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Woman buys fridge lockbox; completely destroys relationship. AITA? UPDATED

Woman buys fridge lockbox; completely destroys relationship. AITA? UPDATED

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When this woman is afraid she's ruined her relationship with her BF, she asks the internet:

"I got a fridge lockbox and it’s destroying my relationship. AITA?"

Some background: BF (28m) and I (25f) have been together five years, lived together 3. Our relationship was great, truly. We have a joint account we contribute to monthly to handle joint expenses: rent, groceries, etc. Everything else is split.

BF is 6’3”, 200 lbs and works out daily. He eats a lot to keep up his caloric intake, which is fine, except for this one issue.

We buy snacks and he always eats my half before I can even get to it. Normal food and ingredients he’s fine with, but if it’s quickly accessible, I’ll never get any. We argue, he apologizes, rinse and repeat.

This is literally the only bad thing he’s done. Seriously, in all other aspects of our relationship, he’s respectful and considerate. Snacks are where all bets are off.

Anyways, last week I lost it after he finished an expensive cheese we had gotten that I really was looking forward to eating. It was all gone after an hour. I lost my shit. I didn’t speak to him for a day and ended up ordering a fridge lockbox.

After our next snack run a couple of days later, I divided each snack in half and locked mine in the lockbox. From his reaction, you’d think I was murdering puppies. He said it was disrespectful and controlling, and how dare I keep food that he paid for from him.

When I reminded him my money went into it too, he screamed that he didn’t give a f and then left. He slammed the door so hard a picture fell off the wall and broke. He didn’t come back until the next day, but that was to change for work and leave immediately. He came home late and went straight to the guest room.

Four days of this. I broke last night and asked him to please talk about it and he said that he had nothing to say to me until I got rid of the lockbox. Honestly, I’m completely appalled at this reaction and I’m genuinely worried he might be on drugs or having a mental break or something.

This is the most irrationally I’ve ever seen a grown man react. He’s ignored me only to randomly ask if I’ve gotten rid of the lockbox. I am not getting rid of the lockbox.

We’re supposed to renew our lease next week. I’m considering cutting my losses and just leaving. Is this relationship even worth salvaging? Is there anything I can do to solve this? He is refusing to communicate unless I get rid of the lockbox which is not happening.

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

availas6 writes:

It appears he thinks that you are locking "his" food away from him, that his money spent on the food entitles him to eat whatever he wants with NO REGARD to what you want or sharing what is available or even asking "honey is it okay if I eat this, have you had some yet?"

His behaviour suggests that entitlement is at play here, that you controlling what he has access to in his fridge is unacceptable to him.

Sadly entitlement is a mindset that is fixed and very often has no wiggle room as you have seen. Almost a "how dare you" comes to mind.

In my experience of disputes, the way he has handled this has shown a side of his mentality that has changed your perception of him almost 180. His method of conflict resolution is infantile and abusive (abuse as in silent treatment, tantrum and ultimatums).

It is a power play that either you give in or if you don't the relationship is over and what a stupid thing to throw away a relationship over, but in truth that is what he has done.

He has shown you who he is, a controlling, childish, tantrum throwing entitled jerk.I wouldn't sign anything.

borchen6 writes:

I can somewhat relate since I also have problems with eating. I am a bit on the chubby side and it got better for me but 10 years ago when I bought groceries for a week I ate them in a day...

I could only buy stuff on a dayly basis or stuff that I either do not like enough to snack on if I am not really hungry or stuff that needed effort to be prepared. I would eat anything that can just be eaten cold or microwaved. It is also not that easy to not do it.

Well I think the lockbox thing is actually a really good solution. Him eating your stuff againd and again is also disrespectful and if he does not have enough willpower to leave it for you, you need to take measures.

MAYBE the fact that you just got that lockbox without first talking to him is a bit questionable and would make some people a tad annoyed or dissapointed but throwing a fit like a toddler in the candy aisile is a bit much...

You could take the lockbox away and tell him that he needs to respect the fact, that you also pay for half of these snacks and that he repeadately eats them alone. You can tell him if he ever does it again you will get the lockbox back.

Then the next time he does not leave any for you, you just leave for 2 days and then get the lockbox back. I would also add that if he ever reacts like that over something that is actually not that big a deal instead of actually discussing the matter, you won't accept that behavior. Maybe there is some other underlying reason for his reaction...

swords76 writes:

Sounds like he has a food addiction. Considering he lashed out by screaming at you, completely doesnt care you paid for the food too, slammed the door incredibly hard, and has been straight up ignoring you for FOUR DAYS except to ask if you got rid of the lockbox.

These are HUGE red flags. If you feel unsafe, you should leave the relationship. If you think you can get him into counseling or therapy, then you should.
But if you cant get him into counseling or therapy and he doesnt change, then you should thoroughly consider leaving.

He may have a food addiction and thats why he’s always taking all the food and is now lashing out that he cant have it. I mean he ate all of your gourmet cheese in AN HOUR.

F&, considering its gourmet just think about how much money was wasted because it just got shovelled down his throat immediately, instead of actually enjoyed over a few days.

adfney writes:

He's being a selfish ass hole eating all your food. Then when you take what's yours for once, nearly breaks the house and won't speak to you for 4 days till you do what he says. Wtf !!

He's shown his true colours, you need to listen to them as down the line it's going to get alot worse when it comes to big decisions.

