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Mom Shuts Down Surprise Proposal After Daughter’s Conservative Boyfriend Insults Bisexual Son

Man proposing to woman
Gpointstudio/Getty Images

Parents never stop worrying about their children.

Even when they’ve grown up and flown the coop, their happiness and well-being is always the first thing on their minds.

With some even ready and willing to offer help at a moment’s notice.

Redditor Blonde-Tabby had her doubts about her daughter’s boyfriend, and thus wasn’t over the moon when he expressed his desire to propose.

Something he asked to do in the original poster (OP)’s house.

Her feelings for him didn’t grow any stronger when he became rather demanding about how he wanted this proposal to go.

However, following an unkind remark he made about her son, the OP flat-out refused to allow him to propose to her daughter in their home.

A decision that put a strain on her daughter’s relationship as well as her own relationship with her daughter.

Worried she may have been out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for cancelling the surprise marriage proposal at my house when my daughter’s boyfriend told me to make sure my son didn’t act “too gay” at the event?”

The OP explained why she finally refused to allow her daughter’s boyfriend to go through with the elaborate proposal he had planned in her home.

“My daughter ‘Jaelinn’ and her boyfriend ‘James’ (both 25) have been dating for two years, and he’s been living with my family for one.”

“All this time, our families have come to know each other through word of mouth only.”

“Despite living only a few miles away, we’ve never met in person.”

“I don’t ‘dislike’ James, but neither am I a fan.”

“He’s okay most of the time, but sometimes he treats Jaelinn poorly.”

“He’s short-tempered with her, he orders her around too much, and he often speaks to her in a condescending tone.”

“Perhaps equally disturbing, his attitudes toward just about everything are radically right-wing.”

“He’s not a ‘bad’ person per se.”

“He just has an unpleasant disposition IMO (most of the time) and is my polar opposite.”

“Jaelinn is nothing like him, either.”

“I guess it’s true that opposites attract.”

“Through all this, my biggest problem with him is his attitude toward my son ‘Devon’, who’s bisexual.”

“James has never said anything overtly hateful, but his phobias are obvious (rolling his eyes or snickering under his breath when he thinks no one’s looking).”

“He says he isn’t against the lifestyle, but he doesn’t believe in it.”

“When I asked him why, he said, ‘It’s hard to explain’.”

“My daughter, for better or worse, is highly suggestible.”

“She’s also a very easygoing individual who defers to him more often than she should.”

“A few weeks ago, James told me he was planning to propose to Jaelinn on Valentine’s Day and wanted to invite his family to the event.”

“Naturally, I thought it would be wonderful for everyone to be in attendance, so I agreed.”

“But the last few weeks have been pure hell.’

“The first remark: ‘Be sure you don’t turn on the television while my parents are here.’”

“Followed by, ‘Don’t serve store-brand chips or soda for snacks.’”

“’Don’t correct my parents’ grammar.’”

“’Make sure the bathroom is clean.'”

“It’s been one thing after another.”

“I finally said, ‘Look, you’re starting to piss me off.”

“How much of a moron do you think I am?”

“‘Do you think I’ve never entertained before?’”

“He laughed it off, saying he was just nervous and that he didn’t mean to offend.”

“But he didn’t stop.”

“Last night after dinner, he pulled me aside and said, ‘One more thing.'”

“‘You will make sure Devon doesn’t ‘go off the deep end’ in front of my parents?'”

“‘You know… make sure he doesn’t act too gay?’”

“That was it—the proverbial last straw.”

“I lost my temper, revoked the invitation, and told him to find somewhere else to propose.”

“This threw the whole house into an uproar, and there was no way to avoid Jaelinn finding out about it.”

“She was furious with me.”

“She said James changed his mind about proposing to her altogether and that it was all my fault.”

“She said I ‘ruined her life’.”

“At first, Devon supported me and so did half our family.”

“Now even Devon says I should have kept my mouth shut and put up with it a little bit longer.”

