One young woman found out the hard way that a relationship kindled online—though an extremely popular and legitimate approach to love—can leave the people involved vulnerable to secrets or hidden aspects of the other person.
For her, known as mickeyisthatyou in the Reddit universe, the hidden quality of her long-time boyfriend didn’t appear something one could easily hide. After all, a person’s voice is typically on full display, especially after living together for awhile, as this couple did.
But two years into the relationship she made a bombshell discovery about her partner. He’d been deliberately masking his natural voice because it embarrassed him.
Her response to the news was involuntary and, she worried afterwards, maybe inappropriate. To clarify how guilty she ought to feel, she turned to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
As the beginning of her post explained, the relationship began with some early focus on his speaking voice.
“I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 years [23F and 26M] after we met online. We were long distance but he only texted me, and at a point I told him I couldn’t continue without a video call to ensure he is who he says.”
“He said he was insecure about his voice on the phone, kept putting it off, until I gave him an ultimatum.”
When they did finally talk, all of his worries seemed overblown.
“We had our video call, I told him I loved his voice, and we haven’t had a problem with calling since.”
“His voice was raspy, like strained vocal cords, so I figured that was why he was self conscious. When I met him it was the same thing. Deep, but raspy and hoarse. It was kinda sexy to me and I made sure he knew so he didn’t feel insecure.”
After the couple began to see each other in person more, and even live together, his behavior toward his own family and friends appeared a little abnormal.
“After we met, we saw each other every other weekend alternating drives, until we got a place together in my town 6 months ago.”
“He’s met my family and friends, I’ve only met one of his friends because he was his roommate. He says his other friends aren’t really close, and he has a strained relationship with his family.”
“His mom has been calling him since he moved, but he always ignores them. I don’t want to go into detail why he didn’t want to talk with her, but I eventually talked him into giving it a try.”
“Earlier this week he actually took the phone outside and called her back, but asked me for some privacy. They talked for almost 3 hours.”
And then came the big reveal.
“When he finally came in, he looked happy. I asked him how it went, and immediately he answered ‘really well!'”
“But… I swear he sounded like a Muppet character. It was NOT my boyfriend’s voice by a long shot. He went from a deep, raspy voice to Mickey mouse. I sincerely thought he was joking. So I laughed.”
Her boyfriend did not take that knee-jerk laughter of hers well at all.
“He started a coughing fit, but I thought he was laughing too. Nope.”
“He asked what I was laughing at, and I told him, ‘whatever that impression was,’ legitimately thinking he was making some weird joke.”
“The absolute difference in voices made it sound like it was out of a cartoon.”
“He got pissed at me, went back to his ‘regular’ gravelly voice I guess and told me his voice cracked from talking too much.”
Eventually, another conversation with his mother led him to come clean with a confession that was a long time coming.
“Well, today when he was ignoring his mom’s phone calls again and when I asked why, he got quiet.”
“After trying to figure out what was wrong with him, he finally opened up that he’s been faking his voice our ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP to the point he believed it. And when he talked to his mom his natural voice just came out, and I embarrassed him.”
The big news—and her reaction to it—left her torn about how she ought to feel in response.
“I…. don’t know what to think. I both feel like an a**hole for laughing at him, and like it’s not my fault that he lied about his voice and then randomly went from the Witcher to Sesame Street.”
“I’ve been up all night talking with him about this. He keeps going in and out of voices. He admitted to me that all the problems he said about his mom were exaggerated so I wouldn’t meet her. Because she’d know it’s not his voice and call him out on it.”
Redditors were stunned by her boyfriend’s long-term cover up.
They assured her that her response was totally reasonable.
“[Not The A**hole] (NTA), boy’s been faking his voice for 2 years and expects you to know when he brings out his ‘real’ voice. How were you supposed to know that?!” — stormscaper
“NTA how were you supposed to know he was doing a different voice when he talked to you? You assumed that his natural voice was him trying to make you laugh.” — cranky_throw_away
“NTA. You weren’t the one who lied.” — tingtongting12
“NTA. He should have shared that eventually with you. What was he expecting? To fake a voice for the rest of his life?” — biinjo
Some people went a step further. They felt the whole ordeal was a red flag for the future of the relationship.
“NTA. He’s been purposely lying to you about something so dumb for two years. Is this a guy you really want to be with?” — heatherhobbit
“NTA, but what sort of relationship do you have if he’s lying to you about the sound of his VOICE. I mean how long could he keep that up for.” — Emr-
Others, while they did agree with her surprised reaction, sympathized with her boyfriend at the same time.
“NTA. This is WILD!”
“While what he did was absurd, I feel bad for the guy. He walked himself into the worst confirming evidence he could have asked for.”
“He told you he was self conscious, which made you extra complimentary about how much you liked his fake voice, and then revealed his true voice accidentally after two years in a way that made you laugh.”
“He couldn’t have set this up better to make himself self more self-conscious about his voice if he tried. What a boondoggle.” — cibrownn
“This is amazing. [No A**holes Here] (NAH) I think as long as he’s not being a d*** to you about it? You obviously have done nothing wrong at the very least.”
“I think he’s probably not an asshole for faking his own voice. People reinvent themselves to conform to an ideal all the time right?”
“You can be absolutist about the truth and the masks we all wear if you want, but I think it would result in weird opinions about a lot of things, from fashion to plastic surgery to, hell, going to the gym.”
“I think this is along those kinds of lines rather than intentional and malicious untruthfulness. And to be honest, I can sort of see where’s he’s coming from. I know of a onetime minor internet celebrity who’s voice was tragicomically a cartoon character voice.”
“I’d fu**in’ hate sounding like that and might honestly try doing a judge dredd impersonation all the time like this dude, lol.” — Mister_Crowly
Finally, some spoke from experience.
“NAH. I had an uncle born with a paralyzed vocal cord and his voice was high pitched. I’m sure he was teased as a child. We found it endearing. Let him know it doesn’t matter.” — SuzyQ4416
“Oof, NTA! I married (and divorced) a guy who is MEGA self conscious about his voice and he always made it about other people & not his own insecurity. This guy took that to a whole other level. WOW” — DontTouchMyCatYOU
And so, she did get some of the clarity she was looking for. If she took the Reddit community at its word, she likely held no moral guilt about the situation.
But her plea had its limitations. She did not ask how to move forward bearing it all in mind. Here’s hoping she’s found clarity for that all on her own.