Spouses can ostensibly get jealous of our relationships with family members. It’s uncommon, but it does happen.
They may envy the closeness we share with those members of our family if we are not similarly close with them.
However, most people have the wherewithal to set reasonable boundaries between themselves and their own jealousy.
But when Reddit user scihusband found his wife making outlandish assumptions and accusations about his relationship with his aunt, that was the last straw.
After reacting powerfully, he went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” to get some feedback on whether or not he was justified in how he dealt with the situation.
“AITA for getting mad at my wife because she’s making weird accusations?”
Our original poster, or OP, was eating candy with his wife when things suddenly got strange.
“I (M[ale]43) was hanging out with my wife (44), Jane, and I brought some candies that my aunt (my mom’s sister), Mary, sent along with some other stuff my parents (65F[emale] and 70M) posted me from overseas (I now live in US).”
“Then, Jane questioned why aunt Mary would send me something. I explained to her that it was my birthday and Mary like any other person loves their nieces and nephews.”
“Also, she’s not married and has no kids so she might have more time and attention for nieces and nephews.”
OP’s wife started asking strange questions about his aunt.
“She then asked her age. I honestly was not sure. I texted my mom and turns out Mary is 15 years older than me.”
“Then, Jane questioned her text messages to me and said those are inappropriate (she had checked my text messages before; to be fair, I don’t mind if she checks my phone whenever she wants, even if I’m not present if that will reinforce her trust).”
“I was a bit shocked by her statement because the text messages between me and Mary happen 1-2 times per year and usually, she says “Happy birthday! Love you my dear nephew”, and I reply “Thank you, dear Mary. Love you too”.”
“Sometimes a few more greeting sentences. Now, Mary has an unusual habit of overusing emojis, but she does that to every post and comment on IG, and she’s a foreigner living outside US who learned social media 3 years ago in her mid-fifties.”
Jane was not having it.
“I explained all this to Jane, but she wasn’t convinced. She continued asking me if she ever babysits me or hung out with me when I was a kid.”
“I remembered Mary lived with my grandparents (different culture; young adults stay with their parents until they study and find a good job), so whenever we went there Mary was there and we would talk.”
“Jane then accused me that there should have been some very inappropriate relationship between us and it’s disgusting and so on.”
OP was absolutely gobsmacked by this accusation.
“At this point, I was very shocked and also mad. I admit I lost my cool and said with an elevated tone that how come she doesn’t understand every uncle and aunt love their nieces and nephews.”
“And this has been normal in my extended family and their love is like parental love or the love of an older and caring sister or brother.”
“She wasn’t convinced and she said this was not the case in her extended family (We are from the same country and speak the same language, but she belongs to a different sub-culture).”
“She also blamed me for getting mad and said that also confirms her suspicion. But how did she expect me to stay calm when she makes these accusations?”
Though OP has apologized, things have remained icy.
“Later, I apologized for not being calm but said she was very unreasonable and suggested if she wants us to talk to a third person or a therapist to get some insight, to which she declined.”
“I also asked her if she saw something bad in other people and is now projecting to me and she said no.”
“But she is still upset and thinks I was not appropriate in my behavior to my aunt and she does not talk to me (except for the essentials).”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors were just as perplexed as to OP’s wife’s accusations as OP was.
“Hey OP lots of people are mentioning cheating and mental health, but is this common behaviour for your wife or is it really out of nowhere?”
“If this is super out of the norm for her, behavioural issues and lashing out can be early signs of brain tumours/issues.”
“If this is particularly out of character for her a trip to the doctor may need to be considered to make sure there’s nothing going on!”
“This absolutely does not excuse her comments to you though, what she said was awful and she owes you an apology 100%.”~GenjisWife
“Whoa! What? It sounds like your wife really needs to get help from someone. How did she make such a leap?”
“NTA. You do need to talk to her about her relationship with her relatives. What she is saying is so out of line.”~CMSkye
“NTA and that is extremely odd, IMO. My husband has several aunts, but there’s one who’s unequivocally his favorite.”
“They text, and she still calls him by cute nicknames and sends him gifts even though he’s almost 40.”
“Never in our entire relationship have I thought it was weird. In fact, I think it’s really sweet, and their relationship has inspired me to try my best to be a super-aunt to my two nephews.”
“I agree that maybe wife is projecting something.”~EducatedOwlAthena
“NTA, but it does sound like your wife is either projecting, or she’s just really that insecure.”
“Either way, she needs professional help and you need to stop enabling her behaviour by allowing her to go through your phone and by apologizing even when you know she’s the one that’s in the wrong.”
“Your wife is escalating her behaviour and she’s doing it right now. It started by her checking your phone for inappropriate behaviour, but she didn’t find anything there – so she’s going to look elsewhere, and it seems like she’s picked someone from inside your family.”
“She’s not going to simply stop being jealous of your aunt either, it’s just going to keep going till it’s it’s own cycle.”
