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Man Balks After Husband Insists On Banning Nuts At Home To Accommodate Friend’s Allergy

man using epi-pen after allergic reaction
AndreyPopov/Getty Images

Food allergies can cause reactions ffom the extremely mild to the deadly.

Some are so severe that even airborne particles can cause a deadly reaction while others can actually be ingested by the person with the allergy and cause only some tingling in the mouth or a minor rash or hives.

Being aware of any food allergies our friends, family and coworkers have is being conscientious. But is allergy proofing a home for a friend’s minor allergy a necessity?

A husband with allergies of his own turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback after his husband asked him to accommodate his best friend’s allergies.

Aware-Lifeguard3500 asked:

“AITA for refusing to remove certain foods from my house because my husband’s friend is allergic?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My husband and I recently moved into the same city as his childhood best friend ‘Steve’. Steve is allergic to all nuts, legumes and soy.”

“Because of this, my husband wants our house to have a rule that we’re not to have nuts in the house in case he comes over. I think this is a dumb rule and refuse to comply.”

“I did agree to keep my nut-based products in a separate container, but my husband thinks that this isn’t enough. I’m allergic to wheat and we still have it in the house.”

“I also think it’s unnecessary. I don’t know the extent of Steve’s allergies, but I do know it’s not immediately life threatening.”

“He doesn’t carry an EpiPen and he also works in food service and frequently handles nuts. Being in the same room isn’t going to hurt him.”

“As long as we don’t serve him food with nuts and watch for cross-contamination, we should be fine. The foods that Steve is allergic to are a big part of my diet.”

“Also, this is where I live, not Steve, so I feel like I shouldn’t have to cater to the possibility that he might come over at some point in the future.”

“But my husband is worried he’ll accidentally cause his friend to have an allergic reaction if we don’t keep the entire house free of allergens.”

“AITA for refusing to go along with that?”

After several comments questioned if OP’s husband was closeted and secretly in love with Steve, the OP responded:

“Nobody has even considered that my husband and I are already gay.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I refuse to stop getting certain foods because my husband’s friend is allergic and might come over sometime.”

“I might be the a**hole because allergies can be serious and I’m prioritizing my own comfort.”

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 the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“Steve is a visitor and may become a frequent one, given that he’s your husband’s best friend.”

“He’s working around the things he’s allergic to and doesn’t carry an epi-pen for emergencies, so there’s no need to do anything other than exclude the allergens from any dishes you share with Steve.”

“Your husband acts like the house needs decontamination because Steve is moving in and becoming the new brother husband‽‽ NTA.” ~ Listen_2learn

“Exactly. Steve’s allergies aren’t so severe that they prevent him from working in environments where he’s around these items. NTA.” ~ Pristine_Table_3146

“And why wouldn’t Hubby go to Steve’s house?” ~ derpne13

“I think that is what he is angling for. ‘You refuse to make the house safe for Steve so I will be spending time with him outside of our house. And you can’t complain about me being away a lot. He is my best friend’.” ~ Plane_Practice8184

“I wish there were different names for different allergies. I am allergic to hazelnuts but not in a scary, severe way.”

“I am allergic to bleach in the scary, severe way. I can be in a home with hazelnuts. I just don’t eat them or fondle them.”

“This is the kind of allergy that Steve has, I think. So just be polite and don’t feed him anything he’s allergic to.”

“If I go to a house that just bleached the bathroom, I can end up dead or needing my inhaler. I’ve told friends and the nice ones switched cleansers. I mean, that’s really, really nice of them.”

“They didn’t need to, but it did make me feel loved. Maybe explain to the husband that there are two kinds of allergies, and Steve doesn’t have the life-threatening type.” ~ SiddharthaVaderMeow

“So .. your husband thinks it’s OK to have your allergen in the house that you live in, but draws the line for an allergen of a friend that may be an occasional visitor?”

“NTA. I would tell your husband that wheat is now banned from the house too. Or all the products stay, and Steve doesn’t visit the house.”

