Finances may not be the top reason cited for divorce, but it’s in the top five.
Self-help books suggest everything from separate bank accounts to a set amount each partner cannot exceed without permission. But such safeguards can lead to new conflicts.
A husband found himself clashing with his wife over a new dress. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for another perspective.
“AITA for telling my wife that she can’t order a bunch of dresses on my credit card to try on and return?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“I’m going to a charity gala and bought tickets for me and my wife. She wants to buy a dress for the gala and I said okay.”
“She then asked if she could buy a few dresses to try on and only return one, and texted me screenshots of four dresses, which cost about $280 each before tax. She said she wanted to order them in two different sizes.”
“I said fine, pick three dresses and order those. That seemed like a lot of $ to float on my card, and a weird way to shop, but whatever. She then asked, ‘at each store?’ and got upset because she wants to order three dresses in two sizes at every store and have them delivered.”
“This seems silly to me. It would involve thousands of dollars (which I have, but still) tied up and tons of shipping costs. I told her to go to the mall like everyone else and asked her who shops this way.”
“Her response (via text): ‘WOMEN SHOP THIS WAY!’.”
“Am I the a**hole here?”
The OP summed up their conundrum.
“I told my wife that she couldn’t buy a bunch of dresses on my credit card to try on and return.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Redditors decided there were no a**holes here.
“Yeah NAH, I do this all the time when I have an event that needs something specific, albeit with less expensive things! It’s never been an issue, and my credit is as high as it’s ever been.”
“If you’re someone who struggles to return things in a timely fashion, sure, it can be an issue. I’ve done that a couple of times and just sold whatever it was on Poshmark.”
“But for expensive things like this, I definitely make sure I’m on top of it.” ~ MK7135
“18 does seem excessive, but the husband said money wasn’t a issue.”
“I have ordered eight dresses before only picking one and then returning the rest, so yes people do shop like this, but I can get his discomfort too.”
“Maybe they could compromise and get less dresses. NAH.” ~ Crazie13
“NAH. She should look at services like Amazon Wardrobe, Rent the Runway, or Stitchfix though.”
“They will all send you a few items & give you a week to try them on. You then keep what you want to purchase and return the rest.”
“No upfront charges, and pay only for what you keep.” ~ alv269
“NAH. Women’s clothing sizing can be very inconsistent.”
“I bought a dozen homecoming dresses for my daughters to try on and returned the ones they didn’t want.”
“Depending on the billing cycle, there’s a good chance the dresses are returned before you have to pay the bill.” ~ Some_Pipe59
“I wouldn’t say you’re the a**hole but you don’t understand shopping these days. Stores don’t carry their full inventory anymore, and women’s sizes are all over the place.”
“There’s no consistency. The most efficient way to shop is to order a number of things online and send back the ones that don’t work out.”
“If the initial expenditure is freaking you out, maybe she could order the dresses in just one size at first, then exchange if needed.” ~ PeepholeRodeo
Many lamented the inconsistency of women’s clothing sizes.
“One way to curb this is to have a measuring tape and look at what the store gives for rough measurements for each size. I do this a lot because I float around a UK 18-24 size depending on the brand, the type of clothing etc…”
“Having your measurements written down somewhere and checking what the store uses for their sizes saves a lot more time, money, and resources than buying a bunch of stuff and returning a bunch more.” ~ The_Death_Flower
“This is, unfortunately, ineffective.”
“Because of the way manufactures cut clothes, their sizing is wildly inconsistent. Two dresses in the same size, from the same store, can be inches apart.” ~ VictrolaBK
“I honestly have done this and still didn’t have success.”
“It’s absolutely crazy how I’ve measured myself correctly and used sizing charts and still didn’t get a size that fit me.”
“Women’s sizing is ridiculous, and it’s incredibly frustrating!” ~ hairyfishstick
“I know my measurements and have ordered things that were in my measurements from the site’s chart….was still too small or big.”
“Had to send it back and get the next size up/down.”
“It’s very annoying how things aren’t consistently made.” ~ readyTGTFasap
“Same, and often women’s clothing measurements don’t include important things like inseam length or length of the garment in general like a dress or skirt.”
“So it’s impossible to tell if it’s made for a 5’10” model or an average height 5’4” woman.” ~ flowermilktea
“I know my measurements and always check size charts, and there’s still about a 50-75% chance the item will be completely wrong.” ~ knitlikeaboss
A few felt the financial arrangements made the OP the a**hole (YTA).
“The bigger issue here is that you’re controlling your wife’s spending and clothing choices. She should have financial autonomy to decide if she wants to buy her own clothes and the way that she buys them.”
“It appears she had to ask you to buy a dress and YTA for that alone. Let your wife be an adult and make her own decisions, don’t be controlling.”
“Why doesn’t she have her own CC to use, her own bank account from which to pay for things, etc…”
“This shouldn’t even be a conversation you guys had.” ~ drowninginmoonlight
“I don’t understand why she needs your permission to do this in the first place. It seems like a weird, outdated dynamic that she has to ask you first.”
“And yes, it’s pretty common to order several sizes and return the ones that don’t fit. We did this recently when shopping for prom.”
“There’s not a huge selection at stores of these kinds of formal dresses.” ~ Ok_Hat_6598
“YTA, suck it up. It’s your wife. You have the money, and she’s only buying one dress.”
“Lighten up. Let it go. Let her shop for one dress however she wants.” ~ CappyHamper999
“YTA. Women’s clothing isn’t like men’s. Sizes aren’t measured in inches and aren’t remotely consistent across stores or brands.”
“It is possible, maybe even likely, to buy three dresses in your usual size and have none of them fit.”
“And malls don’t really exist like that anymore, and even then, inventory and customer service are bad enough a lot of places that you could shop for a full day and find nothing worth buying.”
“I absolutely shop the way your wife has described. And a lot of stores have free shipping both ways because lots of people shop this way.”
“You can pay for this, or you can pay for extensive tailoring when none of the dresses fit, and she has to take one to a seamstress to have it re-made essentially.”
“And why doesn’t your wife have her own credit card? Why does she need your permission to buy clothes?”
“Did you ask her permission before you bought the tickets?” ~ annang
Others felt the wife was in the wrong, deciding the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).
“Tell her to take her measurements and find three dresses she likes and then choose. She’s being a bit excessive.”
“Yes, I’m a woman who shops online and returns stuff too, but it’s far easier to order stuff that is made for YOUR measurements then playing the sizing guessing game. NTA.” ~ No_Profile_3343
“NTA. Let her tie up her own money on her credit cards. That is thousands of dollars.” ~ userannon720
“This over-ordering and then returning scheme is hugely wasteful, puts pressure on local retailers, and often ends up with clothes being sent to a landfill.”
“But hey, there’s no ‘way around it’ because how else are you going to find that perfect dress for that life-changing event that you really, really really need to be at?”
“NTA. Don’t mind most of these comments. Your feeling is dead on.” ~ Turbulent-Vacation-3
“Uh, it seems silly because it is silly, and no – most women I know (myself included) do NOT shop that way. NTA.”
“For the women saying they do shop this way, are you spending your own money? Because a pretty integral part of this AITA is stemming from the fact that his wife would like to rack up an unnecessary amount of money on HIS credit card.”
“If you like to shop that way, fine—spend your own money to do so.” ~ vmt7
A number of Redditors asked for more information about the couple’s finances—does she have her own credit card, why was she asking permission—but the OP didn’t respond with any further details.
Hopefully, he was able to resolve the issue with his wife and then enjoy the gala in whatever they wear.