A woman’s recent couple of Reddit posts documented the entire arc of her husband’s closest friendship.
What began as an exciting bromance suddenly became a tragic loss that stressed a marriage. And still later, through the grieving process, a homoerotic reckoning took place.
AITAlostwife, as she named herself on the site, first posted on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit after finding herself in some hot water with her grieving husband.
After suggesting a variety of interventions to help her husband move on from the death of his closest friend, she found herself at the end of her rope. She tried one last intervention, and it carried some implications.
When her husband responded angrily, she reached out to the internet for some moral assurance and guidance for the next move.
Her post began with a description of the earliest days of her husband’s best friendship.
“My (27F) husband (A) (29M) is kind, funny and handsome so he’s always been quite popular – we usually hang out with the same 10-15 people he’s close with.”
“But 6 years ago, he met a guy his age (B) at a work conference with various companies. Said guy was extremely smart, cute, a bit more reserved but still just as lovable. They immediately hit it off and after a year, even started calling themselves soulmates.”
“Soon enough it was a given in our group that my husband and his newfound best friend wouldn’t usually do an activity without each other. B would often stop by our place as well, and our kids (6M, 4F) and I enjoyed his visits because he was such a sweetheart.”
When tragedy struck, nobody took it well.
But her husband especially struggled.
“Unfortunately, just 3 years ago B died in a serious accident because of a drunk driver. Our family was obviously crushed by the news.”
“I gave my husband the space he needed and offered him all the help and support I could give; but I started to worry after the 1st year.”
“Then, I got frustrated after the 2nd year.”
After giving plenty of time and space for her husband to grieve, her patience began to wear thin.
And concern grew still more when she saw it affecting his life across the board.
“Now, it’s the 3rd year and I’m going crazy because it just doesn’t seem normal to me.”
“He’s always been a doting father but he hasn’t played with our kids more than once during those three years.”
“I often see him spacing out and looking/holding things that belonged to B. He wakes up in the middle of the night and leaves the bedroom to cry. I feel like he doesn’t see me or more importantly, our kids, anymore – like everything stopped mattering.”
“And while he keeps working the same hours, I’ve been told by one of his closest friends (who works at the company) that the quality of his work constantly deteriorates.”
So she tried to offer up some pragmatic solutions, but to no avail.
“I assumed that maybe the issue runs deeper than I’d thought and asked him if he’d be ready to go to therapy, but nada.”
“Soon after we had dinner while the kids were at his sister’s (she lives next door) and he gave me attention, which I appreciated – but while we were kissing he broke down and shut himself in our bedroom, while constantly apologising.”
When she made one more attempt, this one backed by some speculation, her husband found it all too hard to hear.
“The day after I sat him down and asked him seriously if it’s possible that he’s had romantic feelings for B.”
“He went off on me- said I was out of line, that I’m ridiculous for being jealous of his best friend who’s forever gone, that I should know he’s straight and that he’s disappointed in me.”
His response felt unfair to her, but when her friends took his side too, she felt lost about how to feel. Cue the Reddit community’s helping hand.
“I feel like I deserved to express my concerns after such a long time but a lot of our friends, who know how sensible the situation is and how devastated my husband is, think I should’ve never said something that intrusive and speculative.”
“They’ve called me an a**hole for doing this to him.”
“So AITA for saying such a thing to my husband considering all that’s happened?”
A hefty majority of responses assured her that she ought not feel guilty about intervening in the way she did.
“NTA”—meaning “Not the A**hole”—kicked off several comments.
“NTA!!!!! 3 years?! YEARS?? His children are muchhhh more important than a best friend mind you. I love my best friend, I don’t know what I would do without her, but I sure as hell would NOT ignore my family for 3 years if she passed.”
“I understand everyone is different, but that is way too long and seems deeper. Tbh you need to tell him to either go to therapy or do something, because his children need him and so do you.” — mariahbear212
“NTA [Original Poster]. It’s a very odd place for you to be right now. It seems like he’s still grieving like if he was a widow. I don’t think you did anything wrong. Your friends are not living your daily family life so they don’t know your struggles so they can’t have judgement towards you.”
“I can only imagine how this is affecting you and your children. I’m sorry this is happening to you. I’d suggest counseling again but he’s not willing to try getting better for you and your family’s sake I’d reconsider the relationship not only with him but also with your friends. Stay strong [Original Poster].” — TheExcitableType
“I’m sorry, but you are a saint for letting him mourn three years for a ‘friend’ and only politely asking him if he’d had feelings, it would have been understandable to actually accuse him of an affair a long time ago and you didn’t do that. NTA.”
“Your husband is the a**hole not for loving his friend and mourning, but for his refusal to talk to a therapist when it’s effected his family for three years.” — kaitou1011
But other Redditors didn’t feel the need to put down her husband to lift her up.
