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Woman Considers Bringing Her Boyfriend Home Even Though Her Roommate Is ‘Terrified Of Men’

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People experience fear for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes it’s an irrational phobia without an easily discernible reason.

But sometimes there is an easily identified trauma or series of traumas that account for the person’s fears.

A woman living with a roommate she barely knows encountered their fears by accident. It left her wondering how to address them.

So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit with a hypothetical “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA) scenario seeking moral judgment on her proposed solution.

Redditor aitascaredofmen asked:

“WIBTA for bringing my boyfriend over even though my roommate is terrified of men?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Despite living with each other for a while, my roommate and I really aren’t friends. I don’t dislike her or anything, she’s just very shy so we don’t talk a lot.”

“She doesn’t like leaving the place, so even before quarantine, she’d always be watching my dog, watering plants, cleaning, cooking, etc…”

“There’s not really an even distribution of chores. I always feel guilty, but she says she enjoys doing it, so we’ve just sort of left it at that.”

“She spends most of the time in her room. To make up for it, I pay a bit more rent than her and I make small concessions—she doesn’t like any movies past the PG rating, so I have to watch most movies/tv in my room, for example.”

“It doesn’t really bother me.”

“My boyfriend and I started dating at the beginning of quarantine, and he never came over until a few days ago. We both self-quarantined for two weeks to do this, so it was a bit of a big deal, and we planned to meet up more.”

“The pandemic isn’t an issue for this.”

“We didn’t see anyone for two weeks, which is the standard where we live. We’re also not having sex or anything.”

“I tried to introduce her to my boyfriend, and she mumbled a ‘hi’ and just left to her room. Apparently she had a full-on panic and threw up on the floor.”

“She admitted to me after that she’s very, very afraid of men and cannot handle them being in her home. She said in public it’s hard, but in her own home, it’s completely overbearing.”

“[Before I moved in] she only told me that she won’t leave the house often, the thing about movies, she’s vegetarian, she doesn’t have a phone, and she needs somebody to pick up her checks for her.”

“I just wish I’d known ahead of time. I don’t think she’s in therapy because she doesn’t leave the house.”

“She gets checks from the government and I know she writes for money, but I don’t know details of either.”

“I asked her if she could handle being in another room while he’s there, and she says just knowing a man is in her home triggers this. The only trouble is, my boyfriend and I really want to see each other again.”

“WIBTA for bringing my boyfriend over even though my roommate is terrified of men?”

Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided there were no a**holes here (NAH).

“NAH. Sounds awful for her, but the whole ‘And hey, I can never have men in my home’ conversation needs to take place BEFORE you move in with someone.”

“You don’t just drop that in like it’s no big deal.” ~ madelinegumbo

“NAH. Look, your roommate needs professional help and you likely need to find a better living situation.”

“This roommate situation isn’t going to work out well for either of you, so start looking for alternatives. Meanwhile, please suggest to her that she seek help.” ~ siouxfallsairport

“NAH, but this isn’t sustainable. One of you needs to move.” ~ tempestelunaire

“It sounds like she has experienced some sort of trauma. The not leaving the house and intense fear of men scream trauma.”

“It’s possible she hasn’t always been this home bound.”

“It’s hard because I think she should have disclosed sooner that this would be an issue. If I were paying rent somewhere (especially the majority) I would expect to be able to have my boyfriend over as long as they were courteous.”

“For this reason I wonder if you should broach the topic of changing your living arrangement?”

“I also think you need to be sensitive and empathetic here. I don’t want to armchair diagnose or project traumas, but it sounds like something awful may have happened.”

“As her friend, the kindest thing to do may be to try to meet her half way. Can you go to your boyfriends?”

“Is she willing to try therapy and work toward having some men over in the long term?”

“It’s ultimately up to you, OP. NAH.” ~ lunielunerson

“Let’s just bypass arguments about if you owe your roommate such a large accommodation.”

“Are you really going to enjoy spending time with him in your home knowing she’s in another room having a panic attack and/or vomiting from the stress it causes her?”

“Here’s my thinking: regardless of how unreasonable asking it is, at least in the short term there’s only two possible outcomes: invite him knowing it will cause your roommate to have a panic attack or don’t invite him at all.”

“There appears to be zero options where the boyfriend is over and no panic attacks involved.”

“I presume that when OP says she wants to invite him over, she really means that she wants to enjoy time with him in her home.”

“If OP can not actually enjoy time with him in her home knowing her roommate is having a panic attack as a result, then inviting him over does nothing to fulfill her aim and the question about if she’d be an a**hole to continue is effectively moot.” ~ agreywood

The OP returned with an update.

“Yeah, I’m not going to do it. I may not know her that well, but I really don’t want to see her in that condition again.”

“It’s a little sad, though. She and I talked about it.”

“I think this was finally the thing to break down some walls between us, and we’re actually becoming friends. She’s agoraphobic and has had a lot of horrible stuff happen to her that I can’t even imagine.”

“I’m so glad we’re finally becoming friends, though! I don’t think she really has anyone, and I’d like to be there for her.”

“I’ve got her started on watching some of my favourite old movies (a lot of them are PG but still good for twentysomethings), and I hope this will make the quarantine go faster.”

“She’s definitely had a rough life and I’d hate the idea of making that worse.”

It sounds like the OP and her roommate have forged an understanding. Hopefully they can build on this.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metis Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. She considers herself another proud Maineiac.
Member of NAJA.