When two families of different backgrounds come together in a marriage, it’s difficult to guess what the results will be.
Some families will be thoroughly welcoming of their differences, while others will actively challenge them, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor aitabump was fed up with her family’s critiques of her and her husband when he showed her affection by touching her pregnant belly in public.
When the family demanded he stop and called him an “outsider,” the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to do next.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to ask my husband to stop touching my baby bump?”
The OP and her husband liked to show each other affection.
“Pretty much if I’m in proximity my husband will touch my baby bump no matter where we are or who we’re with.”
“I think he does it instinctively since he doesn’t seem to notice he’s doing it the few times I’ve pointed it out to him.”
The OP’s extended family didn’t appreciate their behavior.
“It’s never been a problem until my cousin approached me and told me it was making some of my extended family uncomfortable and they felt it was inappropriate in front of their children.”
“My extended family are conservative Muslim, and being physically affectionate with your spouse in front of others is something none of them do.”
“My husband is very physically affectionate and he did tone it down when we first got married but he’s started to slip up and do it in front of them once in a while.”
“I don’t mind it so I haven’t said anything to him.”
This resulted in a disagreement.
“My cousin asked me to talk to my husband about it but I refused to.”
“She got angry at me and called me inconsiderate and said I was like this because I married an outsider.”
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 thought the OP’s family was mad about who she married.
“NTA. Seems like the issue really stems from them not liking the fact that you married an “outsider” and will find any excuse to find offense.” – babygerbil
“NTA. It’s not appropriate to force one’s culture or customs on someone who doesn’t desire to follow them. Your husband isn’t doing what he’s doing to harass or offend them, and they don’t have the right to look down on him for being an outsider.” – TinyRascalSaurus
“NTA – he’s not being affectionate with you – he is connecting with his unborn child the only way he can. Tell your family to get their heads out of their a**es and stop being b*gots… Outsider indeed.” – First-Butterscotch-3
“NTA, and your husband sounds very sweet. It does sound like your family has more of an issue with him being an outsider than him touching your belly. It’s not an inappropriate area at all and i can’t imagine he’s being odd or sensual about it.”
“Your husband is trying to feel connected to you and his child, and it’s sweet that he’s doing so. Love languages are also a thing, is your husband usually physically affectionate with you?”
“I’d watch out for your extended family around your child though, especially if they see your husband as an ‘outsider.’ Hopefully they won’t carry the same judgement for your child.” – tteetth
“He loves you. He loves the baby you’re carrying. I think it’s incredibly sweet that he’s constantly reaching for the only physical connection he has to the baby right now.”
“People who feel that affection between husbands, wives and children is shameful and should never see the light of day are the outsiders.” – ZealousSuperhero
“This is a totally different story than what I was prepared for. I thought we were in for a parter who wouldn’t respect their pregnant partner’s personal boundaries (people do seem to think a baby bump is an invitation).”
“What I actually read was a group of people who are deeply unhappy that OP and her ‘outsider’ partner are happy. Screw them. Now might be a good time to go low-contact, before the little niblet arrives. NTA.” – Organized_Khaos
Others thought the family was jealous or repulsed by physical affection.
“As an ex-muslim, I can tell you that they’re really not used to seeing display of affection. You’ll rarely see married couples holding hands because it’s deemed indecent, even though they all secretly crave it. So my guess is that it’s less about him being an outsider and more about jealousy.” – yas_22
“My husband’s family are Muslims from South Asia (I am not), and they’re pretty sensitive about married couples touching each other in public/in front of others.”
“It was a big issue for me at first because I am physically affectionate, like OP’s husband, whereas my husband has literally never seen his parents kiss.”
“Luckily we worked out a comprise level of touch in front of his family that allows me to express myself but doesn’t make them too uncomfortable, because they are lovely people who were willing to compromise.” – BlueSkiesOverLondon
“Conservative Hindu family here, and my mother radiates embarrassment whenever my husband and I touch each other, lol (laughing out loud).” – Specific-Think
“I’m Muslim and I don’t like to be affectionate or be touched around people, but I will never dictate to anyone how they should behave.”
“It’s ridiculous every person has the freedom to do what they please. I wish everyone mind their own business and stop giving unsolicited advice.” – Positive-Internet-73
“I have a Muslim ex, and she told me that she’s literally seen her dad kiss her mom once in her entire life. It seriously can make even the most innocent of affection out to be practically boning in public.”
“It can be a hard cultural gap to bridge, but seems like OP wants to move away from that aspect of her family’s culture and her husband has toned things down to try and be respectful. That’s really all that can be asked, because in their son-in-law’s culture it’s important to show affection to family members. They have to be somewhat respectful of his culture, as well.” – LawBird33101
“I think that it is so heart warming that your husband feels this unconscious pull to his child and has such strong affection for his wife. It says so many wonderful things about the kind of man he is.”
“That being said it might not hurt to have a conversation with him about remembering how your Muslim family members feel about physical affection when you are in their homes. But I would frame it like that and not specifically mention your baby bump.”
“Having said that I would personally only make those kinds of effort when in their house and not when they come into mine. If you don’t like the way things are in my home you can obstain from visiting.”
“Family is always hard. No one is the asshole here.” – shaddowcat
Some said the only thing that mattered was that the OP was comfortable.
“NTA! It just sounds like he’s trying to feel connected to his child. As long as you’re okay with the physical affection, then nobody else’s opinion matters.” – DarlingGem
“This really isn’t a situation where their input is necessary at all. It’s not their relationship or their child, and OP’s husband is doing nothing wrong. NTA.” – TheGoverness1998
“NTA, but I think you should tell your husband that you don’t mind at all, but some family members are having a strong reaction to it.”
“If I was doing something that made my in laws uncomfortable, I would like to know, so I can either decide to continue, knowing there might be consequences, or I can just watch myself in specific situations.”
“I love that you’re standing up for your husband, I just know that if I was at the center of ‘family drama,’ I’d rather know and make my own choices.” – The_Krudler
“NTA. If they are uncomfortable, that’s on them. It’s not like he’s humping your leg. It’s his child! Conservative Anythings drive me crazy.” – Tiablolu
“NTA. As long as you are OK with it, why should he stop? It’s not like you’re engaging in foreplay in front of the family, he’s simply happy about the child you’re expecting together.” – Bostonya
“NTA. As long as it doesn’t bother you, it’s nobody’s business. You’re married. Who cares if it ‘offends’ their ‘religious’ sensibilities. It’s not like he’s feeling you up in front of toddlers.” – supergeek921
“NTA and watch how jealous your cousin gets when your husband shows what an awesome daddy he is.”
“Your husband sounds like a sweetheart. As long as it doesn’t bother you, don’t say anything. Too precious.” – FairyFartDaydreams
While the OP was concerned about how her family was perceiving her relationship with her husband, the subReddit believed that she was in a loving relationship and getting ready to have a baby.
There were some, however, who suggested toning down affection in front of her family, simply for the chance of keeping the peace, not because they were actually doing anything wrong.