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to assume that a teen is married to a middle aged man?

251 replies

Asianfemale · 28/03/2021 21:32

My middle-aged white DH was in a large computer store getting his and my laptops repaired. Our mixed race (but looking more Asian than white) teenage DD came with him for company. DH mentioned that one of the laptops belonged to his wife. Without skipping a bit the engineer asked DD to describe what was wrong with her computer assuming that she was the wife.
DD was really embarrassed and walked away. DH says it happened before and he is worried that she wouldn't want to be seen with him in the future.
Innocent mistake or WTF? Would that happen if DH was out with a white teenager? Has this happened to you? AIBU to be concerned?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

SoWhyNot · 28/03/2021 22:15

I’d imagine the man wasn’t really paying much attention beyond the fact a male and female had come in. Hair and face masks make it very hard to tell too much about someone and if the male was chatting about his wife and was with another female, I can see how the misunderstanding arose. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has got it wrong round the other way before and caused upset there as well.

MadamMiddle · 28/03/2021 22:16

I think it was just an innocent assumption. My husband was once mistaken for my dad, it was very embarrassing but there is a large age gap so understandable.

CrystalMaisie · 28/03/2021 22:16

I went to look at a show home with my dad once, I was around 21 and he was 49. The person working in the house wanted to send my dad a brochure and said ‘Mr and Mrs...?’ We’re both white, if that helps at all.
I was very embarrassed; like your daughter, and walked off.

Idontbelieveit12 · 28/03/2021 22:16

My daughter has been mistaken for my sister. My husband has been mistaken for my dad.

CatherinedeBourgh · 28/03/2021 22:16

It used to happen to me all the time when I was a teen out with my dad.

SupermarketSecrets · 28/03/2021 22:17


I think it was just an innocent assumption. My husband was once mistaken for my dad, it was very embarrassing but there is a large age gap so understandable.

And we're both white. Like pp said, with masks on too it is harder to guess age etc.
CatherinedeBourgh · 28/03/2021 22:18

Both white btw

Auldspinster · 28/03/2021 22:19

I was in the pub with my dad in my early 20s and was mistaken for his wife and I do look like him.

Alsohuman · 28/03/2021 22:19

I was asked if I was my dad’s wife once. I know I’m no spring chicken but he was 99 and 38 years older than me, ffs. Some people are just fuckwits.

ImInStealthMode · 28/03/2021 22:19

Having worked in a lot of customer facing jobs I'm fairly sure the difference in ages didn't even register with the person in the shop, they just saw a Male and a Female, both adult sized, the Man mentioned his Wife, dots were connected. I wouldn't think any more about it.

I'm always a bit baffled by people who think retail staff are making assumptions about them, when it's more likely they absolutely couldn't care less and you're just another face they glance at out of the 100s they see every day.

soditall56 · 28/03/2021 22:19

I'd say honest mistake

Someone once mistook me as my dads wife. My dad looks young for his age and I've always looked a bit older (regrettably now!)

BJHair · 28/03/2021 22:19

People have though my 26 year old son was my husband many times especially when we are holiday .
I literally see them do a double take if he says the word mum 😂
Either I look really young or he looks really old
I’m sticking with I look young 😂

DelurkingAJ · 28/03/2021 22:20

Yep, another white women with a white DDad who has experienced this. We had an almighty fight at a hotel in Prague who were trying to persuade us that we needed a double room and not two singles. And I was offered alcohol with my lunch in New York aged 16. DDad was in his 30s when I was born. I think this one could easily be cock up rather than conspiracy.

lurker101 · 28/03/2021 22:21

Honest mistake, I’ve been mistaken for my dad’s partner several times (including as a c.14 yr old). Also, as someone who’s worked in retail it’s often the least offensive thing to assume that two people together are married Rather than child. Super awkward when you ask someone what their dad thinks, only to be told that’s their husband Blush

Sansaplans · 28/03/2021 22:21


I'm white and someone assumed I was my dad's wife when I was early 20s. Ick. He would have been early 50s.

I have no idea why as we actually look quite similar as well.

Disturbingly I've had this happen a few times too!
Asianfemale · 28/03/2021 22:21


I think (despite it being increasingly common) a lot of people struggle with the idea that it's possible to have children with a different skin colour to yourself.

I'm a middle-aged Asian looking woman. My son is a white looking teenage boy. We get strange looks when we are out together which I attribute to people wondering what we are doing together, and we've both been asked by people who the other person is (e.g. my son sees one of his friends; they later ask who I am). I don't think we would get the same reaction if our skin colours are the same. We actually look quite alike, but I think most people see skin colour before they see facial features.

Yes! DS looks white and people often assume that I am his nanny. The worst one was when I was told to step out of a room by an NHS nurse because she didn't think I could be from the same family as DH and DS.
OP posts:
MammaMiaWallace · 28/03/2021 22:22

I’ve been mistaken for my dad’s wife/girlfriend (or let’s face it - escort) before multiple times when he used to visit me at uni and take me out for a nice meal then drinks (only a couple of times a year). It was really embarrassing for both of us; he’d drop in “my daughter” early on when placing orders every time! (Both of us white.)

Conversely the various men who I was actually seeing were a similar age to him (certainly much closer to his age than mine), so most the time I’d be in social situations (99.9%) the lovers assumption would have been correct - so I can see why the default assumption would be skewed that way.

Also the shopkeeper probably just thought “female who’s with man asking for female” and without thinking any further just directed his attention accordingly.

I don’t think race comes into it that much - or should I say, it’s not race specific.

UglyHoose · 28/03/2021 22:22

I used to work for the same company as my Dad, sometimes I would drop him off and take his car and other times he would drop me off. We were often mistaken for being a couple by colleagues who either knew my age or his.

RandomUsernameHere · 28/03/2021 22:22


I once asked my male boss who was about the same age as me if the lady in the lovely picture with his kids he'd put up in his office was their granny. It was his wife! I wanted the ground to open!!! 🙈🙈🙈 (all white people in this case).

Funniest thing I've read all day, literally laughing out loud! Poor you, must have been soooo awkward!
Everythingiswonderful · 28/03/2021 22:22


I think it was just an innocent assumption. My husband was once mistaken for my dad, it was very embarrassing but there is a large age gap so understandable.

Poor DH has been mistaken for my dad 3 times. We are the same age but he is grey and losing his hair and I look young for my age.

Op i would think it’s just a case of the assistant making assumptions based on them hearing ‘my wife...’
KatyaZamolodchikova · 28/03/2021 22:23

A little off topic but if we’re talking inappropriate assumptions... my sister and I (who look VERY similar) were once asked how long we’d been a couple. That was both gross and hilarious and the poor girl that asked was absolutely mortified when we told her!

murasaki · 28/03/2021 22:23

My white sis was mistaken for my dad's wife by people who hadn't met mum. She as mortified and outraged when she told me. I could barely stop laughing for hours.

M0rT · 28/03/2021 22:23

My teenage brother was once asked if he & his girlfriend had ID to see a 15's film.
I was early twenties and amused they thought I was his girlfriend, he was suitably horrified and went nowhere with me for about a year Grin
We are both white but look nothing alike.

Lessthanaballpark · 28/03/2021 22:24

On the other hand it could be that the shop assistant didn’t want to assume that she wasn’t his wife because that might be construed as racist

RobynNora · 28/03/2021 22:25

Creepy to me too. I’m a different race to my dad and over the years, people have often assumed we’re in an inappropriate relationship and make daft comments/stare. I make a point of calling him dad or correcting them to make sure they look creepy and inappropriate instead for thinking it!

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