Ask Angela: I don't like how my future husband treats his mom


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  • newspaperlover Orem, UT
    Jan. 29, 2015 1:11 p.m.

    From watching my own parents,I was determined to marry somebody who would be helpful in the kitchen. My husband was always very helpful when we were dating and has continued to be that way in the almost 26 years we have been married. I have never had to ask him to help clean up. I think this is a major point of contention for many marriages, including my own relatives'. I'm not sure this is a deal-breaker but if he doesn't show a significant desire to change, maybe it should be. It can be really difficult to change the way you grew up.

  • SLBR Harrisburg, IL
    Feb. 10, 2014 10:54 p.m.

    I was engaged to a man who was raised in a family where the gender roles were firmly entrenched. He didn't see anything wrong because his eyes weren't opened. There wasn't anything wrong with him.

    When we started dating, he 'told' me to get him a glass of water. The first time this happened, I spoke up. I said I didn't mind getting it since I was already up, but I would appreciate being asked. He looked at me like I had three heads. He really was clueless. It took time and reminding, but he changed that habit. I saw that change with his mother too. He no longer did it in his family home.

    We have remained friends over the 20+ years. He treats his mother with love. In fact, she lives in a mother-in-law suite at his home. He took care of the children and is the main housekeeper doing laundry, dishes, and floors.

    Don't run unless the man is unwilling to see that a different dynamic could function.

  • Tiffybird24 Orem, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 1:23 a.m.

    I remember my mom telling me about when she ate dinner with my dad's family for the first time. Every single one of his siblings ordered my Grandma around, asking for refills or whatever else they did not have at hand. My mom even spoke up and said, "Ya'll have feet, use them." Had my mom taken that first impression and cut and run I would not have the amazing dad that I have today. It turned out that my Grandma was so picky on how things were done and serving her family was her way to show them how much she loved them, that my Grandma did everything during meal times. It was simply how my dad grew up.
    Today, my mom and dad work side by side in the kitchen. Every Christmas my dad is at the waffle iron making waffles while my mom makes the eggs.
    However, I was engaged to a guy who joked about chaining the woman to the fridge and that the woman's place was in the kitchen. He even said to his mom on occasion, "Woman get me something to eat." In that case I would say RUN!!!!

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Jan. 14, 2014 9:34 p.m.

    Honestly this is probably just how the guy was raised. He probably was used to his mother constantly doing everything for him and cleaning up for him all his life growing up and never learned that he was supposed to help out or show proper gratitude when someone did these sorts of things for him. Basically his parents didn't teach him self-reliance or proper manners. It's unfortunate but it happens sometimes especially to guys who are "mama's boys" and whose mothers never learn how to let go and treat them like adults.

    Bad habits are hard to break. This guy is going to expect to get a wife who will treat him the way his mother did, and in this day and age that's probably not realistic. If this woman is not willing to wait on him hand and foot, rather than expecting him to change, she probably should just exit the relationship and move on to someone with different upbringing and habits, while she still can.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Jan. 10, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    I know some people are going to be shocked at this statement: Not every mother is perfect. Not every mother instills a desire to be helped, and frequently because of their critical comments or rejection of the help received by those who would otherwise be inclined. The fact other members of the family didn't either may be supportive of my point.

    You can choose your friends; you inherit your family. If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy - it may just be a family dynamic that works regardless of it's difference from your expectation.

    I'd tell the young woman to watch how he responds to other women in different scenarios, places and particularly if invited to assist - maybe at your own home or that of friends.

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 11:08 p.m.

    Do not proceed with the idea that you can reform a man. It will never happen. If he's going to change, it has to come from within him.

  • Local Fan Aurora, CO
    Jan. 7, 2014 10:06 p.m.

    The other side of this question can be seen by the episode I had before I married my husband when I went to meet his family. Not only did he work hard all day on his father's ranch, he then played with the neices and nephews instead of standing around waiting for dinner. I could see he would be a hard worker and a full participant in our marriage -- and a great father.

