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Woman Sparks Drama After Not Telling Her Grandpa That She Got Married To A Woman

Elyse Patten/GettyImages

Coming out as an LGBTQ person is one of the toughest life challenges, but the manner in which they open up to family and friends is solely up to the individual.

Redditor HotelBravo is a lesbian who had kept her sexuality a secret from her family before getting married.

When she recently upset her mother over a recent holiday gathering, she went to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for not explicitly telling my grandpa I’m married to another woman?”

For context, the Orignal Poster (OP) explained:

“My wife and I are both women in our late 20’s. We’ve been together for 4 years and got married this summer after getting engaged in the spring.”

“Due to restrictions (and personal preference) we did a courthouse wedding with each of our sisters as our maids of honor. It was a relatively simple affair and my wife and I are pleased with how low key it was.”

“Before we got married, I was not out to my extended family members. I was very close with my grandma and was afraid of how she might react.”

“Sadly she passed away shortly before our wedding, so she never got to know that my wife was more than a friend. I’m not very close to my grandpa, but I do try to call him once a week to chit chat. He’s very reserved and soft spoken so our convos are typically 5 minutes of fluff about work and the weather.”

“I had introduced my wife to my grandparents, they met her a few times before my grandma passed away. They only knew her as my roommate/friend as I wasn’t out at the time. But I would tell my grandma about fun things we did together and honestly I think she might have known that we were a couple.”

“In retrospect grandpa probably didn’t pick up on it because I’m not nearly as close to him as I was with her so when we visited he would say hi and chat with us for a little bit before going in his workshop while we stayed with my grandma in the house.”

“After the wedding, I decided I couldn’t hide who I was any longer and posted our wedding pics to social media, saying that we had gotten married and I was happy to spend the rest of my life with the woman I loved.”

“Many of my extended family reached out to congratulate us and the overall response was very positive. For Christmas we send out Christmas cards to all of my relatives with our engagement and wedding.”

“Fast forward to last week. My parents, siblings, wife and I stopped by to visit my grandpa and exchange presents (with masks on). When we got to his house I said ‘grandpa, you remember (Wife’s name)’ and he said hi and asked about her parents and that was that.”

“Everyone was sitting in a circle around the living room, was sitting next to my wife on the couch with my arm on the back of the couch around her while we went around and everyone opened presents. I got a cookbook that my grandma had picked out for me before she passed and I started to tear up, my wife held my hand for a while to comfort me.”

“The next day my mom reached out saying that my grandpa didn’t know that my wife and I were together until he saw me ‘hanging all over’ my wife. (I’m sure these are my mom’s words.)”

“I told her that I genuinely thought he knew, and that if someone hadn’t talked to him about it after we posted it on social media he would have realized from the Christmas cards (which featured a close up of the rings).”

“He had asked my mom about it after the party and she had to tell him. She says it should have been from me. My mom told me it was my responsibility to tell him and that he shouldn’t have found out that way.”

“AITA for not specifically telling my grandpa I’m married to a woman? My mom said it isn’t the end of the world but I can tell she’s kind of upset.”

“My wife said that she didn’t think any PDA we did have was not over the top and nothing my siblings wouldn’t do with their SO’s (who weren’t present), and a friend said that it’s not on me to make sure everyone knows about my marriage.”

Strangers were asked to declare one of the following:

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

Redditors seemed to struggle with their judgments as the responses placing were guilt varied.

“Hold up; how did you post pictures of your wedding and sending out Christmas cards with wedding and engagement details AND A CLOSE UP OF RINGS not count towards telling your grandfather you got married to a woman?”

“You DID inform him, did he throw the information away without reading it? That’s on him, not not you.”

“I actually don’t know that it’s a requirement to personally sit down every extended family member and look them deep in the eyes and say ‘I’m gay’ in order to tell family members that you’re gay?! Depending on the size of your family and where they live that’s like, a month of driving and personal visits?!”

“NTA.” – Sensitive_Ad_1063

“I think its a bit weird that you have a weekly call with your grandad and didn’t tell him you were married.”

“Regardless of the gender of your partner, it must have been weird and uncomfortable for him to just not be told at all that your married? And then your mum has to tell him yes she’s married she just didn’t think to tell you?”

“Slight YTA, slight! You don’t own anyone personal info BUT you’ve maintained a relationship with a family member and essentially told everyone a big piece of news except him, like if you called him weekly and then turned up with a 6month old baby, having never even mentioned the pregnancy or birth to him, and your mum has to confirm its your baby?”

“Like you being engaged and then getting married, this are pretty big life events. Yes you can say that you don’t have to tell anyone about your baby but it’s still weird to exclude this info from one person?” – niamhk13

In response to the YTA judgment, the OP admitted:

“I think you hit the nail on the head, I should have told him. If my grandma was still with us I definitely would have told her.”

“My grandpa and I never really had a close relationship and the main reason I call him is because I know he misses her and I wanted to help distract him, even a little bit.”

“I think a part of me just didn’t want to have the tough conversation. I was hoping the Christmas card got the point across, but knowing him he might have just glanced at it and then set it aside.”

