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Woman Stirs Drama By Refusing To Teach Her Brother-In-Law With Anger Issues How To Cook

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Setting boundaries with friends and family members is often a surefire way to spark drama.

A woman on Reddit, who goes by the name Ambitious_Fix5813 on the site, found herself in precisely this situation when she refused to teach her brother-in-law how to cook because of his volatile temper. She wasn’t sure about how she handled it, however, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for input.

The Original Poster (OP) asked:

“AITA for refusing to help my brother in law learn basic cooking skills?”

She explained:

“My husband and his siblings were not taught basic life skills by their parents as kids. Upon leaving the house at 18 none of them could cook, do laundry on their own or had much experience in chores and household management. My husband learned in college because he wanted to. He learned from a couple of people.”

“His other siblings learned to varying degrees except one brother; the oldest. My oldest brother in law never cared about learning how to cook. He would let others feed him or throw on a tv dinner or something else that just needed to be tossed into a microwave.”

“But now he wants to learn because he was dumped by the woman he was dating for caring so little and not trying to learn. He asked my husband to teach him and my husband said no. He had one or two kitchen experiences with him and mentioned his brother has a short fuse when it comes to that stuff.”

“The man doesn’t want to pay to learn but doesn’t feel like YT videos would help. So he asked me. He said he always knew I disliked his inability to cook and now I could show him a thing or two.”

“I told him no way. That I am not going to teach someone with a fuse as short as his and he either needs to take a class or learn the basics from a few videos. But he is not coming into my kitchen and cursing up a storm at me or breaking anything we own because he waited until he was 34 to learn.”

“What followed was him calling me an a**hole. He told me my husbands experience with him was not my own and I should judge him based off my own experience.”

“When I didn’t give in he went to his parents and my husband told them all when they brought it up that they were ridiculous and that it wasn’t my job to teach him anything, that if anyone should be teaching him it should be their parents. But they all say I’m family and should help and as a person who believes others should know how to cook I should be willing to help everyone do just that.”

“This has really caused a rift in the family and it makes me wonder; AITA?”

People on Reddit were then asked to evaluate who was in the wrong in this scenario based on the following categories:

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

And they found this particular dilemma to be a clear-cut case of Not The A**hole.

“NTA- just because you feel that people should know how to feed themselves does not mean you’re on the rota for free labour.”

“And his snark about you being judgemental? Yeah, it just gave you one of those ever important experiences of his being a dick with a short fuse.”CatteHerder

“Yes, definitely judge him based on your own experiences with him.”

“Like the one where you chose not to do him a favor and, instead of saying “okay, np,” he called you an a**hole and complained to his entire family that he’s entitled to your time and knowledge.”Fiotes

“Seriously, this situation simply has conflict already ‘baked’ into it. OP, you are wise not to let this ‘boil over’ in your own home. Step back and let your husband set boundaries with his own family, and be sure to “whisk” yourself away from any time they try to ‘grill’ you on your decision.”Anonymotron42

“NTA. You don’t owe him your time, and the fact that he blew up, then ran to tattle to mommy and daddy, after you said no shows that you made the right decision.”AlleyKatArt

“But – but – but – ffaaammmiiilllyyyy!!!”

“NTA, OP. I half expected to read the parents had passed away, not that it’d have changed my judgement. But crying to mommy/daddy at 34 (geez, I cannot believe I just typed that sentence!) ?? I mean!!”KeepLkgForIntllgnc

“NTA. Getting yelled at for saying no because you’ve been warned of his short fuse sure doesn’t make much of a case for your experience being different from your husband’s experience with his brother, now does it?”slydog4100

“NTA I wouldn’t want to teach someone who has w history of throwing tantrums while being taught either. He’s a grown man, time to put on his big boy pants. It’s hilarious that his parents still refuse to teach him and yet say that you’re the bad guy for not helping family. Like they aren’t helping their family either, he’s their son he’s only your BIL.”hey-demons-its-me-ya

“I believe everybody should shower everyday.”

“I don’t going around bathing people.”

“NTA. Your brother in law is being an entitled AH.”BoboPie13

“NTA. His terrible attitude only reinforces your decision to not help him. It would likely be a train wreck if you did. No surprise that his own brother refused to help him either. The real mystery here is why his parents are mad at you when this is 100% his responsibility and no one else’s.”DannyBigD


“It’s 2021, there are a lot of youtube tutorials, recipes online and even courses! I see no reason why your BIL couldn’t learn how to prepare at least some basic dishes.”NoJellyfish1208

“NTA. Him calling you an a**hole and crying to the parents is now your own experience, and why would you want to say yes to that?…”MaxSpringPuma

Hopefully OP’s in-laws can get past this conflict.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.