This story is truly wild. A dad posted to Reddit's "Am I the A-hole?" because he's gotten into an argument with his wife over speaking Japanese in their home. It's a strange one, folks.
Here's the situation: OP and his wife have three kids. He's a quarter Japanese and lived there for seven years when he was a teenager. He also works in a job that requires he speak and understand Japanese, so he's fairly fluent.
A few years ago, his two older kids decided they wanted to take Japanese in school. He and his wife encouraged it, even though his wife doesn't speak the language at all. Since they've been studying Japanese, sometimes OP will practice with them at home.
They have simple conversations like, "How was your day? What did you have for lunch? Etc." He says their vocabulary skills aren't advanced enough to have deep, long conversations.
Apparently, his wife has become increasingly bothered by their Japanese exchanges because she's convinced they're talking about her. "We're not," he writes. "It's all very basic stuff."
"It has gotten to the point where she has instituted a house-wide ban on all Japanese because she thinks it's exclusionary to her and our youngest and bad for family unity," he writes. He obviously disagrees that having a short, simple conversation in Japanese with two of his kids each day is doing damage to their family unit.
She went on to say that "in the U.S. it's universally rude to have conversations of any length that not everyone can understand," which, yikes. That's some xenophobic trash right there!
Recently, while his wife was not home, he was having a short Japanese conversation with his kid and his youngest heard them and told his wife. She came home "apoplectic" and even threatened to cut off their older kids' tuition if they "insist on disrupting our family harmony."
He and his wife got into a huge fight over it, and now he's coming to Reddit because he's not sure if he could have handled it better.
Redditors heartily agreed that he is not to blame here and that his wife is "being ridiculous." "She sounds incredibly selfish and immature," one person wrote.
When I first read this, I too was horrified by his wife's behavior. How could she not see that her family members speaking Japanese is a good thing? If she felt left out, why not suggest making it a family activity? Why not try to learn a little along with her youngest kid?
But the outlandishness and the irrationality of her response leads me to believe something else may be going on here. She's got two teenagers. Maybe she's been dealing with tough teenager stuff. Maybe she's always the bad guy whereas dad is always the cool one.
I feel like there has to be more to this story that we're not privy to. If she was always this irrational, her husband wouldn't have thought to consult Reddit about it. And others agree. "This is such an extreme reaction that seems to come from some long-festering insecurity," one person wrote.
If I were this guy, I would try to have a calm, non-judgmental conversation with my wife and really try to understand where her insecurity is coming from. Chances are this isn't just about not being able to understand the language. There's something deeper here.