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Woman Walks Out After She’s Scolded For Talking During Dinner With Boyfriend’s Family

older man shushing
Antonella Di Martino / EyeEm/GettyImages

Meeting a partner’s family for the very first time can be a very nerve-racking experience.

Everyone tries to put their best foot forward.

But sometimes family traditions and behaviors can clash.

And that can lead to issues.

Case in point…

Redditor Euphoric_Rabbit7706 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for leaving after being told to be quiet at dinner?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“The title probably makes it sound worse than it was, but I’m still conflicted.”

“My (F[emale] 21) boyfriend (M[ale] 24) of almost a year, invited me to dinner with his family.”

“Mom, dad and his 16 year old brother.”

“Never met them prior to that.”

“The only thing I knew about them is that they’re conservative and Christians but lovely people.”

“And they were.”

“I got along really well with them, before dinner.”

“They were lovely and talkative.”

“When it was time for dinner, my b[oy]f[riend]’s dad wanted to pray.”

“After praying he said, something alone the lines of ‘let us dig in and let the food keep us quiet.'”

“This is a pretty popular saying in our country, mostly told to young children in school.”

“My understanding of this has always been that you shouldn’t speak with food in your mouth or be extremely loud at the table.”

“I wouldn’t say its a cultural thing, though.”

“I dug in, took a bite.”

“It was fish soup. Absolutely delicious.”

“And y’know, like a good guest I wanted to compliment the cook.”

“‘This is delicious – is it saffron? A perfect autumn soup!’”

“My bfs brother looked surprised.”

“My bfs father hushed me. Big time.”

“A really aggressive SHHH with a finger over his lips.”

“And then he said, again, ‘Let the food keep us quiet.'”

“I aplogized because I thought I had accidentally spoken with food in my mouth or something.”

“But a few minutes passed and nobody said a word.”

“Super awkward and weird, especially since they had been so talkative before.”

“My bf was also unusually quiet.”

“After a few minutes I was too weirded out and asked about their day, and how nice it was that they invited me there.”

“And his mother did the hush thing? So awkward.”

“I think this is when it clicked, no speaking at all at the table.”

“Let the food keep us quiet.”

“Really quiet. But this was a super awkward situation, and I couldn’t deal with that.”

“Imagine sitting at a table with 5 people, everybody eating soup looking dead serious.”

“So I laughed, it just slipped out.”

“Ended up being told off by bfs parents that I was being disrespectful etc.”

“And if I didn’t respect how their household worked I could eat alone in the kitchen.”

“We were eating in like a separate dining room.”

“Sooo, I thanked them for the food and left to the hotel me and bf stayed at.”

“My boyfriend later told me that was an as**hole move, that I should’ve just kept quiet or eat alone in the kitchen.”

“I understand their family traditions and rules, but it was so weird.”

“I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

“Was I being an a**hole though?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. He could have warned you and given you the opportunity to skip dinner because you don’t dine in monasteries.”

“Also you are not a three year old to be sent to the kitchen to eat alone.”  ~ AryaIsWaif

“This is super controlling, weird behavior.”

“Do they shush everyone who eats with them or do expect OP to follow this controlling behavior?”

“They fact they tried to send her to the kitchen to eat is absolutely bizarre.”  ~ Lazyoat

“And rude! You don’t speak to guests in your home that way.”

“You don’t treat guests in your home that way.”

“Sounds like they were treating her like a child, the way they treat their adult children.”

“OP, run away. NTA.”  ~ CJSinTX

“‘You don’t treat people that way’ – It honestly is irrelevant if the people they’re treating like this are guests in their home.”

“If they want people to be dead silent while they eat, they should say so in a respectful manner before the actual meal instead of using a children’s rhyme when everyone’s already sitting at the table and expecting people to figure out what they mean.”

“It’s disrepectful enough to treat children this way, but I get why people do it.”

“Treating an adult this way is beyond the pale.”

“OP, run far and fast.”

“I don’t think it will get better.”

“It’d be one thing if your boyfriend had your back or had let you know beforehand so you could choose to stay for dinner or skip it.”

“He allowed you to be subjected to this treatment and then didn’t even apologize but is expecting you to apologize for not being a doormat.”

“Hard NTA.”  ~ vulperapal

“The controlling behavior from the parents would make me seriously consider not marrying into that family.”

