We’ve likely all been in one of those situations where we want to give a loved one advice to help them avoid a big mistake.
But sometimes it’s hard to hear the truth, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Plenty-Rent7970 was weirded out by the fact that her sister and future brother-in-law had the same last name prior to marriage and hoped they’d get a DNA test done before getting married.
When they told her it wasn’t her business, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to think.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for suggesting my sister and fiancé get a DNA test before they get married?”
The OP was concerned about her sister’s relationship with her fiancé.
“My sister (26 Female) is engaged to her fiancé (30 Male) and getting married later this year.”
“They both have the same last name. She was excited by this idea because then she won’t have to change her last name when they get married.”
“I have been a little bit concerned because my family comes from a small rural county in our state, and his family comes from the next county over. Our state also has a history of polygamy… and large families.”
“I suggested shortly after they started dating, about a year before they got engaged, that she do a DNA test to confirm they weren’t related.”
But the family didn’t want to hear about the OP’s concerns.
“At our most recent family get-together, I suggested (again, not for the first time) that they get a DNA test to make sure they aren’t related.”
“At first, no one said anything and everyone just sat in awkward silence.”
“Then my dad chimed in and said, ‘We can just wait until the babies come out, and see if they are cross-eyed or not.’ I laughed at his joke, and the gathering moved out (our family is very outspoken and wasn’t really upset by my comment.”
“But my sister said that our last name is one of the most common last names in the state. It’s not, but it is a common last name.”
“I said that they still should check to be sure.”
“At this point, she told me to shut the f**k up and the conversation was over because nobody wants to deal with her.”
“The wedding is in less than three months, and she wants a baby yesterday.”
“AITA for suggesting they get a DNA test? Or do you agree that it should be a concern?”
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 completely understood the OP’s concern.
“I’m gonna go out on a limb and say NTA because there may be more of a closeness than people realize. There have been stories of people unknowingly dating cousins (someone’s aunt/uncle moves away, has a family, their kid ends up back where their parents came from, meets the person, starts a relationship, and takes them to meet the family or starts talking about their family and they put the pieces together).”
“Also, OP, if this a small area, they may have more joint history than they realize. Parents aren’t always faithful and maybe they could be related by a common (great)grandparent.” – privatelyjeff
“NTA. For my family, and a lot of African-American families in my state, we have to get tested for familial relations because so many of us came from a plantation that bred a lot of slaves and spread them throughout the state. So even if our last name isn’t the primary slave owner’s last name, the odds are very high that you may be related to someone whose family background is from the same state.”
“You have no idea how many people I’ve run into with that last name that I’ve greeted as a cousin because three or four generations back, one of our ancestors was brother-sister and/or husband-wife. I still get a little creeped out that my sister dated two guys (who were from out of state) that ended up being cousins, that she didn’t find out about until we went to a family reunion and their aunt or uncle was there that she knew.” – dvillin
“NTA. Why would anyone not want to check they weren’t about to marry and breed with literal family? If I was OP, I would be slightly concerned, as well.” – DrunkTalkin
“NTA. Literally, you just have a valid concern and are trying to offer a suggestion out of your care for your sister and her boyfriend. The people here who are acting like you’re some kind of monster for literally just being concerned are making a**holes out of themselves.”
“Especially if they look like each other or have similar features, that’s crazy to me that they wouldn’t have looked into it before they even got together.”
“I love and support all equally no matter their differences (unless they cause harm to other beings intentionally) but to be SO careless, irresponsible, and selfish and not take a test to ensure that your future children will not potentially be born with birth defects or a mental disorder is completely beyond me. Why are you going to take the chance to bring a child into the world that will suffer because you were too selfish to prevent it?”
“The f**ked up thing is that the chances of them being related are actually pretty slim because a lot of last names are common, but if there’s even the slightest chance of giving birth to an unhealthy baby, why f**king take it??”
“Not to mention the level of f**king absolute ICK this ranks on the ick meter. I understand that it would be difficult being they’re engaged and want to spend the rest of their lives together, and h**l, if the test comes back a match, it’s not even like they have to break up; definitely NOT my cup of tea, but whatever, more power to them, so long as they don’t make a f**king innocent child face the potential consequences of their actions.” – equalityislove1111
“I’m going to say NTA IF it’s either the Jessops or the Barlows.”
