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Redditor Called Out For Throwing Surprise Party For Boyfriend Whose Parents Died On His Birthday


A Redditor who comes from a family in which celebrating birthdays is a huge deal wanted to do something special for their boyfriend’s special day.

The boyfriend, however, isn’t particularly keen on recognizing his own birthday for a personal reason.

So when the Redditor’s good intentions turned sour, they turned to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for throwing my boyfriend a surprise party?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained why the boyfriend doesn’t like celebrating his own birthday. 

“My bf and I have been together for 3 years and we have never celebrated his birthday. The reason is that his parents sadly passed away on the day he turned 5 so he basically hates his birthdays.”

“So every year when that day comes around he gets into a depressive mood and stays in his bed all day. It’s very sad to watch. (Oddly enough he doesn’t have a problem attending other people’s birthdays. And he threw amazing parties for me in the past).”

“The issue is that birthdays are a huge deal in my family. We love to go all out and create amazing memories. It’s a tradition of ours and it’s something I love to do, for my boyfriend as well.”

“I understand that his bday is tied to a deeply traumatic event however I decided it’s time to replace those memories. My goal was to create happy memories on his special day and what better way than throwing a beautiful party, right?”

“My mom thought this was a great idea as well.”

“So last week I threw him a surprise party, complete with gorgeous decorations, gifts and tons of great people. I put in so much effort and with the help of my friends really outdid myself. I was so excited for his reaction.”

“It was awful. He basically turned up and left as soon as we started singing happy birthday. He wasn’t even there for a full minute.”

“I followed him out to encourage him to stay but he got physically sick and literally threw up behind a bush.”

“Him disappearing and not even attending his own party was mortifying and made me look like a fool in front of everyone. We still partied but I was very hurt by his actions so it ruined the mood.”

“The next morning we had a massive argument. It was really bad and he legit spent the rest of the day ignoring me which is something he NEVER does.”

“Afterwards he decided to spent a couple of nights at his friend’s house. I actually spoke with said friend and that didn’t go well either (he literally scolded me wtf).”

“I just wanted to do something that I thought would cheer him up. So AITA?”

Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

Many of the comments did not favor the OP.

“YTA. The party was so traumatic for him that it made him physically sick and you only seemed to care about how it looked that he didn’t stay.” – Kore888

“YTA. It’s his choice if he wants to celebrate his birthday, and if he wants to create new memories. You don’t get to decide that for him.”

“Also, surprise parties aren’t for everyone even without the trauma he has. I would HATE if my SO threw me a surprise party. Why is his birthday about what YOU want and enjoy? You sound selfish.” – Sacdiv

“YTA. His birthdays should be about him and what he wants.”

“Don’t force your ways on someone if it’s not what they want or asked for. You were selfish and just wanted to do what you pleased.” – IHaveSaidMyPiece

“YTA. You got really carried away with playing the attention grabbing part of loving girlfriend and didn’t consider how this would make him feel, like even a little bit.”

“And you still only care about how it made YOU look to your friends. Yuck. And then you PARTIED after seeing his reaction? What the f’k?”

“Why didn’t you just start with something small, like maybe cooking him dinner at home and a cupcake or something?” – drunkonmartinis

“YTA. You KNEW he didn’t want to celebrate his birthday so you went all out on a party because YOU like birthday parties.”

“You owe him a big apology.” – anonnon234234

“YTA everyone grieves differently and you flat out denied him his day to grieve by doing something he didn’t ask for. Putting him on the spot like that on the day he mourns the loss of his parents was so disrespectful.”

“You didn’t throw the party for HIM. You threw it for YOU. You keep mentioning how YOU felt. YOU feel sad watching him being depressed on his birthday. YOU were mortified. You claim he made YOU look like a fool.”

“How do you think HE felt? His sadness and grief isn’t about you. It isn’t about how you feel. Instead of trying to make this day all about you and your feelings and making it a spectacle, you should’ve spent the day with him asking about his parents, what he remembers, what they were like, asking HIM how HE would like to spend the day.” – sylance9

“YTA. You can’t ‘replace’ bad memories. All this did was show your boyfriend that your feelings matter more than his do.” – shyfidelity

“YTA His parents died on his birthday and all you cared was about partying! Because it is so important in YOUR family. And you even kept the party going when your bf threw up and left! WTF?!”

“And your only worry sas how strange it is to party without the birthday-boy?! Not one worry about him? You really are a horrible gf who just thinks about herself. I hope he breaks up with you.” – Acceptable-Abalone20

“YTA are you concerned that you hurt him, or that you were embarrassed in front of all your friends? Because it kind of sounds like the latter. You don’t get to decide when or how to change his memories or work through his trauma.”

“That’s up to him, and him alone, and you should have respected that. Instead you made his pain worse.” – Sacdiv

Overall, Redditors continued admonishing the OP for not taking into consideration the boyfriend’s feelings and continuing to celebrate anyway after seeing how much the party made him physically ill.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo