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New Dad Claps Back After Wife Calls Him ‘Fat’ For Gaining Weight Taking Care Of Her And Baby

Guy holding his stomach
Fabio Camandona/Getty Images

Content Warning: Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Anxiety, Body-Shaming, Weight-Shaming, References to Domestic Abuse and Child Abuse

It’s 2024, and as much as we might like to stay in one body type forever, we should all be able to agree that there are life events that impact our weight and strength, like illness, or even a change in jobs or getting married.

And of course, having babies will impact a new parent’s weight, even if they’re not the one who had the baby, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit, as childcare has a tendency to take priority over everything else.

Redditor ApprehensiveWaltz904 hadn’t been to the gym in the six months since his baby was born.

But when his wife started picking on him about gaining weight, the Original Poster (OP) was deeply hurt after the sacrifices he’d made for his family.

He asked the sub:

“AITAH for telling my postpartum wife the same thing she told me?”

The OP had a tough history of people picking on him about his weight.

“I really need some advice.”

“When I was younger, I was bullied for being fat, and my mother wouldn’t help me lose weight by supporting me in sports or eating healthier at home or anything.”

“When I got into college, I started making my own choices, so I lost a lot of weight and gained muscle. Now I’m 6’5 and reached 240 pounds.”

That started to change when the OP and his wife had their first baby.

“My wife and I have been together since we were 25. We are now 32 and had our baby six months ago.”

“My wife is now a stay-at-home mom. Often when she can’t get him to stop crying in the morning, she’ll tell me to take off work so she can go back to sleep. He doesn’t stay up all night like some babies; he sometimes wakes up a little after I do, and she’ll want more sleep.”

“When I come home, we are equal. We both take care of him throughout the afternoon-evening, and I also help with him during the night when he wakes up. When I’m at work, that’s supposed to be her job.”

“But she’s had a hard time taking care of him so I’ve been helping in any way I can, so I haven’t had much time to go back to the gym.”

“I haven’t gained that much weight, maybe 25 to 30 pounds, which is okay because I still look and feel good. I plan to go back to the gym when he gets on a better schedule and my wife isn’t so tired.”

Despite feeling okay, the OP was back to being bullied, and by an unexpected source.

“The problem is my wife has recently been telling me that I’m getting fat and I’m not as attractive as before.”

“I mainly brush her comments off, but she’s been doing this a lot recently and it’s been making me upset.”

“I’ve told her this and she said she’ll stop but she hasn’t.”

“So I told her, ‘If you don’t stop, I’m going to say something you aren’t not going to want to hear.'”

“She laughed and said, ‘Oookay,’ while rolling her eyes.”

The OP kept his word.

“So on Monday, she had called me fatty and said that I needed to hit the gym before she called my old classmates.”

“I reminded her that what she said hurt my feelings, and she said, ‘Whatever, I thought it was funny.”

“So I said, ‘You need to hit the gym. It’s been six months since you’ve had the baby; you should not be looking that.”

“She ran off crying.”

“I haven’t apologized because I don’t know if I’m wrong or not. She has not had any body issues in the past. She’s openly always felt like whatever weight she is, is what weight she is. And yes, I do love her body, and I find it attractive; I just said what I said to make a point.”

“If I’m wrong, I will go apologize, but I don’t know if I am or not.”


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 reassured the OP that what his wife was doing was toxic and potentially abusive.

“Couples often gain and lose weight through pregnancy and the aftermath. The relationships that make it are the ones that support each other.” – McCritter

“NTA. Your wife is an emotionally abusive a-hole. She shouldn’t even have considered doing it in the first place. That she carried on and escalated after you reminded her screams of a possible personality disorder.”

“She needs therapy; maybe it’s postpartum depression presenting.” – zaxanrazor

“Former fatty here that was bullied a lot. She knows your story, how hard you worked, how the bullying affected you, and then proceeded to try to bully you as a grown man who’s putting off working out to help better the home situation and take pressure off her…”

“Naw fam, she earned it, especially when you’ve asked her to stop and gave her warnings.”

