmas time. Your wife should be happy you were there for him. She didn't spend Christmas alone and I thought the whole point was so she could get real much needed time with her family?! You did a great thing for your friend. Your wife needs to let it go. She has you the rest of her life.... it's selfish of her if she can't share you to people you care about in times of great crisis.


NTA. What I’m not understanding is your wife’s total lack of empathy. Might have a divorce in your horizon especially if she’s still holding it over your head. You bend over backwards for the people you love and your best friends needs trumped her family time.


Everyone commenting YTA has to be both a shitty significant other and comes from a tacky family. I could never imagine myself or my family not encouraging you to be at your friends side. Last month my father died and my best friend never left my side and I’m grateful because I needed her so desperately. Her family also made sure she was there and was completely understanding. You are absolutely NTA.


NTA You should never have promised her that you was going to come back for Christmas. But I understand that you wanted to be there for your friend. Sometimes you have to go with your crush feeling, and your gut feeling told you to be there for your friend.


I think nta. Shouldn’t have promised you’d be back but being there for our friends during hard times is very important. You can do Christmas with family any year.




NTA - shit happens🤷🏽‍♀️


In my opinion NTA. I don't think he lied on purpose. He wanted to be with his friend. I figure he probably knew his father for as long as they were friends. His friend's father passed away just before Christmas. Not like it was planned. Why keep bringing it up?


NTA and I can't understand the YTA comments *at all*. I have dropped everything multiple times to be with one of my closest friends first when her sister died, and then her father. Her father's funeral was on my birthday and I was flying to Atlanta to celebrate. I upended all of my plans to be with her and her family. This is just what you do for people you are close with.


The parts that make him TA to me are the lack of communication/platitudes, and that they rarely spend time with her family instead of his. Op could have just said 'I don't know when I'll be able to make it' instead of promising to be there. Also, they're spending Christmas with his family this year.


Read his comments. He blatantly lied, and is not even bothering to spend this Christmas with her family. He’s an AH


Sure, when you’re single and your time is your own and you don’t have family obligations to your spouse and in-laws.


NTA imo but I seem to be in the minority. You sitting around next to her while she's happy seems infinitely less valuable than you holding someone up while they're falling. I can't imagine being in her shoes and actually being upset with you.


NTA this was a special situation, it wasn’t leaving to just go comfort a dumped friend. Christmas comes every year


Confused by the posts calling you an asshole, NTA imo


NTA. I hate how much pressure people put on holidays. It’s literally just another day. This man only gets one father and he lost him after what I’m sure was an emotional battle with sickness for the family to endure. There will always be another Christmas but not another moment for your husband to be with his grieving friend.


NTA, going against the grain here but the two events are not comparable imo. Your close friends dad died. You knew him as well. Friend will be dealing with a dead dad at Christmas. He asked for you specifically. The other is a family trip with your in-laws. Yes you missed Christmas but it wasn’t to go play video games at home with yourself. You were dealing with some huge stuff. It’s one holiday and I think your wife should be ok with not being your #1 priority in this type of situation. Honestly this would impress me with you as a husband vs anger me. It’s uncommon for someone to be so selfless, esp around the holidays when they have a good excuse to just not be there. It shows loyalty and empathy on your part.


No, NTA. Your wife needs to get over it. Yes, I’d be disappointed if my spouse/SO missed Christmas but I’d honestly be proud of him for stepping up for a friend in a similar situation. Imo, it’s irrelevant that you weren’t jazzed about going to visit your ILs in the first place. Like, so what? How many people really and sincerely want to spend their PTO with extended family? I don’t. Nevertheless, you went and it’s not like you planned to bail or came up with an elaborate scheme with your friend to fake his father’s death so you could leave — the man *actually* died. Your friend *actually* needed support. I can also understand why you lied about getting back in time to celebrate. I’m assuming you didn’t want the added stress of arguing over it or your wife feeling obligated to give up her family time to accompany you. You probably should’ve told her when you arrived that things looked bad and you didn’t think you’d be able to make it back but I really don’t see what’s wrong with prioritizing a grieving friend over a holiday.


NTA it’s wild how many people think your spouse should be the only person who matters to you, and the only person you support. I’m 100% sure OP would’ve rather had Christmas wife his wife and in-laws then spend the holiday watching a loved one die, comforting his friend, and planning a funeral.


NTA, People are acting like this guy dies every year and Christmas is only once. His wife should process her darker feelings about it and then remember HER HUSBAND LOST A LOVED ONE! I can’t imagine feeling this ratio of self-righteousness/empathy that empowers you to feel angry enough to bring up this death regularly only to convey how you were slighted. People don’t handle things perfectly when grieving. Have a heart.


