The pandemic has been hard on all of us, and like the humans we are, we’re all handling it differently.
Some people have gained weight, and others look a little older. Some are incredibly stressed with their new work life, and others have no job at all now.
Any of these scenarios are acceptable, morally speaking, but it’s hard to feel that way when someone you care about becomes critical of you, as one woman discovered on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Tawayzombiessss stood up for herself, but then wondered if she was wrong for doing so.
The Original Poster (OP) asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to stop looking ‘like a zombie’?”
The OP’s boyfriend lost his job due to the pandemic.
“In October 2020 my(30[Female]) boyfriend (30[Male]) lost his job in a gym (they let go some members of staff and they are now closed due to government restrictions until earliest mid-May).”
“He has been using government unemployment pay to contribute partially to our expenses.”
“He kept thinking that gyms would be reopened so he didn’t look for another job.”
The boyfriend took up a hobby with his extra time.
“During his unemployment, he has been getting even more in shape, and working out for several hours a day, while I have gone the opposite route.”
“I do short workouts twice a week and go on walks, we also eat super healthy (lots of grilled vegetables and we have no junk food in the house) but I have picked up extra shifts and it’s aging me (acne, age lines), I am not as in shape as I used to be and haven’t been putting as much effort into looking good.”
“Overall he’s much better looking than me but he’s never brought it up.”
The boyfriend said something hurtful recently.
‘The other day we were going to a park to sit (distanced) with my bf’s friends and have a coffee and I grabbed the first thing I found and put it on.”
“I said I was ready and he got really upset. He pointed out the shirt was old and tattered and that I had no makeup on and was looking like a zombie (his words).”
“He then said how I had really let myself go and how he had ‘stepped up his game’ and how ‘he might be shallow but it needed to be said’.”
The OP did not take it well.
“I lost it and told him if I had nothing to do but workout I’d also be ripped and fit but that I had to work and looking hot was the last thing on my list.”
“I refused to change and didn’t go.”
“He has since said he meant that he’s worried about my health and I overreacted by shaming him for not having a job, but I am not really sure how my shirt impacts my health?”
“Am I the a**hole for refusing to change and stop looking ‘like a zombie’?”
The OP was also confused after receiving feedback from a friend.
“I thought I was in the right, but my friend said that she’s seen me around and that I do look really tired and worn out, and he was probably just worried and trying to motivate me.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in using the following verdicts:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed the OP was absolutely NTA.
“NTA this is currently me and my SO. She works out a lot more than I do.”
“My partner understands that I’m not at my best. She remarks that I’m wearing less makeup and I’m not breaking out my usual spring skirts but it’s out of concern for my mental wellbeing. Your SO sounds like he’s acting out of mean spirits than concern.”
“There’s nothing wrong with looking like you’ve been through an apocalyptic journey, you’ve been working hard during a pandemic, you are tired, and he shouldn’t pressure you to try to be something you are not. You chose your comfort over looking good for him and that’s valid.”
“I’d rethink this relationship if he keeps pushing you to look good for him and keeps humble bragging about his fitness level around you.” – Not-A-SoggyBagel
“We’re technically going through an apocalyptic journey, so OP looking like a zombie is 100% on point rn (right now). Can’t blame her the least bit.”
“Over anything else, isn’t this just the boyfriend’s way of saying ‘my friends are gonna see you look like sh*t, I’m embarrassed’.” – Trick_Literature_
“Especially considering that she seems to pay for most everything.”
“So he gets to spend his days working out and dissecting how she looks compared to him. Then, he gets to criticize her because she doesn’t take care of herself like he does while she works and he does nothing BUT care about his looks.”
“He’s very shallow, selfish and self-centered and I doubt this will work. NTA” – Sciencegirl117
“NTA, how is insulting you supposed to motivate you? If he was really worried about how tired you looked, he would find another job to help take some pressure off you, not whine about how he looks so much hotter than you now.” – Colaonthefloor
Others said it was easy to prioritize appearances without a job.
“It’s easy to ‘look hot’ when that’s all you do.. silly things like jobs get in the way of that. Maybe you wouldn’t ‘look like a zombie’ if you weren’t supporting 2 people. NTA..” – Mundane-Falcon-1470
“Exactly! He’s not working at the moment. He can focus on his mental health and he doesn’t understand or want to empathize with what OP has been going through.”
“OP is way too forgiving to her partner. She has been shouldering the weight of them both and this is her thanks? She’s NTA at all for reacting the way she did.” – Not-A-SoggyBagel
“Exactly! Look, relationships are going to be a little shallow on top of all the deep stuff, and that’s okay. But OP’s boyfriend is so selfish and dumb that he doesn’t even realize he’s a large cause of her physical, mental, and emotional decline this year.”
“I think she just hasn’t had the mental energy to decide that he’s adding no value to her life anymore. Hopefully this argument will get her to finally drop him.” – vzvv
Some also confided they felt “like a zombie.”
“I look and feel like a zombie a lot lately. The stress of my job that never used to really get to me is really getting to me.”
“I’m constantly tired. I don’t sleep well when I do manage to sleep. And frankly, I’m getting a bit heavier and I’m grumpy about it, but I can barely find the energy to run like I used to.”
“My partner is worried about it constantly and voiced concern. But the concern is, ‘what can I do to help you’ or ‘do you want to go do this thing or would you rather just rest.'”
“It’s not, ‘you look like a zombie’ or insulting my clothing choices unless I am literally wearing trash.”
“I KNOW I look like a dumpster fire these days. I don’t need anyone to tell me. I just need some love and support and I’ll find my way back to myself.” – pillowcrates
“This last year has impacted us all in such different ways. I’d be PISSED if my husband said something to me like that.”
“His job was great, and let him work shorter, alternative hour shifts with the same salary. So now he has time to work out every morning and evening. His company’s handling of [the pandemic] has been fantastic and has drastically made his life better, even if he does go into the office each day.”
“Mine? We transitioned to work fully from home (which is great), but the nature of the work is that I’m constantly working harder to coordinate every project, and I’m working 10-hour shifts from home instead of 8 at the office.”
“I’m also a neat freak, so I tend to tidy the house and vacuum on my breaks, rather than relax and take the self-care that I desperately need. And though I love to cook and am the primary chef, I’ve been making comfort foods a lot with my stress cravings.”
“Results? House is clean, dinner is delicious. Husband is in fantastic shape, and I am a stressed-out mess that’s gained 20 lbs. and him taking over more chores wouldn’t help, because cleaning and cooking are my de-stressors, which I actually look forward to.”
“But if I ask him to do anything at all, he immediately helps, because he knows my situation is tougher at the moment.”
“OPs post makes me so angry. Insults are the last thing OP needs, and comparing our situations makes me livid.”
“I think if I were her I would demand my partner get a job and take over absolutely every stressful chore in the meantime. He should be trying to help her relax, not adding more weight to the stupid man-sized burden she’s already got on her back.” – butt_butt_butt_butt_
It sounds like, with this ongoing pandemic, people’s priorities are shifting, and sometimes not for the better. This is one household that very well may be dividing if a priority shift doesn’t happen.