Everyone has their own interests and things that make them happy.
So it only makes sense that when they start making more money from their jobs that they would invest a little more money in what makes them happy, reasoned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
But Redditor throwawayereddit was not pleased by the fact that his wife was a Swiftie or a fan of Taylor Swift.
Knowing she wouldn’t take this well, the Original Poster (OP) disguised his distaste with financial responsibility.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not letting my wife buy overpriced merch by her favorite musician?”
The OP recently got married.
“I (30 Male) have been married to my wife Clara (22 Female) for about 2 years now.”
“We have been together for quite a while before that, as well.”
He was critical of her interest in Taylor Swift’s music.
“I’ve always known that she’s obsessed with Taylor Swift, her favorite singer.”
“She’s always playing her songs everywhere, making Swift-themed artwork, and jotting down her lyrics, etc., etc. I always thought of it as a fun, childish thing she indulges in.”
“But recently, since she started working a full-time corporate job, she has been buying mindless things.”
The OP objected to Clara’s recent shopping history, as well.
“Yesterday I saw her browsing expensive lyric printed stuff on Etsy.”
“I asked her if she was looking to draw inspiration for her next DIY (Do It Yourself) stuff, but she said she was planning to buy them now that she could finally afford to.”
“I laughed at her because I don’t think there’s any point in spending one’s hard-earned money on frivolous things like that.”
“I explained to her that she’d grow out of her interest in this pretty soon.”
“And I also added that I have always been surprised that she likes Taylor Swift since it’s such a white teenager girl thing to do (she’s Black), but it’s a whole level of absurd now.”
“She told me it’s not a big deal and said that one’s race doesn’t need to have anything to do with their music preference.”
“She suddenly turned the conversation around to how I was demeaning her and her interests and being ‘racist’ on top of that.”
“I think that’s a huge, over-the-top reaction to a simple comment I made. And everything I said came from a good place.”
“I want her to learn how to be mindful of one’s expenses and as her husband, I do get to object if our hard-earned money is spent on a rich multimillionaire woman.”
“She told me I’m making an unnecessary fuss and she can treat herself to ‘frivolous things’ once in a while as long as it doesn’t hurt our family finances.”
“I told her it was embarrassing how she was acting like a pop-obsessed white teen girl as a grown woman with a job and a husband.”
The OP suggested financial management lessons.
“I firmly informed her that if she still has this interest in five years, she can buy whatever she wants.”
“But I added that there was no point in spending the money right now, especially since she’s on a money high with her new job.”
“I also told her that she should listen to me about these things, and I offered to teach her more about managing money and finances.”
“I offered to set aside one hour per day to teach her these things.”
Clara was furious.
“Now she accused me of infantilizing her because she works in finance.”
“Now apparently I’m racist, AND mansplaining, all because I didn’t let her waste her income.”
“I know she’ll be grateful about this some years down the line because we all grow out of this mindset once the novelty of lucrative jobs wears off.”
“But as of now, she’s visibly upset with me about yesterday.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were concerned about the possibility of the OP controlling his young wife.
“Your wife hit every nail on the head. YTA.”
“And let’s take a second to do some math.”
“She is 22. You are 30.”
“You got married two years ago.”
“She was 20. You were 28.”
“You’ve been together for ‘quite a while.'”
“So, you, a twenty-something, were dating a minor?” – Letters_from_summer
“YTA. You refer to her as childish or immature multiple times, and you are treating her like a child.”
“I wonder if this is partially due to the fact that you apparently started a relationship with her while you were in your late 20s and she was a teenager.”
“I’m not sure how long ‘quite a while’ is, but I would guess that that is majorly contributing to this dynamic in which you see yourself as the adult and her as the child, so you get to make the decisions and she has no autonomy. Creepy.” – AdelleDeWitt
“YTA my friend.”
“First of all, the best part of being an adult and making adult money is getting to spend it on whatever you like.”
“Second of all, you are being racist and misogynistic on top of that. Why are you belittling your wife’s interests? Just because she likes Taylor Swift (and there’s no age limit to who can like Taylor, from tweens to grannies/grampas)?”
“If she was into hockey and wanted to spend some of her first paycheck on an authentic autographed team jersey, would you have the same reaction?”
“You are being a huge a**hole to your wife.”
“As long as her spending habits aren’t affecting your ability to pay the bills and put food on the table, what’s wrong with her buying a little happy? Because clearly, you’re not making her very happy.” – Reasonable_Minute_42
“Are you her husband or her father? You have separate finances and it sounds like she’s able to take care of her household obligations.”
“You repeatedly infantilize her, and even how you talk about her here makes it obvious you don’t see her as an equal adult. How old was she when you two started dating?”
