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Woman confronts BF after family dinner, calls his parents' gender roles 'embarrassing.'

Woman confronts BF after family dinner, calls his parents' gender roles 'embarrassing.'


How you're raised is going to radically impact your view on romance, for better or worse.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for telling her BF the way he spoke about his family was embarrassing. She wrote:

"AITA for telling my boyfriend the way he spoke about his family to mine was 'embarrassing.'"

I (26F) work out of state and came home to my parents for Christmas and New Year (I’m only working out of state temporarily) I invited my (25m) boyfriend over for New Year at my parents' house. He stayed for about three days and we had fun and he made a good impression as he usually does, except for one conversation where my boyfriend was joking about his family dynamic.

I will have to add some context. My boyfriend is from a fairly traditional family where his mum (46f) was at one point a stay-at-home mother and did everything, at another point she had two jobs and also did all the domestic work while his dad (60m) would just work and do his hobbies. So he grew up in a family where gender roles are a big thing.

I on the other hand grew up in a family where my parents did equal domestic work, and the women are as educated as the men. Sadly my father died but my mother's (58f) new husband (57m) is wonderful, for financial reasons they don’t officially live together but mum's partner does loads to help around the house even though he doesn’t live at my mother's.

I knew my boyfriend came from a very traditional family and it doesn’t bother me as I knew he doesn’t want that from me and is with me because he likes that I am my own person with a career. The thing is, I’m getting older now and am not in a relationship for the giggles - my parents know this. My boyfriend and I have had many conversations about being properly serious, talk about marriage etc.

So my parents are a little extra protective knowing my boyfriend and I’s intentions. It was after dinner and we were all talking, my mother and stepdad were asking my boyfriend about his family and home life.

My boyfriend jokes about how much work his mum does and how his dad does nothing, that she does all the chores, cooking, has no hobbies because she’s so busy, and how his dad has loads of hobbies and spends a lot of time with his friends. He was explaining this dynamic in such a positive manner, as though it’s totally normal and a good thing.

My whole family was visibly shocked and concerned, but my boyfriend kept going. The conversation ended there as no one knew what to say. I was mortified. My parents warned me that I might end up earning 50% of the income while doing all the chores, they said my boyfriend didn’t seem to understand how unfair his mother has been treated etc.

So I told my boyfriend that was embarrassing for me as it seemed he wasn’t ashamed of the fact his father let his mother work, do all the domestic chores and have no time off. He was upset saying he’s just proud of his parents who have worked hard to get where they are and haven’t had it easy (both are immigrants and have worked so hard) but I respect how hard they work, in particular his mother.

I don’t respect how accepting he is of the fact his mother does everything while his father does nothing. So AITA for saying this is embarrassing?

Redditors jumped on with their opinions.

RealTalkFastWalk wrote:

I don’t think the significant issue is embarrassment so much as that it appears your bf doesn’t actually see gender roles in the same way you do. At all. Learning that in front of your family certainly is awkward, but better be embarrassed now than surprised about it once you’re married and stuck with a man expecting to be waited on and catered to.

This is time for a big serious conversation and point out the major issues you have laid out here. If he really is defending his father’s choices than it’s time to move on.

And OP responded:

Yep this is it. You hit the nail on the head. I was happy believing my boyfriend wanted an equal relationship, but in front of my family I discovered our ideas of equal were different. A serious discussion is on the way.

Stunning-Apricot-636 wrote:

NTA for sharing how you feel and your parents are absolutely right, you will be expected to operate like his mom does. Bless.

And OP responded:

Exactly my worries and my parents worries, o don’t think my boyfriend understands just how unequal his parents are. I can see us being together and him thinking we are equal but aren’t.

coffeemom23 wrote:

I'm not sure you're an AH but you went about this wrong. Have you and your boyfriend not had a serious conversation about his family, your future, and the kind of relationship you want to have?

You say he doesn't want to replicate his parents' gender dynamics in his own future marriage, but it also sounds like he doesn't see anything wrong with what they have, and that's normal to him -- only one of those things can be true.

You're focusing on the wrong thing here, you shouldn't be embarrassed so much as worried that you're not actually on the same page with this man about what you want your lives to look like. And if you are on the same page and he shares your concerns, give him some grace, he might have been trying to keep things light and funny when asked about his family, and just gone about it wrong.

And OP responded:

Yeah this is the thing I know I went about it the wrong way. I hold myself accountable for that. And we have had conversations about expectations of us if we get married. And he seemed very much of the opinion he wants equality. But the bad taste in my mouth is the fact he doesn’t quite understand how much more his mum does than his father.

So with me, he will try and help with the cooking and all the fun tasks but when it comes to the less glamorous chores he’s suddenly unable. He bangs on about paying 50/50 on dates but I often pay 100% .

qqqqqqqqaaaaaaaaqqqq wrote:

NTA spoiler: he wants this for you and as soon as you are a mom, he expects you to stop being your own person with a career. After all, you are a mom now.

Clearly, OP is NTA, but she might need to do some serious thinking about the viability of this relationship.

Sources: Reddit
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