Breakups are almost always hard, and they definitely don't get any better when one person decides to lie about the reason for the breakup.
Does that excuse outing someone as gay on social media, though?
A Reddit user was at a loss after experiencing that exact situation, so he turned to Reddit's "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) for some perspective.
"AITA for outing my ex as gay after she told everyone that I cheated on her?"
He began with some background info, because the title alone seems self-explanatory.
"I know the title sounds absolutely terrible."
"My ex and I were together for 5 years. I decided to propose, but she rejected me. The next day, we had a talk. She realized that she was gay, since 'I've been trying to hard to please myself from men.' We broke up."
That seemed like a mature way of handling the situation, but things went downhill quickly from there.
"The very next day, I get bombarded with text messages. My friends asked if this was true, and they linked me to a post. It was a Facebook post about me cheating. She said that's why we broke up."
He was, understandably, pretty upset with this turn of events.
"Now I usually am not evil, but this pissed me off. She was destroying my reputation, for god knows why. I simply commented that the real reason that we broke up was because she is gay."
Probably not the best decision, but here we are.
"People didn't believe me, until my ex literally screamed at me for outing her. Then a lot of people started to call her out for her lies. I know I'm probably a huge asshole. Though I feel like she deserves it."
He finished with a plea for Reddit's judgment.
"But alas, AITA?"
He later provided a bit of clarification for questions asked in the comments.
"No. I did not cheat on her. Yes. I did have sex with someone the day that we broke up. But it was after."
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
NTA - Not The A**hole
YTA - You're The A**hole
ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
NAH - No A**holes Here
The ultimate decision of Reddit was that he was, in fact, not the a-hole, but there was much discussion in the comments.
"Why did she feel the need to go 'Full Nuclear'??? Couldn't just have said, "it didn't work out"??? Why would anyone spread a vicious rumor about someone, if that person could potentially expose you??? NTA." -bgk67
Most agreed that outing someone is almost never okay, but many thought it was justified in this situation.
"NTA I was going to go with ESH because I think outing someone is a horrible thing to do, but I can't. She attempted to ruin your reputation to hide her sexuality. That really isn't fair. Should you have outed her? Absolutely not. But she opened that can of worms. Why not just say 'we broke up.' Even divorce agreements have the 'irreconcilable differences' option." -Binky390
"NTA. As a gay man I am generally against outing someone. It's their business and you have no part in it. In your situation though she made it your business by telling a horrendous lie about you. She could very easily have said that you two realized you both wanted/needed different things in life and parted amicably and remained friends. All of it would have been true without outing her, but instead she decided to paint a picture with you as the villain."
"You had every right to defend yourself, which is what you did. The fact that it ended up outing her was on her. Her actions led to this as she started the whole thing. I'm sorry this happened but know that you didn't do anything wrong. Leave things at just correcting the record and if you can try to move on, though I know this likely stings quite a bit." -Silentowl08
"NTA. She lied about you cheating to do only one thing... gain some pity. She could have just as easily said you mutually split and left it there, but no... she decides to smear your name for who's benefit other than her own ego? She threw an unprovoked punch... whereas you merely told the truth." -Mellow-fella
"NTA. Look, 99.9% of the time I think that outing people is a completely unacceptable thing to do but the accusation of cheating does huge damage to your REPUTATION. You set the story straight. There was no point in lying about why you broke up, that's insane. She could easily have just said that it didn't work out and not elaborate." -xanif
While outing someone without their permission is not OK, and in many situations could be very dangerous for the outed person, trying to ruin someone's reputation after you broke up with them is also unacceptable.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*