I'll add, I highly doubt he's perfect bar that. Don't know how long you've been with him but it took me 18 months of thinking I knew a partner, to finding out I really did not know him at all. Once I saw him in true light, the rest came fast, thick and hard!

lockdoor6 writes:

Look people are super quick to jump on any indication of a red flag, such as slamming a door. I think things can be a lot more nuanced than, he slams door, ergo volatile, ergo possibly abusive, ergo leave him. OP says that literally everything else is great.

My advice: pick your battles. Get rid of the lockbox, it’s rude and not cool to put a physical barrier like this, seems like that just escalated the problem instead of solving anything.

Ask him how he thinks you guys should proceed in regards to food, in a constructive and loving way, not in a confrontational way. Surely he can acknowledge that he eats a lot more. Maybe use the joint account for food purchases, but contribute 1/3:2/3 or 1/4:3/4 to it, if he eats than much more?

And if you just want your snacks, then would it be possible to again ask him, hey BF, I have cravings for the snacks I bought, they’re gone, could you please run out and get me some?

Dunno maybe then he may not do it as much. But I feel that this only issue can’t be a deal breaker and small things like that really ought to be worked out amicably between two people who love each other.

Edit: his reaction does seem extreme, could it be in response to you not talking to him for a few days after the Snackopalypse? Does this mutual silent treatment feature prominently in your relationship? If so, then yeah there are underwater problems and maybe some counseling would help.

evap65 writes:

Stand your ground. You can ignore him too. Give him space so HE CAN come around. So HE CAN think about ridiculous he's being. Right now, this man KNOWS the ball is in HIS court because you're the one begging to talk.

And he manipulating you with it by giving you the silent treatment to get his way. Shut that down. Move on emotionally, energetically and leave that bs up to him. Let him do the emotional work...

if you do all of the work, he will never think about what he did. Let him live with "we broke up over snacks" so he can feel foolish.

If he doesn't say something by the time the lease is up, that is on him and this was more than the snacks. Whatever you do, do not beg for him to talk because that indicates that he has all the power. The one who is dead ass wrong should not have that power.

elyseann writes:

Seems like an extreme reaction for something so small. I wonder are there other things he does/behaviors he exhibits that you look past or agree to without you realizing it.

While yes he bought the food - so did you. You deserve to have access to the snacks as well. And paying for snacks without even getting the chance to eat them is frustrating.

You say it has been a repeated conversation but he continues to do it. That's because he doesn't see it as a big deal and doesn't really care to stop. He also doesn't check with you before finishing off a snack or if you'd like any before he devours it all.

The solution? Split the foods in half like you are doing with the lockbox OR you separate out the food bill - you buy your stuff and he buys his.

Now, the yelling and slamming the door so hard a picture fell? You've never seen him get angry or upset while you've lived together? I'm assuming not to this degree at least.

You're concerned he's on drugs? or having a mental breakdown - OVER SNACKS? Something else is happening here.

I'd try to dig deeper to understand why he's so upset that you want to eat the snacks you also pay for and why he doesn't like splitting it up evenly?

Maybe hold off on the lease renewal because giving you the cold shoulder for 3-4 days is unhealthy and his reaction is overall scary.

And now, OP's update:

Hey guys, I don’t know if anyone wanted an update, but here it is. A lot happened. Boyfriend kept staying out late and refusing to talk. So I tried to talk to my boyfriend about the lockbox again, and I mentioned that I didn’t think the lockbox was the real issue.

But he was a brick wall, insisted that it’s abusive and controlling to deny him food. I kept pushing, asking if he was on drugs or cheating. I said him flipping out over something so small and staying out at all hours was suspicious as hell.

I said that I thought he was using the lockbox as an excuse to be out of the house doing something bad. Me saying that unleashed an hours-long screaming tantrum that ultimately resulted in him throwing my MacBook against the wall and shattering it. Honestly, I really thought he was going to hurt me.

So, yeah. Called my dad, who called the cops. I don’t want to get too into the legality of it, but I’m pressing charges for destruction of property. It was a $2500 laptop.

Dad and my godfather moved me out yesterday, and I’m now looking for a new place. I don’t have a lot except for clothes, and a couple of kitchen appliances. I left the lockbox, but took my snacks with me, because f him. I left it locked, too.

Ex-bf has been spamming me. I’d block him, but I feel like I need this for evidence in case his behavior escalates. I texted him the first night that we are done, took our photos down, everything. He began ranting at me.

Some gems: raging about how I still didn’t get rid of the lockbox; Asking for stuff he gifted me back; Telling me I owe him money and rent for his new place; That I owe him a car(?) I have no idea why he would say this...

I have never even driven his current car; That my MacBook was old snd worthless and he wouldn’t pay for a new one (I bought it last year brand new)

After about an hour, I guess he realized that we were actually broken up and he couldn’t b&h me down anymore. Then came the paragraphs about how he was gonna marry me, he loves me, he wants to be better for me, that I can keep the gifts and he’ll buy me a better MacBook.

He freaked out over seeing I took our pictures down from SM. He then started sending me screenshots of his Google searches of engagement rings and telling me to pick one. He also sent a couple voice messages of him just sobbing.

Any respect I had for him as a person is just completely gone. I want nothing to do with this man. I don’t care if he’s having a breakdown, or on something. He’s not my problem. I screenshotted his messages and forwarded them to his mother. She can deal with her son. That’s the most I’ll ever do for him again.

As for me, I’ll be okay. I have some savings, so taking on full rent for a place as well as deposit and fees won’t be too much. This has been a weird week. I feel like I should be sad, but like I said I lost all respect and don’t feel anything but disdain for him.

My parents have been buying me my favorite comfort snacks and being super supportive. They’re gently pushing for therapy, and I think it’s probably a good idea. I’ll start my search once I’m settled in a new place.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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