When a person in your friend group gets constant attention for their looks, it can be easy to feel a bit jealous.
For one guy on Reddit, though, this sort of jealousy on his wife’s part toward one of their friends turned into a major conflict–not just between his wife and their friend, but between his wife and himself.
He wasn’t sure about how he handled it, so he went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by throwawayhusband264 on the site, asked:
“AITA for telling my wife to stop being so jealous of my friends fiance?”
“My wife (35F[emale]) and I (36M[ale]) are good friends with another couple my best friend Matt (36M) and his fiance Rachel (24F). Rachel models and is very attractive. My wife is less conventionally attractive but I fell in love with her for her humour and good spirit which I personally find more attractive than good looks.”
“Recently I’ve noticed my wife making a lot of comments about Rachel calling her an airhead and just being kind of mean. When my wife makes these comments in private Im able to stand up for Rachel but when they’re made in public I obviously don’t want to embarrass my wife by calling her out.”
“My wife and I went on a trip away with Matt and Rachel last week which we had been planning for a while and really looking forward to. At dinner one night my wife made a really mean comment after we started talking about the economy. She remarked don’t worry Rachel you can join in the conversation once the smart people are done.”
“She was the only one who laughed. I was completely embarrassed and once we were alone I told my wife she had been really rude and I was ashamed of her. I told her she needs to stop making nasty comments and she agreed.”
“However the next night we all went out to a bar. Rachel was getting a lot of attention from guys there who were sending over drinks. My wife was looking visibly annoyed that she wasn’t receiving the same attention so I tried to lift her spirits by paying for all her drinks and making a fuss of her.”
“One guy came over and said that Rachel looked just like the model zendaya. My wife let out a massive laugh and said did you mean to say Whoopi Goldberg. I turned to my wife and straight up said you really are so jealous aren’t you. She looked hurt but didn’t have time to respond as Rachel had left the table in tears.”
“I followed Matt and told Rachel directly that I was so sorry for my wife’s words and that I was ashamed of her behaviour. When I reunited with my wife she told me I was horrible for calling her jealous infront of everyone and embarrassing her. I told her straight up that she was jealous of Rachel as Rachel is more attractive than her.”
“I realise in hindsight this was a very heavy thing to say and can see why she would be hurt by it. However I stand by the fact it was said in anger. AITA?”
“Edit: I forgot to mention that since the trip Matt has messaged me to let me know my wife is no longer welcome at their wedding and that as a couple himself and Rachel have decided they aren’t interested in our friendship anymore if my wife is around.”
“Rachel feels as if my wife has bullied her and has even suggested that some of the comments were racially motivated. I am so humiliated.”
“Edit: Sorry another edit. Just wanted to clarify my wife is stunning. I wouldn’t have married her if I didn’t think she was beautiful. She is just not as CONVENTIONALLY attractive.”
“To me she is the most beautiful women on the planet but objectively Rachel is better looking. I’m very open to being the a**hole in this situation but I definitely wouldn’t want people to think I’m not attracted to my wife.”
People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
For the most part they agreed with OP, though not necessarily with his delivery.
“NTA – Aside from the way you handled it at the end, she’s the a**hole. Stop bringing her around when you hang out with Matt and Rachel. Don’t lie to her though, just don’t bring her anywhere they are going to be. If she doesn’t like it then oh well, she doesn’t get to bully people and get rewarded.” —GentlemanDeeds
“NTA OP the only person here who is not acting like a mature adult is your wife. You talked to her in private and she didn’t listen. Unfortunately sometimes people have to be called out in public in order for them to get the point.” —Anon-1991-
“NTA she dimmed her own light with her jealousy. She was rude, and hurtful to Rachel. Jealousy does not give you a free pass to put someone down.” —madisengreen
“I’m not sure if you’re an a**hole here, as you were right to call her out, but you’re going to pay for that comment for the rest of your marriage.”
“Your wife is an a**hole, and you’re in hot water.” —Kalenek
After reading his fellow Redditors’ comments, OP came back with an update.
“Update: Thanks for the feedback guys. Just to add although I didn’t call out my wife in public I regularly called her out in private after she would make comments. The reason we continued to hang out as a group is because my wife reassured me her and Rachel got on well and the comments were in good spirit.”
“Matt would also continue to invite us out so I didn’t think it was too much of a problem. Also in regards to the free drinks Rachel accepted them for the table. We all shared the drinks and were joking around. The drinks were sent from the same two creepy guys and it wasn’t like the whole bar was buying Rachel drinks.”
“Matt isn’t insecure and would rather accept the free alcohol haha. Also my wife earns more than me so we split costs 50/50 most of the time. I payed for her drinks this time to make her feel better.”
“Before I update I also want to make it clear that I don’t have feelings for Rachel. I think she is a conventionally attractive girl and she is a model. I’m not even really friends with Rachel as some of you pointed out she’s younger so we don’t have much in common.”
“I also want to make it clear that my wife is conventionally attractive also just less so than Rachel. Rachel is a model. My wife is not. This doesn’t mean I don’t think my wife is more attractive than Rachel to me. I just mean objectively Rachel is better looking.”
“I agree with the comments that both my wife and I were the a**holes in this situation. My wife’s behaviour is unacceptable and mine was cruel and have probably done lasting damage to my wife’s self-esteem.”
“I don’t think I’m the a**hole for failing to call out my wife sooner. In my opinion you should never publically criticise your partner so for me telling her privately that the jokes were inappropriate is enough. I also want to point out my wife and I have already had couples counseling and my wife individual therapy.”
“When I initially made the comment that Rachel is more attractive than her my wife was furious and rightly so. She said that it was a cruel thing to say and that she wasn’t jealous of Rachel and insisted that the jokes were not offensive and everyone was just tiptoeing round the pretty girl.”
“When we returned home from the trip and I received Matt’s message I let my wife know. At first she was hurt but she eventually came around and said her behaviour was inappropriate. She’s admitted that she is jealous of Rachel due to her looks and was embarrassed by her behaviour.”
“I also asked her if she felt as if I found Rachel more attractive than her but she said she didn’t think that it was just difficult seeing a younger prettier girl get treated way better than her and she felt like second best. I think my wife noticed Rachel getting special treatment from other people and was jealous she didn’t receive the same.”
“My wife has sent an apology to Rachel but I don’t think the friendship is salvageable. I will still attend the wedding but my wife won’t be coming along even if she is reinvited. I think it’s worth my wife having some more therapy and I’ll have to rethink things.”
“This had definitely made me see things in a different light and I’m really disappointed. Thanks again everyone for the feedback.”
Hopefully OP and his wife can find a way forward from this.