    This isn't just about how he treats his mother -- he's already shown that he thinks you should work harder than he does.

    Run -- run away.

  • TheWalker Saratoga Springs, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 5:30 p.m.

    I'm not sure that there is a direct correlation. When I was growing up, we helped with the dishes, but now as an adult, my mother doesn't expect it. In my marriage, I help not only with the dishes, but with other household chores as needed. It would have been erroneous for my wife to judge me based on how I treated my mom. My advice would be to ask your fiance to help before making any kind of judgements.

    As an aside, I can't help but notice that almost all the questions (and complaints) to Angela come from women.

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 1:52 p.m.

    If you mutually agree to any sort of arrangement, like housework....GET IT IN WRITING.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 7, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    "I don't like how my future husband treats his mom" - when I read the heading, I thought he was cussing or yelling at his mother. My advice to the 'future husband' is to run away from you as fast as he can.

    So you went to his house with a huge to do list of things he must follow? If you think not helping with dishes is a big deal, girl you have a lot of learning a head...and good luck finding a guy that help with dishes at his own parent's home.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    This is a serious red flag. Get out now!

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 7:08 a.m.

    ", I don't want there to be an expectation that I'm going to wait on him hand and foot."

    Run away. Run away fast. Run away far. Just RUN.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:05 p.m.

    This woman said she offered to "make dinner" for her boyfriend. Then she admits it was just a sandwich. Then she says that she is "nobody's doormat" that this man might expect her to wait on him "hand and foot" - b'c he didn't make half of the sandwich I suppose, the sandwich that she offered to make for him. Are we in the "Twilight Zone"? Is this individual not unreasonable? Those supporting her on this thread seem to be attuned to this attitude. I would say that, unless I'm missing something this man needs to look elsewhere for a wife.

    I tire of this double standard. Do women automatically go out to cut half of the lawn and empty half the garbage? Do men feel slighted when their dates do not pay half of the cost? When gentlemen open the car door for their date, do they insist she opens the door for them every other time? I actually get the impression that certain women expect their men to be their slaves and that they are "entitled" to that. I see this attitude all the time.

  • jans Pickerington, OH
    Jan. 6, 2014 7:55 p.m.

    First, find out if that is what his mom prefers. Some women guard their "domain" and may not even allow other women in their kitchens. I've seen wives/mothers who will not allow their husbands to help with the chores/babies, or when husband does help, they criticize the man's efforts until the guy gives up. Then he gets criticized for not helping out. Make sure you know what you are dealing with first, and how you respond to him.

    Second, if you want him to help you make lunch (or just stay to chat), you have to ask him to, either until he catches on or you give up. Did he leave the kitchen to go do something else productive, since it doesn't take more than one person to make a sandwich? Have you asked him to make you a sandwich (insert any other domestic chore)? What was his response? How does he treat/talk about the opposite sex in general, or other people who serve him? Any red flags will come up in that kind of commentary, which may or may not get passed off as "just a joke" if you call him on it.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Jan. 6, 2014 7:13 p.m.

    Blown away by "the how he treats his mother" comments! They are off-point.
    I also thought Angela's advice came from 50 years ago, when women tricked and manipulated men into doing things, as a habit.
    "Instead, opt for the, “Hey, time to do the dishes — roll up your sleeves and let’s get to work!” (This week it's dishes, next week it's dusting, etc., as if he were a child)

    He has a mother and a father: how they agree to handle the work in their home would obviously be passed down to the son, so blame them, if you must blame someone.

    And none of th covert stuff-- tactic."

    Sit him down and say "The way your Mom does everything was shocking to me. I think men and women should divide the work equitably. What do you think?"

    It is completely wrong to want to be a modern woman, but treat your man as if he has to be broken in like a dog.

  • language fan longview, wa
    Jan. 6, 2014 7:11 p.m.

