Let’s be honest: We’ve likely all been in a situation where someone was complaining so much, we wished we could do something to teach them a little perspective.
But even if we had the opportunity to teach them that lesson, doesn’t mean we should, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor TaxRightoffer was becoming increasingly frustrated by their wife’s complaints about a particular mother and baby who was on their flight because the baby was miserable and crying.
In an effort to help the mother be more comfortable and to teach their wife a lesson, the Original Poster (OP) gave away their first-class seat, forcing their wife to sit next to the mother and baby.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for giving a mother with a crying baby my seat near my wife to teach her a lesson?”
The OP observed a mother and baby struggling on their flight.
“My wife and I recently went on a trip together paid for by her dad. He flew us to Hawaii with first-class seats. We had a great time.”
“My wife is used to traveling while I’m less experienced with plane travel. This was the first time I flew first-class.”
“On our way back home, we were seated near the back, so we were by the border between us and the ‘undesirables.'”
“A mother and her baby were one of the first to board, and the poor baby was not having a good time. I felt even worse got the mother as I know she’s probably equally distressed about the baby crying.”
They were frustrated by how their wife complained about the situation.
“While I felt sympathy, my wife was mad. She kept making comments about how our flight was going to be miserable as the best.”
“Her complaining went on for the longest time. She kept saying that the mother was irresponsible and that if she doesn’t know how to calm her baby, she shouldn’t be taking it on a plane.”
“I tried to tell her to calm down as it was not that serious, but she wasn’t having it.”
“Eventually I got tired of that, so I offered to go speak to the mom for my wife. She said she would be happy if I did.”
The OP decided to take this interaction as an opportunity.
“I went back in-between boarding groups and told the mother that if she wanted, I would give her my first class seat so she can kick her feet up and that may be more comfortable for her and the baby.”
“She didn’t want to initially but I insisted and her husband encouraged her to take it.”
“She took her baby up to first class and I got a series of angry texts from my wife.”
“I felt like this was not a huge deal as my wife brought noise-canceling headphones. And the other people in first class most likely did, as well. And if they don’t, they have normal headphones and can simply block out the baby.”
“It’s 2023, not 1990. We’re not living in the Stone Age.”
“Also, he baby cried for maybe a cumulative 30 minutes on an eight-hour flight. So barely at all.”
The OP was surprised by how furious their wife was.
“When my wife and I met up, she was livid. She told me that I ruined her flight and ruined the end of the trip for her.”
“I told her that she was overreacting to something that’s only mildly annoying.”
“She has refused to drop this.”
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 understood the OP’s frustration surrounding their wife’s complaints.
“NTA. And I say this as a childfree person. I don’t understand the obsessive hatred people have with crying babies on planes.”
“You should go into a flight prepared knowing that there will probably be babies, snoring people, smelly people, people who accidentally touch you, and other little annoyances.”
“What’s more annoying than a crying baby is the grown adult complaining non-stop about the crying baby which is what it sounds like your wife was doing.”
“You can’t control other people. Only how you respond to them. You’re already paying for the ticket and your trip. Spend a little bit more for some headphones and some classical music and just relax.” – AdFinancial8924
“The OP wrote, ‘She kept saying that the mother was irresponsible and if she doesn’t know how to calm her baby, she shouldn’t be taking it on a plane.’ Like, really?”
“Also, ‘My wife was mad. She kept making comments about how our flight was going to be miserable as the best. Her completing went on for the longest time.’ Perhaps you were irresponsible for taking your wife on a plane if you don’t know how to calm her down.” – diminishingpatience
“NTA. What you did may have been petty but it was also incredibly sweet. I’m sure the lady really appreciated the gesture. Your wife needs to stop being so bratty.” – Little_Meringue766
“Your wife should not be complaining so much, y’all are on first-class tickets to Hawaii with noise-canceling headphones. Be grateful this is not going to ruin your trip, lady. Also, strange she is bothered by something so far away, is she super sensitive to noise?”
“You also could have just told your wife how you feel and tried to give her perspective instead of bringing what she was annoyed about directly next to her. That is not husbandly behavior AT ALL!”
