‘I cracked a joke about our dead son… now my wife won’t speak to me’

A man has asked the Reddit thread ‘AITA’ for opinions after upsetting his wife following a joke about their deceased son

The woman was not happy with her husband's morbid jokes about their dead son [stock image]
The woman was not happy with her husband’s morbid jokes about their dead son [stock image]

Everyone has different ways of coping with grief and one man decided to use humour, which didn’t sit well with his wife.

The man asked the popular Reddit thread ‘AITA’ (which stands for am I the a** hole) on his coping mechanism.

According to the man, his wife is now completely ignoring him after finding out about the jokes he has made.

He said: “Me and my wife have been together for almost fifteen years and our marriage was working out fine up until three years ago.

“We have two children but sadly lost our oldest to a freak accident three years ago.”

After their son’s death, the man and his wife had a rough chapter in their marriage so decided to get some therapy.

He continued: “Even though he is still missed dearly by all of us, life moved on. And everyone found different ways to cope with our loss.

“My wife is very religious and likes to think that it was God’s plan to take him away from us and even though I don’t share that belief I don’t mind her seeing it that way.

“For me, the best coping mechanism is humour and I’ve dealt with a lot of death and similar losses that way.”

The man was aware that his wife didn’t like his coping mechanism, so tried to avoid it as much as possible around her.

He explained: “My best friend is also the godfather of our oldest son and close to me and my wife.

“Occasionally my dead son is brought up and as much as I’m trying to remember him as the happy child he was, sometimes I just get overwhelmed with sadness.

“So I use the way that works best for me and joke about it. It makes me feel better and he used to love my jokes so I like to think he looks down on me and laughs about them too.”

The man was shocked to discover that his friend had mentioned a few of the jokes to his wife and she got very angry.

He continued: “She called me an insensitive a**hole and that I never cared about my son, that I probably wanted him dead anyway and a lot of other nasty stuff.

Couples therapy seemed to help until she found out about his jokes [stock image]



“Now she’s completely ignoring me, won’t talk to me and isn’t ok with talking to our therapist either.”

He concluded: “I would’ve never joked about him when she’s around but I still feel entitled to cope in my way and that is humour.

“I never wanted to make her feel disrespected or that I don’t care about my son but I feel like I have every right to cope just as much as she does.”

Later on, the man added the joke explanation after a lot of Reddit users asked him what kind of jokes he was making.

He said: “My son was really into birds, especially eagles and spent hours studying them, the way they live, eat, fly etc he even collected feathers.

“He died as he was adventuring with his friends and they (stupidly) climbed one of those huge cranes as a dare.”

Strong winds made the boy fall off as he was trying to take a picture for social media, and he sadly died upon impact.

He continued: “The joke basically was ‘with his birdy obsession you could almost think he would’ve learned how to fly’ hope that clears things up.”

So, what did the internet make of the man’s jokes to cope with his son’s death?

Here’s a Reddit AITA key for reference:

You’re the a** hole (& the other party is not) = YTA

You’re Not the a** hole (& the other party is) = NTA

Everyone sucks here = ESH

No a** holes here = NAH

One Reddit user responded: “Your issue is with your (ex) friend who told these jokes to your wife, apparently knowing her sensitivities. Wtf?

“You need to bring it up to your therapist next session and address all this. NTA, your ex friend is beyond the A H here and just cruel.”

Another added: “NTA. I joke about my mom’s death to cope as well, we lost her to Covid in 2020.

“Now anytime I have to do something difficult I ‘complain’ that she keeps getting out of things and it isn’t fair.”

The final verdict was “NAH” (no a**holes here) and the internet were very understanding towards the man’s way of coping.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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