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'I made a harsh joke about my BF after he undermined the book I self-published. AITA?' UPDATED 3X

'I made a harsh joke about my BF after he undermined the book I self-published. AITA?' UPDATED 3X


Having an occasional snippy exchange with a partner is normal, even par for the course. But having an exchange where you both fully undermine each other can be indicative of deeper tensions.

"I made a dumb joke about my BF AITAH?"

So I need the opinion of people not attached to me or him. But my BF got mad at me Sunday and he's been ignoring me since so I feel like maybe I am TAH. So I am F35 and he is M35 and we've known each other 10 years and dated two. He knows how much I like writing books. I self published a kids book last month and he's been really quiet about it.

This past weekend at my family cookout my father mentioned the book and how proud he is of me but BF walked inside saying he was grabbing our drinks. At the end of the day my parents offered me some money to go to a book convention and BF audibly scoffed.

On the way home I asked what his deal was and he said that his job (he's a backend software engineer) will provide for us and he will let me me have my fun as a creative for now but I eventually have to grow up. I laughed because I assumed he was joking.

He of course was upset and told me my "meaningless" book was objectively illustrated poetry. I shut down and he then was upset I was "acting mad" so I changed the subject.

He continued to make my book a topic by jokingly saying my "glorified illustrated poetry" shows my "middle child syndrome" or that I must crave "mediocre attention" from people. I shrugged and replied "Hey if you think you're mediocre okay..." and moved on.

He texted me the next morning saying I tore him down and was being a bully and he was kidding with me and he hasn't at all responded to me since. I am away on a planned work trip and now I am overthinking it maybe - AITAH?

The internet kept it real in the comment section.

Craptastic_life wrote:

Why does he think it’s okay to “jokingly” tear you down? He sounds VERY immature and unsupportive. Is this someone you really want to hitch your wagon to?

HeatherReadsReddit wrote:

NTA. Please rethink being with someone who outright scoffs and puts you down regarding something that you care about, and who tried to act like he was joking when you got upset about it. It won’t get better. You can find someone else who isn’t threatened by your endeavors. I wish you well.

Dry_Sandwich_860 wrote:

He's 35?

He clearly doesn't want you to succeed with books. You need to ask yourself why that is.

He sounds a lot like men I work with. They think they're God's gift because they deal with engineering/physics/computing. They all have girlfriends and wives who are not paid much and who are dependent on them. Based on the way these men talk, I have the following possibilities for you.

Is it that your boyfriend:

Doesn't want to share the spotlight?

Doesn't want you to be financially successful?

Resents that his work is not fun and yours is?

Doesn't want you to spend time on a career because he thinks you should be at home catering to him?

His comments were rude and unnecessary. I generally try not to tell people to break up because a short post here can't represent the complexity of the average relationship, but from what you've said, I'm tempted. This is a big deal and you need to be very emphatic and insistent on resolving it.

IcePsychological7032 responded:

A yes to even just one of these questions would trigger the red flag alarms for me:

Doesn't want to share the spotlight? --- Main Character Syndrome? Don't want him.

Doesn't want you to be financially successful? ---- Worrying.

Resents that his work is not fun and yours is? ---- His f-king problem to manage, not my fault.

Doesn't want you to spend time on a career because he thinks you should be at home catering to him? ----- dude gtfo.

Three days later, OP shared an update.

Hey yall on mobile but had to post this because what a time to be alive I broke up with Chris a few hours ago boooooy howdy. He had ignored me for a full day and I hadn't reached out to him because I was honestly fed up with his attitude. We've been together for two years and I never have seen him act this way.

I flip-flopped between maybe he was having a bad day or something was going on and he transferred his negative energy in my book but no, he's just soggy moldy baby carrot that didn't think I had dreams of my own or I would throw it away for him.

Our mutual friends told me that he told them that I rubbed my success in his face and made him feel like a simp just following his GF around being ignored when he has a successful business and has the higher paying job.

He texted the day after his silent treatment that my not reaching out to him was a sign that I don't love him and went on to say that I love my book more than I love him because I neglected him while working on it, and then I didn't praise him at the party as my biggest supporter.

The rest of his PARAGRAPHS long text went on to talk about that he had this whole plan that he would marry me and we would be engaged this year but "Then you started not listening to me to drop things an focus on us, our lives and the future" by taking up hobbies and that my therapist poisoned me against him (I was diagnosed with depression this year and therapy has helped a lot).

It hurt because I felt immediately like all I do was just rubbish to him. How the fuck can you say that? I loved him so much because he was someone I thought I would be with forever. Guess not. I got angry and was texting him to ask "What's makes you think I don't love you? I'd do anything for you."

And just as I hit send his new message popped up and it said "You wrote your book and you got your party. I assume now that I can finally have my GF back, we can have a talk. I don't think you understand how I want our marriage to be so I want to make things clear."

But then he responded to my message "Are you kidding me? If you're not going to prioritize me over a book no one but you cares about, why am I even staying with you. I can go find a woman supports her man and wants his career and dreams to be successful."

