We never doubt ourselves more than whether or not to alert people of a certain issue, such as spinach caught between their teeth, an open fly, or a stain on their clothes they might have missed.
If we’re in a position where we can tell them discreetly, then we would alert them without a second thought, and would like to think the message would be appreciated.
But some people are so defensive that no matter where or when we let them know, they will still take offense.
Redditor AcceptableScene6870 found herself in a slightly tricky situation, when she noticed her husband was gaining a lot of unwanted attention, owing to his hygien.
After the original poster (OP)’s husband was alerted to this problem by someone else, her decision not to say anything resulted in a fair amount of vitriol.
Wondering if she was in the wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not telling my husband he smells sooner and ruining a friend’s wedding?”
The OP explained how she and her husband had hit something of a rough patch, resulting in their taking some time apart, but would reunite at a wedding.
“This week was the wedding of two of my husband’s (33 M[ale]) and my (31 F[emale]) longtime friends.”
“For some background, recently we’ve been having some issues.”
“I told him I needed some space, so we agreed he should move back in with his mom temporarily.”
“I wasn’t thrilled about this because she tends to baby him, though I had to accept it as he had nowhere else to go and I wanted him out of the house.”
“I wondered what to do about the wedding.”
“We talked and decided it would be best for us to go together and for him to move back home afterwards.”
“He didn’t have time before the wedding to pack up his things and so got ready at his mom’s while I got ready at home and we planned to meet there.”
However, when her husband arrived at the wedding, a noticeable aroma preceded him, an aroma which proved to have a surprising effect on their friendships.
“When he arrived I was already chatting with friends.”
“He came over to us and immediately I noticed this rotten stench on him.”
“He smelled like he’d been dumpster diving.”
“It made my eyes water a little.”
“I noticed our friends noticing, but he was completely oblivious and kept on chatting.”
“I tried to let him know discreetly but he was not getting the hint at all.”
“We took our seats in the chapel and the service was beautiful.”
“By this point my nose had pretty much tuned out the smell but it was clearly affecting other people and I still hadn’t had a chance to let him know.”
“After the service I saw an old girlfriend I hadn’t seen in years and wanted to catch up.”
“Apparently, while I was chatting with her, a friend had pulled Hubby aside and basically told him he stunk.”
“He got upset and demanded we leave immediately.”
“In the car we argued and he told me I was a horrible wife to let him embarrass himself like that in front of friends and I was probably laughing behind his back.”
“He said that I knew he could be forgetful and since he was my responsibility as his wife I should have called him up at his mom’s to remind him to shower.”
“usually he’ll come in when I’m in.”
“I was speechless and said nothing the entire car ride home while he berated me.”
“This morning I checked my phone and we have both been removed from a number of group chats that included friends that went to the wedding.”
“I heard through some friends that the bride feels we ruined her day, more people were talking about my husband than we thought, and she no longer wants to speak with us.”
“I’m shocked and really hurt by this and have been feeling guilty all day.”
“I didn’t want to embarrass him by letting him know when other people were around but now I’ve cost him friends and feel like I handled it all horribly.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community were in agreement that the OP was in no way the a**hole in this situation.
Everyone was baffled by the idea that the OP’s husband needed her, or anyone, to remind him to shower, or that he somehow wasn’t aware of the stench he was letting off, with many urging the OP to question if staying in this marriage is a good idea.
“NTA but your husband is.”
“You want to stay married to this excuse of man?”
“No one and I mean literally no one should have to tell their spouse to shower.”
“Being forgetful is no excuse for poor hygiene.”
“Does he not have a nose? “
“Is he incapable of smelling or even feeling the filth on his body?”
“The fact that he berates you and puts this entire situation on you would be enough for me to make the separation official.”
“This is appalling behavior.”- straightaspasta
“How old is your husband, 5?”
“If he doesn’t shower, it’s on him.”
“Honestly, I’m not surprised you need some space.”
“But what you really need is a divorce.”-tatasz
“I’ve seen in this sub ‘my husband got mad at me for forgetting to wake him up’, ‘my husband got mad at me for making him the wrong food’, ‘my husband got mad at me for blablahhh’, but I’ve NEVERRRRR seen MY HUSBAND GOT MAD AT ME FOR NOT TELLING HIM TO SHOWER.”
“This is a historical day for men’s incompetence in hygiene.”
“How bad do you have to smell to ruin a wedding?”
“He was just projecting his shame into anger onto you.”
“If you smell so bad you’re kicked out a group chat you need a long hard look at yourself.”-thejackalreborn
“I’m gonna go NTA.”
“Your husband is the one who ruined their day by showing up smelling like a whale carcass.”
“You could have said something.”
“You did not.”
“From his reaction I’d bet he’d be mad either way, telling him or not telling him.”
“And honestly he should be embarrassed.”
“He is a grown man, living with his mom, who still requires his wife call him daily to remind him to shower.”
“F that.”- ghostofumich2005
“I assume you married an adult?”
“If his mother baby’s him, the least she could have done is get him to have a bath.”
“How it is that he smelled so bad that it ruined a wedding and led to being ostracized like this.”
“I’ve spent time with someone who was without a home, she hadn’t been able to wash for some time and she didn’t smell like that.”- Jess1ca1467
“Has your husband lost his sense of smell or why didn’t he noticed by himself?”
“I mean rotten and garbage are strong smells, if this isn’t his usual smell he had to notice it.”
“If this is his usual smell… well kudos to you for staying :).”- Every_Caterpillar945
“You are not his babysitter.”
“If a grown man needs to be reminded of taking a shower when he reeks of unknown stenches, then you may need to consider your relationship with this guy in the long run.”
“Save your nose.”-IamForester
“Posts like these are why this sub has a reputation for recommending divorce for silly reasons.”
“Ostensibly this is about OP not telling her husband that he smelled bad.”
“But what it’s really about is OP is married to a man who expects other people to do 100% of his emotional labor.”
“He’s a grown man who can’t be bothered to remember to shower before attending a wedding.”
“OP NTA for this but, YTA for deluding yourself that this man is husband material.”-Careful_Swan3830
There were a few, however, who did question why the OP didn’t at the very least say something to her husband, feeling his stench deserved to be called out either discretely or publicly, as though it was not her responsibility, it was clearly bothering everyone.
“How did you try to let him know discreetly and not why flat out tell him?”
“Because yes he’s a grown ass man and it’s his responsibility but you were at your long time friend wedding and your date was basically ruining it.”
“Why just sit there next to him and think eh not my problem.”- ImpossibleHand5086
“I’m gonna go with an official ruling of ESH, because I do think you had an obligation to tell him when you noticed his stench.”
“Mostly for your own self respect.”
“He smelled like a trash heap and you still went in with him and sat with him!?”
“I’m embarrassed for you!”
“But of course that pales in comparison to his a**holery.”
“Getting mad at you because you didn’t call and remind him to shower while you were separated?!”
“I’m almost impressed by the combination of incompetence and entitlement required to make that statement.”
“I hope you can take this as a wake up call and make the separation permanent.”
“If he wants to be taken care of like a literal child let him stay with his mom and let her deal with that nonsense.”
“You do not need this in your life anymore.”
‘And maybe your friends will be a little more likely to forgive you if you tell them you’ve dumped the pigsty.”- Diplodocus15
It’s alarming to the point of upsetting that any adult would need to be reminded to shower, by their wife or anyone.
This suggests that the OP’s husband might have even bigger issues than whatever marital problems the two of them were dealing with.
Here’s hoping that he can find the help he needs, and that he’s willing to take it if he does.