It’s true that some people are really into appearances, especially when it comes to the demonstration of wealth.
Those expectations can be difficult to marry into, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor JuniorGal99 wasn’t prepared to play along with her fiancé’s lie to save face.
But when she caused drama on his birthday of all days, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong to not hold up the lie.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for exposing my fiancé after he lied about the gift I got him for his birthday?”
The OP thought her future husband’s wealthy family was a little over the top.
“My (24 Female) fiance (25 Male) comes from a wealthy family, unlike me.”
“His family can be a bit obssessed over looks and status. He’s the only child so his parents spoil him all the time.”
“They got him 2 cars (one at 18 and one at 23 after he graduated), and they also bought him the apartment we live in, etc.”
“He told me once that his mom thinks I should consider wearing brand clothes and makeup, especially when attending their family functions where important people are present.”
“He said he’d pay for everything, but I have a specific style/brand, and I’m comfortable with it but put aside couple outfits to wear when visiting.”
The situation worsened before his birthday.
“For his birthdays they do exaggerate with their celebrations, and for his 25th birthday, they reserved a restaurant for the occassion and sent out invitations. I heard that inside their invitations, they included a list of acceptable/expensive gifts to bring.”
“His mom sent me one which had me like, ‘What the f**k is this?'”
“I called her and she apologitically said, ‘Well, he REALLY wants this, he will be disappointed if he doesn’t get this.'”
“I told her really it’s between him and I.”
“I decided to gift him a handmade gift which was floral frame for our future wedding photo to put on the counter.”
“He said his parents won’t be happy and will think I’m being cheap.”
“He offered to get a pair of expensive NIKE shoes, and all I had to do is act like I got it for him in front of his parents to get them off our back.”
“I refused and said this is my gift and I won’t pretend.”
The OP stood by her promise to not pretend.
“At the party when he was opening gifts, I watched as he opened some box and pulled out NIKE shoes and acted thrilled while thanking me for getting them for him.”
“I was confused. I said this wasn’t my gift and started looking for it among the other gifts.”
“I asked where he put the floral frame, and he acted dumb.”
“I got so mad, I told him in front of his parents that he shouldn’t have lied about what I originally gifted him and that if he was ashamed of it, then I will be keeping it.”
“His family amd friends were staring silently.”
“His mom tried to follow me outside, but I got into an Uber and left.”
“He texted me and was livid, saying he was just trying to protect me from his family’s criticizm about the handmade gift I was planning to give him.”
“He said I could’ve played along and got this over with, but instead I exposed him when he was just trying to get his family to understand that I’m not being cheap.”
“I went to stay with a friend and haven’t spoken to him yet after this.”
“I did tell him about how his family is behaving and he agrees they can be a bit shallow sometimes.”
“He also said he’s nothing without them and can not be arguing with them after all they’ve done for him.”
“I feel like I disrupted his birthday with how I reacted when I could’ve waited another time and just swallwed this pill.”
Some people thought the OP should have played along with her fiancé as his partner.
“Personally I blame OP for being so selfish she had to use her partners birthday as an opportunity to stick it to him and his family.”
“This is who they are. No one has been disrespectful.”
“They didn’t give OP a list of ‘acceptable’ gifts. They gave her a list of gifts he actually wanted.”
“She gave him an empty impersonal frame. She knew exactly what she was doing.” – Ladyuggsalot1
“Someone being shallow about birthday presents and expecting them to be expensive really isn’t a great reason to cut someone out of your life if they’re important to you.”
“It did suck that the boyfriend didn’t give her warning after she didn’t expect it because she had said no, but if someone you want to marry wants you to do something low effort to appease their family, it shouldn’t be a big deal to just go with it.”
“(Initially, springing the lie on her in the moment is f**ked up and it would’ve been fair make an issue of it at the right time, which his birthday party is not.)”
“It’s one thing if it’s going to cause a larger problem in the future or is some major ethical dilemma, but it’s a birthday gift. You can’t go through life expecting everyone to correct every minor flaw that bothers you or no one is going to like you.” – istandwhenip
“There is a lot going on in your post and a lot of it frames your boyfriend’s family as complete AHs, especially your future mother-in-law. It all kind of distracts from what I think are two points that make you also an AH in this situation:”
“The floral frame gift for a future wedding picture: this was clearly not a gift for your boyfriend. I really suspect that this was a gift to yourself. That’s not nice of you to do. A birthday gift is supposed to be about that person, not about you or you as a couple.”
