There's nothing worse than having a significant other who won't celebrate your small victories in life.
After working hard at her low-paying job, things finally turned around for Redditor "gimmiekimchi" when she got the respectable position she applied for with a much higher salary.
In addition, the Original Poster (OP) was excited about more money flowing into her bank account after earning overtime in addition to receiving a job bonus and the government-approved stimulus check.
However, her boyfriend – who was now making significantly less – felt emasculated.
The OP asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for making more money than her boyfriend.
"I (30s) was working a really sh*tty position. I hated my job so bad I was planning quitting my job at the end of March."
"Luckily sometime before March there was a position that had been opened in my company that I jumped the gun on and applied for and was able to nab the position."
"My new position when compared to my old one, is like night and day. It's unbelievable to me that I actually still work for the same company."
She was loving the new job.
"When I used to do the work of 4 people before and was severely underpaid, now I get to pace myself and really focus on one thing at a time and am compensated nicely for it."
"I feel very blessed and extremely happy because I was on the brink of losing my mind. Not to mention the management I was under before was a little....out of touch with what the employees had to endure and I felt that job took away some of my dignity."
There was an abundance of good news.
"Anyway, I was recently informed I would have to work additional OT to help with the influx of loans provided by the government. To top it off I got a bonus recently, on top of my raise, plus the OT and the stimulus check means I have had more money in my pocket than I have had in the last 2 years."
"I was really struggling before all of this happened and had to do things on the side just to get by."
Unfortunately, things were not as fortuitous for her boyfriend.
"My partner recently got his hours cut at his job and we are not certain if he will have a job at the end of the month. prior to this, he was having a lot financial trouble."
Due to the current crisis resulting in thousands of job losses, the OP kept news of her current position on the down low.
"I get that most people, if not all, are currently up in arms with everything going on right now and I really feel for people, I do. So that is why I haven't shared this information with ANYONE."
"No friends, no extended family, etc. Only one friend and my coworkers (obviously) know about my promotion but not about the bonus, OT, etc. I feel that would be bragging and kicking people when they are down and that is so not my style."
She did hope she could share this news with her boyfriend, however, but unfortunately, that did not get the reaction she had hoped.
"When I got the news I would be working overtime, my bf got upset with me that I was being insensitive to him about how good I have it now and that I have all this money."
"I feel really alone here in not being able to share my good news with anyone, and I thought he would be happy for me considering how severely unhappy I was prior to getting this position."
"But the joy literally got sucked out of me and I can't even buy something nice for myself (was thinking of purchasing a camera and saving the rest of my money + paying off some debt and saving the rest for a rainy day) without seeming like an Insensitive a**hole."
"So reddit, AITA?"
One Redditor's response spoke for many:
"NTA (Not the A**hole). You worked hard and deserve your promotion, and you absolutely deserve to feel happy about it. Congratulations, by the way!"
"OP, are you a woman? I only ask because often this is a gendered issue where men feel emasculated when 'their' woman makes more than them."
"You need to be sympathetic to your partner, but it sounds like you have been. Your partner ought to be sharing your successes with you! He should by celebrating your success as if it's his own! That's how long-tern partners act to each other."
"Buy yourself the nice things and think about if your partner is behaving irrationality due to the unusual circumstances and doesn't usually act like this, or if he has a tendency to undervalue you and has a need to be better than you. Only one of those is acceptable." – KittyScholar
The OP confirmed her gender and agreed that successes should be shared.
"Thank you so much! Yes I am a woman. I get the feeling he might feel that way because he has mentioned in the past that he wishes he could provide more for me."
"But yes I think this success is also his success. Because of my income and my recent raise I took on the entirety of a large monthly payment we both have."
"Just sucks he doesn't see it that way and feels attacked for opportunities that are presenting themselves to me."
This Redditor believes the existence of financial control in a relationship is unhealthy.
"It's great that your partner wants to provide for you, but less great that he seems to prefer you not providing for yourself. Perhaps it's not what he's thinking, but it's often the first red flag, because it makes you dependent on him."
"I, personally, think financial control (or desires for it) are just...disquieting. Maybe worth a discussion. That's ultimately your final say based on the context of your relationship, though."
"Understand the difference between being sensitive to his possible insecurities about his lowered income and the fact that you're allowed to be proud for succeeding. You shouldn't have to pretend you aren't doing well in your job and performing overtime." – KittyScholar
The thread sparked a discussion on the socialized perception of emasculation.
"Honestly, the concept of emasculation here is already concerning."
"It's one thing to feel embarrassed or insecure about earning less, or to worry about whether you're contributing enough - but feeling 'emasculated' implies that he thinks contributing to their shared finances should be a gendered thing, and that her earning more displaces him from a role that he 'ought to' have as the man."
"Of course, this is unfortunately still very much something society pushes onto us, and we can't always help the kind of cultural baggage and insecurities we inherit and should be able to talk about them (while recognising that they are our own insecurities and not the fault of our partners for earning too much)."
"But feeling 'emasculated' because your partner earns more than you is not an innocuous byproduct of stressful times - it's a sign of deeper unhealthy beliefs that can be concerning." – pm_me_pm_speeches
"Emasculated is a tricky term. Because it can either be about a man thinking he should be the bread winner in the household, while it can also simply be traditional societal norms having an impact on our behavior and thought processes, something completely normal."
"The first one is a red flag. The second one is very complex. Emasculated might not be even the right term here. While OP's partner is male, the most basic stressor could be the lack of ability to provide for himself (along with OP)."
"While emasculation relies on the male gender to relay its interpretation, this situation could rely entirely on the lack of dignity of a non-gendered adult, as this adult feel incapable of properly contributing to their household during this time."
"Unable to finance themselves, unable to house themselves, unable to buy food for themselves. And if it's that scenario, emasculation is not the right term, but it's the only term that comes to mind."
"As OP's partner could very well feel like he's not meeting societal norms of an adult, overwhelmed by current events, and unable to be financially stable."
"That's not necessarily tied to male norms, but in the modern world, such outlooks could impact any adults dignity.
"And while we don't know his thought process, it's quick to jump the gun and call him misogynistic because he's could losing confidence in himself." – DerpyMcYerp
This Redditor is one of many who've been dealt major blows due to the pandemic but never lost sight of supporting others who are more fortunate.
"You are NTA."
"I got hit hard by this pandemic. (Not as hard as some people I know, but still.) I'd already handed in my notice at my old job (and been replaced), because I had an offer for my dream job, where I was due to start this month. Was."
"The job offer got rescinded. Last month I was planning finally moving out, now I'm still stuck with my parents and unemployed. A cushy set-up, sure, but my dreams have just gone to pieces."
"So I do know how hard it is when things are going badly for you and other people in your life seem to have everything going right."
"But when a family member called with news of their engagement, I congratulated them and didn't sh*t all over it just because things aren't going well for me.
"I know it must be tough for him, but that shouldn't stop him being happy for you." – glitterswirl