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'AITA for refusing to lie about my job to impress my girlfriend’s parents?' UPDATED 3X

'AITA for refusing to lie about my job to impress my girlfriend’s parents?' UPDATED 3X


"AITA for refusing to lie about my job to impress my girlfriend’s parents?"

I (28M) have been dating my girlfriend, Sarah (26F), for about a year, and things have been going great between us. However, recently Sarah asked me to do something that’s made me very uncomfortable. We’re planning to meet her parents for the first time next week, and she asked me to lie about my job. I’m a graphic designer and I love what I do.

It’s a fulfilling career that allows me to be creative and work on a variety of interesting projects. But Sarah thinks that her parents will look down on my job because it’s not as high-paying or prestigious as some other professions.

Sarah comes from a family of professionals—her father is a lawyer and her mother is a doctor. She’s worried that they won’t take me seriously or approve of our relationship if they know what I really do. So, she asked me to tell them that I’m a lawyer.

She even went as far as to coach me on some legal jargon and gave me a brief background story to go along with the lie. I refused because I don't want to start our relationship with her parents based on a lie. I told her that if they can't accept me for who I am, then it's better they know the truth now rather than later.

Sarah got really upset and said that I was being stubborn and unreasonable. She thinks that I’m making this a bigger deal than it needs to be and that I’m not understanding how important her parents’ approval is to her. She’s been distant and cold since our argument, and it’s making me question whether I’m in the wrong here.

On one hand, I understand that she wants her parents to like me and support our relationship. But on the other hand, I feel like asking me to lie about something as fundamental as my job is crossing a line. It’s not just a white lie; it’s a significant part of who I am and what I do. So, AITA for refusing to lie about my job to impress my girlfriend’s parents?

The commenters had a lot to say in response.

RaddishSlaw wrote:

NTA. If her Dad is a Lawyer and you say you are a Lawyer, the first thing he will do on the following morning is look you up in the big book - the Bar Directory and Lawyer Finder and guess what, you aren't in it.

You are then either a liar or a fraud, neither which is going to impress him.

If you need to lie always lie with some element of truth. Think of the best Graphic Design and mention you were involved.

OP responded:

Sarah actually assured me that she would handle everything. She specifically mentioned that I should say I'm a corporate lawyer because her father is a criminal defense attorney. She insisted that her plan involved presenting me as a 'corporate law consultant,' emphasizing my role in visual branding for legal firms.

She thought this way, the chances of him probing too deeply or finding discrepancies would be minimized since our fields wouldn't overlap much.

Evilbred responded:

100% this. Any professional is going sus out someone pretending to be that profession in like 2 or 3 minutes of conversation. I feel law is one of those professions that this would be easiest. Honestly it's most silly she chose one of the professions her parents are. Why not choose accountant or something they aren't experts in the field of? This is like the most half baked idea ever.

Fun_Coat_4454 wrote:

So a parent is a lawyer and she thinks you can simply make up being a lawyer and they won’t sniff that out in less than ten minutes. NTA and whoof I don’t know id want to stick around.

sweetttyyy11 wrote:

NTA. Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to something as important as meeting your girlfriend's parents for the first time. It's better to be upfront about who you are and what you do, rather than risk being found out later.

Not long after posting, OP shared two updates.

Reading all these comments is making me second-guess everything, and it sucks. She's still my girlfriend, and I still love her, but now I'm starting to wonder if she really loves me back. This whole situation is making me feel really confused. I didn't even think it was that big of a deal before hearing what everyone has to say. Earlier, my only concern was the lying.

Now, after seeing around 500 people here saying things like she doesn't respect me, she's embarrassed and ashamed of me, she's a serial liar, she's insane, a fraud, manipulative, and deceitful, it feels like it goes much deeper than it looks.

I'm going to have a talk with her this evening. I still don't know how to approach this because she's already on edge, a bit hurt and distant, and I don't want to say something that will make this worse.

Even after all this, I still love her and, unlike what everyone is saying here, I won't just dump her after a year of a relationship without trying to talk it out first(I'll update about that later). It's been a good year together, and I owe it to both of us to at least try to figure this out.

Edit 2:
For everyone wondering why I haven't met her parents and it's been a year since we are together and questioning why they didn't ask about me earlier, the thing is Sarah is in low contact with her family and they are not very close.

