Figuring out how to work on your relationship can be a difficult prospect. If you’re unhappy, communicating with your partner is the first step.
Redditor MindlessNote3735’s friend had an issue in her marriage and suggested to her husband they open up the relationship. However, things soon went wrong and the friend asked the original poster (OP) about it.
OP’s response wasn’t quite the support the friend was looking for, so OP is asking the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit if they were wrong.
“AITA for telling my friend she is reaping what she sowed?”
This is the story of what happened:
“At the beginning of quarantine my friend Bella (f/30) proposed open marriage to her husband Mike (m/28).”
“The timing was off, obviously, but she had thought about it a lot and she said it was the only way for her relationship with Mike to survive because she loved him dearly but felt unfulfilled. Mike hesistantly agreed because he didn’t want to lose her.”
“When I asked him about it, he seemed very much not thrilled about the whole thing.”
“Backstory here is that Bella and Mike have known each other since middle school but only started dating in college at which point Bella had a lot more experience in relationships. Mike has told me he’s always felt like he was one step behind her in most things but that their marriage really worked and he was very happy with her.”
“Well during quarantine, the two of them became even close than they had ever been before and I think Mike didn’t expect Bella to actually go through with the open relationship idea she had proposed. But around three months ago, she brought it back up and then settled on some rules together.”
“Cut forward to an hour ago (it’s way past midnight here) when Bella calls me crying saying Mike cheated on her.”
“I’m all question marks at that point because Mike would never. She tells me she tried calling Mike all day but he said he had a ‘date’ and hasn’t come home yet. I asked her ‘but wasn’t that sort of okay between you two?’.”
“She sobbingly tells me that yes, that was sort of the deal but that she hadn’t been able to go on a single date with a guy yet because she was so busy with work being back on now and that Mike just went ahead with his date as if she meant nothing, that he hadn’t disclosed any details to her (which as far as I know was part of their deal, that they didn’t want to know any details) and that she felt like he was ridiculing her.”
“I didn’t really know what to say and just told her ‘well, honey, I think you just reaped what you sowed, honestly.’”
“She’s furious with me and screamed at me for being an awful friend to her, that I should understand how she feels. I kept quiet but honestly, I think she’s just upset that her husband is doing what she proposed in the first place?”
“I haven’t talked to Mike yet but ??? AITA?”
On the AITA subReddit, people are judged for how they react in a given situation. While there may be thoughts on what Bella did, the question here is whether OP’s comment to her was a jerk-move or not.
This is voted on with one of the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
In the grand scheme of things, OP was just telling Bella the truth. It may not have been what she wanted to hear, but it was far from harsh.
OP is not at fault here.
“yeah NTA. people always seem to be down for open relationships until they remember their partner can have an open relationship too.” – windyafternoon
“And it often seems that the partner who originally proposed the idea ends up striking out, while the hesitant partner hits the home run.” – alexemalexem
“She didn’t expect him to actually sleep with other people. She just wanted to sleep with others without it being considered cheating. She’s really ridiculous and I’m on Mike’s side for this one.”
“She wanted an open relationship, so that’s what she got lol” – nathashanails
“Be careful what you ask for. You might well get it. Your friend felt unfulfilled and wanted someone to meet her needs.”
“She never considered that in an open marriage, both spouses are free to go elsewhere.”
“She said ‘he cheated’ but he did no such thing. It isn’t cheating in an open marriage.”
“Your friend’s reality check just bounced. NTA” – Infamous-Wasabi-9007
The topic and situation seems really familiar to some. This led to commenters sharing their own stories and relating to Bella’s situation.
But in the end, they agreed that Bella did this for the wrong reason.
“You just can’t go into it because you’re unfulfilled or rocky. If you’re incompatible, you’re incompatible and if not you gotta work through that first.”
“My bf and I opened our relationship for a while and decided to close back. We just did it for fun tho, have your cake and eat it too sort of deal.”
“It was fun being wingmen for each other and hyping each other up. Eventually it became more work than it was worth bc honestly we do it best and that was that.”
“It can totally work just never under pretenses like that.” – Kashootme
“NTA My fiancée actually wanted to open to relationship and when I told her that was fine but it would have to be open on both ends suddenly she didn’t want to anymore. Some people just don’t think it through.” – hyperhurricanrana
“NTA I’m in an open marriage and it only works for a very small number of people. Most of the time it’s the pit stop before cheating or a break up.”
“She wanted the comfortable married life with old reliable Mike and be able to go out like she was single again. Thinking Mile wouldn’t or couldn’t get anyone else. Good for Mike I hope he realizes he can do better.” – geekgirlwww
OP came back with some updates, though there was little to say. Mike understandably feels confused and guilty after his wife’s outburst, and OP is doing their best to support him through this.
From the last word on the matter, Bella is still not responding well, and even her sister can’t calm her down. Hopefully she learns what she really asked for and considers Mike’s feelings in all of this.