When two people get up in front of their friends and family to share their vows, most assume that they will live a long and happy marriage.
But sometimes things get in the way, like money management or their sex life, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor AnyWolf_134 tried to be sympathetic to his sister when she came to live with him for a while during her divorce process.
But when she told him more about why she was getting divorced, the Original Poster (OP) began to question her values more and more.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my sister that a comment she made is exactly why her marriage crashed and burned?”
The OP welcomed his sister into his home during her divorce proceedings.
“My sister has been staying with my husband and I (men in our late 20s) for the last week and some change.”
“She and her husband have initiated the divorce process and she said she doesn’t want to stay alone right now, which I completely understand. It would be very hard to go from living with a partner to a completely silent house.”
But the OP was feeling increasingly conflicted about his sister’s marriage.
“I opened our home to her before I found out why her marriage didn’t work out. Now that the two of us have had multiple conversations about it, I’m a little uncomfortable.”
“There was no infidelity. There was no big scandal. What she told me is that her husband wasn’t having sex with her enough.”
“The things she has been saying have floored me. She says without sex, the two of them were basically just like roommates. She said she had been pushing for him to get a hormone imbalance test done because while they were still having sex, it wasn’t enough.”
“She said he had begun resisting even normal touches from her because, from his perspective, all she thought about was sex, which apparently isn’t true… I’m not sure I believe that.”
“Overall, this has left me feeling sad for her ex and the disrespect of saying sex is the only thing that separates a partner from a roommate. Not even a friend.”
“I’ve done my best to be supportive, but I can’t relate to the thought process at all. If my partner told me tomorrow that he wasn’t up for sex for the next few weeks, months, or longer, I would just take care of myself and respect that. I love him and I want him to be the person I do life with forever.”
The OP’s discomfort came out in a hurtful comment.
“This all came to a head last night. My husband and I were having a typical lazy Saturday night, catching up on some shows and chatting while we lounge on the couch.”
“His legs were in my lap and I was kind of absentmindedly massaging his feet and rubbing his ankles. This was an innocent gesture.”
“My sister came in, saw me doing it, and made a joke along the lines of, ‘Ah, OP, I didn’t know you were into feet,’ or ‘I didn’t know you had a foot fetish.’ The exact wording escapes me.”
“I couldn’t help but feel put off by her sexualizing the gesture. Intimacy CAN be sexual, but it doesn’t have to be.”
“I told her so, and then said, referring to her divorce, ‘You sexualizing every interaction is why you’re in the situation you are now.'”
“She called me a d**k and left the room.”
“I already know it was a little harsh, but I’m unsure if it was tough love or too much.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some completely understood why the OP made that comment, harsh or not.
“My boyfriend and I (men in our 30s) have a wonderful relationship that doesn’t revolve around sex.”
“I have an average drive, and he has a lower one. All good. I take care of my needs, and we’ll have it when HE wants it together. We go on dates, hang out together, play video games/watch movies, cuddle, and normal couple stuff. Sometimes, it leads to sex, and sometimes it doesn’t. Don’t love him any less for it.”
“OP is NTA in my book. If his sister is sexualizing any sort of touch or reaction, there’s a problem.” – JunpeiIori91
“No. Telling your brother he has a foot fetish because he is cuddled up for any old regular movie night is not a ‘healthy sex drive.'”
“She is consumed with sex. She can’t even just have a movie night in someone else’s house without blurting out rude @ss sexual comments.”
“NTA. Not one tiny bit.” – boogers19
“NTA. I hate people who constantly make everything sexual. If your sister were continuously making comments like that, then I would snap too.” – slytherngrl
“I had an ex who behaved similarly, and it got to the point where I was uncomfortable with any and all physical contact because whenever they WOULD touch me, it would either be sexual or become sexual within five minutes.”
“Oh, you wanna cuddle? Well, enjoy it for four minutes before you start getting groped. I’m not surprised her ex eventually shied away from all physical contact.”
“OP is definitely NTA! His sister basically acted like all her ex was good for is sex, and someone needed to say something eventually. Given the fact that she extended that behavior towards OP and his husband, I’d say it was called for.” – Phadeful
“A similar reaction was bound to happen. It’s one thing if you keep your mouth shut when she is talking about these issues and judging her own scenario, but once she starts projecting it onto you and your husband she’s going too far. And if you didn’t nip it in the bud then she probably would have escalated.”
