Before you have your friend get your hair out of your face to see the view of the sunrise on the top of the mountain, apparently you need to send your wife a quick text about whether or not it's appropriate. So, when a conflicted husband decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about a conflict involving a friend, a braid, and his jealous wife, people were eager for the scandal and outrage.
I (35M) recently got back from a trip with some old university friends (3 men and 4 women, including myself). It was just a small thing and we went up into the countryside and did some hiking like we did when we were younger.
Before each hike I let one of my friends, who we can call Maddie, braid my hair to get it out of my way. This was because (1) I am hopeless at doing these kind of things and (2) We used it as a bit of time to chat and relax. I just want to stress here there was no intimacy or romanticism between us, it was literally just her plaiting my hair.
When I got home, I was showing my wife some of the pictures and telling her about how it was a great time. In one of these pictures you can quite clearly see my braid to which my wife asks “where did you learn to do that?”
I explained to her that Maddie was doing it for me before we started walking, thinking that this was a perfectly normal thing and would not sound off any alarms.
Apparently this isn’t normal friendly activities as my wife thought it was completely out of the ordinary. She asked me all kinds of questions about whether we shared a tent or anything more happened to which I answered no to all.
She even contacted some of the people who were there, quizzing them about Maddie and I’s relationship. Nothing like this has ever happened before and her behavior was completely different to usual.
She has seemed incredibly distant over the past few days and hasn’t properly spoken to me since I was called a POS for having my hair braided. So, AITA?
It seems like this may have been the first time you've had a woman have that happen with. Especially being she pointed it out and asked where you learned how to do that. We tend to be irrational when we get jealous.
I wouldn't apologize because you didn't do anything wrong but maybe reassure her that you didn't realize it was something that would bother her. It may be something she wanted to do and didn't know how to approach it. A lot of times we forget how to communicate what we want with our partners.
You said you enjoyed that time connecting with your friend, maybe that's what bothered your wife, is that she wants to connect with you that way too.
NTA. I do think braiding/playing with hair is an intimate act, but we are intimate with our friends. Intimate =/= sexual. I think your wife's behaviour was not OK. I think it's OK for her to ask you not to do it, but to treat you like you did something wrong and harass your friends is gross.
NTA it is a totally normal thing. If your hair being touched by another woman is a boundary your wife has, then she should have communicated that to you. It isn't your fault that you, and most other people, consider it to be friendly and platonic.
NTA. It's okay that your wife is bothered by this. But instead of communicating like an adult, she decided to question your faithfulness and on top of that called your friends to cross check your story there by involving them in your drama. She is a major AH because of that.
NTA that she contacted your other friends to quiz them about you and Maddie is above and beyond.
Everyone agreed unanimously here that this man wasn't at all wrong to let his friend braid his hair, but clearly this couple has some deeper and more complex trust issues to sort out. This isn't just about a braid, right? Good luck, everyone.