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Woman calls off wedding because fiancé isn't 'traditional' enough. AITA? UPDATED

Woman calls off wedding because fiancé isn't 'traditional' enough. AITA? UPDATED


"AITA for breaking off my engagement because my fiancé isn't traditional enough?"

A little background, I (26f) come from a relatively traditional Asian family. My father owns a rice wine brewery and my mother helps him with it. Even though I said my family is pretty much conservative, from what I've seen growing up, my father never told my mother to do all the chores, and he helps her with it.

My father always says that that he couldn't provide for the family alone and she has to work, that's why he never expects her to do everything in the house. Just like how they share the responsibilities to earn for our family, they also share responsibilities taking care of the household.

Now, for my fiance (29m). We met on social media, he's an American who's currently working in my country. We've been dating for 3 years and we've been engaged for 5 months. He always tell me he's looking for a traditional woman and wants to date with marriage in mind. He said that women who are able to take care of the household and child rearing are admirable, and I always agreed without much thought because that's indeed an incredible feat. Right?

He's working in a small university and I'm currently working in hospital. We saved enough to buy a house with a little bit of the help of my parents, but we haven't moved in together (you know, Asian parents.) But anyway, on my father's birthday last week, we talked about marriage once again. He doesn't think his income alone would be enough after our marriage and it's giving him insecurities.

I suggested that I keep working after marriage and that's not a problem because we'd be partners. My father also offered that we take over his brewery and while I found the idea lovely, my fiance on the other hand did seem hesitant about it, but he agreed that I should keep my job.

That was where the first problem started, I told him that since I have to work, then I expect he'll help with the household chores later. After I said that, he suddenly got irritated, he said that he had been telling me he's looking for a traditional woman and that now he had been "catfished" since I don't want to take care of every house chore because I'd still work anyway.

Whenever he said he's looking for traditional spouse I always thought that he'd also be a traditional spouse a.k.a being sole provider so I can focus on taking care of the house and children if we ever have any. But when I told him that, he said I'm a gold digger and materialistic like every other woman, even when I never once asked him to be sole provider. He brought that up first.

Mind you, I didn't even let him spend alone whenever we go out on a date (e.g. he paid dinner, I paid for coffee and movie) even my father willingly offered his brewery if we wanted to take care of it as a means to provide ourselves. So where's the gold I should've been digging here?

That was when I actually put the ring down and tell him that I want to break up, I told him HE'S not traditional enough if he wants fully traditional wife. I didn't want to deal with someone who could easily call me a gold digger because I want to share the chores (that hasn't even happened yet) in front of my parents. I can't help but think if he could easily said what he said in front of my parents when we haven't married yet, then he could be saying something worse if we're married and alone.

I went home alone and he texted me saying he was sorry and he didn't mean what he said. He asked to meet but I don't feel like it. However, when I told my friends most of them told me I was a bit too emotional, hasty and impulsive. That I might look like an ahole because I don't even want to meet him. His mother now trying to talk me out of it and that I'm too old to act like this and it's the culture barrier that lead us to this point. So, here I am, trying to look for a new perspective. AITA?

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

2Whom_it_May_Concern said:

Lmao. He wants a live-in maid/ servant that he can have sex with. He wants an indentured servant, not a partner. He wants to have his cake and eat it too. He is showing his true colors here.

He wants you to do 100% of the domestic labor and work because he cannot finance this “traditional” life he wants. He is a chump and likely a red-pilled misogynist. He wants a trad wife but he isn't going to be a trad husband. He's an idiot. NTA.

cassowary32 said:

NTA. It's funny when a guy would want a "traditional" wife, but brings nothing to the table.

Idonotgiveacrap said:

NTA. He's the typical guy who likes traditional roles when it's convenient for him: You sweeping the floors while he rests his a$s watching TV, but traditional goes out the window when it comes to providing for the household. can't be a gold digger when his salary isn't even enough to hold up his side of the deal, I mean, this guy is pathetic.

Knittingfairy09113 said:

NTA. Good for you realizing this wouldn't be an equitable split at all. If you haven't heard of Passport Bros, look up the concept. I wouldn't be surprised if your ex falls into that mindset.