    This is not about dishes. This is about fairness and equality. It's a question about how much he will expect of you and how much he will give to you. You can't tell those things from a small amount of information. You need to talk with him, but not just about dishes.

    It sounds like you are very worried you could get locked into an unequal relationship and feel like a servant. Naturally, no one wants to feel that way. It is unlikely he will understand immediately why this concerns you so much, but this is something very important to you that will never go away. He needs to understand that and he needs to understand why you feel that way. You need assurances that he does understand and that how you feel about this really matters to him. You don't need to know that he will do the dishes. You need to know that he will care about how you feel.

    You need to talk. You need to talk now. But not about dishes.

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    Jan. 6, 2014 6:02 p.m.

    "How he treats his mom" includes so much more than helping clear a table! Did he thank her for the meal? Did he seem comfortable conversing with her at dinner? I was always awkward about offering to help after a meal. Then, in my 50s, I married my second husband. After a ward dinner, I was standing around chatting and noticed that my husband was in the kitchen, washing dishes -- or getting a broom or vacuum to clean up the floor. When the brethren put away chairs after a meeting, he's the first to start working. His example has changed my habits. I've learned to jump in, or at least to ask a hostess what I can do to help. I'll bet anything this young man's dad just sat there or retired to the living room. In this young lady's place, I'd say, "Shall we help your mom?" His response would say a lot.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Jan. 6, 2014 5:57 p.m.

    I just want start by saying that I read the questioner's letter to be using the dishes as one example of an overall pattern, not the only thing she observed. Communication is great, and they need to establish a mutually comfortable flow of communication before they even get engaged.
    Having said that, actions speak truer than words. It is very easy to say yes, that is how I feel too, or I believe thus and such. It is much more reliable to see a person acting on those feelings and behaving according to those beliefs. If their words don't match up with their actions, then the actions are more trustworthy.
    The writer should be judging. Not judging her boyfriend, but judging what her priorities are in life. No one is the "perfect" spouse, but some traits will be an unbearable burr under the saddle for some people, and thus must be avoided.
    The letter seemed to be describing a burr to me. The writer needs to carefully observe her intended's actions over time before committing to anything. She should also be hoping and praying that he is doing the same regarding her actions.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Jan. 6, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    Many interesting and valuable comments here.

    Not sure what could be added. I do know that I would personally be concerned if I saw a parent; especially a mother not treated well. My grandfather and my father both insisted that mothers be given total respect.

    I also believe that people can always improve. Sometimes a person may not be malicious in their actions, just lazy or unaware. Like some suggested, discuss the issue and then see what results follow. Go from there.

  • SheBear Orem, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 5:07 p.m.

    It's true that how he treats his mother is the best indicator of how a man will treat his future wife, but I also like the question suggested by Daniel Leifker, "Why does your family do things this way?" Division of labor is useful but shouldn't be absolute. Because this young woman has herself been simply left with the clean-up by her fiancé without explanation, I would advise her to be VERY leery of continuing her relationship with him.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 4:20 p.m.

    Additional thoughts:

    How does he treat his sisters, aunts, cousins, grandparents, nephews and nieces, etc?

    How does he treat you? What about your friends?

    Is he putting on a front for you and your family but being a different person (himself) at his family?

    Is he kind to children he doesn't know, such as at the store?

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    1) If the entire family is this way, did they learn that from their parents, who didn't teach them to help each other with chores? Was there an understanding that after the meal the men were free to talk among themselves and the women would rather just have them talk together than have a huge crowd in the kitchen?
    3) Does he marginalize his mom in other ways, yell at her, treat her in a demeaning manner, or purposely make her unhappy?
    4) Did his mom ask for any help and he still refused to give it?
    4) How did the dad react?

    I know two men that have had three wives, one still married to the third; one divorced three times and since passed away.