“Your wife is absolutely right in her assessment of you. I hope she leaves and tells you that you are never, ever getting back together.”
“YTA.” – Educational_Ad4578
“He found a young girl to control, and now when she’s older and starting to do stuff with her own money, he feels he is losing that control, so he’s weaponizing her age against her (something he probably always did, by the way).”
“He sees her somehow as young enough for him to tell her what to do with her money, but old enough to no longer be allowed to like a musician.”
“This is 100% illogical, but it’s because he just doesn’t like her beginning to gain independence. He needs to belittle and manipulate her, so she regresses, because he wants a young easily controllable girl, not a partner.” – LadyKlepsydra
“He sounds jealous almost. An old friend of mine had a boyfriend (both my roommates at the time) who acted all weird after she got a job and started spending extra money on stuff she liked. He even made comments to me about it in private.”
“He was very controlling and always made a fuss of things that weren’t his way or to his liking. She eventually left. The reason he was jealous was because he had money issues and was very obsessed with money and how much money he had.”
“Similar thing to OP: he met her when she was fresh out of high school, 7 or 8 years older, moved her in, and then moved her away from her hometown.” – Anonynominous
Others thought this was the OP’s wife’s first serious job and her wanting to enjoy herself.
“YTA 100%. If she’s smart enough to get a corporate job, she’s smart enough to spend the money she earns on something that makes her happy. Stop this or she will leave you.” – Substantial-Pick7919
“No, you’re a racist and a mansplainer AND a controlling soon-to-be ex-husband. The perfect storm of the heavy father you think she needs.”
“She’s a grown woman, with a responsible job, making her own money. If she has spare income, she can amuse herself without your approval.”
“YTA.” – Little_Outside
“YTA. Why can’t a black woman like Taylor Swift, why is race a topic in this post?”
“You told her that in 5 years, she can spend her own money on Taylor Swift merch? Who do you think you are?”
“You sound like a controlling jacka**. I hope she finds somebody better than you.” – Aware_Economics4980
“This woman works in finance. Her job literally revolves around money and this guy is trying to parent her like she’s a 12-year-old that just got an allowance.”
“I wonder how many times she had to say ‘no’ to things she really wanted because funds were extremely tight and now that she can finally say ‘yes’ to them, you’re like ‘nope, you can’t do that.'”
“I kept thinking that you were going to say something to redeem yourself, but the whole thing is just so cringy.”
“YTA, my guy and I’d be real careful around your girl because Taylor Swift is really notorious for her break-up songs.” – MarigoldCat
Some also urged the couple to have money they could spend on themselves.
“YTA. You’re also condescending and controlling.”
“Let the girl spend her spare money on what she likes. If you’re embarrassed, maybe marry someone closer to your own 30 than her 22, and expect them to act like you, instead of the young adult she actually is.”
“She is doing normal things for her age and first job.” – Own-Tradition6295
“I’m 29 and I’ve loved Taylor Swift since I was 14. I bought a shirt with her lyrics on Etsy a month ago. It was $23.40, so I wasn’t exactly breaking the bank to buy it.”
“Also, you do realize that the money spent on Etsy goes to the shop owner/creator, not Taylor Swift, right?”
“And yes your comments were racist as f**k, you did infantilize your wife, and you literally mansplained her own professional field to her.”
“So to answer, yes, YTA in this entire scenario.” – indoor-girl
“YTA. Why do men always trivialize women’s hobbies and likes?”
“Is it smart to have financial health habits? Absolutely. But unless you guys are struggling financially, it’s totally fine for her to spend some money on stuff that she likes.” – Roser1994
“YTA She’s your wife, not your daughter. She is free to pursue her own interests and hobbies without your editorial comments and you laughing ‘at her because I don’t think there’s any point in spending one’s hard-earned money on frivolous things like that. I explained to her that she’d grow out of her interest in this pretty soon.'”
“Read your post again, your attitude it’s dismissive and demeaning.” – penguin_squeak
“YTA. You are dishonest. You are embarrassed by her because she is a fan of Taylor Swift. Admit it. This isn’t about money.”
“She doesn’t need you to teach her about how to spend her money. She certainly doesn’t need you to bring up wild reasons for her to be less into Taylor Swift. And she certainly doesn’t need you to bring race into it. YTA for ‘firmly informing her’ what to do with her own d**n money.”
“Pretty sure she will be grateful for this some years down the line because it was the moment that showed her all the red flags that you are parading. Hope she will dodge this bullet and find a man who isn’t embarrassed by who she is.” – MaralDesa
The subReddit was offended and concerned on Clara’s behalf, due to the OP’s controlling behavior around her interests and finances, as well as their age difference.
It’s especially concerning that all of this came up over something as simple as liking Taylor Swift.