When we see someone we love, whether a friend or a family member, dating and even marrying someone that we know is not good for them, it can be so hard to watch them go through it.
But at the end of the day, their relationship and their life are not our relationship or our life, and we have to let them make their own choices, reasoned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Jazzymaa viewed their sister’s marriage more as a separation situation and did not want to see their brother-in-law come back to his house, whether for visits or otherwise.
Despite their sister’s warnings not to say anything, the Original Poster (OP) got into the middle of the troubled marriage and was surprised when the situation got worse.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for asking my sister’s ‘husband’ not to come to her house while I’m visiting?”
The OP’s sister was in a complicated marriage.
“My sister has what I would classify as an ‘on paper’ marriage.”
“Her ‘husband’ Alex doesn’t even live on the same continent as us, and they have almost zero contact outside of the one or two visits he forces on her yearly so he can lord the fact that he’s still her husband over her.”
“As for why they haven’t divorced, I think it comes down to the fact that she’s scared about what her life will be like if she finally takes the step to leave him officially, and as much as I hate to say this, I think part of her still loves him and wishes he was still the person she thought she was marrying.”
“Officially, she uses the fact that she’s in the process of getting her degree and wouldn’t be able to survive financially without him, so she risks losing her daughter if she files… Even though my parents have told her repeatedly, they’ll support her if she leaves him.”
The OP did not want to run into him during a visit with their sister.
“We live in different cities, so I’m visiting her for two weeks.”
“Everything was planned, and I’d booked the time off work when she decided to let me know that Alex had texted her to tell her he would be here during my visit.”
“I didn’t want to waste my annual leave being around him, and I knew I would only say something to him that would make my sister’s situation worse, so I asked her to ask him not to come or to at least reschedule to after my visit.”
“She refused to because ‘we know how he is,’ so she didn’t think he would be willing to move his visit even if she asked.”
The OP decided to take manners into their own hands.
“I decided to text him myself to ask him not to come while I was there since she was too chicken to do it.”
“He left me on read, but he did tell my sister he may not be here when he originally promised, so I thought he was willing to compromise.”
“Boy, was I wrong. He showed up a few days ago and has been nothing but a sarcastic nuisance since arriving.”
“He let my sister know I had tried to stop him from coming ‘home’ to ‘his’ house, which is a lie because this isn’t his bloody home.”
“I’ve had so many arguments with him that I’ve lost count, and my poor sister is so upset and stressed out over this, which almost makes me wish I hadn’t said anything.”
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 felt the OP was disrespecting their sister and their sister’s marriage.
“YTA. It should have been the end of it when you asked your sister to get him to reschedule. She didn’t want to, so you decided to ignore her and make the situation worse. Either you go when he’s there and hold your tongue, or you reschedule to see your sister another time.” – sassy_spungeldinger
“YTA, she knew there would be consequences if she asked so she didn’t. You asked and look, there are consequences! And you aren’t even the one receiving them. You should have just rescheduled your visit.” – SmallAnything8022
“It sounds like ‘my marriage arrangement is unconventional, but it works for me enough that I am not willing to make changes.’ This is not a marriage ‘on paper,’ and it is in fact his home, since they are neither divorced nor separated, and the sister accepts the he can come home whenever he wants.”
“I would be concerned if it was my sister, but OP shows little concern; she is just annoyed he interfered with her vacation.” – Sad_Rush_925
“While not nearly as bad as OP’s sister, my relationship is a lot like this. My husband has to travel for work two-thirds of every single month. Even at Christmas time, I only get to see him in the beginning but after about the ninth of the month, he’s gone. I don’t get to see him until mid-ish January.”
“For example, this past month, I saw him in person for a total of nine days. He did come home for Thanksgiving but had to leave the same night.”
“The thing is, I knew what I signed on for. Sure, he got this job about four to five years into our dating, but I still married him. I knew what it meant. And while I put a brave face on every single month before he leaves, it tears me up inside when we have to be separated.”
“I love my husband more than I thought I could ever love someone. If the sister feels the same way, OP is a massive a**hole. She doesn’t have to like the BIL, and she simply has to respect that he is in fact her brother-in-law and that the home that his wife lives in is indeed his home as well.” – SigSauerPower320
“HA, you texted your brother-in-law and ‘asked him’ not to come home… Yeah, you’re an AH.”