“The baby is NTA and just a baby; it’s ok for them to cry. They do suck a binky, though, so ESH.” – crazyhey2
“Oh my god, honestly, I absolutely love this. Your wife sounds like an insufferable a** and is exactly what’s wrong with our compassionless society. NTA.” – orangeofdeath
Others thought the OP’s behavior toward their wife was a red flag.
“If he wanted to be NTA, he would have told her that if she didn’t stop complaining, he’d move or put on noise-canceling headphones. That’s what adults do in relationships. They establish healthy boundaries and give the other person a chance to either accept those boundaries or not.”
“They don’t play weird mind games as he did, invalidate anyone’s feelings or declare what feelings are ‘appropriate’ like you did, or refer to partners as people who ‘need to be taught a lesson,’ since our partners aren’t children or students.” – Proof-Tangerine6373
“YTA. Lol (laughing out loud, teach your wife a lesson…”
“Don’t stay married to her if you need to do petty things.”
“At least they can save money in the future by not getting a first-class ticket for you.” – RandomGuy_81
“YTA for weaponizing your wife’s comments against her, and for treating her like a child who needed to be ‘taught a lesson.’ She’s your partner, who wanted to enjoy a vacation with you, and you ditched her at the finish line. Who does that?” – Proof-Tangerine6375
“Why isn’t a woman allowed to complain to a husband about a crying baby? Why does that make her the AH? She didn’t confront the woman, make loud comments so the woman could hear, and she didn’t make a scene. She had a whine/moan to her spouse.”
“Instead, you decided to punish your wife. You were on a free trip paid for by her father and decided you need to be a petty b**tard.”
“I wouldn’t invite you on the next trip.” – MrsJonesy2012
“You seem to be confused about what your position is, so I’ll explain it to you. You’re not her parent. You’re not her teacher. You’re not her boss. You’re not her trial judge. You’re her husband.”
“I feel so sorry for your wife. It’s obvious you think you’re her overseer, something no grown-a** woman needs. I hope this helps her see she doesn’t need you and that she gets rid of you so she can find someone to actually behave like a husband rather than a self-made authority figure.”
“By the way, the only ‘lesson’ she learned from this is that she married an AH.” – Myhairs0nFire2
Some similarly thought using the mother and baby as a tool in their lesson was wrong.
“YTA. You used a baby as a weapon. Not sure how you can not be the AH.” – pottersquash
“You left your wife for an eight-hour flight for complaining about a frustrating situation. Nobody likes babies crying on planes!”
“Plus, you separated the mother from the husband/father, who should have been helping with the baby throughout the flight. You gave him an easy out to be a deadbeat dad for eight hours.” – Human_Reference_3366
“YTA. You weren’t doing this out of the kindness of your heart. You used a mother and her child who were probably already stressed as a pawn in your weird game.”
“Your wife was making mean comments, yes, but she was complaining to you, her husband, not making a scene or confronting the woman with her baby.” – rickymarie177
“YTA but not to your wife. The poor mother with a crying baby probably had an even worse experience because her husband wasn’t there to help, and your wife was probably complaining the entire time.” – strandedinaber
“YTA. You didn’t do that to help the mom and kid. You did it to annoy your wife.” – DramaticWebPersona
“He’s also the AH for white-knighting (and actually using) this woman and her baby to p**s off his wife. Sure, she was in first class and whoopee for that, but can you imagine the death stares that poor woman would be getting there? Without even having her husband for backup?”
“This guy wasn’t thinking of that mom. He was thinking about himself getting one over on his wife (who it sounds like he doesn’t like very much).” – underlightning69
A few Redditors thought the OP had done the mother and the baby a kindness by giving them a more comfortable seat and space for the duration of the flight, but most of the subReddit found the situation to be more complicated than that.
Most questioned if the OP even liked or respected their wife since they were so fixated on teaching their wife a “lesson” and using the mother and baby as a tool to do that. If that was really how they felt about their wife, this first-class trip might be the last substantial trip they go on together.