    The first one yelled and demeaned his mother, later his wife. It made me sick. She finally divorced him. His 3rd wife stood up to him when he tried to bully her and he folded like wet toilet paper, treating her better.

    The deceased one was stingy and selfish with money because he was always poor growing up and horded all the (his) money. Neither man was a very good husband in 5 instances; thankfully one finally changed.

  • NDM Vienna, Austria
    Jan. 6, 2014 3:31 p.m.

    "He knows I'm pretty progressive as far as relationships and he's pretty progressive too..."

    Mmmm, let's not be too sure. Let actions, not declarations, decide. In courtship, when we put on our best faces to please our beloved, scenarios like this often play out:

    She (or possibly he): "I love hiking and camping. It's wonderful to get out in nature."
    He (or possibly she), having never thought much about it: "Yeah, me too. We have so much in common!"

    Then a few years into marriage, he (or possibly she) suddenly explodes: "No! Enough with the camping already. I hate the mosquitoes / ticks / heat / cold / blisters / marauding bears. Do what you want, but I'm sleeping in my bed this weekend."

    I once happily flipped my views on an issue when I learned that my new sweetheart was an activist for the opposition. That lasted about 9 months, until she tried to get me to donate to what she believed was "our" cause. To my own dismay, I heard myself blurt, "I think they have enough money already."

    Don't pay attention to how "progressive" he talks. Pay attention to how "progressive" he acts.

    Jan. 6, 2014 2:53 p.m.

    If I read the problem correctly, the issue was how he treated his mother with dishes being the main example. The overall impression she received was of a family that discounts/ignores the mom. I think Angela's suggestion to invite him to help was spot on. She'll learn a lot from the response. Discussions about "how did things work in your house while you were growing up" will also be illuminating. Ask: what kinds of chores did you have growing up, what did you/your family do for fun, tell me about your grandmas (cousins, parent's sibs), what kinds of vacations did you take as a kid, etc. All can elicit unguarded information about who your guy really is and his family dynamics.

    Do keep your eyes and heart open. He may never be the dish guy, but as others have suggested, looking at how he treats a variety of people and observing what he does do overall will give a more complete picture of the man. And FYI, if your focus in marriage is going to be his faults and short comings, he might be the one who needs the running shoes.

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    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!

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 6, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    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.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 6, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    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.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 1:21 p.m.

    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.

  • GD Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 12:41 p.m.

    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.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    @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.

  • NDM Vienna, Austria
    Jan. 6, 2014 11:44 a.m.

    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.

  • donn layton, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    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.

  • Don't Feed the Trolls Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    "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?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    "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.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    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.

  • Kinderly Riverdale, MD
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    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.

  • mhilton Lancaster, CA
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    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.

  • cindyacre Shelley, ID
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    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.

  • oddman ,
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    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.

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    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.

  • Erika Salem, Utah
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    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!)

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    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.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    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.

  • Enough is enough! Saint George, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    @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!!!

  • 3sons Ladson, SC
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    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.

  • The Roach idaho falls, ID
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    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.

  • Abbygirl East Carbon, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    One word, "Run"!

  • ny's amy jo Rochester, NY
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    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.

  • Old RM Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    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.

  • Great Russ MESA, AZ
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    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?

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    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.

  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    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.

  • PH Riverton, Utah
    Jan. 6, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    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.

  • my two cents777 ,
    Jan. 6, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    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!

  • Gail Fitches Layton, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    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.

  • mmom ,
    Jan. 6, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    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.

  • shadow01 ,
    Jan. 6, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    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.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    Jan. 6, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    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.

  • toofdr Twin Falls, ID
    Jan. 6, 2014 8:00 a.m.

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

  • Don37 Nottingham, MD
    Jan. 6, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    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.

  • Dadof8 Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    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.

  • Needa Nap St.George, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    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.

  • uwishtoo MESA, AZ
    Jan. 6, 2014 7:26 a.m.

    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

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Jan. 6, 2014 7:18 a.m.

    "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....