“It honestly sounds like the husband already had Walkaway syndrome, probably due to many other factors of the marriage, and your sister is using the lack of sex as the only reason to excuse accepting her faults in the relationship.”
“As you said, it is sad. There was either never a foundation other than sex in this relationship, or the foundation was destroyed by different issues entirely, and your sister just can’t admit that to herself or anyone else.” – SRHiddenFalse
Others thought the OP was too harsh and maybe even projecting.
“Holy s**t, YTA.”
“She made a slight joke, maybe one you found offensive. From my perspective, this is a light tease. Then you proceeded to go nuclear and used something your sister told you in a moment of vulnerability just to hurt her.”
“She’s going through a traumatic experience. She probably feels a ton of self-confidence issues because her husband was ‘resisting even normal touches from her,’ and you proceeded to pour lava into the wound. For what?”
“Because she made a light joke about a foot massage?”
“The N T A people here are blowing my f**king mind. You owe your sister a deep apology. That wasn’t tough love. It wasn’t love at all.” – 693ew420
“YTA. A dead bedroom is absolutely a reason for relationship incompatibility. It sounds like you’re judging her for the fact that she values sex as part of a relationship. You’re different people and can have different values.”
“Her comment was not really appropriate, but you are blaming her for the end of her relationship. Clearly, there is more to it.” – poweller65
“YTA, first for judging your sister’s reason for divorce, and second for your comment to her.”
“Touch and sex are a vital part of intimacy in a marriage. It’s part of the connection. It’s one thing when there is a medical reason. But just because your partner doesn’t want you, it can damage your self-esteem and certainly the relationship.”
“I’ve been there. And until you are, you really should keep your judgment to yourself. Because while you may think you’d know how you would feel, you are wrong.”
“Second, she made a joke, a pretty innocuous one, and you went straight to AH.” – CarDecGra
“I’m a woman. Once a week is not sufficient for me. I was young and dumb and made a lot of assumptions about men when I got married (I was also recently postpartum). I thought that men wanted sex all the time.”
“It took me a really, really long time and many many years of frustration and hurt to realize that the lack of sex in my marriage directly reflected the inability of my partner to engage in any intimate acts (sex or otherwise) and that I didn’t want to live that way.”
“If you asked my ex, he’d say I left him because there wasn’t enough sex, even though we had a five-minute mechanical engagement once a week after YEARS of asking for more intimacy. If you asked me five years ago to explain why I left, I would have said, ‘Not enough sex.'”
“I bet you’re punishing your sister for not having the right vocabulary to describe her problems. I bet leaving her marriage was fucking DEVASTATING for her, and she has a sh*t ton of guilt about it.”
“I also think you’re a bit puritanical about marriages, why people leave, and why people want sex. Not everyone is you. Everyone gets to define why they want to stay in/leave a religious or legal contract. Leave her alone. YTA.” – fing_delightful
“I was in a marriage like your sister’s. My ex and I have remained friends, but we split because ‘I didn’t just want to be roommates.'”
“I see now that It wasn’t the lack of sex that was the problem. It was the lack of intimacy or feeling desired that was causing my distress.”
“I think I had a twisted perception that sex equals love.”
“I’m in a relationship now where we don’t bang all the time. We can go long stretches without having actual intercourse. The difference is that, in the stretches where we aren’t having sex, I still feel like he desires me. He makes me feel like he would have sex with me… he makes me feel sexy.”
“Being married to someone that isn’t interested in having sex with you is rough on the self-esteem. I felt like I was doing something wrong (and surely I was doing some things wrong, like always harping on how he didn’t want to have sex with me, lol (laughing out loud)… amongst other things) but I wasn’t looking at it from the perspective that my ex just has intimacy issues.”
“So being with someone who does make me feel attractive has the effect of improving my self-esteem, which has the effect of making me feel comfortable opening up to him, which has the effect of making us talk about personal things, which brings me to feeling satisfied with the level of ‘intimacy’ that we have in our relationship.”
“I think you’re looking at your sister’s marriage the way I looked at my marriage, and you’re making her relationship all about sex here, and I can almost guarantee that your sister has no self-confidence right now because she feels like a failure as a woman because even her own husband doesn’t wanna have sex with her.” – friday99
While everyone could agree the sister’s comment was out-of-place, they disagreed about the severity and vulgarity of the joke, as well as how the OP responded to it.
Some found the joke to be grossly inappropriate and that the sister needed a wake-up call about her relationship, but others thought a harmless joke during a vulnerable time deserved much more forgiveness than what she received.