It should be universally understood by now that not everyone wants or can have exactly the same lifestyle.
But some people refuse to understand that another person may not have the privilege or desire to have the same milestones they’ve accomplished, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
While meeting her cousin’s boyfriend for the first time, Redditor WarMom1717 was surprised by the number of personal questions he asked her.
But when he accused her of being unable to have children, the Original Poster (OP) turned the conversation in a very different direction.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for my response when my cousin’s boyfriend called me ‘barren’?”
The OP was trying to have a baby with her partner.
My DP (Dear Partner) (36 Male) and I (33 Female) have been ‘properly’ trying for a baby for 2 years now.”
“Nothing is happening. We’re being told to stay optimistic and not lose hope, but quite frankly, I’m really starting to.”
“It’s hard because of the emotional and physical toll it has taken on me already.”
“Not to mention how friends and family feel about this. It’s frustrating seeing them disappointed like that.”
When she met her cousin’s new boyfriend, she was barraged with personal questions.
“My cousin met her boyfriend, ‘Jerry,’ a months ago. She wanted me to meet him at my parents’ house.”
“I went there and met him, and we talked about a lot of topics.”
“He asked many questions, which didn’t really bother me until he started asking about my husband and any kids we had/didn’t have.”
“When I told him we’ve been trying for 2 years but had no luck, my Mom said that I had medical issues.”
“He looked at me, nodded, and loudly said, ‘Ohhhh, so in other words, she’s barren!!!'”
“I was stunned. I almost dropped my fork from the shock.”
“The room went quiet, and I saw how my mom was looking at me with pity.”
The OP retaliated against Jerry’s comment.
“My cousin and her mom acted nonchalant, thinking I’d let it go, but I cleared my throat to talk.”
“I told him, ‘No, but my husband’s juice tastes soooo good, I keep swallowing it instead. Gosh, I hate thinking about all those children we could’ve had, it’s a shame, but so worth it honestly.'”
“Jerry looked at me, eyes wide open.”
“My cousin quickly tried to change the subject, but Jerry excused himself to the bathroom.”
The family called the OP out for her words.
“That’s when my aunt and cousin unloaded on me, calling me crazy to say such inappropriate things in front of a guest I met for the first time.”
“I told them he started asking personal questions and then called me barren, which I found cruel.”
“My aunt said that I took it too far by responding so shamelessly and having an attitude about it.”
“My mom just watched, but my dad got involved, and I had to get up and leave.”
“My cousin and her mom are still livid, according to my mom.”
“I was told to at least apologize for what I said, as it was inappropriate and made Jerry very uncomfortable.”
“She also said it probably caught him off-guard and gave him the impression that I’m rude and snarky.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some thought that Jerry deserved to receive such a bold response.
“BOLD! H**luva response! Love it. As a woman who has experienced this level of a**holery and Insensitivity from men (and women) around this my whole adult life, I commend you, sister!”
“NTA. You sure put that dude in his place. Hope he thinks twice about saying s**t like that in the future. He should be apologizing to YOU.” – molotovmerkin
“Play stupid games; win stupid prizes. Now Jerry definitely knows to STFU (shut the f**k up) and avoid saying incredibly insensitive remarks, at least to you and your partner.”
“Forget your cousin and aunt. Be more concerned about your genius and freaking awesome response than the AH they are bringing to the family. Definitely NTA.” – Jess1620
“NTA. You handled it like a champ, and anyone who says otherwise is prudish.”
“They also asked prying questions and offered their thoughts when they should have kept their mouth shut.”
“You don’t have to apologize, because aside from him being embarrassed by a comment about your sex life, you never directly insulted him. He should educate himself and apologize to you!” – Alwaysaprairiegirl
“I would go so far as to say that he got less than what he gave.”