“Most the time I would not say it was the right thing to do, but attacking someone who’s had specific trauma around that repeatedly is f**ked up and bullying. I bet you’re not the only person she’s bullied about that over the years.”

“NTA. She earned it. In fact, I suggest rubbing it in a bit, and start working out at home with high-intensity 30-minute workouts a couple of times a week. Results will start showing quickly, and she’ll have no one to blame about herself but herself. Keep killing it, brotha.” – NpC1125

“Can we take a second and point out how she took a personal story of OP, something he opened up to his partner, where he was vulnerable, where he showed an actual traumatic weakness, and his partner turned it against him? Not just a little bit, like calling him fatty, but threatening him to call his bullies.”

“That’s just… so wrong. I would feel so betrayed. This is his baby mama. They’ve been in a relationship for so long. And this is how she treats his secrets and weaknesses? This is such a betrayal of trust.”

“In case it isn’t obvious, NTA, OP.” – Pandering_Panda7879

“She didn’t even turn his weight against him in a stupid fight or something where one could at least have the excuse of saying stupid things in anger. It was in an attempt to be funny at his expense. Zero sympathy for her.” – ParkityParkPark

“I‘d honestly even go as far as suggesting that OP should not give a f**k for the next two weeks or so and take his time to cook healthy meals and hit the gym. That’s what his wife wants him to do, after all.”

“I think it might go unnoticed what he actually does on a daily basis to help her (and therefore deprioritizing his own fitness, weight, and health), so maybe a short reminder won’t hurt. When she finds herself ‘having trouble’ with the baby again because he’s focusing on his health instead, she MIGHT realize how much he actually parents their child.”

“Regardless, bullying sucks, and bullying your husband, despite specifically being asked not to, is a major red flag. NTA.” – NoseFirm

Others agreed but also wondered if the OP’s wife was struggling with postpartum depression.

“NTA. But before jumping to conclusions about your wife’s character (because you married her for a good reason), it’s important to keep in mind that some women are predisposed to postpartum onset of mental illness. It’s critical for you to take some time to review your relationship. It’s been seven years so you know her really well. Consider the below:”

“1. Has her presentation (how she seems to you, how she treats you, how she behaves around the child, how she reports to be feeling, how she relates to the outside world etc.) changed since pregnancy and childbirth (outside of the general effects of hormones and sleep deprivation common among new parents)?”

“2. If her presentation has changed what does it look like? Can you make a list and talk with her about it?”

“3. Talking about all of this might be challenging. Is she open to family counseling and maternal support?”

“4. Do you think she and your child are safe when home alone? Is it worth considering involving family members, or formal maternal support services to ensure her and your child’s safety and well-being?” – sethlyons777

“Mom here, and birthing a new human does NOT give you a free pass to be a mean-spirited b***h, which is what she is. She took your insecurities and triggers and is wielding them like a weapon. Perhaps she should consider some therapy because what she is doing is not acceptable behavior towards a partner.”

“If this script were flipped and it was a man being this way to his wife, there would be a mob out for his head; her being postpartum is not a shield to hide behind for s**tty behavior”

“NTA.” – AbsintheRedux

“NTA. I’m sorry she’s choosing to be cruel. You’re seeing what she’s really like. I had the worst postpartum depression, but I would never verbally abuse someone. She got a dose of her own medicine.” – Unlikely_Sympathy282

“I’m a therapist who specializes in Eating Disorder recovery, but more importantly, a mom with a seven-month-old who is battling postpartum anxiety/depression:”

“I think you’re both low on resources (sleep, time, patience), and posting on Reddit is probably out of desperation. Sure, you’ll get some validation/justification from us faceless internet trolls, so take it all in with a grain of salt.”

“I think you both need to give each other a break. Neither of you is going to benefit from comparing yourselves to former versions of yourselves. You’re both breathing the toxic air of our society: a society that gauges ‘success’ with productivity and the physical appearance of thin, lean, or ‘fit.'”

