We’ve all heard the stories of incredibly critical parents who really take it out on their future daughters-in-law and sons-in-law.
But when our partners are okay with how they’re being treated, we have to make peace with it, too, or create distance from our first family, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor RedBee7763 was sick of how their family was treating their future husband, who they believed to be a low-income worker entering a wealthy family.
When they had heard enough, the Original Poster (OP) revealed how much money their future husband was actually making.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my family how much my fiancé earns after years of them making fun of his job?”
The OP fell in love with their fiancé despite their financial differences.
“My family is very well-educated and full of professionals, including several doctors, surgeons, dentists, etc. I have a good career and make a good living.”
“When I met my fiancé, he was at my house to supervise a roofing crew the insurance company hired to replace my damaged roof. I instantly fell for him when he pulled up in his truck and couldn’t keep my eyes off of him for the rest of the day as he gave orders to his men.”
“When we started dating, he was vague about his job, and I just chalked it up to him being insecure about me having a better career. I didn’t care about our income imbalance.”
But come to find out, their financial situations weren’t so different at all.
“When we got serious, we talked about our future plans, and that was when he told me the full extent of his little construction company.”
“I was shocked that his construction earnings are as much as my dad’s surgeon salary.”
“Gradually, he took me around to the handful of construction lots and shopping centers he owns. His rental income combined with his construction earnings is double that of my dad’s.”
“He said that few people know about his finances and he expects me to keep what I know to myself.”
The OP’s parents had always assumed the worst about their fiancé.
“My parents disapproved of him since the first time I brought him home. My dad coined the term ‘Tool Boy,’ and the rest of my family joined in whenever they talk behind my fiancé’s back.”
“They don’t call him that to his face but instead make snide remarks.”
“Once my mom said during dinner that they were thinking about hiring someone to mow their lawn and then turned to my fiancé and asked him what he charges.”
“I always try to defend him and it’s a constant battle.”
“My fiancé, on the other hand, doesn’t care what people, including my parents, think. When my family makes snide remarks, he laughs with them until it makes them uncomfortable. He’s the most confident person I’ve ever met.”
While wedding planning, the OP couldn’t take the criticism anymore.
“Their comments have gotten worse since we’re planning our wedding, and the other day my nerves just broke.”
“Yesterday, my parents were trying to get me into getting a prenuptial. Then my dad said, ‘You have to protect your assets just in case Tool Boy decides to go slumming.'”
“I lost it and yelled at my parents. During our shouting, I blurted out his earnings and that he makes more than both of them combined, and then I stormed out.”
But then the OP’s fiancé became upset with them for revealing his income.
“I told my fiancé what happened, but instead of supporting me, he got mad that I told his parents that.”
“I argued that I was defending him, and then we got into an argument.”
“My parents and family are mad at me for keeping secrets. My fiancé is mad at me for not keeping secrets.”
“I’m stuck in the middle and don’t know what to do.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some understood why the OP finally revealed this information.
“NTA! I’m guessing you HAVE tried telling your family, that it doesn’t matter what he makes and that he makes you happy, but since THEY keep bringing up his money, it seems the only way to shut them up finally is to tell them what he makes.”
“I would’ve done the SAME thing, followed by a stern ‘Now shut the f**k up and mind your f**king business!'”
“All you can really do is apologize to him and hope he understands that a person can only take so much!! You snapped. It happens. Hopefully, now they won’t bring it up anymore.”
“Also, to the people calling this a BETRAYAL OF TRUST? That’s all a bit extreme. She didn’t cheat. Get pregnant by someone else. Steal from him. She told some people what he makes. Not right since he asked you not to, but d**n.”
“I didn’t read all the comments, but I wouldn’t be surprised if people were saying he should leave you. People are so d**n EXTRA. You can’t go back in time, apologize profusely, and next time try not to blurt out sensitive information.”
“You could’ve said something like, ‘You wish you could make what he makes,’ but hindsight is always 20/20. You f**ked up. Not THAT badly though, in my opinion.” – mamabear1008
“NTA or maybe even a gentle ESH but?? Oh my gosh. I am so sorry you’re dealing with this.”
“This is what I call a lose-lose situation. Telling your snooty parents (sorry, but it sure seems that way) your fiancé’s income was probably the only chance you have of getting them off your backs, but I also see how your fiancé is upset with you as he is clearly insecure about his wealth that he has worked so hard for and he asked you not to say anything.”
“If you haven’t already, genuinely apologize to him for telling his ‘secret,’ even though you were trying to defend him.” – ArtemisGirl242020
“NTA. You weren’t going this maliciously. You weren’t trying to brag about his net worth. You revealed this in the heat of an argument because you were fed up about your fiancé’s treatment by your family.”
“I get why he’s upset, but I don’t think he should hold this against you. I’d apologize for revealing his earnings, but I don’t think you were being an outright a**hole.”
“I’m assuming you didn’t tell your family exact numbers, but it’s crazy to me a board-certified surgeon in all his education and knowledge wouldn’t expect someone owning a construction business to be making an above-average income.” – actingotaku
“She’s probably been defending him in other ways for years, and this was the last straw. As for cutting them off, it sounds like they’ve been manipulating her for a long time. She may be very susceptible to guilt trips. I’m not saying that’s an excuse. It’s just a lot harder to leave abusive situations than people understand.”
