PHOTO: UNIVERSAL PICTURES
A father-to-be wants your advice on how to help his wife "come to terms" with some bad news.
He has to go away for a week on business, you see...and that trip will make him miss the birth of his first child.
The 32-year-old American guy has taken to online forum Reddit to explain his dilemma, noting that his 29-year-old wife is "taking this hard". (No kidding.)
"I'm going to have to miss the birth of my child due to an emergency at my company and be gone for the first week after that," he writes in post from December 3.
"My wife is really taking this hard and has begged me to stay. How can I make this up to her/help her come to terms with it since I have no choice?"
He adds that the company's CEO has insisted that he attend the meeting in person, rather than via Skype or conference call, because "it would go over more smoothly" that way.
"[I] think it could be done over phone/via Skype, but he's made it clear that not going is not an option," the man writes.
Unsurprisingly, the women of Reddit have wasted no time explaining to him why going on this business trip is the worst idea of all time. The post, which attracted more than 350 responses before comments were locked, gathered countless shouty responses like these :
"You will never regret not going on this trip. You WILL regret not being there for the birth of your child for the rest of your life. Do EVERYTHING you can do to stay where you are."
"I can't believe I just read this. I'm just really flabbergasted. Your poor wife. Please don't do this to her."
"NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. If I was your wife our marriage would be over now."
"You CANNOT go on this trip. You are putting your marriage at risk by doing it. Your wife may NEVER forgive you or trust you again."
"Seriously, get a grip. Your wife has to push a human out of her body, one that you put inside her."
"If I was your wife, and you told me you were going on a business trip and leaving me alone to have your baby, I would immediately regret ever putting myself in a position to bear your child… Even if I stayed with you I would never think of you the same way again. Nor would my parents, my siblings, my friends. Every time you screwed up, I would think about leaving. And everyone in my life would secretly want me to do it."
(Harsh, but fair?)
The father-to-be, who identifies himself only as ather_wund, explains that he fears losing his job if he doesn't go on the company trip.
"I know enough about the partners and CEO at our company to know that they would consider firing me if they think I can't be trusted to be there when issues like this arise," he says. "They would think of me as a liability and look for another person who would be willing to make the sacrifice."
He adds that he's worried about his ability to support his family.
"I want to be with her, but I also know I can't afford to be out of work with all of our expenses," he writes. "We don't have the savings for us both to be out of work."
To that, several commenters point out that, under The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA,) eligible employees are entitled to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.
"So what if they fire you? You got a nice f****ing lawsuit, depending what state you work at, and unemployment," writes one.
"If he's so valuable to his company that they're sending him out for a major 'fire-fighting' trip, and there's no one else who can do it, I seriously doubt they'll fire him," weighs in another.
Finally, the father-to-be comes around—and declares that he's going to do whatever he can to attend the labor. (Three cheers for the persuasive powers of Reddit!)
"I know I've already made a mistake, but I am going to try to fix this," he says.
"I'm going to take everyone's suggestion and tell my boss/CEO that I have to be with my wife," he writes. "All of your comments have made me feel awful for how I've made my wife feel and ashamed that I've been so unsupportive and cowardly. I should have put my family first."
He adds that he's starting to look for another job.
"I think you all are right about making a change of employers. I can't live this way or ask my family to live this way either."