“Editing to add, your wife is calling you an aunt f***er without having any concrete proof that you and your aunt have even engaged in any inappropriate behaviour.”
“And she refuses to seek help for her obvious mental health and self esteem issues. And OP please listen to this, it will NOT stop.”
“She WILL find more family members and even random strangers to accuse you of and it will keep going.”
“She’s escalated to accusing you, NOW she’s escalating it even FURTHER by outright calling you an ‘aunt f***er.'”
“And I guarantee that if you do NOT get out soon, and if she’s still unwilling to seek professional help.”
“She WILL escalate more to a point where she’ll accuse you of sleeping with your own mother – and it will keep escalating and escalating till you are completely and fully isolated without anyone around to help you. Get help, or get out of there.”~FreakishNightmare
People were wondering if something else was going on with OP’s wife.
“Your wife’s mind immediately jumped to the worst conclusion… Either she’s projecting her own (or someone else’s) experience onto you… or she’s really insecure to even fathom the thought of sexualizing a familial relationship.”
“Like no offense but you gotta have a pretty low thought of someone to think that are secretly having an incestuous affair with their own damn aunt…”
“Either way… Therapy. Immediately.”~Black-Morticia
“Your wife’s accusations sound a lot like what happens when my wife is having a bipolar episode.”
“She sometimes delusional, paranoid and accuses me of all sorts of crazy things like doing meth in the garage (I don’t even drink much anymore lol) and having affairs with various friends of hers.”
“If I were you I’d really see about trying to get her evaluated- but that can be massively difficult next to impossible if she is unwilling.”~Jacksmissingspleen
“NTA my first assumption like a sentence in was that she thought your aunt was really your mother, turned out she’s just being very unreasonable.”
“As the aunt with no kids, I love those wild little niblings of mine to the moon and back! And I don’t see that changing if I have my own kids or as they grow older.”
“As others have said, projection seems likely here.”~MakosUnited
OP added an update with further details.
“Thanks everyone for your time and feedback. Some asked if there are any other details. There is one thing: a few days ago, Mark started texting Jane.”
“Mark was her second boyfriend back when they were in high school. They broke up when high school finished. They are now Facebook acquaintances, but nothing unusual.”
“Mark is married but recently he texted some weird things on FB to emotionally guilt-trip Jane; something like Jane broke his heart, and so on.”
“My wife herself told me this. I suggested maybe she should block him or reply ‘f**k off’ or send the screenshots to his wife, but my wife did not do these, and just ignored his FB texts.”
“Maybe her last-night behavior toward me was a come-back?”
“Wow, this post blew up. Never expected it. Thanks for all the support. Sorry that I’m not able to answer each comment.”
“Just to clarify about the chance of Jane’s cheating with Mark: it’s very unlikely: I can’t go into details, but one reason is that Mark lives on another continent, thousands of miles away.”
“Some asked why did Jane accuse me now, not before?”
“Yesterday, I told her that I hung out with my aunt as a kid, and she got very concerned because she previously thought the age gap was large, but now it seems less.”
So then people really thought something was extra going-on with OP’s wife.
“I’m certain she’s either cheating on you or thinking about it.”
“There’s no other reason she would randomly choose to accuse of these things now when I’m amusing she’s known about your relationship with your aunt for a while, so why is it a problem all of a sudden?”
“Cheaters often accuse their partners of doing the same thing they’re doing to justify their actions to them selves. Be careful brother.”~Bear_nuts
“NTA. This is extremely bizarre and and pretty disturbing. There’s a 15 year age gap between me and my oldest niece and of course we spent (and continue to spend) lots of time together because we’re family and we love each other!”
“The thought of someone questioning if it was anything beyond that makes me want to barf.”
“It’s seriously weird that your wife would jump to that just because you…occasionally interact with your aunt and send each other gifts??? Wtf.”
“My mind would never jump to that in a million years, it sounds like she needs professional help.”~roswellington
“NTA. COUNSELING!!!! You can set up online stuff now and if she chooses to leave the room or even house tell her to take her belongings with her.”
“This is such BS. This is destructive behavior and if she isn’t going to seek help, then there isn’t much you can do. If she hasn’t apologized yet, she most likely won’t.”
“Aunt f*cker???!!! Really?!?! But it’s ok for her to talk and accept messages from an ex? My fiancé didn’t ask me to unfriend or block my exes but I did out of respect to him.”
“She is making light of her behavior but yours is unacceptable?, this is not good for any marriage. I do not understand people.”
“I am sorry you are being emotionally and mentally attacked by your own wife. It took me a while to see the mental, emotional, financial and verbal abuse by my ex husband, and my relationships after were almost on par.”
“I finally had to change that and I’m glad I did. I hope you can too. Good luck handling the situation. However you decide to proceed with it.”~tjlaw1987
Everyone agrees that something very strange is going on with OP’s wife for her to have accused him of something so outlandish and strange.
Hopefully, through professional help, they will be able to find out what that is.