Man Backed for Placing Padlock on Freezer to Keep Wife Out

Commenters supported a man who padlocked a freezer in his home and told his wife she could not use it after she filled the other freezer with frozen meals.

The anonymous man, known as u/BigDreamsSmallC**k, posted about the situation in Reddit's popular "Am I The A**hole" forum where it received more than 10,600 upvotes and 1,300 comments, some suggesting his wife had a hoarding disorder. The post can be found here.

What is a Hoarding Disorder?

The Mayo Clinic defines hoarding disorder as a "persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them," including clothes, food, and animals.

Research shows that food hoarding in particular can be a result of previous food insecurity due to experienced starvation, according to Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope Crystal Karges.

Man backed for putting padlock on freezer
Commenters wondered if the man's wife previously faced food insecurity and suggested she might be struggling with a hoarding disorder. AndreyPopov/iStock

Food-related anxiety is also common and should be treated and addressed by a professional to avoid disordered eating.

According to Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope Crystal Karges, individuals who grew up with food insecurities may experience food hoarding and disordered eating as a result of experiencing starvation.

Symptoms of Food Hoarding:

Individuals who've previously experienced food insecurity sometimes demonstrate survival strategies, including food hoarding. Other examples include:

  • Stealing or hiding food
  • Eating rapidly over a short period of time
  • Consuming large quantities of food, even to the point of vomiting
  • Storing or stashing food
  • Becoming upset or emotional if food is limited, taken away or if forced to share with others
  • Rigidity or anxiety surrounding food

'Am I The A**hole?'

In the post titled "AITA for throwing away the food my wife put in my freezer and then putting a padlock on it?" the man, 39, said he's been married to his wife, 32, for four years.

He said that although they usually get along, one issue in the marriage is that his wife fills the freezer full of food and leaves him zero space.

At first, I tried to solve this by buying the fridge with the biggest freezer we could find. I dropped nearly $4 grand on it.
Original Poster

"At first, I tried to solve this by buying the fridge with the biggest freezer we could find. I dropped nearly $4 grand on it," the post read. "She interpreted this as an invitation to buy more frozen food so she could play microwave dinner Tetris with the freezer."

Although the freezer is full, he said his wife continues to buy frozen food and somehow figures out a way to fit them in.

"The worst part is when I buy a frozen food or freeze something for meal prep, she asks me at least three to four times a day when I'm going to take it out of the freezer," the post read.

He added that she "nags" him until he removes his food from the freezer to make space for "something she won't be touching for six months."

Recently, the man purchased a deep freezer for his frozen food and placed it near the washing machine in the basement.

When his wife went downstairs to do laundry, she discovered the freezer and "excitedly" told him that the upstairs freezer is full and she can fit more food in it now.

I responded that under no circumstances is she to touch the freezer because it's mine.
Original Poster

"I responded that under no circumstances is she to touch the freezer because it's mine. Not a single ice cube should be put in there," the post read. "Then I told her to not even ask (because I knew she'd mention 3-4 times a day that she needs more freezer room). She sulked and tried to debate the issue, but I was able to placate her."

But when he went down to the freezer a few days later, he said it was nearly 70 percent full of microwave dinners. He added that the upstairs freezer was also completely full.

"I calmly went downstairs with a large garbage bag, threw everything into it, and then tossed it into our trash bin. Then I found a padlock I had lying around and locked it with a chain," the post read.

The man said his wife came home later that day with more frozen food and "flipped her lid" when she saw the lock on the freezer.

"She told me I was being controlling," the post read. "When I told her that there's no way she will ever use that freezer again, she threw something like a tantrum and left for her mom's house. She came back later that day and told me that I had 24 hours to unlock the freezer."

At the end of the post, he said that although he thinks his actions were "justifiable" his wife is still completely ignoring him.

Redditor Reactions

More than 1,300 users commented on the post, many backing the man's decision but also offering advice about his wife's potential hoarding disorder.

"I think your wife has some food insecurity issues she needs to work through with a licensed therapist," one user commented.

"NTA. Your wife sounds like she has some issues, maybe a food equivalent of a hoarder?" another user commented, receiving more than 14,000 upvotes.

The man replied to the comment saying he's suggested that to his wife and it "did not blow over well."

I always buy things that I think are like a really good food...but then I have an internal fear that soon I'll be out of this really good food, so I never eat it...I try to save it.
Reddit comment

"Your wife has an unhealthy obsession with frozen foods, she needs professional help. It's clear this is a compulsion on her part that needs to be dealt with," another user commented. "Also, you are entitled to have food in your home that you actually want to eat. If this is what you have to do to ensure you have that, then so be it."

"It's really common for people who grew up without food or without good food," another user wrote. "I always buy things that I think are like a really good food...but then I have an internal fear that soon I'll be out of this really good food, so I never eat it...I try to save it. Next thing I know, my cupboards, fridge, and freezer are all full of expired really good food."

Newsweek reached out to u/BigDreamsSmallC**k for comment.

In another viral Reddit post, users criticized a man for dismissing his girlfriend's eating disorder at a family dinner.

Another woman was backed for commenting on her sister-in-law's weight, and one woman was slammed for not letting her 8-year-old son eat a piece of birthday cake.

If you or someone else needs help, contact your doctor or the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at (800)-931-2237.

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.