A woman getting a PhD found herself conflicted with her boyfriend's new job that entails helping landlords kick "troublesome" tenants out during the pandemic.
There were some harsh words exchanged and she decided to ultimately punish him by not making dinner.
"So I (25) have a boyfriend (24) and the two of us live together in a very nice flat. I make dinner for my boyfriend everyday."
"He is a lawyer and I'm doing a PhD so I guess I have more free time than he does hence the dinner making arrangement. (Also I do like cooking so it isn't that much of a chore)"
"So earlier this year he got a new job and at first I was thinking 'good on you.' The increased income was what allowed us to move into our current flat and he seemed really happy with the work he was doing."
But when she found out the details of the initial good news, the Original Poster (OP) was uncomfortable over the ethical nature of his job.
"Turns out he was mostly working with clients who were landlords to help them with 'troublesome' tenants. At first I would joke about him working for the bad guys but more and more often recently when he came home the stories he'd tell about what he was doing really did start to make him come across as the bad guy."
"So at some point I thought I better confront him about this - ask him if he really does think what he is doing is right and why he wants to keep doing it."
"The first time I try to talk him about it he tells me that everything he does is legal and he is protecting people's rights and all that and I just drop it for a time."
With the raging pandemic rendering both to work from home, the couple discussed their day while the OP was preparing dinner.
What he said made her finally snap.
"Then last week (we were at the time both working from home for hopefully obvious reasons) while I was making dinner he comes into the kitchen to have a chat with me - which is nice of him because I generally like his company."
"So I'm talking about the work that I've been doing that day (running simulations and making pretty graphs) and he talks about what he's been doing (helping landlords abuse their tenants) and I kind of snap ( hey, global events make us all a bit stressed right now) and tell him what he is doing is immoral and wrong and that he should find a different job."
thats not right GIF by mintmobile Giphy
The bickering escalated.
"This pisses him off and he starts calling me silly a lot of times silly girl, silly socialist, silly whatever else. This really pisses me off and at one point I say 'If you call me silly one more time you can forget about dinner' and this big grin creeps over his face and he says 'Don't be silly.'"
"So I stop making dinner and leave it all to him (he isn't amazing at cooking) and over the not particularly great meal he tells me that I have to make dinner because he has a real job and I'm just a silly student and he pays for a larger portion of the rent."
Her protest still stood and the OP held a grudge over the insult.
"I'm still refusing to make the dinner (though I'm still doing breakfast because he is hopeless at eggs). We haven't talked about work since and I think he resents the fact that I think his job is scummy and clearly he thinks I am in the wrong here. But am I really?"
"I don't know about all of you but for me being called silly during an argument is one of the most insultingly condescending things you can say especially to your girlfriend and even if I didn't think he job is immoral I would still be really angry at him for that."
There were no clear winners here, and the following Redditors saw that ESH (Everyone Sucks Here).
"ESH. Your BF is a condescending jerk who is working for 'the bad guys.' You suck for continuing to make him eggs and living comfortably off of the money he makes from being a bad guy."
"It's hypocritical of you to blow up on him for his job while you're enjoying the benefits of his job." – centuryblessings
"If you find your partner's job morally abhorrent, you shouldn't be with them, and if you don't respect your partner's opinions on what's morally abhorrent you also shouldn't be with them."
"Doesn't matter who's right about whether it's morally abhorrent." – min6char
Some needed more clarification to determine who was being the a**hole considering the description of "troublesome" tenants was unclear.
For me, the definition of "troublesome" determines whether it's NTA or YTA.
"If she's constantly belittling her boyfriend for kicking people out who are a year behind on rent or ruining the properties but blows up when he gives her sh*t, then she's TA."
"If her boyfriend is helping to kick out tenants who are complaining about or withholding rent because of a leaking waste pipe then she's NTA." – djternan
"Toublesome can mean anything.... The guy who calls for repairs then screams when maintenance goes to do them. The tenant who won't leash their dog, the one calling in unreasonable noise complaints 60 times a month or people with legitimate well behaved ESA, the person demanding repairs in a timely manner, the person protected from a rent increase ect."
"Or even grey area people are the ones who call incessantly for minor repairs ( things like a squeaky door) or who are snippy with the staff." – shhh_its_me
There are ambiguities in law.
"You also have to remember he's a lawyer. Whatever you think of landlords and lawyers, there's a certain amount of morality expected in legalities."
"Legal doesn't always mean moral, but I kind of doubt that this guy is throwing baby cribs out in the streets and swimming Scrooge McDuck style in the money he makes off sh**ty evictions. – MammothStandard7
scrooge mcduck pool GIF Giphy
And there is nothing silly about silly.
"If the work is morally abhorrent have a discussion first. I used to work for a bad employer that has been on the federal sh*t list for a while and has a few regulations written because of the sh*t they did."
"I didn't like being associated with them but they were the only ones hiring entry-level positions that actually were for entry level people in my field."
"But the dismissing and calling her silly? That honestly is one of the few things that would make me end things then and there. It's so disrespectful."
"I say ESH her mainly for picking a fight over his job that quite frankly isn't going to change in the near future. Him for being disrespectful." – ansteve1
But because she instigated the argument, this Redditor saw her as YTA (You're the A**hole).
"If your partner constantly nagged you for what you do when you think it's perfectly fine, don't you think that would get annoying? Why can't you call them silly if they call you morally corrupt?"
"She is the one profiting from his job that she finds corrupt. If he has no problem with it and it's legal, shouldn't it be YTA?"
"She is the one breaking her own morals and complaining to him about it to the point of him snapping." – valmeister
The OP has no case.
"For real. 100% agree. He's a lawyer. His job is to advise his clients on their rights/the law, represent them in court, make legal arguments, ensure the trial is fair, etc."
"Lawyers represent morally abhorrent people all the time. As he said, everything he is doing is within the confines of the law."
"It's very dry and there's no room for emotional arguments. The law is not always morally right. The law is the law and his job is to understand that. That doesn't mean he agrees with whatever the person is doing/has done."
"To add, not every tenant is some poor victim like OP is implying. Some tenants f'king suck."
"It sounds like OP nags him about his work constantly, and how he's working for 'the bad guys.' When you have the most basic understanding of the law and what lawyers do, her arguments are silly. She would make a terrible lawyer." – devil_girl_from_mars
She responded to the comments that saw her in the wrong and set out to "make things right again."
She maintained her love for him despite their conflicting views and also emphasized she was not staying in the relationship because of his higher income.
"To answer some questions some of you have we live in the UK and have been together for three years at this point. We were living together for long before he had this job or before he had any job."
"He does currently contribute more to the rent because it was his idea to upgrade to a new flat but I still contribute and I'm not just leeching off him."
"We've been together for a long time and I really like him and I'm not just sticking with him for the money. Yes I think what he is doing is immoral and as I tried to explain I've tried to bring this up in light ways before we got to this point. I don't want things to go downhill because I really do love him."
The OP continued with a second update.
"He is a solicitor who completed his LPC last year. This is the UK so I guess we have young lawyers sorry for any confusion this caused."
Lastly, in response to the comments accusing her of her ignorance of the law, she set the record straight.
"People keep saying that he is defending criminals, unless you believe that landlords are criminals he is not defending anyone. He consults with landlords on how to evict their tenants."
"The reason I snapped was when he was talking about his interactions with a landlord during the lockdown. Stop saying I don't understand how the law works or that even criminals deserve a defense, that's not a relevant."
"I wouldn't have posted on AITA if I didn't think I might be TA. I'm probably going to try and talk to him about this after breakfast."
Looks like food is on the table again.
After all, breakfast is always a good place to start.