NTA and I'm really surprised by all the other comments... your wife needs to grow a thicker skin and get over it.




NTA- given the devastating circumstances of your long time friends fathers turn for the worse and then passing away- she should be far MORE understanding and compassionate toward the friend and you. Her throwing it up in your face is inexcusable and she’s being childish and selfish. Hopefully she never has to experience a long time friend and their parent sudden passing and wanting to be a supportive friend. She needs to grow up and stop the selfishness.


NTA You’ve known him longer. He was more family to you than your in laws ever will be. He needed his best friend at his side during the roughest time of his life. You answered the call. Your In-laws and your wife should have compassion.




NTA you did what you had to do to support your friend , you didn’t intentionally lie since you had no control over his fathers life span and you being there for your grieving friend is a lot more important than being there for your family for the holidays.


Unpopular opinion here but NTA. I don't care about the technicalities about where you *thought* you'd be and when. Whether you had deceptive intentions or not is not for me to decide. The fact of the matter is your long-time friend was going through a hard time and needed you. You're (hopefully) going to have many many Christmases with your wife and her family in the future. Your friends father was on his deathbed, and your presence was more important there. Your wife was unnecessarily insensitive and sour imo. I would've let my husband go no questions asked.


Sometimes I wish I had more friends then I see comment sections like this and I'm reminded that people are trash. OP you're NTA. I'm sorry to see you getting beat up here for not prioritizing a particular day on the calendar over your grieving friend


NTA. Christmas happens every year, the world doesn't grind to a halt just because you miss one of them.


I am absolutely fucking infuriated in a way that I rarely get with this sub. Maybe it's because I lost my gran a few years ago so I know just how devastating this probably was for your friend. NTA x 1000x. Honestly I'd be evaluating your relationship with your wife if she can't see that your friend whose parent just *died* took priority over her wanting a cutesy Christmas. Seriously disgusted with a lot of the comments on here.


NTA. I too have a best friend who is more like family, and I’m close with her parents and siblings. If she called me and said her dad was dying and she needed me the day before Christmas, I’d hop on the next available flight.


NTA. Taking him at his word, he was likely trying to prevent a fight before leaving to be with his friend. Personally, I would encourage my husband to go and be supportive. Christmas comes every year. A parent dying hopefully does not.


NTA Grief is hard. Thanks for being a good friend. Best to set honest expectations next time tho.


NTA - it Sounds like that friend and his dying dad were basically your chosen family, and you did what you needed to do. Life and death situations just always take priority over regular occurring things like a normal family holiday. You did not “abandon” your wife; you did not drag her through any inconveniences and made sure that she was with *her* family; just like you made sure you were with yours when they needed you (family is not always biological). Maybe you should not have promised her to be back before, because that was a promise you could not guaranteed to keep, but in the big picture that’s a little mishap and does not make you an AH.


NTA, it's very kind of you to go be with your friend during this time. I can't imagine the emotional pain that I'd be in if one of my parents were to die. Sure you shouldn't have lied about the timeframe but I'm sure you were just trying to make it easier for her to make an excuse for you. Please tell her that you don't appreciate that she's holding your kindness towards a lifelong friend over your head as a bad thing. Christmas isn't more important than being with the people you love and care for. In fact it's supposed to be about being with the people you love and care for. Your friend lost his dad, that probably ruined all future Christmases for him, and your wife is complaining about one Christmas being ruined


NTA. Y'all, someone's DEAD. Someone's gone FOREVER. and her family is still very alive. And to the ones saying that the friend could have just grieved with family, we don't know that. Whenever we're going through something, we typically go to people we feel like we can depend on for support. He called because he needed his support, his comfort. Regardless of lying and not spending time with in laws, he went out to comfort someone going through one of the worse things a person can experience. He didn't go to a fucking football game with friends. SOMEBODY DIED.


If I were your wife I would be pleased to know I was married to a person who is a loyal friend. Her response doesn't reflect well on her. You are NTA- just a decent human being.


NTA even if you did lie. My dad was in hospital critically ill a few years back over Christmas (he luckily recovered) and I know how much I appreciated my close friends being there. If this was happening to my partner's best friend, I don't think I'd throw it back in his face that he missed Christmas one time even if he wasn't honest to me upfront about the length of the trip - some things are more important than hurt feelings, honestly.


nta ... he can spend time with the inlaws any other time but a friends father died i think this meets the rules of exception given the circumstance .... as a partner do really want to be some one who ignores a friend in need over a family food based holiday


Apparently unpopular opinion but I say NTA. Good on you for dropping everything to be with your friend in his time of need/grieving. (Hopefully) you will have plenty more Christmases to make up for it.


