Some families are made up of more huggers than others, and you know what, that’s totally okay.
Just don’t force hugs on other people, and don’t assume the huggers have bad intentions.
Seems simple enough, right?
One dad found out his sister hadn’t quite gotten the memo and took his situation to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor illbreakuo confessed his sister made some statements he wasn’t expecting, and he may have not responded all that well.
That being said, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he went too far:
“AITA for telling my sister that she’s sick and delusional?”
The OP and his son don’t have much family.
“I’m a 32-year-old single dad with a 16-year-old. We don’t have a good relationship with my family because they’re upset that I decided to take responsibility for my son.”
“I haven’t talked to them in years; however, I’ve been talking to my sister occasionally. She’s 42 and has a 15-year-old daughter.”
When they needed help, the OP said yes.
“A few weeks ago, she told me that she was really struggling financially and couldn’t pay rent. I told her she could stay with me for a bit until she got back on her feet.”
“So they moved in with us 2weeks ago. She met my son for the first time since he was 5, [and] her daughter hasn’t met him before.”
“The daughter went straight to where I told her her bedroom would be and didn’t come out for dinner. She’s been acting like that ever since. I don’t know if it’s usual because my sister isn’t paying any attention to her.”
“My sister has also been acting snobby and I’ve been ignoring it, thinking it’d go away.”
“She ‘discussed,’ more like lectured, me on my parenting styles and how, ‘no offense,’ but it’s really dangerous to let 16-year-old go out past 9 pm and have a boyfriend and give him so much freedom while he’s still a kid. I tried my best to ignore it.”
But then the sister’s attitude came to a head.
“But yesterday my son was going to a sleepover, and I was in the kitchen and so was my sister. He came in to say bye, kinda jumped on me and hugged me, told me ‘love you, bye’ and left.”
“I think that’s pretty f**ing normal, but my sister started looking at me weirdly and asked if he always does that. I asked her what she was asking and she straight up told me that it seemed creepy and perverted to have physical contact with my son.”
“I had it up to my neck at that point and I just snapped. I told her that just because her daughter has s**tty relationship with her and refuses to talk to her doesn’t mean that it’s not normal to have a close relationship with their child and she’s actually sick and delusional for even thinking about something like [that].”
“She got offended of course and went upstairs to her room.”
“We briefly argued after a few hours and she basically said that ‘she had good intentions and didn’t mean anything to offend me so much and I should apologize for insulting her and sticking my nose into her and her daughter’s relationship’.”
“We haven’t talked after that and I haven’t apologized to her.”
“So I’d like to hear an unbiased opinion on this?”
Fellow Redditors rated the OP’s reaction on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some appreciated the OP’s level of affection with his son and encouraged him.
“I’m 27, and whenever I’m visiting my parents, we always hug and kiss and snuggle on the couch. It’s always been this way, and is super normal.” – 9r7g5h
“I’m the same age, I have a strained relationship (due to certain beliefs my family holds that I don’t) with my family and we still hug and display affection to each other, I really don’t understand when people say that’s inherently creepy” – obidudo
“There’s also the expectation of toxic masculinity where any sort of affection shown by a father to a son is [seen] as inappropriate and creepy.”
“She’s a s**tty sister, that’s for sure” – crypticedge
“OP’s relationship with his son is one that everyone should look to as a perfect example of what good parenting should be. I know way too many people whose lives were made miserable by their parents because they were ‘different’, whether that was being gay or other things.” – kenda1
There were, of course, jokes in the comments about “making someone gay” with hugs.
“Well, there you go. All those hugs from Dad gave him The Gay. Clearly, you should be ashamed.”
“(NTA.)” – foobarney
“Well, I guess my boys are gonna be h**la gay” – Weasel_Cannon
“Then obviously the dad will give the mom the gay, and then the mom will give her daughter the gay! Then the gay spreads to the whole neighborhood! Then everybody will be gay!”
“Wait, what’s so bad about being happy? /s (ends sarcasm)”
“NTA. My dad had been rather emotionally distant many times, but I know he still loves me and we still hugged.”
“OP’s sister should practice what she preaches and mind her business in regards to his parenting. She deeply knows that her relationship with her daughter is not good, so she takes it out on OP.” – GhostWCoffee
But for the most part, Redditors were concerned about the niece and how she was doing.
“This is probably why the daughter went straight to her bedroom; the poor girl isn’t even allowed to go where she wants in her house. OP is NTA, and the sister is most certainly sick and twisted if this dictator-like behaviour is proven true.” – R3tr0Gamer
“She’s a teenager and she just had her world turned upside down.”
“But yeah, her mom’s parenting style may have to do with it too.” – Tephlon
“I really feel for your niece in all of this. I hope she’s ok. You’ve already done enough for her but I really hope your son and you can develop a good relationship with her.”
“NTA and your sister is a homophobe and a pervert.” – ACatGod
“I agree. The daughter is, I’m sure, having a rough time with having to move under stressful circumstances and could use some loving attention. It’s a hard age for the mother/daughter relationship in normal times.”
“Hopefully the sister isn’t as much homophobic as jealous and will lighten up, but she’s in a sad spot too and I’m sure feels like a failure. Could be she’s just lashing out.”
“Also, obviously she and OP come from a cold family. NTA and hopefully will go to NAH soon.” – MolleROM
Everyone has their own perspective on parenting, physical contact with kids, and with physical affection in general.
That being said, it’s always best to accept how you parent and allow others to do the same in their own parenting. Everyone will be happier that way.