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'AITA for calling my wife insecure and manipulative?'

'AITA for calling my wife insecure and manipulative?'


'AITA for calling my wife insecure and manipulative?'

My wife is one of the smartest, quickest people I’ve ever met. She seems to know everything and is a really good conversationalist (which I am definitely NOT). But she always complains she’s “unlikeably fat” and she dislikes being at any event where there are too many men or even being in a small group of most guys.

I know she’s absolutely gorgeous and I’ve personally never seen anyone treat her any different. But I’ve always been thin so maybe I wouldn’t notice what she’s talking about. But I have noticed recently that she’s been more comfortable coming with me to work events and hanging out with my brothers and cousins and I’ve noticed they’ve started to like her a lot more.

We were at my sisters engagement party when I heard her get into a lighthearted argument with my brother about some celebrity name or fact and she was proven correct when he googled it. Later in the evening I was surprised to see them in a very similar kind of lighthearted argument (bc they usually don’t talk that much) about a tv show or author or something that I KNOW she knows a lot about

but when she pulled out her phone to google to answer she was wrong. I thought this was super weird and asked her about it in the car on the way home. She told me that her new strategy is if she ever “proves” someone wrong, she’ll purposefully construct another scenario in which she can be the one proven wrong so that there won’t be any “hurt feelings”.

I told her this was ridicoulous and no one takes those kinds of things seriously and if anyone were to somehow catch her doing this (like it did) they would be offended or hurt. She got really pissed and told me that how she manages social situations is her decision and that I wouldn’t understand having to “play dumb” for guys.

But when I said that my sister’s new fiancee was a really smart women in STEM and never seemed to dumb herself down for guys and everyone really loved her, my wife said that she could “get away” with that because she was conventionally beautiful and easily accepted. I didn’t know what to say to that so I said I thought she was being overly manipulative and insecure.

She was really quiet the rest of the car ride home and then immediately went upstairs and started writing in her journal. I’m worried I really screwed up and hurt her feelings but also I do still think it’s a dumb and manipulative thing to do.

What do you think? Did he screw up? This is what top commenters had to say:

[deleted] said:

Yta. "My wife found a harmless way to navigate social situations comfortably, so I told her my sister in law was better."

GlassSandwich9315 said:

YTA. Rather then trying to understand your wife's perspective, you attacked her character. What exactly is she trying to manipulate them to do, not dislike her?

JMarie113 said:

YTA. Why? I mean, no one was hurt. She may be insecure, but she wasn't being manipulative. She was trying not to hurt his feelings. That's called considerate. I don't see the big deal. I have no idea why you escalated this or started a fight over it or insulted her. Are you 12? This is so petty. Grow up.

charonthemoon said:

YTA. "Manipulative" was very much a bad term to use. She's so deeply insecure and so willing to put herself down for other people, that she's going out of her way to make herself look wrong just to avoid the chance of hurting their ego. You should be concerned for her emotional/mental state, you should be trying to build up her self-esteem.

Instead you accused her of doing something wrong and calling her out for being insecure as if it's something for her to feel guilty and ashamed about, as if she doesn't already feel shame and guilt. She's basically saying "I give up everything to prioritize other people's feelings and ego over my own, because I feel like I don't deserve it."

And instead you responded with "actually you didn't prioritize other people's feelings well enough because manipulation is bad." You're reinforcing that her wants and needs matter less than anyone else's and that's the last thing she needs right now.

Side note: While many smart women don't "play dumb", a lot of them have faced pretty bad social consequences for not doing so. I don't think she should do it and I don't think she needs to, but you shouldn't be dismissive of the internal and external pressures that are pushing her to do that. I think your gf is insecure enough that she should seek out therapy

(you should be extremely gentle if you recommend this though). She sounds like a really cool person, and she deserves to feel like she doesn't have to minimize and apologize for her self and her presence in social events! I think you need to work on being more mindful about your gf's feelings, and more thoughtful in how you talk about subjects that are sensitive for her.

[deleted] said:

YTA. She didn't do anything to you or anything insulting, and you went off on her. You know she's socially anxious, and, fun fact, a LOT of women have to do this shit. Sometimes, men really freak out if they're proven wrong multiple times. This is a legit thing women have to deal with.

Well folks, we have a unanimous YTA. Do you agree?

Sources: Reddit
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