Content Warning: Abusive Relationships
There are certain symptoms of an abusive relationship that are easy to recognize as abuse, such as hitting.
But there are other signs a person might not recognize if they haven’t been abused before, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Carmenhost675 found herself fed up with her husband controlling her wardrobe so that her sense of style wouldn’t embarrass him in front of his wealthy friends and family.
But when he resorted to calling her an embarrassment, the Original Poster (OP) wondered what was actually happening in their marriage.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for leaving the restaurant because of what my husband did?”
The OP and her husband came from different backgrounds.
“I would like to start by saying that my (29 Female) husband (35 Male) comes from a well-off family and most of his friends are well-off as well.”
“Unlike me and my family, we come from humble, working-class and don’t own a lot of assets like my in-laws do.”
Her husband wanted to keep up appearances no matter what.
“My husband cares about appearances.”
“At first he didn’t try to control how I look, but he did buy me things he said I’d love, but nothing was my style really.”
“After marriage, he sat with me, telling me I get 100% to choose how I look except when I’m with him or his family and introduced me to brands to choose my new clothes from.”
“I started wearing them whenever I’m with his family and friends, though it limited my choice on what to wear because I’m more into simple things.”
The arrangement escalated at a friend’s birthday dinner.
“For his friend’s birthday that was celebrated at an upscale restaurant, my husband bought me a $300 dress to wear for the occasion.”
“But I didn’t like many things about it, so I told him I’d just wear my $60 floral maxi dress.”
“He didn’t think it was a good idea and said I was violating the ‘rules’ he gave after we got married.”
“I insisted the dress he bought wasn’t my style. I said I either wear my dress or not go.”
“He said, ‘Fine then, whatever,’ but still wasn’t happy.”
The OP was shocked at the lengths her husband was willing to go to.
“We got to the restaurant and no one said anything about my dress (except his other friend who said I looked great).”
“After dinner, my husband moved quickly and spilled wine all over my chest and lap.”
“He freaked out and said that he thankfully had a replacement and then pulled out the $300 he previously wanted me to wear out of a bag.”
“This whole time I couldn’t help but think he deliberately spilled the wine on my floral dress to force me into wearing the other dress.”
“He handed me the dress and told me to go change.”
The OP decided enough was enough.
“I got up, but instead of going to the restroom, I made my way to the door.”
“He asked me to wait, but I kept walking while opening my phone to get an Uber to take me home.”
“I stood outside and started arguing with him. He said he didn’t get why I was behaving like this and embarrassing both him and myself like that.”
“I said that he looked down on my dress and tried to trick me into wearing what he wanted by spilling wine on me.”
“He told me to go back inside, but I said I won’t move until my Uber arrived.”
“He threw a fit, calling me an embarrassment, and stood there until I left.”
The argument continued at home.
“At home, he went off, saying I could’ve worn the dress and not make a scene, doubled-down, and walked out.”
“Again, I said he disrespected my choices and implied I was an embarrassment.”
“He said he was just calling a spade a spade and I should quit acting so insensitive and getting offended over nothing.”
“He said I made a joke out of him in front of his friends.”
One of her husband’s friends tried to reach out.
“One of them (the one who complimented my dress) tried to call me.”
“I didn’t respond, because he made me feel uncomfortable (he constantly tries to video chat with me whenever he sees me online).”
“AITA? Did I handle this right?”
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 said the husband was controlling and the OP should consider leaving the marriage.
“This is a controlling relationship and he is definitely looking down his nose at everything you do. There are so many different brands and lines of clothes you can pick from.”
“It is your choice, not his. You are not a doll. This relationship is seriously in major trouble from lasting.”
“Personally, I don’t think I would have made it to the wedding. NTA.” – anaisaknits
“According to OP, when he introduced this rule, it was just a suggestion. He only just now started treating this as a rule. Classic abuser escalation.” – TotallyWonderWoman
“Why are you still married to this man?! Does he like anything about you? Or is everything out of his mouth a backhanded insult?”
