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Bride Calls Off Engagement After Finding Out Fiancé Was Cousin’s ‘Summer Camp Fling’ For Years

Bride crying into her hands
Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Reddit

We’ve all kept secrets from friends or family members at some point in our lives.

More often than not, we keep these secrets from them is to avoid their feelings getting hurt.

While some of these people are lucky enough never to learn of these secrets and are undoubtably the better for it, others do have a way of finding them out eventually.

And the longer a secret sits and stews, the more damage it can potentially cause.

Redditor Tankcankersly was somewhat surprised to learn that her cousin was engaged to someone with whom she previously had a special relationship.

Initially, the original poster (OP) felt it was probably better if her cousin didn’t know this information.

Unfortunately, her secret still had a way of getting out, causing a rift between her and her cousin.

Wondering if she had made a mistake, the OP took to the subreddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not telling my cousin that her fiancé was my “summer camp fling” for 3 years?”

The OP shared why her cousin was not pleased to learn that the OP and her fiancé had previously met.

“I grew up very close to my cousin and we’ve stayed close as can be but live in different states.”

“During my summers for several years I went to a month long camp where first year I was camper, next year CIT then counselor.”

“First year I met ‘Kenny’ and it was instant soul crushing love where he was literally all I thought about for a year.”

“Next year we actually dated (within the confines of being CIT so we were very busy) and third year we actually found a way to essentially live together and talked about coordinating colleges, getting engaged, kids names and all that kind of stuff.”

“We drifted apart but would still text and to be honest I kind of always hope we’d find ourselves back to each other.”

“I did know that my cousin and Kenny went to the same school and had the same major so I wasn’t surprised when they started dating.”

“As near as I can surmise, I knew about Kenny dating her but he did not know that she was my cousin.”

“So I’ve known about them for about a year but I didn’t want to interrupt her being happy and the opportunity to tell her never came up.”

“Whole family ‘met’ Kenny over Mother’s Day.”

“I knew he was coming so I tried very hard to stay low key.”

“My mom is so obnoxious that when Kenny arrived she basically screamed ‘you look just like that little boy that Vivi had plastered all over wall!! Is your name Kenny?'”

“He said yes and he clearly wanted to crawl into a hole, as did I.”

“We said our hellos and ‘nice to see you agains’ but it was very awkward.”

“Little gathering was fine and I avoided him for the most part.”

“At about 9 the next morning my cousin called me and she was both hung over and drunk and furious at me that I didn’t tell her.”

“I guess he spilled the beans and told her how serious we were.”

“She feels very betrayed by me that I ‘allowed her to get so invested’ in a guy with whom I had a pregnancy scare (for some reason this really stuck under he skin).”

“I tried to explain but she is having none of it.”

“I tried to call Kenny to see what I can do and it appears he blocked me.”

“I feel awful that she’s hurt.”

“I made a choice about what to reveal to her but I guess I made the wrong one.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

While the Reddit community was somewhat divided, they generally felt that the OP was, indeed, the a**hole for not telling her cousin that Kenny was her camp boyfriend.

Most agreed that it was a mistake for the OP not to tell her cousin about her and Kenny’s past relationship immediately, or tell Kenny that he was engaged to her cousin, particularly as Kenny didn’t seem to think their relationship was as important as the OP did.

“Honestly it sounds very much like you thought it was a lot more serious than he did.”

“You feel this was a three year romance, he dated you for two months with a year in between them at camp, and never once integrated you into his real life.”

“You have probably told the story very differently, and now your cousin doesn’t know what to think.”- KaleidoscopeOk767

“Soft YTA.”

“I don’t think you meant to be an AH.”

“You just wanted to prevent issues and avoid conflict.”

“But part of real life is conflict.”

“The truth is, you never know how someone will react to info being hidden from them, but majority of people would feel hurt.”

“If someone hid something like that from me, I would feel pretty hurt based on how serious of a relationship you are making it sound to you.”

“If either scenario is going to cause hurt feelings, choose the open communication and honest route instead of trying to keep things hidden.”

“At least in the end you give relationships more potential to move on quickly and healthily if you are upfront and own your actions.”- Thirsty-Boiii


“For keeping this from both your cousin, and your former ‘fling’ who you talked marriage and kids with.”

“Two very important people in your life.”

“Would’ve taken minutes, at any time over the course of a year.”

“You knew what this info would do this whole time and you just waited.”

“Why?”- Dark_Mode_Nose_Wind

“Going for the surprise route instead of open communication is almost never a good strategy so YTA.”- aeroeagleAC

“AYTA for not telling her beforehand?”


“You weren’t sure where it was going and didn’t want to stop her from having a chance to be happy.”

“You are however kind of TA for not telling her before the family gathering.”

“Even if your mom hadn’t pointed it out, he would have seen you and then it’s on him to explain to her something that you’ve known for a year.”

“You should have talked to her the moment you knew all three of you would be in the same place because instead she was blindsided by info that she had no way of knowing.”- PunkTyrantosaurus

“I’m over here ready to be in NTA territory for a summer camp fling but this was way more than that.”

“YTA.”- DoOfferRefFood


“If you have a past history with someone that a family member is dating, you tell them that.”-RecommendsMalazan

“Soft YTA.”

“All you had to do was give her a gentle heads up.”

“That’s all.”- Logical-Cost4571

“So you had a year during which you could have texted him to say, ‘I’ve heard you’re dating my cousin. I’m happy for you both’.”

“That would have given him a heads-up and allowed both of them to prepare properly.”

“YTA for not doing that.”

‘Your comment about not wanting to interrupt your cousin’s happiness is BS because you didn’t need to say anything to her. You could have simply told him. You apparently didn’t want to.

You have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever getting back together with him now.

A few, however, didn’t think the OP did anything wrong by keeping this information a secret, believing her cousin and Kenny would both still have reacted badly regardless.

“I vote NAH.”

“Damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.”- Unable_Earth5914

The OP later returned with an update, sharing that her cousin had sadly ended her engagement, but not entirely owing to her past relationship with Kenny.

“My cousin has called off her engagement to ‘Kenny’.”

“I had a very short talk with her last night and she’s going to drive home this weekend and we are going to meet and go out for drinks.”

“She said there was a lot more that was bothering her and this was the final nail that she would never be able to get past.”

“I’m also so curious to talk to her because now she knows the guy who I thought was my ‘Mr Big’ way better than ever did and maybe I can come to know more about him than then ‘guy from camp’.”

“I’ve been utterly and hopelessly infatuated with for all of my teen years and short adult life.”

“Maybe I can get some closure too.”

It seems fairly clear that the OP’s cousin might not have reacted in the way she did had she been more forthcoming about her relationship with Kenny.

That being said, it seemed that this secret was the piece of information the OP’s cousin needed to confirm that marrying Kenny was not a good idea.

Seeing how Kenny chose to block the OP rather than talk with her about this situation, it also seems that both the OP and her cousin are better off without Kenny in their lives.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.