A man shared in a now-viral post that he recently told his wife to “work on her insecurity” after she demanded that he “distance” himself from a female friend.
Posting in Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) forum under the username u/Remarkable_Weight237, the man explained that his wife, Jessica has never really liked his friend Madison due to their “clashing personalities.” However, things recently took a turn for the worst when the couple’s five-year-old daughter said she wished Madison was her mom.
The post has garnered more than 5,900 upvotes and over 3,300 comments while highlighting a rather common relationship problem—jealousy.
At the beginning of his post, the man said that he and Madison have been friends for years.
“This has never caused much of an issue because I met Madison through her ex-husband, who is still one of her best friends, and we usually hang out in a group, so Jessica has never felt jealous or threatened,” he wrote.
Though he maintains Jessica’s never been “jealous” of Madison, he said they’ve had trouble getting along, as Jessica has always had a “gut feeling” that Madison “looks down on her.”
“Madison has a glamorous life…Jessica is more the girl next door type,” he said.
Things finally came to a head over the weekend when Madison and her husband dropped by the couple’s house on their way home from a gala.
“Our 5-year-old heard the noise and it woke her up…She saw Madison and said, ‘You look like a princess. You are so pretty and your dresses are so pretty. I wish you were my mom,'” the man recalled.
“Madison laughed and was like, ‘Aww thank you,’ which Jessica thought was insensitive,” the man continued.
As a result of the comment, Jessica has asked her husband to distance himself from Madison, but he refuses.
“I snapped at her that she needs to work on her insecurity…I am entitled to a life and friendships which don’t get to be dictated by her insecurities,” he said.
Though u/Remarkable_Weight237 said his wife isn’t jealous of Madison, many Redditors argued that that is clearly not the case.
Speaking to Vice, therapist Rachel Sussman said jealousy is a rather common relationship problem.
“It’s human nature—to survive, to protect ourselves and to protect our families. We tend to think that someone might endanger our relationship and that elicits some anxiety, some fear of losing this person,” Sussman explained. “We describe that feeling by calling it ‘jealousy,’ but it’s actually a fear that something might happen to your relationship and you might lose the person that you love.”
With this in mind, psychologist QuaVaundra Perry said that couples should approach conversations about jealousy in a “non-accusatory way.”
“Approach it in a non-accusatory way, something like ‘Hey, I’m pretty sure this is something that neither of you are trying to do, but it’s making me feel this way,'” Perry advised. “And then have concrete examples.”
Some Redditors felt that Jessica’s jealousy was unfounded, and defended u/Remarkable_Weight237 for calling her out.
“NTA [not the a**hole], you’re right, nobody did anything wrong,” wrote u/Unnecessary_Timeline. “She is attempting to control your social life to satiate her insecurities, instead of addressing her problems directly. She is treating a symptom instead of treating the disease, so to speak.”
“NTA—it’s not Madison’s fault what your daughter said. Your wife is jealous and insecure for no reason, those are HER issues to work on,” said u/OrangeCubit.
Others, however, slammed u/Remarkable_Weight237 for being “insensitive” to his wife’s insecurities.
“You and your wife are a team, maybe talk to her a bit nicer and help her through it instead of berating her. YTA [you’re the a**hole],” commented u/pjones192.
Redditor u/rachnich_1990 added: “YTA for being an insensitive jerk about your wife’s feelings in general. She is trying to talk about how she feels and you shut her out, be a better husband, a**hole.”
Speaking to Newsweek, u/Remarkable_Weight237 said that he has since apologized to Jessica, but reiterated that he would not distance himself from Madison.
“I apologized for not correcting our daughter and explained that it was all about the dress and not about Madison. I told her that I feel bad to see her hurting and asked if there was anything I could do, but said I would not be limiting my friendship with Madison, as I was always upfront that that was not negotiable,” he said.
He also said that while he doesn’t think Jessica is “jealous” of his relationship with Madison, he does think she’s “threatened” by Jessica’s lifestyle.
“Jessica genuinely does not think I want Madison…[but] I do think she is very threatened by her lifestyle and her money.”
Of course, u/Remarkable_Weight237 isn’t the first person to go viral for their relationship drama. Other AITA posters to make headlines for sharing their relationship woes include a man who snapped at his wife after getting home from work, a woman whose husband said she was “no longer a mother” after her only child died, and a woman whose boyfriend failed to defend her after his brother made an “ignorant” comment about her fertility.