“If the dude doesn’t live in the same country as his wife and she’s not happy, it’s time for her to step up and divorce him. Until then, he’s her husband, and he has every right to come home at any time whether you like it or not.” – FormerBabyPerson
“YTA. Right now. I just don’t know enough to say anything else.”
“They are married. It is your sister’s house, and she is the only one to decide who can and cannot be there.”
“Honestly, I don’t trust your evaluation of the situation. I don’t know the specifics of their marriage, why hasn’t your sister said anything or divorced him. Basically, it’s all not your concern. You had no business telling him not to come to your SISTER’s house.” – Math3w89
So you went against your sister’s wishes regarding her husband, you made the situation worse, and you wonder if you are the a**hole?”
“It is not your job to kick out your sister’s husband.”
“It’s not clear that you understand why your sister puts up with this bozo, but it’s not your business to try to fix it. Plus, you didn’t fix it. You made it worse. She warned you that it wouldn’t work because of ‘how he is,’ and sure enough, she was right about her own husband.” – SushiGuacDNA
Others were concerned by how much worse the OP may have made the situation.
“YTA. Your sister’s marriage sounds weird as h**l, but if that is his house (meaning, he pays for it, or is his in part) and she is his wife (regardless of how strange their marriage is), you don’t have any authority to tell him to not go to his house.”
“But the most worrisome part is that you seem to imply that your sister is scared of him.”
“If that is true, you might have made your sister’s life worse only because you were selfish. Try to convince your sister to leave him or at least offer her support in any case, but to antagonize the man your sister seems afraid of is never a good move because you go, but she stays and can suffer for your acts.” – Historical-Set-3791
“OP stated that she’s STILL at her sister’s house and STILL arguing with her BIL. What an unbelievably selfish, rude, and, especially if she actually suspects that her sister is the victim of abuse, stupid thing to do.”
“OP’s concern should be her sister, not the BIL. And if she doesn’t want to spend time with him around, then she’s free to change her plans.” – CatLineMeow
“The whole combo is very petty on OP’s part, given how worrisome their story is. They say they didn’t ‘want to waste’ their annual leave, but let us clearly know that her sister is stressed and to some degree, scared of that man.”
“Their list of priorities is way skewed. It is clear they have a bad opinion of that man and the marriage, but even if you are trying to convince your sister to leave him, never antagonize the person they are afraid of until they are well away from their reach and safe, because you might have been made a volatile situation worse. So you don’t want to be in his presence.”
“Ok, given OP’s story you might have good reasons for that, but if your sister refuses to ask him to come on another time and is clearly uncomfortable with the whole ordeal, don’t go calling him and tell him not to come. It is clear that OP made the situation way worse for their sister and should be very concerned about her.” – MagicCarpet5846
“By OP’s story, the sister doesn’t seem to have a great relationship with her husband. OP has said things like the visits are ‘forced’ and that she was too afraid to contact him, and afterward, she was badly stressed and upset, so I might wonder if her staying in the marriage has other, darker implications.”
“If that is the case, if it is only a suspicion on OP’s part, you never openly antagonize those kinds of people until the partner is out of the relationship because the consequences for the person who is staying (and you initially want to protect) can be extremely bad.” – Much-Quarter5365
“Even if it’s not working for the sister, OP does not have the right to interfere. Pulling s**t like this will just isolate the sister.”
“OP has proven that she won’t listen to or respect her sister’s wishes and can’t be trusted. If sister ever needs to leave in a hurry, OP won’t be the one she relies on.”
“OP, that’s so s**tty and selfish of you not to have your sister’s best interest at heart, only your own.” – SceneNational6303
“From this post, we don´t even know. The husband could well be paying some or all of the bills here and have the right to call it his house. But either way, the sister made the decision that he was going to be in her home, and it was her decision to be respected.”
“YTA OP, you are being childish. If you cannot stand being around this guy, then leave.”
“Also, stop stirring s**t with him and/or taking the bait for arguments. If he is as big of an a**hole as you say, he probably enjoys it, and every time you fight with him, he is getting what he wants. And that’s inevitably making the situation a lot harder for your sister, too.” – Crafty_Dog_4674
Not only was the subReddit frustrated with the OP for meddling in someone else’s relationship and home, but they were also concerned at what repercussions this all could have for the OP’s sister.
It was possible the OP was just really biased about the relationship and their brother-in-law, but if there were any merit at all to what they said about their BIL’s character, it would make more sense for them to do things that would make their sister’s life easier and safer, not worse.