“As for cutting them off until they grow up, I have a feeling that this is how they believe grown-ups behave. It’s probably how they saw their parents behave. So they likely won’t understand what she means, and they’ll think she‘s punishing them and she’s the bad guy. Yeah, she made a mistake and needs to either cut them off or go extremely low contact, but they are the a**holes.”
“NTA, OP. But seriously, get away from your family. They are a bad influence in your life.” – Yutolia
“She said, ‘I always try to defend him, but it’s a constant battle.’ It would seem she’s more or less tried what you wrote already and that it has fallen on deaf ears, but that the latest comment was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
“Family dynamics are tricky and no so cut and dry, so it’s easy for an internet stranger to dictate how OP should act, without regard for whatever else dynamics there are at play here. Not everyone finds it easy or simple to just cut off family like a limb, as it seems to be for some of the people suggesting it here.”
“Unintentionally AH, but leaning toward NTA. But sure, OP should still apologize to her fiancé for her impulsive outburst in the heat of the moment.” – Uber_Meese
Others accused the OP of handling this poorly and prioritizing badly.
“It’s a constant frustration with your parents. You could have been vague and said something like a prenup would protect him more than you. But in the end, you should have made your family stop acting like bullying snobs.”
“Your fiancé specifically told you not to tell anyone about his income. He was probably secretly enjoying your parents being snobs, not knowing the truth.” – Special_Lychee_6847
“YTA. You love your fiancé, and of course, it hurts when your parents make fun of him, but be honest. You didn’t do this to defend him. You did it to defend yourself and your choice to marry him.”
“You knew that he doesn’t want people to know about his finances so clearly betraying that trust wasn’t a favor to him.”
“Even if he made a lot less, he would still be a worthy human that you love. All you have done is reinforce the notion that it’s okay for your parents to look down on ‘poor’ folks, by letting them know that your fiancé isn’t one of the ‘poor folks.'”
“They honestly sound awful, and I can’t believe your fiancé has put up with this treatment for this long, and I can’t believe you’ve allowed it to continue.” – Allaboutbird
“He’s a grown man who can defend himself. If he wanted to defend himself to your family, he would have done so already or made it well known how much he owns or makes when he met your family.”
“He did not. He told you to keep what he owns and makes to himself, and you didn’t. He has every right to be upset about that.”
“You weren’t defending him to your parents. You were defending yourself to your parents. If your parents act like this often, why do you see them?” – makethatnoise
“Your fiancé told you how much he makes in confidence. You broke his trust because you were angry with your relatives. That makes you the clear a**hole. And then you doubled down and tried to claim that breaking his trust was OK because you were defending him.”
“Here’s the thing. Your family are snobbish a**holes and will likely always be snobbish a**holes. Their opinion doesn’t matter. You are marrying your fiancé. There is no ‘middle.’ You’re an adult and aren’t obligated to meek Mommy and Daddy happy or to pay any attention to their nonsense.” – _mmiggs_
“Sounds like your husband likes to build relationships on foundations and merits outside of his finances. Meanwhile, your family looks down on anyone they deem lesser earners than themselves.”
“I know whose corner I’d be in.”
“Apologize to your husband and tell your family to stuff it.”
“Sorry, but YTA. There are plenty of other things you could have said to illustrate how f**king horrible your family was being. You didn’t have to throw out numbers. Now, if your family starts acting better, he’ll always know it’s on the basis of his earnings, not his character.”
“Also, your husband will always know that your knee-jerk reaction was to be like, ‘BUT HE DOES MAKE MONEY,’ rather than, ‘Who cares what he makes? He MAKES me happy! He takes care of me! He treats me! We’re good partners with the same life goals! We love each other! Support that or shut up!'”
“I can try to give OP some leeway, but I still think there were better ways to go about it, like saying, ‘We’re perfectly comfortable and happy with our mutual finances, which are none of your business.'” – monsteramoons
“YTA. He asked you for one thing, and you didn’t follow through.”
“Your family doesn’t get to be mad about you ‘keeping secrets’ as your husband-to-be’s income is none of their business at all. He probably wanted it secret because he knows when people find out, they will expect him to foot all of the bills.”
“I would bet money this is how your family starts treating him. You will see that their treatment of him is not dependent on financials because they are snobs. You need to make sure they start treating your husband with kindness and respect both in front of him and you. Why haven’t you, yet?”
“Furthermore, you never should have let things get this far. As soon as they called him a ditch digger the first time, you should have told them they will speak of him with respect and kindness, or they won’t get to speak to you at all. You waited until things were already at a boiling point to defend your fiancé.”
“Apologize to your fiancé. Tell your family if they utter one more negative thing about your fiancé or mention his finances EVER, they will not get to talk to you or ever see any future grandchildren. Forget being invited to the wedding as they can’t keep a civil tongue in their heads. Follow this up with going NC (no contact) with them for a few weeks.”
“This is salvageable, but you need to realize that when you marry this man, you’ve created a family and that family and its secrets are your first priority, not your parents and relatives. You’ve not shown your fiancé to be your priority over your family once in the above writings. You need to make this up to your fiancé because he’s the only one not being an AH here.” – jaybull222
The subReddit could empathize with the OP about what a lose-lose situation this was regarding their parents’ treatment of their fiancé. It surely wasn’t right to reveal their future husband’s private information, especially when he specifically asked that it be kept a secret, but with parents like this, it seemed to put them in their place or going no contact were the only realistic options.