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Woman Upsets Her Boyfriend By Refusing To Learn Spanish For His Non-English Speaking Family


As romantic relationships grow more serious, new expectations begin to crop up. And not all of those are welcomed changes for each partner.

One Redditor, under the anonymous name burneraccount99972, posted to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit after she and her boyfriend hit an impasse when a request was made.

The Original Poster (OP) kept things a bit cryptic with her title for the post.  

“AITA for not learning Spanish?”

OP began by describing the key facts of her relationship. 

“I [28-year-old female] have been dating my boyfriend [32-year-old male] for almost two years.”

“We live in an English speaking country, but his entire family is from a Spanish speaking country.”

“They speak only Spanish at home. When I’ve gone to dinners with his family they will speak in English for my sake.”

Then OP explained the particular request. 

“Recently, my boyfriend asked me to learn Spanish so everyone wouldn’t have to adjust to English whenever I was at family events.”

“He said his family is more comfortable speaking Spanish and if I’m going to be a permanent part of the family I need to learn.”

“He also said if we ever have kids (which we both want) he wants them to speak Spanish and it would be weird if they could all speak it and I couldn’t.”

But OP had other thoughts. 

“I told him no because learning foreign languages is super difficult for me and not a challenge I want to take.”

“I barely passed my language classes in school and there were many nights crying over homework.”

“If he had said in his dating profile speaking or learning Spanish was a deal breaker, I never would have matched with him.”

She tried to turn to friends for some clarity.

“Some of my friends agree that it’s a lot to ask from me. Others think I’m an a**hole for not even trying.”

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

Most Redditors agreed OP was the a**hole in this situation.

The “YTA” acronym appeared far and wide in the comment section.

Many accused her of hypocrisy. 

“So… a whole group of people struggle through a language for you and you won’t even take a stab at learning theirs? YTA.” — Archer_9915

“YTA. You are just assuming that an entire group of people should shift languages for you just because your language is English. Give it a try at least” — mynoolie

“YTA, his family has always been willing to accommodate you but you’re not willing to put in effort for them?”

“He isn’t demanding that you’re fluent super quickly, he just wants you to put in a bit of effort regularly so that long term you can understand his family.” — kikivivi01

“YTA – selfish much? His entire family speak to you in English, but you won’t consider learning Spanish for them.” — Scribb74

“YTA you expect his whole family to accommodate you every time you meet one of them. They should just talk in Spanish and if you’re left out then tough luck” — Mag-1892

One person turned OP’s argument right around on her. 

“YTA.  You should have put on your profile ‘unwilling to participate in another’s culture’ so he wouldn’t have matched with you.”

“They have all accommodated you but you are unwilling to extend the gesture.”

“I highly doubt he expects you to become a fluent speaker but a little effort on your part wouldn’t kill you, especially if you are considering raising children together.” — the-mirrors-truth

Others simply blasted OP for her general lack of effort. 

“YTA for not even trying. Nobody’s asking you to stress yourself to tears with high stakes testing or instant fluency.”

“Your boyfriend, who you say you care about, has asked you to make an effort to something that is important to him and his family so that EVERYONE doesn’t have to immediately cater to YOU.” — TerrifiedSquid

“YTA for putting absolutely no effort into this. You don’t have to be fluent, but you could do a little DuoLingo every day and learn very basic conversational skills.”

“Even just enough to greet people and ask how they are would show that you know this matters to him and that you want to be a part of his family. If this is a deal breaker like you say, then leave.” — swingmadacrossthesun

“YTA You just said no? Not ‘I’ll think about it’? Not ‘I’ll look into it’? Not ‘I’ll give it a shot’?”

“If I were him I would be hurt.”

“You don’t need to be fluent. But it’s obviously important to him so download a program and try a little bit.” — redditlurker100

And some stressed the importance of give and take in multicultural relationships like OP’s. 

“YTA. I will never understand interracial relationships with a partner that has no interest in the other one’s culture.”

“How will you talk to your kids? You sound like the type to get mad when your husband will talk spanish to your kids and feel left out.” — cultqueennn

“YTA — When you enter into a relationship with someone from a different culture, you have to put in the time and effort to properly embrace and participate in their culture.”

“My husband and I are from different backgrounds. While we primarily communicate with each other and our families in English, we both also have made/are making the effort to learn each other’s mother tongues and participate in each other’s cultures as well.”

“If you’re not willing to do that, you might as well stick to dating people from your same background.” — icebluefrost

“YTA. Have you no respect for your boyfriend and his culture? Of course he would want his children to share his native language.”

“You should WANT to share this with him! He isn’t asking you to give a speech in Spanish….he’s asking you to show some interest and make an effort.” — Historical-Piglet-86

“YTA. OP what’s going to happen when he has nieces and nephews and they don’t speak English?”

“What’s going to happen if you two have children? Are you going to insist on English?” — Raibean

Perhaps all the feedback will lead OP to use a different subReddit to begin her Spanish learning journey.

Of course, as it so often goes on the internet, we’ll likely never know the end of the story.

Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.