Special milestones, like graduating or receiving a promotion, are wonderful to celebrate with those that we love.
But sometimes, those celebrations can get pretty pricey, and some people aren’t so comfortable with discussing how to split the bill, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Crazywifeahhhh was looking forward to celebrating his new marriage to his wife among a few friends.
But when she expected him to foot an extremely high bill, the Original Poster (OP) was later accused of embarrassing her when he was reluctant to do it.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for only paying for my wife and myself at a restaurant?”
The OP was looking forward to celebrating married life with his wife.
“I (24 Male) and my wife (24 Female) are a newlywed couple.”
“My wife has four friends who she has been really close with since high school. For a celebration, my wife decided to go to an expensive steak house.”
“The day came and we went in separate cars to get there.”
The OP’s wife surprised him at the end of the meal, but not in a good way.
“We all ate and my wife slid the bill (700+ dollars) and proceeded to say, ‘The man should always pay for the wife and her friends.'”
“I laughed awkwardly, asking why.”
“She said because I’m the man.”
“I told her that the only other person I would pay for would be her and myself.”
“Her friends proceeded to laugh at me, calling me a broke husband.”
“I stood up and put two one-hundred dollar bills for me and my wife’s food on the table and left.”
The OP’s wife lashed out at him.
“My wife got home and started screaming at me, saying I made her feel embarrassed.”
“She explained how she promised her friends I’d pay and that her friends made fun of her on the ride home for marrying a man who can’t pay the bill.”
“I decided to pack a bag and head to my friend’s house.”
“I told my parents and friends what happened, and they said I should have just paid it”
“Now I’m having second thoughts if I overreacted.”
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 were deeply disapproving of the OP’s wife’s behavior and outburst.
“Dude, everyone in this scenario is an AH, EXCEPT you. Wow.”
“The audacity to just… casually push over a SEVEN-HUNDRED dollar bill, and then say, ‘Well, the man should always pay for his wife and her friends…'”
“It sounds to me like your wife doesn’t want a spouse, she wants a sugar daddy, who will treat her and her friends, and when you pushed back, she blew up in an attempt to manipulate the situation in her favor by playing on your emotions with ‘You embarrassed me…'”
“Your family and friends must think that emotional and financial abuse (guilting you, and trying to force you to pay for her and her friends with no prior warning) is cool, huh?”
“Get better friends, and seek marriage counseling, or a divorce if this is frequent behavior…”
“NTA in the slightest.” – zeeelfprince
“This is totally ridiculous. Unless it was discussed and agreed upon between the OP and his wife beforehand. It appears that only the wife told her friends that OP would be paying for everyone. You had no idea that was coming and rightfully just paid for you and your wife.”
“Then she screams at you for not paying the full bill?? She is projecting because she is embarrassed that she told her friends you’d pay but then was shocked it didn’t go over well with you.”
“You don’t put your SO (significant other) on the spot at the restaurant with a $700 bill and just expect him to pay. That’s absurd!”
“NTA.” – Comfortable_Bear_643
“If she expects you to fork out an extra 400 to 500 dollars for her friends, she should have asked ahead. This was an absolute golddigger move by her. Is this really who you intend to spend your whole life with?”
“Moreover, how much would she have lost it if you asked how much fun the one-man orgy was going to be later since all her friends are now your date? Pretend to be shocked and tell her you can’t believe all her friends want to date you now.”
“Yes, I know that the second part is more of a joke, but if she wants archaic traditions used whenever it benefits her, suggesting an equally archaic and preposterous notion seems fitting.” – Odd_Welcome7940
“NTA. I hate these stupid stereotypes. If you brought four friends to your house and said, without telling her, ‘My wife will be cooking dinner tonight because women should stay in the kitchen,’ I know that she’d freak out and scream at you. Even though making four sandwiches is nowhere near paying $700+.”
“And the audacity for the friends to call you broke. If my friends said that my wife was useless because she couldn’t cook, I’d flip tf out at them. The friends are real d**kheads. Yes, they had been told that they didn’t have to pay, but it wouldn’t hurt to lend a bit of money as they obviously saw how mad/confused he was that he had to pay the whole bill alone.”
“NTA. I think that the wife is the worst person here, she told her friends that her husband would pay, without telling him, then got mad, not because they had to pay the remaining bill, but because he embarrassed her. Honesty s**t wife here.” – undestroyablegames3
“NTA, I’m glad you took a stand and didn’t allow them to pressure you into something you did not agree to.”
