Grief is a very hard, and very personal process.
No two people handle grief the same way, making it important to respect the grieving process of others.
Something the brother-in-law of Redditor Catmom3__ failed to do, resulting in an angry and emotional reaction from the original poster (OP).
But concerned about her behavior, the OP took to to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), asking fellow Redditors:
“AITA for kicking my sister’s husband out of my house because of what he did?”
The OP first filled readers in on a recent, tragic loss she suffered, one which she is still working on recovering from.
I (f[emale] 34) lost my husband 8 weeks ago, he had cancer and it got treated then it came back.”
“It was and still is so devastating, I’m trying to stay collected and welcoming to all the supportive family members who come to offer help despite my constant change in mood due to grief.”
She revealed that most of her family has been of great help through the process, particularly her sister, though her sister’s husband was something of another story.
“My sister is the most supportive one, although her husband would act inappropriately sometimes, especially after he told me after the funeral that now I’m “burden” free and can “live my life” given I was my husband’s sole carer.”
“I try to let go of those comments thinking he didn’t know better.”
But at a recent family gathering, her brother in law behaved in a manner which the OP simply couldn’t ignore.
“He, my sister, and my family came to visit last week.”
“They cooked dinner for me and kept me company for a bit.”
“After dinner, my brother in law asked for a minute with me inside the kitchen.”
“He started telling about a coworker of his who’s single then went on to list everything good about him.”
“I was confused as to why he was telling me all that.”
“He then reached out for his pant pocket and pulled a piece of paper with his co worker’s phone number on it telling me to give him a call sometime.”
“I was floored I couldn’t really tell if he was joking or what but he looked serious and kept insisting I take the number.”
“I lost it, I just started yelling at him that my husband just died and he was out of his mind to try to hook me up with a coworker of his.”
“He tried to explain that it wasn’t like that and that he was just offering me something helpful but I didn’t know what he meant.”
“I called him disrespectful then yelled at him to get out of my house.”
“My sister and the others ran into the kitchen not knowing what was going on, I told them then pressured him to leave my house but my sister asked that I calm down but I couldn’t.”
“He left then my sister left quietly.”
“After I’d calmed down I sat with my family and they said I was right in that what he did was not okay, but I needed to keep in mind that he and my sister helped so much by cooking for me, comforting me and doing so much for me in these difficult times so, I shouldn’t have reacted like that and could’ve been a little more considerate and graceful.”
“They said kicking him out was too much and I should call him later and talk things out so I won’t ruin my relationship with him and possibly my sister.”
“It’s been days and I haven’t called and my sister hasn’t visited or called which means she is upset with me and now I’m beginning to think they’re most likely hurt because I acted ungrateful after everything they’ve done for me.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not at all the a**hole in this sad situation.
Some felt that the OP had every right to behave the way she did, as it was her grief talking, but it still would be in her best interests to call her sister and thank her for all her help, but also maybe fill her in about her husband’s past behavior.
“NTA, I would contact your sister and tell her that you are absolutely grateful for all that they’ve done and you have wholeheartedly appreciated her company, but I would tell her about all the little things her husband has done and let her know that until you are out of the darkest part of your grief, you just can’t bear to be around her husband again in case he says or does something else as insensitive.”
“Then leave it in her court.”-Dragonr0se.
Others felt that she was under no obligation to reach out to her sister, and that her reaction was completely understandable to the way her husband behaved.
“He was way out of line and needed to be told to back off.”
“How cold and rude!”
“You are grieving for your husband and you may never want to date again.”
“It’s only been 8 weeks!”
“I’m so sorry for your loss.”
“I’m sending you my sincerest condolences.”
“You don’t owe anyone an apology.”
“What he did was outright callous.”-LoveBeach8.
“NTA – I can’t tell if your brother in law is an actual jerk or just astoundingly lacking in empathy and social judgement, but either way, his actions were wildly insensitive and inappropriate, and your actions completely understandable.”-JudgeJudAITA.
“Actions are not balancing each other, it doesn’t work like that.”
“It’s not as if preparing meals for someone allows you to be inappropriate with them afterwards.”-Esterenn.
“NTA I’m autistic and know this is a bad idea.”
“Normally I have a hard time understanding facial expressions and body language, but grief is a pretty obvious expression and I usually don’t miss it.”
“This guy was playing a game called ‘I’m only trying to help’ where he offers an unhelpful or offensive solution to a problem.”
“However you didn’t ask for help.”
“When the help is offensive and rejected, the payoff is confusion and attention for the guy and anger for you.”
“The easy solution is to just not play and not give the sister’s husband the attention and confusing rejection he wants.”
“I’m sorry this happened to you and your sister’s husband needs to stop using you to get his attention needs met; that’s something your sister and his therapist need to do.”
“I suggest reading a book called ‘Games People Play’ by Eric Berne, MD to help learn about game players and what to do with them.”-NycBikerDude11.
Even if the OP’s brother in law seemed to be trying to help, it’s hard to imagine how he couldn’t see how this would most likely upset her, so soon after the death of her husband.
Here’s hoping he might realize his mistake, and the OP’s strong relationship with her sister isn’t too badly affected.