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'AITA for continuing to go to the gym after a coworker hit on me? My wife is insecure.'

'AITA for continuing to go to the gym after a coworker hit on me? My wife is insecure.'

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"AITAH - My wife wants me to stop going to the gym because a coworker hit on me."

throwaway_fattt2024

My wife (35F) does not feel comfortable with me (40M) working out and going to the gym anymore and is suggesting I quit. I have always been slightly overweight in my 20s and 30s and really let go during the pandemic and gained a lot of weight.

It started bothering me, and hence last January, I joined a local gym and hired a personal trainer. I lost most of the excess weight and the trainer also helped me gain muscle. I love going to the gym now and working out 3 - 4 times a week.

My wife of course loved my dedication and I sometimes found her staring at me when I was changing, which was cute. Overall, my confidence improved, and I also started dressing nicely, and everything just fit right.

I had a situation happen to me in the summer at my workplace. My wife's friend B also works in my company. One of the girls in my company J (late 20s F), from a different department, started becoming very friendly with me, started joining me for lunches and slacking me through the day about random topics.

I would be busy and tried to be polite and ignore her. However, things got weird when she got hold of my phone number (which only my manager knows in office) and started messaging me after hours.

I immediately drew a line, and told her it's not acceptable and only talk to me via company messenger, as I do not talk to work colleagues on my personal phone. I also started ignoring her after that, except for a polite hello when we came face to face.

My wife asked me to report her to HR, but I did not because she never messaged me about anything inappropriate. My wife checked with her friend B, and she told my wife that J and her friends were discussing my weight loss and how I have completely changed the way I dress.

Again, I ignored it as I am not sure this was raised enough to be reported to HR. The day before yesterday, during our Christmas party, J approached me twice and asked me to join her on the dance floor. I declined and just went about my way.

By the end of the night, she came to me, started dancing suggestively in front of me, and did something highly inappropriate. I was shocked and fell back spilling my drink on myself. J's manager swooped in and told me she had too much to drink, and I never saw J again at the party.

When I reached home, my wife had already heard about the incident from B. She was crying and was angry at me. She blamed me for not reporting J to HR when she had told me to. She also said I was drunk (which I was not and had only 3 drinks during a 3-hour party) and stank like whiskey.

After I calmed her down, she asked me to shower and rest. She apologized before sleeping but told me she felt very violated by J's actions and I promised her I would meet with my manager and HR as soon as the office opens again (which is after New years).

In the morning, I woke up and started getting ready to go to the gym. My wife asked me if I could not go to the gym. I said OK, and we both cooked a nice breakfast and had fun family time with our toddler.

Afterward, my wife asked me if I could hold off going to the gym for a while. She told me that she feels insecure when other women look at me, and yesterday was a deal breaker. We never had any similar issues in the 11 years of our marriage.

She loved me just the way I was and did not care if I became muscular. She told me that the purpose of the gym was to lose weight and I have already achieved it, so I can just maintain where I am at and not work out further.

Upon further probing, she told me that my losing weight had been a hot topic among her friends' group, and she had a fallout with one of her friends because she made some sexual comments about me. All of this is making her very anxious.

On one hand, I love working out now, for the first time in my life. It makes me feel confident. On the other hand, I want my wife to be happy, and this is a very small price to pay in my books.

I know she is being insecure and controlling, but I love her (and the life we have built together) and all I want to do is see her being comfortable and happy. I am holding off going to the gym till New Year's and enjoy the holidays with my family.

However, AITAH to want to continue after that? How do I convince my wife to not be insecure (I know there is no switch) and what have people in this situation done?

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

facinationstreet

Your wife needs to focus on the problem, which is NOT you going to the gym. That is an absolutely backwards way of addressing her own insecurity. Punishing the victim of sexual harassment? Get this handled at work, continue going to the gym. NTA.

michelleinsac

Sounds like she should go to the gym with you. That way it’s something fun you do together and you both will be healthy. Barring that I definitely wouldn’t stop taking care of your health because of her insecurities. That’s one lesson we all should have learned from Covid.

rgw_fun

NTA your wife needs to deal with her insecurities in a way that does not control your bodily autonomy. You’re not doing anything wrong, you’re not having an affair, and you can’t control how others see you.

Since you’ve struggled with weight for a long time I’m guessing you have maybe a little less self esteem than the average guy. Tell your wife you love her and honor her feelings but this isn’t right.

Working out is good for you long term and not just for weight loss, and there are better ways for her to manage her anxieties. Do not under any circumstances allow these feelings to turn into limitations on taking good care of yourself. Besides, we both know how it is. Once you’re committed to someone it doesn’t really matter if other women make eyes.

BeardsleyBigBrain

NTA its not your fault you are being objectified because of your body. That's on others, not you. You have done NOTHING wrong, didn't cheat, and for some reason you think you can be an asshole? Nope.

I wonder how this post would go if the genders were reversed and a woman was working out to look and feel great, and her husband said "stop working out cause other guys might hit on you".

Necessary_Example509

NTA. But men need to realize when inappropriate behavior is happening, it doesn’t need to cross the line of sexual or abusive words to be reported. Her behavior was reportable before that Christmas party.

How did she get your number? That alone should have been told to HR. Her constant slack messages could have been seen as harassment if not about work. Either way it sounds like her incessant attempts to talk to you were making you somewhat uncomfortable, THATS ENOUGH TO REPORT.

You’re at work, you aren’t her friend, she’s in a different department, it’s making you and your wife uncomfortable. Protect yourself and your peace and your family’s peace.

