The way your significant other––or friends or acquaintances––interacts with their family can explain a lot about them, for better or worse. When Redditor MrDath asked the online community "What was your "that explains a lot" moment when you met someone's family?" the answers were about as revealing as you'd expect.
"A woman I know speaks very fast..."
A woman I know speaks very fast and in a loud voice, and can go for literally minutes at a time without stopping to let others speak.
I met her father, and he turned out to be the same way.
When they spoke, it was like two machine guns firing constantly at the same time, and never running out of ammo.
"An otherwise charming friend of mine..."
An otherwise charming friend of mine was oddly confrontational, seemingly for no reason.
I met her father for the first time when he was driving us somewhere. From the back seat I watched him subtly, passive aggressively put her down, all the time (he was a lawyer, he did this extremely skillfully). Normally her sudden verbal claps at people seemed out of place, but with him it appeared like an effective defence against his particular form of insulting.
Being confrontational was her defence mechanism whenever she felt insecure.
"She grew up having no idea..."
My ex was controlling, manipulative, and emotionally abusive. I met her parents, her mom was the exact same way and her dad was an absolute pushover. She grew up having no idea how to love someone in a healthy way.
"I thought it was just her particular brand of weirdness."
My wife seems like she gets distracted really easily but it's actually because she can't really differentiate between things that are time sensitive and thing that aren't. For example, if I ask her "could you pass me that spoon", she will go sit down and book the flights for our trip 6 months from now, because 'it needs to get done'. Then two hours later, she'll wonder why I grabbed the spoon myself.
I thought it was just her particular brand of weirdness. But nope, her whole family is like that. Trying to get them out the door is a nightmare because someone has always remembered something that they 'needed to do' (something that could always wait or should have been done hours ago) and by the time that person is back, another one has wandered off to do something else. It's like herding cats.
I should clarify, my wife (and her family) are remarkably organized in other ways. They get everything done that needs to be done, they just do things by order of importance rather than order of time-sensitivity.
"When I finally went to her house I was shocked."
One of my best friends. Met her in middle school. She always wore the same hoodie, two pairs of jeans, one pair of shoes that were busted out and duct taped together. Never judged her for it, I just felt bad figuring her family was super poor.
When I finally went to her house I was shocked. It was huge and in a super nice neighborhood. She had her own computer in her room (back then this was a big deal). I was blown away by all of this, my family was poorish but my shoes weren't duct taped together.
Turns out her mom was addicted to painkillers, and did nothing but sit in a chair reading, drinking wine, and chain
smoking all day every day. Her dad was also an alcoholic who was the head of a huge company in our state, so he was almost always working. I found out her parents simply never noticed she only had like one outfits worth of clothes and barely one pair of shoes. She didn't want to bother them asking for a new pair as her dad was almost always at work, and her mom was never in a good enough state to drive.
Later on in our friendship I straight up told her when I first met her I thought she was super poor and her response was "I am poor. My family has money, that doesn't mean I have money". To this day she's a hard worker and doesn't live off her parents money.
"You can talk to him but..."Giphy
Buddy of mine doesn't know how to have a conversation. You can talk to him but he never really listens to what you're saying. The entire time he is just thinking about what he is going to say next.
It's really noticeable in a group of people when the conversation has moved on to a different topic and he keeps going back to what he wants to talk about. Usually about himself.
He also brags about every single thing he does over and over and over.
Once I met his family and heard about his upbringing it all made sense. He's 1 of 5 children and had to fight for every bit of attention he had growing up. He doesn't know how to act any different.
"They are (for lack of better words) trailer park trash..."
My boyfriend is very independent and self reliant and won't accept any help from anyone, including me. It took him 3 months to finally let me buy our dinner, because he never wanted me to pay for his food. During Christmas, I met his family. They are (for lack of better words) trailer park trash, live off the government in any way they can, front teeth rotting and some missing, haven't showered in who knows how long, money grubbers, etc. My boyfriend explained he learned how to be an adult when he was very young to get away from them and he never wants to live his life like they do.
"She was this skinny, fair-featured girl..."
A friend of mine in high school was this peculiar mix of traits. She was this skinny, fair-featured girl who had very artsy tastes in music and things like that, but she was also 1000% ready to throw down with people who gave her shit.
I met her parents, and I swear to God it was like looking at a Venn diagram with my friend in the middle. The only way I can describe it is if Stevie Nicks was married to the boxing trainer from Rocky.
"I used to know a girl..."
I used to know a girl who would literally eat 4 different kinds of foods (pasta with no sauce, sandwich which consisted of bread with cheese or bread with hummus, apples, and one type of cornflakes), and would only drink apple juice, and hot chocolate. One day I was invited to stay over for a family dinner, and that's when I understood WHY she was like that. Apparently her parents are also EXTREMELY picky eaters. Later in life, when we were about 19 years old, she had an epiphany, and she also started eating potatoes.