So I said "Alright. Go find her. We clearly don't work. Best of luck."

Him "wait are you breaking up with me?" Me "What do you want me to do you've made it clear I am not what you want anymore."

Him "you can't just break up with me."

Me "Chris - please."

Him "You can't just make that decision for me. You can break us up like this. It's been two years."

Me "Two years in which I wanted to do one thing. I was proud to have done it, and you needed to s-t on it. You've been so sour about it and I don't get it. So get your better woman."

Him "But you can't just break up with me. We have to talk."

He calls. I decline. Him "Pick up. You are being ridiculous."

He shows up at my door and the second I opened it trying to push in but I hadn't let the chain lock on. He was screaming at me. He said I cant break up with him. It's been two years. How do I think it will go for me to try dating again after passing the expiration date for children. That's when I asked him to leave or I would call the authorities.

And he said he will never forgive me for this book as it's ruined me as a person and for some reasons I said "Chris take your mediocre stick out of you mediocre ass and be on your mediocre way." And called my parents to tell them what happened.

My mom is over now, plying me with a mixed drink and she's been making fun of the repeated "you can't break up with me" line as he said many times in text and bunch in person.

She said she was proud because I am usually quite passive and she didn't like him bulldozing over me and when I asked her what she meant she brought up a lot of things I never really thought about - Chris would shoot me down a lot and I honestly thought I was compromising for our relationship but it seemed to some that I was just letting him speak for me a lot.

Two years. It feels like a blip and a lifetime at the same time. It's hitting me that it's over and my mom is staying over with me. But I have many WTFs to deal with just not tonight.

The internet was happy to hear the update.

AmethystSapper wrote:

I love your mom....oh honey your ex boyfriend just called to tell us about the break up. I am so proud of let's have another drink.

OP responded:

Lmao that was honestly kinda the vibe. I was so upset and called my parents because I tell them everything. My mom was just like "lock the doors and I will be there in 20 mins" and showed up with vodka and let me cry but then I caught her smiling and was like WTF MOM.

She admitted she was proud of me for dumping him...and glad she didn't have to go to j*il because if I stayed with him after all that she would have to commit cr-mes lol

Dear-Masterpiece-2 wrote:

So what I’ve gathered is he’s a narcissist and can’t fathom the thought of you having anything going on that’s not focused on him. Literally “me me me and me and what I want. Me again and because you won’t conform to a submissive wife focused on me”. What a loser.

OP responded:

It's weird because he never hinted that I can recall that he was ever like this. We've got years if history, and I remember him being interested in things I liked and wanted to get involved in. Then my mom reminded me of my painting.

I'm not a painter. Mom is. And a charity held a gallery event and the theme was something basic and I was visiting mom that week and when I'm at hers and she's painting I sit with her and drink and we chat. But that day I was in a mood so mom struck up an easel next to hers and patted the seat and we painted side by side. She loved my piece and had it submitted for the gallery event.

It was a huge event and mom had a separate exhibit space but my little basic painting was up in entry way with a handful of others and mom pointed it out to Chris and he said it was good and we moved on but at the end of the night mom followed us out and suggested Chris and I might want to take a photo of us next to my painting. He said no, so mom took a photo of me and shared it with herself.

Chris asked me not to the post the photo saying it was a cry for attention and looked desperate and I was taking away from mom's shine so when my mom posted it he was mad at me. Why did I give my mom the photo? Why did she post it. But he suspiciously shared a photo mom took of him at the same gallery even shaking hands with a businessman we ran into stating how proud she was of his work.

The more I talk with my mom even now, the more she seemed to pick up on things I feel bad but when I asked why she never said anything before she said she had but I had gotten angry at her. I had. I can't even remember why.

MidtownBrown68 wrote:

So glad you dumped him.

OP responded:

Me too. I am sad too though. I know it doesn't make sense to be sad to not be with him given what happened but I miss him already. Or as my mom says I miss the idea of him. As I don't miss whatever demon spawn was at my door.

Verdukians wrote:

That two years isn't gone, though. It sounds like you have learned more about yourself, and what you need, and what you want. It was two years of development for moving towards the person you want to be.

His reaction is...worrying. "You can't make that decision for me" is really f-king scary to hear, because it's both modern psychiatry and traditional oppression of women rolled into one sentence. He has a lot of ideas about how he's going to control your life and that's scary. It's so good that you ended it.

The next day, OP shared another update.

Holy hell this blew up...I am usually a lurker on anonymous mode so I was overwhelmed in the best way to see all this live and support- it made me cry. Good tears I promise. I cried most of my bitter ones a bit last night on my mom's shoulder. She was right, I don't miss him but the version of him I thought he was. And so I choose to look forward.

Mom and I stayed up and read comments together. She's not an internet gal but loved all your messages and says she's happy to be the famous mom lol. Mom made breakfast this morning and we were eating when the there was knock at the door. My mom held a hand up to halt me and got up herself to go to the door and ask who it was.

