Control is largely an illusion.
We like to think that the decisions we make are planned and organized, studiously crafted, and always for the best.
This is rarely the case
We make choices based on incomplete – or even inherently incorrect – information, and when we make them, we immediately become emotionally invested in the outcomes.
So what happens when you consider imposing your own decisions on someone else with stern consequences?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) [deleted] when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA ) for judgment.
In a now-deleted post, they asked:
“WIBTA for imposing a diet on my wife if she wants to travel with me?”
OP got right to the situation at hand.
“Friends have invited me to Japan to teach ESL, and I’m going to apply through the proper channels this upcoming autumn.”
“I meet and in fact exceed the qualifications, so I’m not worried about that, but I know Japan has a specific culture that looks down upon overweight people.”
“I’ve already started to lose weight (30lbs down in 3 months!) in preparation because I want to be accepted within what their society desires.”
“My wife can come with me. She can apply for a specific Visa to live with spouse while they work.”
He was left to wonder.
“I want her to come with me, she wants to come with me, but I want to get her to lose weight with me and I’m not sure if I’d be TA for imposing a diet if she’s to come with me.”
“To give an idea, I’m currently 240lbs and 6’0″, she’s 260lbs and 5’9”.
“I want to tell her if she can get to 200lbs by Christmas, I’ll let her go with me.”
“I have some rare control of the situation because I need to sign off on paperwork to allow her to declare me as the spouse in her application.”
Having explained the issue, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
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: YTA
People didn’t hold back.
“I do hope someone finds your real information and your job info so they can read this and fire you cause wtf !!”
“There’s a way to go about it, and you are choosing the wrong way… I also do hope she sees this and chooses herself…”
“And I do hope if you do go that you have a very miserable life in Japan alone cause I’m still in shocked how horrible you are…” ~ Yougorockstar
“This is really manipulative.”
“Do you really think there are no overweight people in Japan?”
“You don’t think you both will stick out anyway for, you know, not being Japanese?”
“You’re both also much taller than the average person in Japan. Will you also be confiscating all her heels?”
“Will you be inducing osteoporosis on yourself so that you don’t appear too tall?” ~ bamboobananaL
“Nah it’s obvious. He’s just embarrassed of her and he’s using this to force her to lose weight.” ~ OkMarionberry6677
‘”I want to tell her if she can get to 200lbs by Christmas, I’ll let her go with me.'”
“What is this, some kind of bribe? ‘Drop sixty pounds or I’m moving across the country, and you can’t come!”‘
“If you want to lose weight, that’s on you, but don’t you dare try to impose your own views onto her, and don’t threaten to leave her behind if she doesn’t.”
“Keep this up, and she’s going to be your ex-wife, and probably happier for it.” ~ WolfGoddess77
“He feels like he has a special say because of paperwork.”
“Wooptydoop what a great big manly man he is!”
“I feel sorry for the wife not because of the post, but because she got stuck being married to such a miserable sob.”
“At least she can divorce him easily enough now, I mean, he obviously doesn’t want to stay married to her”
“(am I the only one thinking he has an uwu or kawai or whatever it’s called wet dream and he’s assuming all japanese girls will kneel by the mere sight of him?)” ~ CacaoButter85
There were personal stories, of course.
“I’m a plus-size woman living in Japan and I came here to say you are a huge AH.”
“YTA. You are on the cusp of a wonderful opportunity and instead of being excited to share it with your wife”
“(Who you’re supposed to love but it isn’t coming across very well in this post).”
“You’re more concerned with what a bunch of people you’ve never met and will not be spending a huge amount of time with think.”
“My husband is also on the large side (he’s a bodybuilder), and aside from clothes being hard to find and sometimes struggling on public transport, we have had no real issues with our size.”
“In fact, I’d say just living here has helped because you spend a lot of time on your feet and walking.”
“あなたは自分の行動を恥じるべきです。” ~ nekonojoo
“I lived there a year at 5’7″, 150lbs and used to joke I was size G for Gojirra.”
“Was friends with some tall swedish ladies and they were well out of the realm of a lot of conventional Japanese sizing.”
