“I inadvertently came across a motorcycle-related article the other day that made me think. I found it on a website called “Essentialbaby.” No, I was not looking for baby info. My number for that game is retired. But the article came up during a google search, and I think it’s worthy of discussion. It’s the story of a new dad who wants to ban his wife from motorcycle rides now that they have a baby.
“AITA (Am I The As….e) for not allowing my wife on the bike because someone has to watch the baby if I die…but it’s totally cool I can still ride?”
It seems that after the birth of their child, he decided it was too risky for her to ride. Specifically, he said:
“I didn’t beat around the bush. I just came right out and told her I didn’t feel comfortable giving her rides anymore since we now had a child. If something happened to us both that would be terrible so it was too risky.”
As you might guess, his wife was not pleased with her husband’s new decision and let him know it. The husband explained:
“She wasn’t happy with what I said and tried to change my mind. When she saw I was firm in that view she asked me why if it was so dangerous it was okay for me to do it and take that risk. I didn’t have a good answer, so she told me I was a hypocrite and an asshole for not discussing the decision with her and for doing something when I wouldn’t let her do it because of the risk.”
His viewpoint is that his continued riding…
“…isn’t relevant to my view that we should not ride together. It’s why some parents don’t ride together in the same airplane (extreme example).”
I’m not sure how his position isn’t relevant to the issue at hand. Especially since they had previously talked about making some short trips together.
“My wife and I had our first baby 10 months ago, and since we found out she was pregnant she hasn’t gone riding with me. She has talked about doing some short trips with me if we could find a babysitter, but I didn’t say much to her about my thoughts when she brought it up.”
Ultimately, the Reddit readers spoke, and most comments say that the husband is being a jerk. And, according to Essentailbaby, the husband has since edited his post to clarify that he doesn’t mean she can never ride a motorcycle.
Edit and clarification
He says that he meant that only one person should be on the motorcycle. His all caps angry edit is:
“I AM NOT SAYING SHE CAN’T RIDE MOTORCYCLES. I AM NOT SAYING HER SAFETY IS MORE IMPORTANT. I AM NOT SAYING SHE CAN’T RIDE BECAUSE SHE IS A MOTHER.”
“I SAID THAT IT WAS TOO RISKY FOR ME TO CARRY HER AS A PASSENGER BECAUSE IF THE BIKE GOES DOWN WE BOTH GO DOWN. IF SHE RIDES HER OWN BIKE THEN MAYBE ONE OF US HAS A CHANCE TO AVOID IT. IF WE ARE DOUBLED UP THERE IS NO CHANCE TO AVOID IT IF WE GO DOWN.”
So the husband’s clarification claims that he didn’t mean that his wife couldn’t ride. He thinks they shouldn’t ride together on the same bike. He says that if she rides her own bike, then maybe one of them has a chance to avoid going down. That’s a somewhat interesting theory.
Double the risk?
It’s sort of like whether having a second engine on a light aircraft is less risky than only having one. Yes, if you only have one engine and it fails, you’re going to have to find a place to land quickly, or you may crash. But on the other hand, having the second engine doubles the chance that you could have an engine failure, which is also very risky and can cause a crash even if the other one is running.
So in the case of the husband’s edit, his wife can ride her own bike. But is he essentially doubling the chances that one parent could be injured or killed?
Still, the husband’s original question stands in his post, wondering whether he is a jerk. I have my own thoughts on this topic, but I’m not going to offer them at this point.
Should one partner decide for the other?
We all know that motorcycle riding can be risky. There’s no doubt that it is more dangerous than driving a car or walking down the street. But is riding a motorcycle so hazardous that one partner in a marriage should be able to say whether the other shouldn’t ride?
That’s one question I would like to ask you all. Do you think the new husband is unreasonable? And I’m also asking the same question for the reverse situation. Would it be unreasonable for the wife to say the husband can’t ride because of the baby?
Should either have a say in whether the other can ride? Let us know what you think about both of the above situations in the comments below.