Many of us worry about getting older: if we will achieve as much as we wanted to, and what we will look like.
These concerns can really put a strain on a relationship, though, considered the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Scared_Brisket4400 found himself in a tough situation recently when his wife repeatedly asked him for feedback on her appearance.
When she didn’t appreciate what he had to offer, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he said the wrong thing.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my wife that her hair looks terrible?”
The OP always loved his wife’s appearance, as well as her hair.
“For context to my post, my and I are both 38, we have been married for 10 years and together for 13 years.”
“About 3 years ago, my wife noticed she had a few gray hairs.”
“Her hairstylist dyed my wife’s hair blonde and put some very big highlights in. My wife says the big highlights hide the grays from her fresh not dyed roots where it grows.”
“She also had her hairstylist cut it, give her bangs and cut the hair around her face shorter because it would hide wrinkles. I never noticed my wife having wrinkles but she said she did.”
“The new hairstyle was a big change because before her hair was a bit longer, black and she didn’t have any bangs or short parts.”
“Personally, I think the blonde doesn’t look right on her at all, the highlights aren’t natural and if I were her I would not have bangs.”
“But she likes it and it makes her more confident, so if she is happy it’s enough for me.”
But the OP’s wife was recently concerned about his feelings about her hair.
“My question comes about because my wife’s best friend is getting a divorce and it is not a pleasant one.”
‘She goes to the same place as my wife to get her hair done. She told my wife her ex-husband said she wasn’t as hot as when they got married and made a bunch of general insults about her looks and her hair.”
“After this happened my wife started asking me if I’m still attracted to her. I said yes.”
“She asked if I liked her hair. I said it makes her happy so I do.”
“But she kept asking me if I liked it.”
“I don’t know why it started after 3 years and the questions about her looks and her hair kept going.”
“Especially after she had a virtual book club and wine night with her friends.”
The OP’s wife repeatedly asked for feedback.
“She kept asking me and my answer was always the same.”
“One night she asked me to swear on our daughter’s life. Which was ridiculous for something so minor.”
“But since she wouldn’t stop, I admitted I preferred her old hair color and style without layering or bangs, but I also said if it makes her happy, it’s enough for me and a different hairstyle isn’t going to change my attraction to her.”
The OP’s wife did not take this well.
“She is upset with me over that answer.”
“She has called me an a**hole to my face.”
“She told her friends I insulted her hair (which I did not).”
“She even asked me if I would prefer her sister now because she has black hair but does not dye it or cut it like my wife. I don’t know where that came from, her sister is gay and lives in another country. She is perfectly nice but that’s it. I’ve never thought of her like that.”
“Should I have lied when my wife asked me to swear on our daughter’s life about her hair?”
“Am I wrong for not understanding why hiding gray hair is so important for women?”
“Am I the a**hole for saying I preferred her old hair when she kept asking me and should I apologize?”
“If I was truly wrong, I would apologize for the misunderstanding.”
“I do love my wife and I hate that she’s mad at me over hair.”
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 said the OP was not wrong for answering his wife’s questions.
“NTA. Dude your wife asked you to swear on your daughter’s life….over hair? That’s pretty not ok.”
“Furthermore, you’ve been exceptionally supportive. What this sounds like is her friends pushing their insecurities onto her.”
“She kept pushing. You graciously answered. Tbh (to be honest), she’s lucky you seem like a very calm individual.”
“After being called an AH to my face like that for literally no reason, I’d have basically told her I wouldn’t be speaking to her until an apology. She’s a grown woman. She needs to not act like a petulant child.” – joshthatoneguy
“I agree with the advice generally, and husband should take it to heart.”
“But d**n, his wife has a horrendous way of communicating her needs and dealing with her insecurities! Badgering him to give his opinion, making him swear on their daughter’s life, calling him an asshole when he didn’t pick up on the subtext of her request?!”
“I hope she apologizes to him.” – JosieJOK
“The wife harangued him for ages with her neurotic questions, called him an a**hole, and put him on blast with others when she didn’t like the honest answer that she demanded.”
“There’s only so much you can do when someone acts like this. OP is not a mind reader or a saint.”
“Some reassurance and care is given. This situation is ridiculous.” – Brolonius
Others were concerned the wife was feeling insecure over her friend’s divorce.
“Mate, you’re missing the point. This was never about hair.”
“She’s freaking out that she’s getting older and thinks that you will stop being attracted to her, like her friend’s husband did. She’s scared you are going to lose interest and ditch her as she ages.”
“When you said that you preferred her old hairstyle, what she heard was that you preferred the younger version of her, that she’s less attractive to you now that she doesn’t look like she did years ago.”
“I know that’s not what you meant, but that was the message she took from it. That’s why she has gone crying to her friend.”
“The best way to salvage this minor debacle is to be as attentive and loving as you can. Talk to her, explain you never meant your comment the way she took it, but that you understand why she was so upset.”
“Tell her that she will always be as beautiful to you as the day you met. That she’s the best thing that ever happened to you and she’ll still be the most beautiful woman you know when you are both in your 80s.”
“Because that’s what you see when you look at her – the beauty of her soul and the love and the life you have shared together.”
“Put it in your own words, obviously, but you get the drift. Physical affection daily – hugs, kisses, little touches. Make her feel safe in the relationship again.” – Far_Administration41
“This drama unfolding has to do with the insecurities of getting older, so it is also very much about looks.”
“So please add ‘beautiful body and looks’ or something like this. Otherwise, she might take it as, ‘bla bla, but he does not find me physically attractive anymore.'”
“I am 44 [female] and believe me, when it comes to these insecurities of not being ‘young and hot’ anymore, you as the partner really have it hard to win. Sadly, but women are objected to so much external and thus internal pressure to stay ‘attractive and f**kable,’ aka thin and young and with firm bodies and without wrinkles that it effs up our minds sometimes.”
“Especially when divorces happen in our friendship circles and the man involved trashed his to-be-ex-wife around loss of attractiveness.”
“Be physical, be attentive and ensure your wife you love her and do not plan to exchange her with a ‘younger model’.”
“You are NTA, but be nice to your wife anyways.” – MadameMimmm
Though the subReddit could agree that the OP did not do anything wrong in the feedback he gave his wife, the sub was divided on how much more the OP should cater to her feelings.
Some sided with the wife, stating that she was probably feeling insecure because of her friend’s divorce. But others viewed the OP and his wife as adults who should be able to have a tough conversation, including their relationship outliving their friend’s.