Little can cause more conflict in a relationship than when one half of a couple makes significantly more than the other.
And sadly, even today, things can get even more complicated when the one making more money is the woman in a heterosexual relationship.
This can cause some men to feel insecure, and result in erratic, defensive behavior.
Others, however, might take having a breadwinning partner as something of a golden ticket.
Such was the case for Redditor Balconies13, who’s fiancé frequently expected her to buy him things he otherwise couldn’t afford himself.
It wasn’t long before the original poster (OP) got tired of this, and effectively put an end to it, resulting in outrage from her fiancé.
Wondering if she did the right thing, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for leaving my fiancé at the mall after he insisted that I buy him a 350$$ watch?”
The OP explained how her fiancé recently became accustomed to her buying him expensive things, and how she initially thought she had put an end to it.
“Me (32 F[emale]) and my fiancé (30 M[ale]) Aaron have been together for 2 years.”
“I have a high paying job and work long hours.”
“He used to have a 3 week shift in a job that payed x5 less than mine.”
“We’re on pretty great terms on everything except money.”
“He’s a big spender and spends so much on fancy stuff although his job does not give him this luxury.”
“He constantly likes, and wants new stuff like watches, gadgets, electronics and car accessories and I do my best to use every occasion, like Christmas and Birthdays and New Year’s, to get him what he wants.”
“Lately, and after he lost his job, I’ve been noticing him tagging along whenever I go shopping, then have me buy him expensive stuff right there and then.”
“I end up paying to avoid causing a scene in public because he’d beg me then start throwing a fit if I refuse.”
“I talked to him about it since it seemed like a pattern but he said he ‘just happened’ to see something he liked and thought I could pay for it.”
“I told him that I no longer feel comfortable with this and that next time he tries to put me on the spot, then have me pay for something he likes then throw a tantrum if I refuse then I’d walk out and leave him there.”
“He crossed his heart and said he’d NEVER do such thing.”
The OP’s fiancé sadly did not live up to his word, but the OP very much did.
“On Wednesday, we went to the mall to get a father’s day gift for my dad and we walked by the accessories store.”
“Aaron told me to stop and follow him as he entered the store.”
“I knew this wasn’t going well because he repeatedly tried on this watch that was worth over $350, and expressed his admiration for it.”
“He then asked if I could pay for it but I said no and lied about having only 300 for my dad’s gift, which was why we were there in the first place.”
“He started going on and on about how cool and ‘catch’ the watch was then asked if my dad was more important than him.”
“I looked around and saw people looking at us as he started raising his voice.”
“I told him to knock it off but he refused and insisted I pay for it.”
“I just turned around and walked out of the store and out of the mall.”
“I got in my car and went home.”
“He started calling me non stop but we didn’t talk til he got home.”
“He blew up saying I reacted ridiculously and selfishly after he begged me and I refused.”
“He said that I then made a joke out of him by walking out and leaving him at the mall.”
“I told him of what I said would happen if he decided to put me in this position again.”
“He argued that all he was asking was for just $350 and even showed me a small notebook saying he’s been writing down everything I pay for so he could pay me back but I was too selfish to even consider it.”
“He yelled at me then out to meet his friends.”
“His best friend tried to get involved by shaming me for how I behaved at the mall and hinting that what I was doing was borderline financial control.”
“AITA should I have just paid for the watch?”
“hHe said he was going to pay me back but didn’t tell me this at the mall.”
“Don’t know if it changes anything since he has no money.”
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 – Everybody Sucks Here
Everyone agreed that the OP was in no way the a**hole for refusing to buy her fiancé the watch and leaving him alone at the mall.
Everyone was shocked by the behavior of the OP’s fiancé, with multiple people openly urging the OP to break off her engagement.
“Break up with him and tell him he now has FULL financial control of his own life.”- DrFishTaco
“Do not marry this man.”
“He doesn’t want a wife/partner, he wants an ATM.”
“He’s not your fiancé, he’s where your financial health goes to die.”- Lux_Brumalis
“You are supposed to be his girlfriend, not his sugar mama.”
“And has he taken any steps to get another job?”
“You need to take a step back from this relationship.”
“Not everyone is a high earner, but most people have pride and dignity and respect their partner.”
“And the fact he claims he has written everything down in a notebook, I don’t believe it.”
“He is a user.”- del901
“When someone waves a red flag in your face, pay attention.”
“Get. Out. Of. This. Relationship.”
“Run like the wind and never come back.”
“He sees you as his cash machine.”
“Do not marry him.”-TiniestMoonDD
“You told him what’d happen the next time he tried this.”
“He didn’t believe you until you actually stuck to what you said, and now he’s mad because he knows that he can’t get away with everything he has been.”
“This dude’s just using you like his own personal ATM.”- Legitimate-Effort616
“\You don’t have to buy your SO constantly gifts ESPECIALLY such pricey ones.”
“He isn’t entitled to that.”
“It is not borderline financial control if it is your money.”
“It’s very concerning how he behaves.”-antictrash
“How can you not see that you don’ have an adult fiancé, you have a greedy, grasping, temperamental child who manipulates you.”
“Seriously, your story sounds like the story of every mom who takes her toddler shopping, having to put up with demands and tantrums.”
“Do you really want to spend your life going through that sort of thing?”
“I think it’s time he did something for you, as in making himself absent from your life.”
“You’re being manipulated and used and it’s not going to get any better.”- VerbalBarb
“But I have to admit I’m confused.”
“Why are you with a 30-year-old man who has public tantrums about anything, ever?”
“I’m asking sincerely, what on earth is the attraction?”
“Being, hopefully, temporarily unemployed isn’t anything to be ashamed of.”
“But being a full-grown 30-year-old man with absolutely no impulse control, no financial sense, no sense of responsibility, no basic sense of respect for you, and the behavioral tendencies of a stroppy toddler?”
“I’m genuinely confused about what on earth you find attractive about this man.”
“Because even if he was the most gorgeous man on earth, you couldn’t convince me to spend 5 minutes with someone that selfish, shallow, and obnoxious.”
“Yeah, you’re NTA.”
“But your taste in men is really questionable.”- FoolMe1nceShameOnU
“He’s a lazy gold digger.”
“He can get a job and buy as much stuff as he wants, if the bills are paid by both of you.”
“He behaves like a spoiled toddler.”
“Don’t marry this child btw.”
“You’re not his mama nor a sugar mama.”-Potential_Speech_703
“How the fuck is you refusing to spend YOUR money on him financial control?”
“More like him demanding you buy things is borderline financial exploitation.”
“Run don’t walk away now he is using you and doesn’t care about anything but himself.”-oregon_mom
“He’s using your money like it’s nothing.”
“He’s escalating things in public to get his way.”
“You recognized this as a bad pattern and put a very clear boundary in place, which he agreed to.”
“Up to this point I think things were salvageable for you two as a couple.”
“But then he goes and tests the boundary like a toddler.”
“And also like a toddler throws a tantrum when you act in the way you both agreed to.”
“Then it goes downhill with him trying to emotionally manipulate you and accusing you of being controlling.”
“I’d check he still has the ‘gifts’ you’ve bought him before.”
“There seems to be more going on than just greed.”
“He may have money problems, addictions or a bit on the side.”
“All trust should be gone for the moment.”
“I’m not even sure if you should let him back in your house.”- Normal_Fishing9824
It’s hard not to agree with the majority of the Reddit community in feeling that this man is only staying with the OP as a meal ticket.
It’s also hard not to feel that the OP could easily do better than him.
Even possibly finding someone who might be her expensive things, and out of generosity, not because she demanded them.