A 27-year-old woman asked the Reddit community for their opinion after she refused to participate in what her boyfriend’s family calls a ‘fun tradition,’ leaving her relationship on the rocks.
She gives more context in her post, “My boyfriend Eric (29M, fake name) and I (27F) have been dating for three years. We don’t meet them (his parents) very often because they live in my bf’s home country. I don’t want to reveal country names either for privacy reasons, but my bf and I are of different nationalities, and we both work in my country”.
Everything began to unravel around the dinner table when visiting the family. The boyfriend’s youngest sister-in-law asked, “So is she going to take the test?” Not sure what this meant, OP asked, “what test?”.
Family tradition is to ‘test’ the future wife before marriage
As it turns out, the boyfriend’s family has a ‘tradition’ where the future mother-in-law tests the daughter-in-law to see if they are good enough to marry their son. The tests include “how clean they can keep a home, how well they can cook, their manners, etc.”
Apparently, the boyfriend’s mother and aunts also went through this ‘test’; however, OP did not like this idea one bit, “I found it ridiculous because 1. If I’m good enough for my boyfriend, he should be the one deciding it. and 2. I don’t fit in their targeted category. In his mom’s words, you can’t be a good SAHW (Stay at home wife) and SAHM (Stay at home Mom) if you can’t be a good homemaker, and she wants to make sure of that”.
OP added that “his mom and all three of his brothers’ wives are SAHMs, and although I respect their choice, I am not quitting my career and did not under any circumstances make my bf think I could compromise on that.”
Furthermore, she noted that she hates house chores and would rather spend money on gadgets and staff to do the housework for her. OP told her boyfriend’s Mom this, resulting in an argument, which ruined their dinner and, subsequently, their visit.
Her boyfriend says he does not care whether his wife-to-be is a stay-at-home wife or not but feels she should have taken the test regardless because it’s “just a test” and would have had no bearing on their relationship either way.
Suggestion for a ‘husband-worthy’ test
One commenter came up with a novel idea; how about a “husband-worthy” test?
“Let HIM take a test. He can rotate the tires, change the oil and maybe rework the transmission on a car. Install a new muffler while he’s at it. Then he can perform a series of tests of lifting heavy objects. How are his plumbing skills? He’s gonna need to know how to fix a leaky faucet. Your father, brothers, and male friends can judge him on his manliness and decide if he is prepared to be a ‘proper’ husband. He might also need to prove he makes enough money to support you when you must stay home and perform all those ‘wifely’ duties”.
This comment received almost 50 000 upvotes, with many other commenters adding ideas for the “husband-worthy test.” The consensus is that a “wife-worthy” test is just obnoxious and sexist and should have no bearing on their relationship.
Although the boyfriend says he is happy whether his wife chooses a career path or to be a stay-at-home wife, it is highly unlikely that he can easily undo these deeply ingrained beliefs and traditions that his family seems to carry.