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Dad-To-Be Storms Out Of Delivery Room After Pregnant Fiancée Scolds Him For Tickling Her Feet

woman in labor flanked by a nurse and her male partner
Nimito/Getty Images

Labor and delivery of a baby is hard work. The person giving birth inevitably becomes exhausted.

It’s really not the best time to poke the bear, so to speak.

But some people still do it anyway.

After her fiancé decided to joke around while she was in labor, a woman wondered if she was wrong to react the way she did. She turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Kindly_Actuary_3151 asked:

“AITA [because] my fiancé got mad because I told him to stop tickling me because I was having contractions?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My fiancé was sitting with me timing my contractions when all of a sudden he thought it would be okay to tickle my feet.”

“I told him to stop and he did it again. So I told him he was making me off.”

“He got mad and said he was just joking and trying to help me go into labor. I asked him why it seemed funny when I’m obviously in pain.”

“No one would want to be tickled while having contractions. He then proceeded to say ‘whatever’ and storm out of the room.”

“Did I overreact?”

The OP summed up why they think they might be the a**hole.

“Because I yelled and he stormed out, because yelling is never the answer.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors unanimously and unequivocally declared the OP was not the a**hole.

“I’ve never been so physically repulsed by a Reddit post as I am this one. NTA.” ~ radioshedd

“Absolutely. I think it hits harder if you’ve ever been in active labor.”

“I didn’t want anyone even touching me. Tickling would have gotten them a one-way ticket to hell.” ~ opensilkrobe

Many people relayed how much this would have angered them when they were in labor.

“Same. I didn’t even want a gown on and people kept trying to dress me… ‘there’s a male consultant coming into the room’ or ‘the door is open’.”

“I’ve been told that I sounded like something possessed in my responses of ‘if he can’t do his job because of my body get me a different doctor’ and ‘well shut the f-ing door then’.”

“Safe to say, the door was closed, the doctor wasn’t phased, my child was in distress and the c-section after a 37 hour labour went perfectly.”

“But I dread to think what would’ve happened if someone tried to tickle me.” ~ LegitimateSkin587

“I was told post-labour that from my expressions and that I would occasionally thump the table, everyone was sure I was gonna hit somebody.”

“I didn’t—I’m not actually a monster—but if someone had tickled my feet during contractions? I’m not sure my restraint would have held out.” ~ Mumique

“I distinctly remember my husband trying once to massage my back like they teach you in birthing classes.”

“My response could have been dubbed over Linda Blair and it would have blended right in with the rest of the movies.”

“If he had gone in for a second try, he would have been the one in need of a priest because I would have ended him. NTA.” ~ HeatherLouWhotheEff

“The (male) aneaesthetician attempted to joke around with me while trying to get me epidural in.”

“It did not go well for him.” ~ Past_Ad_5629

“Right?! I hated being touched when I was in labor, hated it! I even tried to push the doctor’s hands away!” ~ Byzantine1808

“I tried to bite my ex when he tried to pet my face when I was in labor. He stopped. If he’d tickled me, I would have seriously injured him.” ~ Odd_Mess185

“Seriously, I think I yelled at my very loving and wonderful husband to ‘stop trying to rub my f*cking back’ (back labor was uh not fun).”

“If he’d attempted to tickle me I think he’d actually be dead.” ~ nkdeck07

Others pointed to his refusal to stop when she asked him to as problematic.

“So many red flags here:”

“Him not respecting her wishes.”

“Him trying to punish her when she set boundaries for herself in such a delicate moment.”

“Him putting himself and his own feelings above her as she’s delivering/growing his child.”

“Her having to ask other people if she was in the wrong.” ~ GraceOfTheNorth

“I’m like ‘next time he’s vomiting she should tickle him’ cuz.. that’s almost as bad. Yeesh.”

“OP is NTA. You are allowed to have boundaries about your own body.”

“Any time you assert a boundary and the other person gets mad and says they were ‘just joking’, they weren’t joking and they’re mad at being called on their BS.” ~ esmerelofchaos

“Clearly problematic, if not mentally and/or physically abusive situation and it’s always a woman experiencing these situations asking, if she’s overreacting and wrong. Always.”

“NTA, obviously.” ~ agnesperditanitt

“Most definitely NTA!!”

“If my SO had done this to me that would be the last child he could ever create.”

“All abusers start by overdoing what they think is fun little things. Tickling, pinching, poking & grabbing.”

