Family is all about belonging.
Whether that family is chosen or blood doesn’t really matter, though, because family is all about connection.
So, what happens when the people you are supposed to be closest to severe that connection for reasons you don’t agree with?
That was the question facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Xyrolynx when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for outside opinions.
“AITA for telling my mom I don’t give a shit about my sister’s pregnancy?”
He began with the background.
“For context, I (Male 28) married a bi-sexual woman.”
“My family is heavily religious, so any sexual orientation other than ‘straight’ is demonic.”
“My SO was pretty close with my sister-in-law and thought it would be okay to confide in her about her sexuality. My sister-in-law took that as my SO wanting to sleep with her.”
“The rest of the siblings ganged up on us, and started spreading all sorts of horrible rumors about my wife and I afterwards based on this cheating lie.”
“It was a messed up situation, and we severed ties with everyone besides my parents because they were very accepting of my wife’s sexuality.”
“My parents also tried to stop the spread of lies, but it was too late.”
“My sisters never wanted me or my wife alone around their kids, even before we left the family.”
“They thought we were bad influences because of our lifestyle – which was mainly being inclusive and accepting of people regardless of their religion, race, sexual orientation etc.”
“Whenever we would try to see my nieces or nephews, one of their parents would always be supervising, even if it was just kicking a soccer ball around in the backyard.”
“After we disconnected, I lost the ability to care about any of my siblings or their kids. They didn’t want us around.”
“They didn’t want us around their kids, so I kept my distance, and only kept in touch with my folks.”
“Last week, I got a text from my mom saying that my sister was pregnant.”
“This was kid #4.”
“She said I should call them. I told her that I didn’t talk to any of my siblings, and she should know to not press the issue, but she kept pushing.”
“So I told her that I didn’t give a shit about my sister being pregnant because it’ll just be one more kid who I’m not allowed to be around.”
“I said that they never wanted me or my wife around their kids when we were still involved with the family, so why should I congratulate them for something that I’m clearly cut out of.”
“She made it sound as if that was the most hurtful thing to say, and said I was being an ass about it. Should I have congratulated them regardless?”
OP was left to wonder:
Having explained the situation, 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: NTA
Some were very direct with their opinions.
“Your mom should not have pressed the issue.” ~ 4682458
Responses were quick to point out who the A*holes were.
“Your sister accused your wife of 1. Wanting to have an affair on her brother (you) with HER and…”
“2. Accused you guys of possibly being child abusers and starting rumors that you were a danger to her children hence why you guys were accused of being essentially child abusers of the worst kind.”
“And your mother thinks you should rugsweep it and tell dear sister basically…”
‘ ‘hey it’s fine you almost ruined our reputation in our community and succeeded in doing so with our family but hey congrats for having another kid I can’t be in contact with for 18yrs,’ “
” ‘And then I get to explain that their mother is a homophobic bigot who accused of us being a danger to you because my wife is bisexual and thought her relationship with your mother was solid enough to confide in her about who she truly is instead of hiding it forever’ “
“Did I get that about right? Yes? Great.”
“Don’t f*cking do it.”
“Support your wife, protect yourself as well. They made you guys out to be these monsters who would hurt a child because your wife’s bisexual.”
“On a lesser (still big) charge basically she tried to claim your wife was trying to cheat on you. With HER.”
“Don’t do it. They need therapy, and they need to give a SINCERE apology, and moving forward needs to show proper change in their behaviors.”
“Your mother’s reputation wasn’t nearly destroyed with unfixable damage. Y’all’s were. Simple as that.”
“Don’t call, don’t reach out until they do and they are reaching out with an apology and behavior changes.” ~ Alyssa_Hargreaves
“As a resident bisexual woman, these so-called family members simply have no idea just how harmful the things they are doing are.”
“Anything less than a sincere apology with changed behavior is too little too late.”
“You’re 100% right. Don’t call, don’t send a gift, don’t go to the baby shower. Do absolutely nothing for this person until the words ‘I’m sorry, I was wrong’ leave her lips.” ~ littlestgoldfish
Others called on Mom to do some adult parenting.
“This is a situation where Mom needs to have done a little homework, calling the sister and asking if there would be any point in you calling her.”
“Specifically, is there any point in expending any emotional energy in trying to build a bridge (regardless of whether you would be interested).”
“A mother of adult children who aren’t talking is in a difficult and painful spot. She has to absorb the venom of whichever child is spewing it. At the same time, she has an obligation not to make things unnecessarily difficult for the children involved. (Enter my mother….)
You wouldn’t be an asshole regardless. But by trying to impose this on you, when there is no reasonable expectation that it will change anything, she’s really just making trouble with her over-the-top reaction to what sounds like a very predictable answer.
Send her a card. There should be a brand called “Hatemark” that has cards like “Congratulations for bringing yet another child in to the living hell you laughably call your life.” ~VlaxDrek
Responses showed support for OP’s stance while showing compassion for OP’s mom.
“NTA, not for asserting your boundaries with your mom, and definitely not for severing contact with your homophobic siblings… “
“But even though your mom was an AH in this situation, understand that having your kids cut off from one another is one of the most painful things a parent can deal with.”
“Even though you’re not at fault, it would be kind to try to calmly express to her that you understand that she’d like your family to be able to reconcile, but it’s just not in the cards unless your sister changes her views.”
“And that hearing her push for more connection when it’s your sister’s prejudice that causes the rift is hurtful to you” ~ AliceInWeirdoland
Commenters even pointed out how futile the argument is.
“Well actually if your basically no contact with the siblings does it really matter if you know they have any children?”
“I suspect that your mom thinks you can mend bridges. It seems a little late for that. Do they know anything about you? Have you had children? Did they call you?”
“Not to get off track, but what did they think you would do with the children if unsupervised?”
“I would tell them their kids are in far more danger from their religious leaders. Do they think being open minded is contagious?”
“You can always wear your mask so you don’t contaminate those pure innocent minds.”
“Also, who congratulates someone on their 4th kid?”
“When my sister had her 3rd kid it was ok but I don’t even remember if she even told us she was pregnant, I’m sure she did but her first child had more of an impact.”
“As for the wording.”
“I would have gone, ‘Oh did you want me to congratulate her on contributing to overpopulation? You know I could send her some pamphlets on birth control.’ “
“How about…’I hope she does not expect me to contribute for this kid’s college. I doubt they have the money to send even the two oldest.’ “
“Or…’Wow one more person in the world that will be indoctrinated into the mistrust for other types of people, oh joy!’ “ ~ Lenformerexaminer
Family should be the community that you can always trust, that always has your back.
Unfotunately, this isn’t always the case.
There is no shame in choosing yourself, or the people you love, over the people who happen to share your genetic information.
Be protective of the people you care for, including yourself, and never let those boundaries fall to the pressures of people who presume to know your life better than you do.