There is an ongoing argument in the USA right now about whether jobs are “worth” a certain amount of money because of how “easy” or not they are. With the minimum wage poised to reach $15 per hour nationwide, these heated arguments have intensified.
Reddit user framingfaces found herself caught up in one of those very arguments with her own boyfriend.
After snapping back at him a bit, she was unsure if how she acted was appropriate. For clarification, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA.”
“AITA for telling my boyfriend if he wanted an ‘easy’ job like mine he should have gotten a degree or made an effort to do so?”
Our original poster, or OP, set up the situation she and her boyfriend were living in.
“I’m 19F[emale] and my boyfriend is 21M[ale]. We have been dating over two years and have lived together over one. We run a small farm together and have two dogs together as well.”
“To preface this, I believe trade jobs are an amazing factor and I don’t believe everyone needs to go to college if that’s not what they want to do.”
“There is nothing wrong with trade jobs or not wanting to go to college.”
“However, my parents kind of pushed education when I was younger so I knew I was always going to college.”
“I am almost graduated with my associates degree and starting my bachelors degree this summer and around six months ago landed an amazing job, full time.”
“Due to recent world events, I am working from home until further notice (technology field).”
OP’s boyfriend has a bit more demanding of a position, physically, and OP tends to work from comfortable places in their home.
“My boyfriend has worked at a local manufacturer doing a trade job for around two years, he actually makes a couple dollars more than me on the hour and that doesn’t bother me at all.”
“Here’s where the situation gets tricky. I usually work from my bed because I had back surgery a couple months ago and cant sit comfortably at my desk.”
“I have free time during the day working from home to do chores, activities here and there, etc. I usually watch Netflix or listen to music while working too.”
“I work from 8-5 and get an hour for lunch. My work is mostly on the computer so more mental than physical.”
“My boyfriends job is pretty physically demanding. He works from 5:30am-3:00pm with only a 30 min lunch and 15 min break.”
Now OP’s boyfriend is making snarky remarks.
“He is constantly making remarks about how my job is so much easier than his and we make almost the same money. Just remarks about how I don’t work as hard as him.”
“I usually just laugh it off but the other day he just kept on and on and I finally lost it and told him if he ‘wanted an ‘easy’ job like mine then he needed to get a degree to get that job or work towards finding one, otherwise he needed to leave me alone about my job.'”
OP’s boyfriend was not super happy about this.
“He got super angry at me and claimed I didn’t believe in trade jobs and their value. That’s not the case, I am just tired of him talking down on my work because it isn’t physical labor.”
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 said OP wasn’t at fault, but that they could benefit from a conversation.
“NTA. That said, you need to sit down with him and tell him how his comments are affecting you.”
“If he doesn’t care or continues anyway, then that signifies a huge lack of respect and is something you should think about carefully.”~PotentialityKnocks
“NTA. I’m somebody with a degree who ended up switching gears and now I work a trade in manufacturing.”
“I did go to the local community college to get a certification which got my foot in the door to my current career. It took all of 4 months and now after 4 years I make more than I ever did before.”
“Honestly he doesn’t sound cut out for that type of work. There are always going to be people getting paid for doing less strenuous work.”
“I’d say my type of work is balanced between mental and physical and I love it. I never want to work a totally sedentary job again.”
“Either way it isn’t your fault if he is salty about his situation. He can do something to change it or shut up. Trying to make you feel guilty for not working as hard as him physically is stupid.”
“Especially since you are still recovering from a surgery. He should be thrilled that you are able to work in spite of that. Why he is anything but happy for you is concerning.”~mountainman84
“NTA I’m in around the same boat. My husband works in a trade field and I’m in an office. Because of my experience and license I make a few dollars more though.”
“He’s made back handed comments like that to me and once i finally got pissed enough and told him that it’s not my fault my job has more responsibility than physical labor and if he wants an office job to go study for it.”
“Don’t let him undermine what you do. I think you should sit down and have a long conversation about exactly how hurtful those comments are because you have worked hard to get where you are.”~fdbw03
“NTA – I have done both trade jobs and desk jobs. Both have their pros and cons. I have a college degree and the job i got in my field required up to 10 hours a day with a lot of physical labor.”
“I would suggest that you both take time to talk calmly. Both jobs have their stressors neither one is easier than the other.”~WitchyRed1974
After all, it’s not like she was really talking down about his job, rather reacting to how he was speaking about hers.
“NTA There’s a bizarre and pitiful trend of men feeling intimidated by their girl’s wages, being degrading, ungrateful, insecure AHs because they’re…. not leeching off them? What’s their problem?”
