Obnoxious friends are a difficult landscape to navigate.
On one hand, you want to be nice to them because you’re their friend. But on the other, they’re REALLY getting on your nerves and starting to embarrass you in front of other people.
So how do you handle dealing with such a person gracefully?
Redditor throw___9765 did not think her husband was handling his friend’s obnoxious attitude with any sort of grace, so she took it upon herself to react to the friend’s boundary crossing, angering both her husband and his friend in the process.
Unsure if she’d done something wrong, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for objective feedback from strangers:
“AITA for telling my husband’s friend he isn’t welcome to our house til he starts calling my son by his real name?”
Our original poster, or OP, talked about her husband’s very very close friend.
“My F[emale]27 husband M[ale]29 has a friend M30 from college who he calls brother, they’re inseparable. They hang out together a lot and are very close.”
“His friend tends to act rudely sometimes, he’s stubborn and thinks he’s some sense of humor. I tolerate his behavior since it’s not that weird but things got worse when I got pregnant.”
“He started calling my unborn son ‘Thomas’ even though we told him I picked my grandfather’s name for my son.”
“He kept doing it even after my son was born. Not only that but he’d post pictures of my son on Facebook and type ‘Tommy’ instead of my son’s original name which got people confused.”
OP decided enough was enough of this behavior soon after.
“I talked to my husband and then explained to his friend that he should stop calling my son Thomas but he kept doing it even more, he even came up with more nicknames besides the name itself.”
“It all came to head last night when my husband’s friend visited us while my family was visiting. Once he walked in he repeatedly started calling my son Thomas.”
“Everyone was confused, I felt awful, I angrily corrected him in front of everyone and told him my son’s name is not Thomas. In his defense he said that Thomas was a lot cooler and better than the name I picked.”
This hurt both OP and her family.
“My family heard and were hurt since that was my grandfather’s name. I told him to stop calling him that and he said he can call him Thomas while we call him ‘whatever’ no problem.”
“I got mad and told him he’s no longer welcome to our house until he learns to call my son with his real name and stop this disrespect. My husband’s friend argued with me then left.”
“It was awkward my husband said his friend wants to use this name and we should just accept it but I humiliated and embarrassed his friend by berating him in front of my family then kicked him out. He went on about him being our son’s uncle and I should respect that.”
“I stood my ground and told him his friend isn’t welcome or even allowed to see our son unless he agrees to call him with his name.”
“This upset my husband and he’s now saying his friend isn’t speaking to him and I might’ve ruined their 10 years of friendship with what I did.”
“He added that I should stop trying to control what comes out of other people’s mouths and respect their opinions just like I should respect that his friend thinks the name my son has is ‘stupid.’ AITA? Was I being controlling?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Reddit isn’t too thrilled with OP’s husband or OP’s husband’s friend, and readily told OP she hadn’t done anything wrong.
“I’d call HIM Thomas. Then when the son gets old enough to be confused why the ‘friend’ is calling him that, explain that Uncle Thomas is so confused he doesn’t know who he is.”
“Teach the kid to call HIM Uncle Tommy and to pat him on the hand when ‘Uncle Tommy’ calls him by that name. OP you are NTA.”-SnooPeripherals2409
“You have a MASSIVE Husband problem. His friend insulted his Wife and his in-laws by being horrible about a name that has a huge sentimental value to you.”
“Instead of your Husband taking the lead in asking his friend to leave and come back when he’s ready to be respectful to his family, your Husband publicly took this AH’s side IN FRONT OF HIS IN-LAWS.”
“Simply put: this friend and this friends feelings are more important to your Husband than his Wife (you), his child and the feelings of his in-laws.”
“Are you sure your Husband isn’t having an affair with this friend? Or is your Husband an orphan/estranged from his family and this friend is the only family he has?”
“Because other than that, this whole situation is very very odd.”-excel_pager_03
“I wouldn’t argue about why he should or shouldn’t be called Thomas. That’s really besides the point now.”
“He disrespected your name choice in front of your family. He disrespected your authority in your own home. That is now the issue.”
“If he just wanted to give him a cute nickname, that would be one thing. He’s disrespecting you for not choosing the name he wanted. That’s something else entirely.”
“His relationship with your husband is unhealthy. Maybe show your partner these posts and see what he thinks. NTA. Good luck.”-Wooster182
“No OP, your husband is TA here. Even if you’re wrong, which you are not, he needs to have your back.”
“His buddy was doing something that bothered you. He should have handled that shit when it started.”
“The fact that he is taking his friend’s side also leads me to believe he doesn’t like the name either and is using the friend to be passive aggressive.”-Wolfgang2060
And people were pointing out that her husband seemed to care more about his friend than about her or the child.
