“Honesty is the best policy” is a very popular phrase, but perhaps not enough people live by it.
Instead, they prefer to paint that social-media-perfect life for their friends and family.
But sometimes they conceal things that may not even need to be concealed, posited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Threeminusme was not used to this approach to sharing information with her loved ones, though she knew her fiancé was.
But after seeing his response, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should have been more mindful of his feelings.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for outright saying we can’t have kids?”
The OP shared at a party about her plans to have kids.
“My fiancé apparently always paints his friends and parents a very vague picture of why we still don’t have kids.”
“The truth is that we are trying, but we can’t, and right at the moment we can’t afford treatments. We don’t have thousands of euros just lying around.”
“Nobody is nosey or rudely asking in (at least mine) the face when will we have kids, so I never had a chance to tell my position/version.”
“We had a meet-up with his friends and we, women, chatted among ourselves, and the convo at some point shifted to kids/babies, etc.”
“I nonchalantly threw in a remark that we can’t afford treatment, thus can’t have children right now.”
“Convo didn’t dwell on this, so I almost forgot I said that.”
Word circulated around the party with mixed results.
“Apparently, my fiancé’s cousin who was also at the party and in that group, told this to her mom, who in turn told this to my future-mom-in-law, who is now all panicky (he’s the only child) and offering financial aid.”
“My fiancé is p**sed that the word got out, as he didn’t want anybody to know.”
“My stance is that it’s nothing to be ashamed, of so I was absolutely transparent about it without even thinking.”
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 said the couple needed to communicate better before getting angry.
“I’d say it’s NAH, since at this stage, they don’t know for sure whose medical issue it is.”
“He’s within his rights to expect that she wouldn’t divulge his private medical information to his friends and family without his consent, but OP clearly wasn’t thinking about it that way during the conversation, which makes sense since they hadn’t discussed it.”
“Bottom line is that they need to be better at communicating about these kinds of things.” – shiloa-sings
“Some people are private people, others are not. No, fertility issues are not shameful, but you don’t owe it to tell anyone else the truth about why you don’t have kids and you are allowed to want to keep your affairs private for whatever reason.”
“However, you should not assume your partner always agrees with you or is a mind-reader about your preferences.”
“What OP’s fiancé should have done is start a conversation with OP as soon as this became an issue to say, ‘Hey, I’m actually not comfortable telling others about our fertility issues because x y z, would you be okay with keeping this private?’ OP and her fiancé can go there to decide how they want to approach potential situations that can arise.”
“It might require compromise on both people’s parts, but that’s what a relationship is. From the post, it doesn’t seem like he made his preferences clear beforehand, so he really has no right to be angry at OP.”
“My verdict would be NAH/NTA. OP is not AH at all, OP’s fiancé is within his rights to be upset, but not at OP, so I’m calling him a very slight AH.” – happyvirus98
“What leans me to N A H is either of them could have started that conversation about what they felt comfortable sharing concerning this issue. It’s not entirely surprising that someone may not feel comfortable sharing a financial and medical issue. Neither of them had the conversation and it lead to hurt feelings.”
“Really just seems like a miscommunication.” – Obiterdicta
Others said the OP’s partner may have been embarrassed.
“Why would people assume he’s ashamed about a medical issue? Because fertility is loaded with super-sensitive implications about masculinity and femininity in a way that almost nothing else is.”
“It’s very common to feel, ‘I’m not enough of a man to father children!’ or ‘I’m not enough of a woman to bear children!’ This isn’t about logic; it’s about gut feelings that go to the core of one’s identity as a man or woman.” – Marzipan-Shepherdess
“The fact that they all started spreading the word around the family and the mom called interfering sorta suggests he knew they’d all be nosey and gossipy about it and he didn’t want them interfering.”
“I agree that it’s OP’s medical issue and she’s allowed to talk about it if she wants, but it does affect her husband too.”
“I can understand him being upset because now his family is in their business as he didn’t want, but this could’ve been prevented if there had been any amount of communication about this. I don’t know why he wouldn’t have said to OP, ‘I don’t want my family finding out about this because they are meddlesome’ or whatever.” – TellSomebodyIt_
“As he didn’t tell you he was uncomfortable with people knowing this, NTA.”
“I openly talk about my miscarriage, postpartum depression, and c-sections. Talking about these things reduces the stigma around them. These are NORMAL issues. Needing fertility assistance is fairly common, but you would never know as it is always so hush-hush.”
“We, especially as women but as couples as well, need to make talking about these issues ‘normal’. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s not a failure. This is the reality and being open about it can help bring about unforeseen solutions.”
“I wish you all the best!” – Tiffy_The_Doc
Though the OP was certain she had done nothing wrong, the subReddit was a little divided.
There’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of if a couple is struggling to conceive, but they absolutely should discuss what both partners are comfortable with sharing with others. By talking through this, they could have easily avoided this leak of information and potential embarrassment.