Anyone who understands anything about marriage understands that the couple is supposed to be there for each other through everything, in sickness and in health.
But some of the more selfish people in the world choose to ignore their responsibilities during the more difficult moments in life, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor MandyTate35246 was appalled on her husband’s birthday when he not only encouraged her to wear a dress that she wasn’t comfortable in but laughed at her for how she looked.
But when her husband insisted he was joking and she was overreacting, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to think.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for walking out of my husband’s birthday party dinner after he started laughing at me?”
The OP’s body recently went through a big change due to medical complications.
“I (32 Female) just completed my treatment for a medical issue that affected my body.”
“I had gained weight due to this medical condition and associated medication, and none of my old clothes were fitting anymore.”
“I bought new clothes that fit, but for my husband’s birthday party, he asked me to wear one of my old dresses that was one of his favorites.”
“To appease him, I said yes, although I didn’t feel comfortable wearing it, especially after the weight gain.”
At the birthday dinner, the OP immediately regretted wearing the dress.
“He was at the restaurant with his family and friends when I arrived with my sister.”
“As soon as he saw me walking in, he busted out laughing… He first started giggling and tried to cover his mouth, but then in a matter of seconds, he burst out laughing.”
“He pointed at the dress and was going hysterical, saying, ‘Oh my god,’ in the middle of the restaurant.”
“I felt so incredibly mad, especially when the others started laughing as well.”
“The guests were confused, but then they must’ve understood why he was laughing, because they joined in, and his friend whistled at me mockingly while repeatedly turning his head like something caught his ‘attention.'”
The OP decided enough was enough.
“I turned around instantly and walked out, and my sister followed me. I went home and cried a little, but he kept calling non-stop.”
“He came home and started talking about how oversensitive I was and that ‘it was just a natural reaction’ he had upon seeing me in this dress again after all this time.”
“He said I overreacted and made a scene over nothing. He also said I ruined his birthday and urged me to get therapy for this oversensitivity that I’m inflicting upon him.”
“He also said he was ‘caught off guard’ and so I shouldn’t blame him for his reaction.”
The OP wasn’t sure what to think.
“Could it be that I overreacted?”
“It could be just me getting overwhelmed because joking and laughing are not new when it comes to him. He’s the kind to tease about any and everything even with family. The kids also.”
“He’s so upset he refused to even receive the gift.”
“AITA? Did I overreact?”
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 agreed the OP needed therapy, but not for the reasons her husband suggested.
“You need therapy, that’s right, but not for your overs sensitivity… but for your own sake/self-esteem/ emotional trauma your husband is subjecting you to.”
“His reaction was completely unjustified. This was bound to happen. He guilted you into wearing something you weren’t comfortable in / he knew you didn’t fit.”
“He publicly humiliated you.”
“He is blaming you. Gaslighting you. Hasn’t apologized.”
“Get a divorce pronto, the easiest way to drop dead weight.” – Status-Pattern7539
“This is emotional abuse, and an entire bingo card full of it:”
“Dismissing her feelings”
“Manipulating her into wearing poorly fitting clothes for his amusement”
“Publicly humiliating her”
“Being hyper-critical of her”
“Tearing down her self-esteem and sense of dignity”
“Twisting reality and gaslighting her (claiming she’s oversensitive, ruined his birthday, and needs therapy, when the entire scene was concocted by him)”
“The fact that she is questioning whether she’s overreacting and if his behavior is acceptable suggests that his manipulating and emotionally tearing her down has been happening for a while, and she’s stuck in a cycle of abuse.” – waitingfordeathhbu
“If he deserved forgiveness, OP, he would’ve followed you when you left, told his friends to cut it out because it wasn’t funny, and PROFUSELY APOLOGIZED for hurting you.”
“He might’ve explained why it happened and that he didn’t mean to hurt you, but emphasize that it was his fault, he is sorry and it won’t happen again. Probably say something about how beautiful you are and how attracted to you he is.”
“That would be the reaction of someone who loves you.”
“What happened here as they point out is a long string of red flags!”