Then I heard her say "You have 15 seconds to leave or you're going to be made to leave." I got up to see mom shouting though the still locked door peeking through my peephole. There was someone on the other side talking back to her but she just kept steadily counting down. By the time she got to 6, she had put her shoes on and was holding my broom.

I'm not stupid, I knew it was him even then but then my phone went off and I didn't reply. It was him again. He left flowers and an apology card, along with a stuffed owl bear. Mom asked me if I wanted to read the card and I said I did. It basically was a long winded apology admitting he was being an a$$ but work has him stressed and he underappreciated in general and it all came out in a nasty way.

He's so sorry. He should have given me space and respected me more and he will never do it again. He didn't sleep last night feeling so much regret over what he did and will do better. To please call. That he misses me and lets not throw away two good years of foundation away over a stupid fight.

I handed it to my mother who read it, snorting and chuckling "yeah I bet" to herself and then stood up and went to the kitchen returning with a trash bag and my cellphone. "What's the play, Coach?" She asked and just to freak her out I took the phone and pretend to call the pizza shop "Yes domino's, we need a pizza, yes, I breaking up with my ex and we need to toss his s-t out."

All that to say it's now evening. The sun is lower and my neighbors are watching my house/ I'm my parents' pool in their backyard drinking margaritas with my sister and brother. Mom tells the story to all of them over and over. I had texted him.

"Chris, we are done. All of the things you left at my place are in garbage bags on the porch. The neighbors have there camera pointed at the house so please just take your stuff and go. Don't knock. I am not in. If it's all there on Monday, it goes with the rest of the garbage to the curb."

He replied asking if not home, where was I but I won't be giving energy to this. I will spend the weekend with my family and I feel so lucky to have them. I've decided that I will go for another book.

For those asking for links to this book already out, sorry, but when mom and I read the comments she said "don't you dare put your name out there. They all seem lovely, but you don't know what others will do" and I feel like if I did, it would be like opening the door to Chris like I did last night. You were right, that was dangerous.

But if you are looking to do something nice, I would be absolutely overjoyed if you did one or both of 2 things - 1) Love yourself and truly know you deserve love and nothing less and 2) buy books from a locally owned bookstore/buy art from the artist/commission an art piece etc.

The art world is wonderful but also a struggle and many aren't as lucky as I am to have a strong support system. So support yourself and your local artist. Thank you all. ✨️

Not long after posting, OP shared another small update/edit.

Another edit: sorry there were a lot of same questions in the comments.

Yes, we were an interracial couple, I am black/indigenous/middle eastern. And he is Irish and French decent.

No, I do not want children. The moment I an eligible I will be getting that baby store shut down medically. I would adopt possibly someday but I would not and should not be pregnant. Chris and I were friends before we started dating so I thought i knew him and his family well.

Mom has always been cordial with him even if she didn't care for him. She did the whole Mama thing of hugging him, feeding him etc. Yes mom will adopt you, she says she sends her heart to you and every hug you deserve and more.

Dad didn't come over because and I quote "You wouldn't have wanted me in a space that boy would also be in given what happened" so he stayed the course of his trip he wa on. I intend to be an author whether it be full-time or part time. Oddly enough my book sales are skyrocketing a lot online.

The internet continued to pour out support.

Misterstaberinde wrote:

You see the same playbook over and over again in these relationships: They get together and everything is great, then slowly the s-thead starts negging the other one over minor things, telling them how they aren't good enough, how no one else will want them, too old or fat or poor or ugly for anyone so they should deal with the ab-se, etc.

I almost feel as big a sigh of relief for the mom as the OP. I would be devastated to see my kids dealing with that BS.

earwormsanonymous wrote:

He was "fine" when they had been strictly friends because she was not in the girlfriend category. Girlfriends must perpetually be hoping to become wives, and as such they may have the Rules of Engagement (lol) provided to them for compliance.

Rule one is that her ex needs to feel like the center of her universe if not the universe at all times, or what's the point? Way too many people have kids with someone this self absorbed, so many bullets were dodged.

Beautiful set up and call back:

"That I must crave "mediocre attention" from people. I shrugged and replied "Hey if you think you're mediocre okay..."


"Chris take your mediocre stick out of you mediocre a-- and be on your mediocre way."

Terrific work! No notes.

TheDestroyer229 wrote:

"I could find any woman I want!"


"ArE yOu BrEaKiNg Up WiTh Me?!"

Dude played himself. Don't threaten to nuke the relationship if you aren't ready to follow through. OOP got out before things got far worse for her. And good on her for doing so!

chunguznoodles wrote:

So dude had a bad day and thought he could regain control by bullying OP, and like cowards, backpedal with his mediocre tail between his mediocre legs when OP didn't take s-t.

Dana07620 wrote:

He was threatened by her self-published book? Unless she left out something about the book selling like hotcakes, that's like being threatened because someone wrote a song and put it on YouTube.

Literally anyone can self-publish a book because the author pays for it.

Sources: Reddit
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