Beauty is in the beholder, but what if the one beholding you tells you you’re not as hot as you think?
That’s the question Redditor throwRA_trophy_gf found themselves asking after they told their significant other he wasn’t punching above his weight class dating her.
She did not take it well.
So he turned to the Relationship Advice subReddit for some help.
Redditor throwRA_trophy_gf—the Original Poster (OP)—asked:
“I [31 m(ale)] told my girlfriend [30 f(emale)] that she is not a trophy wife or status symbol and that we are similar in attractiveness, she views it as me calling her old and ugly.”
“A bit of background my girlfriend and I are 30 and 31 respectively. We have been dating for about a year.”
“I work as a high-level engineer at a good firm and my girlfriend works as a payroll specialist at a good firm too. I make significantly more than her (3x).”
“Things were good in our relationship until I showed her my retirement/savings. She now doesn’t see the point of working and has started framing our relationship in that, she is the beautiful one and that I am the nerdy engineer that was lucky to have her.”
“Before, when we met she was all about making it her own way, eventually starting her own company with her sister in sourcing and recruiting. But now she jokes about driving a Range Rover and wearing Lululemon and going to Yoga.”
“We were having a discussion again about this ‘trophy wife’ stuff she brought up that I was nerdy back in the day while she was very popular. I told her she is not a trophy wife, that yes she is attractive but its not a huge difference between us.”
“I told her had it been the case that I met her when she was 22 and I was my current age than sure, but she isn’t 22 anymore.”
“After I said that she just started crying like crazy.”
“She started saying that I think of her as ugly and used up that her best years are behind are. She just told me that if I am not happy to be with her, why am I even here?—to stop wasting her time.”
“I tried to talk to her but she was in no state for a conversation. I don’t know what to say, guys, for me, I just wanted to say that I think we are of similar attractiveness.”
“Like I don’t think anyone when they see us turns their head and is like oh she is with him the cause of money? Or damn he is so lucky to be with her.”
“I think it’s mutual. She was the one that if anything went after my attractiveness first.”
“What should I do? I like the fact that we both work and I don’t want to change that dynamic.”
“And I don’t want her to think too that she is above me that I am so lucky to have her.”
“I want her to think of us as equals and in my attempt to do that I hurt her feelings.”
“What’s the next move?”
Redditors suspected this was more about his girlfriend’s insecurities than what he said.
“This seems to be a very textbook case of psychological projection. Because of your discrepancy in salary, she likely feels like she is worth less than you.”
“She likely feels like her best years are behind her, seeing as you took off and are only going up. Her poking around about her being a trophy wife is her seeking validation that she is not worthless and that you still value her, and her financial contributions are nothing to be ashamed of.”
“I don’t think she is a gold digger, I think she is taking some hits on her self esteem (through no fault of your/ her own). I think some counseling would go a long way here.”
“There is a lot to unpack for both the OP and his girlfriend in this situation; but the point is that is worth unpacking.” ~ meg-kil
“I think she feels inadequate because she makes significantly less money than you, and she’s trying to compensate for it by telling herself (and you, and possibly others) that she is prettier/better looking.”
“Sorta like, I may not have the $$$, but i have better looks and that makes us ‘equals’. it’s fucked up and disrespectful to you (and herself).”
“I would talk to her and make it clear that you don’t see the next 40 years of your life being the sole bread winner. That you prefer a partner who’s also working and managing finances.”
“If you live together, start splitting your rent + other expenses. Establish norms that make things equitable.”
“[Of course], don’t put her down in the process. I think a lot of this comes from insecurity over her own financial status.” ~ examiner007
“I think that the trophy wife nonsense started when she found out how inadequate her money is compared to yours.”
“She was/is ambitious – she wanted success and was confident in her achievements. When she found out that your income created something that SHE wanted to accomplish but is now realizing that she many never get that type of money/success – I think it sent her into a midlife crisis.”
“Her new perspective demonstrates her desire to be the best at SOMETHING. The Trophy Wife you kind of described above is a new visual successful image to her – she has money, is beautiful, can wear the name brand clothes, do yoga, and has a husband who appreciates her for her looks because she is ‘popular’.”
“These examples show that she wants to be appreciated and successful in some aspect of her life. I think she is going the superficial route because she feels like she hasn’t achieved the success she wanted at her age, she isn’t as financially successful as you, her job has probably peaked in salary, and she needs to feel needed / appreciated / and better than you in some way.” ~ Dbomb18
The OP came back to give an update and things had only gotten worse.
“Overall, I wanted my girlfriend to feel special that she is the most beautiful woman in the world, but I don’t like it that she is above me. That she is on a pedestal. And that I am this inferior engineer.”
“We had a discussion and things honestly just got worse. I tried to talk to her but she was just bringing up the worst things I said to her without any of the context of her basically calling me ugly. Also, she brought up too that my dad was awkward as hell.”
“She brings up my comment about me saying that she would be a trophy wife at 22 but not at 30. She goes onto say that all the engineers she has met have a ‘chip on their shoulder for not getting laid when they were in college’.”
“And she goes onto start saying that that ‘bitterness’ is coming out thinking that they are entitled to a hot young girlfriend because they couldn’t date them in college. And that is why I made that comment trying to tear her down.”
“I just got frustrated so I was like yeah I agree, I never was able to get the hot girl in college, and even with all the money I make still can’t get them now.”
“So, unfortunately, I have to go second-hand and with a couple of wrinkles.”
“Again this just set things off… where she called me a misogynist for calling her ‘second-hand.’ Said that I treated her like a used car. And pretty sure when she tells her friends about our fight that’s what she will tell them.”
“I don’t know what to say, it was just ridiculous like she started this whole thing that I can’t get the girls I supposedly ‘really want’. Like she is the one making this whole dating thing into have and have nots. So if you want that analogy I will play that analogy too.”
“I just agreed with it, and now I am the bad guy. I don’t know what to do. She will say 10 bad things about me, that I was ugly that I am lucky to be with her.”
“But when I respond she blows up and storms out. I don’t know what the hell to do. Like we had fights before, but this just seems to be impossible.”
“We had decent communication before but now its trash.”
“I don’t know what to do. Like I am more than open to a talk without putting each other down but she really wants me to be in some subservient position?”
“I don’t know maybe in her past relationships she had that power over guys? Where they were like OMG I am dating someone so attractive. But I am not okay with that, I don’t know what she wants at this point. It seems like she is looking for a reason to break up.”
“I know some people are saying breakup, but I really was hoping to settle down soon. I hate the idea of starting from scratch all over again in dating. Like we had so many AMAZING times together, and a good idea of the future.”
“I was excited, someone beautiful and ambitious, and I got along with well. Now, this? Two months ago we were talking about rings, how many people we would have at our wedding.. Whether we will send our kids to private school or not.”
“I don’t want to let this go without putting in my all. But I am not going to be in a subservient position. What should I do? How can I handle this properly?”
Redditors were much less sympathetic after the update.
“I mean you f’ked that situation up almost beyond repair with your comment.”
“That’s just what you never say.”
“You might want some counseling to mediate it, but I’m not sure you can come back from that.”
“Like yeah she’s in the wrong… but y’all both f’ked up.” ~ BlackMathNerd
The OP has yet to provide any further updates. Hopefully he found the advice he needed in the many responses he received.
Because the escalating insult war doesn’t seem to be working.