“Not to mention that jobs in tech pay very well, so I don’t understand how this is a shock to him. Less whining, more working and shutting the f**k up.”~thewaryteabag
“NTA… it may not be from a place of malice as this sub automatically assigns. He is frustrated, tired, and maybe burned out in his job.”
“Perhaps he’s venting AT YOU instead of to you. Maybe he does question his life choices.”
“Like two adults sit down and discuss the situation. Tell him you are there to listen and be his sounding board as his partner but that being vented at hurts your feelings and devalues you.”
“People often have this insecurity about their partner (M or F) making more money than them. It is often feeling like they aren’t good enough or that that partner will view them as less than.”
“Explain that yes some jobs are way easier than others. But with your job came years of education and probably a good amount of expense to get there.”
“So while you were paying for and working toward the degrees that led you to this ‘easy’ Job he was out making money.”
“There are trade offs to every situation and mental vs physical jobs are each are taxing. Neither is less than the other.”
“If he can see his way to view your situation as you both have good jobs, that pay well, you are both done at night early. There are great benefits to your situations.”
“If after this discussion he or you still do not see eye to eye on this, then perhaps evaluate your future.”~Slade_Riprock
“NTA. He asked for it. That’s disrespectful to the max. I bring in over 10x my wife’s annual salary and wouldn’t dare demean her like that.”
“He needs to change his tune quick or else you need to evaluate why you want a Bf who doesn’t respect you.”~Thediciplematt
“NTA this is the correct answer. In my household, my husband has a more stressful job than me. He also makes 5 times my salary now.”
“When we were first married, we made about the same amount. My husband would never criticize the work I do because it is less stressful.”
“He recognizes that I contribute to our household income. With my health issues, I have struggled to work and that makes him even more appreciative of what I accomplish. OP you deserve better.”~KoalasAndPenguins
And he crossed a line. OP shouldn’t have to apologize for standing up for herself.
“NTA it’s okay to complain but he has crossed a line. It’s not like if you were both in High School complaining that he got more homework than you.”
“Some job are more demanding physically, some need more mental gymnastic, even working at a desk can lead to injury if you don’t have a perfect ergonomic chair.”
“It’s true that if he wants your job he should have done the same studies as you.”
“I don’t know if he chose his job willingly or if he would like to study more, see if he’s just exhausted and complaining or if he, deep down, resent you.”~sosomart
“NTA. He pushed you and pushed you by devaluing your work, and when you suggested he could do that same work, somehow you’re devaluing what he does?”
“He’s being childish. I also wonder how much household labor you’re saving him since WFH spouses usually end up doing more.”~Ladyughsalot1
“NTA. I had the same argument over and over with my now ex-boyfriend.”
“I have a Masters degree and I now work for the government. It’s a pretty cushy 9 to 5 job, working from home 3 days a week pre Covid, every weekday.”
“Granted I’m paid half of what I would make in the private sector but I don’t mind.”
“He was working in kitchens as a kitchen assistant. Before that he did manual labour and reception work.”
“He went to college but dropped out, and refuses to go back to finish, or to study anything else because ‘it’s a waste of time.'”
“Every chance he got he ran me down about how easy my life is and how he works sooo haaard and I don’t get it.”
“I did most of the housework and made sure he had a hot meal waiting for him every night, even when he got home at 1 or 2am. No appreciation.”
“At the end of the day, it is every persons own choice what they choose to focus on and make effort for.”
“Tbh I wish I never went to college and would much rather have a more hands on job, but I’m grateful for what I have now.”
“My ex could have gone back to school or started a new course/diploma/certificate/anything entirely free of charge, subsidised by the state (im in Europe) but he didn’t.”
“All he did is piss and moan. Thats not on me, and your bfs problems aren’t on you either.”~CorianderSuuucks
“NTA – He shouldn’t be taking out his frustration on you, it isn’t fair and to say you have an easy job is unfair. Physically yes it is much easier but the mental strain is something that can’t be seen.”
“One thing I would suggest though is to think about the current job market.”
“I was the only one of my friends group that didn’t go to university because I didn’t want to go and whilst I was slightly stung at the barbs, I’m now extremely glad I didn’t.”
“Certainly from where I’m from, the number of degree graduates to graduate jobs is exceedingly high and all of my friends are working menial jobs as they can’t get a graduate job.”
“This is no reflection on their ability, but my manual job is now much more in demand than many graduate jobs simply because so few people decide to go for them.”
“Explaining this side may make him feel a little better about things and you get to hear less about how your job is ‘easy.'”~Anabassis
Whether or not OP’s boyfriend is angry, he did cross a line. There could be a discussion about this at any point, but it needs to be from a more mature place than OP’s boyfriend was coming from while he put down her job.
We wish them all the best in navigating that conversation.