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Widow Claps Back After Sister Who Also Lost Her Husband Insists She Move On And Start Dating

Widowed woman at funeral with her children
RichLegg/Getty Images

Grief is an incredibly complicated process, and we all have our own way of working through it.

What will work for one person absolutely will not work for someone else, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Best-Quantity-9059 was sick of enduring comments about her need to move on and start dating after her husband passed away, especially since her sister had moved on from her own late husband.

But when she attempted to quiet her sister’s comments, the Original Poster (OP) was ridiculed by her family for being judgmental about her sister moving on before her.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for publicly telling my widowed sister I’ll never move on like she did?”

The OP and her sister had different approaches to grieving their late husbands.

“My sister Jane and I’s husbands passed away together in an accident six years ago.”

“Jane and her first husband have two children. Jane remarried around a year after the passing and went on to have two more kids with her new husband.”

“Janes’s kids definitely didn’t take it well when she started dating a couple of months after the accident, and they still struggle a lot as a household.”

“I have never gotten involved but I’ve tried to support all of them, but again. I’ve distanced myself a lot and don’t see them as much anymore.”

“I have three teenage kids from my late husband. I haven’t dated since the accident and I don’t plan to. I know this is controversial for many, and I seriously don’t need my comments overflown with people telling me it’s okay to love again. I know it is. Please. I have no interest.”

The OP had done the work with her children to be at peace with their loss.

“I have done tons of therapy as have our kids. Nothing is directly ’wrong’ with me. I had my one big life-altering love and I’m okay with going the rest of my life reminiscing about that.”

“I have had lots of grief counseling and therapy for both me and my kids, both individually and as a family.”

“My family doesn’t seem to think my life is complete until I find a new romantic partner. While it’s always a struggle when your significant other leaves you behind on this earth with your three kids, we do our best to find joy in life.”

“It’s just not enough in the eyes of my family, which is also why I’ve distanced myself a lot from them.”

The OP’s family was critical of her choices.

“My family has over the years tried to set me up, give me speeches, and otherwise convince me to find a new romantic partner.”

“I have tried everything to shut it down, but they are adamant I need to date again, and because of their constant pressure, I’ve distanced myself a lot. I still see them mostly for the kids’ sake.”

“I’m also very close to my in-laws and my husband’s entire family.”

The situation escalated at a family gathering.

“My parents hosted a birthday dinner for my mom, and during dinner, Jane once again asked when I was gonna start dating and listed friends of her new husband who she thought suitable.”

“I told her no and to please drop it, to which Jane replied, ‘It’s been over six years, you need to get over it and move on.'”

“At this, I kind of snapped, stood up, and firmly told her that I wasn’t ever going to ‘move on’ and that just because she wanted to remarry in less than a year doesn’t mean I ever have to.”

The family was critical of the OP’s response.

“The entire table went quiet, and Jane started yelling and insulting me.”

“My kids also got progressively angrier with Jane, and before everyone blew up, I got us home.”

“My family is texting all kinds of things from ‘Your sister is right, time to move on,’ to ‘It was cruel of you to shame Jane.'”

“I have never commented on the fact that Jane moved on until this instance, but I felt my comment was fair given the circumstance.”

“The guilt tripping is however getting to me and I’m wondering if I truly did something wrong here.”


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 empathized with the OP and didn’t count this really as lashing out.

“NTA. I would have said YTA If I’d only read the title. Reading the whole post, it’s clear everyone else is the AH. No one needs to date if they don’t want to.”

“Her kids were teens. Sounds like she wasn’t interested in having more children. Why does she need a boyfriend to make her complete? So this is clearly NTA.” – DaisyDuckens

“Small YTA for the comment about Jane but otherwise NTA. Everyone else sucks for pushing men on you when you’ve made it very clear that you are not interested.”

“Definitely think about going LC or NC (Low Contact or No Contact), because it sounds like the kids are fed up, as well, so there’s no ‘for the kids’ sake’ argument to even be worried about.” – Aggressively_Average2

“NTA. Your vows say until death do you part, but it doesn’t say you HAVE TO move on. You can live your life however you want with whoever you want. You don’t NEED to be in a relationship if it isn’t what you want.”

“I also find it hilarious that they see no problem in ALL of them basically shaming you for being single, but how dare you point out that your sister moved on SUPER fast.”

“Nah, I’d go NC (No Contact) with all of them because I’m petty. But you did absolutely nothing wrong.”

“Also, being told to ‘get over it’ is the cruelest thing that was said, your family seems very oblivious to how you feel and that makes me angry for you.”

