Money is one of the most prevalent things leading to fights in a relationship. It’s really easy to see how personal finances can cause issues, but individual views and philosophies on money are just as important.
When Redditor Personal_Confusion_1 encountered an issue with his wife, he was unsure if his response was appropriate.
The original poster (OP) took his story to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to find out if he went too far.
“AITA for telling my wife that the only reason she says ‘money doesn’t matter’ is because we’re rich?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I (48M[ale]) and my wife (47F[emale]) both have very well paying jobs. I am a Pediatric Doctor and she’s an Attorney, which have allowed us and our kids (20F), (17M) and (15M) to have a more than comfortable lifestyle.”
“My wife has a tendency to say things like ‘Money doesn’t matter’ and that ‘material things don’t matter’ and she says them all the time, which kinda irks me because she’s right, but I was raised in a poor family, and I know that she wouldn’t be saying the same thing if we were middle-class.”
“But I haven’t said anything up until this morning.”
“I had made a comment about needing a better watch, and my wife was saying her usual ‘money doesn’t matter’. I told her that she was only saying that because we are rich and because she has never experienced being without money in any sense.”
“Predictably, she got upset with me, and now I’m wondering if perhaps I overreacted and went too far.”
OP’s story is very straightforward. His wife espouses a view that money and materialism isn’t that important, but OP feels that’s only because she’s always had it.
More information was requested and OP shed light on the situation.
“INFO: Can you be clearer about what sort of context she’s saying this in? Because it could be either really offensive or really not.”
“For example, when you ‘made a comment about needing a better watch’, was she suggesting that you shouldn’t be reluctant to spend the money on a better watch? That you should be satisfied with the watch you have? That she’d be happy to buy you one?” – WebbieVanderquack
The OP responded:
“Be satisfied with the watch, yes.”
“So couldn’t that be construed as her being less materialistic and you being more?” – WebbieVanderquack
“The watch really doesn’t work, but you could say that.”
AITA judges scenarios like this with one of four different acronyms:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
While there was some disagreement among Redditors, AITA determined OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. People who have always had money seem to be delusional about it. Money absolutely does matter when you’re poor.” – ohokaythen666
“NTA. Honestly I don’t hate rich people but they are definitely naive about their privilege a lot. It gets annoying when you grew up not having what you needed/wanted because of poverty.”
“It’s also why I could never be super intimate with someone who grew up wealthy. It feels like they will never understand.” – littlemissmoxie
“NTA but your wife is only an asshole very gently. It‘s difficult to understand and accept your privilege when you‘ve grown up with it.”
“I once said something akin to ‘Money doesn‘t matter’ or ‘Money doesnt buy happiness’ to a friend and got a proper lecture by a friend.”
“It went summat like this: you only say money doesn‘t matter because you have it, it buys you a good university, nice holidays and good care altogether. These are things that make you happy/happier that you buy with the money that you say doesnt matter.” – tiacalypso
“NTA. In the nicest way possible, people like your wife are a big problem in the US right now.”
“Millions of people are struggling to put food on the table every day and millions of other people think they’re making it up because they’ve never experienced it themselves.”
“I think every single one of them deserves to know the truth, and I don’t really mind how bluntly it’s relayed to them.” – PurpleProboscis
However, not every Redditor thought the situation was so cut and dry.
Some felt that while OP may have had a right to his opinion, so did his wife.
Their ideas certainly made this less clear than initial comments might have suggested.
“NAH. She’s probably never had to think about it like that before, and pointing it out made her uncomfortable.”
“Since it was bothering you, you’re def not an AH for pointing it out, and I honestly don’t think she’s an AH for being upset – as long as she uses this as a chance to learn.”
“If she continues to hold a grudge or something then my answer would change.” – catslady123
“YTA. Your wife has a right to her perspective on money, and you have a right to yours without throwing your opinion in her face in a rude manner.”
“You have a reaction to her words because of an experience you’ve had, and that shouldn’t be her problem. I’ve both had money and not, and I personally agree with her.”
“I know I will get downvoted but there was no reason to argue with her.” – Sharp_Pear_Alas
“NAH. I can’t call your wife an ah for being oblivious to her privilege and you aren’t one for calling out her obliviousness.”
“You guys need to sit down and have a talk about her comments bothering you and what you guys can do going forward. You guys just need to communicate better.” – herreramom31
“ESH. Not that you are not right, but what did that comment accomplish?” – taschana
While it might be easy enough to draw the conclusion that OP needs to communicate better with his wife, whether or not he was wrong here is integral to how he approaches those conversations.
The commenters provided OP with a strong standing, but the dissenting voices are worth examining too.
Hopefully he can move forward from this and communicate his opinion to his wife to the betterment of them both.