One woman wanted to make a good impression on her soon-to-be husband's family. However, she couldn't help but be insulted by what they consider to be a 'family tradition.' She was wondering if she should have just swallowed her pride and complied, so she asked Reddit. A few days later, she returned to let readers know exactly how her decision played out.
My boyfriend Eric (29M, fake name) and I (27F) have been dating for three years. For context, I have met his family and they are friendly. We don't meet them very often because they live in my bf's home country. I don't want to reveal country names either for privacy reasons but my bf and I are of different nationalities and we both work in my country.
The conflict happened during our last visit last weekend. We have been looking up houses to move in together and engagement rings.
While we were having dinner, we mentioned this to his family as it's a big step in our relationship for us(we are not engaged yet.) His parents and brothers expressed their happiness for us then out of nowhere his youngest SIL asked 'So is she going to take the test?' I asked 'What test?'.
In summary, bf's family has this tradition where the future MIL tests future daughters-in-law to see if they are good enough for her sons.
Apparently, his mother and aunts went through the same test. The tests include how clean they can keep a home, how well they can cook, their manners, etc.
Basically life skills most people learn from childhood. I found it ridiculous because:
1. If I'm good enough for my boyfriend, he should be the one deciding it. and
2. I don't fit in their targeted category.
In his mom's words, you can't be a good SAHW and SAHM if you can't be a good homemaker and she wants to make sure of that.
To be clear, his mom and all three of his brothers' wives are SAHMs and although I respect their choice, I am not quitting my career and did not under any circumstances make my bf think I could compromise on that.
I hate house chores and I would rather buy homemaking gadgets and hire staff no matter the cost than have to do chores myself. I told my bf's mom all this and it caused an argument that eventually ruined dinner and in extension our visit.
My boyfriend doesn't care whether I'm a working wife or a SAHW but he thinks I should have just done the test because 'it's just a test' and it's not like they would reject me if I failed it. He thinks it's a fun tradition that everyone was looking forward to and I should have gone along with it anyway.
My boyfriend thinks I'm the AH and suggested I make this post. If I really am the a**hole, I'm sure you guys will let me know. So am I?
He thinks it a fun tradition for women marrying into the family to be judged on their 'skills' in traditional, old-fashioned gender conforming roles?
Fine. Let HIM take a test. He can rotate the tires, change the oil and maybe rework the transmission on a car. Install a new muffler while he's at it. Then he can perform a series of tests of lifting heavy objects.
How are his plumbing skills? He's gonna need to know how to fix a leaky faucet. Your father and brothers and male friends can judge him on his manliness and decide if he is prepared to be a 'proper' husband.
He might also need to prove he makes enough money to support you for when you have to stay home and perform all those 'wifely' duties. What an obnoxious family. NTA.
NTA. It sounds demeaning and patronizing as hell. If your bf thinks you're good enough for him, you shouldn't have to prove yourself to anyone else.
INFO: How serious is BF's family about the 'results' of this 'test'?
I'm totally with you on being taken aback by this 'test'. I'd find it very weird to find my SO's family having such a thing, or looking to have me go through such a thing. That said, if I perceived it as 'fun and games' with no consequences for participating in, I'd probably do it to get closer to my SO's family, and not be a buzz kill.
That's just me, though. I think you're well within your rights to not participate for your own reasons or feelings on the matter. I have a high barrier for AH, so I'd probably go with NAH, but there's something to think about what BF's family's actual intentions were here.
I'm not sure if the results mean anything. All I know is that if it's a cooking test for example, I'd have to cook a nice meal for the family and receive their approval based on how delicious it is.
And trust me, they will be convinced I'm trying to take revenge on them if they ate my food. So there's that. But now that you mentioned it, his mom cooks like a 5-star chef and so do his SILs (the two whose food I've tasted). Maybe they passed the test? Idk, I'll have to ask my bf.
I'm gonna go against the norm here and say YTA.
Let me let you in on a secret: 'Tradition' is just an excuse for people who want to get to know each other better to have a shared experience so they can bond over it. You should've just gone ahead with it if you want to improve your relationship with your bf's family, even if you didn't like it.
In this case you prioritized your personal dislikes over your relationship with your bf + her family, hence yta.
NTA this is not a 'fun tradition' you need to speak to him and make sure he understands you will NOT change your mind on giving up your career. I don't want to be a pessimist but I've seen it happen way too many times where the husband switches up after marriage and the woman goes along with it and ends up being miserable.
Maybe hold off on engagement until you are both 100% in agreement about the SAHM situation and get couples counseling.
Several things have happened since my post and I received requests for an update so here it is. This will be my only update. I got a lot of insight from the votes and comments in my original post and I would like to thank you all for that.
I showed my bf the responses and judgment on the original post. Most of you felt I was NTA and like you would guess, he was upset by this judgment. He tried to make his own post but was TA-ed so badly he deleted it in less than an hour.
Anyway, I talked to my family and told them about the test. Yesterday they called us home for dinner and told him they would let me take his family's test if he let my dad and male cousins put him through a similar test.
He blew up about how ridiculous it is because it's a family tradition for his family but for mine it's something we came up with at random.
He ended up saying it's okay if I don't do the test but my parents and I were being childish. He let slip mid-argument that his youngest SIL didn't want to do the test either but look at her, the perfect wife.
He said a lot of things but long story short, he is still supportive of whatever I want to do with my life after marriage but his family will never think the same way.
However, I was starting to see a pattern so I asked to take a break. It was great while it lasted.
It's not a fun or cute update but there you go.
Time for me to binge-watch heartbreaking movies with a giant tub of ice cream.Once again, thank you for the comments and judgment.
You did dodge a bullet. In my experience, people become exaggerated versions of themselves as they get older and more comfortable, so it would only become more pronounced over time.
Not that it means much, but I'm proud of you. You took the emotionally healthy route, and your family sounds awesome. I lovelovelove they flipped the test on him, you have great people in your corner. You're gonna do great.
So what he’s trying to say is his youngest sil didn’t want to take the test but she was forced and then was forced to be a “perfect wife”? It’s almost like he would do the same for you? I wonder why he doesn’t want to take the test.
Is it because it would have as degrading nature as your test would have or is he just embarrassed to fail.He’s a piece of shit,his family is too.knowing how to clean and cook isn’t a wife’s or woman’s job it’s a life skill that everyone should know how to do.
Also why does it matter if you take it if you won’t need the skills as you won’t be doing this all day long? You have a job and looks like he’s slowly manipulating you to stay at home by saying he’s okay wit you keeping your job but still needing to show his family you know how to be a “perfect wife”, or maybe he expects you do work and do all the work around the house.