Talk to your wife, let her know you are so sorry for not seeing the situation clearly before, you’ve never been in the situation before or whatever was making you doubt reporting her when you should have.

Talk everything out and let her know the gym is to stay HEALTHY. At your age working out regularly will set you up for more long term health. Maybe ask her to start coming with you. There is a compromise but you won’t get there without conversation.

The very next day, the OP returned with a thoughtful update.

"Update: AITAH - My wife wants me to stop going to the gym because a coworker hit on me"

throwaway_fattt2024

To be honest, after reading the comments during the few hours or so, I realized I was the AH for posting about my wife's reaction in such a sensitive situation. I just wanted to get perspectives from people in a comparable situation.

However, I just had the internet judge her when she was at her most vulnerable. I tried to defend her in the comments section, but things got out of hand quickly, and I decided to just stop reading the comments for a while and plan my day.

I wanted to thank a lot of people who pointed out that her insecurity may be stemming from me not showing her that she is the most important person to me. I cooked her a nice dinner and I asked her after dinner if I had been ignoring her due to the gym, or if I had given her any reason to mistrust me.

According to her, I have been fine, but she has been having issues for many months now. She said she was proud of what I had achieved, and initially she used to feel good when everyone complimented me.

However, she did start getting insecure when I started receiving more female attention. She also felt I was enjoying it and didn't put enough boundaries. Her examples were a lot of my female friends were complimenting my body and getting handsy (like pressing my arms, and hugging excessively), and I didn't stop that.

She also said that she caught some of her friends talking to me in a very flirty way, but I just kept on being polite and continued talking as normal. Also, she didn't like her friends talking about me or asking her constantly if I was going to come to the get-togethers.

When one of her friends expressed some pretty disgusting thoughts to another friend in private, and she came to know, there was a big fight in their group. Some of her friends also cut contact with that friend. Overall, she has been struggling with these thoughts for the last 6 months and talks to her therapist about this.

She also mentioned that food was an important part of our relationship. She is an amazing cook and loves to bake. Although she still bakes for my kid, she said that I only eat in very small portions when she cooks nice meals for me.

It feels as if she is only cooking for herself and has stopped making nice meals. She used to enjoy the fact that I liked her cooking. She also misses the food I used to cook for her. So we set some ground rules.

a. I won't talk about how I am getting my 180 gm of protein every day (for those who know, know).

b. When she cooks something nice, I will eat it and I will enjoy it.

c. She can ask me to cook her favorite meals, and I must oblige.

And of course, she never intended for me to stop going to the gym and was just upset with the whole situation, so that is resolved. As for J, the situation is still ongoing. My manager talked to me the day after the incident and told me she wouldn't take it lightly and had already contacted HR. HR reached out to me yesterday afternoon.

To paraphrase their email, it talked about how they want to create safe workplace... blah.. blah.. J gave a letter of apology to her manager and her manager forwarded it to HR. She said that she was offered too many shots and got blackout drunk and does not remember the end of the evening.

She thanked her manager for taking her to her hotel room safely. She also offered to never drink alcohol at corporate events or during office happy hours. HR set up a meeting with me and my manager after we get back from the break as they want to make sure I am okay.

I wanted to get an opinion from anyone who works in HR here. I am going to tell my side of the story including the past messages, etc. However, what is the process that HR follows here? What is really the point of this and what outcome should I expect?

PS: Thanks to people who messaged me about mental health stuff and PPD. I am sorry I ignored all of your chats but appreciate it.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after this latest update from the OP:

ThePrinceVultan

"She said that she was offered too many shots and got blackout drunk and does not remember the end of the evening."

lol, yeah, right. She had been after you for a while, but that night wasn't her fault - it was everyone elses fault for getting her drunk! Glad your manager HR got involved.

Glassgrl1021

It really depends on your company, but the fact that you have receipts for things that happened before the party completely invalidates her “I was just drunk” excuse. This is a pattern of behavior and that doesn’t bode well for her. Companies will typically take severe measures so they don’t open themselves up to lawsuits.

wallstreetbetsdebts

I'd ask HR to investigate how she obtained your personal phone number to harass you outside of work.

rusty0123

That's what immediately stuck out to me. Everything else is subjective. But her getting that phone number is concrete proof that she was the aggressor. I've had this happen to me more than once. I don't share my personal number at work. In fact, I have a company phone for work.

When a co-worker tries to contact me on my phone, I don't even respond. Just block. In fact, if they confront me I never admit that's my phone. I just tell them my number is (work phone) and I didn't get any messages.

BustyRucketBay

This is the longest intro to a recipe I’ve ever seen.

InvectiveDetective

This man was sexually harassed, and the focus is on his wife and her insecurities? Nobody’s checking in to see if he’s okay?

jewishspacelazzer

Omg that’s what I was thinking the whole time. So he gets SA’d and then his wife is immediately yelling and blaming him and then HE has to comfort HER? Man….

nustedbut

Barb really ain't helping here. I think she's loving the drama.

darjeelingexpress

I guess I don’t understand being mad at the spouse who is being treated like a piece of meat. I understand feeling insecure and weird sometimes, sure, but that’s a lot. Stop going to the gym, even for awhile, was actually entertained as a reasonable ask by some commenters. What the actual. Glad they worked it out, but it’s because that dude is super easy going.

So, do you think this husband did anything wrong or should his wife get over her own insecurities?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit,NYTimes
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