It’s a horrible feeling to become estranged from your family.
Particularly when family members cut ties with others for simply being their true selves.
There are also sad cases where people find themselves with no other choice than to cut ties with family members who are causing pain or abuse.
Redditor stillunsureabout made the decision to cut ties with his family after they began to spread hurtful lies about him and his wife.
But his repentant family later asked to be let back in, something the original poster (OP) was willing to consider, with one non-negotiable condition.
Questioning whether or not his condition was fair, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for refusing to let my family see my son until they make a formal apology to my wife and announce it online?”
The OP first shared that he made his way back to the town he grew up in following a devastating loss in his family, where he made a very unexpected connection.
“This happened 3 yrs after my brother Todd passed away.”
“I (32 M[ale]) was pretty devastated honestly.”
“My whole family was.”
“At the time ,I was working in a different state, after those 3 years I moved back home.”
“So everyone knows everyone back home and that’s how me and Mia (who was Todd’s fiancée before he passed) met at a friend’s birthday.”
“We had not seen each other in so long.”
“So we became friends after that.”
“And months later we realized we liked each other more than just friends, but neither of us told anyone about our relationship.”
“Not until 6 months later when the relationship was serious.”
Perhaps still grieving his brother’s death, the OP’s family did not take kindly to his new relationship, and they didn’t keep their displeasure quiet.
“Of course my family was against it.”
“My mom especially didn’t want to talk to either of us for a while.”
“Mia got pregnant 7 months after that.”
“Before when it was only us in a relationship everyone just wanted to keep distance.”
“But once they heard she was pregnant all hell broke loose.”
“My sister was the most vicious because she started telling everyone we were sleeping together before my brother passed with how ‘quickly’ we moved on to be together.”
“None of it was true obviously.”
“I never would’ve done something that awful to my own brother. “
“There’s also the fact that we didn’t even live in the same state.”
“It got so ugly.”
‘Some in Mia’s family started questioning if it was true, others believed what my family was saying.”
“My mom told me she didn’t have a son anymore for disrespecting my brother’s memory.”
As things continued to get worse, the OP felt the best decision was for he and Mia to take some physical and emotional distance from his family.
“It was so hurtful for both of us.”
“We decided to move a couple hours away and blocked everyone to start fresh.
“We are happily married, our son is 3 years old and expecting our second little one.”
Perhaps eager to meet the newest additions to their family, the OP’s family asked to be part of his family’s life again, which the OP revealed he would only consider on one condition.
“My family now wants to make amends so they can be part of our lives.”
“My mom and sister have apologized so many times on the phone.”
“That they let their grief make them react horribly to the news when they never should have treated me that way.”
“I can get grief making you do things you normally wouldn’t because it happened to me.”
“My wife and I talked it over. “
“We decided that we would only consider if they not only apologized to my wife but made a public announcement online and admit all the lies they made up about our ‘affair’.”
“My family is refusing because they’re embarrassed an ashamed of what they did and it would be too hard since everyone who’s see it still live around them.”
“My mom says she understands what they put us through but to please not make this any harder on them when we can just make amends now.”
“But I haven’t changed my mind.”
“My dad keeps asking how heartless am I to want to make them humiliate themselves to all the people.”
“He thinks it’s beyond petty since my mom and everyone already learned their lesson and why am I trying to out her through more after losing Todd and she just wants her family back.”
“I’m not sure if it’s really that I’m being too harsh on them for how they acted in their grief or this is a reasonable request after what they did.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community felt that the OP was well within his rights with his request, and was clearly not the a**hole.
Just about everyone agreed that a simple “I’m sorry” from the OP’s family wouldn’t cut it after what they did.
“Public disrespect = Public Apology.”
“Congratulations on your second child!”-FoodandDrinks9.
“Here’s a proper apology/amends”:
“Here’s what I did, this is why it was wrong, here’s what I’m doing to make things right, is there anything else you can think of that I can do to help me right my wrongdoing?”
“They’re not there yet.”
“They’re sorry- but not that sorry.”
“Maybe someday they’ll learn to not force you to accept their amends, and actually feel remorseful enough to make a true apology.”
“They spent a great deal of time insulting, humiliating and making up lies about you and your wife not just amongst themselves, but in front of other people as well.”
“What they did caused a lot of hurt and damage and while apologizing to you is an important first step, asking them to publicly acknowledge and apologize for the inappropriateness of their behavior is perfectly reasonable.”
“I’ll be perfectly frank: if they were genuinely sorry for what they’d done, there wouldn’t be any level of hesitation on their part in fulfilling your request.”
“You’re not asking them to ‘humiliate themselves’ nor ‘making this harder on them’.”
“You’re asking them to take real responsibility for their actions in front of all of the people they destroyed your reputation with.”
“If they can’t do that, then things can stay exactly as they are.”
“Do not let them try to talk you out of your request because it is understandable.”-ShadowCoon.
“Public accusation, public apology.”- Sagibaro.
“Your request for a public apology makes sense because they aired your business out and publicly shamed you.”
“This is an opportunity for them to announce to family & friends of the mistake they made.”
“I don’t think that is asking too much.”
“I’m sorry for the loss of your brother, I lost mine 5 years ago and I know how it shakes you to the core.”
“Best wishes to you.”-ceruveal_brooks.
“Any chance your family lives in a small town?”
“Or anywhere with less than 20k people?”
“Do they go to church or run a business? The whole town has thought for years that you both cheated on poor Todd and your family has done nothing to repair your reputation.”
“Grief is no excuse for their behavior.”
“You don’t have to accept all of their apologies, just some.”
“You don’t have to accept any of them.”
“You do what is best for your family, the one you have built.”
“You have made such and home of love and happiness where there was grief.”
“Considering how vicious those lies and gossip were, this seems reasonable.”
“They just don’t want to come clean in front of friends and family.”
“I don’t think you are harsh at all.”
“All things considered.”
“Even if they do.”
“I think tightly supervised and limited access at first.”
“They have to earn you and your wife’s trust back.”
“They are so much the AH.”
“Without the public apology every one will still believe them.”
“Bet they are telling people that you are begging for forgiveness for the ‘affair’.”
“Keep your little ones away from them.:
“No telling what lies they will tell the kids.”
“Guessing the kids will hear that your brother should have been their daddy not you.”-Gr8bbgg.
“They had 0 issues humiliating and lying about your and your wife, now they don’t want to face the consequences of fixing those deplorable actions.”
“Stand your ground.”-DeepFudge9235.
“INFO: Do you believe your sister and mother know they were wrong?”
“Is there a possibility they’re only saying this to see your son?”
“In either case, they may have apologized to you, but the damage is still there in the form of the rumors they willingly spread.”
“Other family members still think those rumors are true.”
“They need to swallow their pride and own up to their mistakes.”
“They made the mess, they fix it.”
“It’s honestly even worse if they try and tell the family members individually.”
“I’d be asking them why they haven’t sent a notice to the family.”
“Additionally, I’d ask how long they knew it was not true.”
“Congratulations on your growing family!”-Jake_Let_2991.
It’s hard to imagine that the OP’s mother and sister could be oblivious to the pain they caused him and his family.
And it seems clear that they will have to work very hard to earn his forgiveness if they want to be part of his life again.