“Time to correct your husband: The friend ruined the friendship with his blatant disrespect for you and your son in front of your family.”
“And respect for the wife and mother should definitely go before respect for the uncle. If he Starts showing it to you, you will extend the same courtesy but not before.”
“Also tell your husband he needs to respect you! Why did he not stand up for you and your son?”-LittelFoxicorn
“I’d be more inclined to think that it’s a situation where Husband was at an emotionally vulnerable time in College, maybe lacking friends, and became friends with A**hole.”
“His low self-esteem led him to latch on to A**hole’s ‘friendship’/validation despite – and going out on a limb here – probably suffering the same sort of disrespect that Asshole is currently showing Wife.”
“And now the relationship has inertia, ‘we’ve been friends for 10 years and he’s always disrespected me, that’s just how he is, Wife why aren’t you cool with that too?'”
“I think OP needs to have a long hard conversation with her husband about this friend and air these concerns. She is not in the wrong and NTA at all, but the husband’s stance may be slightly more complex (I’d still lean towards AH though).”-djbon2112
“NTA, he intentionally called your son by the wrong name repeatedly and attempted to make others call him Thomas too by posting it on Facebook.”
“He crossed the lines when he tried to ‘advertise’ the wrong name for your son and he could possibly make others call him Thomas too. That’s a future mess to deal with.”
“You were right to stop it before it spreads even more. His tendency to deny your son’s name and forcing another name on him is peculiar, audacious and inexplicable.”
“He has to respect boundaries. The criticism of the name in front of the entire family didn’t help either. He should have taken a step back, it’s tough being new parents even without his interfering.”-Compensate1995
“NTA – ‘My husband is now saying I might’ve ruined their 10 years of friendship with what I did.’ … what about the friend?”
“He did nothing wrong in your husband’s eyes by repeatedly ignoring your wishes, being rude to you in front of your family, and calling your son’s name stupid????”
“Your husband is clearly TA here.”-ThedaBarasBoobs
Some people recommended both doubling down AND having OP call her husband’s friend the wrong name on purpose, to see how he likes it:
“As reddit loves to say, you don’t have friend problem, you have husband problem. To recap: your husband allows this guy to do whatever he wants.”
“He disregards your loud and clear expressed wish to stop with his ridiculous behavior, but he doesn’t, and your husband still fine with him, but mad at you. NTA”-bizianka
“NTA. Who the f**k does that guy think he is calling you kid by another name ? Doesn’t he realize that’s messed up for the kid ?”
“And he has the balls to give you permission, you, the mother, to call your kid ‘whatever’… I can’t even tell you what I would have done to him if he had said that to me.”
“And you husband !!! More worried about his a**hole friend not speaking to him than about the fact that the friend thinks he’s entitled to call the kid what he wants… That’s a red flag.”-Primary-Criticism929
“NTA but your husband and his friend sure are. You know your sons name and so does your family. This one dude can’t change anything so it’s really a matter of how you deal with him moving forward.”
“IMO you won’t win this by banning him. Not unless your husband is on the same page as you. It kinda sounds like your husband wouldn’t mind your son being called Tommy- which is very sad because it shows a lack of respect for your grandpa.”
“Would you consider being petty? They are annoying but I have faith you can outdo them. Next time you see the friend call him Reginald or something you think he won’t like.”
“Tag pictures ‘My husband and his mate Reggie.’ Send an apology. ‘Sorry Reg. Feel free to come around and veg.'”
“Tell your son uncle Reg will come back later. Explain that Reg is his real name and he loves being called it but pretends not to.”
“If you get even the slightest WHIFF of objection from your husband or his friend- remind him that if he can do it so can you.”
“Offer to set Reg up on dates. Tell everyone about your mate Reg. It might not solve anything but I reckon you’d have a good time and maybe, maybe Reg will understand why you were so frustrated.”-Cat_got_ya_tongue
“NTA You already asked him seriously to knock it off and yet he chose to be a deliberately rude a** in front of your family, even insulting your son’s actual name.”
“He took it way too far. Your reaction was to that. He was no longer lightly joking then — he was making a scene, being willfully disrespectful, and ruining your family’s visit without a care for how you or your family felt.”
“I can only hope he felt ‘humiliated and embarrassed.’ He should. If he had an ounce of sense he’d feel that way after reflecting on his own behavior.”
“You don’t have to be the doormat this ‘friend’ wipes his shoes on for a laugh. Neither does your son. Your husband needs to get his head out of his friend’s a** so he can see straight.”-jwjnthrowawaykfeiofj
OP has a major question of respect in front of her—does her husband truly respect her and her child?
And if that’s the truth, why won’t he stand up for them with this “friend?”
Hopefully they can have a productive conversation that produces some results.