I'd like to begin this story with a quick preface: never, ever should you eat less or limit your caloric intake because a partner tells you to, unless said partner is also a qualified doctor and is providing medical advice. Otherwise, eat the food, dump the person.
However, there is a caveat: if your partner is eating your grandmother out of house and home, perhaps it's time for a chat.
This is the predicament one man found himself in after his girlfriend took more than her fair share of food at a family dinner, despite knowing of his grandmother's financial woes.
Sharing his story anonymously to the Reddit forum 'Am I the Asshole', the man explained that his girlfriend's privileged upbringing has caused conflict in their relationship, as he grew up in poverty while she was raised in a financially stable household.
"It has been a point of friction in our relationship with her not understanding/grasping the level of poverty I and my family grew up with," he said.
"It is also relevant to this story that Ashley [the girlfriend] is a heavier person and very vocal advocate for body positivity, and will very assertively stand up to anyone fat shaming herself or others."
The man went on to explain that his grandmother, who is both "very proud" and "very broke", enjoys having the family over for dinner, despite often stretching her budget in order to host.
"She likes to have us over for dinner and is an excellent cook but financially she can't really afford it. She refuses to take any money from me or anyone else and won't let anyone bring food, saying it's her responsibility," the man said.
But when his grandmother hosted the couple for the first time, the man's girlfriend helped herself to seconds and thirds, piling her plate with "large portions", he said. He added that his family will typically stick to a single serving to ensure the grandmother has enough leftovers to get her through the rest of the week.
"So Ashley taking more meant my grandmother didn't eat for the next couple days," he said.
"After the dinner I explained this to Ashley and she was shocked. I tried to bring my grandmother food but she refused the 'charity' out of pride."
When they were invited over for dinner for a second time, the man said he tried to remind Ashley about their previous discussion and asked her to stick to a single portion - ensuring there would be enough leftovers for his grandmother to eat over the following days. To compensate, he said he made it clear they could go out for food after the dinner if Ashley was still hungry.
"Ashley got very angry at this and said 'she will NOT be shamed for her eating, she will NOT limit her food and NO ONE other than her decides when she's had enough'. She also said I was fat-shaming her.
"This whole ordeal has highlighted a lot of incompatibility issues and I don't know if the relationship is going to last, but I just want some other opinions on if I'm the AH [asshole].
"AITA [am I the asshole] for asking my girlfriend to limit her eating?"
In an update to his post, the man clarified that he hadn't thought to warn her about his grandmother's financial situation ahead of the first dinner.
"It hadn't occurred to me that someone would go to someone else's house and eat two days worth of food in a sitting," he deadpanned.
Members of the forum were swift to reassure the man that he was not the asshole in this situation, with many outraged by Ashley's response to his reasonable request.
"She could eat before or after. You are not shaming her. She just doesn't care about grandma. That's not a great quality," one said.
"If she doesn't care about an older lady who is being very kind and generous, then she should at least care that this is an important person to OP [the original poster]. Two very bad signs. It also sounds like she has some past fat-shaming issues that she is going to take out on people regardless of what their actual intention was," another observed.
"My grandmother is also a very proud lady who would not accept money or food. But she would accept a dinner invitation. Would your grandma accept if you invited her to your place or a restaurant to have a nice meal? You could put it as returning the favour and having family time," a third suggested.
"She doesn't seem to care about your grandma (who sounds like a wonderful person). She only cares about herself," a fourth agreed.
"As a big girl, I am all for body positivity and definitely don't agree with body shaming of any kind. That was not happening here."