“You raised a pretty big stink in front of his family when this matter could have been resolved privately after the event. Did you really need to embarrass and shame him in front of his entire family?”
“I’m not disagreeing that you needed to have a conversation with your boyfriend about his lie, but could you not have found a better moment to do that? How could the conversation have been productive in this setting, especially given the fact that you chose to run off before even giving him a chance to talk?”
“This leads me to an ESH judgment. You for the above, the boyfriend for lying, his family for fostering an environment that pushed him to lie.”
“Going deeper than a judgment, maybe this blow-up was your way of ending the relationship. It sounds like you are unhappy with his lifestyle and his family. Perhaps this was the culmination of a lot of resentment or anger you have been building up towards him. If you read back your post, you’ll notice that you didn’t say a single nice thing about him.” – cardshark6
“I have the really unpopular opinion that if you can make your partner’s life easier when it comes to crazy family, even if it means doing stupid shit like fake gifting nikes, why wouldn’t you?”
“I mean yes, it’s stupid. It’s extremely shallow. But it’s such an easy thing to do to not rock the boat. I just don’t see the point in rocking the boat when it doesn’t accomplish anything meaningful.”
“Sure, stand up for yourself on things that actually matter, but this just seems insignificant.” – grouchymonk1517
Others didn’t like the idea of setting up the precedent of lying.
“If my parents were to criticize my girlfriend over her gift choice, in public…. (they didn’t, but they clearly have a history of doing this), I wouldn’t try and resolve this on my birthday either, but I’d d**n well resolve it on one of the other 364 days in the year.”
“What I wouldn’t do is lie to literally EVERYONE. The fiancé thinks that the best solution is to lie to his fiancée about his plan to lie. He wants her to go along with his lie.”
“His plan involved lying to his entire family. Not even an off-the-cuff white lie, a preplanned deception. And he is upset about called out on it, but he has no remorse at all.”
“Would you want to marry someone like this? Or marry into a family that creates this kind of situation?”
“We shouldn’t be blaming OP for not lying. For not pretending to be who she isn’t.”
“It’s not okay.” – LinusV1
“This is definitely some people pleasing behavior from the boyfriend. Whether he didn’t like the gift (it is really more a couple gift that would be better suited for like an anniversary or engagement present not a birthday even if he liked the style) or he’s just tearing himself apart trying to keep everyone happy when that’s not possible and he needs a courage booster or he’s just hanging in there for an inheritance—who’s to say from this info.”
“But it seems like he’s in need of opinions and the ability to state them to people he cares about cause right now that’s not happening on either side of this argument.” – berrykiss96
Either way, a few questioned the OP’s gifting choices.
“Honestly, I bet the boyfriend is just trying to appease her like he is with his family. And I bet he offered to buy the shoes because he didn’t like the gift she was giving him but didn’t have the spine to say no to her.” – OkPhilosophy9013
“The frame for a wedding photo is a sweet gift, but more appropriate to give to her groom as a wedding present. She should have gotten something for HIM on his birthday.”
“Sure, lying was bad, but HE’S the one that has lived with this shallow s**t show his whole life. So I don’t fault him for wanting to avoid exactly what he knew would happen. I also think that OP should have kept her mouth shut and had a discussion with him after the party.”
“ESH, including OP.” – HarlequinMadness
“I’m a little bit like… a frame that doesn’t even have a photo in it?? Come on now.”
“Also, does he actually want a frame covered in flowers, or is that just something he accepts is wedding-y and the bride’s opinion goes?”
“Even if she wanted to give him a framed wedding picture (which I still maintain should be an after-the-wedding gift), at least make it a frame that looks like he’d pick it out himself.” – SaveTheLadybugs
Though the subReddit could appreciate how the situation was shallow, they were divided how how the OP should have handled it. On the one hand, lying to appease others never feels good, but on the other hand, lying in a situation like this might have helped her future husband on his birthday.