Hobbies are important.
Crafting, painting, surfing… tasks that have the power to transport you from a stressful world to somewhere more serene are crucial.
What happens, though, when someone else takes offense to your escape and takes steps to curtail it?
This was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Wrong-Turn2020 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside thoughts.
“AITA for demanding my husband to replace all the books he threw away?”
OP began with a prologue of sorts.
“I (female -31) am a reader, used to read a lot in my teenage years as an escape method from many of my problems and recently got back to reading.”
“I read classic books since this category is my fav, I spend time and effort visiting libraries and online shops to collect books.”
Everything was okay until:
“Thing is my husband (male 33) hates it when I read.”
“We’ve just returned from honeymoon 2 months ago and he’s been complaining about books taking our special time away, specifically at night but I like to think that I’m balancing with my reading time.”
“He has started calling me grandma or say I remind him of an old lady neighbor to get me to quit reading but it didn’t budge me.”
Things escalated and led to the problem at hand.
“A week ago, I found out that he’s given my book collection away and I was devastated after he defended himself saying he did this for my own good and for the sake of our marriage since I seemed to forget my priorities.”
“I flipped out, yelled at him that those books were hard to get and demanded he pay me and replace them right then but he said that I really should invest my time in an outdoor hobby we could both do.”
“But I was having none of it and demanded he replace the books.”
“I gave him a list of every name of every book and when he saw it he laughed and asked if I was really still thinking about those books and suggested ‘I move on’ but I yelled at him telling him he has a week to replace them and that was it.”
“He’s trying to get me to let it go and had others say it was childish of me to start a fight over some books while the library is open but they got no comment from me.”
OP was left wondering.
“AITA for expecting him to replace the books?”
Having explained the situation, she turned to Reddit for some outside thoughts.
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: NTA
Someone drew comparisons to another avid non-reader.
No one pouts like Gaston,
Throws books out like Gaston,
Acts dismissive even when you shout like Gaston.
His control freakishness is infuriating;
Please get divorced from Gaston! ~mm172
Others took the situation much more seriously.
” ‘We’ve just returned from honey moon 2 months ago and he’s been complaining about books taking our special time away,’ “
“You’ve only been married 2-3 months, and he’s trying to prevent you from reading? What an a**hole.”
” ‘He has started calling me grandma or say I remind him of an old lady neighbor to get me to quit reading’ “
” ‘he’s given my book collection away and I was devastated after he defended himself saying he did this for my own good and for the sake of our marriage since I seemed to forget my priorities.’ “
“Mocking you is bad enough, but he’s trying to isolate you from a healthy enjoyable hobby as well.”
” ‘he said that I really should invest my time into am outdoor hpbby we could both do’ “
“And trying to mold you into a different person. This is so controlling.”
” ‘I gave him a list of every name of every book and when he saw it he laughed and asked if I was still really thinking about those books and suggested “I move on” ‘ “
“And trying to belittle you over the damage HE dealt to you?”
“I very rarely say this, but I think you need a divorce.”
“This is someone you’re supposed to be able to love and trust.”
“I’m assuming he didn’t (outwardly) have a problem with you reading prior to marriage.”
“He seems to think he’s allowed to belittle and control you, dispose of your property and ignore the effect it has on you.”
“This is an abusive man, and it isn’t worth trying to change him. He changed rapidly from before you got married, I assume, and thinks you’re his to manipulate.”
“Get out of there, get a divorce/annulment, and replace the books when you’re away from him.”
“This sounds like a sign of things to come, rather than the worst he’s going to be.” ~ TheGingerCynic
“He is controlling and to be honest your story scares me.” ~ Poekienijn
Comments pointed out how one-sided husband’s solution was.
“Tonally agree with all of this.”
“It’s also telling that he wants OP to get into outdoor hobbies (which he is presumably into), while not even beginning to entertain the idea of getting into reading as a way to connect with his wife.” ~ thecunninglinguistic
There were alternate suggestions.
“Throw the husband away and replace him with more books.” ~ acetrainerjayce
OP did return to answer some frequent questions.
“I just got home and saw this…oh my God…”
“I’m overwhelmed by the comments here and I can’t/won’t be responding to all of them but I just read a few and will answer some questions in bullet points form.”
“Yes, My husband knew about my love for reading but like I said, it’s been long time since I’ve read a book (I’ve read stuff online here and there) and so this is recent.”
“I confess that my husband did express that he felt neglected/ignored by me when I’m reading but I didn’t think his concerns were legit.”
“what do I plan on doing if he kept stalling and didn’t replace the books in a week? I’ve already told him what I’d do now I’ve given him extra days which pissed him off more.”
“And finally…- Am I married to Gaston? – no comment on that. LOL”
Always remember to cultivate hobbies that bring you peace and escape from the stresses and difficulties that the world throws at us every day.
Also, be wary of anyone trying to separate you from that little oasis of joy.