“Both of those family lines carry a rare and devastating genetic disorder that cripples their children for life. Intermarriage between those two lines is common.”
“If this is the case, and they don’t want a DNA test for confirmation that they aren’t related, they should at least be tested to find out if they carry major genetic disorders. Just because their families acquired a common surname by marriage doesn’t necessarily get them out of being major carriers for this disorder.”
“OP, maybe it’s the neurodivergence in me, but I get where you’re coming from and I think the DNA test freaks them out because they know you might be right and they don’t want to face it if you are.”
“Also, don’t rely on older family members to resolve this. I have 11 great aunts and 12 great uncles, maybe six in total whom I have met in my life. Most of my extended family would not be able to recognize me in a lineup because I never see them.”
“Also, older family members in these lines might not call it out because they might not care; they might actually prefer to see the family lines stay intermarried (not odd in this community) so they might actually cover it up if anything.” – SkorpionSnugs
Others advised the OP to step back from giving more advice.
“NTA, but I’d probably stop mentioning it anymore. One time might’ve been enough, but honestly, I probably would’ve done the same.”
“My sister did this before she started dating her husband because they each had one parent that had the same last name (granted, it’s a fairly generic one) and had relatives in counties next to each other.”
“I’d also do it if a partner had any relatives with the same last name as my parents, even though one of them is extremely common.” – Lower_Ad9918
“(Ex) geneticist here… Absent specific problems would already be known about if there is any family history at all, once you are beyond cousins (12.5 percent similarity) there’s unlikely to be any significant problems. Two steps beyond that (three percent) and people might be unrelated.”
“That should put your mind at rest and enable you to stop being an AH about this specific issue. I’m going with NTA, because I think your concern comes from a good place, but you need to stop now.” – Ex_Asparagus1654
“‘Closer than expected’ still clearly means not close enough for your sister or her fiancé to care. That’s all that matters here.”
“If you’d brought it up once, you’d be NTA. But you told us all that you’ve been told to butt out before.”
“You wanting to know something doesn’t mean they care to know. Maybe you’d want to know the gender of a baby before it’s born and they want it to be a surprise! That doesn’t mean you get to bully them into finding out the gender of THEIR hypothetical baby.”
“If your and the fiancé’s parents have met, it’s clearly not close enough to be a genetic issue, so maybe your sister is like, ‘F**k it, I don’t want to know. It’s not an issue for our potential kids so why stir s**t up that could be left alone.'”
“But the only thing that makes you the AH is that you’ve already been told it’s not your business and you brought it up again anyways.” – hereforcatsandlaughs
“NTA. It’s a genuine concern and your reasons for suspecting he’s a relation aren’t far-fetched.”
“THAT SAID, she’s made it clear that you need to leave it alone, so she obviously isn’t bothered by the possibility.”
“Her reasons for not believing he’s a relative also aren’t far-fetched.”
“I’d suggest doing what the dad said, lol (laughing out loud). Even if it was just a joke, once a kid comes around, or doesn’t (sometimes in the process of trying to conceive, medical intervention becomes an option, and genetic testing of all sorts can reveal some interesting things), then you might have your answer then.”
“All the same, you’re heading into a**hole territory if you keep nagging.”
“You said what you needed to say. Accept and move on.” – ThereAreAlwaysDishes
“You’re NTA for suggesting it. It’s quite possible to date, and have children with, people you’re related to that don’t even have the same last name. It’s not weird to be concerned when they do and the families live so close together.”
“And I’m saying this as someone who has the same great aunt on both sides of my family tree.”
“That being said, you’ve brought it up twice now and they don’t seem to care. At this point, you may as well just drop it.” – SivvyFox
The subReddit completely understood the OP’s concerns and agreed that a test would not hurt anything, especially before the couple decided to have children, or even before getting married.
But since the OP had already made the suggestion, the subReddit argued that she’d be moving into AH territory if she continued to press the issue of something that had no direct impact on her.