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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Enough is enough!
Saint George, UT

@Mugabe, who stated: It's none of your business the relationship that he has with his mother.

Did anyone else cringe on that one?!

It certainly is your business because that is how you may be treated, or worse. My boys treat their wives with the same tender kindness that they share with me. Unfortunately, their wives can be so selfish, hurtful and mean sometimes! I wish they had observed their wives interacting with a lot of friends and relatives more closely before marriage.

If I were this girl, I would slow down the relationship while continuing to observe. If she doesn't still doesn't like what she sees, GET OUT!!!

Provo, UT

Yes, you are overthinking this. Or maybe you are not thinking enough.

This is not about how he and his family treat their mother. It is about how they treated dinner and dishes and a special guest on one occasion.

This is not necessarily indicative of their daily habits and patterns of living. Keep in mind, typically when they had dinner over the years, YOU were not there! They probably behaved differently because you were the special guest.

To them, this was also a big deal - meeting the fiance! and for all you know, the family tried to give him and the siblings time with you instead of serving and clearing up after. With some families it would be considered rude for everyone to get up and help with the dishes because it implies that the special guest should do so, as well, and that is not being a gracious host to the special guest.

Chances are, you may have made them uncomfortable by going against their attempts to be gracious hosts, and you may have offended them by rejecting their hospitality and being a presumptuous guest who inserted herself where you were not wanted.

Salt Lake City, UT

We don't know enough to really make a great decision...but going by only what was written, I would say it is foolish for some of the commenters to say run away as fast as you can. Angela is right that talking about it is a definite must.
I guess my thought would be to turn it around and ask the young lady, if he never cleaned up a dish for the rest of his life, would it still be worth it to you to marry him? If the answer is no, the young lady herself might be the one that is not quite ready for a marriage. She might be looking for a 50/50 relationship that is found more often in a business, not in a marriage. In a marriage, one spouse often has to be willing to go 100% in certain things, for the sake of keeping the marriage alive. It's called sacrifice and thinking of someone else rather than yourself.
How silly would it be for these two to get married, only for the wife to leave one night because he did not clean up one dish, after promising that he would.

Salem, Utah

I agree with the early communication thing. If it bothers you, bring it up rather than let it fester. Some people are adept at seeing a need and pitching in. Others won't hesitate when asked, but don't have a knack for knowing when to jump in and help. Find out what to expect by inviting him to help out and see how he responds.

When my future father-in-law asked me after 9pm one evening to cook up some steaks, I thought he was kidding. I never eat that late, and I'd never cooked a steak in my life. So I chuckled with him, and he cooked his own steaks. I did watch to see how he liked them cooked, so I could pitch in another time, but I don't cook for anyone at that hour! He passed away nearly 8 years ago. He was a great guy with some old-school expectations. I wasn't bothered, my (now) in-laws thought I was quirky, and we got along just fine. (Married 20+ years now!)

Cedar Hills, UT

As others have already said, a son's relationship with his mom heavily influences the nature of his relationship with his wife, just as a daughter's relationship with her father heavily influences her relationship with her husband.

Also, a great way to evaluate someone is to observe how they treat those who serve them, whether it's a mother or a server at a restaurant. It gives insight into that person's true character.


Whether a man does cleanup and washes the dishes is not the only criteria on how he treats his mother and will treat you. Sometimes, for example, a farm boy works from dawn til dusk doing non domestic tasks. Marriage is not about changing the other person to fit your model of theideal, but in wanting to change oneself to please your partner. Shows how little I know but I believe what I wrote.

Shelley, ID

What someone has learned at home is hard to retrain later. How a man treats his own mother is very indictative of how and what he thinks about women as being normal. Respect and self respect are primary importance in a relationship.

Lancaster, CA

I would watch how his dad works with his mom. If his dad doesn't help, then the likelihood is that he will see doing the dishes, cooking, etc. as the woman's job. I think it would be a good idea to discuss it with him and see what he thinks about what should happen in your home. If he says he wants to help then have him do it and show you. If he says it's a woman's job and that you will be doing all of that, then it's up to you to make a decision on whether or not that's a deal breaker. Once you get the pattern figured out, it's real hard to change it later.

