Entering into a committed relationship with someone who has pets that you aren’t too keen on can be a challenging thing.
You might hope that your significant other will eventually choose you over their pets, but how far is too far when it comes to trying to convince them there’s an issue.
Redditor UhOhSleepyThrowaway recently caught his wife in a lie about his cats, so he turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if he went about things the wrong way in doing so.
“AITA for faking sleeping all night to see if my wife is lying?”
The original poster (OP) explained what led up to his deception.
“The past couple of months, my wife has been complaining about our cats.”
“She’s been claiming that the cats wake her up constantly and that she’s frustrated every night that she ‘has to get up and open the door for the cats’ or ‘the cats keep making noises’ or “’he cats keep jumping on her.'”
“It got to the point where she started saying she wants me to get rid of them. I told her I’ve never seen or heard any of this, but she claims I sleep through it all.”
“She kept telling me she was getting less and less sleep and kept acting aggressive, blaming lack of sleep from the cats, and that if I didn’t get rid of them, she’d leave me. I legitimately started considering giving the cats to my sister, until I noticed something.”
But then the OP got suspicious—so he made a plan.
“One morning she claimed she had gotten up multiple times throughout the night to help the cats. She listed a bunch of times.”
“I thought it was weird, because I had been up until 4am, and she claimed that she ‘got up at 1am to open the door for them, and a few times around 3am because they were meowing and jumping on her.'”
“I was in the bedroom the entire time while she slept, and I know none of that happened. Things weren’t adding up, so I decided to run a test.”
“I waited until she said she was going to bed, then I let the cats out of our bedroom, lowered my phone brightness, and faked going to sleep. I just laid there in bed for the entire night, bored, but I definitely did not fall asleep.”
“I made sure to make timestamps every 30 minutes on my phone through Discord just to be sure. I marked down every noise my cats made.”
“One cat had jumped down from something and made a little sound at 3:18am, and one ate food relatively quietly by the bedroom door at 4:57am. Other than that, nothing happened.”
When his wife complained in the morning, the OP was ready with the receipts.
“Sure enough, my wife slept from 11pm until 9am, and that morning she claimed she had woken up ‘at least 7 times’ to open doors and from cat noises and cats jumping on her.”
“At this point I was pissed because she was clearly lying to me. I was exhausted and fed up with the lies, so I just bluntly called her out on it.”
“I told her, ‘That’s funny. I stayed up all night to monitor the cats, and they weren’t even in the room at all last night. I have timestamps and everything. So you’ve been lying to me and trying to convince me to get rid of my cats? Why?'”
“She just sat there quietly shaking and looking pissed, then got up and left without answering.”
The resulting fallout has the OP wondering if he was in the wrong.
“She came back hours later and ignored me whenever I talked, and when I asked her how I’m the bad-guy in this situation, she finally said that I was treating her like a child by lying about sleeping and staying up all night just to see if she was lying or not and that making timestamps and everything as if I was an investigator was ‘going too far’ and makes me an obsessive a**hole.”
“I did it because she was threatening to make me get rid of my cats or she’d leave me, and her claims didn’t add up.”
“So, am I an ‘obsessive a**hole?'”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
They were horrified by the wife’s manipulation of the OP.
“NTA. That was gaslighting and manipulative, and if she had issues with your cats she should have said so directly.”—KrymsinTyde
“Don’t let her flip this around on you either by making you out to be the bad guy for catching her in a lie.”—CHUNKY_BLOODY_QUEEFS
“This! It’s a classic move to shift blame, don’t fall for it.”—tequilamockingbird99
“Exactly, lord knows I’ve dealt with this from my narcissistic ex…you just have to realize they’re doing their best to make YOU feel like the problem”—cherrythrow7
Some wondered if there might be something more at play.
“Not excusing her actions/lying at all (she clearly is trying to remove the cats by lying) but I wonder if there is any possibility she’s got a sleeping disorder or medical condition that’s making her think she’s waking up and hearing cats?”
“I mean, just to rule out that there is ANY actual reasonable reason she thinks she waking up.”
“Doesn’t solve the cat hatred issue because she’s admitted she wants them gone any way possible, which is wrong, but I have to wonder if there’s something else also going on?”
“ETA (edited to add): something else I wonder is how long have OP and wife and cats lived together?”
“Is this something suddenly new after years of no problems or are they more recently married and living together with the cats/cats are new? If it’s the first it’s a bit odd and sudden…”—S3xySouthernB
“I wondered this myself, I have episodes of sleep paralysis and I often see a dog in the bedroom.”—Smug010
But not everyone was buying that possible explanation.
“Her reaction to him shows she doesn’t have a sleeping disorder. If she truly had a sleeping disorder and thought she was getting up multiple times during the night, she would have fought over that topic.”
“Then OP and wife could have had a real discussion about her thinking she’s getting up multiple times in the night, and why her perception and his perception of her actions are extremely different.”
“Instead she accused him of treating her like he was trying to catch her in a lie. He DID catch her in a lie, and she decided that his investigation was more important than the issue of her perception of the cats’ actions.”
