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Woman Balks After Former BIL Demands Late Sister’s Dresses For His Daughter With New Wife To Wear

A teenage girl is looking at a dress to try on
JGI/Tom Grill/Getty Images

Being the person left with a deathbed request is hard.

When a dying loved one asks for a favor, people say yes.

But sometimes that yes can be met with friction.

Case in point…

Redditor Clear_Dream_7649 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for telling my late sister’s husband that his daughter is not getting any of my sister’s dresses?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My sister died 17 years ago.”

“She left behind a 4-month-old daughter (now 17) and a 5-year-old son (now 22).”

“My sister was diagnosed with cancer eight months into her pregnancy, and she was aware it was terminal right away.”

“After my niece was born, she asked me if I would keep her dresses (she had a collection of very nice dresses she had accumulated because she worked for a fashion magazine and got discounts and freebies sometimes) and her favorite jewelry for her kids.”

“She said maybe her daughter wouldn’t want the clothes, but if she did, they would be with me.”

“She told me she knew her husband loved her.”

“But she knew he would remarry and that lines can be blurred, and she really didn’t want any of his future children or his future wife laying claim to her possessions.”

“She wanted them for her children.”

“She had a necklace that she knew her son would like one day (and he asked for it when he was 15 and still wears it today).”

“I said of course.”

“Her husband did remarry.”

“About a year after my sister died, he told our family he had gotten another woman pregnant and then a couple of months later announced they were to marry.”

“Things were awkward for a few years.”

“He was still part of our lives, but we had not been close when my sister was alive, and his wife was holding some hard feelings toward him and us.”

“Their older daughter is 14, and they have a 9-year-old daughter together as well.”

“The 14-year-old has a school dance coming up and wanted to wear one of my sister’s dresses because she saw a photo of my sister wearing one and heard from her dad that I had them.”

“He told me she wanted a dress and wanted me to send it over with my niece for his daughter.”

“I refused to send it, and he responded by asking my nephew.”

“My nephew said his half-sister had no business having anything to do with one of his mom’s dresses.”

“My niece wasn’t angry like my nephew was, but she found the idea weird.”

“My sister’s husband told me it wasn’t fair to deny the girl the dress because she’s not my sister’s daughter and that she is part of the family and it shouldn’t be a big deal.”

“I told him I didn’t feel comfortable giving it and was going to do what my sister wanted.”

“He suggested she could choose another dress from the collection, and I said she was not getting ANY of the dresses.”

“He said I should not be depriving his daughter, and she’s being treated unfairly.”

“I told him those dresses were nothing to do with her.”

“They are for my sister’s children.”

“He called me pathetic.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. Your sister was right that he would get remarried and completely fail to safeguard the items she wanted to pass on to her own daughter.”

“He has proven her right!!!”

“Stick to your guns and safeguard those items for your sister’s daughter.” ~ YouSayWotNow

“Consider the timing.”

“After his late wife died, he was quick to impregnate and marry another woman.”

“They were probably already together when the late wife was still alive.” ~ Redtori2009

“It wasn’t that quick.”

“There’s an issue at hand, but I don’t think this has anything to do with it.”

“I was widowed about six months ago.”

“Some people can’t ever wrap their head around being with anyone else, and some people can’t handle being alone.”

“Grief is weird and completely personal.”

“Pertinent facts: OP’s sis passed, leaving two kids.”

“She entrusted OP with items meant for her own kids.”

“He remarried after her death and had additional kids, period.”

“I don’t think we need to doubt his devotion to his departed wife.” ~ Bella_LaGhostly

“Not that quick at all.”

“His wife died when their daughter was four months old. Daughter is now 17.”

“His next oldest daughter, with his new partner, is only 14.”

“That’s a reasonably respectable amount of time.”

“OP is NTA but you are jumping to some wild conclusions here.”  ~ Feeling-Visit1472

“NTA. Are people not aware of the term ‘boundaries?'”

“And why is it always the new wife and her children that just want to vanish or use every single part that belonged to the last wife?”