Riverdale, MD

I would do a little more exploring before getting to the "run!" reaction others are recommending.

It is normal for couples considering marriage to go through a list of discussion topics. I think this is a good idea. Every list will include who does what. Tell this guy pretty bluntly that you expect equal contribution in housework all the time. See how he reacts. See if he's willing to try it with a positive attitude. Someone who wasn't raised to do housework will have a harder time seeing what needs to be done. See if he wants to learn some more modern gender roles.

If this doesn't work out, then it is time to run.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I can only speak for my self, a lame brained pig headed absent minded guy. I know she shouldn't of married me every thing was ageist it, even the stars were. But she loves me, I love her.

Bountiful, UT

"I don't like how my future husband treats his mom".


Then ask yourself if you are willing to put up with that kind of treatment for possibly the duration of your marriage, if not you'd better re-evaluate.

Don't Feed the Trolls
Salt Lake City, UT

"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."

And are you in a happy relationship now?

layton, UT

RE:I M LDS 2, maybe you are not thinking enough. This is not about how he and his family treat their mother. It is about how they treated dinner and dishes and a special guest on one occasion.

God distinguishes father and mother from all other persons on earth, chooses them and sets them next to Himself, occupying the highest place in our lives next to God.

Ephesians 6:2,3. Honor your Father and Mother”,which is the first commandment(Not a suggestion) with a promise.

Vienna, Austria

Without commenting directly on this incident , I always advise young people that how your intended treats his or her family members is the best indicator of how you will be treated when you become his or her family.

Salt Lake City, UT

@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?"
It should all be negotiable! Whatever works for THAT couple! I have a friend who LIKES mowing her lawn. My wife has never mowed, but she does the edging. Whatever works!
Frankly, I'm surprised some of the commenters on here have successful marriages, and would love to hear their spouses weigh in on whether or not they rate their marriages as highly, because there is a whole lot of JUDGING going on, few are leaving room for negotiation or communication, fewer still are leaving the door open for change (or using the religious term, repentance).
The notion that "He will treat you just like he treats his mother," or "the apple never falls from the tree," while nice homilies, don't leave room for people to grow or change. I've done more dishes in any one year of my marriage than in all my years in my parents home.

Syracuse, UT

Any husband not willing to help not willing to help lighten the load of a wife and mother of his children is not worth a whole lot. I would say tread lightly.

American Fork, UT

One day of not helping his mom with the dishes is hardly indicative of a person as a whole. I never help with dishes at the in-laws or even at my own parents house, but guess what, I do the dishes 80% of the time at home instead of my wife. I don't expect others to help with the dishes when I have them over as guests, I invited them over, they aren't expected to clean up my house.

I do most of the dishes in our marriage. My wife always does the laundry, I haven't done a single load of laundry our entire marriage. My wife always does the vacuuming and sweeping of the floors. I almost always clean off the counters and the kitchen table and clean out the fridge. I take out the garbage. My wife always makes the bed. I am usually the one to clean the toilets and showers and scrub down the bathroom. I do 80% of the yard work, but gasp! sometimes she even mows the lawn instead of me. My point being find what works for your relationship and make it work.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

I have to say first I think this is a good issue to think about before marriage.

What the best way to work out household duties is should be agreed by a couple. If you want a husband who helps clean up after dinner, tell him this. Make him show he will. And then consider whether it is really possible he will do this long term. Then decide if you can live in married life if he reverts to his current ways. If it is too big for you to live with, I say don't marry the guy.

He might change, but at this point, I suspect you will at best have to struggle with him to help with the dishes for a long time.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

There is one big issue that is not addressed here at all. Does the husband live with his parents, or does he live away. This may influence how he interacts with them when he brings his girlfriend over for dinner.

That said, I have to say that in general children visiting their parents should pitch in and help out more than they do. Maybe that is just my odd view.

Altamont, UT

Communication is the key here.
ONE visit does not tell you too much about what kind of husband he will be.
All the folks here advising her to run are sure reading a lot into the ONE visit.

Talk to him...talk to his mother...for cryin' out loud!

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