Normally, I’d preface a recap of a Reddit /AmITheAsshole post with a spiel of my own, but this one has me too gobsmacked to be creative. The title alone says it all: “WIBTA for imposing a diet on my wife if she wants to travel with me?”
Unfortunately, the Original Poster appears to be totally serious. User @FitLibrarian9680 took to the infamous Subreddit for some unbiased opinions on his proposed plan. And opinions, he received.
For context, OP has been invited to teach ESL classes in Japan this fall. He plans to pursue the opportunity and “apply through the proper channels” for a work visa.
“I meet and in fact exceed the qualifications so I’m not worried about that,” he wrote, “but I know Japan has a specific culture that looks down upon overweight people. I’ve already started to lose weight (30lbs down in 3 months!) in preparation because I want to be accepted within what their society desires.”
There might be some internalized fatphobia at play here, but hey, the choices OP makes about his own body are his business. What Redditors took issue with was his plan for his wife, who “wants to come with [him]” but can only do so through a spousal visa.
“I want her to come with me, she wants to come with me, but I want to get her to lose weight with me, and I’m not sure if I’d be TA for imposing a diet if she’s to come with me,” he wrote. “To give [you] an idea, I’m currently 240lbs and 6’0″, she’s 260lbs and 5’9″.”
“I want to tell her if she can get to 200lbs by Christmas, I’ll let her go with me,” OP continued. “I have some rare control of the situation because I need to sign off on paperwork to allow her to declare me as spouse in her application.”
There is… truly so much to unpack here. First and foremost: It is never okay to “impose a diet” on your partner. In fact, imposing anything on someone you profess to love — even under the guise of protecting them — isn’t love. It’s controlling behavior. That’s true regardless of cultural differences.
In the comments, many AITA Redditors called out OP’s uncomfortable choice of words when describing his “rare control of the situation.”
“Gross gross gross. That and the ‘let her come with you’ quotes are just very telling about how he views his wife and what sort of relationship they have,” one commenter wrote.
“YTA — YIKES!” someone else opined. “This is really manipulative. Do you really think there are no overweight people in Japan? You don’t think you both will stick out anyway for, you know, not being Japanese?”
OP is right about one thing: Fat-shaming is a legitimate issue, and it can definitely be magnified when traveling. Still, that is no excuse to force your partner to lose weight so she can join you on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
“I mean, frankly, almost everywhere looks down upon fat people. It’s not right, and it’s horrible, but it’s true. OP is acting like they’re gonna burn her at the stake for being a little overweight,” one commenter opined. “Admittedly, I’ve never been to Japan, but this seems like a thinly veiled attempt to manipulate his wife into losing weight, as he’s the one looking down on her now that he’s shed a few pounds. I feel for her.”
“If you love her and care about her, you should want her to come to Japan with you to share this very cool life experience,” someone else wrote. “This is not a bargaining piece to [exert] control over her. If I were her, I’d be leaving you regardless.”
Another Redditor summed it up perfectly: “Seems like wife is soon gonna lose 240lbs and, unlike the 30lbs you lost, she ain’t gonna take those back. Of course YWBTA!”
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