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Man storms out over wife's 'barbiecore' outfit; takes her ticket with him. UPDATED

Man storms out over wife's 'barbiecore' outfit; takes her ticket with him. UPDATED


"AITAH for not wanting to change my clothes for a 4th time (thus ruining our date night)?"


So, my husband (37M - let's call him Mark) and I (34F) have been having a rough few years. We got married in the fall of 2019 after being together for 5 years before then, and of course a few months after that the pandemic hit.

I had the misfortune of getting a pretty bad case of Covid near the beginning of the pandemic (was hospitalized for two weeks) which turned into long Covid. I wasn't completely disabled but dealt with a lot of the typical symptoms - extreme fatigue, brain fog, reduced immune system generally resulting in several bad infections, etc.

I didn't lose my job but did have to take intermittent FMLA which meant a lot of time without pay, and we racked up $20K in debt between the medical bills not covered by insurance and loss of some of my income.

Although I tried to be mindful of my eating, I also gained 45 pounds thanks to being on antidepressants, several rounds of steroid medication, and not being able to exercise. Through all this, Mark was incredibly loving and supportive - he never said a bad word about my weight, lack of energy, or inability to contribute financially at the same level as before.

Finally, last summer I started to feel a lot better, and most of the long Covid symptoms subsided. I was able to return to work full-time, and had energy to work out again.

In the past year, we have paid off all our debt and rebuilt our emergency fund, and I have lost 35 of the 45 pounds I gained (my doctor says this is a good place for me to end up, I was borderline underweight before and am now on the slimmer side of a normal/healthy weight).

Mark and I hadn't been having many date nights since we got married between the pandemic, my illness, and then for the past year working to get our finances in order.

However, to celebrate my birthday, we decided to have dinner at an upscale bistro and then go see the Barbie movie (he actually suggested the movie). This was last Saturday - my actual birthday wasn't for a few more days but we wanted to go on the weekend.

I was excited to dress up as - most of my clothes had gotten baggy and drab during my illness and weight gain but I was finally feeling comfortable in my own skin again. I decided to go full Barbiecore - pink sleeveless dress (fitted at the top and then flared out) and pink kitten heels with a matching bag.

(The money for the outfit came from a birthday check from my mom - she insisted that I spend it on 'something fun.')

When I put on the outfit, I felt really pretty for the first time in a long time...unfortunately and surprisingly, Mark reacted badly to it. He said I looked 'slutty' and 'attention-seeking' and essentially accused me of trying to get the attention of other men and that I should cover up more.

I protested because...first of all...we were going to a restaurant (table for 2) and a movie theater...when exactly was I going to be interacting socially with other men?! Also, the outfit was quite dramatic and striking but it wasn't revealing...sleeveless dresses are pretty normal date night wear for a hot summer day, and it wasn't low-cut (neckline was at the collarbone), and was on the longer side (calf-length).

But I didn't want to argue so I put on a black knit cardigan over the dress. Nope, still no dice for Mark, he said it was still attention-seeking.

At this point, I really wanted to get going and not miss our reservation, so I gave up on the dress and changed into fitted jeans and a pastel pink tunic top (not fitted). Nope, said Mark, I still looked like I was trying to attract other men.

So I threw on a hoodie over the top but then he said I looked sloppy. I was really exasperated by this point and asked if he just wanted to come to my closet to pick an outfit that was acceptable, and he started yelling that I was too stupid to even understand that I was disrespecting him and that I didn't know how to dress myself.

Then he said he was going for a drive and going to the movie without me (the tickets were on his phone).

He came home after midnight, said he didn't want to talk and that he was going to sleep in the guest room. He has barely spoken to me since. My actual birthday was a couple days ago and he didn't even acknowledge it. I begged him to please talk to me and tell me what was really going on but he said he was still too angry.

So, AITAH for not trying to change my clothes yet again before our date for my birthday? I still don't know what he was really upset about or what sort of outfit would have been acceptable.

And no, he's never once tried to make rules about what I could wear or commented at all on my clothes except to tell me that I looked nice or that he liked certain colors on me. This really came out of nowhere as far as I can tell. And again he selected the Barbie movie and planned the date so it's not like I was strong-arming him into plans he didn't want.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after this initial post:


If my wife asks me ‘does this look ok?’, it’s have to be awful for me to say no. I can’t imagine telling her she looked slutty! She would figure out I thought that because I’d be grinning and making stupid, suggestive jokes! I’d tell him you will wear what you like and if he doesn’t like it, that’s a him problem


Something deeper is going on. Time to have a serious discussion about where you guys are in this relationship. No matter how much my wife were fighting… it would be a truce on a birthday.


He created a situation where it would be impossible for you to have left the house with him, stormed out to go see the Barbie movie 'alone', and didn't come home until after midnight and slept in the guest room. He's cheating and seeing you looking fire that evening probably triggered some realizations that he can't continue to have his cake and eat it too.


