Woman questions whether she should leave husband after he refused to split childbirth hospital bill

A woman has questioned whether she is wrong to consider leaving her husband after he refused to pay half of the hospital bill for the birth of their child.

In the post, which has since gone viral on Twitter, the new mother, 32, shared her dilemma to the Reddit subreddit AITA [Am I the a**hole] under the username u/WateryKoala422, where she revealed that she was asking for help because she “genuinely” thought the problem “could be the end of [her] marriage”.

According to the woman, she and her husband of seven years welcomed their first child three months ago, after deciding it was time to expand their family. However, the woman said that the couple encountered a problem when the hospital bill came, as her husband was insistent that she pay the entire $8,000 cost herself because she’d decided last-minute to have an epidural.

“Everything was going well and we were in our little newborn bubble of bliss until the hospital bills came,” she wrote. “Both my husband and I have jobs and everything financially is split 50/50, but we’ve always kept our money separate with the exception of a joint account for bills.”

The woman then explained that, throughout her pregnancy, she’d planned to have an “unmedicated natural birth with as little intervention as possible”. However, she decided to have an epidural 24 hours into her labour.

“My husband had no problem with it, even encouraged it,” she recalled.

However, according to the Reddit user, when the bill came, her husband brought it to her so she could “pay all $8,000 (after insurance) from [her] personal savings”.

After she asked why she would cover the entire cost of the childbirth, the woman said her husband said: “You’re the one that couldn’t hold out for a few more hours and jacked up the bill with all your meds and an extra nights stay” and that he “shouldn’t have to pay for all of [her] extra requests”.

According to the 32 year old, her husband also told her: “If I wanted luxury, I should expect to pay for it”.

In the post, the woman said she was “stunned and flipped out” at her husband’s behaviour, but that he “refused to budge” and referred to her as a “princess” for “expecting him to pay for all the “extra add ons” she asked for in the hospital.

“This is by far the biggest issue in our 14-year relationship so far and I’m so lost on where we go from here,” she wrote. “I gave in and paid the bill, but since then we haven’t been talking much and honestly I just feel disrespected.

“Do I have the right to feel this way or is it just hormones? AITA [Am I the a**hole] for expecting him to contribute towards the cost of my childbirth? [Would I be wrong] for considering leaving him?”

On Twitter, where a screenshot of the post has gone viral, thousands have weighed in to encourage the woman to leave her husband.

“She needs to serve him papers immediately,” one person tweeted, while another said: “He’s gotta go. I wouldn’t even be asking for advice on this.”

“WHAT. It makes me so angry reading this. Where do you even start???” someone else asked.

In addition to the outrage over the husband’s behaviour, many took issue with his use of the word “luxury” to describe things that his wife relied on to help her during childbirth, such as an epidural.

“I can’t even begin with the word ‘luxury,’” one person tweeted.

In a follow-up post on Reddit, the woman clarified that her issue was not with the money but rather her husband’s “disrespect,” as she noted that she and her husband work at “high positions within our companies and are able to live a comfortable lifestyle”.

“I should add my husband is a bit of a tightwad who was 100 per cent planning on paying the bill from our joint account until an epidural ‘unexpectedly’ came into play. Money is NOT the issue here, it’s the disrespect,” she said.

In a further follow-up, the woman revealed that she did not plan to share additional updates about her marital status, but said that she had “opened [her] eyes” after seeing the reaction to her post.

“There probably won’t be any updates, because I don’t believe in sharing all of my marital issues with strangers on the internet, but I’ll have you know that every single person in our circle took my side, and I’ve been in contact with a lawyer,” she wrote. “Thanks again for all the love and advice!”

According to the American Journal of Managed Care, which cited data from a Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) report, the average cost of “childbirth admission for an individual with employer-sponsored insurance was $13,811” from 2016 to 2017, with the out-of-pocket spending ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 by state.

However, according to researchers, the price is much higher for women who undergo a C-section, with the average cost rising to $17,004.

The Independent has contacted u/WateryKoala422 for comment.