“Gently at first, but the more you beg them to stop, the further they push it.” ~ Constant_Jicama4804

“You didn’t react badly but your fiance sure as hell did.”

“Damn. If I was having contractions and my SO told me was ‘helping me’ go into labor I’d have straight up told him I didn’t NEED his help in that department thank you very much.”

“I’d actually reconsider marrying someone who didn’t listen to me. And actually have broken up with someone who tickled my feet.”

“Seriously! Due to childhood trauma I DO NOT like my feet touched. Period!”

“My ex BF thought it hilarious to stick a finger between my toes while I was in the shower and at the time I was bent over to get the shampoo. Needless to say I whacked my head on one of the shower handles and damn near had a panic attack.”

“I finished my shower in tears and later asked what possessed him to do that KNOWING I dont like my feet touched AND the reason why. He saw my foot under the shower curtain and got a wild hair up his a**. The AH never even apologized.” ~ GardenSafe8519

“Did he want an excuse to start a fight and storm out? Were you taking all of his attention away by, y’know, having a kid?” ~ WillBsGirl

“NTA. Your reasoning doesn’t matter. You told him to stop and he didn’t.”

“This is actually a pretty significant problem.”

“Tickling is literally the first thing around which you can start teaching small children about bodily autonomy and consent, and you appear to have a co-parent who doesn’t understand the concept of consent to begin with.” ~ WalkoffTriple

“Ended a decades-long friendship with a guy because he wouldn’t stop tickling me out at a bar one night. He told me that even though I said stop ‘my face said I liked it.'”

“There was also some other layers to the issue that came to a head that night, but ultimately it was his disregard for my bodily autonomy that made me cut him out of my life then and there.” ~ KnightRider1987

“My brother used to pin me to the ground and tickle me until I would scream, cry, and often pee myself and then he’d laugh at the fact that I peed.”

“He’s 12 years older than me, so while I was a child/teenager, he was already into his 20s and way bigger than me, so I could never fight him off.”

“As soon as anyone, even friends and other family members, tries to even touch my waist, I instantly go into fight or flight mode.”

“I told a friend once that I despised being tickled, so he naturally tried to tickle me.”

“I started crying immediately, shouted at him that this wasn’t a f*cking joke, and stormed out of his house. He is not my friend anymore.” ~ MinoriJade

“Yup! If your kid laughs and squirms its all good but the second they say, ‘stop’, it’s time to stop.”

“And anyone who thinks tickling someone in labor is a good idea is just not very bright.” ~ stiletto929

“Hey, so look. I was married to a guy who didn’t stop tickling me when I asked him to. I was married to him for ten years.”

“Don’t marry this man. Please. I’m begging you.”

“It is SO EASY to not tickle someone. It is SO EASY to listen when someone uses their words regarding what they do and don’t want for their body. It is SO SO SO easy. The bar is SO LOW. If he can’t meet it he is BAD NEWS.”

“You will feel stupid, you will feel like you’re overreacting. Because it’s just tickling, right? ‘I broke off the engagement because he tickled me’. You cringe inside when you imagine explaining it, right?”

“Please, please, please set the cringe aside and listen to the other part of you that is feeling icky, uncomfortable, unsafe, violated. I KNOW you’re feeling that, because you’re here.”

“When you have a guy who thinks his reasons (just joking! helping!) are more important than your right to determine what happens to your body, when you have a guy who finds your discomfort funny even when you’re in labor, when he sulks and storms off and generally emotionally punishes you for asserting a boundary, then number one, he can absolutely traumatize you with tickling alone.”

“And number two, IT. WILL. NOT. STOP. WITH. TICKLING.”

“The path labeled ‘I will do things to your body if I want to regardless of whether you want them’ has exactly one destination. If you think I’m overreacting, please understand that I thought I was overreacting too, right up until I found out that I wasn’t.”

“You can’t fix him. You can’t teach him. He already knows. This is very, very, very easy to understand; literal kindergartners understand it.”

“He knows what he was doing was hurting you. He just doesn’t care. And no amount of talking or negotiating or yelling or crying or pleading or anything you can do will make him care.”

“He might PRETEND to care. For a while. To get you to stay. But he won’t change. Not for you.”

“If he cared about you, if he was CAPABLE of caring about you, he could not have looked at you, in pain, IN LABOR, and decided to tickle you while you asked him not to, and then gotten mad at YOU about it.”

“Those actions aren’t compatible with caring about you.” ~ CMeNaught

Reddit was clear—when someone is in extreme pain, someone who has empathy will think twice about joking around even after they’re told to stop.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.