Going on vacation is meant to be a nice unwinding time to relax and recuperate. Hopefully you and the people around you can get a break from the stress in your life.
Unfortunately for SamualTJ425346, that may not be the case for her own vacation. Her husband is insisting on bringing his brother along which may make things uncomfortable for the original poster (OP).
Unsure if she was wrong, OP decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about how she reacted.
The question she posed was:
“AITA not wanting my husband’s 17 yo brother to come with us on our vacation?”
OP isn’t sure she can handle her brother-in-law on the trip.
“For context: My f(emale) 25 husband’s m(ale) 27 remaining parent passed away about 4 months ago.”
“He has a 17 yo brother (Ryan) who is now living with their aunt. He’s autistic and I kind of find it hard to interact with him and being around him generally gives me anxiety.”
“Anyways, my husband and I planned to go on vacation and he told me that he would like to take Ryan with us to cheer him up a bit after all that he’s been through.”
“I declined but he went on about how this isn’t a couple’s getaway and that he was okay with me bringing my friend with us and asked why he can’t bring Ryan.”
“I told him that first off, I already stated how I can’t handle Ryan’s autism, and also, I’ve never been on vacation with him and I don’t know how he would behave. My husband got offended and called me cruel to think it’s OK to exclude his brother who is now an orphan basically just because of slight inconveniences.”
“I told him to drop it but he lectured me about how he’s the one paying for it which really irked me because I’d paid for so many things in the past.”
“His aunt called to give me ‘stern talk’ about this saying that Ryan did nothing to me and that it was cruel of me to try to exclude him and ignore my husband’s wishes.”
“We’re still arguing about it and my friend thinks that my husband is trying to control me by using the fact that he is the one paying to spring whoever he wants on me on the vacation.”
Is her brother-in-law being autistic and OP not wanting to interact with him on vacation a good reason for refusing to invite him?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for wanting her husband to not invite his brother by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The board had some differing opinions about this scenario. On one hand, OP is going on vacation and would like to be comfortable and relax, and having her brother-in-law there will make her uncomfortable.
But the majority of commenters looked at it differently. OP is only refusing it because her brother-in-law is further on the spectrum than she feels comfortable with.
Rather than look inward and figure out why being around him gives her anxiety, OP would rather just not deal with it.
The board voted that OP was TA in this situation.
“YTA. The ableism is strong here. And your friend is enabling your bullsh**.” – LittleBelt2386
“OP, you should really sit with why your husband’s little brother makes you uncomfortable and what that says about you.”
“Have you read anything about autism or put any effort into trying to get to know him? This is the family you married into, and it is heartbreaking how cold you are being because he is autistic.”
“For your family’s sake, work through this discomfort and grow as a person.”
“YTA.” – poppy3939
“YTA. Kid lost his parent, your friend is coming, and your husband is paying? Yeah.”
“Also, info needed: Why does his autism make you anxious?” – Astra_Bear
“YTA, how people treat the disabled says a lot about their character. My bro in law is autistic as well and I would never exclude him because he is different and can have small episodes at times.”
“I’m not surprised your husband is mad, you sound like a spoiled child.” – westexmanny
“YTA I don’t think your husband is trying to sub you into the idea because he’s paying, he’s obviously angry because he’s trying to do something nice for his brother who he loves because they’ve been through a tough time.”
“Why can’t they go together without you? That’s what I’d do.” – chloeoliviarr
“’He’s autistic and I kind of find it hard to interact with him and being around him generally gives me anxiety.’”
“This is a you issue, and one to speak to a therapist about. It’s not ok to exclude someone because they have autism. And that is what you are doing.”
“Your husband’s comment about paying for the holiday was sh**ty. But no, he is not trying to control you. He’s trying to include his little brother who lost his parents 4 months ago. Sometimes sucking it up and being kind is the best thing to do.”
“If you weren’t bringing a friend I’d have considered saying NTA.” – happybanana134
However, as stated, not everyone agreed. Some people wanted to know what the brother-in-law thought of the situation.
For these commenters, they think the stimulation of a trip might be too much. Additionally, they feel if OP didn’t sign up to care for her brother-in-law, she shouldn’t be expected to on a trip.
This led to a debate in the comments.
“NTA. My adult BIL is severely autistic and any trip outside of his normal routine would trigger overstimulation. It would be unpleasant for everyone including him to be there.”
“We don’t know the extent of your BIL’s autism, but your feelings should be considered. If care of your BIL was not something you signed up for, or are willing to help with, you need to be clear with your husband.”
“This may be a deal breaker for you both.” – fbombmom_
“I don’t understand all the YTAs. People here are being self-righteous as always.”
“It is different and often difficult to interact with someone who is autistic.”
“You have to explain a lot of things, you have to avoid saying or doing certain things because they might be triggering, autistic people can react in a strange way to things and need to be comforted, some autistic people don’t like touch or certain environments or music or food.”
“It changes the dynamic of what was supposed to be a light, chilled-out holiday, and the needs of the brother will have to come first. It is not ableist to admit that this is what is going to happen.”
“And it doesn’t make OP an AH to want her holiday the way she imagined it to be.” – nana_banana2
“Exactly. And it was a planned vacation. The husband invited his minor brother – ten years younger than he is! – on a vacation that they had already planned together.”
“It’s quite possible the wife is ableist but we just don’t have the information here. Inviting a new person on a vacation is not some trivial thing.”
“Is the husband being nice and thoughtful to try to include his brother? Yes.”
“Is OP ableist and not putting in the effort to be decent and respectful to her BiL? Very possible.”
“Is OP also reasonable for wanting a bit of veto power over who will be with them in close quarters during a vacation? F***ing absolutely.”
“I could just not like your face and I don’t want to spend my planned free downtime with you, I don’t owe anybody else my time and energy this way.”
“Now if the BiL needed more help and OP refuses to accommodate and host him, that’s far worse, but we’re talking about the husband forcing his brother into a situation without giving his wife some equal respect as a partner here.”
“People aren’t entitled to go on other people’s vacations, even if the reasons for not liking them are poorly motivated. So she may be a bit of an AH, but not because of this.” – Holgrin
“I think her husband would know where on the spectrum his brother is and whether the trip would be a good idea for him..”
“Her feelings are that she’s uncomfortable around him and doesn’t want him around when he’s going through a tough time which sucks” – RidingDrake
“I think if the husband wants to take a trip on his own with BIL, planned around BIL’s comfortability level, that would be better. He shouldn’t have hijacked a couple’s trip with his wife to do this.”
“Long term, they definitely need to figure this out because the aunt won’t be able to be his full-time caregiver forever.” – fbombmom_
“It’s not a couples trip according to the husband and her friend is joining them. Also, the husband clearly feels it’s an appropriate trip for his brother.”
“So without any other evidence to indicate otherwise, not even from the OP, it sounds like she just doesn’t like being around her BIL rather than he’s particularly difficult or it’s not a suitable holiday for him.” – Exciting-Pension9416
There’s a time and place to have this conversation and it was during the planning stages of the trip.
Additionally, OP needs to consider what is causing her anxiety and see if she can work through it. Her brother-in-law is in her family now and she can’t just avoid him all the time.