They don't even know where she lives, just the city and the state. For those asking what she does, she has a job in marketing and makes half of what I make.

Ironically, her parents don't have a problem with that since they are more traditional and old-school. They believe it's a man's duty to get a house, pay for children, etc. Let me add that Sarah doesn't share the same thinking. Her being LC with her family is one of the reasons she says they won't find out and I should just lie to them.

The comments kept coming.

AnonBr0wser wrote:

Sounds to me like she’s already lied to her Parents and is now trying to rope you in - is it her parents who’ll look down on you or is she the one with the problem? What is her job? If she’s not willing to ‘defend’ her partner’s job to her parents, you should start to question your relationship.

You lie and then what a few years down the line? You say you’ve had a change of career? It’s a ridiculous suggestion and is totally unworkable long-term if she wants any kind of relationship with them. NTA, but your girlfriend is and possibly her parents are too.

Top-Bit85 wrote:

She is telling you that you are not good enough for her and her parents.

Pretending to be a lawyer is stupid. Pretending to be a lawyer to an actual lawyer is insane.


ETA: Just what profession is Sarah herself in, with such parents?

OP responded:

Yeah, it's definitely a tough spot. Her dad being a well-known criminal defense attorney makes it even more daunting to pull off a lie like that. Sarah's actually in marketing herself and makes about half of what I do.

InnerRadio7 wrote:

Nope, NTA, and Sarah needs to grow the eff up. It is not okay to ask your partner to lie for them to impress her parents. How about she impress her parents with her own career choices, her responsible decision making, and the confidence to accept that her parents may not approved of your career because you don’t hold a professional degree?

Sarah has obviously grown up with the understanding that her parents approval means that they are validating her life choices. Sorry, she’s over 25, she’s an adult and the only validation that matter is hers and yours. What does she think? Her parents don’t have access to the internet?

That her father the lawyer hasn’t already google you? Good grief, her plan is just so painfully idiotic. You have expressed your boundary. She doesn’t have to respect it, but you have to enforce it. It’s not okay that she has been cold and distant, she’s punishing you because you’re not doing what she says.

Ask to have a conversation. Tell her that you don’t appreciate being punished for having a perfectly reasonable boundary, and that it’s disrespectful of her to have even asked. It’s invalidating, and it’s manipulative. Fair warning, you may need to step back from this relationship. I count 3 solid red flags 🚩

Zombie_Eddy88 wrote:

Sounds like SHE is the one embarrassed by what you do. If she REALLY loved you, she wouldn’t gaf, honestly. This is a major red flag. Also, if her Dad’s a lawyer, he’s going to ask you what firm you work in and guess what he’s gonna do later? He’s going to start asking about you, and he WILL find out that you are not a lawyer, causing some tension later.

OP responded:

Sure, I get what you're saying. Sarah's supportive of my work as a graphic designer, but she's also worried about how her parents will see it. She feels like I'm not respecting her by refusing to go along with her plan, and it's really upsetting her.

Also, she did offer to handle the details and even suggested I pose as a different type of lawyer, like an "corporate lawyer" or something along those lines.

The next day, OP shared another update.

So, I finally confronted Sarah about everything, and it did not go well. I told her I felt she was embarrassed of me and ashamed of my job. She went absolutely ballistic, asking me who the hell was filling my head with this garbage.

I couldn’t tell her I posted about it on Reddit, so I said a friend made me realize it. She went even crazier, saying I betrayed her trust by sharing personal stuff with friends. I can only imagine how she’ll react when she finds out 312k people viewed this story.

She insisted I was being an AH and that if I wanted to meet her parents, I had to go along with her story. I refused, saying I wouldn’t lie to them and was fine with not meeting them at all. I told her she didn’t respect me or what I do and was ashamed of me. I even said if she wanted to be like this, maybe I didn’t want to be with her anymore. She started crying, calling me selfish and saying I didn’t know anything.

Then she dropped a bombshell. She told me the reason she’s in low contact with her parents is because they’re extremely controlling and manipulative. They have sky-high expectations, and even after she became an adult, they would threaten to stop paying for her college if she didn’t obey them.

