7 Times Reddit Played Referee for Couples & Really Nailed the Relationship Advice
Most people don’t want to acknowledge it while experiencing the magical lovefest that is the honeymoon phase, but relationships do take work. It’s inevitable that a disagreement will eventually arise between two partners, no matter how compatible a couple may be.
And to be clear, this is not a bad thing. It’s a simple fact — all couples in long-term relationships will have an argument (likely many) at some point during their partnership. It’s normal for two people to not feel the same emotions toward every single thing or have the same opinion on certain matters, and sometimes that can cause a bit of a stumble within the relationship. The key to righting your stride is the way you navigate and overcome issues with your partner, and for some, Reddit has been an integral source for relationship advice — a community of virtual pals who tell it like it is, if you will.
In fact, people so often refer to Reddit for relationship advice that there’s an entire subreddit for that very purpose, aptly named the /Relationship_Advice Subreddit. The platform’s “Am I The Asshole” forum is also a popular place for those seeking insight into their relational woes.
From mental health concerns to co-parenting struggles (and much, much more), people facing dilemmas in their partnerships frequently turn to the social media platform for unbiased opinions and advice on how to navigate whatever their situation may be. We’ve rounded up some of the most insightful relationship advice doled out on Reddit — scroll on for a sampling of the best takeaways users had to offer.
On How to Help Her Husband Through His Depression
One woman took to the /Relationship_Advice Subreddit to ask for advice on how to support her husband through his struggle with depression. While she disclosed that he’s struggled “pretty heavily for the past few years,” she’s recently become more concerned due to a heavy admission he made.
The original poster (OP) explained that she checked in with her husband after his most recent therapy session and asked if he and his therapist “were continuing the topic of shame that they have been digging into lately.”
“I’m appreciative that he disclosed what they talked about, but his answer made me so sad. He said, ‘No, we mostly talked about how I feel like it doesn’t matter if I’m around or not,’” she shared.
OP said she asked him to elaborate “he said he feels more like a burden when he is around, and [provided] the example of when he comes home from work.”
She continued, “I knew in the moment my response was important. I asked if the session was helpful, and then said I am counting down the minutes when he is gone and look forward to him being home from work every day.”
Still haunted by her husband’s admission, OP asked Reddit if she should “just let this be” or approach the subject again. Fellow Redditors shared thoughtful advice, with one user suggesting, “Why don’t you reassure him that you appreciate him and all the things he does for you and your family?”
They added, “Maybe even list the reasons you love having him around, and ask if there is anything you can do that will let him know that you do feel this way on a more regular basis.” For more on this heartbreaking yet incredibly common situation, read the full story here.
On Navigating Health Concerns & Internalized Fat-phobia
Concerned with the amount of sugar his girlfriend of two months had been consuming, one 30-year-old man asked Reddit how he should talk to her about his worries for her health. However, OP’s concerns turned out to be less about his girlfriend’s health and more about her weight.
The man explained how much he likes this woman and how similar their interests and personalities are, but shared, “She is super addicted to sugar though. She doesn’t drink water, only sugar drinks like Gatorade, soda, and milkshakes.” His fat-phobia reared its ugly head when he added, “It’s gross but I like her enough to get over it, but an ick might be coming on. I know it’ll eventually destroy her body and right now she’s kind of tiptoeing that line of being too big for my comfort.”
He wrote that he brought it up with her “in a pretty serious way about a month ago and she got pretty sad and said it brought thoughts from her past where her mom pressured her to stop being fat.” OP shared that the woman told him she doesn’t want to talk about her dietary habits with him because it made her feel judged.
Obviously still hung up on the issue, the man then asked if a draft of a multi-paragraph text message detailing his concerns would be appropriate to send to her — he clearly did not read the room or take her request seriously. He basically lectured her about her diet, including the specific grams of sugar in drinks he’d seen her consume and statistics from the American Heart Association, masking his condescension as concern.
Redditors gaped at the man’s ignorance, with one user writing, “No, do not send the woman who told you that you remind her of her fat-shaming mother a multi-paragraph text about how she needs to cut down on her sugar. Just break up. You obviously can’t get over this and she doesn’t deserve to be browbeaten about it,” they asserted.
Many others agreed that OP should break up with the woman. “‘They drink too many sugary drinks’ is an insane reason to break up with someone,” another Redditor wrote before adding, “The truth is, you want her to lose weight or are at the very least worried about her getting fat and you’re trying to dance around it. Which is why she’s so triggered by you bringing it up, because you’re doing the same thing her mom did.”
Ultimately (and shockingly), OP seemed to understand and agree with Reddit’s take on the situation. “Looks like it is a me problem. And you’re right, I am afraid of her getting fat. Dating is hard and I’m not great at it,” he admitted. He added that he never seriously considered breaking things off and is still not willing to do so, explaining, “I just know I like being with her more than I dislike the weight issues” — read his full takeaway here.