“The fact that OPs bf didn’t give her a heads up and then blamed her for not going along with it is a red flag.”

“They need to have a frank conversation about what the bfs expectations are and if he is expecting anything like obedience OP needs to get out.”  ~ Sea-Ad3724

“NTA- first off your boyfriend should’ve given you a heads up, you guys have been together long enough that sounds like he would understand that this wouldn’t be something you’re familiar with.”

“Second of all when you invite a guest over, you don’t treat them like that.”

“Even if it’s not your tradition, you need to be a little bit tolerant.”

“That sounds like a weirdly controlling family.” ~ Roadgoddess

“This is incredibly petty, but my first urge would be to go to the kitchen and have a conversation with myself.”

“See how long they take until coming in to shush again.”

“But life isn’t always about petty revenge, so OP definitely took the high road here.”

“Also, NTA.”  ~ Sunny_Daze_Ahead

“Yeah at 24 years old there is no way the bf doesn’t know that this behaviour is super weird.”

“Not warning your partner that your family is insane, is an a**hole move in and of itself.”

“If she was warned, still chose to come, and talked anyway, I’d say she’s TA.”

“Under the circumstances NTA, and bf needs to warn people before subjecting them to this nonsense and expecting them to know how to behave accordingly.”  ~ Ancient_Potential285

“NTA… your bf should have warned you before going.”

“How does that meal even help you meet them?”

“I feel a different activity would have made more sense.”  ~ Solid-Guest1350

“I agree. What have their dates been like?”

“He asks her out to dinner and then… says nothing on the date?”

“In which case how did they EVER form a relationship?”

“Or maybe he’s acted totally normally up until now?”

“In which case, he KNOWS his family’s behavior isn’t normal so why didn’t he give her a heads up?”

“NTA and I’d re-examine this relationship.” ~ ladynox25

“NTA Your boyfriend should have warned you in advance that you weren’t allowed to speak at the table in his family.”

“And when it came apparent that you didn’t know that was a thing, they could have calmly explained except of shushing you or sending you to the kitchen like a child.”

“I would have left as well, to be honest.” ~ Fantastic-Focus-7056

“Yeah that’s the weirdest part.”

“Just repeating ‘let the food keep us quiet’ a few times and shushing OP like a toddler was such weirdly terrible communication!!”

“If literally any of them had just whispered something like, ‘We don’t speak until we are all finished eating,’ after the first time she spoke, there would have been no issue.”

“The fact that they expected this extremely absurd behavior to just be accepted without explanation feels intentionally contrived for OP to fail.”  ~ Kathrynlena

“I mean I am going with NTA because…”

“1) BF didn’t warn you beforehand…”

“2) Because when spoke they just hushed you instead of… I don’t know… taking 10 seconds to explain the rule?”

“I think you were put in an incredibly awkward situation and therefore didn’t really know how to react?”

“Also I am someone who laughs when nervous or uncomfortable so I too would of been in trouble.

“Also I could not have dinner with a family who says absolutely no speaking at the dinner table.”

“I would be incredibly uncomfortable only hearing other peoples eating noises.” ~ Helpful_Emotion_1764

OP came back with deets…

“My bf talks when we’re eating.”

“I know he has a weird relationship with his family.”

“I was about to meet them this summer but he changed his mind and said it wasn’t a good time.”

“He’s also told some weird stories about them but usually excuses it by that they’re conservative Christian’s and that’s how they roll and that they’re still good people.”

“But some people said this dinner thing has nothing to do with being christian or conservative.”

“So I’m guessing the other weird things has nothing to do with it either.”

“It’s just so weird that they made me feel so loved and welcomed at first and then treated me like crap.”

“I haven’t talked a lot with my bf after this happened (Friday) because I went home on Saturday and he stayed.”

“He did tell me he had no idea they were going to do that when I was there?”

“He said not every dinner is like that.”

“And I guess I’m kind of bad with social clues and my bf just expected me to understand.”

“I don’t think he’s ever mentioned the quiet table though.”

“I also want to say that the expression I’m talking about can literally mean two things.”

“It’s either shut up and eat or don’t speak with food in your mouth.”

“But no one takes it literally and most people interpret it as don’t speak with food in your mouth.”

Well OP, sounds like Reddit is with you.

No one likes being shushed, especially adults.

Hopefully you and the BF can get past this.

Good luck.