Once she got her degree, she moved away, which pissed them off, and they cut her off and took her trust fund. She’s an only child, and her only chance of getting back in their good graces and getting her inheritance is to win them over. She told me that her parents would rather get buried with all their money than give it to her if she didn't win their approval.

Sarah even admitted she was going to lie about her job and my background too. She said her parents would think I’m a gold digger if they knew I wasn't rich and would never give her any money. She revealed she was going to lie about me coming from an old-money family that they couldn’t trace back.

Lying about my job wasn't enough—she said she had to lie about my background too because the job just ticked one box, and me being from an old-money family was just as important. She said she didn’t tell me this earlier because she thought I'd break up with her over this and she hoped she'd be able to convince me without revealing everything.

At this point, I didn’t know what to say. After reading all these comments, I wasn’t even sure if what she was saying was true anymore. I told her I didn’t care about the inheritance. If she and her parents can’t accept me for who I am, then maybe this isn’t right for me.

She started crying again, calling me selfishand saying she did all this for me and our future together. She envisioned a happy family, a home, children, and everything. I was really shaken, mad, and hurt, so I packed a few pairs of clothes and moved out to stay at a friend’s place. Now I have no idea what to do next.

The internet was deeply invested.

BlueGreen_1956 wrote:

What do you do next?

You forget about Sarah, block her and move on with your life. Sarah's mental problems are not something you want to deal with.

OP responded:

I still have a lot of stuff to deal with besides this. We share an apartment together, and all my stuff except a few pairs of clothes is there. I’ll have nowhere to go immediately, so I need time to figure this out. Plus, just walking away without a plan isn’t easy. I'm trying to navigate this mess carefully.

MrsMourningStar wrote:

NTA it’s real rich that she’s repeatedly calling YOU selfish when she’s the one that wants you to lie and make up this elaborate story about your family history just so SHE can get her trust fund back. Maybe her parents are controlling, maybe it’s more lies. Hard to know from someone so willing to say whatever it takes to get what she wants.

Also claiming she’s only doing this for your future is ridiculous. You both have good careers, you can have a family with a nice home and all the extra things in life without groveling for her parents. Especially because this will only be the beginning! If they truly are controlling like she says then she’s planning to exchange control over your lives for more money.

You don’t think they’ll want a say in things like where you buy a house? You already said they were upset she moved away. You don’t think they’ll demand a say in how your children are raised? And she’ll bow to them on everything and insult you and say you’re selfish if you don’t do what they say because MONEY is what is important to her.

Just think long and hard about whether or not this is the future you truly want. Money is nice but is it worth letting other people control your life and having to lie about who you are to make other people happy?

OP responded:

Yes, she said it’s not just about the trust fund but her parents' entire estate and inheritance. She is the heiress to that, but she said her parents are full of ego, pride etc. and, I quote, "when they die, they'll take the money to their grave rather than giving it to me, their only child!"

She’s been bombarding me with messages that we could use this money and that she'll get most of it when we get married because her parents agreed to give some of the money if she marries someone they approve of. She's even created some sort of fake documents for me and has been sending me pictures where everything but my picture is real.

She's texting me that if the reason why I don’t want to do this is because we might get caught, these documents will make sure we won't. I don’t know what exactly these documents are, so if someone can recognize such documents, leave a comment and I’ll DM you after blurring my face.

According to her, she texted, "See, after this, they can never suspect us in a million years and we will seem legit." I’m sort of leaving her on read because I don't want to ask her what exactly these documents are right now. But now I am sure I’ll have to break up with her because it seems like she has been planning this for months. She's really gone off the deep end.

Specialist-Leek-6927 wrote:

"I told her I felt she was embarrassed of me and ashamed of my job. She went absolutely ballistic, asking me who the hell was filling my head with this garbage."

Said the woman trying to convince you to lie about your job, this is Olympic level gaslighting.

EhxDx wrote:

Yeah time for you to move on. You are simply a tool for her to gain her inheritance nothing more nothing less. I couldn't for a second be with someone that was willing to go to those lengths to get money out her own family whom she doesn't like or get along with.

Nobody who loves is you going to use you as a tool for their personal gain at least not once you've made it clear you weren't comfortable to do so. Most normal people who have a family that disapproves of them and holds money over their head wants nothing to do with them or their money.

Sources: Reddit
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