NTA. Christmas comes every year and your friend will only lose his dad once. And she was with HER family, might be different if you had left her alone with your family but she should have been able to use the time to bond. Possibly seek counselling to see why she can't forgive this.


NTA First of all, sorry your friend had to go through this on Christmas of all days. Losing a parent is one of the hardest things one can go through, suddenly a person who has been there from the start is gone forever and it feels like the world has turned upside down. Nothing anyone does is going to fix it, but being around those closest to you makes it a bit easier. You did your best in a terrible situation. Your friend needed you, you were there. You should have talked to your wife before you left, but not doing so doesn't make you an AH or a bad husband. Your best friend lost his father on bloody Christmas. As for not returning, it was a miracle you booked the first flight, even if his dad didn't die, you were not going back and both of you should have known that. Hopefully, you and your wife will have 40+ more Christmases to spend together, just don't focus on the one time your friend needed you more. If I may ask, if you already have that tradition of celebrating Christmas with your friend's family, what's stopping your in-laws from flying over to celebrate with you?


NTA If and only if you made it up to your wife at a later date. She wouldn’t still be pissed at you if you had stepped up as soon as possible. It’s called adulting and you will learn how to juggle multiple responsibilities at the same time.


NTA. Remind her you’ll be at dozens more holidays as a family but your friends dad won’t.


NTA. Family isn’t defined by blood relation. Based on what you’ve said this man was like a father to you. Your friend like a brother. I cannot imagine being angry with my husband if someone he cared about asked him for help especially if that is out of character for that person. I would be disappointed and feel like the timing sucks but I would understand that there was something bigger than myself going on. Yes you shouldn’t have lied but people don’t always act rationally when distressed and grieving. That being said aita only ever provides one side of the story so purely based on what has been said I made my judgment.


NTA your wife sounds selfish and cold. It's truly worse that she's STILL complaining even now.


NTA. You are an incredible friend and I’m glad you were there for him in a time of such grief. Your family can spend one Christmas apart from you for the good of someone else and their family.


NTA!! Your wife is the AH for making you feel guilty about it!!


NTA. Your spouse is a red flag.


NTA - Some very Co dependent people on here. OP doesn't need to be present for his wife to spend time with her family. A legitimize emergency arose, it made sense that just you went back


NTA this whole framing makes no sense. How could your wife be abandoned with her own family? If I visited my family and my wife couldn't come, I'd think "oh too bad for her, she's going to miss seeing them" not "oh NO, now I'm going to be STUCK with NO ONE but my stinking FAMILY" as if that's some horrible thing.


I’m sorry. NTA. I couldn’t imagine ever throwing that back in my partner’s face. That’s so cruel of her to do. I don’t understand why that at all would an A-H thing to do. Like yeah it was impulsive but death kind of does that to a person. It’s not like you were trying to get out of Christmas with you in-laws in a bad way.


Oh my gosh, you are NTA. So not. The opposite. You are one of the most kind humans. However your wife, TA. She wasn't alone, she had her family - why couldn't she give you this time to grieve with your friend? Why are people so selfish? This will happen once. No OP. you are amazing.


NTA. People need to stop with this Christmas shit. It is a made up social construct. Death is permanent.


NTA I see I’m in the minority but I stand by it, I love Christmas, love being with family over Christmas etc but the fact is Christmas is just another day, your friend was literally losing his father, he needed a friend there, it’s not like you can tell him to wait a week, Christmas comes every year, you can make it up to her this year, I’d rather be with someone that prioritises friends over a Turkey dinner


NTA I’m kind of baffled by the YTA verdicts here. While you shouldn’t have told your wife you’d be back if you had no intention or were even reasonably certain you wouldn’t be back that doesn’t change the fact that Christmas comes every year, losing a parent is a once in a lifetime event. It’s not wrong to go be with your friend, I have 2 best friends since grade/highschool and if either of them had a dying parent on christmas my husband would be booking my flight before I could get off the phone. Chosen family is still family imho.


NTA, but you shouldn’t have promised to be home by Christmas


I’ll probably get downvoted in to oblivion for this (based on replies I’ve seen so far) but I’m going with NTA. If my husband’s best friend’s parent died I would fully expect him to do whatever it takes to be there for him, and I would 100% be going with him for support, because I love him, and there’s no way on earth my family wouldn’t encourage me to do so.