Teenagers are often taught that puberty is hard, because their body is changing.
But in reality, what’s difficult is other people who refuse to accept that these are biological changes, rather than shameful ones, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor AITADE33434 was shocked when his wife began to criticize his daughter for depositing her used period products in the bathroom.
But when he discovered she was concerned about his stepson seeing them, the Original Poster (OP) needed more of an explanation for what she was thinking.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for losing it after my wife wanted my daughter to stop using the bathroom in the house?”
The OP was relieved that his daughter and stepson got along well.
“My wife and I have been together for 3 years.”
“I have a daughter from my previous marriage. She’s 14.”
“I also have a stepson who tends to be rude at times but civil enough around adults. He’s 16.”
“He and his stepsister get along well. No arguing, no yelling, even better than most siblings I know, which is great, and it’s quite a relief to see them loving and respecting each other.”
The OP’s kids usually didn’t use the same bathroom.
“We have two bathrooms in the house. My daughter only uses the smaller one since it’s always available, unlike the main bathroom that my stepson, my wife, and I often use.”
“I’ve recently received some money and decided to renovate the small bathroom that my daughter uses since she complained about things needing to be fixed.”
“I started the renovation two days ago while my daughter uses the main bathroom as an alternative.”
The OP was surprised by his wife’s concerns.
“There were no issues until my wife pulled me aside, saying my daughter’s been leaving period products inside the bathroom, and it wasn’t right because my stepson would see them.”
“I asked my wife for more clarification, and it turns out my daughter gets rid of her used pads by putting them in the trashcan inside the bathroom. It has a lid and is a step-on trashcan that doesn’t require hands.”
“I told my wife there was nothing wrong with that, so what’s the problem.”
“She gave me a look, called me ignorant, and then dropped it.”
But the OP’s wife did not let the matter go.
“This morning she looked upset and told me my stepson went inside the bathroom after my daughter got out and probably saw her used pads in the bathroom.”
“I asked if she meant the trashcan and it was confirmed.”
“She then proceeded to tell me to ask my daughter to stop using the main bathroom, even though the small one is still in the process of being renovated.”
“I absolutely lost my s**t and told her she was making a ridiculously unreasonable demand.”
“I also told her it was my daughter’s house too. Where is she supposed to go if she can’t use both bathrooms?”
The couple could not come to an agreement.
“We started arguing back and forth until she said she’d talk to her, but I told her to stop it.”
“She just kept giving me the cold shoulder for hours now, even though my stepson said nothing about this ‘issue’ as she claims it to be.”
“My wife said she was trying to be a parent but I treat her as an outsider to my daughter.”
“That’s not true. I might’ve been harsh on her but in my opinion, she wasn’t trying to parent; she was being unreasonable.”
“I might be wrong I just don’t see her point.”
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 thought the wife was creating more problems with her behavior.
“NTA. Don’t let your wife be a parent to your daughter because she’s a bad one, at least on this issue. There is nothing shameful about having periods, your daughter is disposing of the related products in a hygienic way, and that is literally all that matters.”
“If your wife thinks her son somehow needs “protection” from the evidence that a normal bodily function exists, she has issues and should seek help for them.” – the_last_basselope
“NTA, but you are focusing on the wrong thing in your argument. Instead of focusing on your daughter, you should be focusing on WHY her son can’t be exposed to the fact that people in the world menstruate including your daughter.”
“Does your wife need your help in explaining that people have periods to her son? That it’s natural and a part of life and not a big deal. Is your wife so ashamed of her own cycle that she is projecting that onto the kids?”
“Figure all that stuff out, because it is not negotiable that your daughter can use the house restroom and dispose of her period products in the waste bin as that is it’s purpose.” – MadtownMaven
“Why should she be forced to pee in a bush and bleed on the grass because of her natural body functions!? The way I read it, step mom is basically saying, ‘flush your products or you don’t get to use my bathroom’ (or dig through the trash to bury them maybe? Yuck), and since the other bathroom is out of commission, the only other alternative is outside.”
“OP’s comments talk about how this woman is very ‘my way or the highway.’ This family needs counseling ASAP. This is only the tip of a very very large iceberg I bet.” – EinsTwo
“What´s even funnier: What does his mom do with her toilet products? She obviously gotta produce waste and garbage too (not only through her mouth).”
“Besides, what´s the big deal if the son learns that females use toilet products? It´s not disgusting; it’s natural. He might have a girlfriend and wife later… what´s that poor woman supposed to do? Hide in the closet all the time, when she has her periods?”
“The way a man treats a woman in her time of need, in my honest opinion, shows more about character then most other things.” – Morpheus4213
“OP’s wife is both a symptom (she was probably taught to ‘hide her shame’) and a part of the problem (continuing that form of teaching) when it comes to education on menstrual and women’s health.”
“I hate that in bloody 2021, there are still people teaching periods as dirty, shameful, and something to be hidden, especially from males. F**k that noise.”
“A 16-year-old boy should know what a period is and shouldn’t be freaked out by it.” – DeviousCheesecake
Others agreed and wondered what the stepson would eventually be like.
“Suddenly I’m understanding some of the worse guys on this sub, the ones who are offended that their partners ask them to pick up pads from the store, or are furious to find used feminine products in the trash can.”
“I always assumed they were raised by single dads or always had their own bathroom or in some other way just never encountered anyone who menstruates, but this is a good reminder to reevaluate my own biases that women can be the source of misogyny, too (and also a reminder that men can be good educators on these issues, too!).” – littlefiddle05
“Her son lives in a world in which people who menstruate exist. He’s going to have to deal with it. There’s nothing wrong with him seeing a box of tampons or pads.”
“Used pads should also get wrapped up in the next pads wrapper or some toilet paper. Mainly because this them stops them from sticking to the side of the bin.”
“Your daughter having her period is totally natural and she shouldn’t be relegated to another bathroom because of it.”
“What does your wife do with her products? Hide them?” – janewilson90
“Your wife is raising her son to be one of those weird dudes who has a gag reflex when he hears the word ‘tampon.'”
“I would tell her, ‘Fine, but I’m taking the toilet paper out, because my daughter knows you wipe your butt with it, and that’s disgusting. Since I guess we’re all being freaks about human body functions.” – SydeSplitter
“There was a guy at my school who would run away SCREAMING if I pulled a wrapped tampon out of my bag. This guy was also a borderline stalker, and incredibly creepy, so I’d keep a couple in my bag even though I use a cup, just to pull them out and scare him off when he came by.”
“Men like that are absolutely ridiculous. It is sterilized cotton if it’s unused, and it’s just blood if it’s been used! Some people just blow my mind with their logic…” – Silverfrond_
“‘Probably saw the used pads.’ You should clarify that because:”
“First, if he saw them, it means he went through a trash can in the bathroom till he found a used pad and then preceded to get traumatized, which means he is kind of crazy.”
“Second, if he didn’t see them, it means your wife thought he went through a trash can in the bathroom, found them, and got PTSD upon sight, which makes her kind of crazy.”
“Then there is the question of WHERE is your daughter supposed to p**s and s**t… while the 2nd bathrom is being restored.”
“And last is the question of what does your wife do with her used pads to prevent any form of trauma on your step son. Does she has a special locked box where he keeps them? An incinerator? We wanna know.”
“NTA, by the way.” – fotli3146
The subReddit was disturbed by the story the OP told, both because of how his daughter was potentially being treated and what the stepson was being taught.
It was clear the OP would need to have more conversations with his wife about what was bothering her and how to bring her more comfort while teaching their children the realities of menstruation and potentially being around people who menstruate.