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Mexican-American Guy Feels ‘Betrayed’ After Learning Girlfriend Is Fluent In Spanish And Didn’t Tell Him

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Bringing a new partner into an immigrant family can be a challenging process given the many cultural and language differences that can arise.

But for one Mexican-American man on Reddit, the situation became complicated not because his girlfriend didn’t fit in with his Mexican family, but because in one key way she fit in better than he does–she speaks fluent Spanish.

Since she never told him she speaks the language, he felt betrayed and drama ensued.

He wasn’t sure about how he’d handled things, so he went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by Squarebinder1234 on the site, asked:

“AITA for getting angry at my(m[ale] 29) girl friend (f[emale] 28) for hiding that she speaks Spanish?”

He explained:

“My family is from Mexico but I was born in the US. I am the only one in my family who doesn’t speak Spanish, all my extended family (grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc.) speak it but I never really cared for it that much.”

“Katia (my girlfriend) knows I am Mexican and she asked if I spoke Spanish but when I said no, she didn’t push which I found refreshing, usually people ask a lot of questions.”

“She never said she spoke Spanish but I remember her watching something and hearing Spanish but I figured she had subtitles on. If it’s important, Kate is from Germany.”

“Katia and I have been together for 3 months. It’s not long but it’s been intense. My grandmother had birthday on Saturday and my family threw her a huge part.”

“I invited Katia to come along with me as it would be perfect time to meet my family and they’re always very welcoming. Katia agreed.”

When we got there, everyone switched to English to speak to Kate but they quickly went back to Spanish.”

“I went to grab a beer and came back to find Katia talking to my aunt, in Spanish (!). I came over and played it cool, telling her I didn’t know she spoke it, yadda yadda.”

“When Katia was with me, she spoke English but whenever she spoke to one of my family members alone, she switched because they switched.”

“It made me really uncomfortable, especially since it wasn’t your typically barely spoken Spanish, it was full on, fluent Spanish and she understood my fast speaking relatives.”

“I got really annoyed with her but said nothing.”

“My grandma told me how much she loved Katia and how she’s happy I found such an amazing girl. All my family loved her and couldn’t stop singing praises about her.”

“On our way back, I got really angry with her and when we got to my apartment, I told her that I feel betrayed that she hid she spoke Spanish and how she made a fool of me out there.”

“I admit I was shouting because I was so angry. I felt humiliated.”

“She asked me to calm down and told me she never hid anything. I accused her of sneakily making her way into my family instead of having them warm up gradually.”

“She asked if I was being serious and I confirmed. She called me a jerk and left my apartment. I was too angry to stop her.”

I am waiting for her to call me with apologies, but she hasn’t been in touch since Saturday night.”

“I told my brother about it and he told me I am the fool but I really feel disrespected by Katia.”

“AITA for getting angry and shouting she hid she spoke my language?”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And while some were able to understand where OP was coming from, most agreed he was projecting his own insecurities on his girlfriend.

“Hey. Mexican here.”

“Spanish was something that was required at home, but not extremely relevant at school for myself.”

“I had to learn English and switch it to my primary language in order to move forward in academics, socialization, etc.”

“Along the way because of sh*t narratives and personal insecurities; I lost interest in my native language.”

“My Spanish is extremely broken, I can understand when people speak Spanish, I can respond in English and spanish, but my spoken Spanish alone is still uncultivated.”

“I admit I feel shame, guilt, and anger when I can’t find the confidence to connect with my own Raza.”

“I’m no Saint nor am I saying I’ve never been petty about this position before.”

“There’s a lot to unpack for yourself here.. relationship dynamics, family dynamics, inner dynamics.. so I can see why you got mad..”

“Fact of the matter is though.. that your partner most likely didn’t bring up the fact that she speaks fluent Spanish because of your own disconnection to your native tongue.”

“You didn’t want to be subjected to questions about your own choices, which I understand and respect. So did she.”

“The fact that she was more than willing to connect with your family on their own comfort level isn’t something to be mad about and you know that.”

“You’re upset about your own choices, and it’s okay to feel guilt about not being as excited, interested, passionate, or invested in your own culture when it comes to the language.”

“She’s not in the wrong for knowing another language, or for making sure your comfort was first and foremost, or for making sure that your family was comfortable engaging with her on a level she knew she could meet them in.”

“She wasn’t being sneaky, vindictive, she didn’t lie, nor did she have bad intentions.”

“You’re just insecure about your own choices and you have a lot of habits to break down for yourself and the longevity of your future relationships.”

“There’s not a way to sugar coat it, you’re in the wrong and you could do well with better awareness of yourself.”

“So, YTA. For unjustly yelling, embarrassing, judging, and invalidating your (most likely ex) girlfriend just because she was being a wholesome and diverse individual.” –ahiezer23_32-

“I have cousins I haven’t seen in years because they didn’t embrace the language/culture and felt uncomfortable at family gatherings.”

“They just gave up and moved on which is sad. Of course that’s not everyone’s case. OP needs to reflect on what speaking Spanish means to him and grow up.” –sweetartart

“I get OP’s issues, my brother’s the same – our family’s from Russia but we were born in Israel, and while I learned as much Russian as I could and went as far as to take extra classes in high school to make my grandparents (who emigrated when they were over 60 and had trouble learning Hebrew) as comfortable as I could, my brother figured whatever he heard spoken at home (casual conversations) was all the Russian he needed.”

“Now I’m the one who helps the grandparents with insurance and my brother’s the one who gets angry when Grandpa sends a joke in Russian to our family group chat, because he can’t read it.”

“It’s okay to feel guilt and regret at your past choices, and being disconnected from your family due to a language barrier is a horrible feeling.”

“What isn’t okay is taking that frustration out on a person who happens to know the language you gave up on.”

“The mature thing for OP to do is either accept that the gf will always communicate with his relatives better than him, or sit his a** down and learn Spanish if it bothers him so much.”

“(Also I hope the girl dumps him, he’s so rude to her oh my god)” –Getting_Bi

“YTA. Forget the language aspect (of which you never actually asked) but accusing her of “sneakily” making her way into your family? What does that even mean?”

“If you truly like her, you should be happy that they do too. You’re projecting your personal family issues onto her and it may make you lose the relationship.” –rcr1126

“‘She’s trying to steal my Grandma!'”

“OP, probably.”

“YTA” –You_Pulled_My_String

“Dude, settle in for a looong wait if you think you’re owed an apology.”

“YTA and you owe her an apology if she’s even willing to speak to you.”

“The ‘sneakily’ making her way remark was the icing on the cake, and you humiliated and made a fool of yourself with your tantrum.”

“Q: Do you speak Spanish? A: No. – is a complete conversation.”

“What would you have done if she’d replied to your ‘No’ by letting you know that she did speak the language, accuse her of ‘humiliating’ you by bragging?!” –ObjectiveSense102

“Dude is sublimating his shame of not knowing Spanish into anger at his girlfriend because she does. You never asked her, OP.”

“You’d be writing here complaining she’s a one-upper if you had said, ‘I don’t speak Spanish’ and she replied, ‘Oh, well I do.'”

“If you like this girl you need to apologize and head on over to babbel or duolingo and start working on your spanish–you know, so you can talk to your family!!”

“If you don’t like her, just keep going like you’re going because I don’t think you’re going to hear from her again. YTA.” –Difficult_Dot_8981

Hopefully OP can learn from this.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.