On Lying to His Wife About Hanging Out With Another Woman
Making Reddit pull the “yikes” face immediately, one man revealed he lied to his wife about getting lunch with a woman coworker-turned-best-friend, which his wife of course eventually found out about.
OP explained that he “frequently” spends time with his friend while at work and texts her “every day,” but overall asserts that their relationship is platonic. The issue at hand arose when he and the friend were having lunch together at a museum, and he didn’t hear his phone go off when his wife called him. She checked his location on her phone, noticed he wasn’t at work, and later asked where he was.
The man explained, “When I called her later, she asked me why I was not near my office. I said I got lunch there, but didn’t mention I was with my friend or that we went to a museum. Later that day she asked me again, and I told her the whole story and apologized for lying about it.”
He continued, “I lied because I was afraid of what my wife would say … [and now she’s] insisting that I cut off all contact with my friend and find other friends because of ’emotional cheating.’”
“I really, really struggle to make friends (apart from my wife, this is the first real friend I feel I’ve ever had), so having to lose her is devastating,” he divulged. “I agreed that I probably do talk to her a bit too often and should pull back a little, but [I] don’t want to cut her off completely. Where do we go from here?”
Many Redditors agreed with OP’s wife’s assessment of an emotional affair, with one user writing, “I was all for him maintaining his friendship until he decided to randomly lie/omit about it. Like, yeah dude — of course your wife now thinks there’s something suspicious going on,” they said.
Another person hit the nail on the head with their appraisal and advice: “The grass grows where it is watered. You seem to be watering the wrong lawn,” they wrote. “Focus on maybe putting the effort into your wife, like you do with your friend. I’ve found that the main reason partners have a problem with the best friend is because you are putting in more effort in that relationship than actually making your marriage work.” They added, “If your relationship with your wife was good, she wouldn’t be complaining about your best friend.”
Get the full scoop on this subreddit here.
On Divvying Up Household Duties During Pregnancy
After one pregnant woman could no longer safely or comfortably do her share of household chores, she came to Reddit to ask for advice about her husband’s annoyance.
OP explained that her husband asked her to get the laundry from the dryer in the basement, and she told him she didn’t think she could carry the load up two flights of stairs. In response to her saying she planned to grab what she needed and leave the rest, her husband “made a comment that he was really frustrated I couldn’t just grab all the laundry so he didn’t have to go all the way downstairs as well.” Because his life is similarly inconvenienced by his pregnancy symptoms, too. Yeeeeah.
OP continued, “I got upset and basically told him he didn’t have the right to be frustrated with me for having pregnancy symptoms and not being at 100% anymore.” She added, “Also, we share tasks, so it’s not my job to get the laundry in the first place, and there’s no reason he couldn’t have just done it himself anyways.”
“I don’t want to make him feel like he can’t talk to me about how he’s feeling, and I’m starting to worry I just lashed out because I wasn’t feeling well,” the woman explained. “At the same time, it’s frustrating to me that he’s fine picking up the slack if I have to work late but hates it if it has to do with pregnancy symptoms,” OP validly added.
Redditors assured her that she is most definitely not the asshole, with one user opining, “He can feel frustrated all that he wants. That doesn’t give him a right to take his frustration out on OP. Also, this is the time when he should be picking up more of the slack, not less.”
Others advised her to explicitly explain the physical limitations that occur during pregnancy in case her husband, as a man living in a society that largely ignores actual issues women face, genuinely isn’t aware.
Additionally, one commenter suggested, “Maybe you guys could divvy up chores in a way that lets you work on things that are easier for you to do. Like, he can haul the laundry up all the stairs since that’s now harder for you to do, and you can cover chores that require limited movement.” Read the full scoop on this man-child’s tantrum here.
On Being Guilt-Tripped to Meal Prep… While Battling Cancer
If the previous chore-related Reddit tale left you aghast, buckle up for this doozy. One woman took to the platform to share that her partner is mad at her for not wanting to meal prep a week’s worth of food for him to meet his acts of service love language needs… while she undergoes chemotherapy for cancer. Some of these men are really out here trying it with the manipulation tactics, and Reddit is not having it with this one in particular.
In response to his meal prep request, OP shared, “I said it would depend how I feel, but I thought it would be better if I did it in a week and half when I felt recovered from this chemo cycle.”
She continued, “He was insistent and kept asking if I could ‘just try’ and wasn’t taking no for an answer. I started to become agitated because if I’m being honest, I want to feel coddled and taken care of during this time in my life, not pushed to do chores. It’s not as if he was asking for a single meal; he wanted his entire week’s worth of food made by me after being in the hospital for 10 hours.”
