Comments about ‘Ask Angela: I don't like how my future husband treats his mom’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 6 2014 5:00 a.m. MST

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Allen, TX

"On the other hand, if he’s like, “Hey, doing dishes?? That’s only a woman’s job!” Then break up with him."

Sound advice. It's not about the dishes, it's about partnership. Yes, roles do evolve in a long-term relationship as job and school schedules change, but the attitude that "that's your job, because you're a woman" is going to be hard to change. Unfortunately, many times it was his Mom that taught it to him....

Good luck getting this schlub to change a diaper....


Watch how he treats his mother and servers in restaurants too. On a first date if the man talks badly about every single ex or treats the server like garbage there will not be a second date. He and the rest of his family were obviously raised with their mother doing everything for them and your husband to be needs to realize that you are NOT his mother. My ex fiance (with good reason I might add) treated me like that and I put him in check immediately. He couldn't stand it and fought it tooth and nail so three weeks before the wedding I returned the ring and moved on. Best thing I ever did

Needa Nap
St.George, UT

I would get out NOW! He has learned from whomever what a women's role is. If he would not help his mother their is no way he will start helping you. He will expect you to be his mother and maid servant. I have gone through this which ended in divorce. My ex husband sat around on the computer for hours or laid on the couch while I did everything, including working full time. When he decided he didn't need to work at all while holding out for a, "management position" I could take it any longer and ended the marriage. The saddest part is he was a horrible example for our boys. Now I have to really work to teach my boys what a husband and father is supposed to do.I have them look to their grandpa and my brother in laws for examples.

Pleasant Grove, UT

From my perspective how a young man treats his mother is a great indication of how he will treat his wife. While parents may have agreed to define their roles and responsibilities in a particular way, it should never be presumed that is the way a future partner will want things to operate. I have encouraged my children to look at the overall picture of how parents are treated not just one specific event. While someone may not have helped with the dishes they may be well practiced in cleaning toilets and bathrooms, which in a house full of boys shows a great appreciation for their mother.

Nottingham, MD

We both are getting older than we wish to admit. We still cook a family lunch for the missionaries in our area. It is great when one or both of them stand up and help take dishes to the kitchen. One or more of you young ladies are going to find a cooperative mate with these young men who were well taught by their parents.
At the ripe old age of 76 with severe arthritis, their help is more than welcome.

Twin Falls, ID

Run! Run! Run! I fully believe that how a man treats his mother is a sure reflection of how he will treat his wife.


Speaking as a man, relationship is something that people learn to make sacrifices for. If you are looking for a person who meets every single cultural mannerism that you learned you probably will be daating for the rest of your life. In many culturals women think that its unmanly for a man to be in the kitchen cooking. Some women don't even like their man eating fook that is cooked by some other woman.

You should let the man be himself, and if you can't live with it, then move on, but the worse thing you can do with this man is start trying to teach him how to behave. It's not only inappropriate, but disrespectful. You don't have to marry him, but should you decide to, then it should be for better or worse and that means you need to let him be him.

Stopping looking at what the man is doing wrong and try to "Catch him doing something right" by his mother. It's none of your business the relationship that he has with his mother.


I think you are right on this. How a guy treats his mother may be indicative of his expected role in his future family but it might also be just his current understanding of his role. I think the gentle suggestion would certainly result in your finding out if he is coachable and teachable.
Something else you might try instead of saying "let's help your mother" is "Hey Ralphi, let give your mom some time off her feet and do the dishes." Then as you do the dishes together, see if he knows where things go. That may tell you more about how much he has helped Mom in the past. Whatever your (yours and his) understanding and expectations are, you need to talk.


How does he treat his mother in other areas besides housework? I would scrutinize that even more closely. How much respect does he have for her and women? (That's a good indication.) It believe that's even more important than helping around the house. It may be that he is willing to dig in and change his ways with regards to housework, and really will for you. I agree with Angela. Open his eyes and give him the opportunity to do his part. If he does, great! If he doesn't, run.