“She got caught in a lie, and so instead of discussing the lie she’s hiding behind ‘the betrayal of not being trusted’, which she has shown she can’t be trusted. I wonder what else she is lying about?”—numbersthen0987431
“Yeah this is the reaction of someone caught in a lie. If she really thought this was happening she would have been pretty shaken I would think.”—TheSilverNoble
Many noted that if the OP’s wife has an issue, then she needs to work on being open and honest with her communication.
“I actually see a lot of my younger self in OP’s wife.”
“I was raised a major people pleaser and therefore had (and still have some days) a very hard time articulating my real reasons for wanting something, especially if it was an ‘illogical’ reason like anxiety or just preference.”
“Needing a logical argument for everything can lead to lying to get the desired effect. And of course, any time you get caught in a lie, there’s major shame. That is exactly what I see in her accusation of treating her like a child.”
“I don’t know why it is that she wants the cats gone, but that’s the desired outcome for her.”
“Maybe their dirty paws on the counter are grossing her out, or she doesn’t want to take them into account when moving to a new apartment, or she wants a dog.”
“Or maybe she’s looking for a reason that she needs to leave OP and ‘I just don’t feel like being in this relationship anymore’ feels less logical than ‘I couldn’t deal with his cats.’ Who knows?”
“This isn’t to excuse her behavior, it absolutely is manipulative and not an adult way of communication.”
“However, if your relationship in general is something you want to keep, this feels like something a marriage counselor might be able to help the two of you communicate better.”—BeckyBuckeye
It sounds like the OP’s relationship could be in trouble.
“NTA but you’ve kinda called her bluff about her leaving you now you’ve removed the cats excuse from the equation.”
“Wishing you all the best.”—Samwise3214
“I mean if it’s her or the cats… and you’re on the fence.. Why the hell are you two still together?”
“She’s told you she wants the cats gone. She’s told you she will leave you if the cats aren’t gone.”
“Your choice was a power move, sure… But at what cost? She still wants the cats out.”—FrnchsLwyr
“If you’re in a marriage where one partner is giving ultimatums based off lies, I don’t think getting rid of a few cats are going to save the relationship.”—Dexion1619
Reddit has certainly given the OP lots of things to consider.
If the couple can’t work out their differences, it sounded like the OP might soon have a lot more room in his bed to share with his cats.
And oh, boy, did this story ever take a turn!
The OP returned with an update.
“My wife has been [put on a psychiatric hold]. She did not hurt herself, just said something concerning in public.”
“I got a call from the hospital this morning, asking me to head over for some ‘family therapy’. Apparently she finally wanted to talk.”
“I’ll be honest, I’m pretty pissed at the reason why she’s been so hateful towards my cats. It’s absolutely asinine.”
“It’s nothing that anyone had suggested. She’s not cheating. She’s not sick physically or mentally. She’s not bored of the relationship and looking for an ‘out’.”
“According to her, one of the cats stepped on her laptop and ruined a fanfiction story she was writing. She’s hated both cats ever since.”
“I mean that sucks, but it’s not worth trying to emotionally blackmail me into getting rid of them.”
“I asked her why she didn’t just tell me the truth and why she’d been lying and refused to talk about it when I’d asked.”
“Her answer was ‘Because you wouldn’t have gotten rid of them otherwise’ and explained that when she saw I wasn’t willing to abandon them for her, she took offense and made it a ‘goal’ to have me pick her over them.”
“Sickening. Don’t know why she actually admitted to it all.”
“The woman with us asked me how I felt about all of it, and I just told the truth. I told her it was a nice run, but I’m probably going to want a divorce.”
“I was asked why, and I told them. I’ve seen a new hateful, malicious side of her that I want nothing to do with. She was so set on getting rid of the cats over a fanfiction being ruined that she manipulated her husband.”
“My wife started shouting at me that I’ve betrayed her and that I’m ‘scum’ for choosing animals over her. At least cats don’t give ultimatums like she gave.”
“It sucks that she’s been [committed] and all I guess, but it’s for the best right now. She’ll have time to process it all in a safe environment and hopefully come to terms with it.”
“Bad husband, I know.”
“I’m almost sure I’m going for divorce. I’m very worried about having her in the same house as my cats.”
“I want my cats safe. I don’t want to worry about them being harmed or ‘disappearing’. Screw that.”
“I guess I’ll do what almost all of you suggested: ‘Keep the cats, rehome the wife’. Not how I wanted it to end, but life isn’t always nice.”
“If I may, I want to clear up some things from the original post:”
“I did not stare at her all night. We have a mute TV with subtitles playing every night. I subtly watched TV while paying attention to the cat sounds.”
“I’m not allowed to install cat doors, and she won’t let me keep the doors open. Apartment rules.”
“Why did I instantly assume she was lying? I’m unfamiliar with mental health/diseases. I know about some diseases, but ones that make you think your dreams happened?”
“Tumors that make you see/hear/remember nonexistent things? Sorry that I wasn’t aware of those possibilities.”
“So when someone tells me events happened when they literally didn’t, I generally assume they’re lying.”
“Shame on me.”
Hopefully all parties can move on with a healthier, happier future.