In-laws expectations and in general their ideas about who their child is and who you need to be to marry them already comes with a set of problems and complications, but sometimes in-laws can really decide they are going to take issue with anything and everything they can about their child’s spouse.
For example, Redditor julie_sparks found herself on tenterhooks with her husband’s family after It looked like she might graduate college before him. Anticipating pushback, she knew she had to get objective opinions before going ahead with it.
She went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” in order to get some much needed feedback from strangers:
“AITA for graduating college before my husband?”
Our original poster, or OP, talked about how her husband’s parents were a bit difficult.
“Hello everyone! I am f/22 & my husband is m/23 and we are both college students (online). My husband has been in college longer than me but he has struggled quite a bit resulting in me being ahead in my academic standing.”
“This leads me to the dilemma: I am set to graduate this spring, and he has aprox. 3 semesters left.”
“My husband has become more accepting that I want to graduate before him, but he would prefer me to wait for him.”
“The main reason for this is so that it would not cause a fight within his family (his parents tend to blow things up, drag on drama, and just overall make things worse than they need to be).”
“We are already on thin ice with his parents and they will very likely be extremely upset if I graduate before him.”
“I imagine that will not only be a source of stress for my husband but will likely result in some sort of bashing for me as well and possibly ruin my graduation.”
“All of this aside, I have worked really hard to graduate on time. I am excited and ready to get my degree that I have busted my a** for and start career searching or go to graduate school.”
“I feel really guilty knowing my success in school is going to come with a price and that my husband will suffer for it. Please help.”
“TLDR; AITA for wanting to graduate before my husband even if it will cause a fight between him and his parents?”
After some replies, she threw in more details to help clarify the situation.
“He has not told his parents he is behind in school and they are expecting him to graduate with me. I obviously can’t include all the details about his family, but please be respectful in understanding that you do not know the entire dynamic there.
“They do pay for his schooling and though it is possible they would stop doing that. Which adds a level of stress to things.”
“Also please don’t get it twisted my husband is not demanding I wait for him, and he is not mad at me for wanting to graduate on time. He would just prefer if I waited.”
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 definitely thought OP had nothing to worry about.
“How exactly will you NOT graduate? Are you planning to skip the next 5 semester while he catches up?”
“What will you do in the interim? Will you be eligible for better paying jobs as soon as you graduate?”
“You need to do what’s best for YOUR family – you and him – and that most certainly means graduating and moving on to the next steps that will put BOTH of you in a better situation more quickly.”
“If you want to save him some hassle, just don’t invite them to your graduation. Block they from seeing any social media posts about it, and go on with your life.”
“If you already have limited contact with them, they’re not going to find out until you are both better prepared to handle them and can tell them.”
“Or just tell them and end any meeting/phone call/text conversation the moment they bring it up or harass him. You teach them how to interact with you.”-biscuitboi967
“NTA. I am sorry but do not put your person growth behind anyone elses for any reason. How long will it take him to complete the 3 semesters?”
“How long are you prepared to just wait it out because someone else isn’t where you are yet? To me, that seems like a waste of your hard work and time and money just to pacify grown adults, and thats just bonkers.”
“You would be an a**hole for coddling people who should be proud and supportive of you but are choosing to do otherwise for the sake of their own comfort.”-AcceptableHome3
“Beyond what everyone else says you should not delay your graduation to ensure that you are able to graduate.”
“Most programs have a limit to how long you can be in the program before your classes time out or new requirements for graduation apply.”
“Occasionally programs, and even schools, become de-accredited which also may affect your graduation and future.”
“And life can also throw a monkey wrench in your plans. You never know. Graduate. Start your life. Stop allowing people who are not a part of your immediate family to dictate your successes. NTA”-Slytherinsrus
“NTA. You worked your a** off for your degree. It sounds like the in laws will stir up drama regardless of what you do.”
“You said your hubby isn’t demanding you wait, but he would prefer it. That’s still just as bad. Because as you said, you fear your graduation will be ruined.”