“Moving on doesn’t mean you have to remarry. It just means you move on to a better mental state which it sounds like you did.” – Bite_Me_16

“NTA. You made that comment after a long stream of inappropriate comments from your sister. Not to mention what sounds like years of dealing with this kind of attitude.”

“You also said, ‘I had my one big life-altering love.’ This spoke very loudly to me. I’m married and my husband and I are both aware our love is not huge or life-altering. Like, we have love and are committed to our family, but it’s not a big romantic thing if that makes sense.”

“I’m pretty confident we would both move on eventually if the other passed. Whereas I know two women who experienced what you described. One is my SIL (Sister-in-Law) and the other was my Grandma. For my SIL, it’s been almost a decade and her love is still her husband. My Grandma survived my Grandpa for twenty-five years and never remarried. She was so in love with him even until the day she died.”

“It’s not that your sister didn’t love her husband, of course. But I think that kind of epic, life-altering love is a rare thing. And I think it deserves respect.”

“It’s possible your sister pushes it so much out of some misplaced guilt for moving on. Possibly your comment played on an already existing insecurity, but she was still way out of line.”

“Your sister had every right to move on just like you have every right to hold on to that wonderful love you shared. Both are valid and should be supported.” – kokonikoreteureshii

“Here’s what I’d advise saying: ‘I was wrong to shame Jane, but you have been wrong all these years shaming me for remaining single. I will no longer tolerate it. From now on, the first time any of you bring it up I will hang up/leave, and will remain out of contact for (x amount of time).'”

“Then DO IT. Block them on your phone and skip family get-togethers, even those for special occasions.”

“Further, if after you see/speak to them again, they again push you to date, walk out/hang up again, and also double the length of the cut-off. Repeat as needed.”

“Obviously, I think you are NTA.” – CookbooksRUs

But others thought the OP should have shown more restraint. 

“Is OP an AH for blowing up? I’d say yes. YTA because there are better ways to communicate this. Calmly ask for understanding and respect for the decision.”

“If that is not respected, say that you fear the constant questioning will lead to less contact because of the lack of respect. There is simply no reason to compare.” – Aldoburgo

“NTA for your decision.”

“YTA for throwing her choice in her face around the whole family, perhaps renewing her guilt at it, and the judgment of others (would be so hard to not do it so really blame you).”

“It sucks but it is all coming from a good place. But no one seems to cotton on to you not being interested and do not want to get into it. Perhaps akin to pregnancy decisions. They should get they should back off.” – shaensays

“YTA. It was someone else’s birthday dinner and you made it about you when you snapped. Jane may feel some guilt about moving on even though she shouldn’t. Everyone grieves differently.”

“They are not right for being pushy about you dating. You could have spoken to them privately and given them an ultimatum in private. Instead, you made the whole thing about you. YTA.” – Conscious_Version908

“YTA. Of course you’re NTA for not wanting to move on, you never ever have to date if you don’t want to, and your sister is TA for not respecting your boundaries.”

“But that’s not what people called you out for being TA for… and she didn’t make it personal, while you escalated it by publically and personally humiliating her, I assume in front of her husband and all of her children.”

“The appropriate thing to do would have been to remove yourself. She had the right to move on just as you have the right not to.”

“I’m sorry Jane and your family are disrespectful of your boundaries, and I hope you find a way to make them hear you, but this was not it. YTA in this particular instance.” – No_Expression_411

“YTA. Are you the a-hole for not remarrying? No. Should they push you? No. Should your sister push you? No. Should she call you out like that? No.”

“But you are definitely the a**hole for your implications and for you airing out your grievances. Do you resent your sister for remarrying? Does that, in your mind, mean she loved her husband less than you loved yours?”

“I mean, from the way you’re describing the situation, it sounds like you on some level resent her for moving on, that she is in some way wrong for moving on.” – Jindujan

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.

“I appreciate your comments, thank you! Honestly, I was already considering NC (No-Contact) and might actually go forward with it. My kids aren’t thrilled with my family either.”

“My in-laws are wonderful people in every aspect, and my kids and I are already spending lots of time with them! They are the best family we could ask for.”

As for the YTAs, I accept your verdict, but I guess after six years of being kind and gracious and saying no and shutting them down in a calm manner just wore out.”

“They are of the understanding that my life isn’t worth anything and that I can’t possibly be happy without a romantic partner, and that doesn’t seem to change. Might be time for NC…”

The subReddit was able to empathize with both of the women and how they had approached their grief, with one able to move on quickly and the other one no longer interested in dating.

Because of that, some thought the family needed to show the OP more respect for how she wanted to live her life. Others thought the OP should have shown more restraint and not made a judgmental comment toward her sister, despite the number of comments she’d already put up with.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.