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Man wants to break off engagement after fiancée's parents run criminal background check. AITA?

Man wants to break off engagement after fiancée's parents run criminal background check. AITA?

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"WIBTA if I broke off my engagement because my future in-laws want me to sit down with them and go over a criminal background check they ran on me?"

My fiancée and I both live in the Western US. We met in our senior year of college, and have been dating for the last few years. We're very much in love and our relationship has been incredible and she's unlike any other person that I've met before.

I proposed to her shortly before Christmas last year, and she immediately accepted. We haven't been able to plan the wedding yet due to finances, but that hasn't been a concern for either of us.

I'd met my fiancée 's parents a few times before proposing, and they seemed like very nice people. They were polite, had a clean home, and overall I didn't see any red flags. We took both my parents and hers out to lunch last weekend and told them the big news.

Everyone seemed very excited and it was a wonderful time. Today I go into work and I get a call from my fiancée's mother. She told me that before I was going to marry her daughter that she and her Husband were going to run a criminal background check on me, and to ask what afternoon I have free so that we can sit down together and talk about the results. This wasn't posed as a request.

I find this incredibly creepy. I've never had a criminal history (beyond a few traffic tickets, but I don't even know if those show up on a background check..), but this sounds like a humiliating and gross violation of my privacy.

I haven't talked to my fiancée about this, but even if she does back me on this I don't know what this says about their pattern of behavior in the future. Is this as creepy of a red flag as I think this is, or should I just accept it at face value as the grossest kind of Shovel Talk?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

dheffe01 said:

Before you break up... call your fiancée immediately and talk to her about her mothers request/demand and ask if she knew about it. Tell her you have nothing to hide, no criminal history, but that this is absolutely not going to happen.

Ask her how she would feel if your parents had made the same request about popping around for coffee and character critique. once you have her response you can take some time to work out if you want to be involved with her still.

puff1152 said:

Scare them worse by saying that you want to run credit checks on both the parents and fiancé to make sure they are compatible to your financial values. Credit checks can be very useful.

TarzanKitty said:

YWBTA. If you blindsided your fiancee by dumping her for something she might not even know anything about. Tell the future ILs that you would be happy to sit down with them. During this discussion. You are going to need copies of all of their financial records to insure that you won’t be saddled with supporting them in their retirement and/or to see what kind of inheritance your wife can be expecting.

esgamex said:

It concerns me that your first impulse is to break up with her because of her parents' order - which of course you should just refuse. Quite a lot if people do run background checks on partners these days before they date or as they get serious, but what's really weird to me is that they demanded that you sit down and discuss it with them.

My guess is that they did an internet search and someone with your name came up with something problematic. So talk with your fiancee first, not just about this ridiculous demand but about the fact that it's made you wary of a lifetime of interactions with them.

RNGinx3 said:

YWBTA if you broke up with your fiancee before talking to her about it. Give her a chance to prove herself. Sometimes, parents are just crazy. I found out (years) after the fact that my mother kept glasses in a plastic bag from the guys I'd bring home so she could "run their fingerprints through her FBI friend," when she was complaining that she wished she'd kept the glass that my now-husband used.

If your fiancee knows about it and is fine with it, this is a red flag to me. If she doesn't know and tells her parents it's absolutely not going to happen and sets boundaries, you've got yourself a keeper. Or you could get all four of your criminal background checks and go over them together: 1) it could actually be fun if it's not ganging up on just you.

(Fun fact: I found out my grandmother had an arrest record! She'd helped a struggling single mom load her groceries into her car because mom had her hands full with a baby. Lady turned out to be shop-lifting and told them my grandmother was her accomplice.)

2) If they have no problem sifting through your private background then they should have nothing to hide too, yeah? This will also make very clear that you are not going to let them steamroll you, which I think is a good lesson to set early on. Good luck.

lizzycupcake said:

YWBTA. This isn’t on your fiancé it’s her parents. Yes you should absolutely tell her what her parents are up to. Both of you should put your foot down and create boundaries.

ka1982 said:

NTA for having concerns but there’s two components here. Running a criminal background check is a public record search that can be done for little money — or honestly for free if her parents are lawyers or otherwise have Westlaw access. It’s not an insane precaution as sketchy folks/scammers tend to lie about things like criminal convictions and, contrary to a lot of the comments here, not the equivalent of bank statements as it’s public information.

The sit-down to discuss it is insane, and it’s indicative of boundary-stomping parents, and you need to have an actual conversation with your fiancée about just how involved her parents are going to be in your lives if you go forward.

Everyone agreed that running a background check was a bit of a creepy red flag, but felt that OP needs to discuss it with his future wife before taking any further action.

If he were to break up with her before talking about it with her, the verdict was: YTA. What's your advice for this couple?

Sources: Reddit
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