Playful teasing can be a sign of love for some.
We point and laugh not from a malicious place but because we are in on the joke.
Of course, not everyone is okay with this sort of treatment and even with those that are, it’s possible to cross the line.
What happens when your loved one crosses that line and refuses, not just to apologize, but to see the transgression at all?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) 11_Eggos when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions.
“AITA for proving my point harshly“
He began with the backstory.
“My fiancé has been really self-conscious about her weight lately.”
“She accuses me of not being attracted to her, not wanting to sleep with her, etc. which is far from true.”
“She hasn’t been interested in these things because she has low self-esteem. I try to build her up and make her feel better but she constantly just says that I’m not attracted to her.”
Then he got to the problem at hand.
“Lately she’s been poking fun at me about my hairline falling back.”
“She kind of swipes at the corner of my hair and makes a cringe face. I’m approaching 30 and I’ve been really self-conscious about my hairline.”
“I don’t think it’s bad but she makes me feel worse about it than I normally would.”
“Tonight she did it and I tried to have a serious conversation with her about how bad it is I’m her opinion. She just kept ignoring me and making the cringe face.”
“So I said ‘I’m trying to be serious because it really hurts my feelings’ and she just made the cringe face again.”
OP tried to be calm, but then…
“So I replied with ‘what if I looked at your belly and made that same face’ ..”
“I don’t even think she’s fat. I just said it to make a point about poking fun at insecurities.”
“So she started crying and went to bed abruptly.”
“I want to go apologize but I don’t really feel like I was in the wrong.”
“I love her and I’m very much attracted to her. I’ve tried to be sensitive and understanding but tonight she got to me.”
“I knew it would hurt her feelings because of her state of mind but I genuinely wasn’t calling her fat.”
“I feel like that a**hole because I knew it would hurt her feelings but I feel like my logic is true.”
OP was left to wonder.
“Am I the a**hole?”
Having explained the situation he turned to Reddit for some outside opinions.
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 were right to the point.
“NTA her feelings aren’t the only ones that matter and she needs to be capable of having these serious conversations if you’re going to be together” ~ Flat_Lengthiness_319
Others gave personal experience.
“I have an issue with my gf where we will make jokes in a light-hearted manner but sometimes it hits a nerve and we let the other know when it does so it doesn’t continue.”
“But every now and then she thinks I’m still being playful when I say something about it until I say it again but a lot more stern.”
“She understands I’m serious now and respects that and we move on with life. It seems like OP’s fiancé not respecting that part at all and causing the issue to snowball a lot more.” ~ MuffinMan12347
“If my husband told me that teasing I was doing hurt his feelings, I would immediately stop and apologize and try to make it up to him.”
“He wouldn’t have to remind me to have empathy for him in order for me to stop one he said I was hurting him. And if he DID, I wouldn’t make it all about myself by crying about it and guilting him.”
“She owes you an ENORMOUS apology. NTA.” ~ PlayingGrabAss
There was even a list.
“As others said, this isn’t playful:”
“You make everything possible to show you want her, she keeps throwing around how you aren’t attracted to her because of her body.”
“She doesn’t take initiative to either lose weight or spice up the bedroom, she just goes around being negative.”
“You’re dealing with a perfectly natural thing for someone in their late 20s, but obviously is getting insecure cause unless you pay for treatments is something beyond your control.”
“Besides knowing how insecurity sucks her reaction to it is highlight every time she can, make it look worst than actually is and make a ‘cringe’ face as if your hair was disgusting or embarrassing… again the natural thing that happens to most people of your age.”
“You told her you didn’t like it, she never stopped.”
“You made it clear that is hurting your feelings and her answer is to double down.”
“You explained how it hurts by switching the roles, not touching her belly or making judgemental expressions but just talking and her reaction was cry (playing victim),”
“Refuse to talk (again playing victim) and make things so awkward that you feel like you have to sleep somewhere else (playing… you got the gist)”
“You aren’t irritable, there’s nothing wrong or excessive about your feelings – she’s an emotional vampire sucking any positive aspect from you.”
“Making you reassure her at all times and when you aren’t as miserable as her, she starts poking at your looks so you go to her level.”
“Instead of the couch I would go sleep at one of your mates and really think about ideally how you see your life being in five years and if that would be possible with her around…”
“She’s not a partner, she’s just an extra responsibility like a toddler.” ~ GlitterDoomsday
Responders also tried to give a different perspective.
“I hope this helps in some way.”
“As someone who has struggled with low self-esteem, I’m almost wanting to say that she was trying to self-sabotage things.”
“Low self-esteem can be insidious. It can make you feel so exhausted to feel bad about yourself all the time.”
“Sometimes it makes you think that others aren’t telling the truth, because there is no way that someone could actually love you, despite their assurances and sincerity.”
“She may be lashing out to see if you’ll stay with her, because if you stay when she’s insulting you, the deepest fears of you not leaving will be assuaged.”
“It is horrible to feel so badly about yourself all the time.”
“There is also guilt involved in thinking that you are a burden to the ones that you love.”
“You get tired of feeling that the people who care about you will feel exasperated, tired of you, and impatient with the way you feel about yourself.”
“Low self-esteem has its own set logic and ways to navigate through the messes it creates. It is a parasite that can take root in the brain and change the outlook of someone.”
“Edit: thank you kindly for the awards.” ~SupergirlKrypton
“Such thoughtful comments.”
“I’ve been in both positions and I agree with you.”
“From OP’s point of view, it does help to understand that her behavior might be coming from a place of self-hate rather than malicious intent.”
“Otherwise it’s easy to spiral into believing it’s our fault and ignoring our own needs and boundaries to try to ‘make it right’.”
“But we can’t because it’s impossible. It’s not our fault or even our responsibility.”
“OP is doing their best to gently encourage their partner to work through her issues but if she keeps avoiding, deflecting, and projecting the relationship cannot be balanced and healthy and it will hurt OP.”
“From OP’s partner point of view, this is such a tricky place to be.”
“Loving partners and healthy relationships can be so triggering when we’re used to toxicity.”
“They can corner us into facing the fact our history of terrible experiences that we had normalized but weren’t normal at all.”
“It can be so overwhelming it feels easier to sabotage the relationship which seems to be causing these feelings. But that’s distorted thinking.”
“She’ll never get rid of the self-hate if she doesn’t accept responsibility and seek therapy to face her issues.”
“I hope they’re able to work through this but there definitely is work involved. OP cannot salvage this relationship on their own.” ~ caoutchoucroute
OP did return with some final comments.
“I tried to go in the room and have an adult conversation about it.”
“I said ‘you know I don’t think you’re overweight but you’re sitting there and actively hurting my feelings and you wouldn’t stop. That’s not okay’ she refused to talk to me.”
“Sleeping on the couch tonight”
“I will say, she didn’t make me or even ask me to sleep on the couch. I just didn’t want to go in the room and continue the argument. It’s busy season at work and I just wanted to go to sleep”
Playful teasing can be a sign of love for some.
We have to be careful though not to let our playfulness get in the way of our kindness.
Otherwise, it’s just bullying, and no one wants that.