“This happened to me once four years ago with my lady and her friend on Valentine’s Day, She got dumped the day before and my lady wanted to be nice and included her in our plans without informing me.”
“After we got home, in a calm and joking tone, I said I have no problem paying for your friend, but next time I pay for another friend without prior warning, I hope she plays with my Johnson a little. Never dealt with that issue ever again.”
“I definitely suggest communicating with your partner and see how she would’ve felt if the roles were reversed and you brought friends to your house unexpectedly and then expected her to cook dinner for everyone. I can’t imagine she’d be happy to do that. Also, it might be time to make new friends if they are making fun of her because her husband isn’t a tool. I wish you the best my friend.” – SwagAuditor
But others were critical of the OP and felt he could have behaved better.
“Are you both broke? It’s her money too, and she gets a say in how it’s spent.”
“YTA. If you can afford it, you pay and set the expectation for next time.” – dmann1978
“If you invited them, you pay unless you set it up differently. You invited them to a party at a restaurant. Especially if it’s expensive, you pick that tab up. YTA.” – IanDOsmond
“YTA. Because you misjudged your response because you got angry. The correct move here is to slide the bill back to her, and say, ‘You gave the invitations; it’s your role to pay.’ Even if that money comes from a shared account, it makes the point that you disapprove and get her friends on your side.”
“However, Why doesn’t she have access to $700, but you do? What does this say about your marriage?”
“And it’s a bit rich to be complaining of her escalating the fight when you did exactly that. Throwing money and walking out are not de-escalating actions.”
“And yes, you both need to come to an agreement on arrangements for finances. But failing to have done that beforehand, you were always going to pay a price.”
“Finances can be absolutely destructive to a marriage. This is your warning that you need to get on top of this, to agree on common goals and procedures. Do not turn this into an argument about behavior; it’s not necessarily wrong to want to treat friends if that’s a common goal; treat it as the more serious warning it is about the lack of agreed mechanics in your relationship.” – kombiwombi
“YTA. The standard social convention in Western society is that the host pays unless other arrangements have been made beforehand, including at prior events. This is especially true if the host recommends a place that they know is expensive.”
“‘Want to go out? We can go Dutch,’ is a standard way to say, ‘Let’s go out, but I’m not paying for you.'”
“A group of friends has met regularly to play cards at a local bar. By prior agreement, everyone buys their own drinks.”
“‘Let’s go to <expensive place>,’ said by the host can be answered by the guest in one of three ways: ‘That’s very kind of you to treat us like that! You’re such a good friend’; ‘That’s a really nice place. Let’s go Dutch, to be fair all around”, and the guest is on the hook for their share’; or ‘Are you sure? That place is spendy,’ to which the host can ask for suggestions, or suggest going somewhere cheaper.”
“But the real answer here is YTA because you embarrassed your wife in public, in front of her friends. The only correct thing for you to do was to pay (and tip appropriately!) and then have a discussion about dinners out, money, whatever after you got home (or in the car home).”
“Embarrass your wife in public or in front of her friends in private, and YTA.”
“The corollary is also true: she is not allowed to embarrass you (which she didn’t do here, by your account) under the same conditions. You hash it out at home.” – scfw0x0f
“I respect your cheapness, but I think you should have picked up the check. It’s your wife and it would have made her happy.”
“In the future, you need to express to her that you and she cannot afford 900-dollar meals and that you will take her out alone, or if she must have friends present, dollars, you will cook dinner at home. For 300 you can make a much nicer dinner for a crowd. Light YTA.” – urbisOrbis
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“I read some comments and decided to go talk to her tomorrow about what happened, why she did that, etc.”
“I do recognize that I didn’t pay the full amount for my and my wife’s dinner. I do take fault in that. I should have added another 50-75 dollars to make it the price of two people.”
“And for the people who say I forgot to tip, I go there regularly with my coworkers (each pays for their own plate) and I always leave a good tip.”
The subReddit completely understood that a restaurant situation could be surprising for anyone, and there were those who agreed and disagreed with how the OP handled the situation.
There were those who felt the OP’s wife was coming across as a golddigger, using her husband as an ATM for herself and her friends, but there were others who felt the OP should have been more considerate of his wife’s feelings, especially on a special occasion, where anyone might order more over-the-top items than usual.