The last few years have seen real, fundamental changes in how our society perceives “traditional” gender-roles.
Particularly in relationships.
This is to be celebrated, applauded at every opportunity and continued until such constraints are no longer an issue.
However, there are some people who still cling to old ideas, what happens when one of them happens to be your spouse?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Main-Club-2622 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for paying for my own food in front of my husband’s brother?”
OP admitted this was an odd quandry.
“I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous to wonder if you’re an a**hole about, but please listen on because I am genuinely curious if people think I was in the wrong.”
OP explained some of the history involved.
“So me (25 Female) and my husband 30(Male) Louis got into a fight two months ago.”
“It involved him bringing up how he pays for most of my stuff.”
“For some background Louis’s family believes that the man should pay for his wife’s things.”
“I only let him pay for my things because he insists on doing it.”
“I am not saying that I am ungrateful, because I truly am grateful.”
“But I don’t want to have it thrown in my face that he pays for my things so since then I’ve payed for my own stuff just fine.”
“From time to time he tries but I just stop him and pay for it myself.”
“Last night we were at dinner with his brother, Micheal(28M).”
Everything was fine, until…
“It was time to pay, so I ended up paying for myself.”
“This morning when I woke up Louis was mad because apparently Micheal has told his other siblings about what happened and joked about it.”
“Louis thinks that because of my pettiness they now see him as ‘less of a man'”.
“I truly wasn’t being petty, and I was only doing what I had fell into a habit of which was paying for my own things.”
Having egxplained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Some pointed out what a basic problem this was.
“He wants to pay and be able to throw it in her face.”
“That’s the point, it’s a way for the men in his family to assert dominance over the women.” ~ PopularParsnip8
“I cant imagine being so insecure that you think your wife paying for food makes you less of a man. Good lord” ~ DrMindbendersMonocle
There were, of course, personal stories.
“I see stuff like this and wonder how other people must view my parents.”
“They spend their own money on ‘nonessentials’ and sleep in separate rooms because they are not sleep compatible (my dad is a violent sleeper and snores like a g*dd*mn train).”
“Can’t believe my dad is so unmanly smh” ~ Gloomy_Bad_9606
“A good friend of mine and her husband have separate bedrooms because neither of them like sharing with someone full time.”
“My wife and I have separate rooms, 1) because we’re not romantically involved, 2) because I dislike sharing a bed most of the time, and 3) because she snores like a bear choking on a chainsaw…”
“She also argues with people in her sleep.”
“Ironically we shared a room, but not beds for the first several years we lived together, before ever entertaining the idea of getting married… which was why I insisted on separate rooms eventually.”
“We had to share a hotel room recently and I got NO sleep…” ~starshadewrites
“NTA – As someone who was in a relationship with someone who refused to let me pay for things and then the minute we fought threw it back in my face, I applaud you for paying for your own things.”
“If he wants to pay for your things, that’s his choice but he has no right to bring it up or use it against you afterwards.”
“It has nothing to do with misogyny or him being or not being a typical ‘man”‘.
“It has everything to do with how he complains and makes you feel bad when he chose to pay for things.” ~ Aves667
Some blamed society.
“TBF it’s because that’s not how you were raised. I’m sure if you were told from the age of 5 you’re not a man unless you support your wife you’ll believe it.”
“It’s not excusing his behavior but it’s learned” ~ theassholethrowawa
“And it can be learned away, too.”
“Otherwise our habits and values would match the habits and values of stone age people.”
“This questioning of habits and values and deciding to change the bad ones happens when kids grow up to be adults, they start thinking on their own.”
“Not sure if OP’s husband ever did that.”~LookAtNarnia
There was also this interaction which just made me smile.
“Traditions are just peer pressure from dead people” ~ cheerful_cynic
“Traditions can be good, too, like my grandmother had a tradition of inviting the whole extended family over the weekend before Christmas.”
“She always brought everyone together.”
“It’s our responsibility to ditch bad traditions and create good ones instead.” ~ LookAtNarnia
Toxic masculinity was brought up more than once.
“Sounds like your husband has a big ego and a fragile sense of masculinity.”
“It’s pretty garbage to insist that you pay for someone and then throw that back in their face, but you aren’t the asshole for not playing his game” ~ rmric0
“Okay but he has been fine with being “less of a man” for two months since it cost him nothing, but he doesn’t want his family to know he is?”
“Sorry that’s not having a belief, that’s just hypocrisy and spinelessness.” ~ OrneryDandelion
“He’s been fine with her paying her own way for a while without complaining if emasculation, and only now is upset because his family knows.”
“He wasn’t living on the principles he was raised… he just wanted to look like it when the opportunity benefitted him.” ~ WineAndDogs2020
“Big Man complained about it to his wife’s face but then felt ashamed in front of his own family. Pathetic.” ~ katieleehaw
“I think the whole throwing in your face is part of ‘feeling like a man’ in cases like this.”
“The whole idea is to leverage money to ‘win’ the relationship. Too bad op has her own money” ~ merrycat
Some wondered why Husband was still around.
“Does hubby want to continue the relationship or is she merely a convenience, something he has to prove he’s an adult and a man.”
“He clearly resents ‘having’ to pay for her yet am not offended that she doesn’t allow him to keep up the illusion with his family because he is also spineless.”
“Why is it always on women to fix relationships and men who can’t find out how to function as an adult in a relationship.”
“I am begging cis het women to get some standards and realize being single is not the end of the world.”
“Cis het men really need to start learning to fix themselves and take the first step to fix their relationships and not rely on women to do it and everyone else need to stop enabling them.” ~ OrneryDandelion
“Does he resent to pay for her? Or does he just want to use it to control what she can buy and what she can do with money, and to make her feel like she ‘owes’ him and she has to do what he wants?”
“Because that is a dynamic that is pretty common, and by paying for herself, she is denying him control over her actions.” ~ elder_flowers
Commenters knew wheres to put the blame.
“NTA – HE caused this issue, not you.”
“He wants the credit of ‘paying for his woman’ and ‘seeming like a man’ but in reality he treats you poorly and gets mad that he pays.”
“He needs to pick a side and stick with it!”
“He cant have it both ways.”
“Either he pays and shuts up with his resentment towards paying… or you pay your own way and make it known, when asked, that due to his resentment, you now pay for yourself.”
“He doesn’t get to pretend you are the bad guy to his family when it is HIM choosing not to follow the way his family works.” ~ C_Alex_author
“NTA, especially if he makes it a point to bring up that he pays for everything.”
“On a side note, it always baffles me that other married couples don’t conjoin finances.”
“I know its really common, but It seems so strange to me to bring up that I bought my wife something or vice versa.”
“I always thought the whole marriage thing was, ‘whats yours is mine.”‘ ~ DapperDaleDanTony
“Your husband is the one who complained about paying for you.”
“He doesn’t also get to keep his image about always paying for you (as a manly man – /s) to his family.” ~ ParsimoniousSalad
While the actual article ended up being removed by Reddit’s span filters, the conversation it brought about in the comments was an important one.
Be sure that you and those significant to you are on the same page with your ‘roles’ – or lack thereof – within the relationships you share.
But above all, be kind.