A woman has been backed online for revealing to her husband’s friends that her father had in fact bought the couple’s home for them, as opposed to them purchasing it independently.
While the woman was worried that she had “embarrassed” her husband in front of his friends, she has received a surprising amount of support online from Reddit users who have validated her reason for sharing the truth.
“All of my husband’s friends are also my friends, and all my friends are also his friends,” the woman wrote online.
“I’ve know my best friend for 15 years, we’ve always been extremely close and lived together at one point. She’s literally part of my family, she comes to all of my family events, my siblings refer to her as their sister and she has just been extremely involved in my life for years,” she added, before going on to say that her husband’s close-knit group of friends also hangs out at the couple’s house often.
The woman went on to share that she has an “extremely wealthy” father who helps the couple out financially, and that he has been doing so for a long time.
The Redditor’s story then took a darker turn as she explained that her childhood best friend had recently been cheated on by one of her husband’s close friends.
“She’s completely heartbroken,” the woman said.
“Since they lived together my husband and I have agreed that it’s okay for her to stay with us until they work things out. She’s not really up to seeing him just yet,” she added.
A short while after the woman’s friend moved into the couple’s home, her husband began to feel irritated by the new arrangement. On one particular evening, the woman’s husband invited all his friends over to their home only to leave after seeing that his wife’s friend was in the living room. He returned soon afterwards with his friends, but they were “cold and rude” to her best friend all evening, the Redditor wrote.
Feeling that her husband has been treating her friend rudely during a difficult period in her life, the woman decided to take a stand against him.
According to the post, the man asked his wife, in front of both his friends and the wife’s best friend: “Does she always have to be here? I want to bring [a friend] here tonight”.
The woman responded: “If I want to bring my best friend into the house my dad paid for, I can”.
Since the heated conversation, the man has been giving his wife the “silent treatment” and the pair have fallen out.
What Is Stonewalling?
Giving someone the silent treatment, or stonewalling them, as it is more commonly referred to in the psychological world, can be described as an individual withdrawing from an interaction or closing themselves off emotionally due to feeling overwhelmed and blamed in a sensitive discussion. It is an avoidant coping mechanism.
“Rather than confronting the issue, someone who is stonewalling will be totally unresponsive, making evasive maneuver such as tuning out, turning away, acting busy, or engaging in obsessive behaviors,” writes the Gottman Institute, a relationship research organization, on its website.
According to the institute, stonewalling usually occurs when a person has begun to feel emotionally overwhelmed after being criticized. This criticism is usually voiced in a state of contempt, or makes the individual being criticized feel contempt towards the critical party. The future stonewaller will then typically become defensive due to feeling attacked, and proceed to stonewall if the other person has not become gentler with them.
“It takes time for the negativity created by the first three horsemen [criticism, contempt and defensiveness] to become overwhelming enough that stonewalling becomes an understandable ‘out,’ but when it does, it frequently becomes a habit,” the Gottman Institute writes.
Stonewalling can be eradicated from relationships if couples put conflict strategies into place or become more mindful of the way that they raise and communicate issues.
What Do the Comments Say?
Since it was shared to the social media platform on April 1 by Tricky_Blacksmith305, the post which can be seen here has been commented on by over 1,000 users, the majority of whom have expressed firm support for the woman.
“This discussion really should have been done in private, but your husband chose not only to do it in public, but in front of the person affected. You didn’t embarrass your husband in front of his friends, he did,” one user wrote under the post.
“From the contents of this post, I get the impression that he has a limited investment in this marriage,” another user added.
Why Would Someone Embarrass Their Significant Other?
While the woman made clear in her post that she had not intended to make her husband feel humiliated in front of his friends, some people do get a kick out of embarrassing their significant others in public.
Los Angeles-based family law expert Laura Wasser told Newsweek exactly why that happens.
“The reasons behind the behavior when one partner purposely embarrasses another in front of friends, relatives, and other people can vary, but often it stems from a combination of insecurity, a need for control, and miscommunication,” Wasser explained.
“Insecurity can play a significant role in this behavior, as the person embarrassing their partner may be seeking to boost their own self-esteem by belittling their partner. This can create a false sense of superiority, which can temporarily alleviate feelings of inadequacy,” she added.
Wasser went on to tell Newsweek that control can be a significant factor in why this pattern of behavior occurs, because embarrassing a partner can be a way to establish dominance in the relationship.
“By making the partner feel small or humiliated, the person exerting control may feel more powerful and secure in their position within the relationship,” said Wasser.
“Miscommunication can contribute to this behavior as well. Sometimes, a partner may not realize that their teasing or joking is genuinely hurtful to the other person. In these cases, open and honest dialogue about boundaries and feelings can help both partners understand each other’s perspectives and create a more respectful dynamic,” she added.
The family law expert advised that people who have a partner who tends to humiliate them address this behavior and work together towards cultivating a healthier and more supportive relationship.
“Couples counseling or individual therapy can be valuable tools to help navigate these challenges and create lasting change,” Wasser explained.
Have you noticed any red flags that made you end a relationship? Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.