NTA but this is NOT about your outfit. Time to sit down and get what is going on out of him. I wouldn't be surprised if he's either having an affair or jealous of you.


NTA. It sounds like your real birthday was actually a couple of days after the blow up. So he went no contact with you for six days which means he never wished you happy birthday. Hmmm?

If this had been me and I would have a size 7 Adidas shoe firmly embedded up my butt. Just saying…Go out with friends and celebrate a belated birthday.

A week later, the OP returned with an update.

"Update: Husband demanded I change clothes multiple times for our date night, then stormed out when I refused after the third time."

(Husband was going to take me to dinner and to see the Barbie movie a couple weeks ago, but demanded I change my Barbiecore pink but otherwise modest dress, went through several more iterations of changes that were still not acceptable and then he stormed out, and after that didn't speak to me for close to a week, saying he was too angry to talk about what I did wrong)

As for the update - I did end up going to my mom's place for the weekend last weekend and had a nice girls' weekend with my mom and sister. We did see the movie on Saturday (got to wear my original planned outfit - yay!!!), and then got brunch and had a fun salon outing on Sunday.

Late afternoon Sunday I texted Mark (my husband) to say I was coming home in a couple hours, and that I hoped he would be ready to talk then - that I would gladly hear him out regarding anything that had been upsetting him, but I really couldn't take the silent treatment anymore as it had been over a week by then. He just texted back 'Ok.' We did talk after I got home, and...boy, it was a doozy.

It turns out Mark has had building resentment for years, since I first got sick with Covid nearly 3 1/2 years ago now. Not so much in the first few months, but when it was clear my illness had turned into long Covid and an ongoing disability, he started to feel very put-upon due to my not being able to generate as much income, not being able to do my share of the housework and cooking, etc.

He put up a good front because he knew it wouldn't be fair to take it out on me, especially when he could see I was doing my best to get better and to do what I could on my better days, but ultimately he got very burned out.

And then after a year or so...started seeking outlets, as in other women. He said at first it was just basically anonymous online sexting because the pandemic was still raging, but by early last year he had formed an online emotional connection with someone in the area, whom he eventually met in person for a physical affair, someone he is in love with now and still seeing.

He said he has been trying to figure out what to do, especially as I have been getting better over the past year, lost most of the weight I gained, got back to fulfilling all my responsibilities at work and home, etc., but when I walked out in my Barbiecore dress, expecting to have a romantic birthday date, he just...couldn't do it.

He couldn't go out and pretend to love me and be celebratory when he wanted to be with someone else. So he picked a fight, one I couldn't win. And then yes, when he walked out he did take his AP to dinner and the movie instead.

The thing is...I do understand him seeking some kind of an outlet. I was sick for years, and between physical ailments and brain fog I wasn't able to participate consistently in the marriage on any level, not as an equal partner.

We'd only been married a few months when I got sick so it's not even like we had a lot of shared history to fall back on. I'm sure he must have felt exhausted, stressed, and lonely, especially as it wasn't certain I would be able to recover at all.

I asked if he would consider marriage counseling and recommitting to our marriage, but he said sadly that his 'heart had moved on.' He did say he was so sorry, that he never meant to fall in love with someone else and was just trying to be less lonely, and that I didn't deserve this, that I especially didn't deserve the way he treated me a couple weeks ago.

So, I guess divorce it is. I don't expect it will be very dramatic, we've been talking a lot over the past week (no more silent treatment) to figure out how to divide stuff and to try to make things cordial.

In the end, I don't even think he is an AH. Maybe for the way he acted surrounding my birthday, but overall I think he is just a human being who eventually broke down from stress and loneliness. I do wish him well and am also grateful that at least I am healthy again for whatever life has next in store for me.

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


Please get yourself some counselling or therapy, because thinking it's understandable to be cheated on and lied to and potentially exposed to STDs because you were seriously ill is... wow.

I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy let alone someone I loved, let alone myself! He is a piece of crap. You deserve better than to empathise with a piece of crap, for real.


So in sickness and in health truly meant nothing to him? Vows meant nothing?

You got Covid and it messed you up for a while and he decided best thing to do was to cheat. What a prick. What would he have done if you got cancer? Or some other illness? Is he only happy to stick around with someone if they are 100% healthy all the time? Thank god you never had kids. I’m sorry you’re going through this but fuck that guy.


Please do not let this guy convince you he is not the bad guy here. “In sickness and in health” are part of the vows for a reason. If the situation was reversed, I’ve no doubt he would have expected twice as much support out of you.

You don’t cheat. He is 100% the AH across the board and has been for many years. Please do not take the blame for this. I wish you peace and healing as you move forward.


He's an AH, sweetie, he lied to you for like 3 years. You dodged a bullet. Praise Barbie that she removed this man from your life.


Picking a fight because you're having an affair is already holy crap what an AH territory. Picking a fight so you can take your affair partner on your wife's birthday date... That breaks the scale.

Sources: Reddit
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