No one can dictate what you wear or how you should present yourself.
If someone around you is uncomfortable with your clothes it’s on them to figure out why, and get over it.
A Redditor encountered this very issue with her husband. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for refusing to be more modest around my step-son?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I (35F) met my husband (43M) eight years ago.”
“We fell in love hard and got married a year later. My step-son was 6 years old at the time.”
“I pretty much raised him since his mother has always been out of the picture, and even though he doesn’t call me mom we have a great relationship. Ever since my step-son (14M) hit puberty, my husband started commenting on my clothes and asking me to not wear a two-piece bikini around my step-son.”
“He justified it by explaining that in his culture ‘he’s from a Muslim Arab country’ you should dress modestly around non family members.”
“I was very offended since I consider him my son and I raised him since he was six years old. I dressed him, made him breakfast and took him to school everyday. I read him bedtime stories and tucked him in bed.”
Then, they went shopping.
“Last night I was online shopping while me and my husband were laying in bed. When I started browsing through bikini’s, my husband asked me to not purchase any two-piece bikinis since it’s inappropriate in his opinion.”
“I went off on him and told him that he’s the one being inappropriate and weird and that his son is also my son.”
“We argued for an hour and ended up leaving the house. He sent me a text later telling me that he’s very upset with me for not respecting his culture and religion.”
“Am I the asshole for refusing to be more modest?”
OP added more context.
“My husband is not a Muslim. He left the religion 15 years ago.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. Your husband is being weird and disgusting.” ~ TinyAngryRaccoon
“While I completely agree with this, maybe have a talk with your son.”
“He may have told his dad he was uncomfortable with how you dressed (not necessarily in a a sexual/tempted way) and it was blown out of proportion and made disturbing by your husband. It would also give you a good opening to talk to your son about how his thoughts and actions are not your responsibility to manage.”
“It would not excuse your husband but he may be trying to help his son and take the blame (in the worst possible way).” ~ smalls419
“I agree that this may be possible. When I was a teenager, I had a similar situation and asked my other parent to address it.” ~ TinyPinkSparkles
“It’s not another person’s responsibility to change the way they dress to make you feel more comfortable.”
“It’s your responsibility to address how how feel with yourself, because other people care not responsible for your private sexual thoughts. I hope you’ve grown up and changed.” ~ princessfoxglove
Some think she should do all she can to make her stepson comfortable.
“I think that’s usually the case, but they said it was involving one of their parents, and it’s very much the parents’ job to make their children feel safe and comfortable. If you’re an adult having this issue with another adult, that’s one thing, but if it’s a child or teenager having this issue with their parent then it’s not the same.”
“I’m not sure why I keep getting responses implying that OP’s son is uncomfortable with her attire or that he is uncomfortable because he’s having confused sexual feelings regarding her attire and that I’m saying she should change her clothes because of this reason.”
“OP was talking about her HUSBAND’S controlling nature regarding her attire and has not given any evidence that her son is actually bothered by it because of sexual reasons.”
“I made this comment specifically in response to the implication that parents are not responsible for making their children feel uncomfortable via what they wear. I feel as though parents are responsible because it’s their f*cking job to take care of your children.”
“There is a difference, though, between your children feeling uncomfortable about attire for general reason and having confused sexual feelings toward a parent due to wearing revealing clothing. I should’ve clarified that in my original response.”
“I don’t think the issue here is ‘young male teenager being horny for mother in bikini and growing up to think he can control what women wear’ and I’m kind of pissed that I keep getting responses about that when that was never something that was originally part of my response.” ~ oimoi779
Most think OP’s stepson is just acting like a teenager.
“Nobody wants to be embarrassed by their parents – especially a teenager. It isn’t necessarily a sexual thing.”
“My husband is super outgoing and kinda goofy, and our teenage daughter would ask me to have him tone it down in front of her friends. Now that she’s in her 20’s, she appreciates his quirks.” ~ jmccorky
“Surely you can see that there is a difference there between asking your goofy parent not to embarrass you and a man demanding a stepmother not wear a two-piece bathing suit because she’s being too sexual?” ~ princessfoxglove
“When my son acted a fool at school, my husband dressed in the most embarrassing way possible and walked him into high school holding his hand the entire way.”
“I hope he learned from that, I hope one of the things he learned is that whether he is embarrassed or proud, he has no right to dictate how another person expresses themselves through clothing.” ~ Gette_M_Rue
“That is hilarious! When my friend got sick of telling her son to pull up his pants to waist level, she pulled her own pants down low enough to show off half her granny panties and threatened to walk around like that the next time his friends came over. Needless to say, she never had to address the pants problem again.” ~ jmccorky
The only one who needs to be comfortable with her bikini is OP.