Some families don’t have the best of luck at staying together, sometimes resulting in bad arrangements or even going no-contact.
Fortunately not every family goes through this, but that’s where misunderstandings can start, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor AshBetx found herself having to choose between standing up for herself and being polite.
After some rumors started to spread, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she made the right choice.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my fiancé’s parents that my parents are s**tty?”
The OP had a fun engagement party planned.
“I got engaged recently. My fiancé and I have known each other since childhood, we reconnected in college and got engaged this year.”
“We had a small engagement party thrown by my fiancé’s parents last weekend.”
“It was me and him, his parents and three siblings, my sister and her mom, and my best friend from childhood.”
“My estranged parents showed up uninvited after my grandma, dad’s mom, told them about the party and where it was (grandma is now estranged, too).”
The OP and sister had a tough time growing up.
“So some context: My sister is four years older than me and she’s my half-sister.”
“My dad was with her mom, they broke up, he got with my mom, my mom wasn’t happy he was having a kid with someone else.”
“Despite this, they got married three weeks after my sister was born and stayed together despite my mom never ever showing the slightest amount of compassion for my sister. She mistreated her the whole time she was at my dad’s and my dad allowed it to happen.”
“She would ignore her birthday, not get her anything for Christmas despite making a huge deal for me, would basically leave her to fend for herself, and my dad would come home, see all this and do nothing.”
“My sister and I had a good relationship, so for the longest time, she kept her mom in the dark. Her mom knew things were rocky but had no idea how bad it was.”
“Both sides of my extended family were ‘forced’ to treat her the same. Which is code for my mom’s side didn’t like that my sister wasn’t their blood and my dad’s were mostly too indifferent to care.”
“My grandma apologized to my sister and me a few years ago, which is why I was talking to her until this latest thing.”
The OP did not welcome her parents.
“Back to the incident at hand: So they showed up, I told them to leave, my fiancé’s parents came over and asked who they were, etc.”
“They started talking. My parents acted like they belonged there, like things were normal.”
“So I told my fiancé’s parents my parents were leaving and they were not welcome, because they were s**tty people who were okay with punishing a child for the actions of adults, all of which was out of control of any child.”
The OP’s words were not well-received.
“My decision to say this was quite controversial.”
“I don’t care that my parents think I’m TA.”
“But some of my fiancé’s extended family thought it was impolite and rude to do that.”
“These are people who were not present, btw (by the way). One of his siblings spread the story around.”
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 said the OP could have handled it better or could repair the damage with the in-laws.
“NTA. It’s cool of you to stand up for your sister. There may have been a more graceful way to do it—maybe you could have talked to the hosts and explained that your parents came uninvited, that there is bad blood, and asked for help with what to do in the situation.”
“That would have made everybody be more on your side. Now they think of you as aggressive, uncouth. You can just have a good talk with them about it later and explain, but still.” – CherryWand
“NTA. People who have healthy relationships with their children/parents and always have don’t understand what it is like to not have that relationship. They never will.”
“Your inlaws are your new family, and they sound lovely. I would consider privately sitting down with them and offer broad strokes of the situation, and why they are estranged.”
“Congrats on your engagement, and building a new family and life for yourself.” – KirinoLover
“Of course NTA. I’m sorry your sister had to deal with that growing up, and that you did too.”
“Some families are lucky enough to not have had to have no contact situations with their members or with close friends, and many people have a tendency to project their experiences onto others, so while I am firmly on your side, I can see how they might think you are being unreasonable, without knowing better.”
“I’d suggest explaining what you feel comfortable talking about with your in-laws, and making sure you are calm and firm about the fact that they aren’t part of your life and aren’t invited to your events.”
“Hopefully they will get the picture over time. And hopefully, that will trickle out to their other family members as well. Good luck and congratulations!” – warmgreyverylight
Others disagreed and said the in-laws shouldn’t really have a said in the situation.
“NTA – But your future in-laws need to get some hobbies if all they have to do is gossip about things they know nothing about.” – BookReader1328
“NTA This is literally none of your fiance’s extended family’s business, either. What is it with every a**hole thinking they have a say in someone’s decision that they have no involvement in?” – SleuthingSloth009
“‘But some of my fiancé’s extended family thought it was impolite and rude to do that. These are people who were not present, btw.'”
“OP doesn’t even have to offer up an apology to ANYONE, because no one present at the incident seems to care. Only busybodies who heard about it are the ones complaining, and they are not owed anything.” – Needadvice8100
A few encouraged the OP to continue setting boundaries.
“The ambush. It’s a classic, used to show dominance and put you in your place. It’s a trap. Glad you blew it up.”
“Sometimes you have to be blunt and rude but now everyone knows where you stand with your parents.”
“Talk to your future in-laws so they are clear that you will have them escorted out should they show up to any wedding festivities or events. It won’t be a discussion and anyone who invites them will be asked to leave as well. Congratulations on the engagement.” – WinEquivalent4069
“NTA. They weren’t invited. They showed up. You asked them to leave and you explained to your fiance’s parents why. You only told the truth.”
“Better have security for the wedding because they will probably show up there too.” – Janetaz18
While some of the future family might have some questions about what happened, the subReddit sided with the OP and her decision to stand up for herself and her sister. Though she might want to have a conversation with her in-laws, so they know what’s going on and can better support her, the sub agreed she was right to do what she needed in that moment.