There are three types of coworkers in the workplace: those we work with, those we’re friends with, and those who are inappropriate and cross boundaries.
Some of us have discovered just how detrimental this third group can be to even the best work environment, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor throwaway2582_ didn’t realize she was actually one of those coworkers when she began to overstep in her male coworker’s relationship.
But when she saw their reaction, the Original Poster (OP) began to wonder if she was in the wrong.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for jokingly correcting my coworker’s wife?”
The OP thought she was close to her male coworker, Josh.
“I (26 [female]) have worked with my coworker ‘Josh’ (29 [male]) for about 6 years.”
“We spend 12-15 hour shifts together 5-6 days out of the week, and we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well.”
“He even invited me to his wedding and his daughter’s first birthday.”
“I’d say we’re pretty close. He’s even voiced some grievances about his marriage and home life with me and I’ve done the same.”
But when she was invited to Josh’s house, the OP overstepped.
“This past week he invited me and some other coworkers to a dinner at his house as a going-away party (he’s leaving our district to take a better position in the company).”
“His wife was talking about how happy she is he’s moving up in his career and how they always talk about how he wants to do more.”
“The conversation rolled into her talking about how they’re so close and that she’s practically his best friend and no one could ever know him better.”
“I laughed since I spend the most time with him on paper, and I asked if she knew what he had for lunch the other day.”
“She chuckled and said spaghetti. She was right and I laughed it off.”
“Everyone appeared to be uncomfortable.”
“She once again reiterated they knew each other best.”
“I laughed and told her I spent more time with him than her, and it’s crazy how she knew so much.”
This didn’t go over well with the OP’s coworker.
“The night continued, but these past 2 days, Josh hasn’t spoken to me.”
“When I asked him if I’d done something, he told me my behavior at dinner was rude and unfair to him and his wife.”
“He hasn’t spoken to me after this and I’m wondering if I truly am in the wrong?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some thought it was very obvious why the coworker was no longer speaking to the OP.
“I can’t believe this post is real, maybe if she was 14. It’s quite clear she does see herself as more important than the wife and sheesh those comments were mean and very telling, that’s why he stopped speaking to her.”
“Very YTA.” – realdappermuis
“She’s gonna be an inside joke to them for the rest of their lives.”
“Every time he says ‘Yes’ to a drink refill from a waitress, his wife’s gonna pretend-huff, ‘She knows you so much better than I do.'” – TryinToBeHelpfulHere
“Yeah like wtf. She was there at the BIRTHDAY PARTY.”
“The wife was there when making the baby, carrying the baby, giving birth to it with him, etc. She has also been there holding him when he has been sick, wiped his tears when he has cried, carried him through hardships, etc.”
“This person seems delusional and I’m happy he is going to work somewhere else now. I doubt that he will be seeing her again.” – Cute_Mousse_7980
Others agreed and thought the OP was delusional.
“YTA. OP, are you in love with this guy? Are you a creep or a stalker? A random coworker should NOT know someone better than they know their wife.”
“The fact that you thought you knew him better probably warned ALL your coworkers to stay away from you. You came across as jealous, oddly obsessive, and unstable.” – crystallz2000
“OP thought people were uncomfortable because of the wife’s comments and clearly missed the signs. It was OP’s comments that were making people uncomfortable.”
“YTA” – Dressupbuttercup
“I don’t understand how she could have missed the signs; you are laughing at another woman and telling her you are closer to her husband than her in her own house.”
“Everyone is extremely uncomfortable because of how possessive and catty she is being, as well as thinking that there might be something else going on between the two.”
“YTA, OP. Be ready for the guy to drop you like a hot potato.” – Euphoric_Acadia5598
“She was invited to the wedding in which he married his wife. She was invited to the Birthday party… of the child that he has with said wife.”
“And my colleagues often vent to me about their family and/or personal lives. It doesn’t mean that I delude myself into thinking that I am the center of their world.” – Imaginary-Lawyer-201
“I’m baffled with what OP thought might happen. Like, let’s suppose the wife got the lunch question wrong. Would she have then cried and said, ‘I guess you know him better, you better take him back home with you’?!!?” – lopingwolf
Some thought the OP was just mean and inappropriate.
“I can’t imagine a scenario where someone in ‘good humor’ would try and put themselves between a husband and wife. Normal friends don’t do this. I avoid talking too personally with women at all because I don’t want my wife to ever feel like she isn’t #1 for me.”
“Josh screwed up by possibly letting OP see too much behind the curtain. But OP is tiptoeing a line that breaks people up.” – IlSconosciuto
“If there are actual weaknesses in his marriage, OP’s comments could have convinced the wife he was having an emotional (and possibly physical) affair with OP and thereby caused them to divorce. Which might be exactly what OP wanted . . . and not at all what Josh or his wife wanted.”
“It’s really cruel to intentionally plant baseless suspicion and discord into someone else’s marriage.” – queerbychoice
“Hubby had spaghetti for lunch. Wife knew that probably because she packed it for him. It sounds like OP is interested in her coworker and is jealous of wifey.”
“And you never REALLY know someone until you live with them. OP is definitely the AH here. And rude AF to try to make the wife appear to be of lesser significance.”
“While he’s complaining to OP about his wife, at home he’s probably complaining to his wife about OP’s work performance.” – Lonerizme
“‘I know your husband better than you know your husband’ was the intent of OP’s comment.”
“This whole post seems to be an attempt from OP to seek validation on that, since she spends the most time with him and he sometimes vents to her, so she must automatically know him best.”
“It sounds like OP is jealous of this guy’s wife. I cannot imagine what else would compel OP to act like this.” – ImFinePleaseThanks
After receiving feedback, the OP posted an update:
“It’s obvious I’m TA here, and unfortunately Josh saw this. He expressed discomfort and confusion about why I said what I said.”
“I truly meant no harm to his wife. I’m happily married to the woman of my dreams. I just wasn’t thinking at that moment and I took an already unfunny joke too far.”
“I apologized as best I could and he accepted. We’re okay now, although I can tell he’s still upset. I apologized to his wife as well and she said she already forgave me, which was a relief.”
“I have Autism and ADHD and my social cues aren’t always spot on. One comment suggested I ask myself, ‘Is it kind, is it necessary, etc.,” and this is advice I’ll be taking with me as I progress in my professional and personal life. I’m sorry I upset so many people, but I understand where I look like a complete a**.”
The OP may have not been convinced that she did anything wrong, but the subReddit thought she had another thing coming. Not only did she overvalue her working relationship with her coworker, but she could have seriously negatively impacted his relationship with his wife. Both of these could have had terrible impacts on their working environment.