My wife (29F) and I (29M) got married last weekend. We’ve been together since first year of uni and got married on the 10 year anniversary of the day I asked her to be my girlfriend. We’ve grown up together, got through thick and thin, and I know there is no one else I want to spend my life with.
For context, my wife is half Spanish and we incorporated a lot of Spanish traditions into our wedding. It also meant that, with all her family there, the reception turned into quite the party.
I was pretty tired after dancing for a while so I went to sit and talk with my family whilst my wife kept dancing with her cousins and friends. After a bit of chatting, my mum and aunt essentially told me that they weren’t too pleased with my wife’s dancing to songs like “Low” and “SexyBack,” saying that her “wiggling her bottom like that” wasn’t appropriate on her wedding day and was disrespectful to me.
To be honest, I didn’t see anything wrong with the way she was dancing - it was nothing more than I think any person would dance to songs like that in the club when they were having fun and had a couple drinks - and I told them as such.
They said I should tell her to tone it down, but she was having fun with her friends and I didn’t see anything gratuitous about it, nor was she super drunk, so I told her it wasn't my place. We ended up wrapping up the party soon afterwards anyway.
The morning after, we had breakfast with my family and my aunt mentioned to my wife that she was pleased that I eventually got her to “tone down the fiesta.” My wife asked what she meant by that and my mum told her about the conversation from last night (my wife has told me about this, I was talking to my dad and uncle at the time and didn’t hear).
My wife apologized but was then very quiet for the rest of the day, and when we left the hotel she was very upset with me, saying I should have told her that she had offended my family and that she was humiliated that I hadn’t told her anything about it on the night, like my aunt had assumed. I was sorry that she was humiliated but I was not sorry that I hadn’t told her to tone it down, because in my opinion she didn’t do anything wrong.
She still thinks I should have just told her because now she won't have a good relationship with her in-laws (she doesn’t have a good one with her parents). I’m mad at my mum and aunt and want them to apologize to us, but she refuses to bring it up with them and wants to apologize again to them when they come over this weekend.
I want to stand up for her because I think they're being incredibly rude, but she doesn't want that, she just wants to mend bridges. She's still upset with me because I don't see it her way and because I'm not sorry that I didn't tell her. So AITA?
Ok, reading some of these comments is making me realise that maybe I should clarify that when I say my wife is half-Spanish, I do mean from like mainland Spain, in Europe. Her mother's family is entirely from the north of Spain. My family is all from the UK (where we both grew up, her father is from, and where our wedding was).
That being said, I hadn't clocked the xenophobic element of this and now am feeling pretty upset (I don't think it's racism, personally, because she would probably count herself as white, but that's one to ask her, not me). Guess this is also something for me to table with my wife. Maybe it was a one-off, but it's not something she's ever mentioned before and definitely not something she should be dealing with.
When I say table with my wife, I mean I very urgently need to discuss with her whether these things have happened from my family before without me knowing it, and she hasn't said anything for the same reason. Her feelings are my first priority.
I'm very worried that my family has been rude to my wife because of her background. I don't know if I would call it racism - certainly xenophobia, and definitely unacceptable no matter what it's called - but nor do I think it's my place to, because I'm a white British man who's never had to deal with it.
But from what I understand from a lot of the comments here, British or European and American understandings of what constitutes race and racism are very different. I'm open to hearing opinions about it from the people who it affects.
NTA. I am proud of how you handled the situation but mostly for not ruining the fun your wife was having. Your wife tho needs to unlearn to accept that kind of sexism just because she wants to have a good relationship with her in-laws or anyone for that matter. The fact your mom and aunt sexualized her dancing at her own freaking wedding is disgusting and sounds like a THEM problem.
NTA. Your parents are the AHs. And your wife needs to realize that your parents suck, not you.
NTA. your mom and aunt are pretty gross, and probably a bit racist.
NTA how dare they try to tell a bride how to dance on her own wedding day.
Hi all, bit shocked at the level of response to my post! Thanks for all the comments, I did read as many as I could.
I talked to my wife. I apologised for not telling her what my aunt had said, and that it was only because I believed what my aunt had said had no merit, and that she as my wife was always going to be my priority rather than placating them. She accepted my apology.
She still was wary to try and confront them about it though, and I ended up saying something that I read in a comment that broke my heart - that my wife was probably more than anything grieving the loss of the new family she thought she was going to have. And she immediately burst into tears.
So that commenter was spot on. Her parents went through a very bitter divorce that damaged their relationship with their children permanently. So it was a difficult conversation, but we came to the conclusion that we had to confront my mum and aunt in the hope of salvaging any relationship, though my wife wanted me to do it on our behalf (fair).
I called my aunt and basically let her have it. She wasn’t apologetic at all and said some pretty nasty things that I won’t repeat, so that was an immediate end to that relationship.
I then called my mum to do the same, and she was very ashamed. For context, my aunt is her older sister, and we invited her because my mum and my wife wanted her there (my aunt had never met my wife, but my wife really wanted to meet my whole family).
My mum grew up in a very conservative Christian household, and although she stopped believing, my aunt didn’t, so there's been some distance and disappointment. My mum apologised to me and said she had been missing her sister and had let herself get brought back into 'old habits'.
She wants the opportunity to make it up to my wife, but my wife and I have agreed on low contact for now, and we’ll see how we go. My wife did say ok to flowers and a letter that my mum wanted to send, but I told my mum pretty sternly not to expect anything from my wife, which she took pretty well.
Most importantly, my wife now seems to be a lot happier. I don’t know if our relationship with my mum will be as trusting ever again, but it at least will be one with clear boundaries. Part of the reason for the delayed update is that, amidst all this, my wife realised she’d missed her period, and lo and behold - she’s pregnant!
Cue panic because she drank at our wedding and this is totally unplanned, but otherwise we’re ecstatic.
We haven’t told anyone other than her mother and sister, and now we’re going to have to really think about how this is going to work with my mum, but I’m now feeling way more confident that we’ll be able to figure it out together. As long as my wife is happy, I don't care.
Thanks for the update, and more importantly, CONGRATULATIONS!
I think this is one if my most favorite updates.
Yes, this is the best update ever. Not wife's trauma or crappy aunt. But that mom stepped up, wife is happier and they are having a precious offspring they are very happy about! Awesome!
Kicking the aunt out of their life seems like a win-win situation to me.
Beautiful update. Love this for you both! Congrats! Sounds like you’ll be a great dad.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A baby! I'm so happy for you both. You sound like a great team and a great partner, and I read your original post and thought the same. Don't worry about aunt, doesn't sound like she was that invested to begin with. I'm glad your mom is making amends, but definitely keep quiet about the baby for 4-5 months, since she may start groveling only for grandmother's rights.