When it comes to family finances, it's easy to get competitive over who provides more financial security.
But is there harm in claiming to make more than you do to impress others?
Redditor AITAGaslightingGF recently turned to the subReddit "Am I the A**hole" (AITA) to figure out if he was wrong for publicly pointing out his wife's lie.
"AITA for calling my wife out after she called herself the breadwinner?"
The original poster (OP) laid out the conflict.
"First of, I do not believe in the concept of breadwinners. They are an outdated term."
"I live in Victoria, and [the virus] is all but eradicated. There are very loose lockdowns if any. A couple of my friends made a small party to celebrate it."
"We were talking about how finances were absolutely f**ked now, and my wife casually mentions that she was a breadwinner. That's objectively false."
"Even this year, when I got let go for a month, I still made about 50% more than her. I wouldn't've cared if she said there were no breadwinners, but she did say an objectively incorrect thing."
"I just said 'Don't Breadwinners earn more than their partner? I don't think you do.'"
"Later, she said I totally embarrassed her. She said she made a little white lie to her friends a couple months ago and she wanted to keep it up."
"I don't think it's healthy to lie at the expense of others, but IDK."
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You're The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most agreed that the OP was in the right for calling out his wife.
"NTA - I mean you did kinda embarrass her but it's understandable considering she's lying and acting like it's not really a big deal by calling it a 'little white lie'."—jahnyftw
"I mean, you'd think she would either clear it with her partner before she brought it up or just...not bring it up."
"It's quite a gamble to assume you can blatantly lie in front of someone who knows the truth and that they wouldn't correct you. Even if it's your partner."—ellaphantzgerald
"One of my friends does this. She'll just blatantly lie about something, and those around her are just supposed to go with it."
"Sometimes it's small, random, pointless stuff — a lie about what she had for breakfast when she had breakfast with half the people there — but sometimes it's larger lies, like lying about having gone to law school 'for a couple semesters' to justify her opinion on something."
"There's a certain kind of confidence and arrogance inherently required to pull that kind of thing that I *almost* admire."—blackesthearted
"NTA: She embarrassed herself by lying."—OneMikeNation
"NTA - She admitted that she's been lying to her friends? Nice... That's a concern, dude."—HowardProject
For many, telling an innocent white lie is one thing—but when it comes at someone else's expense, it becomes problematic.
"But she was lying *about OP*. She was telling a lie about how she was *doing better than OP* to make herself look more impressive by comparison."
"It's pretty unreasonable of her to expect OP not to embarrass her by going along with her make him small so she can look big strategy."
"Did she care at all how he might feel about that? She didn't even give him a heads up let alone ask him if this would be okay."
"And spoiler: it's not okay. You shouldn't lie about your partner doing worse to look better. Come on."—TheHatOnTheCat
"I would say that everyone sucks but she was blatantly lying in front of your friends not hers, in that sense she embarrassed you and you embarrassed her right back. NTA.—ToxicDollhouse
"NTA. She said it to boost her ego and it's false. That's what makes her the AH."
"She's pretending for her little friends, which is very immature."—ripecantaloupe
"Falsely boosting her ego at the expense of her husband's reputation. Classy."—Revo63
Others wanted to know what, exactly, her original lie to her friends was.
"NTA. What you should be asking is what kind of lie involves saying you earn more than your partner and what light was she showing you in this lie?"
"This seems to go deeper than what she's saying. I'd ask exactly what this lie was."—MissDoneWithThisSh*t
"NTA. She was caught out in her little ongoing lie when she blurted it out in front of a group of friends. Doing that tossed the ball firmly into your court, and I'm afraid I would have set the record straight as well."
"Did you ever find out what the original lie was?"
"I would not have waited to talk to her about it in private. She threw it out there in full view, in my mind you had every right to correct it in the same manner. Hopefully it taught her a lesson she won't soon forget."—SurgRN4theWin
"I tell my wife that I'd most likely lie for her about a lot of things (noooo, X isn't pregnant? Yes I love the sweater thanks MIL. We're out of town that week, can't make your dinner party sorry!) but she needs to tell me the situation in advance!"
"I can't lie or cover up a secret if I don't know about it first!"—whitewallpaper76
"NTA. Being called out is a natural consequence of lying and if she had some ruse to maintain, she should've let you in on it before she went and opened her mouth to lie in front of you."
"I'd be concerned about why she was lying to them in the first place more than anything else."—minizookeeper
There were a select few who didn't completely let the OP off the hook, however.
"ESH. Yeah she lied but you didn't have to call her out publicly. That was not a nice thing to do."
"I have witnessed spats like this in public and neither party comes off well. It just makes everyone uncomfortable and makes people think that there are problems in the relationship."
"There is no 'win' here. For either of you."—Flubber1215
"Let it go. If you 'don't believe in breadwinners' then who cares what she says? You do care and you are TA."—ValPrism
Regardless of who is in the wrong here, hopefully the OP's wife will think twice before lying in front of the person she's lying about in the future.