"Her apartment was meticulous..."
I dated a girl that was very particular about everything being clean and orderly. Her apartment was meticulous - every detail "just so."
When she introduced me to her parents, I saw where it came from. I couldn't find a speck of dust or anything out of order - it was "clinically pristine," just like her place.
"I was dating a guy..."Giphy
I was dating a guy who was very reserved and he hated talking about sex, he wouldn't even laugh at sexual jokes... When I first met his parents, the dad opened the door, saw his son's beard and said « nice flavor savor » while winking at me. They were very nice, but the whole time we were there, it was innuendo after innuendo. I was with their son for awhile and they toned it down after I said it made me a uncomfortable, but I definitely understood why my bf hated talking about anything to do with sex.
"...we thought he was just crazy..."
Have a friend who is very kind but very anxious to make sure what he says is heard as it is intended, will repeat himself many times, apologize again and again for nothing... we thought he was just crazy until we were in the same room as he was having a phone conversation with his father. Apparently his dad required everything said to him to be repeated about four times. It had just become a habit.
"At dinner I grab the cocktail sauce..."
Went to sister in law's parents' house for a "dinner party" before they got married. Sister in law is...a bit tough to please to say the least. Get to the house and instantly realize she grew up filthy rich. Everything in the house was way too nice, smooth jazz playing lightly in the background, entire night has been scheduled out (mingling and appetizers in the den, dinner with the special crystal glassware, games and coffee in the living room, etc)
At dinner I grab the cocktail sauce and put a spoonful onto one of the many unnecessary plates to compliment the pre portioned 2 shrimp I was given on a stupid bed of lettuce. Instantly her mother stands up, grabs my plate forcefully, stomps off to the kitchen and washes my plate off. She comes back and says "wrong plate". I feel very bad for my brother.
"I have a friend that always interrupts people."
I have a friend that always interrupts people. Weird thing is, I'm pretty sure he doesn't even notice that he does it. Anyway, I met his dad one day, and although the guy is really cool, he never stopped talking. So interrupting is probably the only way my friend got a word in while growing up.
"My boyfriend has no concept of time..."
My boyfriend has no concept of time whatsoever. If I tell him we need to leave by 4 pm he will start his hour of showering and getting ready at 3:45. Went to his parents to ride together to a wedding one day and it all clicked for me why he is like this. We needed to leave in 20 mins and his mom was still in her pajamas not showered or anything. Happens all the time, parties, dinner reservations, holidays, you name it. They just don't care about time. Irritates the hell outta me.
"Always leaving cans everywhere..."
My current roommate is just a messy damn dude. Always leaving cans everywhere whenever he drinks and not picking them up, kitchen is always a disaster, can never remember to take shoes off in the house, and has near zero control of his volume, always yelling at the top of his lungs at 10pm on a Wednesday whenever his show makes a funny joke. His gf has been getting him a lot more hospitable making him chew with his mouth closed and follow other basic manners (he's 23). I always thought "god your poor mother must have her hands full 24/7" until I went to pick his dog up from his mom's house, who now has all her kids moved out. Jesus Christ if my house looks like that when I am 50 years old I want you to take me out back and put a bullet in my head.
"I have this roommate..."
I have this roommate who is one of these only children who was just coddled his whole life so naturally he can barely function on his own.
We are doing most of our food and other consumables separately (there are 3 people living here). It is however normal to just share TP as well as whatever small things my roommates might need.
Early on after he moved in, he blew through some consumable items of mine quite quickly and didn't seem to be buying his own. I brought this issue up with him and thought it was resolved until his mother came to our appt in a passive agressive rage, telling me that I'm a bad person and just chewing me out. Roommates personality made a lot more sense after seeing his mother.
"My husband is a super loud talker..."
My husband is a super loud talker and my family is quiet because my dad would tear us apart for being "too loud" (he worked for the railroad so sleep happened whenever) also our games had to be very quiet and we were like mice. So I was so annoyed and anxious at my husband for being so loud all the time.
I met his family. THEY ARE ALL SO LOUD!!!! Like I thought they were arguing and fighting, nope just having a discussion like everyone was half deaf. I have no clue why they are this way, they just kinda are. I'm used to it now and now I'm kinda loud too.
"He's still late a lot..."
I had a friend who was always late to EVERYTHING. School, band rehearsals, hangouts, you name it, he was always late, anywhere between 10 mins to an hour.
One day I hung out at his house as we were about to go to a basketball game, and I met his mother. Before he left the house, she would give him an ever increasing list of chores (did you make your bed? Vaccuum the lounge? Dust the cat?) and then insist he eat a sandwich (all of it down to the last crumb) THEN list all the chores he would have to do when he got home and/or tell him off for not doing a good job the first time...
He's still late a lot, but now it's his own fault, not his mother's!