Members of a popular internet forum were floored after one woman explained how she inadvertently got her husband fired from his job.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/RosieBaker19 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said her 33-year-old husband plays video games constantly and revealed how a fateful phone call with his boss lead to his overdue termination.
Titled, “[Am I the a**hole] for causing my husband to get fired?” the post has received nearly 9,000 votes and 1,300 comments in the last day.
Writing that her husband “has a habit of making excuses to get out of work,” the original poster said that the situation has gotten out of hand, due in large part to a new video game console.
“This has affected us financially because his boss kept lowering his salary,” OP wrote. “I had to get a [second] job.”
“He’s now bought a [PS5]…and started playing with it day and night [while] missing work and lying to his boss about why he does it,” OP continued.
Adding that she is “fed up” with the dodgy behavior, the original poster said that after a recent gaming marathon, she was forced to tell her husband’s boss exactly why the 33-year-old never shows up for work.
“He was [asleep] after staying up all night playing video games [and] decided to skip work even though his boss gave him a last warning,” OP wrote. “His boss called…and I picked up the phone.”
“He asked where my husband was and whether he was coming to work,” OP continued. “I straight up said no, because he was up all night playing video games.”
“[Two] hours later, I got a call from my husband [panicking] saying [he] found a text from his boss saying he was fired,” OP added. “He blew up at me saying he was cooking up an [excuse] to get his (now former) boss off his back and give him the day off but I went [and] f**ked it all up.”
Video games, evolved from simple 8-bit graphics to entire universes with lifelike graphics and motion engines, are one of the most popular forms of entertainment, with Statista reporting 3.24 billion gamers in the world and 284.9 million in the U.S. alone.
But as increased access and the pandemic-caused transformation of fringe players into hardcore gamers have sparked exponential growth throughout the gaming industry, the mental and physical health risks associated with video games have come under the microscope.
Two years ago, Harvard Medical School contributor Peter Grinspoon, MD reported that, while video games can connect friends and improve both motor and thinking skills, gaming for prolonged periods of time can also cause overuse injuries often accompanied by numbness, weakness and the risk of permanent tendon damage.
More grim than physical ailments, however, are the negative mental effects of sustained gaming.
Along with carpal tunnel syndrome and “Gamer’s thumb,” devoted gamers sometimes face psychological issues and the potential for internet gaming disorder, which includes: gaming preoccupation, withdrawal, loss of interest in other activities, loss of educational, relationship or career opportunities and continued gaming despite psychosocial problems.
“Gaming has also been associated with sleep deprivation, insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders, depression, aggression, and anxiety,” Grinspoon added. “Though more studies are needed to establish the validity and the strength of these connections.”
In her viral Reddit post, the original poster made it clear that an affinity for video games is the biggest obstacle between her husband and steady employment, and that the 33-year-old’s gaming habits have harmed their family, financially and emotionally.
Throughout the post’s comment sections, Redditors shed light on the consequences of her husband’s addictive behavior and assured OP that she was absolutely justified to tell his boss the truth about his absence from work.
“[Not the a**hole],” Redditor u/Melvaar wrote in the post’s top comment, which has received more than 6,000 votes. “You didn’t cause him to get fired, his lack of commitment and responsibility did.”
“He has no accountability by blaming you for this inevitable outcome,” they added. “Honestly, I think you need to divorce him pronto.”
Redditor u/equrty, whose comment has received more than 1,100 votes, echoed that sentiment.
“If you have [to] take a second job, so he could stay at home and play ps5, it’s not [a] partnership,” they wrote. “You are not his mom, so it would be better for you to find someone who treats you as equal, and not his sponsor.”
“There are a lot of reasons I’d get a second job to support my husband, but supplementing the income he’s losing due to playing video games too much is not one of them,” Redditor u/Youcannotbeforreal2 chimed in, receiving nearly 2,000 votes.
“The fact that he allowed himself to get to this point…that he was fine with me needing to work a whole second job to make up for his selfish childness isn’t something I’d be able to just move past,” they added.
Newsweek reached out to u/RosieBaker19 for comment.