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Mom Called Out For Refusing To Let Son’s Long-Term Girlfriend Be In ‘Once-Per-Decade’ Family Photo

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We would all like it if our family members could all like and love and get along with each other.

But sometimes families don’t work that way, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor photomother66 was at a loss after some of her family got mad at her for only wanting to include certain family members in a family photo.

When their anger increased, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong for being selective.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not wanting my son’s girlfriend in our ‘once-per-decade’ family photo?”

The OP had different opinions of her sons’ partners.

“I (55 [female]) have two sons, ‘Mike’ (32 [male]) and ‘Jack’ (24 [male]).”

“Mike is engaged to Sarah, his partner of three years, while Jack started dating his then-classmate, ‘Rose’ (24 [female]) eight years ago.”

“I love Sarah as she’s sweet, easy-going woman and I can’t wait for her to get married with my son.”

“However, I don’t have a good opinion of Rose. I’m almost sure she’s with my son only until she’ll find someone ‘better’, as I must heavy-heartedly admit that she’s more good-looking and intelligent than Jack.”

“She has many male friends with whom she’s regularly going out (and almost no female ones). She gets all flirty with my hubby, who obviously loves talking with her (he says it’s not flirting and she’s just easy to talk with).”

“Apparently, she also neither wants to get married nor have children which for me is a very big red flag. All in all, she’s suspicious and I am not able to get along with her. Mike also doesn’t like her, but both my husband and Jack say I’m dramatizing.”

The OP didn’t want to include both of them in a family event.

“In our family we have a tradition that once per decade we go to the photographer for a special family session.”

“It’s a special time, as the same tradition was followed in my husband’s family for generations. It happened that we did our last photo session ten years ago, so we decided it’s the highest time to make a new one.”

“My husband suggested this time we should invite Rose and Sarah (Mike’s fiancee), as in his opinion they’re both part of the family by now.”

“I told him I’m ok with Sarah being on the shoot (as she and Mike are engaged so she’ll be our daughter-in-law soon), but I don’t want Rose there because her relationship with Jack isn’t serious enough and this event is family-only.”

The family did not respond well to this idea.

“Jack got visibly upset and told me he’s dating Rose for a longer time than Mike is with Sarah.”

“I tried to explain to him she isn’t serious since she doesn’t want to marry him but he called me close-minded and prejudiced.”

“What hurt me is that not only my husband openly supported him (which I sort of expected as he adores Rose), but also Mike, though reluctantly.”

“I tried to explain to them I just don’t want all of us to see her on the photo if she and Jack would break up but I only made the situation worse.”

“Jack went as far as to tell me that if I don’t agree for Rose to be on the photo, he will not be there too and that I’m just jealous of her.”

The OP was at a loss.

“Now both my husband and Jack don’t talk to me at all.”

“I want to mend our relationship but I still think I didn’t do anything wrong as I only try to protect my boy from getting hurt.”

“Am I really The A**hole?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some sided with Jack and said marriage wasn’t the only option.

“Is OP not aware that marriages end? Marriage isn’t an unbreakable contract and a wedding isn’t a life sentence.”

“Mike and Sarah getting married does not exempt them from breaking up in the future.”

“If OP is worried about Jack and Rose breaking up, then she should be equally concerned about Mike and Sarah breaking up!” – theboootydiaries

“YTA.”

“Your son is right. You are being closed-minded and prejudiced about this.”

“Not everyone shares your values and expectations. They seem to be happy for eight years and none of the reasons you listed are valid reasons for disliking someone.”

“Maybe jealousy does play into it, but from my point of view, that doesn’t even matter. Your son and his girlfriend have been together for EIGHT YEARS and you think they’re not serious? You’re lying to yourself.”

“My compliments to your son for being a stand-up guy who has his life partner’s back, wedding vows or not.”

“Everyone else seems to have accepted her as part of the family, only you can’t because of a legal contract that more and more people don’t want to sign in this day and age? I’m trying to be polite here, but get over yourself!” – 1Mandolo1

“The decennial photo is a family tradition because it provides a record of their growing, changing family.”

“It shouldn’t be a photo that requires perfection or an entrance exam – if people break up or divorce, then that absolutely should be part of the family photographic record.” – Normal-Height-8577

Others said the OP’s feelings were rooted in jealousy.

“I like how the ‘partner’ is much better looking than her son. This tells me that she is much better looking than OP probably ever has looked. It is petty jealousy and she is being awful to her.” – something_wickedy

“Everything OP writes screams JEALOUSY and ENVY.”

“She hates Rose because Rose is beautiful, smart, and independent. OP assumes her own son is not good enough for Rose which showed that all of this stems from OP being a very insecure person.” – Academic_Snow_7680

“OP is the problem, she has a low opinion of her son’s worth as a life partner so she thinks Rose couldn’t possibly love her son.”

“In her own words Rose is better looking and more intelligent than Jack, so why is she with him. YTA.” – kreeves9

A few said the OP was worried about the wrong marriage.

“If OP keeps treating her son like this, OP may need to worry about her and her husband more than Jack and Rose.”

“If I was married to her, and this is how she treated my son, and his significant other of 8 years, and she kept doubling down, I’d be questioning her.” – ndcollector

“YTA, for stating this woman is better than your child. They have been together for 8 years, which is longer than a lot of marriages.”

“Regardless of what happens pictures are meant to be a reminder of a time, and at this time this is your family and their SO.”

“Heck in 10 years, you and your husband could be married to different people; divorce happens.” – panda174-

The OP thought she was helping by creating a very specific sort of family token, but the subReddit insisted the photo was not what the family would remember, but rather, how she handled the situation.

She could instead acknowledge that photo arrangements could change, or even take several different photos, but what she should admit more than anything is that an engaged couple is not inherently more serious than a long-term partnership.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.