Redditor niamhk13 continued their discussion.

“I think this is so normal and it’s probably one of those things that the longer it’s put off the harder it’s going to be. I wouldn’t worry or dwell on it, your mum’s right it’s not the end of the world!”

“I’m sure your grandad really appreciates and looks forward to your calls too, its great that you make the effort for them!”

This person believed there were NAH (no a**holes here).

“No way, this should be a NAH. You aren’t at fault for this. Anyone who’s ever had the complicated process of coming out to family should understand your reticence and then hope that all of the other indicia was sufficient.”

“Honestly, the idea that you would have had to prepare him for this, speaks to prevalent heteronormativity.”

“Someone’s an ‘a**hole’ when they’ve done something wrong. This wasn’t wrong.” – Lulu_42

“I’m going to be different here and say mild YTA. It’s not that you didn’t tell your grandfather you were married to a woman. It’s that you didn’t tell your grandfather you were married at all.”

“I totally get your fear about how people would react. There are two separate issues here: The first is legit: Being afraid of people’s homophobia. But this isn’t what your mom is complaining about.”

“She’s complaining about you not telling your grandfather personally and letting her be the one to tell, but not asking her directly, instead passive-aggressively setting up a situation in which she’d have to tell him and leaving her with it.”

“A general Facebook announcement is most certainly not the same thing as picking up the phone and telling your loved ones you’re engaged and are married. You say you talk to your grandfather once a week–it would have been quite natural for you to tell him then.”

“You didn’t because you were afraid of his reaction. I get that.”

“However, it’s not likely your grandfather would have noticed something announced on social media, and I have to wonder why you thought he did.”

“It’s not cool that you then went to a family gathering and behaved as a married couple without telling your grandfather you were married.”

“What you should have done, if you were afraid of telling him (again, understandable) was ask your mother to tell him for you, or to tell him together with your mother. She would then have given consent. As it is, you just left her with the job without asking her.”

“Anyway, congratulations on your marriage, and hopefully you’ll experience only love and support from now on. ANd hold your head up high.” – toughdog18

In an updated post, the OP wrote:

“I just want to thank everyone who commented, I read through them all and it really helped me process the situation.”

“I spoke with my mom a few hours the night after I posted, and she apologized for her comment about my wife and I ‘hanging all over each other.’ I apologized for putting her in the situation she was in and that I genuinely thought that he had known.”

“She basically said that it was ok, he knows now, and not to worry. She had talked to him and told him that we were together but didn’t tell him we were married, which she said needed to come from me. I agreed.”

“I said I was going to give him some time to process and reflect on things, and that I didn’t want to reach out too soon before he was ready.”

“I waited a week to talk to him, in that time an aunt of mine said she spoke with him. They spoke for a while and his general sentiment was that he was worried that we could lead happy lives together, i.e. could we find a home? Could we have kids? Would we be able to keep our jobs?”

“She said they had a really good talk and that she was able to reassure him on his worries. She told me I should talk to him and give him a chance to see how happy we are.”

“This weekend I went to visit him. My aunt and mom came with too.”

“After we chatted for a while I told my grandpa that I had some news. I told him that my wife and I had actually gotten married this summer.”

“I made it clear that it was a very small ceremony, and that our parents couldn’t even attend. And that because of that we are planning on having a big wedding celebration in a year or two after [the virus] is over so all of our family and friends could celebrate.”

“I explained that I was just nervous to tell him, and that I was worried what he would think. He said ‘well I’m 85! My opinion doesn’t matter!’”

“We talked a little bit more, I made sure to mention that we were very happy, and that our jobs knew and our neighbors knew when we bought our house. I also mentioned that my wife’s parents went to the same college my parents and all my mom’s siblings went to, and he thought that was pretty cool.”

“I told him that I didn’t have a chance to tell grandma before she passed, and that I really miss her and had hoped she could see how happy we were together. We all had a little cry and talked about how much we miss her.”

“The next morning, a different aunt called me and said that when she went and visited grandpa he was all excited. ‘Did you hear we’re going to have a big party after [the virus]? (OP) is having a wedding celebration!’ She and I had a good talk and it sounds like grandpa is doing well with the news and that everything worked out ok!!!”

Redditors were relieved to hear the positive update.

“Ngl I teared up at the end after reading how excited your grandpa is for your wedding :’) I’m so happy for you and your wife, and glad everything went well after the original post.” – OutrageousText4914

“I teared up too. I’m a queer guy. I think we often underestimate how understanding grandparents can be.” – Equal-Independence-1

“My grandmother found out over facebook and left me a message ‘We need to have a chat about this next time you’re in town.’ My heart sank. I expected the worst, and that it would mess up my relationship with my grandparents.”

“When I did see her again she hugged me tight and said something along the lines of ‘I thought I’d be upset but here you are and I love you just as much.'”

“Shows the downside of social media and forming opinions when not around someone.” – upsidedownbackwards

The OP’s story demonstrated that—while it can be scary—giving grandparents the benefit of a doubt when opening up to them can potentially be an opportunity to strengthen bonds.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo