Insecurity is a difficult thing to deal with.
The problem isn’t so much that you lack self-confidence as that the lack of confidence begins to distort your perceptions about everything else around you.
Gentle words become harsh critiques, and every relationship becomes as fragile as glass.
So, what do you do when your insecurities color not just your perceptions, but your actions?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) throwaway_5986 when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for going being upset my wife’s boss called her an angel”
“I (35 male) and my wife (34 female) have been married 3 years.”
“I’ve had a lot of insecurities that I’ve had to work through due to being cheated on in my previous marriage.”
“Sometimes this leads to me reading into situations and I don’t trust men.”
“Things have been great with us until recently.”
“We found out I’m infertile and my wife took it hard.”
“We’re pursuing fertility treatments as a result and my wife is stressed about the cost and overall impact on our health.”
“She says that’s why she’s detached and distant but for me its a noticeable change.”
“She works night shift as a charge nurse.”
“Her new manager started about a year and he has recently offered her a position as assistant manager.”
“Huge step in her career.”
“I asked her if there was anything funny about him and she said no.”
“Today something felt off so when we were working out I grabbed her phone and looked through her texts.”
“I looked at the one with her boss and she had recently picked up a shift to help because there was a call out and her boss couldn’t go in because it was his kids birthday party.”
“When she said yes to working he said ‘you’re an angel from heaven. I’ll be forever grateful for your help’. To me this was soooo inappropriate and a fight ensued.”
“She asked if it was a female boss I’d care and I admitted I wouldn’t.”
“She didn’t see the harm in the comment and said females bosses HAVE called her an angel before for helping.”
“I feel like her boss crossed the line and that she let him and I can’t trust her to stand up for our marriage. She thinks I’m crazy. My friends are a 50/50 split on the situation.”
“So AITA that I’m upset her boss called her an angel and she didn’t correct him?”
“TLDR- my wife’s boss called her an angel and I think it was inappropriate”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: YTA
Some responses went right to the point.
“YTA and you need to calm down. Your insecurities are going to ruin your marriage.” ~ penguin_squeak
“YTA – Her boss isn’t going around calling her angel, that would be harassment. He called her an angel because she helped him not lose a important date.”
“Op, apologize to your wife, and find a therapist to deal with your insecurities. Your wife shouldn’t have to deal with any of this.” ~ softfujoshi
Other responses pointed out how hard nurses have it right now.
Nursing right now is rough as well. Finding people to pick up shifts can be a nightmare ~ sarathedime
“I’m a supervisor in long-term care.”
“We are short-handed, overextended, overwhelmed, overworked.”
“When staff members cover extra shifts, a sane manager praises them verbally to their faces and talks them up to the chain of command (and gives bonuses as much as possible).”
“You start taking this stuff for granted, you can kiss your reliable staff goodbye.”
“Mind you, kissing IS actually inappropriate.” ~ MerriWyllow
Commenters wondered about OP’s mental health.
“It sounds like OP needs therapy.”
“He said he worked through it but he didn’t say it was with a therapist.”
“If it was it wasn’t enough but it is clear he has not worked through it completely.”
“The managers text is in no way inappropriate.”
“This level of insecurity is really unhealthy and you’re right it will absolutely ruin the marriage.”
“In this case it will be a situation where he is creating what he fears by his behavior” ~ mortgage_gurl
“It was an innocent comment and you need serious help.”
“Your current wife and ex-wife are not the same person. Do not punish your wife for your ex’s sins.” ~ lexisplays
“Praise like that is not flirtatious or inappropriate unless your wife has objected to the religious aspect and asked her boss not to talk like that.”
“But there was no reference to her appearance or even PG assessment of her character, that is super G rated and absolutely not inappropriate.”
“You need real reality check help on this.”
“Not couples counseling but individual counseling to stop before your jealousy and insecurities ruin your marriage.” ~ wildferalfun
There were also concerns about where these insecurities came from.
“It’s super sad that her promotion brings out insecurities in him, but not nearly as sad as the fact that his FIRST REACTION to his wife’s promotion was to ask if her there was anything funny about her new boss.”
“I feel like I’d leave him for that alone.”
‘“Honey guess what, I was just promoted, this is huge! I’m so excited!”’
‘“Oh so your new boss is a guy and he promoted you?? Is there anything funny about this guy?”’ ~ LNLV
“And implying that a woman got a promotion only because the boss might have a thing for her is so sexist.”
“Anytime a woman moves up in life, there’s a line of men waiting to say it’s only because she’s a woman. That little comment OP made has such sexist undertones.” ~ SailorSpyro
Privacy was also brought up.
“There was not a single thing wrong with the text and everything wrong with you looking through her phone.”
“Your wife is clearly an actual angel for putting up with your b*llsh*t and not leaving you.” ~
Commenters broke it down for easier understanding.
“YTA. Let’s recap:”
“Wife gets promotion… instead of being happy for her you imply she was given it because her boss might have a thing for her. Not because she’s actually good at her job and deserves it.”
“You looked through her phone.”
“You find a text message that says the same sh*t a woman has previously said to her, which isn’t at all inappropriate, but because it was a male, you lose your sh*t.”
“You think your wife won’t stand up for your marriage..but you have no reason to think this.”
“You are SO TA. This is your problem and yours alone but if you’re not careful she will leave you.”
“And this time it’ll be your fault.” ~ TheRavenGirl13
And, personal stories.
“Thats what stood out to me too, she gets a promotion and her husband is suspicious?”
“Does he not believe in her?”
“Reminds me of when my professor nominated me for an award and my ex said they only did it bc I sucked their d*ck or something. (Never mind that my professor, Diane, didn’t even have a d*ck)”
“Honestly I wonder if OPs ex-wife actually cheated on him or if she just got tired of being accused of cheating bc that’s exactly why I left my ex, and he does indeed tell people I cheated.” ~ redwolf1219
“That was not a remotely flirty or sexual comment.”
“Then when you tie in the situation where your wife made it so her boss could actually attend his kids birthday party, the context here makes it even more innocent.”
“Dude, you’re going to blow up your marriage if you don’t get a hand on what’s going on with you.”
“I get it I’ve been cheated on repeatedly, but you can’t paint everyone with the same broad brush strokes.”
“Please go get some counseling for yourself so that you can start addressing these issues or you’re going to be married for a very short time.” ~ Roadgoddess
“Also angel is a common term for nurses dating back to the start of the profession.”
“It’s so common a term of endearment for the job there have been TV shows about nurses named Angels and here in the UK one called No Angels about the fact that nurses are in fact quite human and imperfect.”
“I lived with a bunch of nursing students when I was at uni and they all found the angel comments from staff and patients a bit annoying.”
“‘Can no one compliment me on my skills with a cannula?’ said one once when she was feeling a little patronized again as the only female nurse on ICU.”
“None of her male colleagues got called angels but did get their actual skills commented on.”
“She and the others often found it benign sexism to assume they were mythical beings in lieu of ever praising their personal skills.”
“But compared to people assuming they only got promotions because they were sleeping with the boss or the boss wanted to sleep with them made them aware of its place on the spectrum.”
“But this is like getting mad her boss said ‘you are so caring’ to a nurse…” ~ IFeelMoiGerbil
Insecurity is a vampire.
The feeling of unworthiness can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, tricking you into pushing way the warmth of others or the opportunities that your talents bring to you.
Remember that insecurity is a liar and a thief, eager to take joy wherever found.