“Don’t count on your in laws for support. Please graduate on time. If you do wait, whose to say he will pass all the classes, like others have said?”
“Prepare for the worst but expect the best. Please do not let him persuade you to wait. This is an important opportunity for you.”-BritAllie8
And people strongly advised her NOT to wait.
“NTA. You’re considering waiting around for three semesters? Doing what exactly? I can’t believe your husband ‘has become more accepting’, that’s ridiculously petty, he should be excited for you.”
“If you think your legal family can’t be happy for you without making a stink because your husband isn’t graduating at the same time, don’t invite them and celebrate only with your family or friends.”-improvisada
“Is this how you want to spend the rest of your life? Carefully orchestrating your successes to not outshine your husband?”
“Not congratulated for your accomplishments, but hiding them to protect a fragile ego and overreaching family?”
“My god, that sounds like hell. Get your degree. NTA.”-mistoffoleess
“NTA Ask yourself, does the opinion of people who would be upset about something like this matter?”
“If you hold yourself back to appease his parents, this will start a dangerous precedent of allowing their preferences to control your relationship.”
“He needs to establish boundaries with HIS parents and, if he can’t, you will need to decide what you want to do IRT your current relationship.”
“If you are married, YOU are his priority. Your achievement is something he should be proud of and celebrate, not worry about how it affects him.”
“If he is more concerned about his parents than you, you need to address that with him.”
“Couples counseling is a good step, or just sitting down and verbally addressing your expectations about your relationship and future. Things change, so reassessing mutual goals is not a bad idea.”-Tiffy_the_Doc
“NTA And I think it would be better if you reframed this in your mind. His parents are not upset with you for graduating early.”
“They are upset with their son for screwing around and not graduating on time. But they are taking it out on you instead. Funny how things look different from this side.”
“You worked hard for this, you deserve to graduate on time and move on by getting a job or going to grad school. Don’t let him hold you back from success.”-lightmay0
People also questioned if she would, for the rest of her life, put her husband and his difficult family before her own wants and needs.
“NTA and if you wait too long to apply for graduation you can miss your window altogether and have to take more classes.”
“Who knows if he will ever get it together and actually graduate? Three semesters behind – it isn’t looking good.”
“Don’t screw up all your hard work out of a misguided sense of loyalty. He is a grown man. He can deal with Mommy and Daddy himself.”-WholeCollection6454
“NTA. Op 3 semesters is a long time. A lot can happen and honestly it could even be longer than 3, then what will you keep delaying it?”
“You not graduating means giving up opportunities that you could have had if you took it. You say that you will fight with his family if you do but what about between the two of you.”
“Could you honestly say that you delay it and miss out on jobs/grad school/ whatever you won’t think back to this and say look what I did to avoid this fight and not lead to more fights let alone if it’s not 3 semesters. I think you might avoid 1 fight but in the long run cause a much bigger one.”-Junior-Ad-1168
“NTA. You are not the reason there are issues with his family. They are creating those issues.”
“Get your degree and start your career. You are still a good wife and person if you graduate before your husband, and he is still a good person and husband if he graduates after you.”-YesterdaySalt9464
“NTA. Do not put your success on the back burner for anyone. Things can change and you can loose opportunities over it. Secure your degree and start building your career.”
“If your husband is a good partner he would support you, and if his family is truly that toxic then y’all need to go no contact.”
“Don’t dull your shine for people who don’t deserve it. It’s the main thing that causes bright women to get drug down and fail in life. Seen it so many times.”-No_Part4640
At the end of it all, OP came to her senses.
“!!!!UPDATE PLEASE READ!!!!!! I have decided to just go ahead and graduate when I am supposed to which is Spring 2022 (provided I do well in all my upcoming courses.)”
“Thank you all for taking the time to respond I really appreciate everyone’s kind words, advice, and words of affirmation!”
So thankfully, OP will put herself first in this situation—and regardless what drama comes up, she is in a better position to deal with it.