Everyone has something that they’re afraid of, but some fears are deeper, more serious phobias.
When someone we love has one of these phobias, the kindest thing to do is to be empathetic about them, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
There was a tattoo that Redditor catimpersonator9 really wanted to get, even though their husband had a phobia of the thing they wanted to tattoo on their body.
But when their husband was triggered by the tattoo, the Original Poster (OP) wondered what the right thing to do would have been.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for getting a tattoo my husband hates?”
The OP had a history of getting tattoos.
“I have a few tattoos on my sides, thigh, and ankle.”
“My husband doesn’t really like tattoos, but he accepts it’s my body, so he doesn’t hold strong objections to them.”
“In the past, I haven’t consulted him on a new tattoo; I’ve just gone and got them, and he’s said, ‘Oh, another one, okay.'”
They recently wanted a tattoo their husband wasn’t comfortable with.
“A few months ago, I said I wanted to get a Medusa tattoo as I adore her.”
“My husband said please no. He hates snakes and has a phobia of them.”
“Well, I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind, and then an opening came up with this amazing artist, so I booked it and got one on my thigh.”
“It isn’t huge (about the size of my palm) and not too graphic. It’s more of an outline than realistic snakes.”
The OP’s husband was incredibly uncomfortable to see it.
“My husband says I was an AH for getting something he really hates since he’s the only other person who will see it.”
“I kind of feel bad, but it’s my body, right? It’s not like I got a real pet snake.”
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 said that while the tattoo was her choice, she should have thought of her husband.
“Body autonomy is very important to me and I was so ready to say OP didn’t do anything wrong when I clicked on the title, but in this specific situation, I find myself agreeing that OP is the AH.”
“For context regarding my knee-jerk reaction, I have a relative who got some beautiful tattoos that she was very happy with. Soon after (like months later, maybe around a year) she met a guy who hates tattoos and shames her for having them, to the point of making her wear clothing that covers it up.”
“It’s heartbreaking, and I hate him for it. I thought something like that was happening here when I saw the title, but it doesn’t seem to be.” – Mahoushi
“NTA for getting inked.”
“Serious YTA for doing that to your husband. Why would you get ink of something you know that he has a phobia of? He asked you nicely, no. It may be your body and skin, but he has to look at it every time you are naked.” – LongDistRider
“YTA. This is a control issue, and it appears you were intent on doing this no matter how he felt about it. It’s your body and choice, but there’s a bigger issue here.” – ScoutSteveR
“You know that thing you do when you don’t want to be the AH and break up with someone? So you do a thing to pi** them off to make them break it off?”
“I’m convinced that OP either hates their husband or more likely… all men.” – angreek
“YTA. You made the conscious choice to permanently place your husband’s known phobia trigger on your person.”
“Yeah, it’s your body and your choice, but now your husband is faced with his phobia every time he looks at your thigh.” – PrairieGrrl5263
“YTA. It’s your body, sure. But like, some things really can turn a person off, and if you’re gonna do something that makes your number one sex-haver turned off, then well… Have fun with the consequences of that, I guess.” – BaseTensMachine
“Why would deliberately make a choice to daily trigger your husband?”
“You have been perfectly happy all this time without that picture on your body. Do you seriously care so little for your relationship?”
“Wow. YTA.” – HappySummerBreeze
“YTA. I’m all for a woman’s right to choose, and in general, I think you should get a tattoo if you want one.”
“In this case, though, you clearly chose to put a selfish, superficial, and unnecessary desire first over your husband. You talked to him about it, and he asked you not to because he has a phobia of snakes.”
“He didn’t tell you no, or forbid you. He left it in your hands and you made the selfish choice. He has every right to be upset.”
“Hopefully it isn’t a huge deal for the two of you, but if it is, it’s all your fault.” – NukeTheCow_
“I don’t know… seems like a weird hill to, y’know. You could have gotten almost any tattoo, but you chose one you knew would bother him. Have you thought about why?”
“Of course it’s your body/choice, but how come the one thing that would really bother your hubby is the thing you couldn’t get out of your mind?”
“Something else is going on. YTA.” – Alternative-End-5076
Others argued that good relationships include compromise and empathy.
“YTA, in my opinion. If it’s something he really hates, then I feel you should have considered his feelings and not got it. Like, it’s your body, sure, but it seems a reasonable request from your husband.” – ICame2DropB0mbs
“YTA. Phobias are nothing to screw around with, and sure, ‘your body your choice,’ but marriage is about being a team. Instead, you now have a permanent possible trigger for him on your body.” – Disastrous-Sleep-210
“She already knew he isn’t fond of tattoos but her husband respected her choice for her body. So she keeps getting more and now got something tattooed that he doesn’t just simply dislike, but has a fear of. Feels like OP is pushing boundaries intentionally. YTA.” – loveiloveya
“YTA. So your husband has a phobia regarding snakes and you chose to put a head full of them on your body??” – ilp456
“For real, I have a really intense spider phobia and if my husband got a tattoo of a person with a bunch of spiders on their head, I would be extremely uncomfortable. It’s just so f**king selfish. YTA.” – paradisetossed7
“I’m an arachnophobe. H**l, I scared the s**t out of myself for about three weeks after getting a shoulder blade tattoo, because I can see one tip of a curly music bar, and I kept thinking it was a spider.”
“If my husband, also an arachnophobe, got a spider tattoo anywhere ever for some reason, he’d be getting swatted daily with all sorts of stuff around the house!!”
“‘Honey, I didn’t mean to hit you with the broom that hard, I keep thinking it’s real!’ – Definitely me.” – DarkInkPixie
“My husband also has a snake phobia, we both have tattoos and I wouldn’t think of getting one of a snake even though I like them. Even mentioning snakes makes him really uncomfortable and is clearly a bit traumatizing.”
“So anytime I want to talk about a thing I watched (I enjoy reptile videos and the like), I just always say ‘reptile’ and never hint towards a snake even if it is one.”
“Phobias are real and I think OP is being very insensitive. YTA.” – Affectionate_Shoe198
“YTA. I’m not sure why I see so many partners on here obsessed with ‘me me me, and mine mine mine.’ A partnership is, well, a partnership. And part of that includes taking your partner’s needs and feelings into consideration when making decisions.”
“Yes, it’s your body; yes, it’s your choice. But he did not forbid you, he asked you kindly to take his feelings into consideration, which you did not do, and that’s what makes you the AH. Relationships are give and take, and sometimes we have to give up things we might want or do, things we might not want to do, simply out of consideration for our other half.”
“If my husband expressed that he did not want me to do something due to a phobia, I would take that seriously, because I love him, and I also have to live with him, lol (laughing out loud). There’s no reason for me to cause trouble over something that I could just easily avoid by being compassionate to his feelings.”
“If you have a serious, serious need for a snake tattoo, you could have gotten something small, or something less visible, but you chose a hand-sized tattoo right on your thigh, where he will have to see it every time you undress. That’s not taking his feelings into consideration.”
“I would be super annoyed to be faced with my phobia every time my husband undressed. It’s just a matter of asking myself, ‘Would I want him to do this to me?’ If the answer is no, then that’s your answer, too.” – Healthy_Employment44
After receiving feedback, the OP shared a brief update.
“Since this post, my husband has gotten over it.”
“This sub has successfully exterminated one a**hole.”
Everyone could agree that it was the OP’s body, and therefore, their choice what they did with it and what they tattooed on it, but if their husband meant anything to them at all, they might want to start empathizing with his phobias, especially since their body is something that he will see from time to time, and now possibly be triggered by through no fault of his own.