It’s always uncomfortable to be party to a lie, especially when it involves someone else’s family or friends. Are you just going to sit there and go along with the lie?
Especially if it’s about you, then what will you do? How will you keep a straight face?
So when Reddit user trickoflight2709 was party to his girlfriend’s lie about his career, he decided not to sit there and try to save face, but to tell the truth. This did not sit very well with his girlfriend.
Unclear if he should have just gone with it, he went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for some feedback.
“AITA for not going along with my girlfriend’s lie on her family zoom call?”
Our original poster, or OP, was on a simple Zoom call when he was met with a puzzling situation.
“I (22M[ale]) was invited to my girlfriend’s (21F[emale]) extended family’s zoom call where everyone eats dinner ‘together’ and then plays games.”
“As we were eating they were mostly talking amongst themselves and then one of her aunts said to me ‘I’ve heard a lot of good things about you. I’m told that you’re an engineer. So is my husband.'”
“He asked me what field of engineering I was in as he is an electrical engineer at a major firm.”
After stumbling for a second, he gently corrected his girlfriend’s family.
“I was a little confused at this point because that’s not true. I work in the maintenance department at a children’s hospital and I’m a Building Maintenance Tech.”
“I went to trade school for building maintenance right after high school and what I told my girlfriend was that I always wanted to pursue my Bachelor’s but only after I’ve had time to save toward it (I do not want to take out loans).”
“I told him ‘Actually I’m a building maintenance tech at xyz hospital, but I’m considering my employer’s tuition reimbursement program because I want to apply to mechanical engineering programs this year.'”
Things got weird, but the call continued on.
“It got really awkward and her uncle was nice about it. Her uncle and her dad started asking me questions about what work was like in a hospital setting for non-clinical personnel at this time and the conversation went in that direction.”
“She chimed in when they asked her about school and her post-grad plans but was pretty quiet.”
“After the call she called me on FT and said that it was ‘basically the same thing’ and I said if it’s basically the same thing, then why did you lie about it.”
OP’s girlfriend was trying to lie to stop them from an awkward situation.
“She explained that her aunts could be classist and that it would’ve been better if I had just gone along with it because I made her look stupid in front of her family and that her aunts probably think less of both me and her now.”
“I told her that I like what I do, it keeps a roof over my head and I’ve been fortunate to keep my job this entire time…all without having a college degree yet.”
But OP didn’t understand the need to lie on his behalf.
“After she repeated that she felt stupid, I said I would talk to her later because I felt like the conversation was not going anywhere but now I’m really feeling like I did the wrong thing and made things complicated for her with her family.”
“AITA for not going along with her lying about my job to help her save face?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors agreed here that honesty would have been the best policy.
“NTA. You were honest and managed a perfectly pleasant conversation with her family.”
“Her fudging the truth is on her. If she was going to do that, she could have broached the subject with you to see if that was something you’d agree to doing for her.”
“I have to wonder, is the aunt really classist or is she?”~Peskypoints
“NTA. Plus, let’s say he ‘plays along’ and lies about studying engineering. How was that conversation going to go?”
“The uncle IS AN ENGINEER. He probably has a follow up question or two that OP would not have the answer for.”
“I mean, even ‘what engineering class are you taking now?’ is a pretty obvious question that would get awkward in a hurry. She’s TA for putting you in that situation and then getting mad at you for it.”~CaRazyCartoon
“NTA. Something like this would have come out sooner or later, at which time other questions would have come up.”
“Your GF was only thinking short term, not the long term consequences.”
“You may have caused your GF some immediate embarrassment, but you saved her (and you) some more serious issues in the future.”
“Something else you need to consider – you need to have a talk with you GF about why she is embarrassed by you.”
“Classist aunts or not, if she were not embarrassed by you she would not have lied about your education or your job.”~bamf1701
“NTA at all. What is it with significant others expecting their partners to know all the lies they’ve ever told and going along with them?”
