CW: Below will be a discussion of neglect and abuse of a child.
So, let’s talk about disability.
We’ve used lots of euphemisms over the years and tried to make people comfortable with all sorts of different linguistic tricks, but at the end of the day, all a disability means is that my perceived skill in a task is less than yours.
We aren’t going to get into whether a choice is involved in disability here – that’s not what this particular Reddit post is about.
The root issue here is what to do when you find out how the person you love really feels about someone they consider ‘less than.’
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Difficult-Article-19 when she came to the “Am I the A*”hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for inviting my fiancé’s younger sister to our wedding?”
OP began with great news.
“I (Female 25) am engaged to my fiancé (Male 32).”
“We’ve been dating for four years before getting engaged last year.”
“We’ve always gotten along well with each other’s families and celebrated holidays together.”
“Both of our families were happy when we announced our engagement.”
“I recently found out that my fiancé actually has a 15-year-old younger sister (let’s call her An), who I never met despite her living with her parents and me visiting often.”
“When I asked about her during a family dinner, they glared at me and coldly said I shouldn’t mention her and that I should forget about her.”
“The intense response kind of shocked me so I dropped the subject, but I tried to talk about it with my fiancé after we got home.”
“He brushed it off and said An doesn’t want to be part of the family, so she’s not allowed to join any family events or gatherings until she decides to talk to them.”
“Maybe because I’m generally a curious person, but something just felt off. Even at my fiancé’s parents home, there are pictures of their children everywhere, but there’s not a single picture of An”
OP decided to do some investigating.
“A few days I contacted An, saying I’d love to get to know my future sister-in-law.”
“We met up in a cafe, and she is such a sweet girl.”
“But it turned out she’s mute. She can hear but just can’t talk.”
“Her parents got it into their heads that she’s able to talk, but chooses not to because there’s no way a child of them would have a disability.”
“So they excluded An from the family until she talks.”
“We talked (I talked, she wrote, I don’t know sign language), and I really feel sorry for her. I invited her to my wedding, telling her that I’d love to see her there.”
“When I later told this during a family dinner with my fiancé’s family, they blew up.”
“Telling me how I dared to talk to An and to revoke my invitation because if An doesn’t want to talk to them, she doesn’t deserve to be a part of the family and shouldn’t be allowed to join in family events.”
“They told me I shouldn’t stick my nose in their family business.”
“My fiancé sided with his parents, telling me just to forget An exists and apologize to his parents.”
“This angered me because I thought my fiancé would have my back, and I yelled at them that I’m not going to uninvite her, that she deserves to be treated better.”
“Since then, my fiancé has been constantly telling me that I’m behaving like a child throwing a tantrum and to apologize to his family for my behavior,”
OP had concerns about the future.
“But I just can’t accept the way An is treated.”
“It also made me worry if we end up having children, would my fiancé treat our child the same if they’d end have a disability of some kind?”
“Some of my friends are also saying that I should just let it go and not overreact so much.”
“That every family does things their own way, so I should just apologize and do as they tell me to prevent my relationship from suffering.”
She was left to wonder,
“AITA for inviting An to my wedding, after having learned how my fiancé and his family thinks about her?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Commenters were shocked.
“I am absolutely astonished by the post.”
“Please call Child Protective Services immediately and report everything that you have written here.”
“The authorities need to be involved right now.”
“This is child abuse.”
“Dehumanizing child abuse of a severe and intense degree that your fiance has participated in.”
“Do not get married. Call off the entire wedding.”
“Anybody who does not back you 100% in this is a flat-out bad person that should be removed from your life.”
“NTA” ~ imothro
“It’s amazing to me that this comment has only about 850 upvotes at this point and is the highest voted NTA.”
“OP will be judged TA of this whole situation because someone wanted to fault her the most out of all the people we read about in this post because she hasn’t yet broken the engagement.” ~ Choosing_is_a_sin
“This is child abuse. You should call child protective services on the parents.”
“An needs to get therapy and support for her disability.” ~ KronkLaSworda
Others pointed out the implications for her own future.
“Info, why aren’t you calling off this marriage after seeing how horrible your fiance and his family truly are?”
“Imagine how they’ll treat your future children if they aren’t perfect?”
“I’d consider filing a report with children’s services. This is concerning.” ~ elsie78
“This is THE reply.”
“What happens when your child is the wrong type of imperfect?”
“What are the acceptable types of imperfect? Are glasses ok? Braces? ADHD? Depression? Gender issues? Religious issues?” ~ IvanMarkowKane
“That’s a lot of red flags.”
“Do you want to have a kid with the guy that pretends his little sister doesn’t exist because she’s different?”
“And sure, you might say that’s less likely with his own kid, but clearly his parents would do it to their own, and by proxy will do it to a grandkid as well, and seem to be able to get him on their side with zero effort, so…”
“I wouldn’t trust that guy enough to marry him under any circumstances personally…”
“I’d definitely be uninviting her from my wedding… By canceling the wedding and just trying to be friends with that poor girl because she clearly needs someone.”
“And that’s not going to be her toxic, abusive, narcissistic, sh*tshow of a family. Report those people for child abuse already.” ~ Kirynn
Not everyone was convinced this was real.
“Like this girl has never been to school where school officials would obviously be explaining the extent of her disabilities?”
“No one knows she exists?” ~ xteabraggerx
“How did you find out about An? How did you contact An? What was An like in person? Did An describe any diagnosis to you?”
“Can you explain more about the family dynamics; do they come from a different culture, their socio-economic status, the number of kids, etc?”
“Why do you think they don’t believe she is mute? Do they not believe in modern medicine? Was she born mute, or did she become mute after a trauma of some sort?”
“This is way bigger than inviting this girl to a family event.”
“There is something terribly wrong here.”
“Your fiancee is able to hide a complete human being from you for years. He is able to justify both the hiding of his sister and the…. negation of his sister as some sort of twisted punishment.”
“This, at the very least right now, is not a man you want to be married to. Do not marry this man. This girl needs help.” ~ junk-drawer-magic
“This has to be someone practicing their creative writing skills again, but I’ll bite.”
“This child is 15, they are abusing her.”
“You need to tell someone about this.”
“I’m the last person to advocate for CPS because I didn’t have a great experience with them, but it sounds like they’re keeping her locked away like a feral child. This is terrible.”
“Also, what if her mute abilities are genetic, and your brother carries the trait too?”
“What if your kids are mute, and he acts the same way?”
“Obviously y’all don’t know each other that well, and you need to put a big ‘ol pause on the marriage.”
“You’re in your 20s, and he’s in his 30s. He should know better, and he doesn’t.”
“Run. Run far away. (After you report what they’re doing to his sister, that is.)” ~ SweetNique11
Full disclosure, I am disabled.
The looks and whispers and altered treatment are very real and can be very difficult to deal with for some.
Especially when that treatment comes from those we love and trust the most.
Above, it’s made clear that the villains in this post are cartoonishly evil, and doubts are raised about whether this is to be believed.
I’m here to tell you that, broadly, it doesn’t matter if this particular post is true because there are dozens of others that are.