Emotions are a fickle thing.
Falling in love, disliking someone and just getting that general feeling to trust a stranger are all completely valid and totally unintentional.
So, what happens when these illogical feelings start causing issues in your life?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) helpme__2 when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for refusing my sister’s offer to be in her bridal party and not giving an explanation?”
OP got right to the problem at hand, but did offer some context too.
“I (26m) fell in love with my sister’s partner.”
“This began around a year ago when my sister had to travel for work for an extended period of time and her partner got into a pretty bad car accident just a week after she left.”
“Without going into too much detail about his injuries, he needed someone staying with him and helping him get around for a while.”
“I do freelance work from home to support myself, so they asked me if I could go and stay in their home for a while as her partner’s temporary caregiver while he recovered.”
“I immediately agreed, wanting to help in any way I could.”
“Her partner and I were already good friends prior to this situation, but living with someone and being there in some of their most intimate moments obviously strengthens a bond even further.”
“We bonded over our many shared interests and got to talk about deeper things that were typically off limits in a group setting.”
“By the time I realized my changing feelings, it was too late to distance myself from the situation.”
“I had committed to helping him for the duration of his recovery and a sudden change in my behavior would just tip him off that something was wrong and add unnecessary stress to an already hard time.”
“He had expressed feeling like a burden more than once.”
“So, I pulled away the little bit I could and we rode out those last few weeks together before he was back on his feet again.”
“To make a long story short, the period that followed was full of guilt from me and confusion from my sister’s partner by my quick disappearance following our time together.”
“He eventually texted me and asked if he had done something wrong during our time together and p*ssed me off somehow, so we met up and I came clean.”
“The conversation was a brutal one and it eventually ended in both of us agreeing we would limit our time together from now on as there was no hope for an actual future for us—it would simply be too weird given the history.”
Everything was fine, until…
“Fast forward to now.”
“The two of them got engaged somewhat recently and this past Saturday, my sister asked me to be in her wedding as part of her bridal party.”
“I asked her to let me think about it (which already caused some tension) and finally told her yesterday that I was incredibly grateful for her offer but I had to turn it down.”
“I’m fine attending as a guest, but being in the party just feels too much.”
“She is now furious with me and is demanding I give her an explanation at the very least, something I have refused.”
OP was left to wonder,
OP did return with some additional context.
“Edited To Add:”
“Addressing comments/questions—he did reciprocate my feelings.”
“They didn’t have a traditional proposal and my sister is the one who initiated the conversations.”
“In response to inquiries about the status of their relationship now: he told me that he respects my sister and doesn’t want to end the relationship abruptly with no real reason he can disclose.”
“He has had relationships with men in the past and she knows this.”
“He and I text occasionally but not often at all.”
Having explained the issue, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: YTA
Some saw this as a problem waiting to happen.
“INFO: What if, someday down the road, she somehow finds out about this?”
“How do you think she’ll feel, knowing you let her get married to a man who was in love with someone else?” ~ _higglety
“THIS is an excellent question.”
“Because from the post I wasn’t sure.”
“But based on your comments, I’m sorry but I have to go with YTA.”
“Not only you, but your sis’s partner also. You both should’ve come clean to sis – let it out into the open and let the pieces fall where they may.”
“That’s the only healthy approach long term.” ~ EmeraldBlueZen
Many looked at this as a question of honesty.
“Dude right. If my sister and fiancé had feelings for each other behind my back I’d wanna know. Then I’d want a new sister and fiancé lol” ~ SaladSea2603
“As the feeling are MUTUAL, the not-telling-her option is far worse I’m afraid.” ~ TheWitchOfTariche
“Yeah, she deserves to know she’s about to marry into a love triangle with her brother.” ~ catsncupcakes
“I’d rather have honesty. It’s on the fiancé to tell, or not to tell, OPs sister.”
“Personally I find it shocking how many people would just abandon their partners over a mental thing that happens in the care community that’s well known and well documented.”
“I presume you’re all the same people that will leave your partners when they get sick.” ~ koalaburr87
“According to OP, BF is bisexual (which OP knew) and the romantic feelings were reciprocated.”
“BF just agreed that the feelings couldn’t be acted upon beyond the shared confession because there was no hope of a future due to their history.”
“(which implies that they at least entertained the possibility of pursuing a relationship).”
“IMO, the most adult way to handle this was for OP to go to a therapist and work this out, not to confess their love to their sister’s partner and turn this into a secret between them.”
“(Also, they are still texting each other ‘occasionally,’ when they honestly should not be in private contact with each other at all given the situation.)”
“(Especially when OP is still harboring these feelings a year later.)”
“They are both at fault here, with BF being particularly culpable because he is keeping this from his now fiancee; he owes her honesty about this kind of situation more than OP.”
“Is it better than them actively sleeping together and hiding a physical affair or deciding to run away together and blow up the family?”
“Yes. But, this is still deceptive, and I do feel bad for the sister.”
“Comment about BF reciprocating feelings:”
“https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/comments/zeplpi/comment/iz7tz97/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3” ~ AVDisco
Though, not everyone saw this as so black and white.
“So here’s the thing.”
“Florence Nightengale syndrome is a thing, where someone giving care falls in love with their patient.”
“Transference is also a thing, where a patient falls in love with their caregiver.”
“They’re all feelings based on the fact that aspects of caring for a person, or being cared for, in a medical situation are, by nature, extremely intimate.”
“I’m not saying both of your feelings boil down to simply this, but it literally sounds like the classic presentation of both.”
“It’s a trope for a reason. 😅”
“You talked about it like adults, were honest, and you both decided to walk away.”
“You can’t help what you feel, but you can help what you do, and you’re doing the things socially considered correct.”
“All that said, if you have a therapist, talk to them about this. They’ll be able to help you cope.” ~ koalaburr87
“I was scrolling for forever waiting for a single person who was on the same wavelength I was.”
“I can’t believe so many people are calling him an AH for having an adult conversation!!”
“I can’t imagine that OP walked into that conversation thinking that the feelings were reciprocated even knowing that the bf was bisexual…”
“How does being open and honest about why you abruptly pretty much ghosted someone you just spent tons of time with make you an AH??!!”
“NTA he did the right think in speaking with the bf and they made the right decision to maintain distance… not sure I agree with not telling the sister but honestly I’m not them…”
“And if nothing physical ever happened… I don’t consider this an emotional cheating situation… yes emotions were involved and felt on both sides but they were never pursued… just felt…” ~ Individual-Lead-6834
For some, this was cheating.
“YTA for having an emotional affair with your sisters fiance for sure.”
“Was it just emotional though? Did you sleep together? You already admitted the feelings were reciprocated, why stop now?”
“Your poor sister though.”
“She deserves better than this. Grow a pair and tell her the truth. Don’t let her marry someone who doesn’t love her back.” ~ IAmSpellbound
OP did return for some follow-up.
“After some thought, I don’t feel comfortable taking this directly to my sister.”
“There are two people I care about being impacted by my choices.”
“I think my next move is meeting up with Partner and seeing how he feels about telling her.”
Emotions are fickle, but this doesn’t make them less real.
Adapting to the whims of our hearts and using our logic and kindness to cope with difficult feelings is key.