“I don’t agree with lying (other commenters have covered that) but you’d think the bare minimum of a caper like this would be INCLUDING the person who you expect to lie with you.”~ellaphantzgerald
And some thought the least she could have done was let her boyfriend in on the lie in the first place.
“NTA. if she wanted you to be in on this lie, she should’ve told you ahead of time.”
“In all honesty, she should’ve told her family what you actually do for a living, it’s kinda unsettling that she was willing to lie to her family to make herself look better by saying she was dating an engineer.”~BlackberryBeetle
“NTA – good for you for saving up for college before hand so that you don’t come out with a lot of debt!”
“She should be apologizing to you. Why would she care what her extended family thinks over her boyfriend- that’s an AH move on her part.”~be-incredible
“First of all, it’s not the same thing. They asked about work, you explained what you actually do.”
“Secondly, your gf assumed you’re not good enough for her Aunty? That’s strange. And thirdly, were you supposed to know she intentionally got it wrong and wanted you to play along?”
“You shouldn’t worry about what they think and neither should your girlfriend. NTA.”~mediastoosocial
“NTA even if her aunt is classist, as your SO, she should be defending you against anything her aunt might say.”
“I have a veryyyyyy classist aunt, classist to the point she only talked to my dad when she needed something.”
“I’ve never lied about what my SO, a blue collar worker, does because I’m proud of him. Is your girlfriend proud of you? Because if she is, she needs to act like it more.”~isntellie
Even if her aunt is classist, why does she care so much?
“NTA. When I met my now husband he was delivering pizzas. I told him my family was super classist and he tried to think up a believable fib to tell them and you know what I did?”
“Told them he was a pizza delivery guy still trying to figure out a career. Only some of my family were snobs but I wasn’t embarrassed cause I love him and accept him for how he is.”
“This shows clearly she is embarrassed by you and thinks honestly telling her fam what you do will bring HER down in the eyes of her family and didn’t care enough to even let you in on the lie.”
“She made herself look stupid, you keep doing you. Think hard about if you want to be with someone that only wants to be with people who raise her social status in the eyes of her family.”~Kitty_Katty_Kit
“NTA. She got herself in this mess by lying in the first place. Aunt may have been leading you into a trap, or she may have genuinely been looking for a topic of conversation and connection with you.”
“No real way to tell. The fact that they pivoted to asking you more about your job and being pleasant rather than turning cold indicates more of the latter though.”
“Your GF clearly feels she is dating below her station for some reason and that’s the problem.”
“Either somewhere in her family that’s what she’s been taught, or that’s what she believes but knowing you plan to be an engineer makes it ok for her to invest time now.”
“Either way, this isn’t a good sign for the success of your relationship.”~Annalirra
“NTA. Lies always catch up with you. She shouldn’t have lied in the first place. On top of that, she should be PROUD of you.”
“(I too work in a hospital. You maintenance guys are freaking heroes. When everything goes to hell, we all call you desperate for help! You da real MVP.)”
“If she can’t appreciate you for who you are, she doesn’t deserve you.”~Prior_Lobster_5240
“NTA. For one you were surprised by her lie. That is not a situation most people will solve that quickly that they don’t tell the truth because they think their opposite is just mistaken.”
“You need to be a good liar to take such an incident in stride without giving the lie away.”
“Your girlfriend feels stupid because what she did is stupid. And it is definitely something you two should talk about.”
“You should also talk about why she is ashamed of you / what you do for work.”
“You actually sound like a level headed person who has a plan for his life and education – that’s something a lot of 22-year olds can’t say of themselves.”
“She should learn to stand up for herself and her life. So her aunt is a snob. Good for her, does’t mean you should cater to her bullshit with more bullshit.”
“Lying about such things like your job / education will always reach the point where the truth comes out – for the situation at hand I’d say that her uncle would have noticed it during that talk anyways.”
“You just can’t pretend to be an engineer when it comes to the details.”~DocSternau
Reddit definitely took OP’s side here. A lie is a delicate thing that often falls apart at first glance.
No significant other should feel so embarrassed that they lie to their family about their partner.