“A blowj*b joke is way nicer than telling a woman who has spent 2 years trying to conceive but not yet done so that she is barren. F**k Jerry.” – Miserable-Mango-7356
“Absolutely NTA. Play stupid games; win stupid prizes. People are well aware of what’s the appropriate subject matter and what isn’t.”
“He said what he said on purpose. You had every right to make him feel uncomfortable.”
“Bet you he thinks twice before he opens his mouth around you again.”
“And for your family telling you to apologize, tell them you’ll consider it once you receive a heartfelt one from Jerry for his insensitive questioning.” – TropicalPlatypus
“HE should be uncomfortable.”
“How in the ever-loving crap does he know the OP isn’t super fertile? Your husband could have a low sperm count. One of you could have to travel a lot for work. What he said was sexist, and rude AF and he owes you the apology.”
“He said it to be nasty, and there isn’t anything that could convince me otherwise.” – winsomebunny
“NTA. Honestly, I don’t understand it when adults demand other grown adults to aPoLoGiZe just to smooth over ruffled feathers. How about someone asks Jerry to apologize?” – claireclairey
“NTA. Anyone who understood what you meant is old enough to hear it, and the younger ones don’t even know what you meant with swallowing.”
“For their parents, it’s easy to explain that yep, you were drinking some juice that is really good but stops you from getting kids, if they don’t want to tell the truth.”
“No harm done, you didn’t say anything bad. Jerry needs to apologize to you first.” – LookAtNarnia
Others were more concerned about the other family members’ reactions to Jerry’s comment.
“OP, please think more of the other family members’ reactions. Obviously, Jerry is TA, but your cousin, aunt, and mum seem to have no issues with his words, only your response.”
“NTA, but there were more AHs in the room than just Jerry.” – attentionspanissues
“It’s honestly part of the society-wide phenomenon where everybody has an opinion about how you react but never wants to discuss what triggered the reaction. Just my observation.” – StJudesDespair
“Obviously, they’re not thinking that the man could be the problem (i.e., low sperm count, etc.).”
“And how does OP’S mom think she has any right to answer any questions directed at OP? Just because they’ve had no luck yet doesn’t mean that there are medical issues with either OP or her husband.”
“OP didn’t mention any medical issues, so I’m going to assume there aren’t any.” – Jess1804
“Women judging women, friends judging friends, and family judging family, instead of going outside the familiar group and putting the blame where it belongs.”
“It’s easier to use the moment to reestablish superiority than to try to dominate a newcomer.”
“OP fought back… exceptional job. NTA, And good job at flushing a few more AHs out.” – thimbleshanks59
“I don’t understand why her family thinks it’s okay for this man to speak to her this way, but not for her to make him ‘uncomfortable’ in return?”
“I also don’t understand how someone who makes proclamations about the reproductive system of a woman he just met is rendered ‘uncomfortable’ by a reference to a sexual act.”
“And, finally, I don’t understand why her cousin even wants to continue dating this guy after witnessing him carelessly humiliate a family member who’s going through a rough time.” – Interesting-Fish6065
“The fact that they are worried that you left him under the impression that you were rude and snarky cracks me up. You may have given that impression, but who the f**k cares?”
“Life is too short to play nice with dumba** motherf**kers. NTA.” – FunStorm6487
“I will never comprehend why we care more about the comfort and respect to AHs than how AHs treat people we say we love.” – LimitlessMegan
“NTA, what Jerry said was utterly cruel. What you said was shocking, and was said in response to Jerry’s statement. What you said wasn’t even a fraction as rude as what Jerry said.”
“Good for you for standing up for yourself when your cousin, Aunt, and Mother all should have, but did not.” – fleshcoloredbanana
While the subReddit could all agree that the OP’s response to Jerry’s comment was shocking, most of them also found it to be funny, and they all agreed that it was well-deserved.
More importantly, it set up the precedent that the OP will not accept this behavior from Jerry in the future, and since none of the rest of her family was willing to support her after Jerry’s comment, it was important that she set that boundary for herself.