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Germophobic Woman Scolds Husband For Ruining Her Bath By Wearing Outdoor Flip-Flops In Tub

Woman drawing a bath.
Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images

No two people have the same standards when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness.

Some people are fine with the bare minimum, always washing their hands after leaving the bathroom, brushing their teeth twice a day, vacuuming once a week at most.

Others are far more diligent, washing their hands every time they enter a new building, never leaving home without hand sanitizer, and mopping and vacuuming every day, often multiple times.

More often than not, those who are more conscious about being neat and tidy aren’t afraid to spill their judgment towards those with a more relaxed attitude than theirs.

Redditor Much-Caterpillar-623 was among those who liked things uber clean.

So, when the original poster (OP) saw her husband use a bathtub in what was, in her eyes, a horrifically unhygienic manner,

Wondering if she overreacted, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for refusing to get in the tub after my husband stood in it with his outside flip flops?”

The OP explained why her desire to enjoy a long, hot bath quickly disappeared after seeing the way her husband cleaned the tub:

“My husband and I are on a trip at a B&B with a claw foot tub.”

“I am a very clean person and generally paranoid about cleanliness standards of hotels.”

“So I’ve sort of ‘trained’ my husband to wear flip-flops in hotels vs bare feet.”

“We also wear flip-flops into showers or tubs that we don’t plan to bathe in.”

“But apparently, he thinks this applies to a tub we are about to bathe in as well.”

“Tonight, we decided to bathe in the tub.”

“He was about to use soap to wash the tub before the soak, but I noticed he’d worn his flip-flops to shower in the tub.”

“These flip-flops have been out on the streets.”

“The amount of germs and trash they brought made me 100% sure I wouldn’t be taking a bath there.”

“But he got upset at me instead – according to him, I’m making up new rules.”

“I don’t think I did because this is implied.”

“It blows my mind that he thinks differently – am I AH for thinking this?”

“I think he should apologize for ruining a relaxing bath.”

“He won’t because he feels that he didn’t do anything wrong and blames me for changing rules.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The OP found little to no sympathy from the Reddit community, who all but unanimously agreed she was, indeed, the a**hole for the way she treated her husband.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s expectations of cleanliness bordered on neurotic, with many wondering why she, herself, couldn’t simply wash the tub again after her husband stepped in it in his flip-flops, and some even thinking she should seek professional help.

“My thoughts on this:”

“If you’re so cleanliness obsessed, why would you _ever_ think of using the OUTSIDE dirty slippers as shower slippers.”

“Just pack an extra one specific for the shower?”

“I’ver never heard of using your regular flip-flops for this.”

“If you have such a phobia of dirt, I think it would be wise to always travel with a disinfectant spray; you can wash with soap and sanitize it afterward.”

“I do think your parameter for what’s clean and when something is clean is irrational, and it kinda interferes with your life by making others follow your rules and having a hard time dealing with it when its not up to your standard?”

“I honestly would suggest therapy.”

“It seemed unintentional by your bf so getting upset and demanding an apology when he already tries to cater to your needs is a little a**holey.”- MiIllIin


“If you were that concerned about it, instead of being mad, you could have easily called housekeeping.”

“Or washed the tub with soap and water and pour hot water from your coffee maker over the bottom of the tub to sanitize it.”

“You are at a point where your neurotic behavior is negatively impacting your relationship, and it is a problem now.”

“You’re very concerned about germs but don’t know how soap in general works, and you’d rather be pissed and fighting with your partner than find a corrective solution to fight your problem with your partner.”- pandatron3221


“You are expecting your husband to follow your ‘logic,’ but the thing is, your position is not logical.”

“Without wanting to worry you or expand your fears more, your replies to this thread give enough evidence of illogicality; you haven’t researched concrete facts around dirt on shoes (or on feet when wearing open footwear), around cleaning products or procedures, on how germs and bacteria exist and are killed.”

“Your fear is based on a perceived risk, conflated and inflated in your experience and over time.”