“Jae is physically 25 years old, but she’s on the spectrum and has some other developmental difficulties that place her emotional age at about 16.”

“As such, I’ve been her legal guardian since she turned 18.”

“AITA for ruining my daughter’s surprise proposal?”

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 generally supported the OP’s decision, agreeing that she was not the a**hole for refusing to allow James to propose to Jaelinn in her home.

Everyone agreed that there the OP shouldn’t have to tolerate James’ bigoted behavior, and felt there were plenty of other red flags to justify her decision.


“I thought you were going to tell him to find somewhere else to live.”

“He sounds extremely selfish and entitled.”- diminishingpatience


“You didn’t ruin your daughter’s life.”

“If anything you saved it.”

“It’s time for James to move out, actually past time.”

“He’s been rude to Devon, who deserves to have his home be a safe space for him.”

“You were much nicer to James in the run-up to this proposal than I would have been.”

“The comments about snacks: ‘James, whatever you buy or prepare is what will be served’.”

“The comments about cleaning: ‘James, you know where the cleaning supplies are’.”

“I don’t know what rent James has been paying you or what chores he’s been doing to earn his keep in your house, but I’m arbitrarily voting it, ‘not enough.'”

“Show him the door.” – YMMV-But


“James’ laundry list of how not to offend his parents seems pulled from the Birdcage.”

“Your son doesn’t need to alter his normal behavior or personality IN YOUR OWN HOME to appease the homophobic potential in-laws.”- WholeAd2742


“James is the AH, and you’re lucky to be rid of him.”- LuLouProper


“If he doesn’t want to propose because you refuse to make your son ‘not act gay’ … he’s the problem here – forget all the other stupid sh*t you put up with.”

“He’s literally telling your daughter that because her brother is bisexual, he doesn’t want to marry her.”

“The narrative on this needs to switch around to what it actually is.”- Kill_The_Dinosaurs

“NTA, your house and more importantly your boundaries.”

“If he has all these innate intolerant requirements flex them elsewhere.”

“As for your daughter, let’s hope in time she sees he’s not all that fabulous.”

“What an AH. Being gay is not a ‘belief,’ and this all sounds quite manipulative who the flying monkeys does this kid thinks he is?!”

“Unfortunately your daughter is upset but hey ho, having a spine and setting a good example means more at times.”- Whimpy-Crow


“Thank you for standing up for your queer child!”

“You didn’t ruin anything.”

“He does realize that proposing marriage usually means more family events where your bi son will be?”

“Hopefully your daughter wakes up.”- phenomstar

“NTA. Honestly it sounds like James canceling the proposal is in Jaelinn’s best interests.”

“If he’s this much of an a-hole when they’re just dating, I’d be definitely worried about him getting worse once she’s trapped.”- adeon


“I probably would have lost my entire shiitake harvest on him when he said he ‘doesn’t believe’ in my son’s life.”

“I can’t be bothered being polite to bigots.”- TCTX73

“NTA and James’s deciding to call off the proposal completely over this just shows how little he loves your daughter.”

“Regardless of the reason, if you can’t get along with the in-laws, you just do things with your wife without them– you don’t just chuck the wife away.”

“As for getting along with the in-laws: you did the right thing sticking up for your son. “

“The bad behavior leading up to it was enough of a reason to say ‘if you want this much control over the event, perhaps you should have it someplace else’.”

“His comment about your son was a deal breaker whether the earlier micromanaging occurred or not.”- Aunt_Anne

The OP later returned to offer an update regarding the status of her relationship with Jaelinn.

“She’s still not speaking to me.”

“I saw them bring some boxes up from the basement, so I think my worst fear is being realized.”

“If she moves out with him, I don’t know what I’ll do.”

“I won’t be able to protect her at all.”

It is rarely appreciated when someone puts their nose in matters which does not concern them.

However, everyone has the right to defend and stand up for their family.

So, if James wanted to be a part of the OP’s family, it was important that he respect every single member.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.