They identified that this was a struggle that, understandably, made things difficult for both of them.
“NAH,” meaning “No A**hole Here,” began most of these responses.
“NAH. Your friends don’t know what you know. Whether your husband was in love with his friend or not, it’s a problem that everything ‘stopped mattering’ when he died, and that he can no longer show affection to his children or his wife.”
“Therapy is really a must at this point, and I think if he won’t go you should go yourself and get some advice about how to approach this serious crisis.” — WebbieVanderquack
“NAH. It’s a difficult situation and grief takes it’s toll differently for everyone and lasts differently for everyone. With his behavior, it seemed like a valid question to ask to get to the root of the problem.”
“Therapy would be the right way to go and you should bring it up again. Hope things get better, [Original Poster].” — grimaceemoji
“NAH:- I can understand your point of view and the conclusion you made, but from his perspective what you said sounds awful.”
“He really does need therapy, a lot of people who need help usually refuse it – especially men, it’s difficult for society to accept male mental health issues and mental health in general and due to this stigma he might not want help (thankfully it is starting to vanish).”
You should consider therapy again for him and be supportive. Nobody is the a**hole here, this is just tragic. Goodluck [Original Poster].” — LifeTopic
Empowered by those responses, she confronted her husband again, pledged to make space and listen and continue to push for therapy.
She shared an additional update post that outlined that discussion, and a bombshell that came out of it.
“So, as you all suggested I sat husband down and asked if he was okay, if he had the time and mental space to talk to me, etc. I apologised for what I implied- said it was inappropriate, irrelevant, and it wasn’t my place to say anything on his relationship with B.”
“But then he broke down, to my confusion, and started apologising to me. Said he DID have feelings for B, that I’m not delusional and stupid, that he’s just been gaslighting me (I disagree).
Some new details emerged after that confession.
“Not going to give all the details, but hubby found out after B’s death that B had feelings for him – and it turned out to be mutual, to his shock. He said the sudden loss and what he realised basically made him go into a very dark place where he felt unworthy of everyone, including his children, B, and I.”
“He needed to talk about it but was terrified of losing us. Knowing my husband, I kind of saw it coming and regret that he’s only confessed to it now because I never would’ve resented him for loving someone. And B’s gone. It’s just a lot of heartbreak for everyone.”
After that, she finally got through to him on the therapy front.
“So… I insisted on therapy again and husband agreed. And he’s okay, thankfully. He did have way too much on his plate but he’s already faring much better now that he’s finally opened up. I wouldn’t blame anyone for being trapped in a cycle of self-hate after all of this.”
“He also mentioned his parents’ deaths too, very briefly. This all felt liberating because we finally came back to our before, where we’d share and discuss everything freely.”
And as therapy so often does, unexpected additional discoveries were made.
“One surprise though, is that I ended up being diagnosed. I am depressed. TBH, I’m still puzzled because I come from a traditional Asian family where depression is a myth. But I guess I’d never questioned myself because I was just always too busy to.”
“Parents abandoned me when I was 5, became a barrister at 21, worked 80 hours/week, taking care of my kids, charity work…You know what’s the funniest part? I’m extremely lazy. Every second I fight the urge to lie down somewhere and sleep forever.
“I have these random moments where I question the relevance of it all but they all seem insignificant in light of everything I could lose. I’m okay. I never felt like reaching a breaking point.”
“My husband has been feeling guilty – so I slapped some sense into him and told him I’m not cancerous.”
Those developments even initiated some good family work too.
“We also had a talk with the kids. My oldest has been radiant since then. Youngest also likes to follow my husband around like a baby chick now. I’ve become an in-house counsel, so twice as less work hours, which is really cool too haha.”
Reddit loved hearing about the success after the upsetting initial post.
“This is a great update, thanks for sharing. As inspiring and nice as it is to see the steps you’re taking here and how well you’re supporting him and taking care of yourself, I’m still so sad for everyone involved.”
“Life is the ultimate a**hole.” — MyAskRedditAcct
“Not gonna lie, I remember reading your first post and expecting the worst because of how dire things were. And I still feel sad for everyone involved.”
“But I’m so glad things are getting better for you [Original Poster], it surely gives hope about life!” — milkbaozi
“How gentle and loving your approach was, and the lack of judgement you met your husband with was beautiful. What a painful way to realize something so deeply hidden in himself, I’m sorry for everyone’s loss, especially his.”
“I hope that therapy opens up a new way forward for you all; I wish you luck.” — LittleJackass80
In times of such global unrest, stories like this remind us that solutions can be within grasp.
Of course, those large-scale issues cannot be neglected, but it can be nice to sit with a positive experience, if only for a moment.