At the beginning of a relationship with someone, finding out about their family and how to interact with them is a big step. As you integrate and become part of the family, sometimes you need to do things for them as you would for your own.
When user grumpynom met her boyfriend’s family, she was surprised at the level of care his brother needed from his older and sick parents. Several months later she got an even bigger surprise.
After refusing to help the way her boyfriend wanted, the original poster (OP) felt guilty and went to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to see if she was wrong.
“AITA for not wanting to take care of bf’s brother?”
This is what she says happened:
“My bf and I have been together for just over a year. Four months into our relationship he brought me to meet his mom and brother who is autistic.”
“He told me in advanced about his brother but I assumed he would be like my ex who was a little social awkward but lived a normal life. I was shocked when I met him as it seemed he was at a 10 year old’s mental development.”
“He had a melt down during dinner and I could see how stressed his mom was at having to deal with this.”
“We talked after we drove back and he told me his mom was planning on sending him to a group home as she are getting older and would soon be no longer able to take care of him.”
“I thought nothing more about this but last week his mom had a health scare and she asked him to take his brother. Both his parents are in poor health at this point so likely this will be semi permanent.”
“He told me the plan had changed and he would have to take his brother in.”
“I’m not sure why because everyone is getting shots and the numbers are down but he explained there’s currently an insane 2 year waiting list for entry to a group home.
“He wants me to take care of his brother as he works 12 hours a day out of the house. I work from home permanently but I know my work would be disrupted if his brother had a meltdown.”
“So I moved back to my old place with my roommates (I had just moved out for 3 months and they hadn’t found a new roommate yet).”
“My bf is mad because now he has no way of working and taking care of his brother and thinks Im being unsympathetic to his problems but I don’t want to take care of him especially when it would effect my work. AITA for not wanting to care for bf’s brother?”
On the AITA subReddit, people explain their situation and what they did in response. Then they are judged by internet strangers for how they reacted.
This is done with one of the following comments:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
OP was surprised with the idea that she would take care of her boyfriend’s brother. She wasn’t consulted and expected to just drop everything to do it.
The board was not surprised however, that she told her boyfriend no.
OP does not deserve to be called the a**hole.
“NTA. I’m sympathetic to the fact that your bf needs to figure out how to take care of his brother on short notice, but deciding, without any discussion, that you were going to watch him 12 hours a day is ridiculous.” – rmm035
“NTA If he wants to take in his brother I admire him for it. However, it sounds like he was about to lay 100% of the responsibility on you.”
“It is not your responsibility. You can not work from home and take care of his brother too. It’s not realistic and most jobs wouldn’t allow it.”
“A lot of WFH jobs won’t allow you to even have kids at home and require proof of outside daycare to ensure there are no interruptions on the time they are paying you for. Your boyfriend needs to figure out how to take care of his brother on his own.” – VioletSkyeDreams
“It’s annoying me that so many comments are ‘she’s not trained to do the job’ when the absolute only correct response is ‘It’s totally inappropriate and unacceptable for a man to expect his girlfriend to take over the care of a relative.’”
“We don’t have to say because of her job or because she’s not trained, but because the mere fact of it is insane.” – Fredredphooey
“Nta. I think he lied and planned on this. Not your problem. Don’t let him guilt you into being an unpaid caretaker.” – Fit-Distribution-252
Other commenters wondered what other options OP’s boyfriend could have to get care for his brother.
Unfortunately, it’s mostly too expensive for them.
“NTA I worked with people with learning disabilities and / or neuro-atypical development. It was rewarding, but draining, and certainly not for everyone.”
“You committed to a relationship with your partner, not to become a defacto guardian to his brother. Your partner should have dealt with this very differently, and not presented you with a fait accompli.”
“If their parents are not in a position to care for his brother, then they need to request an urgent re-assessment of his care needs by Social Services, or the equivalent agency.” – Maelienydd_Cymru
“We’ve looked around(and so have his parents) and the government run group home that provide the needed level of care he needs all have long wait lists. The only ones that have spots are private ones that cost like $3-4000k a month.”
“No one has that kind of money” – grumpynom (OP)
“Have his parents asked for a re-assessment based on their change of circumstances?”
“Waiting lists are usually triaged by priority of need. An up dated care assessment and care plan might place him higher up the waiting list.” – Maelienydd_Cymru
OP cannot be expected to drop everything, but it’s difficult to not be sympathetic to the boyfriend either. His family is in a difficult situation, and thought they had an easy answer to just drop everything on OP.
Maybe the boyfriend will need to reduce his working hours and assist his parents more until they can get care for his brother. Maybe they need to look at other providers and try to find one available that isn’t super expensive.
But there are other options other than dropping the responsibility in the lap of OP.