A difference of opinion can be healthy.
While you may never come round to agreeing with someone else’s opinions, be it about politics, food, or favorite books or movies, it can be interesting to hear why someone feels the way they do.
This of course may lead to a bit of a healthy debate.
But when someone tries to provoke someone else with their differing opinions, it might not take long at all for that debate to stop being healthy.
Redditor Acceptable_Koala_651 found themself increasingly frustrated when their husband and sister frequently butted heads over their sizable differences of opinion.
But things came to a head following a visit to meet the original poster (OP)’s new baby niece, resulting in their taking drastic action against their husband.
Wondering if they overreacted, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for banning my husband from visiting my sister with me because he won’t stop trying to ‘debate’ her and her husband?”
The OP explained how their husband and sister would often butt heads whenever they got together, which the OP would grudgingly tolerate, but was getting increasingly tense.
“My sister, Marie, (29) and her husband Zach (40) had their first child, a beautiful baby girl, 2 months ago.”
“They have been pretty nervous parents, so when my husband Tom (42) and I (37) were invited to finally meet our niece, I was thrilled except I was worried about Tom making an a** out of himself.”
“You see, Tom and Marie have always had a hard time getting along because they do not agree on nearly anything, and Tom has always gotten a kick out of challenging Marie on their differing views because they are both very opinionated.”
“The thing is to Tom, it is funny to watch Marie react when he says things to provoke her, and Marie always wants to prove his views wrong.”
“In his head, because she was in grad school for social sciences, she finished right before having her baby, and is knowledgeable about the topics that Tom wants to argue about, Marie shouldn’t have a problem with debating him because ‘it’s literally her job’.”
“In the past, both Tom and Marie have initiated these arguments, and they have both been guilty of taking it too far in the past.”
“But ever since she got pregnant/ had a baby Marie has calmed down a lot, whereas Tom still tries to ‘bait’ her into debates about touchy subjects.”
“Mainly politics and personal values.”
“This got to a point where Marie blocked him on all social media a few months ago.”
Ahead of meeting their niece, the OP begged their husband to avoid any debates, and was outraged when they declined to honor this wish.
“Before we went to visit, I asked Tom to just be nice to Marie and Zach and not start anything.”
“Tom said that he would try his best.”
“I told him I would be very upset with him if he tried to ‘bait’ Marie or Zach into an argument.”
“Tom started out the evening pretty strong and kept to himself, until it was revealed that Zach was going to be the one to stay home with their daughter.”
“Tom made a comment like, ‘oh I thought mom was supposed to do that’.”
“Zach said that it was pretty sexist for Tom to say that and when Tom asked how, Zach told him that moms can have careers too, and that Marie shouldn’t give up all the hard work she just did.”
“Tom started on a tangent and Marie cut him off and told him to either quit or leave because she’s done entertaining his nonsense.”
“Tom laughed it off, but it was still very awkward after this.”
“We didn’t stay for long after and when we got home, I told Tom that I am done with him embarrassing me and that he’s not allowed to join me whenever I visit Marie again, if I’m even invited back.”
“I told him that it doesn’t make him look smart when he always insists on having these conversations, that it just makes him look like an a** and me like a fool.”
“Tom said I’m blowing this way out of proportion and that it’s not his fault that they got so offended, and that if anything they were rude to kick him out over his opinion.”
“But Marie didn’t do anything to him this time, she didn’t snap back at him, she didn’t call him names, she just asked him to stop.”
“Am I being unreasonable?”
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
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community resoundingly agreed that the OP was absolutely within their rights to ban their husband from visiting their sister, and was not the a**hole for doing so.
Nearly everyone agreed that this wasn’t a simple difference of opinion, and that the OP’s husband’s behavior was simply rude and sexist, with many wondering how healthy the OP’s marriage was.
“Tom sounds like the kinda guy who likes to pick fights just to see the fallout, because it’s ultimately about control.”
“He likes seeing the effect he has on people and seeing them get upset over something he says.”
“Adults can control themselves as well.”
“Adults also take responsibility for their actions and try to better themselves without resorting to ‘it’s their fault they got offended at something I said’.”
“This is toddler sh*t.”
“Tom needs to grow up and realize the whole ‘i’m an intellectual and must therefore debate everyone always all the time’ stopped being cute in high school.”- saltedfish
“They kicked him out over his behavior!”
“Tom is the very definition of an a**hole.”
“He doesn’t need to do any of this, he just does it too make other people feel bad.”
“But why are you married to this human, he sounds truly insufferable.”- Rough_Elk_3952
“Why are you married to a man who has sexist opinions?”- jannielovesyou33
“Sorry but your husband sounds exhausting in the worst way possible.”- DocMeow3
“Your husband sounds insufferable and like the type of person who thinks their ignorance is equal to someone else’s education.”
“It’s not ‘literally her job’ to have to put up with someone who wants to bait or troll her just for the sake of it, whether she went to graduate school for the social sciences, super broad, by the way, or not.”
“You may say most of the time he’s a great guy but he sounds ignorant and sexist in this post, bordering on a bully with his whole ‘not his fault they got so offended’.”
“He said something offensive.”
“You stuck up for your sister but I wouldn’t be surprised if you see less of her, at least if you insist on bringing your husband.”- Careful-Bumblebee-10
“NTA, but your husband f*cking sucks.”- selppa_
“It’s pretty clear Tom has misogynistic views.”
“You call him a good dad, but if he thinks it’s a woman’s job to stay home and take care of the kids while the men go out and party, it’s hard for me to imagine he’s actually an involved dad.”
“And what is it that you think he’s going to teach your kids about women?”
“From the info you provided, you’re NTA, but if you let Tom pass a lot of garbage into your kids, or treat you disrespectfully, that changes pretty quick.”- quyetx
“NTA your husband sounds absolutely insufferable, I’m sorry you’re married to him.”-dianaprince2022
“If ‘it’s literally her job’ he needs to start paying her for her time.”- nailgun198
“Leave Tom at home on reddit to debate the world.”- ElectronicRub1716
“It gets tiring having to deal with his boorish behavior.”- sarcasmislife28
“My brother who had a good job, high pay, was a stay at home dad.”
“His wife had a better paying job.”
“She is a doctor.”
“Your husband is an AH, major major AH.”
“You are not exactly an AH other than the fact you put up with his 1940’s mindset.”
“No one else should have to put up with that.”
“Not only is he putting your sister down but he is also saying his BIL shouldn’t get to enjoy being a SAHD because he has male genitals.”- Spirited_Bill_8947
There were a few, however, who felt the OP should have known better than to take her husband to see her sister while she was still in her fragile state, particularly after her sister blocked her husband on social media.
“YTA for subjecting your sister to your asshole husband.”- hunnybun16
“This might be controversial, but YTA.”
“Specifically for subjecting the rest of your family to this narcissist for so long.”
“Baiting others into an argument is a classic red flag of narcissistic abuse.”
“Stop bringing him around your sister, she doesn’t deserve to suffer over your marriage decisions.”-iHelterSkelter
While many people enjoy debating their differing opinions, no one enjoys being spoken down to.
Which is exactly what the OP’s husband did to their sister and brother-in-law with his antiquated, sexist remark.
Maybe a break from provoking his in-laws will give the OP’s husband time to reflect on his behavior, and offer them the apology they deserve.