Grief is incredibly complicated, and we all go about processing it differently, especially when we’re grieving someone we were really close to.
Sometimes we might even share information that really wasn’t ours to tell, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Attempting to help the situation, Redditor throwhonesty67 shared some information with his dead brother’s girlfriend that he thought would help her through her grief.
But when he saw her reaction to the news, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he had overstepped.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my brother’s girlfriend what he was planning to do before he passed away?”
The OP recently lost his brother in a car accident.
“My (17 male) older brother (26 male) passed away 3 weeks ago in an auto accident.”
“It was devastating for the entire family, though he was low contact with them for minor disagreements.”
“His girlfriend was the one devastated the most. She didn’t eat or take a shower for an entire week.”
“My parents took her in last week because she could no longer afford the rent for the apartment she shared with my brother.”
The OP knew something about his brother’s relationship.
“Here’s the situation. Before my brother passed away, I think this took place a month ago, he confided in me his problems with his girlfriend and said he was planning on breaking up with her next month (Jan).”
“I thought that was too much for his girlfriend, since she’d always been the one to try to work things out, but my brother had issues.”
The OP decided to share this with the girlfriend.
“Seeing his girlfriend depressed to the point of losing weight and hearing her break down crying multiple times a day, I decided to sit down and tell her what my brother was planning on doing.”
“I didn’t just dish it out on her, I just told her what he told me.”
“But she reacted in a very negative way. She had a breakdown, crying and screaming at me.”
The OP’s parents were appalled.
“My parents came rushing in, asking what was happening, and I told them after my brother’s girlfriend rushed upstairs.”
“My parents berated me, saying I should never have said this to her, seeing how bereaved and struggling she was.”
“I explained that I felt bad for her and didn’t think it was fair for me to hide this important truth from her.”
“They told me I had no right and this was not a good timing… They also said that I just made it worse and tainted my brother’s memory for her and confused her even more.”
The OP had mixed feelings after that.
“I got punished harshly but my friends agreed I did the right thing since my brother’s girlfriend’s situation is just tragic and she needed this piece of info and I was right and considerate to give it to her.”
“I really think I just let her know this because I felt guilty for hiding the truth from her but I might be TA for what I did.”
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 were appalled by what the OP said to the grieving woman.
“I was willing to give OP the benefit of the doubt as I read the post, that maybe he naively thought hearing this would replace her grief with anger or indifference.”
“But OP makes no mention of such motives, just that he thought she ‘needed this piece of info’ and he ‘felt guilty for hiding the truth from her.’ What?!”
“‘Important truth’? Why is it so important for her to know this, what will it change? What positive impact were you imagining, OP? Or were you more concerned with ‘doing what’s right’ without considering the consequences of your actions?”
“What were you hoping to accomplish? I want to be kind because you lost your brother, but I genuinely don’t understand what you were thinking.” – Affectionate_Ice_
“17yos are still young when it comes to learning/grasping the ins and outs of empathetic response, for sure, and I see that his intentions were to try to somehow ease her pain, but those are really just excuses and are kind of moot.”
“Unfortunately, this poor woman is now a learning lesson for him. YOU SHOULDN’T SAY THE THINGS SOMETIMES. However well-intentioned or immature, he’s still an AH.”
“YTA” – Nikkita8223
“Honestly, did he think that would stop her from crying?”
“I’m sure even if they broke up before the fatal accident, she’d still be crying a lot over his death. You don’t just stop loving someone the moment you break up.”
“OP just added so much more hurt. I’m heartbroken for this girl.”
“OP, YTA so very much.” – emcee95
“OP may need counseling, or to be on a list, it’s not normal to see someone struggling and to think, let me just kick her while she’s on the edge… Agreed, YTA” – Gette_M_Rue
“YTA – What good is that information to her, it was only going to hurt her more. She has a right to mourn for him.”
“They were still together, and whose to say they wouldn’t have worked through their issues had he discussed them with her.” – EvocativeEnigma
“YTA, I could say awful timing but I honestly believe there would be no reason for you to ever bring that up.”
“Her boyfriend died and she’s trying to process and go through probably the worst time in her life. You came and made it 10x worse and gave her something else to be upset about.”
“If you wanted to console her, a simple ‘he really loved you’ would have been f**king fine.” – Practical-Ice-5442
But others thought the 17-year-old may have had good intentions.
“You can tell this is a case of stupid youth because all his friends agreed he was right to tell her.”
“But I guarantee if he’d asked 10 adults off the street, they would’ve said, ‘Take that s**t to your grave.'” – tsh87
“When you haven’t been in a long term, committed relationship where the feelings are a lot more complicated than just ‘being in love,’ it probably does seem like the compassionate thing to do to let her know, ‘hey, I know you thought you were going to be with this person forever but you weren’t, you can let go of the ‘what ifs’ and move on.'”
“But for an older, more experienced person, we understand the type of hurt and confusion this brings. I’m honestly going to say NAH because it seems like OP’s intentions were very kind but very, very miscalculated.” – master0fcats
“I think OP’s probably young and dumb and didn’t intend to be malicious. He probably thought, ‘hey, maybe if I tell her my brother wasn’t good for her and their relationship was doomed, she’ll stop grieving and get over it.'”
“Obviously, he miscalculated, and he should’ve seen that coming, but he is only 17, and it doesn’t sound like he was trying to hurt her in the post. I think OP’s just immature and inexperienced.” – Diogenes-Disciple
“It reads to me like he told her to try and stop her from getting more depressed. ‘Please don’t be sad, he’s not worth your tears since he was planning to dump you’ mentality.”
“It wasn’t the right thing to do but unless I’m giving too much benefit of the doubt, I think the intention was good, just horribly misguided.” – mini-mayam
“It sounds like OP thought that if she knew the brother didn’t want to stay with her, she’d realize she shouldn’t be so upset about this death.”
“Basically, OP felt the girlfriend was mourning unnecessarily and had a false idea of the brother and the relationship. That if OP corrected this perception she’d understand basically that brother didn’t deserve all the grief and loyalty she was showing him.”
“OP was trying to help. They didn’t have a ‘selfish need to be cruel.'”
“Was it smart? No, no it was not. But that’s not the same as being malicious. OP explains that they felt bad for her and basically thought that she was more distraught than the brother deserved and the truth would help fix that.”
“It doesn’t work that way. But that doesn’t make OP malicious.”
“My two-year-old took some food off my plate, chewed it, and then offered it back to me quite happily as a gift. Thought I’d appreciate it. I didn’t. But my toddler wasn’t trying to be mean.”
“OP is like a toddler in this story. Blundering and doing the unhelpful thing while blissfully unaware it isn’t helpful.” – TheHatOnTheCat
While the OP may have had good intentions for what he said to his brother’s girlfriend, the subReddit was divided on whether or not that was enough.
No one thought that pointing this out was a good or kind idea, and the information was sure to only complicate the girlfriend’s feelings further.
As for his intentions, only some could see that has made the situation forgivable, given some time.