Her boyfriend’s response? “He blew up on me saying acts of services is his love language, and that our relationship is one-sided,” OP wrote. “He went on and on sending angry texts,” leaving her wondering if she really is the asshole here.
One person summed up the shocking situation perfectly: “NTA — Girl, run. You have cancer, and all he can think about is himself.” Others called out the manipulation tactics at play, with another Redditor sharing, “My ex was like OP’s BF. Her love language was acts of service, therefore it was my responsibility to cook for her.”
They continued, “When I mentioned she should be responsible for cleaning up, she argued that she didn’t make the mess, so why should she clean it up? These people are just lazy and manipulative.” Read this appalling story in its entirety here.
On Navigating Joint Finances & Separate Income
Money is one of the top issues for couples across the board, and this woman shared the rather concerning financial argument she and her husband had regarding side-hustle income. She briefly laid out the situation:
“Husband coaches soccer 4 hrs a day all weekdays and Saturday outside of his day job, he keeps all the money he makes for himself. I recently started doing dog sitting to bring in extra income for myself outside of my day job as well and when I told him I plan on keeping all the money, he said that’s not fair since the dog is in his house also and infringing on his day to day, I told him that his coaching is infringing on my day to day as it leaves me as the sole caretaker of our two kids (2 and 10 weeks) and I argue that we both give up some convenience so that the other can have a small side income.”
OP shared that the money they make from their respective side jobs is about the same, and even given her argument above, her husband still feels entitled to her side income while insisting he should be the sole recipient of his. Make it make sense, right?
One Redditor raised the red flag, writing, “NTA, but please take care of yourself. It is incredibly concerning that in his eyes he can have separate finances but you can’t.”
Much to the husband’s chagrin, another commenter asserted, “He actually owes you money that he gets from soccer because you’re at home babysitting HIS kids.” They continued, “If he’s away for four hours every day, he owes you two hours. Without you he wouldn’t be able to get a second job.” For more on this selfish nickel-and-diming husband, click here.
On Feeling Forced to ‘Tolerate’ a Night Out With His Girlfriend
User @concerTAhole (very important to note his Reddit handle) took to the AITA forum to share how a night out with his girlfriend went wrong. After explaining he had bought VIP tickets for himself and his partner to experience a meet-and-greet with one of her favorite bands followed by their show, the man claimed, “I’m (36M) not a fan of her music, nor the fact that this concert was in the city, but I wanted to make it a great gift.”
OP explains that his girlfriend requested multiple times that he check what time they needed to arrive at the venue for the meet-and-greet. “Being the thorough, detailed person that she is, I assured her I would check,” he wrote. “Instead, I was too busy with work. Honestly, it was getting a bit annoying that almost every few days she would ask, so I told her I didn’t see anything while deleting a bunch of emails from the venue for concerts I don’t even care about.” If you’re thinking he’s a knob now, it gets worse.
They predictably missed the meet-and-greet because OP was too pig-headed to open any of the many emails that contained details on the event, which he admitted to his partner. He relayed that she “seemed to understand” and expressed shock that he actually enjoyed himself while the band played.
Deciding to leave before the final band went on, OP shares that his girlfriend asked if he wanted to grab a drink at a bar before calling it a night. “Immediately I said there was not a chance,” @concertTAhole wrote. “She mentioned that my car was in a secured lot and we wouldn’t be far, but I lost my cool, which I admit was NOT the best way to go about things, and told her, ‘You don’t go out in the city. There is crime all over the place!’” That is just… weird.
After trying a final time to convince him and being shut down yet again, OP said his partner gave him the silent treatment on the way home. (Can’t really blame her.) “I suggest[ed] that we go back to my place to finish out the night” — read: have sex — “and she refused. This also pissed me off because I asked what was wrong with the bar next to my apartment, and she shut that down with her short responses,” he wrote.
Raking her over the coals for “ruining” a night that “cost [him] over $300,” OP shares that his girlfriend “continued that I shouldn’t have bought the tickets if I was only ‘tolerating doing so.’” He admitted, “I do accept that I made some mistakes, chiefly with making us miss the meet-and-greet,” but still had the audacity to ask “… Am I the asshole?”
One Redditor delivered the verdict to @concerTAhole (the writing was really on the wall with this one), shocking no one but said asshole himselfby writing, “YTA. You deliberately deleted emails despite knowing she wanted to be sure of the details because you found it annoying that she asked. As a result she missed what was almost certainly the main part of the gift for her.”
They continued, “This isn’t about you tolerating the night out, it’s about you ruining it. The fact your girlfriend just got quiet and withdrawn instead of pushing back [makes] me worry that you’ve got a history of ‘losing your cool’ that makes her afraid for her safety if she speaks out.”
For more responses to this situation, click here.
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