Redditor ThrowawayAssistAITA is a 52-year-old male who made the decision to hire an administrative assistant after he had been overwhelmed with work.
But the very thing that was supposed to help make his life easier wound up complicating his marriage.
After causing some drama with his wife, he visited the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA For refusing to fire my new administrative assistant because my wife feels insecure?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“Around 2 months ago, I finally bit the bullet and spent some of my lab budget to bring onboard an administrative assistant. It’s been wonderful.”
“As I got older, I received more administrative responsibilities, and I never realized how much of my day was spent scheduling, answering emails, and coordinating events.”
“My new hire has done a fantastic job getting those tasks off my plate. She is a 22 year old recent college graduate, which I am only mentioning because it becomes relevant.”
“About two weeks ago, we had a bi-monthly lab lunch. We took a picture, captioned it ‘Welcoming ____, our new administrative staff member to the team!’, and posted it to our lab Instagram.”
“Apparently, this led to all my wife’s friends, including my SIL, seeing the picture. They proceeded to give my wife unsolicited advice about how this was a sign I’m considering cheating on her (which I have never done and will never do.)”
“They argued that she should ask me to fire my new hire to ‘test my integrity’. I refused because that’s f’king ridiculous and likely illegal.”
“Now, my wife’s friends are convinced I’m some predatory scumbag, and my wife is angry that I quote ‘don’t respect her enough to stop people from thinking I’m throwing her away.'”
“This might be where I’m an a**hole. I responded that I think the real problem is that she’s friends with a bunch of ‘crazy divorcees’, which I initially regretted saying because my SIL’s marriage had fallen apart last year.”
“However, as my sympathy has waned, I’m starting to double down on as an accurate characterization of those morons.”
“I’m making this post because I think this whole situation is absolutely absurd, and, for the first time in our marriage, I can’t see how her side is reasonable in any way.”
“I literally get to spend more time with my wife, now that I don’t spend an hour answering emails before bed every night. I don’t see how this is a ‘me’ problem or even an ‘us’ problem at this point.”
“I don’t think I have done anything even slightly inappropriate, and this is entirely her problem. Maybe I’m completely off-base, but I need a third-part perspective.”
Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors sided with the OP as NTA.
“NTA. Firing a woman to appease your wife’s insecurity would require a serious lack of integrity.”
“They really want to make another living human being beginning her career unemployed & during a pandemic??? To put this black mark on her resume at the beginning of building her career & reputation???”
“To label her a sexual predator?? Your wife, SIL, & her friends lack integrity, humanity, & empathy. They all, including your wife, have an extremely low opinion of you to think the mere presence of this woman will result in the two of you having sex.”
“Your wife needs her own therapy & you both need couples therapy. She needs to stop listening to these people whispering these unfounded accusations in her ear.” – itscoldouttherebrrr
“NTA – if you are in the US, firing a secretary based on her looks is going to get you sued. It’s called sexual discrimination.”
“Tell your wife that you refuse to base your hiring decisions on her insecurities. If she doesn’t trust you, then your relationship is already on the rocks, especially since you are already spending more time with your wife since hiring this person.” – drowningInSpam
“‘don’t respect her enough to stop people from thinking I’m throwing her away.'”
“She doesn’t respect you enough to stop people from thinking you’re throwing her away.” – awyllt
“Additionally, the friends, and by extension the wife, don’t respect the administrative assistant enough as they assume she’s only there for her looks and not her work ethic or integrity.”
“She’s already in a field where people will judge her by her looks first and intelligence second; she doesn’t need it coming from co-worker’s wives too.” – okidokes
“wait wait wait, OP, let me get this straight. She seriously wants you to fire an innocent employee because her friends say she needs to test your loyalty? Dafuq?”
“Ok, I’m a woman, my husband is an exec, and he works with women all the damn time. I would never ask him to fire any woman because of my insecurity and if my husband was going to cheat, firing some innocent wouldn’t prevent it.”
“This is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever hear, and I agree with OPs assessment of her friends. NTA” – wildeflowers
Some comments expressed the OP’s wife was also NTA, which was immediately challenged.
“‘and your wife is also NTA.'”
“What? How can you think the wife is not the a**hole? She’s feeling insecure and she’s the one to cause a problem in the relationship.” – Visassess
“The wife is absolutely TA. Having insecurities is natural. Making someone else’s life harder because of nothing more than your insecurities is absolutely a**hole behavior.”
“There are WAY to many people in here sympathizing with the wife. Her being hurt or her needing reassurance is fine. Her husband should talk to her and comfort her about her feelings.”
“Her demanding that a young woman loose her job is misogyny plain and simple and is the reason women are systematically held back in the workforce. Just because she is a woman doesn’t excuse the blatant sexism here.” – picky_pickle
“This is an excellent point, yes. OP‘s wife not standing up for him against her sister and friends shows a serious lack of respect and loyalty on her part.” – HoldFastO2
Overall, Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole.
And while the judgment applied towards his wife remained debatable, many people thought her friends making assumptions about the OP’s fidelity was very disagreeable.
When asked why ‘her friends’ weird take on this lab photograph‘ was more valid in his wife’s mind than the fact nothing suspicious was happening, he said:
“I’m just offended at this point. I’m not sure that’s a useful emotion, but it is where my head is at.”