We all need a little guidance sometimes.
Whether it’s deciding on what color to paint the bathroom or whether to get the chicken or the pork at lunch, we all need a little outside perspective from time to time.
What happens, though, when someone asks for your opinion and then gets mad about the result?
This was the question facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) melon342 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for outside opinions.
“AITA for telling my friend I didn’t think the clothes she was packing were appropriate for her trip to meet my in-laws/her boyfriend’s family?”
To begin, OP explained a family tradition.
“Before anybody in my husband’s family gets married, they ask the grandparents for their approval/permission.”
“If they say no, the marriage usually doesn’t happen.”
“The only time a no still led to a marriage was when my husband’s parents married.”
“Fitting into my husband’s family was extremely difficult in the beginning, and the only reason I got a yes is because I was already pregnant by the time my husband introduced me to everyone.”
Then she got to the particulars of the situation.
“My friend is dating my husband’s cousin and has been for longer than I’ve been with my husband.”
“This trip was the first time she was meeting the family officially, though.”
“I was with her while she was packing and I noticed she was packing revealing outfits and nothing more toned down.”
“I tried to hint to her to pack some of her more conservative outfits and her nicer outfits too because I know how some of my in-laws can be and I know how much is riding on this trip for her.”
Everything was fine, until…
“She wasn’t getting my hints and eventually when she asked me what I thought of a dress she was packing I told her I didn’t think the clothes she was packing were appropriate and that it wasn’t going to win their approval (which is what she wants).”
“She got angry at me for trying to dictate what she could wear and told me that since they said yes to me after I showed up already knocked up, they would definitely say yes to her.”
“She ended up kicking me out and things were extremely awkward between us during the flight there since she was still angry at me.”
OP was left to wonder.
“We’re currently in the middle of the trip which has been a disaster but was I TA for saying the clothes weren’t appropriate?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
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 questioned why people were trying to get into this family at all.
“NTA but FFS who would WANT to be in a family like that? She should run fast and far.” ~ bri1234567
“This is what I am saying.”
“This has a very weird patriarchal mafia style family. Gives me the creeps just reading about it.” ~ darkcomet222
Others pointed out that OP was merely trying to help, as requested.
“She went on this trip with a purpose to win them over, and she brought you into that.”
“You were only doing your part as her friend. She seems to have missed the memo that the point of this trip was to win over the older folk.”
“Out of curiousity… how do they like her?” ~ TheHipReplacement
“This is what gets me.”
“I assumed that OP’s friend knew and therefore wanted OP’s advice based on her experience.”
“Which makes the friend the AH for not only dismissing the advice she asked for, but also misconstruing the situation as OP trying to control her wardrobe.”
“If OP’s friend didn’t know, that’s on the cousin for not telling the friend the stakes of the visit.”
“On top of this, I think the wisest thing for the friend to do regardless is to take OP’s advice.”
“Isn’t it pretty standard to dress more conservatively when hanging out with your own grandparents?”
“Let alone meeting your SO’s family for the first time, even if there’s no tradition of the grandparents ruling on whether this SO is acceptable or not.”
“It’s just a way of not provoking a needless fight. I feel like insisting on dressing in more revealing clothes in the first visit is asking for trouble.” ~ saucynoodlelover
“She asked you directly what you thought about her clothing choices for this specific event, and you told her the truth.”
“You weren’t trying to force her to change her style, you were being honest about the fact that the family is more traditional/conservative, and she may want to choose her apparel with that in mind to help her achieve the outcome she’s hoping for.”
“If she wants them to accept her whether she meets them in more revealing clothes or not, that’s entirely up to her.”
“- But she has to be prepared that, knowing that they don’t usually judge women favorably based on this, that she may not get the approval she’s looking for because of that.”
“She has to decide what matters more to her; what’s not cool is the fact that she lashed out at you for honestly answering the question she asked.” ~ ScratchShadow
Commenters felt some of the blame should go to the fiancee in question.
“Ok, I was thinking this, as well.”
“He obviously knows how she dresses and acts, if he was so concerned about his grandparent’s approval, then he would have warned her OR he is being an a*s and trying to stick it to his family.”
“Either way, I feel like he should have least made her aware how they were, so she could be prepared emotionally.”
“However, I’m not really sure why I read all these post where people want to wear really revealing things on a family trip meeting the family.”
“Time and place, but I think it’s barbaric that they would take their opinion and choose whether or not they want to marry a person by the first meeting.”
“NTA, because I think you meant well, but this is weird.” ~ Typical-Garlic-7308
While other commenters thought that OP wasn’t innocent in this.
“If that man won’t marry her just because some awful, controlling old relative says no, then she is better without him.”
“So the only people in that family that have a working backbone are your in laws??”
“Honestly I wouldn’t wish a friend of mine to be in that horrible family.”
“You people do know that you don’t actually need their permission right? You can go no contact and be done with their old flakey a*ses.”
“Yta because when you support an abuser, you are one.” ~ KingOfDarkness_CB
There were personal stories.
“This where I’m at.”
“If it’s taken me THIS LONG for you to introduce me to your judgy grandma, who then somehow gets to decide IF I’m worthy of marriage…I’m just gonna be me when I meet them.”
“At that point, I’m testing my BF as much as his family is testing me. You stand up for me now, or you never will.”
“My dad hates tattoos.”
“Husband is covered in them.”
“So he took great pains to wear a full on hoodie while helping me move when my dad was present.”
“First thanksgiving, he helped cook (chef) and did so in a long-sleeved collared shirt while my dad watched.”
“And then a few months later my dad made some comment about looking like he went to prison.”
“I. Saw. Red. Boundaries were set. Contact was lowered.”
“And not a godd*mn shady word has been uttered since. I hold the power over who gets my time.”
“So it doesn’t matter what she wears.”
“It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t make a single misstep the entire time she is there.”
“It doesn’t matter if she is pregnant out of wedlock or the Virgin Mary.”
“If they don’t like her, they won’t care what she’s wearing.”
“They’ll find some other reason to ‘say no’ to an adult man marrying the woman he chooses.”
“So f*cking find out now. Get it all on the table, and let your friends bf let her know if HE is worth marrying.” ~ biscuitboi967
Commenters pointed out that how you say something can be just as important as what you say.
“As long as it was conveyed in a, ‘love your style, but as someone who has been there, this trip might call for your most conservative clothes since the grandparents are from a much different generational mindset’ and not, ‘the way you dress, they will think you’re a tramp’.”
“Sometimes it might be a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation:”
“~ On the one hand, your friend would likely be very distraught if she came back without the approval and felt like she should have been warned by you.”
“~On the other hand, sometimes being a good friend is actually being able to take the risk to convey information that is important for a friend to know in a kind (yet direct) way.” ~ MolassesFragrant342
Of course, everyone has an opinion.
Asking for that opinion can come with some inherent risks when you aren’t totally sure that that opinion might be.
Remember to show patience when asking for opinions, and kindness when accepting them.