“Clothes in Japan, especially women’s clothes, just run small unless you’re a fairly petite westerner.”
“Doesn’t mean you’re going to be an public spectacle for being larger than a typical Japanese lady.”
“Or if you are going to be a spectacle, it’ll be cos you’re in an area that doesn’t see a lot of tourists and you’re novel just for being gaijin.”
“OPs being a sh*t about this and it’s gross, but its also good to be aware that even a lot of social conventions that the Japanese are known for aren’t strictly applied to foreigners.”
“They’re very welcoming hosts.” ~ heathre
“Yeah, even when I was 125 lb and 5’5″, I was still wearing a large in Japanese sizing.”
“I can still wear size large in Japanese sizing, and I’m now older and have filled out in hips and chest and up to 140 lb.”
“I am not large by American standards and I have trouble finding clothes in Japan.”
“My 5’10” 200+ lb sister barely fits in men’s XL pants found in a Uniqlo in Japan because the pants she brought with her split at the crotch while traveling there.” ~ Sutekiwazurai
Many people didn’t see much of a future here.
“You’re tall as hell and not Japanese.”
“They’re going to other you so hard, and you’re telling your other half she can’t come unless she loses 50ish pounds in less than a year?”
“Your career in a foreign land is going to be lonely as hell when she divorces you for making her feel unworthy of love because of her size.”
“And your vile need to yield to social influence that’s harmful to everyone.” ~ JessamineArugula
“Ya like excuse me you are moving around the world and think it’s a privilege to let your wife come????”
“I don’t go away for a weekend without letting my husband know (courtesy not permission).”
“OP YTA and hopefully soon will have a deeply personal understanding of the Japanese culture of being a single man.” ~ Pristine-Rhubarb7294
“You sound like an entitled, egotistical bastard and I hope she rightfully divorces you.” ~ Embarrassed_Dog_459
“You’re already TAH for the whole weight thing, but what I’m most concerned with is the whole ‘letting her go with you’ deal.”
“You’re getting a job in Japan and aren’t 100% bringing your wife?”
“You also think you can tell her no if she doesn’t lose weight? Poor woman, she deserves a man who will love and respect her no matter what.”
“This is shameful.” ~ PeaWeeBrain
“You should go to Japan alone and leave your wife home so she can start a new happy life away from you.”
“Stop wasting her time. I have a funny feeling she is an absolutely amazing person with extreme patience!” ~ jan961
Some suggested there were deeper issues.
“This is really quite gross of you to even suggest, and I think this may stem from something deeper, like control issues and insecurity, perhaps something to be explored further in therapy.”
“Which can be very beneficial in a lot of ways. YTA” ~ NevermoreLostLenore
“YTA — your wife is likely to get stared at in Japan regardless because of how tall she is (as are you), do you have a plan for avoiding that?”
“Or do you think you could just get on with your day and not worry about it?”
“The very idea of imposing a diet and deciding yourself if she’s worthy of joining you suggests you already have one foot out of this marriage.”
“I kind of hope she boots you all the way out.”
“Stop trying to control your wife.” ~ ViolaVetch75
“Do not impose a a diet on her!! Not only is that inconsiderate, but it’s unethical!”
“You have no say what food she puts in her body or the way she looks! It’s disgusting to suggest something like that to her.”
“I’m sorry for being harsh, but PLEASE DONT DO THAT!!” ~ theupsidebloggirl
“I can’t help but feel like her weight isn’t actually the problem here.”
“It’s one thing if you both decided to go into a weight loss journey together, but to literally make it impossible for her to live with you because you have ‘the power’ and she couldn’t lose it fast enough?”
“It sounds more like you’d be the one who is embarrassed to be seen with her because she doesn’t fit these ‘standards’ you’re talking about.”
“Congratulations on your weight loss, but YTA here, very much so. I sincerely hope you change your views before you end up losing your family…” ~ ClothesBySoup
The choices that a person makes regarding their own body are not yours to decide.
Those choices belong to the individual who has to live in that body.