Hungry_Composer644 said:

He called you a materialistic gold-digger who catfished him — in front of your parents? You are definitely NTA. And I think you’re right to worry that much worse would be coming your way behind closed doors. If you do decide to keep him in your life, please proceed with caution. And his mother is wrong — This isn’t a cultural barrier. Her son is a walking red flag.

Agreeable-Peanut-457 said:

NTA. If the dude wants a trad wife, he needs to be 100% sole provider to fill that trad husband role. That's only fair. Just be glad you realized how he is before getting married.


First of all, I want to thank everyone who kindly replied and messaged me the past week, I truly am grateful for all the encouragement I received from everyone. It really warms my heart in amidst of all this mess.

I want to admit that I, too, ignored a quite number of red flags he displayed in the past years, brushing it off as difference in our culture and upbringing. I thought I was being open minded and accomodating not knowing that I should've opened a deeper conversation regarding what I want if I were to deepen our relationship. Many people kindly gave me praises in my previous post but I feel rather undeserving to receive them because I also did so many stupid things that got me here.

Okay, now, to the real update: Last night I had a dinner with him alongside with my father after much thought and input I received. Long story short, he still didn't want to end our relationship, he apologized, saying he misspoke and wanted to fix his mistake. He said it was because he was "too comfortable" with me since I'm not a confrontational person and I did help quite a lot with his chores (bringing side dishes, help clean up his place every now and then, etc), so he thought I'll always be accomodating what he wants.

I also apologized that I've never really brought this kind of topic seriously and not making sure we were on a same page whenever we did discuss this type of topic. He agreed that I should've told him before because that way it would never got to this point and then keep bringing up my bad communication. I know it's my fault too but it didn't feel good at all hearing that from him.

Even if he had admitted his faults and never spoke badly to me before except for that one time, I still can't shake off my distrust of him. I don't know why but what happened last week is like an instant feeling repellant. So, I returned the ring he gave and told him I'll return more than half of the amount we used to buy our house.

He initially refused the money, saying he wants to keep trying to win back my trust and me to keep in contact with him but this morning he said I can transfer his money because marriage is not really happening now and tried to prevent me to sell the house nor tell our mutual friends that marriage is off the table...

So, I just updated almost all of my groupchats that now I'm single and here to tell everyone I'm single because my now ex fiance got a red flag so big, China would be crying with envy. I feel like an ahole to be honest because it seems like my feeling for him was that shallow all along but maybe reality hasn't hit me yet but that's that.

Here's what top commenters had to say after the update:

2Whom_it_May_Concern said:

Good for you. All these men who want traditional wives without being traditional husbands are ridiculous. They want you to do 100% of the domestic labor and childcare while also working while they only want to work outside the house. How lazy and entitled can you be?! If anyone is a gold digger it's him. Good riddance.

No_Fee_161 said:

Your ex is trying to make you feel bad when he's the one utterly lacking in common sense. Wants a traditional woman, but he can't be a traditional man. Accuses you of being a gold digger, but he has no gold to dig. Make it make sense. NTA.

DawnShakhar said:

NTA. Don't blame yourself! We all see what we want to see when we are in love, and have to correct ourselves when the first flush of "in-love" calms down. That is exactly why columnists advise not to make life-changing decisions during the first year of courtship, or even for two years. You loved your fiance, you saw him through rose-colored glasses, now you are seeing the reality and acting on it. Good for you.

OrangyOgre said:

NTA pls if he wants a stay home wife then he has to pull his own weight in terms of financial earning power. Otherwise its a 50/50 arrangement. It was good that you two had this before you two got married. It would be worse if kids were involved.

reesie_b said:

You’re definitely not an AH for ending things, he’s constantly going to be switching things around and changing his mind.

themajorfall said:

Your feelings weren't shallow at all. You truly loved him and you put in so much effort to maintain and grow your relationship. But unfortunately, he wasn't a good partner, and a one sided relationship is neither fair nor healthy.

I'm glad you decided against taking him back. Oftentimes, these types of men will see that they are in danger of losing a free ride and so will pretend to do everything right until you're married, and then he instantly reverts back to his entitled self because now you're trapped.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one, before and after the update. What's your advice for these exes?

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