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Woman Stunned When Her Older Sister Berates Her For Getting Engaged Before Her

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An unfortunate truth is that things don’t always go the way we want them to.

When a person’s life isn’t going the way they planned, it’s harder for them to be supportive of others’ accomplishments, even when it’s someone they love, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor jjthrowaway9919 was at a loss when her older sister openly criticized her for having the nerve to get engaged before her.

Once it was clear her sister would not be supportive, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should even send an invitation.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for getting engaged before my sister?”

The OP recently got engaged.

“I (23 [female]) was just proposed to by my boyfriend (24 [male]).”

‘We just moved out of the country for grad school, and on my birthday at a candlelight dinner, he popped the question and I was elated.”

“As I’m out of the country, my main point of contact with my family is our family group chat.”

“I checked with my boyfriend that he asked my parents for their blessing and immediately sent a picture of the diamond ring once confirmed. I was so excited and they were too.”

The OP’s sister lashed out after hearing the news.

“Unfortunately, my sister (25 [female]) did not feel the same way. She called me via skype in the middle of our engagement dinner and immediately started berating me.”

“For backstory – my sister has been dating the same guy for ten years and expects that she will not receive a proposal for another eight-ish years (because he wants to be a full-fledged surgeon before proposing).”

“She has claimed to be patient but every single time one of our cousins or one of her former classmates gets engaged she kind of loses it and I hear all about it.”

“She immediately started yelling at me over the phone for not taking her feelings into account, knowing how much she wants to get married and how humiliating it will be for her to get married years after her little sister.”

“Her yelling got to be so much that I had to take the phone outside and spend my engagement dinner in the cold, trying to calm her down.”

The OP had mixed feelings.

“Admittedly, I do feel a little terrible because I do know how much she wants to get married and how terrible she feels whenever someone in the family gets married before her, even though she’s the oldest and has been in the longest relationship.”

“However, I feel comfortable with my decision and I love my boyfriend so much.”

“My parents told me to not let my sister ruin such a happy moment for me and to just accept her feelings.”

“I want to feel happy but all I feel is guilty for being another dig at my sister’s self-esteem.”

“AITA?”

The OP also added more details about how the rest of the evening went.

“I picked up the phone because I was expecting her to congratulate me and my fiance and for it to be a short phone call.”

“When she started berating me, I became paralyzed, and when she started insulting my fiance, I was close to crying and did not want to cause a scene inside the restaurant.”

“I wanted to stand my ground and calm her down, so I went outside, but my fiance eventually ended up joining me outside the restaurant until I talked her down and hung up the phone.”

“My fiance talked me through it and we went and got late-night ice cream while talking about wedding planning and my wonderful ring (he did good).”

“He’s pretty used to my sister ruining moments for me because I always give her the benefit of the doubt and sometimes she’s not a b***h so I’m always holding my breath.”

“I’m also very adamant that I handle these issues on my own because I don’t want further drama and include him in family issues.”

“My sister used to be my best friend but her boyfriend is an a**hole and he hates me – so she kinda hates me now too. She never gets to call me much either because he (my sister’s boyfriend) hates it when I’m on the phone.”

“Just wanted to clarify that post phone call, we did salvage engagement night with ice cream and laughter.”

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 said the OP was NTA for getting married and wanting to celebrate.

“She’s lashing out at you because your engagement makes it harder for her to keep deluding herself that her bf is EVER gonna marry her. Spoiler, he isn’t, but it sounds like she’s buying into the sunk cost fallacy.”

“NTA at all, live your life and be happy.” – punkybluellama

“Sounds like she’s horrendously insecure. You are NTA. If you don’t want to offend your sister, you’ll spend years sacrificing your dreams.”

“Hold your head high and enjoy your engagement, wedding, and marriage. Don’t be held hostage.” – IridescentTardigrade

“NTA for what you asked. But why did you spend your engagement dinner outside getting yelled at by your sister and not with your new fiancé? I feel bad that they set up this romantic dinner and you let your sister ruin it.”

“You need to set better boundaries with your sister and stick up for yourself. I also got engaged and married before my older sister, but she had the decency to be kind to my face and yell at her boyfriend after.” – Octavius_Floyd

Others advised the OP against inviting her sister in her wedding plans.

“NTA.”

“Can I please be there the day you announce your first pregnancy before hers?”

“Do yourself a favor, do not ask her to be your MOH (Maid of Honor) or to help with the wedding. She’d probably try to ruin things for you.” – Primary-Criticism929

“There’s no harm in cutting someone out of your life if you need to for your own wellbeing. You’re NTA for getting engaged, and YWNBTA (You would not be the a**hole) if you don’t invite your sister to your wedding.” – Piebandit

“Why would you think [including her in the wedding plans] was a good idea in the first place knowing how she behaved before? I’m not even sure she could be a normal guest.” – tagne2

“Just tell her, ‘Hi sister, I’m really sorry that you feel my wedding is bad for your mental health. With that being the case, there is no ill will on my end and I think it’s best if you don’t attend so it isn’t hard on you to sit through the wedding. I really hope your mental health gets better and I think you could benefit from seeing someone to help you through this.'”

“This is a firm way to say sorry she’s not happy, but the wedding is happening, and her mental health is not your responsibility if she isn’t going to take steps to work on it herself.” – leigh1419

Some pointed out the sister was in the wrong relationship.

“This sounds like the sunk cost fallacy. She figures she’s already ‘invested’ a decade into this guy and doesn’t want to start over. It also sounds like they were maybe high school sweethearts so she has romanticized the whole relationship.” – Knittingalpacas

“This guy is milking the cow for free in all areas… Or he does the playboy thing into his forties and then marries a woman half his age. He needs to cut her sister loose while she’s still fertile and marketable.”

“But the sister is at fault here too. Takes two to enable.” – Nerdzilla

“It’s sad when everyone else can see the red flags and there’s nothing you can do except look after yourself and be there for her when things inevitably go south.” – Adpiava

Though the subReddit obviously understood why the OP was upset for her sister’s situation, they otherwise supported the OP’s happiness. Everyone’s life, and engagement journey, is different, and one couple shouldn’t have to wait because another couple is taking their time.

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.