“I don’t know you or your wife, but as a woman/mom in this society, I doubt that your wife is not also affected by this diet culture/ capitalist, productivity-driven culture. A lot of times we project our own self-criticism and feelings of inadequacy onto our partners (I know I’ve been doing that).”

“The changes that her body is going through are PROFOUND. Her body made and birthed your baby. You are both using our f**ked up societal view of ‘success’ as a weapon. When you say these words, you dismiss the beautiful miracle her body just made. Just like her words dismiss how you’ve compromised your own time for the benefit of your baby.”

“Who is the a**hole? You both are, and neither of you are. The time will come when you can go to the gym again. Just hang in there.” – FilmWonderful4959

“She’s a fool, too. I’d prefer a fat, loving partner who’s dedicated to our baby rather than a fit, uncaring partner who couldn’t be bothered. H**l, I’d worship the ground they walked on! I think anyone with an ounce of sense would feel the same way.”

“It just amazes me. She’s supposedly exhausted from the baby, but she still has the energy to be cruel. PPD is a b***h, but mental struggles are never an excuse to torture your partner.” – spandexandtapedecks

In a separate post, the OP shared an update about him and his wife.

“I talked to her about what I said. I told her, ‘I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings by the words I said, but I’m not sorry for saying them. You need to understand how your words hurt me the same way mine hurt you, and me telling you wasn’t enough for you to understand.'”

“I also told her that the next time she says something like that, I will leave her alone with a screaming, crying baby (just for a few hours, not forever).”

“She did apologize and said she was sorry. So we are good for right now.”

Fellow Redditors were concerned that the couple was anything but “good.”

“Well, that’s concerning. If she can’t explain why she did it and how she’ll never do it again, it makes it hard to believe she’s going to stop. She may never attack you in this particular way again, but that doesn’t mean she won’t purposely hurt you again.” – Lola_Luvity

“There’s a reason she kept saying that after you asked her to stop, because it hurt you. She wanted to hurt you.”

“This way will stop because you can hurt her back by striking at the same insecurity. She’ll now look for another way to hurt you that is more difficult to retaliate with.”

“She needs to look deep and give a real answer to why so you both can address it and remedy whatever her problem is.” – SilentJoe1986

“You’ll just wind up back in this place again because of another issue then. Rip the problem out by the root or be prepared for a never-ending cycle.” – WonderboyYYZ

“What if that abuse towards you eventually gets directed to the baby who won’t stop crying?”

“Women hear it all the time. ‘If they will hurt you, eventually they will hurt your children’ is one of the biggest things referenced when advising women to leave abusive relationships.”

“This needs more than letting it go for the sake of peace.” – M_Karli

“You’re choosing to sideline the issue because you’re exhausted having to deal with it. This is understandable, but, unfortunately, doesn’t fix or heal your problem. As others have said, she’s just going to find a different way to hurt you. Until you do, this will just reoccur in different ways.”

“It could be any number of things. It might not even have anything to do with you. Like, she’s unhappy with her body post delivery and feels insecure that you might not want her anymore so she tried to tear you down to keep you from leaving or cheating. Maybe it’s something deeper and more insidious.”

“The point is, you’ll never know if you let it go to ‘keep the peace.’ This isn’t about the insults; there is something more going on, and it’s not going to just go away because you hit her with a good zinger.”

“If you haven’t already, read up on PPD (Post-Partum Depression). It’s not something that goes away on its own. If she’s suffering from it, she needs help and support. Hopefully, it’s just this and not some lingering, repressed issue she’s been holding on to for years. Either way, you need to figure it out.” – KilGrey

It was clear that the OP and his wife were going through major changes in their lives, and understandably so with the birth and early parenting of their baby.

But it was also clear that the OP’s wife was going through something serious, whether it was postpartum depression or severe toxic traits exposing themselves in the aftermath of childbirth.

Whatever the cause, the OP and his wife needed to communicate and find a way to work through this before their relationship was ruined by the OP inevitably saying another cruel thing and his wife continuing her toxic behaviors.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.