Aging is different for men and women. Personally, I think it’s a bit of a myth that men age better. It’s more like women’s youth is valued so highly that any sign of aging brings shame upon their household.
It’s a sick sad world, folks! We should all be allowed to age with dignity and still feel attractive, especially to our age-appropriate spouses.
That has not been possible for the wife of Redditor u/throwawayShallot9431, according to his own post titled, “AITA for telling my wife to stop crying about receiving a senior discount?”
The man says he’s 52, and his wife is 49. and they’ve been together for 25 years.
“She was absolutely gorgeous when I first met her,” he begins. Yikes. He continues:
When we got married, she looked quite a bit younger than me. However, after our first and second child (now 23 and 20) we started to look the same age but 6 years ago after having our third child, she’s been sent in a tailspin physically and mentally.
I noticed that what started happening was that when we’d do family outings with my half-sister (who’s 30) people would always assume that my half-sister and I were the parents of my now 6-year-old.
When my daughter or one of her cousins ( aged 23 to 33) would go to a school event or school drop up/ pickup they’d be mistaken for a mom and my wife for a grandma. Even when I’m there standing next to her.
This has made her bitter and neurotic about any perceived slights.
Could it be the way that you talk about her has been taking a toll, too? If my husband was making comments about how everyone thinks I’m a grandma and that he’s married to our daughter, it would definitely age my soul.
He tries to give more context by saying they have a cheap house in an affluent area, which means a lot of older men with younger babes.
At a certain point, his wife wanted to move somewhere else, but she’s gotten over it. He thought her feelings about being perceived as older had improved. Then this happened:
Then the other shoe drops when the two of us decide to go do some quick shopping. My wife went to pay for the stuff and then the clerk assumed she qualified for the senior discount.
My wife said blankly that she’s still in her forties and after paying for the stuff we walked to our car and she quickly got in, closed the door, and started bawling in the car.
I kind of laughed and said that if I were in her position I would have gladly just accepted the senior discount as again it’s not like money grows on trees for us.
His wife didn’t like that, sayings he was a “crone” and looked worst than the local grandmas. To be “helpful” her husband suggested that she “just looked tired in general” and that the clerk probably associates that with bad health and age. Then he told her to stop crying and stop thinking about it:
At the same time I was looking at her thinking why the clerk would overestimate her age by that much but I saw that she mostly just looked perpetually tired.
So I told her that I thought the clerk probably didn’t look that closely at her face but probably because she just looked tired in general she thought bad health= senior or something. I asked my wife to not cry and to not think about it too hard.
She started yelling at me asking how I could ask that of her when I just insulted her looks. I said I wasn’t insulting her looks, people of all ages could look tired and give off a certain impression that’s taken the wrong way and that younger just seem less tired for a distance.
AITA for trying to reason with my wife?
If you call that reasoning. If you wouldn’t tell someone they look tired as a compliment, then you know it’s an insult. Interestingly, the Reddit community on r/AITA has not ruled the OP as an a–hole, because they want more info.
Like, how does he usually talk to his wife? Does he compliment her? Ever? Is he helping out with this six-year-old?
But most people did think even with limited info, he’s in the wrong:
There were a few comments from the OP, where he admitted he wasn’t finding his wife attractive and that he told her to rub estrogen cream on her face:
If they do end up breaking it off over this, the OP might find that he isn’t as young looking as he thinks he is to the ladies out there under forty. And his ex-wife would probably be a lot less tired if she didn’t have to deal with this man.