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Woman Balks When Her Boyfriend Demands She Get Rid Of A Painting Of Her And A Male Celebrity

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How do you react when your significant other doesn’t like something of yours?

Do you give in and put it away or throw it out? Or do you hold steady and tell them to get over it?

When Redditor RightManufacturer229 encountered this problem, she told her significant other she refused to get rid of it. The original poster (OP) now wonders if she reacted wrong, and needs some perspective.

So she took her story to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for help.

OP asked:

“AITA for refusing to get rid of a painting my friend made me?”

She explained her situation:

“My best friend and I (23f) met doing art at uni and since then have always had a tradition of giving each other homemade gifts, varying in levels from absolutely awful (but well loved) to genuinely time consuming pieces of art.”

“They have always been a bit on the nose, collages of drunken misdeeds and dodgy shaped pottery etc, everyone I’m close to is well aware of this tradition and we all tend to get a laugh out of it.”

“This year she gifted me a canvas (A4-ish size) painting of me standing beside a male celebrity that we both like, I absolutely loved it and sent pictures to one of our group chats where everyone laughed at how cringe but genuinely lovely of a gift it was.”

“Straight afterwards I got a text from my boyfriend of 2 years telling me that he was pissed off and upset at how insulting it was for me to be displaying that in my flat when he would be coming over.

“It really upset me but I stood my ground and told him that it was my flat and this was a genuinely time consuming piece of art that my friend had put time and effort into, so I would not be getting rid of it just because it made him insecure.”

“I know there wasn’t any malice on my friend’s part in gifting it to me. She, like me, genuinely wouldn’t have considered something like that would be upsetting.”

“My boyfriend lives in a house with roommates where they have posters of women on the walls and I don’t really see the difference, but now I’m beginning to doubt myself, I won’t get rid of it like he wants me to but should I be more sympathetic and hide it from him?”

Some commenters were concerned, but needed more clarification before they could render judgement.

“I need more information bc it seems like something’s missing from this story.”

“Having a reaction like that to a silly painting gifted by a friend in good faith, then demanding you take it down in your own house because he just doesn’t like it seems super toxic and controlling.”

“However you also state you guys have been together 2 years. Is this the first time he’s acted this way?”

“Is there a particular reason that the specific celebrity in the painting with you would trigger him? Are you and the celeb nude in the painting???”

“It’s just such an odd reaction.”

“Does he make a habit of telling you what to do in other small ways? Or does he get mad at seemingly inconsequential things and take them out on you, blowing them way out of proportion? If so, this would be a highly toxic pattern of behavior.”

“Or is this an isolated incident? Is there something particular about this painting that upsets him? Because that could be a different issue.”

“Tl;dr: Need more info. If he does this stuff regularly, he’s definitely TA here.” – sexbuhbombdotcom

“There’s nothing untoward about the painting, I think it’s a reworked picture of a fan meet and greet where she’s replaced the fan with me, we’re just standing closely side by side like you would be at a meet and greet!”

“No he doesn’t do it regularly which is why I think my friend didn’t think twice about gifting it to me, there’s been silly little instances of him getting huffy and jealous in the past but nothing like this” – RightManufacturer229 (OP)

On the AITA subReddit, people are judged for their role in a given story. In OP’s case, was she justified in standing up to her boyfriend and keeping the painting up?

This is determined with one of the following acronyms:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

While there might be some disagreement if the painting were something more risqué, the commenters agreed that if it’s just a silly retouching of a celebrity meet-and-greet, and it’s a tradition between her and her best friend, there isn’t anything wrong with OP keeping the picture.

They voted OP was NTA.

“NTA if your boyfriend is offended by you being in a painting with a celeb he’s not going to last long on a relationship at any point in his life.”

“Jealousy is toxic at the best of times but over a painting is ridiculous” – whovianandmorri


“Exactly! It is downright toxic. His insecurities are off the charts. It’s a personally painted image with a celebrity. How can he possibly be jealous of this?”

“Also it’s really hypocritical of him to cry wolf when he has pictures of women on his walls as decor.” – Not-A-SoggyBagel

“NTA. You can bet everything you own that if a friend gave him a piece of art with him standing beside his favorite female celebrity it would hang in a place of ‘honor’.”

“How insecure is your boyfriend that he gets upset over a painting of you standing beside a celebrity??”

“I wouldn’t say dump him, but I would check to see if he is insecure/unreasonable about other things because I gotta tell you, this seems like a real stupid thing to get upset over.” – Malachite_Macchiato

“NTA. Keep it. Enjoy it. Your BF is your BF, not your husband.”

“He needs to learn how to be more accepting; that is, just because he does not like it does not mean it was given/made with bad intent (in other words, see the good, not the bad).”

“Have fun.” – GreeSoyl

OP’s boyfriend doesn’t seem to have explained exactly why the painting upsets him, but if it’s jealously, it seems really silly. The painting is so innocuous, it’s hard to understand why anyone would be upset.

OP’s boyfriend maybe needs to communicate and figure out why he doesn’t like it, and if there’s some issues he needs to work on in himself.

Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.