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Redditor Called Out For Accidentally Telling Former Coworker’s Wife That He Got Laid Off

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You always want to be there for your friends.

Particularly when you know they’re going through a hard time.

But, have you ever been in a situation where you tried to help, and only made things worse?

Such was the case for Redditor LaidOffFromWork, who upon running into a former colleague of theirs, immediately offered to help him with a problem they knew he had been going through.

But without realizing it, the original poster (OP) instead found themselves putting their friend’s marriage in trouble.

Feeling guilty about the situation, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for outing a coworker who got laid off from his job?”

The OP first shared how they felt a chance meeting with their former colleague seemed like an ideal opportunity to help him out.

An old coworker of mine, ‘Mike’, got laid off from his job about a month ago.”

“I saw him and his wife in the grocery store and I gave him some information on a place that was hiring our old employees (tech).”

“I know several people who almost instantly got hired and are making almost the same pay.”

“I told Mike to contact another former employee and he could hook him up.”

What the OP didn’t gamble on, however, was that Mike’s wife was not aware of his predicament.

“Mike’s wife was livid that she didn’t tell him about his layoff.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“I just thought it would be nice to pass along the information to Mike.”

“It never once crossed my mind that Mike wouldn’t tell his wife that he was laid off of his job over a month ago.”

“He told her he went remote.”

“I get an angry email from Mike saying how could I embarrass him in front of his wife like that and he has been looking for a job.”

“He didn’t tell her about the layoffs because she has bad anxieties about money and now she’s freaking out on him and I might have destroyed his marriage.”

“I was just trying to pass along that several of my former colleagues have already found placement at another job and tried to help him out.”

“I gave him their number so he could text them and try to set up something.”

“I never imagine in a million years that he wouldn’t tell his wife about him getting laid off.”

“I feel bad now and I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have said something to start.”

Fellow Redditors weigh 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 – Everybody Sucks Here

The Reddit community wholeheartedly agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for trying to help out their friend.

Everyone agreed that the OP was only trying to help, and that it was in no way their fault that Mike’s wife got angry with him, as they were oblivious to the fact that he didn’t tell her.


“How could you possibly have known?”

“And honestly, what was Mike’s endgame?”

“Wait until the money ran out and the lights turned off before telling his wife he had no job?”-Kwateldofel.


“You did nothing wrong.”

“And nothing to damage their marriage.”

“All that was on Mike.”

“Whatever his reasons, him lying to his wife about his employment was his fault.”-ondinemonsters.

“How dare you try to help somebody out of the goodness of your heart?”

“NTA.”- crocodylomorphing.


“You aren’t the keeper of Mike’s ring of lies.”

“How in the world would you ever be able to keep track of the crap he lies to his wife about?”

“Mike is the AH.”

“You didn’t destroy anything.”

“Mike has no courage, and he’s mad about that.”

“You could be a cat who let the truth out, and he’d hate the cat because that’s easier than facing the life he created.”

“Hope that sad sap figures it out, but good on you for being helpful!”- Vegan_4evah.

“Honest mistake, you were trying to help.”

“Mike should not have lashed out at you for his own douchebaggery.”

“It sucks that he lied, long-term, to his wife.”

“How were you supposed to know that?”

“NTA.”- Total-Being-4278.

“NTA .”

“Gotta love when people lie to their family and then try to blame other people when it gets out.”

“As if everyone should just know you lied to your wife, so stupid.”

‘Of course she was going to find out sometime what a dummy.”

“AND you were trying to help him get a good lead on a new job and he was super ungrateful and then has the nerve to email you chewing you out?”

“I get he must be stressed out but damn, way to blame the wrong person.”-PeachCinnamonToast.

“You’re not responsible for him lying to his wife.”

“Also she was gonna figure it out sooner or later when he either DIDN’T find another job or when finances got bad.”

“NTA.”- PommeDeSang.


“He lied to his wife and that is his fault.”

“You wanted to help, and where being a good person.”

“Don’t feel bad that he lied got caught and now has to deal with his lie.”

“He is TA for doing that and then trying to blame you for his f*ck up.”- enkidu1016.


“You had genuinely good intentions for your coworker, which is very rare nowadays.”

“It’s not your fault that your coworker lied to his wife.”

“If he cared so much about his ‘reputation’ in front of his wife, he should have given you subtle signs with his eyes or hands, asking you to change the topic, but he didn’t.’

“Not your fault OP.”- mrdeehawk.


“This guy is just taking it out on the messenger, he’s at fault for not telling his wife.”-detectivesappho.


“His trying to not tell his wife is insane.”

“I can see how he got there (‘oh I’ll have something in a few days’ which turned into week after week), but the fact that she’ll freak about his layoff is no excuse.”

“That’s stuff she needs to know, anxiety or not.”- mhkohne.


“You didn’t ruin his marriage.”

“He ruined his own marriage by lying to his wife, if anything he should be mad at himself.”-No_Extreme_1798.


“You just tried to help Mike.”

“It’s not your fault that he lied to his wife (and about such an important thing, to add).”

“Also, Mike’s ‘plan’ seems quite shortsighted.”

“Did he really expect that wife wouldn’t notice there’s no money coming in or that he has suddenly so much free time?”-No-Jellyfish-1208.


“You couldn’t have possibly known that he lied about losing his job.”

“While it may take a day or two to figure out ‘how’ to tell his spouse he lost his job, he’d been laid off for a month!”

“And it isn’t normal or healthy to lie to your spouse about your job.”

“So there was no reason for you to expect that’s what he’d done.”

“He does need a job, and you were being helpful by offering an in at another company.”

“A possible job offer is pretty vital.”

“He has NO ONE but himself to blame for the fiasco.”

“He chose to be dishonest.”

“You chose to be a helper.”

“And the byproduct of that is that it exposed his dishonesty, but that is not your fault.”

“Do not let him guilt you for ‘ruining his marriage’.”

“You couldn’t have known money was a sore subject for his wife any more than you could have known he lied to her arguably worse than him losing his job, imo.”

“He’s destroying his own marriage by lying to his wife.”- One-Ad-4136.


“OMG there’s no way you could foresee this and you certainly didn’t have bad intentions.”-TemptingPenguin369.


“He is out of line here.”

“How were you supposed to know he was lying to his wife?”

“You were doing him a favor and didn’t cause the situation.”

“Anyway, hey Mike you know how to make someone’s money anxiety worse?”

“Lie to them about your shared finances.”

“That’s a very quick way to do that.”-spocksbeanies.


“You meant well, and he lied to the one person he should never lie to.”

“If his marriage is falling apart that’s on him.”- zoe_zoe2.

“NTA, you’ve had no effect on his marriage, his dishonesty has destroyed it.”

“You did a nice thing.”-BellesNoir.


“You had no idea he hadn’t told his wife and you were trying to do a really nice thing.”-SimplySam4210.


“You had no way of knowing and were trying to do an incredibly helpful thing.”

“He’s angry that his lies to his wife were brought to light.”

“Not your fault.”- DisneyBuckeye.

Hopefully, it won’t take Mike long to realize that the OP was simply trying to help him.

One also hopes that Mike doesn’t ignore Mike’s help because of his own mistake, as that will no doubt only make his wife even angrier.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.