“I do agree with him on therapy, so you work through this, get your self-esteem back, and either work to change your relationship or decide to break free of someone who not only publicly humiliates you, but expects you to apologize for not enjoying it.”
“NTA.” – tinaciv
“He is an abusive a** and I would drop him like yesterday’s moldy bread.”
“NTA, OP, I do agree you should get some therapy to process the trauma of being with this abusive jerk and how to leave him.”
“I know Reddit is notorious for ‘leave him,’ but when he is abusive, that’s EXACTLY what you need to do.” – CuriousPenguinSocks
“But please take him up on his suggestion of therapy. Talk about all of ‘these types of things’ that have occurred during your relationship and then, with the therapist’s help, make a plan to leave this AH.” – sherryh5997
“I am a therapist and can confirm. This is abuse.”
“OP, if you do go to therapy, don’t go to couple’s therapy with an abuser, go to individual therapy.”
“You may want to read ‘Why Does He Do That’ by Lundy Bancroft and see if you recognize your marriage in it.” – Consistent-Basket330
“When my abusive ex told me to go to therapy, I did exactly that. Whenever I reacted with anger or hurt at the way my ex treated me, he would tease me with, ‘Oh, go see your shrink.'”
“Instead of changing his behavior to be less hurtful or aggressive, he wanted me to go back to therapy (for PND (Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea) and later, depression and anxiety) in order to get some coping strategies.”
“As I said to him much later, be careful what you wish for.”
“My therapist convinced me I deserved better and set in motion a long journey towards freedom. I did deserve better and now I have that.”
“You deserve better too, OP.”
“NTA.” – leftmysoulthere74
Others thought the husband set a malicious trap for her on his birthday.
“I can’t help but wonder if this was planned. Maybe he knew she would be embarrassed like this in the dress he picked out and did it on purpose to shame her into ‘losing weight faster’ post her medical treatment.” – Korike0017
“The absolute f**king nerve of this guy making you put on a dress that you don’t feel comfortable in and then laughing and pointing at you in public, in front of his friends and family.”
“That was intentional and it was cruel.”
“Please take it as the wake-up call you need, don’t stay married to this dude.” – CrystalQueen3000
“NTA OP, but your husband is incredibly emotionally abusive. He set you up to be mocked and humiliated, then gaslit you when you reacted. Please leave, he will only get worse, and you deserve so much better.” – L1ttleFr0g
“He wanted to be a bro for his buddies and use her as the punchline.”
“OP, you need to lose the deadweight that is this AH. Your life will be so much better. NTA, but you will be (to yourself) if you let yourself stay with a person who disrespects you.” – catculture8
“Geez, this is just one more time a person (a man in particular) made fun of a spouse, then got upset because after all, it was just a joke, it was funny and he couldn’t help it, she should have rolled with the ridicule because she’s too sensitive, etc.”
“OP, your husband 1) knew you didn’t really want to wear the dress because 2) you’d gained weight and wouldn’t look or feel right in it. So he manipulated you into wearing it and then he tore you down in front of people. And it’s your fault because you couldn’t roll with the joke/laughter/ridicule.”
“NTA. But truly what he did was malicious and he’s toxic. Also, everyone else who laughed at you, they’re all crummy people. A decent person with empathy would have seen your discomfort and not laughed, would have shushed everyone making fun of you. So they all aren’t worth spit to know or be related to.”
“Go find a counselor or therapist so you can understand why you’re with this man and figure out how to not be with him or his family. I’m sorry you’ve been so ill, glad you’re physically doing better, now let’s work on your self-confidence.” – sailingisgreat
“The saddest part is that she still tried to give him his gift! She probably apologized too. He is emotionally blackmailing her and a bully and she doesn’t see it.”
“A real man would never laugh at someone he loves. What a giant douche.” – RavenLunatyk
The subReddit was furious on the OP’s behalf that her own husband had set her up for embarrassment at his birthday and then used her as entertainment for the evening, all before blaming her for how the birthday party turned out.
Even if the OP’s husband and the people he’d surrounded them could not support her, it was clear the subReddit community would.