Everyone needs a hobby.
They come in a variety of sizes but they all have one goal: to provide enjoyment.
What happens, though, when the hobby you’ve devoted yourself to is a problem for someone else?
This was the problem facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Wild_Side_ when they came to the “Am I the A**hole”(AITA) subReddit for outside opinions.
“AITA (22F) for not quitting boxing practice despite my bf’s (26M) concern”
She began with the history of her hobby.
“I have a very extensive history of martial arts, growing up I was forced to attend taekwondo, judo, karate, muay thai, etc.”
“My father forced me when I was little to get into martial arts so I’d learn a bit of self-defense.”
“Needless to say, it became one of my hobbies even as an adult.”
“I don’t compete in tournaments, but I enjoy learning new techniques.”
“I go to a local boxing gym and since it’s a male-dominated sport so I’m usually paired with men. Which is fine since I’m used to it.”
Then came the problem at hand.
“Well my bf has expressed concern when I first told him that I go to boxing practice, but he didn’t say much.”
“Over time, he’s become more concerned and before I’d leave to practice he’d try to convince me to not go.”
“He’d whine and complain if I go and he won’t talk to me when I come back home from practice.”
“Upset that I’d pick boxing over him.”
“I invited him to come with me to watch, so I could reassure him that it’s completely safe.”
“He seemed visibly upset, when we got home he started to complain.”
“How guys are way too close to me, I’m being taken advantage of.”
“Or why some of the men were shirtless or how some would change in front of everyone (changing shirts/ pants).”
“Personally, he wouldn’t go around shirtless during practice, that they’re such show-offs.”
“Of course I defended my gym, saying it wasn’t a big deal to me since I’m used to it.”
“We got into a bit of an argument about it.”
The situation escalated.
“Recently, when I was sparring someone, he had accidentally grazed my cheek (it was an accident). My bf freaked out when I came home.”
“First thing he says ‘you’re quitting.’ I got super defensive and told him I’m not giving up my hobby no matter what.”
“I’ve been continuing to go to practice despite everything… he’s been getting mad saying how inconsiderate I am and I don’t know how to compromise.”
OP was left wondering:
“This is a concern for my safety, but I’ve continued to ignore him… so am I the AH for that?!”
Having laid out the problem, OP turned to Reddit for a verdict.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some responses suggested alternate reasoning for the boyfriend’s demands.
“lol this isn’t a concern for your safety and your BF is an AH to pretend it is.”
“He’s upset you’re around shirtless guys who get close to you physically, and he’s being an AH about it.”
“That he thinks he can tell you you’re quitting?”
“No no no and no to that attitude.”
“Whining and complaining that you went against his wishes, also a big no and a childish, passive aggressive, presumptuous reaction.”
“Think about it, you know more about boxing than him.”
“You know more about whether you’re safe or not.”
“Not only is he being a child about wanting you to quit out of jealousy, he’s disrespecting your expertise about your sport by claiming he knows better about your safety and competence.”
“Tell him straight up he doesn’t understand, that he needs to listen to you who knows your sport and that quitting is not on the table.”~elsehwere
While others were much more direct.
“Errr, you get that your boyfriend is being controlling and jealous right?”
“He needs to grow up. At best he’s insecure, at worst super controlling”~zilpha69
Concerns for OP’s emotional well-being also came up.
“You have learned to defend yourself physically now you need to learn how to defend yourself emotionally.”
“He’s being emotionally manipulative and trying to gaslight you by pretending he’s concerned about your well-being.”
“Has he tried to keep you from hanging out with friends, specifically male friends?”
“Has he accused you of choosing other people/events over him?”
“You are NTA, but he is.”~Blaith7
“If it’s this bad at the beginning of the relationship, which is the part of the relationship when everyone is on their best behavior, then just think about how much worse he’s going to get if you stick around.”~PileaPrairiemioides
Commentors urged her to stand her ground.
“NTA – He says you don’t know how to compromise when his definition of compromise seems to be you doing what he wants.”
“This is your hobby and it’s something you’ve worked towards and enjoyed most of your life, even if it wasn’t your choice at first.”
“You get to determine how you spend your time, and if your boyfriend can’t figure that out you’ll get to determine whether he remains a part of your life or not.”~HotSalt3
OP did return with some final comments.
“Edit: So I realized something… so it’s only recently that I’ve become official with him.”
“Prior to us dating, we were just seeing each other, until he asked me out considering my current situation (personal stuff) I decided it’s best to be in a relationship.”
“It wasn’t until we started dating that he’s been more bossy about me.”
“Before he would complain, but he’s gotten bolder and now more demanding.”
“From the comments, I don’t think that’s normal or should be normalized…”
Hobbies are important.
Whether it’s as a relaxing distraction or a way to keep fit, the activities you participate in are a choice that you make for yourself.
Be wary of anyone who tries to take your choices away from you – regardless of how small those decisions might be.