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Husband adds extra tip at restaurants when wife is rude; she finds out. AITA? UPDATED

Husband adds extra tip at restaurants when wife is rude; she finds out. AITA? UPDATED


"AITA for leaving itemized tips to compensate for my wife's behavior?"


My wife and I (in our 30s) dine out every once in a while but not too often because of my wife's annoying habit, inherited from her family. She always complains, sends food back if it's not absolutely perfect, and makes needless requests/substitutions (she doesn't have allergies or sensitivities).

It can easily take 5 minutes for her just to order her own food and sometimes I've already finished my meal by time she gets her food because she sends it back, asks for modifications, etc. I know restaurant staff don't appreciate it. I've tried talking to her about this but she doesn't see an issue with it.

Anyway, we make decent money and we use our combined fun funds on dates/dinners. I recently started writing what my wife does on the receipt and then calculating a tip (in addition to the normal gratuity) to compensate. So, to a receipt I might add:

- Complained about not having ___ beverage, +$5

- Asked 5 questions about a single menu item, +$5

- Asked for new drink because too much ice, +$5

- Sent meal back, was exactly what she ordered, +$5

She didn't notice me doing it the first two or three times but last night she noticed I was spending a lot of time on writing a tip amount and asked why. I showed her what I wrote. She's been mad at me since, saying I'm embarrassing her to the staff. I told her she's embarrassing us both. AITA? Petty, maybe, but an AH?

ETA: My wife is otherwise a very nice, caring and generous person. She does always say please and thank you even for her most absurd requests. Annoying each other like this is our love language, but this time she's pretty mad. Oops.

Here were the top rated comments after the OP's initial post:


NTA. This is great. Maybe seeing it written down will give her some perspective. These types of patrons are the worst, and it’s such second degree embarrassment when they are at your table.


NTA. I find it hilarious. I bet the servers also enjoy the little fun and the extra money.


YTA, your money does not make up for your wife's behavior. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Your wife treats them like sh*t and you throw money at them. All you are really doing is enabling her to continue this behavior. If you really cared, you would stop going to sit down restaurants. Order takeout and eat at home or the park so she has nobody to harass.


NTA. I'm a former server who worked at multiple restaurants. I would have HATED your wife, no matter how polite. I have other tables and she sounds like a time drain who's impossible to please. Your embarrassment isn't an overreaction, the servers are definitely judging and gossiping about it.

I appreciate your itemized receipts. They would have made me laugh and been shown to work buddies. Too much ice? Really? Get out.


NTA. Challenge her to going out to dinner once without a single complaint. I wouldn’t go out with her again if she acts like that. You’re a gem. NTA.

After the post started to get a lot of attention, the OP returned with an update.



Alright friends, we've had our laughs and shared our perspectives. Since my wife frequents this subreddit I went ahead and showed her this post. With that said I'd like to address a few things:

First, she and I both know that any posts on this sub are peepholes into people's lives and characters, not display cases. Yes my wife's behavior when dining out is bad which is why I tried to think of a way to point it out and make up for it. That said, she's not a bad person. Learn to separate the two and you'll get far in life.

Secondly, when I say she was (lol... is) mad at me I don't mean that she is deeply hurt and distraught. She's calling me an a**hole, yes, but that's normal for us. If this was something that was actually hurtful to her, I wouldn't be sharing it online. Anyway, she would like for you all to know that she is taking your responses to heart and she is going to be more mindful of how she dines.

She would like to add that she didn't think it was a big deal before because, as she puts it, she doesn't think twice about meeting expectations in her line of work, even if they are above and beyond the norm, she's just happy to meet demand, but she recognizes that not everyone feels that way. She's going to try to be a better customer.

She said reading this was brutally eye-opening but we both also found some laughter and had a good discussion.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


You say in your update that her behavior is bad but she is not a bad person. Great. That does absolutely nothing for the poor servers that have to interact with her. Who gets to see her good side? You. Not the servers. The only thing they get to experience is your wife's rudeness, pickiness and inability to be satisfied while trying to take so much time and space.

Politeness is not kindness. Politeness is a code of conduct to show respect but it really doesn't matter when every other aspect of her behavior is showing disrespect. These servers shouldn't have to put up with this behavior to begin with and I feel like you giving a good tip is trying to compensate for her disrespectful behavior.

While it is better than tipping little or not at all, it does not change the fact that this server is forced to deal with your wife's disrespectful behavior for who knows how long.

In addition to all of this, please think about the context of coming out of the pandemic. Customers have treated service workers extra harshly since the pandemic started and have had to deal with unsafe working conditions and little financial support as well.

Your wife is showing zero empathy for these people who have probably gone through significant amounts of stress in the last five years. She is showing an extreme lack of empathy service workers and thinks she can because it's their job to put up with her bullsh*t because they can't say no or they may get fired.

I'm exhausted just hearing this account of your life. Imagine yourself as a server that was helping your wife.


Love the edits!! I agree with her about not being bothered going above and beyond in own job. I’m glad she is reflecting though!


I would like to address your edit. I know you may not see this in the sea of replies but oh well maybe this is just for me. First of all, I'm glad you like your wife and understand and accept her personality. This is an important foundation of marriage. However, there is no explanation that makes her actions less impactful, and therefore she still is an asshole.

And like another commenter said, so are you for enabling her. I understand that she isn't a bad person, because there is no such thing as a bad person. She is a person who does selfish things when she is in a position of power in serving situations.

Most people don't tolerate or accept this type of behavior, and the fact that you two like each other and can laugh over how off-putting she is to service workers doesn't really change her impact on others.

I noticed that she said that she doesn't 'think twice' to go above and beyond for her customers, but I have to ask does she also make $2 an hour if she doesn't? Does she also have to manage at least 50+ different clients every time she goes to work? If not then it's not really comparable, and thinking that it can be compared is kinda indicative of her overall privilege (the actual issue). Something to think about.


Your NTA you're trying your best to make up for a horrible experience for you and the staff. Maybe do like another suggested and show her how much money you actually spend at a restaurant ten show her how much you're tipping and why.

Working in food can already be quite the shitty stressful time and patrons like her definitely don't make the job any easier. You're a good guy but she needs to do a bit of growing up.


Your wife is a wonderful person. To be able to take take criticism and then act on it is a very difficult thing to do. Most individuals do not handle things like this well, my self included. Kudos to you both.

So, do you think this tip trick was a good move on the OP's part? Do you think that his wife will really work to change her behavior?

Sources: Reddit
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