“Has he ever bought you boots, because maybe you should use them for walkin’.” – Lennox120520
“It is scary how he flipped after you married. And where exactly can you wear the clothes of your choice? Like… Where is the choice to wear what you want?”
“And why the f**k are there rules about your dressing in the first place?”
“Like… I am sorry for saying it like this, OP, but your husband deserves to be with a gold digger so that they can suck out every penny he has and his snooty a** can be humbled.” – Unique_Unicorn3373
“There should be a divorce here IMO (in my opinion). I absolutely do not believe this is the only area in which he’s so wildly controlling and disrespectful.”
“The way he talks to OP is appalling and he clearly doesn’t believe he did anything wrong, so I don’t see how he will possibly change his behavior.”
“He thinks he was right to make these ‘rules’ (after they got married no less, when she already felt trapped) and that she is unruly and embarrassing HIM for not kowtowing to him after he deliberately ruined her clothes and drenched her in wine.”
“That’s not a marriage, it’s a dictatorship.” – factsorfictions
Others were more focused on the friend and wondered if he was trying to help the OP.
“Your husband is abusive, but also the friend might not have creepy ulterior motives. It’s possible he’s realized how your husband treats you and is trying to talk to you to see if you need help and such.”
“I was in an abusive relationship for quite some time and had one of my abuser’s friends realize what was happening, and start reaching out to me to be friends, which then escalated into him talking to me about leaving the abusive a** and such.” – SnakeSnoobies
“His friend who wants to talk to her likely sees this as a red flag that she’s in an abusive relationship. Who knows how her husband talks about her to his friends.” – calling_water
“If OP’s husband is sitting on a whole a** dress and threw wine on her, the friend may just be that worried she might get hurt next.”
“But, can’t the friend just text her a quick, ‘Hey, you OK?’?”
“OP, f**king run. Run to your mom’s or a close friend’s, and figure this out.” – Prestigious_Run_7815
“Video calling also adds body language to the conversation, which helps a lot here. So there is a pretty valid reason for going for video calls.”
“But yeah, still feels like he is trying to get closer to OP.” – WizardKagdan
“My abuser’s best friend saw me breaking back into our apartment (he dragged me out by my hair after taking my key, thinking I wouldn’t be able to leave him then).”
“He boosted me into the apartment, went to get his girlfriend, and they both helped me pack my things while we waited for my best friend and her large male cousin to come to get me.”
“He could be seeing the signs, too.”
“NTA. One of the first things my abuser did was change how I dressed.” – okiedokieartofchokie
“I’m shaking as I type this and I was shaking as I read OP’s post.”
“(Trigger warning: more details ahead).”
“The actions in my above comment were after he tried to take my life, I was in an apartment building full of people, screaming for help and no one came. I fought for my life that day and won.”
“I thought he (abuser) called his friend to make sure I didn’t leave; maybe even to finish the job. Luckily for me, it was a right place, right time situation instead, and he helped me out.”
“It only took 3 months for my abuser to escalate to this point, and we weren’t even married. It’s 11 years later, and I still deal with the mental and emotional damage.”
“OP, please evaluate your relationship and see if there are any other red flags of abuse that you may have overlooked.” – okiedokieartofchokie
“The entire idea that he’s accusing her of ‘making a scene’ when he purposefully spilled wine on his wife and then a dress materialized from under the table.”
“If I were a bystander at that dinner, I would be literally speechless and then never talk about anything else again.” – nachtkaese
“This would be my go-to anecdote forever, and if OP’s husband were my friend, I would never let him live it down.”
“Anytime something weird happened I would be like, ‘That was weird, but not as weird as the time you threw wine on your wife and pulled a whole new dress out of your pocket for her like you were doing her a favor.'” – Covert_Pudding
The subReddit was wildly concerned for the OP with this one, given how the husband escalated the situation and their marriage.
Some were hoping, however, that the OP might actually have her husband’s friend in her corner, even if he was going about helping somewhat questionably.