Despite our best attempts to eliminate certain gendered expectations, they still exist for many in a relationship. How a spouse expects their partner to act can really influence the mood of the relationship.
Redditor Bench_Virtual may have upset her husband with an insult. Now the original poster (OP) isn’t sure if she was wrong to say it or not.
OP decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about her comment.
She’s looking to be judged based on the titular question:
“AITA For telling my husband that he emasculates himself?”
What led to this comment?
“Sorry for the long post!”
“For context, I was raised by my single father. He raised me to be totally self serving, where I learn not only to cook, clean etc but to be my own ‘handy man’.”
“This has lead me to being very independent especially around my house. My husband on the other hand was raised to expect everything done for him and never really learn any self sustaining skills. But also raised to believe that the male is always right.”
“Fast forward to last week, I needed to buy a new line trimmer as my old faithful finally gave up on life. I was busy with the kids and my husband said he would go pick it up for me.”
“I told him which one I wanted and what brand all my power tools are. He said he understood but when he came back, he had purchased one from a different brand.”
“When I asked about it he said he thought it was better and it was also cheaper than the one I wanted. This annoyed me but I thought whatever, he tried move on.”
“It wasn’t until I looked at it I realised he hadn’t brought the battery pack to go with it. When I asked he told me I could just use the battery’s from my other tools.”
“I tried to explain to him that this wasn’t possible and why but he didn’t want a bar of it. A few moments later he said ‘ok my brothers coming over and we can go back to the hardware store’.”
“I thought we would either be exchanging it or buying the battery pack. But I was so wrong…”
“When we got there he walked straight up to the tool shack and ask the tool specialist to explain to me how my Ryobi battery’s would work perfectly find in my new Makita line trimmer. Well let’s just say that this didn’t go well, the tool guy sided with me and explained when you committed to a tool brand you stay with it due to a few aspects about the batteries.”
“He was embarrassed but quickly did the exchange when finding out the battery/charger pack cost more the line trimmer itself.”
“When we got home, it started. He was yelling at me about how I embarrassed him, how I’m constantly emasculating him and how I should be a good wife and just stick to doing things appropriate for females.”
“Well this got to me and I snapped, I replied with ‘the only person that’s emasculating you is yourself. It’s not my fault you never learnt to be what you call a man’ and I walked off.”
“It’s been a week now and he only speaks to me through the kids. It’s got me thinking AITA?”
OP isn’t sure if her comment was too harsh, and her husband has been refusing to talk to her directly. The whole situation has OP in a spin.
To figure out if she was a jerk, the AITA commenters include one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
It seems like OP wasn’t just justified for this comment, but for what she’s been dealing with this whole time. She’s very aware of how her husband views the world, which means this can’t be the first time something like this has happened.
But looking at just this instance, OP’s husband made a mistake, and rather than take responsibility, he blamed OP.
That’s not cool.
“NTA- your husband is a chauvinist which to me translates to a man who wants credit and respect without the actions to back it up or the rationale to acknowledge the skills and good qualities of women as well.”
“What you told him was correct and now his ego is bruised and in his mind you are to blame. Time for him to face reality.” – Orphan_Izzy
“Nta, but honestly, if he hasn’t talked to you in a week, this isn’t just about the trimmer. My guess is that these silly gender norms he has stuck in his head has been bothering him for a while.”
“Ugh. You guys are going to need to sit down, without the kids, and really just hash it out. Maybe with a therapist. Good luck!!” – Candid-Equivalent-82
“NTA He has weird notions in his head about what a man means to him. More than that, he doesn’t try to learn how to be or embody that false image of a man in his head and he’s taking it out on you.”
“His pride got hurt because he’s wrong and doesn’t feel like whatever a man means to him. Counseling might help but the only one who can change him is himself.”
“Be prepared to move on if this is a dealbreaker.”
“There are people out there who’d love you for knowing how to do these things or would want to learn the skills you have. There are people out there who won’t diminish you like this.”
“I hope he changes for you OP, but you don’t have to live with this person.” – Not-A-SoggyBagel
“NTA since he can’t be ‘the MAN of the house’ you can’t be expected to play the wifey role.”
“You do need to take a moment to assess your relationship. It’s been a week and he isn’t talking to you?”
“Ask him point blank if he intends to get over it and apologize. If he doesn’t answer appropriately, well…. At least you probably know how to change the locks.” – chubby-wench
The gender norms that OP’s husband clings to in this argument are based on toxic traits that are only going to hurt him in the end.
And until he realizes that, nothing will get better.
“NTA. You hit the nail on the head. He’s the one putting expectations on himself.”
“There is a bigger issue here though I find disturbing. He refused to listen to you and expresses misogynistic controlling views.”
“He tried to purposefully humiliate you in public and is mad at you when it back fired and is now punishing you and putting your kids in the middle of it by only communicating through them.”
“Is this the modeling you want your kids to see? How you wasn’t you kids to treat or be treated by their spouses later?”
“A loving supportive spouse would NEVER ambush another with public humiliation! This is some twisted toxic stuff.”
“Maybe its time to ask yourself how your dad would want you to be treated and how he’d want you to respond to this.” – RedHeadGeekGrl
OP could apologize, just to start the conversation again and maybe get her husband to see what he did, and how he reacted. But is that what OP even wants to do? Forced to apologize for something that isn’t her fault?
Only OP can answer that.