“Go buy new dresses.”

“Nobody is being treated unfairly.”

“You were given responsibility by the sister you lost.”

“And no one has a right to those dresses except her daughter.”

“It’s not that hard to understand this.” ~ AncientTransition528

“NTA. You respected your sister’s wishes.”

“Now had it been an emotional wish to wear it, one can understand.”

“However, here the only reason was that she ‘Liked’ the dress.”

“Pretty sure she can find another that she likes.”

“Let him be butt-hurt.” ~ lovealwayswins14

“NTA. It would be one thing if your sister had not addressed this situation, and you were being left to make a decision with no guidance.”

“But she didn’t.”

“She said the dresses were for her daughter and not for any future children her hubby might have.”

“Seems pretty clear to me.”

“You’re executing the will of your sister.”

“Nothing less. Nothing more.” ~ Sooner70

“NTA. I applaud you for keeping your promise to your sister.”

“Stick to your guns.”

“You have more integrity and class than your former BIL will ever have.” ~ LoveBeach8


“Your Sister knew her husband and left her things in your care for a reason!!”

“This little girl will probably try and keep it after the dance or mess it up somehow.”

“Hide them away until the niece has moved out and wants them.” ~ Katie_Emm

“NTA. Your sister specifically said they’re for her own children only.”

“You respected that wish.”

“Your sister said who she wanted to give the dresses and jewelry to since it was hers and entrusted you with giving them to her kids.”

“You’re doing the right thing by not giving the dress to her.” ~ poshde

“NTA. Your late sister made it very clear that under no circumstances were her possessions to be given to anyone aside from HER children or you.”

“Your former brother-in-law, his current wife, and their children have no claim to anything.”  ~ QueenVell

“NTA. You are simply respecting your sister’s wishes, and you are not wrong for that.”

“It’s kind of funny how she saw this coming, though.”

“Or maybe not, because your former B[other] I[n] L[aw] is clearly an AH.”

“He doesn’t seem to have any respect at all for the fact these dresses are for his first-born daughter; the only things she has from her mother, who she never got to know.”

“The fact he cannot even allow her to have this memory of her mother exclusively for herself, and by calling the whole thing ‘not a big deal,’ makes me wonder how else he minimizes your niece.”

“His wife was holding some hard feelings toward him and us.”

“Even more reason to not allow any of those dresses to leave your house.”

“All you know of your former BIL’s wife is that she harbors animosity towards you, and if you allow her daughter to wear the dress for the dance, you have no idea whether it will come back in one piece – or indeed at all.” ~ ImStealingTheTowels

“You’re not pathetic. You are following through on your dead sister’s wishes.”

“It takes a lot of discipline and resolve to do this when you have such resistance from living, breathing people.”

“Stay strong in the knowledge that you are honoring your sister’s wishes.”

“You KNOW you’re doing the right thing. NTA.” ~ McSkill7864

“NTA, your sister had the foresight to see this coming.”

“Your former BIL is the AH, and he knows the reason the dresses were given to you to hold.”

“Please keep good contact with your niece and make sure they are not abusive to her over this issue.”

“Make sure she has a safe exit plan when she turns 18.”  ~ Crazybutnotlazy1983

OP came back with some clarification…

“Just a quick edit to say I have likely gotten his other kids’ ages wrong.”

“The older one is more likely 15 now, and I think I might have aged up the younger one.”

“I’m not close to these kids, don’t spend time with them or anything, really.”

“But the timeline was about a year after my sister died; he told us he had gotten another woman pregnant.”

“The older of his two girls with wife #2 is that child.”

“Second one was born a few years after.”

“They were married a few months into her first pregnancy.”

“Sorry for that confusion.”

“My niece only recently turned 17, so doing actual math in my head, 15 is more likely for the first child with his second wife.”

“Sorry for that confusion!”

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

Your sister asked you specifically to keep these things safe.

You understood the assignment and carried out her wishes.

Stay strong.