Redditor breast_reductionaita is a woman who happily acquired a “bonus sister” when she and her husband gained legal custody of his disabled sister.
The woman’s sister-in-law has fetal alcohol syndrome – a condition in which a child has physical defects and growth problems after being exposed to alcohol during the mother’s pregnancy.
When the mother-in-law learned of the couple’s plan meant to improve the sister-in-law’s quality of life, she decided to sabotage it with a blatant lie.
As a result, the Original Poster (OP) sought the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for advice and asked:
“AITA for banning my mother in law from seeing her daughter?”
“I’m 29/f[emale], my husband is 32/m[ale], we have physical and legal custody of my sister in law (SIL) who is 30/f[emale].”
“My mil[mother-in-law] is 50/f[emale].”
“My SIL has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome as well as a few other disorders. She can’t really live on her own, but she holds down a job and participates in the community, is active in her church, etc.”
“I love her to pieces and I’m thrilled to have a bonus sister. My family loves her like their own (actually I think they like her more than me sometimes!).”
“SIL has, to put it bluntly, enormous breasts. They make her uncomfortable and it’s difficult for her to exercise and lose the weight her doctor has recommended she take off.”
“It’s also hard to find clothes/bras that fit (and yes I have tried r/abrathatfits but cheap and good fitting bras just don’t exist being a certain size). We also worry about her breasts making her a target for sexual harassment and assault, which are a huge issue for disabled women.”
“With her doctors/therapists approval, we are pursuing breast reduction surgery for her. SIL is kept in the loop at every stage, although of course there are some things (dealing with Medicaid/Medical) that she is less involved in than others.”
“We have talked about all the cool things she’ll be able to do after surgery (we can rent a boat, because she’ll be able to wear a life vest! She can pick out and wear cool shirts!) and she seems excited about it.”
“A few weeks ago, she was zooming with her mom when the topic of surgery came up. SIL excitedly told her that she’d be having surgery, probably sometime in the next few months.”
“MIL, who normally shows less than no interest in SIL, smelled blood and immediately began interrogating my husband and extended family about the surgery (note: she has no legal right to be informed about ANYTHING medical relating to SIL).”
“Eventually she found out that we are planning on getting breast reduction for SIL.”
“She had a fit, crying out to multiple family members that we are ‘destroying her baby.’ When that didn’t work, she called SIL and told her, and I quote, ‘They want to chop off your boobies and make you a man.'”
“Of course SIL was resistant after that. I’ve since had many, many talks with her to assure her that isn’t what will happen, but she is understandably terrified and is currently saying she won’t do the surgery.”
“We are working with her therapist to get her to a comfortable place again, but it’s slow going and very difficult.”
“Since MIL has no legal right to talk to SIL, Husband and I have decided to cut all contact with MIL until at least after the surgery/recovery. MIL has of course used this to further malign us and share her sob story with anyone who will listen.”
“All of husband’s family are saying that we are TA, while all of mine are in support us.”
“So, are we TA?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors almost unanimously judged the OP as NTA and tore the MIL to shreds.
“Seriously, what is wrong with her? Why isnt your MIL in a mental institution or jail? Good luck with sister in law surgery wishing her a speedy recovery.”
“Oh if anyone sides with MIL block them too. Y’all don’t need that stress.” – notmemeorme
“OMFG What the actual hell, that’s just downright ridiculous bullshit, and I’m guessing that bullshit is what spews from this alcoholic’s mouth all the time.”
“How you’ve managed not to knock this woman flat on her arse is extremely comendable and I applaud you for not doing so.”
“As for your SIL she is lucky to have such a supportive brother and SIL in her life that truly only want what’s best for her.” – G8RTOAD
“That’s the most manipulative thing i’ve read today! this makes my blood boil!”
“Mother dearest doesn’t give two sh*ts about her daughter, who she caused all of her short-comings herself, and has the balls to say that?? i would cut off contact with that whole side of the family if they are pulling that bullsh*t!”
“nta and tell SIL… i hope she feels better. breast reduction isn’t breast obliteration.” – tolerantFelidae
This Redditor suggested a way to restore the SIL’s confidence in the surgery.
“Just as a tip for explaining it to your SIL.”
“Explain you’re not turning her into a man. Show her pictures of a bunch of women with a bunch of different sized boobs, and even women who have had full double mastectomies.”
“Talk about how their boob size or even having boobs doesn’t determine if their women or not. Explain that everyone’s body is their own, and that they have a right to be comfortable in their body.”
“Then go back through and point out all the things that her breasts make it hard for her to do, and explain you’re not cutting them off, you’re making them smaller.” – ChaosofaMadHatter
Many agreed that the MIL needs to be completely out of the picture.
“Nta. You have no legal obligation for them to have contact with her (as you stated). I would do what’s best for my family, and if getting breast reduction surgery will help with her every day life, then she should get it done (if she wants).”
“The MIL seems to not care about the SIL life and enjoyment and would rather use scare tactics to get her way. I would also cut contact if the person was acting this way. You are doing the MIL a favor by allowing contact.” – dpg3456
After the OP was overwhelmed with questions in the thread, her husband took over and addressed a few details – including an update on his sister’s relationship with their mother.
“ETA: Hi all!! This is Ted, or husband I guess. Erica (my wife ) won’t be answering any more questions tonight on advice of…me. Lol.”
“My mom is the scum of the earth. We were only minimally in contact with her for Sarah’s sake. And that relationship now ends, permanently.”
“I see y’alls questions about the surgery.””
Every decision has been made with Sarah’s best interest in mind, and will continue to be made in that way. I see y’all asking ‘why not this or that’ and believe me, we have asked ourselves those questions too.”
“Ultimately, the goals for the surgery are just that, goals. They may be achieved, they may not.”
“Yes, we should have explained more about what would happen. That is our fault and we take full responsibility. We are working on getting her full, informed consent.”
“But let me be clear: I’m not going to let ANYTHING stop me from doing what is in the best interests of Sarah. I never have. And I never will. Do your worst, internet mob!”
“I hope to god to go through this and then never think of Sarah’s boobs again. Lol.”
“Have a great night, we hope everyone stays safe and healthy!!!!!!!!”