Gail Fitches
Layton, UT

Some women like the bad boys, and end up misserable. I thank God for a son who helps me and his Grandfather. I work full time, and take care of my Father, and my son helps me without asking, because he can tell I need help. Our family has been a close family unit and we always looked out for each other. I think this guy takes his family for granted. I would hold off marrying him, to observe him more. He may have had an off day. I would not rush into marriage at this point. If he does not treat his Mother right, do not expect him to treat you many better, after being married for a while.

my two cents777

Do not rush into marriage with this guy...unless you intend to let him treat you exactly like he treats his mother. He has been raised being allowed to be disrespectful and that is a very hard habit to break. My thought is that you need to "fix" this through a lot of marriage counseling before you ever marry him- or run the other way. Personally, I'd run the other way. This will not end well for you not matter which decision you make. Life's too short-choose to be happy!

Riverton, Utah

I rarely comment, figure there is usually enough good advice given there's no need for my two cents. In this case after reading the comments I felt compelled to comment based on personal experience in all of the above. First, you can not tell how your future husband would treat you based on how he treats his mother. It's possible, but not even close to a guarantee. How does he treat others, nieces, nephews, siblings, friends and strangers. A mother child relationship is not a husband wife relationship. It may be indicative, but I've seen too many instances where that is not the case. I've even seen a few instances where a man treats his mother better than his wife. I could go further on this but won't. Next, this is understandably an issue for you. so tell him your feelings. Don't make him guess. Marriage requires learning and growing from both partners. Now if he treats everyone as a lesser human being and is beyond teaching, then I would run. But if he has some traits you are not fond of and is willing to learn, change and grow then you have potential.

Daniel Leifker
San Francisco, CA

Don't make quick decisions until you've gathered all the data. I've noticed that many families divide the work in specific ways that seem odd to outsiders. Look, listen, ask questions, and withhold judgement until you see the big picture in this family. And a gentle question ("why does your family do things this way?") can open the door to a constructive conversation a lot faster than an accusation. Good luck... spouses often don't lose bad habits after the wedding.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

I don't think there is enough information for disconnected readers to make an informed opinion on this. There are many ways to interpret this. While at my in-laws, I never ask to help with dinner and cleaning up since my Mother-In-Law is picky about the way she does things and anybody helping out would just irritate her and get in her way. Yet after 22 years of marriage, my wife would be the first to defend me on the way I treat her. Is the fiance in the same kind of situation? Is there more to consider that we aren't being told?

I would wonder what bothers this man about his fiance that he is willing to ignore and that we haven't been told about.

Great Russ

It goes both ways. I know women view mowing the lawn, taking out garbage, car repair and servicing, and house repairs as a "man's job". So tell me why they get mad about men viewing dishes, laundry and toilet cleaning as a women's job?

Old RM
Mesa, AZ

I just want to say, in the homes of myself and my daughters, the way the husband treats their mom's shows up in the way they will treat their wives. You love who you serve and if you didn't help the mom that transfers to the wife. And if you don't help the wife you "fall out of love". That's what I've noticed, over and over and over. My own marriage fell apart and because of some counseling I had earlier when trouble first began to storm "He didn't feel apart of the family because he had no responsibilities around the home." We tried to give him some but old habits never did change. They have in his new wife's house. He does dishes, takes out garbage, makes beds, takes care of the animals, does some washing, and a lot of other things in regards to her business. They have a happy marriage, whereas his with mine, I did all that plus was responsible for the kids. He never was helpful to his mom in the first place.

ny's amy jo
Rochester, NY

I agree with previous comments, the way a man treats his mother is a good indicator of his thoughts about women, marriage and motherhood. I wouldn't put my track shoes on just yet, but I would be sure they were near the door. Talking to him about this could spark a firestorm and that would be another sign of danger for you. Try involving him in chores just like Angela said, and don't make it a one time "test" either. The way a man treats and thinks about his mother is a major factor, or should be, in deciding whether or not to take this relationship further. Think about these things too: how did she react to this, was she involved in dinner conversation, were here thoughts respected, how did she interact with her sons and husband. All these are things you should consider. I suggest keeping those track shoes in your tote bag so you can use them at a moment's need.

East Carbon, UT

One word, "Run"!

The Roach
idaho falls, ID

Remember this first, we as in men, do not have an all seeing globe of discernment. What I mean is, if you don't say what your issues are than he probably will not know. Saying "Hey let me make you some dinner" while he is walking out of the kitchen means my sweetheart is going to make me dinner. My wife and I learned very early that communication is the only way to a happy marriage.

Ladson, SC

As a girl I was counciled "Watch how he treats his mom and that is how he will treat you". I have been married 53 years and am glad I followed that advice. I in turn have councilled young women with the same advice.

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