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Man Mystified That His Fiancé Is Ending Their Relationship 'Over A Sandwich'

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couple arguing in restaurant

Oftentimes things we see as downright petty end up being very revealing when placed in a wider context. Such is the case for a man on Reddit who is staring down the break-up of his engagement after making a seemingly minor — but very revealing — mistake.

His fiancé is considering ending their relationship over a sandwich, and it's left him mystified.

In the annals of hilariously bizarre reasons for ending a relationship, chucking your man because he brought you a tuna sandwich has to be up near the top of the heap — until you dig down deeper into the story, that is.

In his Reddit post, the 26-year-old British man revealed what he called the "absolutely absurd" situation that arose between him and his fiancé, who he's been with for three years and engaged to for nearly six months. 

It all began on an evening when his fiancé, an emergency room nurse, asked him to order dinner for them after a difficult shift at the hospital. So he went to the iconic UK bakery chain Gregg's — think a sort of British Panera — for buy-one-get-one-free Tuna Crunch Baguette sandwiches. This was, it turns out, the worst possible choice.

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He completely forgot that his fiancé is allergic to all types of fish and shellfish, and she was infuriated by the sandwich. 

"It was an honest mistake on my part," he writes, "but she flipped out." He tried to make amends by offering to cook her something else, but that did little to tamp down her anger. 

He chalked it up to her being stressed from work and from recovering from an illness, but then the conflict escalated. "Besides the tuna she was also upset that I couldn't recite her usual Greggs order by heart, or her order from another one of our regular takeaways even though she knew mine," he writes.

   

   

He chalked that up to the fact that "she has a better memory than I do because she needs it for her work," but suffice it to say his fiancé disagreed. "She was still mad the next day and left our flat to go stay with one of her mates."

His fiancé insists she's not ending their relationship over a sandwich but rather because him forgetting her allergy is a red flag. 

On its face, getting this upset over some takeout is petty and melodramatic. But there's more to this than just getting a sandwich order wrong — seafood allergies are often deadly for the people who have them. So understandably, his fiancé felt like his forgetting she couldn't eat tuna was a wider commentary on the state of their relationship.

"She says the sandwich is just a symptom," he writes, but he thinks that's "absurd," and his family have all rallied around him in agreement. 

   

   

But she and her family feel the opposite. "Our lease is up at the end of next month and she told me to go ahead without her if I want to stay in our flat," he writes. And it's left him bereft because he truly loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. 

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Many agreed with his fiancé that his sandwich mess-up was part of the common problem of men taking their girlfriends and wives for granted. 

Sure, it's just a sandwich, and everyone makes mistakes. But much like his fiancé, many on Reddit felt this was an incredibly revealing one. "When I read the title I immediately knew it was not about the sandwich," one commenter wrote. "It's never about the sandwich," another responded.

It's a lot like all those stories about men who buy their wives terrible Christmas gifts — or forget to buy them gifts at all. It reveals a certain level of selfishness that speaks to a whole laundry list of relationship imbalances.

   

   

Relationships in which men seem to know nothing about their female partners often go hand in hand with dynamics like so-called "weaponized incompetence," a lack of emotional intelligence, and arrangements in which women do most of the domestic, child-rearing and "emotional labor" while their male partners take those efforts for granted.

Or, to put it more directly, you can practically hear this man's fiancé saying, "I simply ask you to handle dinner for once and you bring me something that could kill me?!" 

And petty though it may seem to some, it's really not surprising that she's considering ending their relationship over a sandwich — anecdotally, therapists and lawyers say these kinds of imbalances are resulting in skyrocketing rates of divorce.

   

   

Still, everyone has momentary memory lapses — we're all human. But his lack of willingness to hear his fiancé out is revealing too. 

As one Reddit commenter bluntly put it, "The fact that he says over and over that it’s about the sandwich, even after she said it’s not about the actual sandwich, says everything you need to know about him… [he's] slow as molasses." Food for thought, no pun intended. 

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.