“I’m not here to tell you that you are an AH over that – anxiety is real, and a supportive partner will seek to support you. However, it CANNOT be a stick to beat your partner with.”

“At that point, you are patently the AH.”

“Don’t get me wrong – I have some cleanliness and order anxiety.”

“I travel with antibacterial wipes and a tiny pack of portable cleaning materials that give me peace of mind, BUT even I cannot follow your logic at all.”

“I hope you are seeking therapy for your anxiety.”

“In the meantime, packing an ‘indoor’ pair of flip flops for use in bathrooms only (flip flops are super thin) and getting some anti-bac wipes would probably be a good add to your packing while you work through everything around your anxiety (knowing that cold turkey won’t be helpful).”-EssexCatWoman

“FYA: If your compulsion is leading to fights with your husband, it’s affecting your life.”-wubadub47678

“For me, I don’t get it. Why can’t you just rinse the tub out?”

“But I don’t understand your fear of germs anyway.”

“So, I can’t follow you. I think you should see a therapist.”

“That’s not being clean in a healthy way.”

“So, for me, you are YTA.”- Fuzzy_Campaign7163


‘Just rinse out the tub and wash it with some soap if you’re grossed out.”

“You caused a lot of drama over nothing.”- Latter-Shower-9888


“He didn’t do anything wrong.”

“You’re just unreasonably worried about cleanliness.”- izstoopid

“YOU were the one who ruined the experience.”

“Your cleanliness obsession is not normal or logical.”

“I suggest you educate yourself about how germs indeed work.”

“Therapy seems like a good idea, too.”

“YTA.”- ExpressionMundane244

“Ok but you have to actually listen to him about what doesn’t make sense.”

“Lol therapy wouldn’t hurt.”- Dull-Explorer8527

“The truly gross thing on this entire thread is OP insisting on showering while wearing shoes that were also worn outdoors.”

“Leave your outdoor shoes at the front door, like a normal human.”

“Then you can wash your feet in the bath or shower like a normal human.”

“The point of soap and water is that it cleans dirty things.”

“If you’re grossed out by the tub, then do it the Japanese way: shower first, WITHOUT WEARING SHOES, then run the bath and soak in it after you’ve cleaned yourself in the shower.”

“YTA for showering in shoes that you also wear outdoors.”


“Also YTA for making unsanitary rules.”- Ms-DangerNoodle

Upon reading everything the Reddit community had to say, the OP returned to acknowledge that her behavior was uncalled for and she should probably work on her issues regarding cleanliness:

“Thank you all for your judgment.”

“I’m seeing a consensus that I’m TA.”

“Reasons: my ‘logic’ for cleaning practices is unclear.”

“My germaphobia would be improved if I actually learned how they work and how they impact the body.”

“I should react more productively to my husband’s ‘mistakes’ when accommodating my special standards.”

“I also saw multiple messages to ‘get therapy’, I don’t think I need it.”

“It’s really not impacting my life or my husband’s life that much. There is no need to extrapolate our life from this one incident.”

“I know I need to chill about germs and cleanliness.”

“I’m going to talk to my husband about what makes sense and what doesn’t, and we’ll be clearer and more fair than before.”

“Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.”

“I’m still reading new replies, but they mostly touch on things that have been discussed previously so I’m not adding repeated replies.”

“I spoke with my husband, and he read the post.”

“We agreed I have some OCD / germaphobia, but it’s not really negatively impacting our life, certainly not enough to need therapy.”

“I should be nicer about him accidentally doing something I disagree with.”

“Also, I have nothing against therapy; I just don’t think there’s anything to discuss/explore here.”

“It’s also not a panacea; the groupthink here to just suggest therapy to everyone who you disagree with is a bit concerning, but that’s probably just Reddit being Reddit.”

“I know most of you mean well.”

“Thank you again!”

Everyone has a phobia or paranoia of some sort. Some people are able to hide it more successfully than others.

Perhaps following this experience, the OP might start taking the necessary steps to relax a little bit and not worry about cleanliness quite so much.

Or, at the very least, not take her problems out on her husband.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.