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Woman jokes husband 'isn't well-read' at party, he gets upset on car ride home. AITA?

Woman jokes husband 'isn't well-read' at party, he gets upset on car ride home. AITA?


One person's joke can be another person's insult, it's all about how it comes off in the delivery, and the context of the "teasing." Far too many people think they can insult people or say mean things and get off scot-free if they simply follow it up by claiming they were "just kidding." And on the other hand, a lot of people take themselves too seriously and can't take a joke.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for telling her friends that her husband doesn't read very much. She wrote:

"AITA for telling my friends that my husband isn’t well-read?"

Background: My husband (let’s call him Will) is in the Navy, and he works on nuclear reactors on submarines. We’ve been together for four years, married for two.

We were at a small house party with a few friends of mine from college and we were discussing books we’ve all read, when at one point one of my friends (let’s call him Steve) asks Will, “So Will, what’s your favorite book?” and my husband responds, “Oh, I really like To Kill A Mockingbird.” Then Steve gives him a quizzical look and asks him, “Have you read any books outside of high school?”

Will hesitates a bit and says, “Outside of manuals at work, I guess I haven’t.” So then I try to explain to Steve, “Oh yeah, he’s not well educated, so he’s never had a reason to be well-read.” We all had a good laugh, but then Will didn’t really contribute a whole lot to the conversation the rest of the night.

On the car ride back, Will was pretty quiet. I ask if he’s fine and all he says in a sarcastic tone is, “Peachy.” I ask him if I did anything to upset him and he responds back with, “I don’t know. I don’t think I’m educated enough to properly explain myself.” I tell him I didn’t tell my friends that he was unintelligent, just that he wasn’t college educated.

He accused me of minimizing how hard his Navy schooling was, but I explained that military education and college education are simply not the same. We continued to fight until we got home. I texted my sister about what happened and she called me a huge AH and that I need to apologize and now I’m having second thoughts about how I handled this. AITA Reddit?

The internet didn't wait long before weighing in.

forte6320 wrote:

YTA let's put aside your husband's incredibly difficult job for a moment, on what planet does anything think calling their partner "uneducated" is ok? That is never ok. EVER!!!

Let's circle back to the job... do you understand what it takes to get onto a nuke sub??? These folks go through extensive testing to be even considered. Then they go through even more extensive training and education. These people are super smart. Their job is insanely stressful.

I know two guys who were on nuclear subs. Two of the smartest people I know.

Not reading fiction doesn't equal being "uneducated." Not everyone likes fiction. Also, maybe he read that book in high school and it really stuck with him.

There is a book I read in high school which, many decades later, remains one of my absolute favorite books....I read a LOT of books. It was so incredibly rude of your friend to make fun of your husband about his book choice. You and your friends sound like insufferable snobs.

maidenmothercrone333 wrote:

Omg. YTA, and a huge one. Are you sure someone as educated and well-read as you are should even be married to someone as stupid and illiterate as your NUCLEAR ENGINEER husband?? /s. Unbelievable that you are so clueless about your obvious disdain for your husband. Let me tell you, OP - Bubbleheads (submariners) are some of the smartest and best-trained people in the Navy.

They are more highly trained, more educated, and they go through rigorous screening and testing just to be considered for submarine duty. You are married to someone who is probably smarter than YOU. And you dare look down on him? Shame on you.

YTA, and also kind of dumb. He is educated, he went to school as part of his service. Yes, military education counts. A lot of people who go to college for something other than liberal education or the arts will also not read many fiction books. Most of my friends who are engineers, computer scientists, etc didn't read many fiction books during school.

Self_Reintegration wrote:

A military education is a good education, he works on nuclear reactors on submarines.

Not everyone reads a lot of fiction, that doesn't mean they aren't well-educated. He has the education of an engineer or an applied scientist, it sounds.

ThrowRA-pizzarollgal wrote:

YTA- why would you need to throw out there that your husband isn't educated? That seems very belittling and unnecessary to the convo. You could have just said "my husband enjoys doing other things besides reading" and tried to include your husband, not separate him even more...

Perfect_Entertainer7 wrote:

YTA I can’t even fathom why a guy with that level of intelligence and clearance is with YOU because you seem dumber than a box of rocks. I have a military education (I went to the US Air Force Academy) and a Masters degree - you, my dear, are an A**#AT DEPENDENT of the highest degree.

The amount of training, education, and security clearance your husband has is impressive and way beyond your comprehension…obviously. You and your little band of snotty college friends need to f#$k right off to the hole you crawled out of and learn some basic manners. I hope your husband loses the sea anchor he’s got chained to him right now…shaped like you.

OP is a giant AH, hopefully she feels motivated to apologize and self-reflect after this unanimous ruling.

Sources: Reddit
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