Men should make the most money.
Women should clean and cook and raise the children and…
Sterotypes and gender roles and even the idea of a strict gender binary like those above are outdated and, to many, downright insulting.
Of course, relationships come in a limitless variety of permutations—some of them happen to adhere to old gender roles, some don’t. The trouble comes when those gendered expectations lead to judgments.
That was the problem facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) nobsforthemess1 when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions.
“AITA for ‘exposing’ my GF in front of her family?”
He began with the setting.
“So pretty quick story.”
“Me (26 Male), my girlfriend (GF) Madison (27 Female), her parents, her sister/husband, and her younger brother all met up for dinner.”
“Me and Madison have been together 3 years so I know these people very well.”
“Their family is very traditional and outgoing.”
OP pointed out the family has history of teasing each other.
“They really enjoy roasting each other and have a very open family in terms of what they talk about.”
“So her sister was bringing up her love of meal prepping and cooking for her husband. And how much she loved working from home because she could cook so much more for them.”
“She also said that her working from home has given her the chance to do more chores around the house so her husband didn’t have to worry as much when he came home.”
Then he got to the problem at hand.
“Madison’s mom then asked if Madison ever cooked for us. We live together and I do basically everything.”
“I cook, I do all the cleaning, most of the laundry and shopping.”
“Madison takes the trash out.”
“I sorta laughed and said ‘no not really’.”
“Madison said to her mom ‘he’s kidding, I cook every now and then’.”
“I looked at her and said ‘no you don’t, you’ve literally never cooked us a single meal’.”
“Some of her family started cracking up, so I thought it was fine.”
“It’s the truth, I’ve been with Madison for 3 years and she’s never cooked a single thing for us.”
“I don’t care, I’m not with her for her cooking.”
“But I didn’t feel like lying to her parents either.”
“Madison’s mom gave a disappointed?? look to Madison and asked me how I did it because she knows I work long hours.”
“I said that we door-dash a lot because whenever I come home late I don’t always feel like cooking.”
“That I always make us breakfast before we go to work and pack lunches. And that we prolly door dash 3-4 times a week.”
“All of which is true.”
“Madison and her mom gave each other looks and we went back to eating.”
“On the way home Madison was being standoffish so I asked what was wrong.”
“And she went on this whole rant how I didn’t need to ‘expose’ her in front of her family.”
“I said I didn’t realize I said anything that was a secret.”
“She kept going on and on about how just because her sister likes being a housewife doesn’t mean she needs to be one.”
“I said if the truth being told to her parents was such a problem for her then she knows where the pans are and she can start cooking if she has a problem with people knowing she doesn’t.”
“My parents think I didn’t say anything wrong but my sister thinks I might be an AH.”
He was left to wonder.
Having laid out the problem, OP turned to Reddit for some outside opinions.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed to a lack of communication.
“Sounds like a case of her not agreeing with her parents’ housewife standards, but instead of defiantly declaring her lifestyle, she chose to hide it.”
“I can’t judge anyone for how they handle toxic family members with outdated views.”
“BUT people aren’t mindreaders! If she needed her BF to help cover up her disappointing lack of housewife activities, she had to make it clear in advance!”
“Not that he would be obligated to lie and pretend to be some helpless slob who needs his GF to wait on him hand and foot, but that issue is moot when she didn’t even inform him that was her plan!”
“Definitely NTA” ~ JuliaX1984
“I TOTALLY have a conversation about what not to say on the drive to my father’s house.”
“We aren’t very close and he’s super judgmental, so I tell him to keep conversations basically about sports or cars.”
“Nothing personal, no bragging (my husband brags), and don’t mention The Sister. Lol…” ~ LoddyDoddee
Others suggested a lack of honesty wouldn’t help anyone.
” ‘…just because her sister likes being a housewife doesn’t mean she needs to be one.’ “
“This is absolutely true. No question at all. And I don’t think you’re denying that.”
“But she can’t play it both ways.”
“She can’t expect you to do all of the work while she gets ‘credit’ for something she never does.”
“And she can’t be mad at you for telling the truth, especially if she never specifically asked you to keep that detail quiet.”
“Edited to add: NTA.” ~ FerroMancer
For some, this was about a much bigger issue.
“My family thinks my husband is sent from heaven because he loves cooking.”
“Not a single one of us likes cooking. It’s not that we are able to; we just hate it.”
“I ordered food or bought food I didn’t need to cook before he moved in.”
“My mom basically lives on yogurt, toast, and pasta now that she doesn’t have kids at home.”
“So husband handles the food at home and also cooks about half the food on holidays now, and we’re all happier for it.”
“F*ck gender roles tbh. (And OP is NTA.)” ~ athrowingway
Though, OP did not escape without judgment.
“I mean, the only thing that strikes me here is that it doesn’t sound like you did much to defend her to her family.”
“It’s pretty obvious there’s some judgment going on, which is hard to deal with from your loved ones.”
“There’s telling the truth, there’s keeping your mouth shut, and then there’s throwing someone out to the wolves.”
“You don’t really give enough details, but it feels like this was more of the 3rd one.” ~ SeraphymCrashing
Judging someone else’s relationship never ends well.
Especially when that judgment starts and ends with an outside perception of what one person in that relationship gives to the other.
Be wary of those who try to force their views on you—or your partners.