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Wife refuses to miss work to pretend to be housewife for traditional in-laws, husband considers divorce. AITA?

Wife refuses to miss work to pretend to be housewife for traditional in-laws, husband considers divorce. AITA?


"I broke a promise with my husband and I think he wants to divorce me. AITA?"


For background: I (24 F) am not Nigerian, my husband (27 M) is. My husband comes from a strict traditional family, I do not. My husband and I don't have a "traditional" marriage and we are both fine with this.

I have a much bigger salary than my husband, this allows us to live a wealthy lifestyle that we could not afford with just his job. I also don't really enjoy cooking or cleaning, he does most of it happily. We also don't want children even though his family is pressing us about when I will be pregnant.

Before my husband and I got married, he made me promise to pretend to be a traditional housewife only when I'm around his parents so we can marry. Because I was not Nigerian, I was afraid his parents would not let us marry at all but when I told them I want to marry their son so I can take care of him, cook, clean, and nurture his children they agreed.

Keeping this promise was easy. We only saw his parents 2-3 times a year and we would mostly visit their home. His parents don't know I work and they think my husbands job provides us with our lifestyle.

Recently we had a scheduled 5 day visit to his parents where we would stay at their house. I took off work like I usually do for these visits and practiced cooking Nigerian dishes and being the perfect housewife.

A few days before we went to their house, my mother in law called us saying she was ill. Nothing serious, just the common cold, but she is very dramatic and said we should not come because she will get us sick and to reschedule the visit. We rescheduled for two weeks later.

This would be fine if I did not have a work conference. I was chosen to attend a leadership conference by my work and this was a huge deal to me. I would be gone for two days. I cannot express how big this was to me and my husband was very happy for me. I found out about the conference months in advance and I did not want to miss it.

I told my husband that he would have to reschedule with his parents because I will not be missing this conference for anything. He said his parents wouldn't let us reschedule and I will just have to miss "my thing". This made me very upset because it was a huge honor and I have been excited about it for months.

He reminded me of my promise and how I will have to miss it. I told him no way and went to the conference then to his parents house and I told them I was visiting my mom who wasn't feeling well.

His patents were upset at me because apparently my (imaginary) sick mom can wait and my husband needs to control his wife more. We returned home and he was extremely upset at me saying I broke our promise.

Later, I heard him talking on the phone to his brother in Hausa saying that he should never have married me and should have married who his parents picked for him and said that he is considering divorce, though he never said any of this to me. What should I do?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


NTA. What he was asking was above and beyond your initial agreement. He could have just said you were sick if he wanted to keep up the ruse.


Such a simple solution. But not for a simple person like husband.

If OP has half a brain--no children.

If OP has a full brain: Move on.


Tell your husband to grow some. If he gets divorced, he's going to have to explain to his parents why his lifestyle went to complete garbage after the divorce.

The OP responded here:


Thank you for the reply. Very valid point right here. I am not a lawyer and I fear going to one because then it sounds like this is actually happening, we never signed a prenup so will he take half of my money??? Sorry for asking legal advice.


You’d most likely split half of your marital asset but stop asking here and talk to a lawyer asap.


NTA. But you are the asshole if you don’t consider leaving him. You were wrong to accept this arrangement in the first place. Love makes us stupid, I get that, but this is beyond just a little white lie.

This is the erasing of your success and dreams. If he said that to his brother, protect yourself and lawyer up. Get out of this shizzshow before it eats you alive. This was never going to work long term. Lies are always uncovered, especially ones of this magnitude. You have to keep stacking lie upon lie until you can’t keep them straight.

Do you want to live your whole life in a lie like this? That lie could shatter at any moment. Can you spend your life pretending to be someone you aren’t to appease people who will never accept you? And when the inevitable happens, no children, what lie can you cover that up with?

They’re never going to approve of you. And your husband doesn’t approve of you either if he’s asking you to miss significant career opportunities to appease his family. You’ve sunk years into this silliness; don’t waste even more.


NTA. I don't see your marriage working, with age he will become more and more like his parents. Also what if you have kids, will they have to lie too? What kind of values you will be teaching them.

His parents are selfish and he is an enabler. Girl you should be the one thinking of divorce, to quote the movie crazy rich a Asians, "it's not my job to make you feel like a man, i can't make you feel something you are not."

I bet you in the future, he may even take a second Nigerian wife in secret. Girl wake up he is dimming your light. Deep down he is like his parents, it will get worst with age. Get out before you have kids and waste your youth on him.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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