“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing, after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” ~Mark Twain
Having a sense of humor is vital in any relationship, from friendship and romance to marriage and relations at the workplace.
According to Big Think, “90% of men and 81% of women report that a sense of humor is the most important quality in a partner. It’s a crucial quality for leaders, and it’s even been shown to improve cancer treatments.”
But, mind you, experts say that there are 4 types of humor:
- Affiliative. Humor that’s intended to enhance social bonds.
- Self-enhancing. This is having a humorous view of life, something we often read about in magazines.
- Aggressive. Humor that’s centered on the mockery of other people.
- Self-defeating. This is a case of an individual motivating others to make a joke out of him.
Well, in this story, it’s a case of aggressive humor for which the husband of the Original Poster was kicked out of a New Year’s Eve celebration. And, of course, this woman naturally seethed with anger and begrudged her parents, who were the hosts of the party.
With the username u/ThrowRAhusband2, she shared this story with the AITA community on Reddit’s r/AmItheA–hole forum: “I’ve been married to my 2nd Husband ‘Mike’ for 4 years now. He’s a jokester and loves to crack jokes all the time. He especially likes to joke with my brother ‘Ethan’ and his wife. Ethan used to be okay with it til he started complaining about Mike taking it too far with his jokes. Some context about Ethan. He and his wife couldn’t have kids, so they adopted a boy, ‘Joey,’ 2 years ago. Mike has been making silly, lighthearted jokes involving Joey’s bio parents as a way to mess with Ethan and his wife. I already talked to Mike, and I tell you that he 100% means no harm and he was just trying to get them to react.”
Now, this couple really considers the husband’s joke innocent and harmless. However, what happened next was disastrous.
It was New Year’s Eve, and OP’s parents were very happy to welcome all the members of their extended family, and that included Joey, along with his adoptive parents. Everyone was in a great mood, but that was until OP’s husband started telling jokes again.
As OP wrote, “While we were eating dinner, Mike decided to tell a knock-knock joke to Ethan. He said ‘Knock knock…’ Ethan laughed and said, ‘Who’s there?’ Mike replied, ‘Joey’s bio parents,’ then he burst out laughing. Silence took over, and Ethan’s facial expression changed. His wife called Mike an ‘idiot,’ to which Mike replied with, ‘Hey…Relax, it was just a joke.’ An argument ensued, and dinner was paused. My parents suddenly told Mike to leave, which I thought was too harsh. I tried to speak to them and get them to calm down, but mom insisted that Mike leave.”
And so, they left. But OP’s husband was accusing everyone in the party of overreacting, and OP was siding with him. Later, she tried calling up her mom, who told her frankly that her husband ruined the party due to his inappropriate joke. But OP kept defending her husband and even told her mom that it was she and her dad who ruined the celebration by kicking Mike out. In anger, her mom called OP delusional.
Since then, they never talked to one another again. As for Ethan, who was deeply hurt for his adopted son, it’s a wonder that OP couldn’t understand why he refuses to speak to her.
As for the AITA members, they were dragging both husband and wife.
CertainCertainties commented, “YTA. Your husband likes to hurt people. It’s nothing to do with jokes.”
Another award-winning comment from HerefsAndrew says, “‘Hey, it’s just a joke is not a get-out from everything. No one is obliged to find something funny just because you do, and to insist that they should is bullying, no more, no less. Mike’s ‘jokes’ are unpleasant and not remotely funny, and I speak as someone with a very sick sense of humor indeed. He’s an AH, and OP is another one for enabling him.”
S nugget of wisdom from Splatterfilm says, “Probably makes little Joey uncomfortable too. Comments like that are so Othering. OP’s parents kicked Mike out to protect their grandson, as is correct and proper.”
And another eye-opener from Whiteroses7252012: “’It’s just a joke’ is a cloaking mechanism so an a–hole can do a–hole things. I have a pretty dry sense of humor that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I learned years ago to read the damn room. If everyone doesn’t laugh, the ‘joke’ didn’t land, and you move the hell on. Unless you’re an AH who’s just trying to be an AH. ‘I tried contacting Ethan but no response,’ because this was the last straw. If someone was using one of my children as a source of ‘humor,’ especially an adult who should know better, that would be the last time they interacted with my family. End of.”
And that’s the perfect example of aggressive humor.Whizzco