“Who prioritises a friend over their spouse ? Shaking head.” ~ sanguinepsychologist

“Why punish STEVE—I don’t see anywhere here where *STEVE* has requested this – so no need to ban him.”

“Ban the husband from the house!”

“He’s the one who isn’t sure he won’t accidentally poison his friend simply because there are nuts in the house, but has no worry about poisoning his husband…”

“OP can handle allergies reasonably, as can Steve, since he works with nuts in his day job. NTA.” ~ Kitchen-Arm-3288

“I’m really bothered by the fact that if OP is allergic to wheat he probably uses a lot of almond flour and other substitutes like that. He’s asking him to give up such a giant portion of his diet for his friend who is used to handling his allergen for work. WTAF.” ~ EinsTwo

“NTA—It certainly doesn’t sound like Steve’s allergies include air-borne micro-particles, so if the nuts are kept in containers, there should be no problem. Maybe you could ask Steve, in front of your husband, if you have nut products in closed containers in the house, if he would be alright with that.” ~ NobodyButMyShadow

“NTA, but your husband needs to explain why Steve’s allergies are more important to him than yours.” ~ Queen_Sized_Beauty

“NTA – Tell your husband to go hang out at Steve’s nutless house.” ~ wiserTyou

“Why does your husband care more about his friend’s allergy than yours? That’s the most important question to me.”

“The disrespect is astounding.”

“Also, how does he justify that the person who lives there and pays bills (you) has to play second fiddle to a friend who doesn’t live there?”

“I’d ask him these questions. I’d also say, if he’s so worried about it, then the solution is that Steve is not allowed over.”

“NTA. Your husband is an a**hole to you.” ~ friendlily

“Um. Is Steve gay? Is there any possibility husband has more than platonic feelings for Steve? Because I am confused at why he is prioritizing Steve’s allergies over yours.”

“You can’t eat wheat so what you can eat is already constricted. Taking out the nuts, legumes, and soy leaves you with so many less options for food.”

“Your husband is out-of-pocket, what does he expect you to eat and prepare food with?” ~ invah

“I think OP is NTA, but there are several disturbing trends in the comments.

It is possible that people have different levels of reaction to different allergens. So it is ridiculous to say, ‘well if she’s allergic to wheat and we still allow wheat in the house, that we have to allow the nuts he’s allergic to in the house in the name of fairness’. Some weird idea of ‘allergy fairness’ isn’t the issue.

“It is disturbing that so many people seem to be fixated on the idea that no epi-pen means that its not a real allergy. The cost of epi pens is a national embarrassment. And the notion that ‘well, it won’t lead to instant death’ doesn’t mean it still isn’t a serious condition.”

“OP, I think it is unreasonable to police your day to day lives as to what Steve might need. But this is important: ‘I don’t know the extent of Steve’s allergies…’.”

“So, everyone is speculating. I’d sit down with husband and Steve together. Talk through the scope of his allergies, what his thoughts are.”

“It very well might be that OP’s husband’s actions are simply out of anxiety and that he’s trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, and that Steve isn’t even asking him to fix.”

“Don’t back down on what you think is unreasonable, but why not have everyone listen to each other?” ~ Local_Age_7615

“I agree with this, except for the allergy severity—it’s not just the lack of an epi-pen. Steve works with and handles nuts, if he’s allergic to the point a jar of nut butter in OPs closed pantry, in an otherwise clean kitchen, would cause a reaction, he’d be dead already.”

“Don’t eat nuts while Steve is physically in the house? Yes. Clean the kitchen before he arrives? Yes. Forbid OP to ever have nuts in the house? Unreasonable.” ~ Spellscribe

It sounds like OP needs to have a conversation with his husband and Steve to understand what Steve needs and to decide if it’s a reasonable accommodation.

With OP’s wheat allergy, accommodating Steve will severely limit his ability to eat in his own home.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.