Some professions demand people set clear boundaries with clients to prevent any inappropriate moments.
Therapists, doctors, masseuses and fitness trainers are all examples.
But as one Redditor’s recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit illustrated, the presence of a spouse can raise those expectations even more.
The Original Poster (OP), known as aita-gym-trainer, was on the customer side of the interaction:
“AITA for refusing to fire my personal trainer per his wife’s request?”
She explained how she first became involved.
“I (43-year-old female) hired my trainer Alex (fake name) in mid 2018 through the gym. I asked for someone who understands chronic pain because I’ve had it for 20 years and need help managing it.”
“Swimming did wonders until my body began to develop negative reactions to pool chemicals which was why I switched to the gym.”
That turned out to be a great approach.
“Long story short, Alex helped beyond expectation.
“He helped me improve so much, a few months ago my doctor actually switched me to milder pain medication, and lowered the doses too.”
“So as a token of appreciation I gave Alex an early Christmas card last week with a $50 gift card. The message was a simple: ‘Thank you for your help. Best wishes.’ “
But OP recently encountered a surprise.
“Today I went for solo training and a woman approached me claiming to be Alex’s wife. She accused me of getting friendly with Alex and demanded that I ask the gym to switch trainers.”
“I refused and she got aggressive, so I got the staff involved and they removed her.”
That led OP to ask for feedback.
“Later I told friends about the incident, they say I was disrespectful and should have honored her wishes.”
“Though I don’t think Alex’s wife’s insecurity is my problem, I feel bad about possibly getting him into trouble at home.”
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
Most Redditors agreed OP was in the right.
“NTA. You were in a place of business. You are using professional services and have done nothing inappropriate. Her issues are between her husband and herself, at home.” — FloridaPoodleSchool
“NTA Sounds like Alex has plenty of trouble at home, none of it because of you.”
“If this wife want’s to decide who her husband takes on as clients, she discusses that with him and ONLY him.” — canberrastreets
“How unhinged do you have to be to go to your spouse’s place of work and harass their clientele?”
“You gave him a gift card, not a hotel key. She needs to check her crazy at the door. NTA” — DinaFelice
Some shared their rationale in greater detail.
“NTA. It sounds to me like you found yourself an amazing personal trainer who went above and beyond what he ever needed to do. You’re happier in your life and you’re medically improving. That’s great!”
“It also sounds to me like you have a pretty professional relationship with Alex, unless I’m missing something. You were grateful for his help, so you got him a Christmas present. I’m not sure where the ‘getting friendly’ is here. I’ve gotten coworkers Christmas presents before.”
“If you feel like it could be a problem with Alex, maybe talk to him about it. I don’t think you need to switch trainers, but if this is causing him problems at home, he may need to do something about keeping you as a client. Just talk it through; communication is key.”
“Best of luck, OP! And happy holidays!” — Blue-Eyed-Lemon
“NTA. In addition to all of the great comments explaining how inappropriate his wife was, I want to take a moment to talk about how off base your friends are.”
“It’s super inappropriate for a spouse to interfere with their spouse’s workplace. Period. How would your friends feel if their husbands came to their workplaces and started dictating who was ‘allowed’ to work with them?” — DinaFelice
“NTA. If he wants to drop you as a client, for whatever reason, he can do that. If he is uncomfortable with the gift, he is free to decline it. Note he — not she.”
“It is up to Alex to interact with his spouse; not you. The card doesn’t strike me as extravagant nor does the gift. The fact that it was early could be odd but only if there isn’t a reason (like you won’t see each other until after the holidays).”
“Getting her removed? Ouch. I suspect Alex will be under tremendous pressure to drop you as a client or even leave that gym. Unless the wife is an ex….” — tropicaldiver
Others shared another concern.
“NTA, So first up I’d suggest there is a small but non-zero chance that was not his wife which would make things even weirder.”
“If its his wife then it sounds like their marriage is having issues. You are not the a**hole though it would definitely be worth discussing with Alex and letting him make the call.” — mikey_weasel
“NTA. . And frankly, I’d tell your trainer about this weird woman going up to you and trying to get him fired. Are you sure that’s his wife and not some creepy stalker trying to poop on his life?”
“In any case, whatever is going on between him and his wife is something that should remain under their roof and not sucking in other people, so you’re not to blame.” — Maleficent_Ad_3958
“This is crazy actually. How did she even know what you look like to approach you?? NTA and I hope Alex is able to figure things out in that department.” — Wren1101
OP added an edit to respond to those warnings.
“Many of you mentioned the possibility of a stalker imposter and now I’m getting chills. Never even thought of that! I’ll give the gym a call first because if it’s a stalker imposter then she might harass other people too.”
“Since I don’t have Alex’s private number I’ll ask the gym to give him a heads up. Then I’ll talk to him when I see him next week!”
So until OP can get to the bottom of things, it’ll be difficult to assess exactly what the right move here is.