Being married for a long time almost means living through several different marriages with the same person. You change as you age, and it can be hard to stay on the same page with someone you married decades ago.
This seems to be what is happening to u/ThrowawayAssistAITA, who posted on r/AmItheA–hole under the title, “AITA For refusing to fire my new administrative assistant because my wife feels insecure?”
The OP says he is 52 years old and works in a lab. He just hired an administrative assistant for the first time and it’s been great. He didn’t realize how much administrative work he’d been doing, and his hire has been doing a great job.
She’s also a 22-year-old recent college graduate, which has become an issue:
“About two weeks ago, we had a bi-monthly lab lunch. We took a picture, captioned it “Welcoming ____, our new administrative staff member to the team!”, and posted it to our lab Instagram. Apparently, this led to all my wife’s friends, including my SIL, seeing the picture.”
“They proceeded to give my wife unsolicited advice about how this was a sign I’m considering cheating on her (which I have never done and will never do.) They argued that she should ask me to fire my new hire to “test my integrity.” I refused because that’s f–king ridiculous and likely illegal.
Now, my wife’s friends are convinced I’m some predatory scumbag, and my wife is angry that I quote “don’t respect her enough to stop people from thinking I’m throwing her away”.
This might be where I’m an a**hole. I responded that I think the real problem is that she’s friends with a bunch of “crazy divorcees”, which I initially regretted saying because my SIL’s marriage had fallen apart last year.
However, as my sympathy has waned, I’m starting to double down on as an accurate characterization of those morons.”
He turned to Reddit because he thinks “this whole situation is absolutely absurd.” He also says it’s the first time in his marriage that he hasn’t been able to “see how her side is reasonable in any way.”
“I literally get to spend more time with my wife, now that I don’t spend an hour answering emails before bed every night,” he wrote.
“I don’t see how this is a ‘me’ problem or even an ‘us’ problem at this point. I don’t think I have done anything even slightly inappropriate, and this is entirely her problem. Maybe I’m completely off-base, but I need a third-part perspective.”
Clearly, the man is fed up and frustrated and doesn’t understand where his wife is at mentally right now. The commenters were actually very sympathetic to both of them.
People understand why he’s mad, but think his wife’s insecurities are something that need to be explored with the guidance of a professional.
Most of them recommended therapy and not breaking laws by firing a girl for age and gender discrimination reasons:
There was some debate over whether the OP needed to join in, since it does kind of seem to be the wife’s insecurities that are making things an issue. But sometimes having a moderator makes it easier to say the stuff you need to without trying to get some 22-year-old fired.