Anyone who isn’t a stay-at-home partner or stay-at-home parent has to at some point address one of the big elephants in the room: what do they want to do for work?
Unfortunately, some of the people around them may not be as supportive as they might have hoped, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor ThrowRAjobcrossroads finally found a job that she felt great about, and she was excited to get started.
But when her husband found her new job “embarrassing,” the Original Poster (OP) felt the need to address his bad attitude.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for taking a particular job even though my husband disapproves?”
The OP struggled in the past to find a job that was a good fit for her.
“I (25 Female) have been married to my husband (27 Male) for two years.”
“When we first got married, we moved to a different city for his job (in tech, as he’s a software engineer).”
“In our new city, I quickly found an entry-level job in the field I thought I wanted to work in (publishing). However, I hated it. I hated the office politics and long hours with relatively low pay, and I found the work monotonous.”
“I stuck it out for a year and a half to avoid being a job-hopper and to see if I could make it work, but then I started applying to a variety of other jobs after nothing improved.”
But then a nice job finally seemed to come through.
“I had a few interviews but wasn’t getting too far in the processes until recently when I interviewed for an executive assistant job.”
“The job seemed to be a great fit at every step. I really clicked with the executive I would be supporting, and I liked everything about the company (which is stable and growing with no sign of layoffs like a lot of companies are going through right now).”
“The pay is great too, 50% more than my current job (would be going to 75K from 50K) with better benefits (more vacation, more robust insurance with lower cost).”
“The new job would also be strictly 40 hours a week (with occasional paid overtime) as opposed to my current publishing job which often requires 10+ hour days and doesn’t pay overtime.”
But the OP’s husband was not excited about the prospect.
“When I discussed this with my husband, he told me flat-out that although it’s my career, he disagreed strongly with this move.”
“He said that I was going to get permanently stuck in the ‘secretarial pool’ and that it’s not really a professional job that’s appropriate for our life plan, and that he’s going to be embarrassed by me and will think less of me.”
“As a side note, the job is to serve as the assistant to the CEO/owner of a marketing/advertising agency, which is also a field I am very interested in learning more about. I suppose you could debate the ethics of marketing/advertising, but it’s not like it’s doing something illegal or for a company/exec with a horrible reputation.”
“There is also definitely a path forward as the CEO said that those who do well in the assistant role for a year or two will have opportunities for promotion to account coordination/management roles.”
The OP couldn’t let her husband’s comments slide.
“I told him I was sorry to disappoint him, but I was really miserable in my current job and needed to make a change and that this was the best offer I had.”
“Plus, I was going to make more money for fewer hours so I would not be taking anything away from him or our household.”
“So I accepted it and now he’s saying I am an AH and is barely speaking to me.”
“AITA for taking a job that my husband finds inappropriate and embarrassing?”
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 completely supported the OP’s decision to accept the new job.
“A lot of EAs even go into operations or Chief-of-Staff roles as a career trajectory. If you’re smart and determined enough, I don’t see why this isn’t a good opportunity.”
“I also think it’s a great opportunity to dump your husband and find someone less egotistical and condescending.” – jazzed_life
“If you have a job and you’re making more money than you were, what’s the problem? I could see if you were taking a big pay cut, maybe.”
“Also, there’s a surprising amount of upward mobility that comes with being an executive assistant. You’re husband definitely is, but you are NTA.” – aggressively_0kay
“With a 50% increase in pay, to boot! Nothing to be ashamed about there.” – Phyesalis
“Definitely take this job, and really give some thought about why your husband would think less of you for secretarial work. Think about the people you both know who aren’t in ‘high-powered executive positions.'”
“He admitted that he thinks less of these people. He admitted he’ll think less of you. In all honesty, that’s deal-breaker territory for many people.” – sukinsyn
“I was an EA for the CEO of a studio, and I got an inside view of how the day-to-day and strategy works from the top. You have proximity to c-suite people who may come in handy in your future, and you learn way more than starting from the ground up.”
“After a year, one of the producers I met at the job offered me my first gig. Five years later, I’m in my dream role and fairly high up, and I credit 100% of that to the contacts I made as an EA.”
“This is a consistent experience myself and my friends have had, ESPECIALLY in the creative field. Your husband is being a judgemental and uninformed a**hole. Congratulations, and don’t let the job go!” – SwimmingIndependent8
Others were concerned about how controlling the OP’s husband seemed to be.
“NTA, and man, your husband sounds ugly. Do you really want to settle for a partner who told you that he’ll be embarrassed by you for taking a job that’s a better fit?”
“Come on, girl, you deserve way better than that. Your spouse is supposed to be your #1 fan, not your biggest critic.” – bordennium
“The discussion you should have had should have been about your HAPPINESS first and foremost.”
“He probably knew how miserable OP was. And he should have been the one cheering her on as she submits her applications to new companies.”
“During the pandemic, my spouse had a hard time because his own business couldn’t thrive. It was shut down by pandemic regulations in our country multiple times. He was afraid he could not build it up yet again. But he also did not want to do any other job, so he was building his business from the ground up again.”
“And I told him I wanted him to be happy and it didn’t matter to me if he was a shoe salesman (also a job he has done in the past) or having his own business.”
“I knew he loved the latter so I told him to go for it. We would make ends meet on my salary for the time being if needed. I rather have him happy and have less money to spend than someone who hates what he does for a living every single day.”
“And now his business is really great again. He works a lot but loves every working day (so literally every day).” – Pollythepony1993
“Maybe her higher pay is getting too close to his and he’s feeling insecure. Or with the better hours, she’ll be home more and he’s up to something during that extra working time and doesn’t want her to have more free time…”
“Either way, OP is NTA but should be cautious because this is controlling behavior and sending up some serious red flags. If my husband EVER told me he was embarrassed by my career choice, we’d be having words, and they wouldn’t be nice words.” – nattatalie
“If they added to it by actually calling me an a**hole for it and stopped speaking to me, I would file for divorce. Sorry, but that’s no way to treat someone you love. That’s no way to treat anyone, honestly. So yeah, that says a lot about what kind of person he is and what kind of life I’m going have if I stayed.” – embracing_insanity
“To me, the fact that he’d rather you stay in a job where you are unhappy, making less money, and being taken advantage of by your employer for the sake of his ego (he seriously told you this would ruin your ‘life plan,’ what the f**k?) is information you should be taking seriously.”
“The other thing this makes me wonder is, how does he treat the admins and VAs at his workplace, because you might be getting a job in marketing, but he sounds like his attitude comes from ‘Mad Men.'” – LimitlessMegan
The subReddit was applauding the OP for her perseverance and for uncovering this unique job opportunity, and they were deeply side-eyeing the OP’s husband for his negative view of the situation.
To the sub, this only seemed like a positive opportunity, and the OP’s husband’s embarrassment said much more about him and how he values people than what it said about the OP.